2019 started with a feeling of positivity and happiness, I really began to believe that this was a turning point in my life. Little did I know that the service that was suppose to aid me in my mental health would end up crushing it beneath it’s giant clueless shoe.
When I made the difficult decision to come off Venlaflaxine my doctor referred me to a mental health consultant. I was placed on the waiting list in October and finally received an appointment in mid January. Up until that point I had honestly forgotten that I was on the waiting list, so when the letter in the post arrived not only was I surprised I was also thrilled. My mood was high, things were looking up, and this consultation would be the cherry on top.
However as soon as I entered the waiting room I had a feeling that things weren’t going to turn out as I had hoped. I understand that the NHS is a fantastic system, but when you walk into a mental health clinic waiting room where the room is plain and empty, filled with hard chairs and mouldy blinds you can really start to see where funding is going. Obviously I’m not stating that money should be spent on decor, but my fellow mental health suffers will understand that situations where we don’t feel comfortable can really send us off into a spiral of unease and anxiety.
When I was called through into the room I was told that the Doctor I had originally been assigned was busy and instead I would be seeing a student. I actually knew who the Doctor was, and 5 minutes earlier he had been chatting in the office drinking coffee. The student was kind and made me feel comfortable, however when it comes to my mental health I expect to be taken seriously and recieve the best care possible.
The next 15 minutes consisted of me bringing up every single thing wrong with my life, past and present. All the memories I had dealt with previously were now brought to the surface. I felt raw by the end, but believed that after all of it, there would be help offered.
There wasn’t. I was given a list of presentations I could go too, all during work, as well as the number for paid counselling. Basically everything I had already been through. It showed that no reading had been done of my file and this lady had no clue about my past experiences. I left that room crushed, defeated and overall shit.
From that day my mood slowly went back to its depressive state. The positivity was gone and my happiness was waning. What was meant to help me move forward had actually made me go backwards. Unfortunately I’m still here.
I commend the NHS when it comes to other areas of care, but mental health is severely lacking. The consultants weren’t knowledgeable about their patients, the support was useless, and the end result was a depressed girl feeling worse than when she had first walked in. The help we need and deserve isn’t there for us, we should have our mental health taken seriously. Has it put me off going to the doctor’s for help? yes. Will I go to another mental health consultation? No. Unfortunately I think I’m better off on my own, along with the support of my family. However it’s those without that support that I worry for. My advice to you is seek the help but when it’s unhelpful try again. Keep pushing until that support is received.