Three Days of Professional Madness, Genital Vinegar and C: Week 24

As you know, I’ve been on holiday, and as you also know, I promised I would go into more detail about the three mental health appointments I had in the days that preceded my departure. I had started this post well before going to Turkey, but despite my claim that I’d finish it on the plane, of course I didn’t; even flight-safe phones such as the iPhone were not allowed to be used onboard. Obviously in Turkey I was trying to enjoy myself, though as you will see in a later post that did indeed involve some forays into psychiatry. Anyway, I’ve finally got round to the post in question, so here it is.

Tuesday: The Psychiatrist

I said I’d go into more detail about how I responded to the psychiatric SHO on Tuesday 8th. Basically, I said I couldn’t deal things any more (I’m sick of my up-down moods and am worried about the effect some of my psychoses are having not just on me but the others around me). I said I’d been pushed from pillar to post by Dr C’s department – due to the ridiculous saga to be seen by them in the first place, then their cancelling an important appointment in July – and that I thought it was unacceptable.

The thing was, I was in a complete state and it sounded more than I was pleading with her than that I was angry with her. I was begging, effectively. My first reaction to her refusal to do anything was one of panicked desperation, and I half broke down, but she merely apologised and said she was too inexperienced to deal with a case like mine. She blamed the department’s failure to have me sitting there with Dr C on a “secretarial error”.

She said, “if you need help in the meantime, you can always get the Crisis Team to…”

Regular readers will know what I think of the CRT. See about three-quarters of the way down here, for example. So you can imagine my response.

“No,” I shrieked. “No, I can’t – they’re useless, they’re crap!”

“Well, they’re always there for you,” she started, but she seemed to realise the futility of continuing in this vein, so she changed tactics and continued by saying, “or your GP.”

She said, “Dr C will talk to your psychologist right away and see you as soon as possible – unfortunately she’s just doesn’t have a window today.”

Seems to be her curtains are always fucking pulled, but anyway – I told Dr A I would be on holiday until 21st September inclusive, so she agreed to organise a new appointment for sometime after the 22nd. I got up then, mumbled some sort of goodbye, and almost literally stumbled out of the building. Some other (male) mental sitting near the door tried to grope me on my way out (the “appointment” was in the psychiatric day hospital, rather than the usual outpatients clinic, so obviously he was ((erroneously?)) recently released from the actual bin).

As I was telling C the following Thursday, another thing of note was the physical environment of the “appointment”. As stated it was in the day hospital, which has much smaller one-to-one consultation rooms than outpatients. This was a problem as there was a window in the door, and I could see the other mentals looking in from time to time. Even worse than this was the fact that the room was near the entrance, meaning that all the others waiting for their cunty day therapy and other patronising OT-esque wank were directly outside the room smoking. Not a problem in itself – except that Dr A neglected to close the window, meaning that everyone else could hear the conversation.

I could have (reluctantly) lived with all of this imbecility if they had done something, but obviously they didn’t.

So anyhow, I went and sat in my car. Recognising that I was unfit to drive, I decided to ring A for cathartic discussion. I cried down the phone to him for about 20 minutes. He was absolutely livid with Dr C and her people. He authoritatively told me not to drive until I’d calmed down considerably, but said when I got back to my mother’s house that I should get her to phone them and kick up a fuss and demand answers – not to mention an actual definite date to see Dr C.

After a while I thought I’d calmed down and left, but I remember bawling my eyes out at times on the way home and practically fell through the door to my mother’s. Initially I was incapable of even rudimentary speech, but eventually I managed to convey a basic version of Dr C’s neglect to my mother.

My mother tried to calm me and I suppose she partially succeeded, because she managed to eventually tear herself away from me for long enough to phone Dr C’s admin department (a suggestion unsolicited by me), who emphatically denied a “secretarial error” but did say they would try and find out what had happened. Apparently the girl Mum spoke to was very nice and she said she would phone back with information later.

Then Mum contacted the GP; the one on call was the (only) one I hate in the ‘surgery’ (I’m indifferent to the others, mostly), because on more than one occasion she has blamed my mental health issues on being overweight. Sure, luv; wouldn’t be anything to do with personal pathology, rape, abandonment, bullying, lies or bereavement. Obviously not. As it happens, I think a lot of my excess weight is caused by depression rather than the other way about; partly because of comfort eating, partly as an annoying side effect of antidepressants. But that’s another issue.

Anyway, let’s call this woman Horrible GP, in contrast to her colleague, Lovely GP, with whom I was due to have a review appointment the next day. My ma outlined the issues involved and Horrible GP asked to speak to me. I refused, but she pushed my mother to get me to talk and thus I started to go mental, screaming that there was no way in hell that I was going to pick up the phone.

Mum said to HGP, “she’s panicking now.”

Query: is “going mental” the same as having a panic attack? I’ve certainly had the latter; for me, a panic attack is much more of a physical problem. Not that that doesn’t affect one mentally, of course, but going mental is almost a reverse course of action. It’s the shit in my mind, racing around in a whirlpool splitting my skull, that causes physical distress, rather than the other way about.

Whatever the case, the long and the short of it was that HGP agreed to provide emergency Valium, as I had left my main stash from my last meeting with LGP at A’s house, on the other side of town.

This agreed, Mum sat down with me again and ranted about Dr C and her negligent behaviour and about how she was thinking of going to the media. About this time, A sent me a text message saying that he was “so angry with these abject cunts” and also suggesting contacting a popular local consumer affairs programme.

Handbags at dawn, dearest readers!

Mum eventually went to get the Diazepam from the pharmacy, at which point I inflicted the self-harm that I posted a photo of, perhaps irresponsibly, here. It’s no big deal, self-mutilation is not uncommon for me as many of you know. It helps. I did it as I perceived the situation as Dr C hating me. Therefore, I was a hateful person. Therefore, that had to be acknowledged somewhere. That’s a logical(-ish) train of thought that wasn’t exactly present at the time, but it was at least the sense of my reasoning.

I bled and bled and bled and then worried that I wouldn’t be able to try and hide the injury from Mum, who has been mostly unaware of my cutting. I managed to bandage myself up, though, and the bleeding was adequately hidden just in time for her return.

I took the Diazepam, and the rest of the day was mostly uneventful. A was good enough to go back to our house, feed the cats and get my tablets, then come and stay with me at Mum’s (I wasn’t allowed to drive due to the Valium). He and Mum spent some time scathing about the morning’s occurrence, and the words “criminal negligence” were used. My mother queried what would actually happen if someone were seriously suicidal, little knowing of course that a few weeks ago, I tried to hang myself. Mind you, I hadn’t told Dr A that either. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t tell her because I had forgotten that I’d tried to hang myself. Who forgets trying to hang themselves?! It’s a good thing I did, though, as there’s always the possibility they’d have sectioned me. I am, after all, a danger to myself at times.

Wednesday: The General Practitioner

The next day I had a very long discussion with LGP (his colleague having related the previous day’s fun and games to him). Appointments are meant to be 10 minutes long, so if you’re the poor sod that was waiting at least 15 minutes after your appointment time, then I apologise. At least it shows LGP cares about his patients, unlike others I can fucking think of.

LGP asked to see the self-harm of the previous day, so I showed him, and in fact gave him the guided tour of the words and slashes that litter the flabby rolls of my abdomen. He appeared to be genuinely affected by this; not freaking out like normals do over this sort of thing, nor angry, but sorry that I was in the position where cutting seemed my best course of action (which I maintain it often is, to be honest). He wasn’t judgemental nor overly worried – he’s obviously aware this is quite normal in mental illness, certainly in BPD and very definitely for me on and off over the years – but just fucking caring. Just nice, supportive and caring.

He showed me the letter Dr C had sent him re: my diagnoses and medication change. I was interested to observe that whilst she wanked on and on about BPD, she had then said that “a differential diagnosis” was bipolar II. I thought a “differential diagnosis” was a diagnosis based on the elimination of most other illnesses based on symptoms presented? If correct, that would suggest to me that bipolar is considered my primary diagnosis, but contextually the letter presented it – as Dr C had done to me in June – as if BPD was my primary pathology. Her whinging about NICE’s mood stabilisers and anti-psychotics in BPD to both LGP and me would seem to confirm that. Can anyone, therefore, clarify the meaning of “differential diagnosis”?

One thing it did say that was moderately encouraging was that she was not totally against the use of mood stabilisers in future. She didn’t make further mention of anti-psychotics, but with regret I am beginning to wonder if I really should have them. (Incidentally, MMcF’s husband was put on an anti-psychotic a few years ago to combat his very severe paranoia. It changed his life for the better almost instantly. You can take a guess as to what I think about that).

LGP wasn’t happy with Dr C as well he might not be. He believes that additional medication (though he didn’t say which) seems appropriate, and furthermore that the dose of Venlafaxine is very low, despite its dodgy side effects. However, he said that he was in an awkward position. He certainly has knowledge of psychiatric illnesses, but he’s no expert, whereas Dr C (supposedly) is. He virtually said that in an ideal world after her lax approach he’d refer me to an alternative specialist, but after all the trouble we had had getting me to one in the first place, he didn’t really see that as a viable option.

That’s fair enough I suppose, although it didn’t help me much. Regardless, LGP has been the only one out of the three main health professionals with which I deal that has been a constant source of support, rather than frustration, so I’ll forgive his reluctance to interfere with the psychiatrist’s domain. We discussed sleeping pills and he suggested I return to Zopiclone over the holiday at least, as it worked for me before and I wouldn’t have to drive on the holiday (prolonged use of it has affected my vision in the past, though not on every occasion on which I’ve taken it). I remembered that he’d given me an inhaler when I was about 14 to help with panic attacks and asked if, in conjunction with the Valium, this would help me when I start to go mental. LGP agreed to provide this inhaler and as I left, after wishing me an enjoyable holiday, he said that if I hadn’t heard from Dr Cunt within the next few weeks, to phone him and he’d get slabbering.

Thursday: The Clinical Psychologist

So the next day’s measure of insanity was with twatting C. We had agreed to spend most of that day’s session discussing coping methods of mentalism on the holiday, and he reiterated that point at the start of the session.

However, he firstly wanted to discuss a few housekeeping issues. The selfish prick chose to take leave the week I came back from Turkey (ie. what would have been today’s session), rather than taking it the same bloody week that I was away.

Is this annoyance on my part unreasonable? Probably, but sometimes I really wonder if mental health professionals, including C, realise the positions of responsibility, authority and trust in which they are placed by their patients. Anyway, at least he’d given me notice of this unfortunate absence before; I sat seething in silent rage as he then explained that the week after that, he’d be on a training course. This means three missed sessions, as opposed to the original expected one.

Fuck. Fuck. FUUUUUCCCKKK!!! Fuck you, C!!! [As it happens, so far I have hardly missed him at all, but (a) there’s still two weeks until the next session so Christ knows what’ll happen between now and then, (b) I’m trying to replicate my frustrations from then rather than my feelings now and (c) whether or not I miss him is not the point. The fact that I am essentially entirely devoid of mental health support for nearly an entire month is the fucking point].

So anyway, C asked was there anything I wanted to bring to the table before we discussed preventing and coping with madness whilst on holiday. I decided to refrain from coming right out and asking him directly if he had spoken to Dr C, and instead enigmatically replied, “has anyone spoken to you about me?”

He furrowed his brow a little and said, “not since I spoke to your psychiatrist, Dr…Dr..,” he searched for her name.

I reminded him, and asked when the conversation to which he was referring took place. It was clear he couldn’t remember exactly, and he eventually replied with something vague like, “a few months ago.”

Great work, Dr C. You and your SHO claim you want to speak to C and see me as soon as possible thereafter. Clearly it was right the fuck up there in your list of priorities.

I nodded at C, feigning casual indifference, eventually cracking under the pressure of his piercing stare of curiosity a few minutes later.

“You won’t be aware of the events of Tuesday, then?”

“It was Tuesday you saw her, wasn’t it?” he asked in all sincerity.

I laughed bitterly and made some vicious snipe about how useful “seeing” her was.

I went on to detail the circumstances in full. Those have all already been reported here so I can omit that part of the discussion from this summary of the meeting. Basically, two issues arose.

Firstly and of foremost interest was that C seemed utterly perplexed by the fact that I had cut myself in the wake of his colleague’s fuck up. Well, aside from the fact that’s a fucking hallmark trait of my illness, you twat, I was going totally up the walls and self-harm – as I have told about 496,960 times – is a quick, simple and effective tool to suppress such spiralling insanity.

OK, SI. Why the need for something so elaborate, then. Perception at time: Dr C hates me. I am hateful. That needs to be acknowledged.

Entirely predictably, C droned on for about 40 years on methods of “distraction” and “grounding myself in the moment”, all this bollocks we visit in a circular motion time and time again. I don’t remember my response to him. I just remember my metaphorical eye-rolling and desire that he’d move the fuck on from this DBT nonsense, because in its simplest form anyway, it doesn’t fucking work.

Anyhow, the second issue arising from the Dr C conversation was what he thought of the treatment meted out to me by Psychiatry. He seemed surprised by the strength of the reactions of A, Mum and (obviously) me, and his expressions and body language suggested, to me, something akin to nonchalance about the situation. Well – maybe ‘nonchalance’ is an unfair word. But I certainly did not get a vibe of overt concern like I had from LGP.

So, I set him a challenge. “If I ask you a straight question,” I began, “will you please give me a straight answer?”

This, of course, garnered a slight non-verbal reaction, because it was a strong inference that he often doesn’t answer straight questions. Well, he doesn’t. If he doesn’t like my directness about that on this occasion, that’s just too bloody bad.

“If I can,” he responded.

Ha! What you mean, C, is if you’re willing. Do you think I’m stupid? Can’t you even plan the answer in a straight fashion?!

I asked him if he thought I was being unreasonable in expecting better from the Health Service. I reminded him that I had been fucked about by Psychiatry from January to May, then fucked about again in July after a serious medication change to a seemingly effective but nonetheless insidious, potentially mind-altering, drug, then fucked about again in September. Was that fair? Was it fair, also, that such carelessness was exhibited vis a vis my privacy in my meeting with Dr A? Whilst acknowledging that to some extent the NHS is ‘free’ to use, was it fair that I had worked since I was 16 (insofar as my illnesses permitted) and will hopefully return to and continue to work until my 60s, thus facilitating the salaries of Dr C and her team via national insurance – only to be treated in this fashion? Was any of that actually fair? Was I being unreasonable?

When he didn’t immediately respond, I pointed out that my enquiry was serious. I genuinely wanted to know if something about my fury, and that of Mum and A, was somehow unjustified.

He eventually started wittering on about it being fair to expect certain standards from a service, regardless of what that service is, and certain frustrations were bound to be evident were those standards – or, more accurately, the expectations of standards (my distinction, based however on what I inferred from what he said) – were not met.

Exasperated, I said, “yes or no – do you think my anger is unreasonable?”

He sort of sighed, then said, “you talked about your main GP as being a good doctor, but the on-call one on Tuesday as being someone you strongly dislike. Dr C is, presently, in your mind, a second ‘bad’ doctor. If I answer ‘no’, I am just another ‘good’ doctor, affirming your present mindset. If I say ‘yes’, then I become a ‘bad’ doctor.”

He was obviously accusing me of black and white thinking, which is generally not a particularly unreasonable view for him to take, but nonetheless I resented every syllable of this fuck. Is what he said not profoundly black and white? Can’t he understand that if he can coherently and reasonably defend his position on the matter that I might have some insight, that if he disagrees with me that I might be able to derive some perspective from that? Oh no. Even in someone with an IQ of 148, it’s apparently as simple as a childlike concept of good v bad, with no room for relativism at all. I might have BPD, but I’m not completely colour-blind to shades of grey.

Rather than lose it with him, I tried to rationally explain my reasoning for my views on the GPs, the subject of his comments that had especially irritated me. My views on both have been developed over years. I first met LGP over 12 years ago. I first met HGP maybe six or seven years ago. I just didn’t meet either of them once or twice and form a view of them. My views on them, and on all other GPs and health professionals I’ve met, are based over time. They can change dramatically or quickly, I’ll admit, but not without very good reason.

In general, that is.

He conceded that perhaps there was more to it than good-doctor-bad-doctor, but pressed, “why self-harm though?”

This was irritating, as I’d already outlined my reasons. I sighed and said something like I wasn’t sure we’d ever see eye to eye on this.

He said, “I wouldn’t be sitting here with you if I didn’t believe you had other coping methods.”

Seeing my eyebrows raise, he added, “…or at least if I didn’t believe that you could develop them. What would be the point in that?”

I don’t recall my thinking now, but I looked him straight in the eye with what I think was some sort of oddly demanding expression and asked in a dark monotone, “are you going to leave me then? You’re going to abandon me?”

Poor C. The man was genuinely stunned. Reflecting on it now, so am I. Talk about adding two and two and getting half a million. There was absolutely no tangible link between expressing that he had hope for me and a suggestion he was going to desist from seeing me. None.

“Where did that come from?!” he exclaimed, mystified.

I honestly don’t remember my answer; I am writing this a fortnight later. I must have said one of two things; either I tried to justify my ridiculous belief that C had suggested he was going to ‘dump’ me, or I immediately apologised and submitted to him. Either way, we ended up in the submissive position, with me predictably following my Attack-Defend-Submit pattern. I said that my comments were clearly bullshit, that I was being daft and he should forget it.

“But it’s obviously something you’re bringing to this room,” C pointed out. “Why is that?”

As can be my won’t at times, I began playing psychologist. Interesting that I refuted any suggestion above that I was childlike, because I remember telling C that that’s exactly what I was. When he asked me why I thought this, I sardonically replied that I wasn’t allowed to intellectualise matters so I couldn’t answer his question.

He laughed and said, with a kind of amused defeatism, “go on then.”

Of course, I couldn’t. This was a PhD qualified clinical psychologist I was talking to. I’m a Wikipedia qualified psychologist. (Actually, I’m underselling myself, as I do have some knowledge of the subject, but it is from some time ago and was not even half as in-depth as a full undergraduate degree, nevermind a doctoral one). For the record, I was thinking of attachment and object relations theories and their roles in transference.

Anyway, my paranoid whining led to a monologue from C about ending therapy. Obviously I’m aware it’s not indefinite, it’s not a permanent fixture in neither his nor my life, aren’t I? But he’d like to assure me – again – that it will never just abruptly end. He envisions a minimum of four sessions of preparation before discharge, probably more, blah de blah.

I just sat there and looked at the floor, struggling to not burst into tears like a bloody newborn, struggling not to get down on my knees and beg him not to leave me to try and make some sense of insanity, my past, my future – my entire damn life – alone. I know I sit here and spout bile about the man and slag him off and call him names – but I do like him despite it all, and I need him and see hope with him and I can’t do it without him – not yet anyhow.

I was utterly overwhelmed by how much I don’t want him to abandon me and how inadequate and feeble I felt because of that. How sad and ridiculous that an intelligent woman of 26 wants a man she doesn’t even know to take the place of her missing father, grandfather and, frankly, friends, given that she only has a few close ones. How pathetic that she is vulnerable like a girl 20+ years her junior, and that she wants this unknown figure to scoop her up and take care of her. It’s so wretched that it’s almost kind of darkly amusing.

He interrupted this self-indulgent and piteous stream of consciousness by asking, “how are you feeling now, in this moment?”

I can return to ranting now. I swear to fucking God that I am sick to death of that phrase. He must surely use it as his meditation mantra. Is there some cadence in it that I’ve missed that makes it an attractive thing to say all the time?

I cleared my throat and said I was fine. He looked at my cynically, but decided against pressing the issue, presumably as there was very little time remaining in the session.

“When Dr C contacts me,” he began, “I can tell her nothing if you want. What we discuss here is confidential. Some people might not be at all comfortable with the idea of a discussion about them behind their back. Others may find it helpful. What’s your take on that? What do you want me to tell her?”

“It is weird to think of the two of you discussing me whilst I’m in absentia,” I admitted. “However, I don’t think that makes it unhelpful.”

I shrugged. “Use your discretion, I suppose. Answer her questions, give her any information you feel is relevant.”

He nodded, and I saw him look at the clock, which to my annoyance he’s moved to behind ‘my’ chair so (I presume) that it’s less obvious to the patient when he checks the time. Which it’s not as you can see his eyes shift above your head. And in any case it was pointless to hide it on this occasion, as he said, “we’ve left very little time to talk about your holiday.”

Oh really, I had no idea, I thought we had six hours. To be honest, I was glad. The preceding minutes had been pretty intense for me and I was tired.

We did conduct a quick and fairly basic discussion on coping if I were to go mental in Turkey, but beyond talking about getting A involved in the techniques, there was nothing new in what was discussed. I did talk about the inhaler from LGP and the Valium, but C kept whinging that these were external sources (oh really? I thought I had them sewn into my oesophagus) and that I needed to develop internal responses. To be honest, I just sat there and nodded, not really agreeing, not really even thinking about what he said, because I just wanted to leave. Not a good thing probably, but there you have it.

As I left, he said, “I hope the holiday goes OK.”

I ranted to A about this later. OK? You hope it is OK?! No “have a nice break” or “I hope you have a great time”?

To my surprise, A defended C. A contends that C had to be careful; had he said he hoped it was “great” or whatever, I would have been too cynical to really believe that he meant it, or that I expected it was possible that the trip could be great. I actually don’t agree that that would have been my view, but in fairness I can see why C might have thought that. So I can forgive his lack of enthusiasm to some extent. I suppose.

Friday: The Flight

OK, the title says ‘three’ days and this is a fourth day, but it doesn’t involve professionals attending to my madness, and in any case I’m not going into too much detail. You can probably tell from the style of writing here and here that I was (hypo)manic on Thursday night. This carried on right into Friday.

I suppose there is an argument that I could simply have been excited about going on holiday, but I don’t think that is the case. Forms of mania are, to me (and as far as I know to diagnostic manuals), different from contentment or excitement, in subtle ways at least. I understand that bipolar II in particular often goes undiagnosed because the hypomania therein often presents simply as an especially good mood. Maybe I seemed in an especially good mood on the Friday of that week, and I probably was, but I was also behaving oddly and saying really stupid shit.

I don’t have the best recollection of it, I’ll admit. I do remember sitting at the departure gate at the airport, delayed, babbling incoherently and in a racing fashion to A. I remember dropping my bag and having some sort of hysterical fit of laughter and more racing speech about this ludicrously uninteresting event. People around me were looking at me as if I was mad (which clearly I was). A found it amusing, and I can understand why it might have been to some – but it is also not ‘normal’; certainly, it was not appropriate behaviour for a public place.

And it very certainly, profoundly and completely wasn’t appropriate for a plane, and luckily I had enough cognisance to realise this. So, for the first and to my credit (?) only time from then to now, I took Valium to space me out and slow me down. It worked, to A’s self-proclaimed disappointment, but obviously it is not a long-term solution to episodes of mania.

Thus began our holiday. I will write in more detail about that shortly; it’s a separate issue from most of this post’s material. However, don’t worry; I’m not going to bore you to death by telling you what we did, what we ate etc etc etc – even if you actually know who I am, such things become dull very quickly. Of course, I keep this diary primarily for my own reasons – but more in relation to my mental health, not ‘normal’ stuff, if there even is any of that presently in my life. No, I want to think about how I felt on the holiday, how I behaved – whether there was an overt exhibition of madness thereon, or whether I actually managed to acquit myself well. I hope to write this tomorrow, but if not hopefully early next week.


When A and I were waiting for the plane, I received a message from my mother stating that a letter had arrived from Psychiatry offering an appointment on Tuesday 15th. LOLOLOLOL. Can’t they get anything right? I clearly told Dr A I would be away until the 21st. Mum rang them for me and whinged some more, pointing out they had not explained the situation as promised to her on the phone on Tuesday. They promptly and without question rearranged the meeting for Tuesday 29th. I am now terrified of it. It’s not great timing either as I have another bloody OH appointment on Thursday 1st October as well, but there’s not much I can do.

So, finally, you’re probably wondering what the reference to ‘genital vinegar’ in the title of this post relates to. It relates to Dr C. In ranting on Twitter, someone responded to me that Dr C was a “vinegar cunted bitch” – or so I thought. It turned out he was actually referring to some bint spreading more “Obama is a Nazi” bollocks in the US, but never mind – the title as one for my psychiatrist stuck.

Obviously there are a lot of ‘C’s in my life anyway. The actual C, CVM, Dr C…I’m sure there are more. Therefore, to avoid confusion and to reflect my current position on Dr C, I shall henceforth refer to her as the Vinegar Cunted Bitch, or VCB. I know I have a terrible penchant for acronyms, and when combined with usage of terms such as ‘BPD’ etc it is bound to get confusing – but I’m not going to start calling C ‘John’ or VCB ‘Dr Alfonso-Smythe-Hetherington VI’ just to anonymise them, so you’ll just have to bear with me. I have to bear with myself, after all.

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3 Responses to “Three Days of Professional Madness, Genital Vinegar and C: Week 24”

  1. Reading this makes me think you should ask to be referred to a different specialist and lodge a formal written complaint to the NHS Trust about the VCB. You might want to consider seeing a specialist who works for a different Trust, if it’s possible for you to travel elsewhere.

    I’m not sure what to make of C, and I’m not sure I know what this “mental health support” is that you’re entirely devoid of. If you have hardly missed him at all, it’s not clear that there is any rational basis for continuing to see him.

  2. I love the idea of the VCB. It does sound atrociously managed, somewhat akin to my experiences of the cmht when the previous therapist left. I hate it when they behave like that – I think they have a culture of incompetence and don’t realise how it feels from the outside, it’s just normal to them.

    I think you should write a letter to Dr C explaining how you’ve experienced their ‘care’. I would keep it as dispassionate as possible with dates, times and everything else in place to show it’s firmly placed in reality. I would say that you find their incompetence frustrating, unhelpful and harmful and that you raise it as you’re sure this is not how you need it to be. If nothing at least you’ve got it on their files that you think they’re shite.

    Changing psychiatrist might be a good thing. I know when I stopped seeing Dr Shithead and started seeing nice Dr O it was a massive relief. It felt like a completely fresh start with someone who gave a shit. It wasn’t until I got my first apt through with nice Dr O that I realised how scared I was about having to speak to Dr Shithead again. I really really advise speaking to an advocacy place – rethink were so helpful for me.

    I really don’t get C. I find the way he does therapy confusing. Is it meant to be psychodynamic therapy or is it meant to be DBT because it always seems like a complete mixture of the two. I know I’d struggle big time jumping between the two like that. That’s why it works for me to have the cmht providing the more practical stuff while the serial killer deals with me whining the same shite at her on a twice weekly basis. It just seems sort of odd to me.

    I’m also a bit shocked that they don’t have some sort of duty place you can phone up if things get overwhelming that aren’t the stupid crisis team. It’s a huge gap youve got between appointments with C and with someone who can be as unstable as you can (please don’t think that’s a criticism – I bounce between moods like a yoyo myself) needs a place to let of steam somewhere.

    In summary as I said a couple days ago on twitter – all mental health people suck, just some make their sucking more blatant.

    Please take care of yourself sweetie. Hugs xxx

  3. Thank you both for these comments. Both of you seem to chime with each other on the material in this post – it’s interesting to get corresponding external thoughts on it.

    Re: VCB, I am sorely tempted to complain as suggested. Should Tuesday not yield any strong apologies and actual fucking treatment, then this is what I will do. Rethink don’t exist in NI anymore; however, the demerged charity that took their place still offers advocacy services, so I can contact them. @cbtish – in actual fact, in some ways attending another Trust would be easier for me, given that I basically live with A, who’s out of VCB’s catchment area (I’m still registered with the NHS as living with my mother). I’m really not sure how the system works here at all, but should nothing happen next week I’ll have this out in detail with C and/or LGP.

    Speaking of C, he confuses me too, and whilst I do see hope somewhere with him, it’s a bit of a murky quagmire too.

    @cbtish – well, I have missed him and I haven’t. The first time I missed a session with him I had a complete mental breakdown; that hasn’t been true over the past fortnight. But I have suffered from C mentionitis, as I always do; he’s always in my thoughts somewhere. I don’t consciously miss him, but part of me seems to. I don’t know; I’m not even really making sense to myself. All I can say is that I know how I feel about it, but I can’t really express it in words, if that makes any sense?

    @bourach – this is certainly an irritant. On the one hand, I don’t think it’s his fault. I don’t have a social worker and frankly there doesn’t seem to be any structured CMHT beyond the likes of him, VCB and the dreaded Crisis Twats. I’m sure there must be, but no one has ever explained it to me nor referred me to it. Anyhow, given that there’s no social worker or OT or CPN or whatever, I can see that C is in an awkward position; in his mind, someone who reacts to stress with a knife or by panicking to the point where she can’t breathe does need some practical help. I get that, really I do. But it feels like stopping and starting and stopping and starting at times. Using him as the blank canvas he is intended to be and developing strategies with someone else would be so much simpler for me. I’ve tried to convey this to him in the nicest possible way but perhaps I need to be more assertive. ‘Tis difficult, though.

    I’ll muddle on anyway. Hopefully VCB will be somewhat less shit next week – if not, the cack will really hit the fan for her. As stated, I will complain and seek advocacy, and I’ll be frankly astonished if A and Mum aren’t on the phone to the BBC.

    Anyhow, folks, thanks to both of you for your advice and thoughts. Take care xxx

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