Thursday 28 June 2012

A Letter to Cam-Mind

I just sent this email to cam-mind in the hope of getting some support, I post it here in the hope it will help others.

Subject: Support and possible advocacy
Hi, My name is Ceri and I am currently struggling with my mental health.

I have had depression for a few years now and it effects all aspects of my life.
I am having major problems with my mental health, especially as I am caring for many people in my life. I also have MS.
I have been referred to the counselling service at Lawrence way and have had an initial appointment, am waiting another 3 months at least for actual counselling.
I am currently having difficulty with communication with my doctor, because I rarely act on the impulses I have to self harm and don't think I would act on impulses to end my life though they are very tempting and I really want to at the time, I don't feel I am being taken seriously. She has referred me to a gateway worker at the surgery but this apparently takes months.
In the mean time she wanted me to get on the waiting list for choices for women (which I haven't yet done) and my friend took me to A&E after a bit of a crisis. The Psychiatrist at the hospital said I would be referred to the community mental health team as an urgent case. More than 2 weeks later (just this morning) I went to my GP to chase up what was going on to be told that she had thought the A&E doc had done it but hadn't. She is now reducing my citalopram to 10mg from 20mg in order to up my amitriptyline (for MS pain) to 50mg from 30mg. I told her that since then I had spent half an hour in the bath sobbing because I wanted to self harm so much with the razor I used to shave my legs. I have not even been given a PHQ9 by her (I am a health science graduate so knew what to look for on the internet, just took and got a 21) and I feel I have more complex problems than (and this is a direct quote) "Just moderate depression". I simply cannot cope much longer, I am falling apart and need help but am running out of ways I know to ask for it.
Please forgive me for being so frank, I could just really do with some help accessing services and support. I'm not an emergency, just not up to a wait of 3 months.