This journal post is about the tiresome effort that it takes to make some progress in trying to get some form of help. So since I was first referred to the CBT 13 weeks has passed. If I hadn’t worked hard in trying to find some help for myself then I’m not sure I would be in the place I am now. My point is that if someone had a pain in the stomach and the GP didn’t know what to do about it, they would be given blood tests and other tests, then depending on these results would be referred to a specialist. But I don’t really see any of this happening with mental health. You may have the same ‘test’ a few times and then get passed about and hope whatever is given to you works. If depression affects everyone differently then surely there should be a more specific treatment for everyone depending on the outcome of tests.
Even before I told my GP about it I tried to find some help through the mental health department which I was offered. However the treatment I was given was very poor, there were no goals, set no plans for the future, just some counsellor reading out of a book, so I left this treatment as it certainly wasn’t for me.
When I went to the GP I was given some medication, but that was about it, not really what direction to take, just to grin and bear it until hopefully the medication works. So again I had to try and find another way off my own back to help me out, this is when I went to see my student counsellor. This was the first bit of light that I had seen and a place where I could feel some benefit and a bit of a safe haven. Althought this was doing me good at the time, I wasn’t feeling like it was enough and the counsellor agreed.
This is where my next struggle was to find the more intesive help that I, at the time, believed I needed. So I asked my GP to refer me to CBT through the NHS. I received a phone call about 3 weeks later where I was asked the same questions, then I was sent a letter to go to a CBT specialist 2 weeks later. I thought this was quite quick and was quite promising at the time. But the whole thing was a bit of another point of call before getting referred to a proper appointment. I then had to wait another 9 weeks for this. And the appointment was more or less a waste of time. I was then told I should be put on the intensive CBT waiting list which can be up to 5 months!!!
Like I say, this is not as much of a moan as it is trying to emphasise the difficulty in getting the help we need. I have a great deal of respect for the NHS but I feel this is certainly a place that it may be lacking in. And the recent call for a health minister may be something which is needed.
I would love to hear about your experiences of finding help for your depression, let me know and leave a comment.