This post is a thread of tweets I posted earlier today, hence the terse style (280 character limits!)
This time last year I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act during a psychotic episode. Here’s all the help/support/contact I’ve received from [mental] health professionals since I was released into the “care of the community” one year ago.
Collected my meds from pharmacy as usual, noticed that my GP hadn’t prescribed the higher dose of my anti psychotic as instructed by the psych team who assessed me at hosp. Quetiapine was meant to be upped from 150mg to 200mg. GP said he didn’t have the power to up it, despite letter from hosp telling him it’s a key part of my release. GP said my usual psychiatrist has to tell him it’s ok to do so. Was told at hosp that I’d be contacted by my regular psychiatrist to see him asap. Thought “fine, it’ll be sorted when I see him real soon”
40 minute appt with usual psychiatrist. In the meeting, my psych told me he’d write a letter to my GP telling him to up the dose. I was waved away with no care plan in place other than the usual “take your meds & try not to die”
Registered with new GP in new area still within the same mental health trust (BEHMHT) – informed my old care coordinator of my new address and GP so that she could transfer my files to my new community team
Asked old care coordinator if she’d transferred my case to the new team (same trust so a straightforward internal transfer) because no one had contacted me. She said I have to get my new GP to refer me.
New GP wasn’t available to speak to for 3 weeks so I asked the locum to refer me to the local community team. Explained it’s a simple internal transfer as I’ve been under “care” of the services in this trust for nearly 20 years. He sent off an urgent referral letter. (2/2)
My referral to local community mental health services was rejected.
I was alone in a new area and had just ended a 4 yr relationship. I was very vulnerable and desperately needed support. New GP sent a letter to local services demanding they take me on immediately.
New GP asked what meds I take. Despite still being on 150mg, I told her I take 200mg of quetiapine so that’s what she prescribed. 10 months after I should have had my anti psych meds increased after an episode of severe psychosis, I finally got the therapeutic dose.
A letter from local services acknowledging my referral. Said they’d call me to assess me over the phone. Said hopefully this assessment will take place within the next 2 months. I have heard nothing since.
Since April I haven’t even been under the care of any mental health team, just floating in limbo when I needed MH support the most (major life changes, lost job, cat died, broke up with bf, moved to new area, no friends, wrong meds, self harming, no money, drug abuse, attempted overdose, flashbacks to childhood traumas, panic attacks, myriad issues). These are my daily problems WITHOUT even bringing Covid-19 into it.
I don’t have a care coordinator. My name isn’t on anyone’s list of responsibilities. Apart from 4 minutes on the phone with new GP when she was livid about how I’ve had no help, no one has actually cared.
After release it took 6 months to see a MH professional and 10 months to get the meds I needed to prevent a relapse into psychosis, the reason I got sectioned in the first place.
One year later and I’m not even under any MH team.
Fingers crossed I’ll be assessed in 2020.
I kept myself alive by writing a book about that psychotic episode & all the other psychiatric crises in my life in which I’ve been failed by these services & hurt by those who are employed to keep me safe.
I sent the manuscript of my book to a publishing press on the 1 year anniversary of my detainment.
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I have eternal gratitude to all of you for the endless kindness you’ve shown me over the years: the most consistent support I have is from the writing community and readers on here <3
Stay safe all,