Taffy

Help!

14 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I'm new here, I have suffered for many years now like a lot of you.

I have been given a chance to attend the Anxiety Disorder Residential Unit at Bethlem but am currently too unwell to be able to stay as an inpatient.

My local team have withdrawn all help as I have been given funding to go but however much I explain that I'm not able to cope and need some local therapy to get me there they just ignore me.

Any advice on what I can do? I'm in bits and have been abandoned by everyone locally.

Sorry for the long post.

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2 minutes ago, Taffy said:

I have been given a chance to attend the Anxiety Disorder Residential Unit at Bethlem but am currently too unwell to be able to stay as an inpatient.

Hi Taffy and welcome to the forum. You state that you are too unwell to consider inpatient care. Could you possibly elaborate? Inpatient treatment is ordinarily reserved for those who are particularly poorly. What symptoms would preclude you from engaging?

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Thanks for the reply.

I'm housebound and my anxiety is such that I can't cope with being around people or people looking at me. (I have a diagnosis of BDD, with OCD rituals as a result of it)

I can only just function with my mirror, shower etc I can't take these with me and I get terrible panics where I'm inconsolable, physically sick and just run off.

I know that it's for severe cases but if I can't stay it won't work. I was supposed to have some therapy to prepare me to go but she left and I've just been told to 'go and cope with it'.

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Anyone find this reasonable? I've now been told to go, there is no psychological input here beforehand as they don't think it's required and if I don't they will review the service they provide to me from here on in.

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Hi again Taffy. Clearly, you're being asked to do something that is, at present, beyond your capabilities. It's akin to beginning your exposure therapy at the very top of your hierarchy of fear. Your local mental health service has a duty of care that extends to providing you with the appropriate care at the appropriate time. It would be perfectly reasonable for you to expect an alternative treatment option at this time. So push for it. And don't rest until you get it.

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On 12/08/2017 at 17:47, Taffy said:

I've just been told to 'go and cope with it'.

Incidentally, if any medical professional came to me with this, I'd tell them to go away and try harder.

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I'm pretty shaken by their letter, I've had no psychological input this year so far and it was agreed with my psychologist that we would work on me coping with staying in an inpatient unit but she left and has not been replaced. It says even if they had someone they would offer no more support.

The reasoning given is that I've been before so I can do it. I'm worse now than ever and this has really made me wonder how I can go on. I've been telling them for 3 months that I need input before undertaking such a huge task. The unit is not around the corner, it's hundreds of miles away.

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Might it be letter to your MP time?

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I think it's heading that way, I'm far from refusing to go, I want to go but I want to give myself the best chance of success and I feel going unprepared with no co-therapist here to assist is pretty negligent on their part.

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Then fight it Taffy. Insist upon a treatment programme with you at the centre. Get what you need, rather than what the NHS want to offer you. So many patients receive inadequate and/or inappropriate mental health care every day. Don't be one of them.

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I'm going to, it's a shame that they listen but don't hear.

It's also damaging to someone with a mental health problem to have to fight the people who are supposed to help you.

I'm fed up of reading about the increased money being put into mental health and the patients getting treated seemingly worse than ever.

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Probably best I don't comment any further at present as I'm still irked by my own recent experiences. My best advice is to endeavour to ensure that you're one of the fortunate ones who receive the treatment they deserve, however persistent and demanding that requires you to be.

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3 minutes ago, OceanDweller said:

Probably best I don't comment any further at present as I'm still irked by my own recent experiences. My best advice is to endeavour to ensure that you're one of the fortunate ones who receive the treatment they deserve, however persistent and demanding that requires you to be.

I saw your thread about the issue you've had. Not good.

I appreciate your input on this. Many thanks.

Just want to add that I'm hugely grateful for the opportunity to go to ADRU, I just want it to have the best possible chance of success this time, that's what I've reiterated to them so many times.

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Taffy, I fully understand that going from housebound to residential therapy is a huge leap. However you state you do want the opportunity to attend ADRU at some point. This raises the question in my mind (as I'm sure it will for your local providers) of what you feel you need to change or achieve before you could travel to and stay at the unit. 

The clearer you can be about what intermediary steps would help, the more likely your provider is to be willing to find a solution. Saying 'I'm not ready and I need help to get to a point where I could attend' is probably confusing for them. In their eyes they are offering you the best possible service by agreeing to refer you for the most intensive therapeutic approach available. Why would you delay? That taking up the offer requires more than simply packing a bag and turning up doesn't cross the mind of a person without OCD.

I'm sure you've tried to explain the difficulties to them already, but I wonder if you've unwittingly presented them as obstacles to going to ADRU rather than as positive therapeutic steps you need to achieve? :unsure: 

Do you have a set of short term goals to tick off one by one that once you'e completed you'll realistically be able to leave the house? Or is it a vague idea that you're 'just not ready to take the plunge'? 

Get specific - for your own benefit especially, but also to enable you to present a strong case to the service provider. If both you and the provider have a clear idea of what targets need to be met and what (estimated) time scale you're working with then they will be more likely to keep the funding for ADRU open while you work towards going there and understand the need to help you achieve the intermediary steps. 

The mental health services are run like a business. They simply want to know how much of their annual budget they need to ring-fence for you and whether the bill is likely to come in during this tax year or the next. Say you can't take up the offer for another 8 months, then they've unnecessarily tied up money on your care they could have released to fund someone else this year. If you can explain you're very grateful for the offer and are working on xyz intermediary goals with the intent to take up the residential place in 1-2-3 months, years whatever, then everybody knows where they're at and it becomes a business agreement based on mutual respect instead of a battlezone with frayed tempers and misunderstandings. 

Of course whenever you go, the biggest hurdle to overcome will be yourself. It's incredibly easy to think 'when I've achieved this everything will be easier, after I can do that leaving the house will be achievable. But when the day comes it can still be a hugely difficult step to walk out the front door in spite of all the smaller achievements along the way. This is where you need to be absolutely strict with yourself and 100% committed that when the agreed terms have been met and you've got as far as you said was necessary to attend ADRU, come hell or high water you walk out the door and meet your end of the bargain. It's not going to be easy whenever you do it.

Give it some thought. Since you've got to take a leap of faith at some point, is it worth taking up the offer now and dealing with whatever comes rather than putting it off in order to achieve some intermediary goals? Those 'smaller' goals might end up taking a lot of time to achieve comparatively little, while jumping in the deep end might achieve the same result but in a much shorter time, leaving you free to make further progress with the remainder of your stay at the unit. 

Just some things for you to consider. Ultimately how you approach this is your choice, but hopefully if you're clear about your needs, goals and intentions the health services will support you in your quest rather than withdraw local services and/or the offer of residential therapy; something which is so rarely given out in the bigger scheme of things. :) 

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