Friday, 29 June 2012

Mental Health Appointment through Gateway and what to expect.

As I mentioned yesterday I had a mental health assessment appointment. 

When I got there I was not impressed the place (part of the NHS, local authority) was not very welcoming.  The staff were in a room with what I would describe as a hatch.

I did not see the bell at the time and waited for a minute or two until a lady came to take my name.  It was not very private and I had to sit outside in the corridor with others - did not mind others but was not a waiting room which would have been much nicer.  There were a toilet but no water cooler - hey ho.

After a while I was called by my Self-Help coach, Meghan.  She seemed nice but not very old.  I was taken through a door then into a room.  There were three chairs and two tables, the room was small and on one of the tables there were tissues and on the  other there was a toilet roll!!

Meghan set out what would happen.  That today was an information gathering session and not to dwell too much on what happened in the past as it would upset me as there would be no treatment today, she said that there may be occasions where she had to speed things up due to the time limit - which was an hour.

I had to tell her all that I had been through in my life, now I do hope my family never read this blog, but in a nutshell, I told her how my dad left when I was a baby, that I was abused sexually as a child, I married a man who turned into a druggie, I was a single parent, I was a victim of DV for 7 years during which time, one baby died aged 11 days and that I had a still birth a few years later, that my daughter had been a nightmare child making allegations against others, subsequently found untrue and that my dad had killed himself.  Well as you can imagine she was astounded and said one of those was enough.  She wanted to know if I wanted counselling for all of that.  I said I had had it.

 I said that all had been okay for some years that I had a lovely husband and family but that I had had a breakdown at work.  I explained that I had had to do without a secretary for two years was the only one to have had to go without and explained what triggered it in March and that it was boss that had ranted at me for two hours - I cried the whole weekend went back on Monday and she started again.  I couldnt take any more she had blamed me for issues that had not been dealt with when I felt it was the firm who should take responsibility.  I couldnt go into full details and nor will I here however I managed to tell her that I had thrown up on the way to work, cried on the way there and back, had an upset stomach all day, palpitations, panicand that I couldnt sleep and even thought of suicide.

 I was asked if I had planned my suicide I said that I had gone to the extent of looking at the easier way and less painful way and told her what that was.  I said that I had tried to kill myself when I was 16.

I also told her I have OCD mainly checking etc.  I said that had got better as I couldnt be bothered at the moment so much ha!

So moving on she explained that my thoughts and feelings affect my behaviour and it is a vicious cycle.  I could have help by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for a short time or long time or both.  I chose both and I am also going to get help for the OCD.

I explained that when I was at work my OCD was my way of coping had been so since 8 - although not working then, it helped me deal with issues.

I told her that I have felt depressed before.  This is the worst I have felt suicide wise but I havent had so many panic attacks at previously.  I do prefer to stay in.  I cannot go to an unfamiliar place on my own and I would prefer not to go out without anyone at all.  I avoid a lot of situations!!

However, it is in my view work stress that has made me feel so bad and I feel worse as the firm that has made me ill has stopped paying me and it makes me feel hopeless.

It is going to be a long haul and Meghan said I am not in a good way and my case was complex.  I do feel that she can help me.

Finally, I had to tell her about my medication.  That makes me have intense dreams although the the thought of me going back has recently given me intense nightmares.


  1. Well done for writing this post.Its a step to recovery,holding everything in does not help and everything that's happened to you has been beyond your control.I sincerely hope your therapist can help you.I think it will do you the world of good x

  2. It must have taken a lot to write this post... Personally I think we still have a long way to go before we fully understand the world of 'severe mental distress'. I have a couple of friends who were totally misdiagnosed while suffering terribly. Sending you loads of love and best wishes, Jx