Seeing that it’s Time to Talk day, I decided to take part in the #Take5ToBlog. It’s where there’s 5 questions from your name, your illness to your hopes for the future.

I found this though a Facebook post and also a email I was sent and I just had to take part so I could do my part to raise awareness of mental health and the issues around it.

Now I’m fairly open about my mental health (as you would see from my twitter and also this blog) but this is slightly different.

So here’s my #Take5ToBlog

My name is: Fox (like I’ll give my real name on here) and I have experienced a variety of mental health problems to name a few: Bipolar, anorexia, anxiety, OCD and also PTSD.

My mental illnesses have affected every part of my life: being awake, sleeping, work ect. The crushing lows and highs of bipolar have impacted so much of my life from self care, friends, personal relationships and also work. Anorexia also affects every waking moment, living with the fear of food and the fear of gaining weight, having a voice where it makes you believe that you are fat, the guilt after eating something, the impulse to exercise all the time to lose weight. The anxiety is another one; the fear of being in a crowded place, speaking to people who I don’t know or being in a different place, this affects me to the point where I’ll have panic attacks, bolt away or worse case… I just shut down.

My greatest source of support has come from my closest friends who have been so understanding over the years and stuck by me even when I’ve been at my lowest and was sectioned. Also my girlfriend has been fantastic at supporting me, understanding how I may act or react to something and being very resuring when something happens.

My hope for the future is two things. The first one is to get back to the point where I was a few years ago where I was stable and not in the depths of my eating disorder. The 2nd is that mental health can be discussed openly and not hidden away as a shameful seciart.

I’m taking 5 on time to talk day because it’s important to talk about mental health and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding it.

Now I’ve done mine, are you going to do yours? Or take 5 minutes to talk to someone? It can be just a simple hello and how are you doing.

Some conversations are scary. Some aren’t. Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health

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Past few months with the Local mental health services and the fallout

I am surviving,
And that is,
About all there,
Is to it

Over the last two months, I’ve been in and out and passed around from the local mental services, from the local primary care team to the intensive team (crisis team) back again to the primary care team, to the GP, back again to the intensive team and then a brief stay in hospital thanks to a intervention by my eating disorder team.

My local intensive team are quite bad and are well known for it, while under their care, I was accused of lieing, self Dx’ing myself (I was told by one of their doctors that I wasn’t Bipolar but instead Borderline or I could just have recurring depression which lead to a argument and me slamming the door and walking out), being a attention seeker and making things sound worse than they were, along with being told to eat something all the time although the meds I was given killed of my appetite.

Thankfully I got a second opinion from one of the different doctors who agreed that my bipolar Dx shod stay the same but with BPD added in as well (co-mobid).

After a few weeks of support from them and daily visits I was discharged back to my GP and to the care of my eating disorder team. I was quite thankful for this because of the above but after a couple of weeks I started to rapid cycle; I felt high, confident, more energy, on top of the world, not needing sleep and excitable but that was short lived, I would come crashing down, not being able to move, crying, self care at its worst along with other things. So the cycle continued, a family member figured it was my antidepressants that might be causing it like they have done in the past, so I stopped taking them.

This was horrible; I stopped eating, struggled with the simplest of tasks and I started to dissociatate more to the point where it was impacting everything I did. This lead to my eating disorder team during a supported lunch to phone the Intensive team to see about getting me admitted which happened after waiting for 6 hours for a bed. I was kept in for a few days till I discharged myself because I felt it wasn’t helping and was to restrictive.

Back at home this week I’ve started to think more and more about how I’ve been treated by the intensive team and the primary care, they should of seen what was happening, acted on what I was saying (I had some insight) and after my section 136, offered the right level of support and not what they done above. The past couple of days I’ve been exhausted, stressed to the point where I’m getting ill by it all, crying about it, shutting down as a way of coping and over thinking it all, could I have changed things? No I couldn’t, but now what’s happened has distoryed my trust in the services to the point where I don’t want to engage with them again (well apart from my ED team). This fallout will continue for a while till I can learn to cope with it and recover.

They sent a survey to me and my family about the care I received, let’s just say it was very very low and I wrote a letter on the back that I hope they read (Dear Crisis Team)

Till then I am just surviving and that is about all there, is to it.

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Dear Crisis Team

         Crisis Team

As a user I don’t ask for much when phoning, just some body to answer and not a answer phone message, a listening voice, someone who could give some helpful advice and some support (maybe a face to face meeting) and insight into why I’m calling.

Some things I don’t ask for when I’m calling; someone who paterties me, tells me to make a cup of tea or have a bath or maybe to have a walk (esp at night and being vunenble). I can accept that these can be a good distraction and work for some peoole but have also you thought that I may of tried these and that’s why I’m calling?

I could also be calling because I’m suicidal, listen, help, don’t pass me off and don’t threaten me with the police (unless I’m really in danger to myself I.e on top of a car park)…

I don’t ask for much just that all I ask for is to be treated as person as a human being who just happens to be having a bad time.

Would you tell your best friend, your brother or your sister in crisis to make a cup of tea? Have a bath? Go for a walk?

So crisis team, that’s all I ask for, its not much is it?

A service user

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While browsing twitter this hashtag cought my eye and I quickly joined in to share my experiences with the local crisis team. My local trust hasn’t got the best history (has been under investigation a few times), I had so much to say and quite a few people replied to them saying they were quite shocked by them.

A few of my examples included:

‘Have you got a boyfriend who could look after you? No, I’m a lesbian ‘Oh could that be making you depressed? #crisisteamfail

‘Have you tried going for a walk at all?’ Me: it’s 11pm, dark, rainy and I’m a lone female of course I haven’t tried that #crisisteamfail

‘If you were really sucidal you wouldn’t be calling us, would you?  #crisisteamfail

Scared of being alone with men, asked for females to visit, promised yes… Team sent a pair of men, promptly freak out #crisisteamfail

You can search for this on twitter and see everyone’s tweets on it and people seem to be saying the same thing, they’re not being listened to by the teams or advice being given feels to be useless. It shows that there should be change in the services. Hopefully trusts take note and involve service users more on what they’re needs are and also what works for them when in crisis.

There was also a #crisisteamwishlist where people were talking about how they wish to be treated or services offered, most common theme was to be listened to.

Let’s remember there are some great workers out there, who do help, do treat you as a person and not as a case, do listen and at times do go out of their way.

This is badly writton, and when I have more time I will add to it.

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Living with the lies

Today I was going though some old email accounts and come across some emails from a very old blog I used to write. This was full of posts when I was at my worse in terms of my mental health and also with anorexia and listed things such as poor care, sections I was on, the move between camhs to adult services and also poems (used to be quite a poet till I gave up).

So while having a good read down memory line I saw this under a post called ‘living with the lies’

I don’t know why I do it, but I do. I have this unhealthy obsession with pretending to people that my life is trundling along with absolutely no problems and everything is fantastic when in actual fact it’s falling apart very rapidly and is being held in place by the tiniest of tiniest of threads which can come undone at any time because of the smallest thing, and today I think its happened

It got me thinking, during that time I was very ill and not at that point of asking for help so I pretended everything was okey, I still do have that obsession at times where I do say I have no problems, everything is fantastic when everything is really going wrong but over time I have improved on that, instead of all the time, I do now ask for help if I need it.


All it takes is that one trigger, that one thread to come undone and everything comes apart.

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