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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A night in the cells during a mental health crisis

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I’ll always remember my first time in a police cell. No I wasn’t caught shoplifting. No I wasn’t drunk and nor was I caught doing anything I shouldn’t of been. I’ve always been respectful of the law and never been in trouble with them.

I was only there because of the simple thing of a lack of a different place of safety in my area and that I was in a mental health crisis.

It was a Saturday night, I had spent most of the evening walking around the local area, thinking about what way would be the best way to take my own life. I settled on a place BUT a passer-by called the police, they soon turned up and I was detained me under S136 of the mental health act.

At this point I was handcuffed, searched and put into the cage in the back of this huge police van (it must of been a public order one) during this time I just shut down, everything become a blur, I remember crying in the back because I thought I was a criminal and that I was cuffed.

After a while the van pulled up at the police station, the back opened up and I was dragged out by this 6’2 officer into this other cage, a buzzer went off and once again dragged into where this towering desk was, filled with fear, shame and guilt, I quietly tried to answer the custody sergeants questions all while I was still handcuffed.

At this point he asked me why I thought I was here. I had no idea, why would someone in a mental health crisis be in a police station? Especially where the cells are…

I said I didn’t know, with tears rolling down my face. I was told that it was because the place of safety at the trust was being used by someone and A&E wouldn’t of accepted me.

I had my rights explained, everything taken of me and logged: phone, keys, my books, you name it I had it taken from me. Asked if I wanted to speak to a soilcter, thinking I had still done something wrong I said was, that is what criminals did right?

I was taken down into a cell, my hoody, belt and shoes taken away. The door was shut behind me and locked. It was cold, smelt of something stale and the worst thing?

The noise… People banging, swearing, threats being shouted, people kicking off. I was terrified, I remember being overloaded with all the noise and having a panic attack. After what seemed like a entity some one come, calmed me down, give me some tea and had a chat, reassured me that I haven’t done anything wrong despite where I was. That helped a lot. After a number of hours layed in the cell, listening and crying, I was assered by the mental health and discharged.

A police cell really isn’t the place for someone in a mental health crisis to be. I was at my most vulnerable, in crisis, quiet, overwhelmed with everything going on in there and exhausted from it all. I really should of been in a place where I could of been in the care of health workers, people who knew what to do, calm me down, keep me safe, someone I could talk to and calm from the noise of people shouting, swearing and kicking off.

Between 2012 and 2013, in total 21,814 people were detained by the police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. (numbers taken from this: ‘Too many’ mentally ill end up in cells not hospital

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