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Struggling to get help
I know this is a place where we are supposed to encourage and support each other, to offer suggestions of where help may be received and to try to be positive in our experiences of reaching out for mental health guidance and care.
Unfortunately that has not been my experience for a long time living in the country.
My GP kept telling me he would make an appointment with me to do a mental health care plan. That took about 6 months. At an appointment I basically told him I needed help, could he please do the plan that day and not make me wait another 4 weeks for a next appointment.
The psychologist he recommended sent me an email stating with the information the Dr had written in the referral she was unable to assist me. She had not even met me!
Wait another 4 weeks for another Drs appointment. A new psychologist was recommended, I had to drive to the city for this one. Had to wait a couple of months for an appointment. My appointment was to be on Thursday this week. Received an email from the psychologist stating "due to changes in his circumstances he is no longer able to offer me sessions".
I go to the local hospital and am told "the Doctors are too busy seeing more important patients to be able to see you". The Nurse/Sister actually stated that to me over and over.
Looks like me and my sick mind are just going to have to keep trying to support myself until it doesn't work any longer.
I’m so sorry that the help and support you need isn’t available to you. It’s really really really not good enough.
Wait lists are outrageous at the moment, especially in regional and remote Australia. Makes me want to cry or scream—maybe both.
I know you’re disappointed and frustrated and time is dragging on, but I want to encourage you to hang in there just a bit more and see your GP for another referral.
I know it’s unfair and tiring, but your mental health matters—and you’re close to starting a process that could really help you.
Kind thoughts to you
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a terrible experience with the gp, psychologist, and hospital. I understand this is not the first time and know how demoralising that can be. Having spent some time on the forums and heard different people's stories, it's really sad that your experience is not an isolated one. Just as there are many good doctors out there, there are still many who simply can't or won't help, and don't understand the challenges we face.
While we can't offer you the professional support you need, I hope you can find a use for us so you aren't alone in supporting yourself. It's not right or fair that you should be left behind by the health care system like this.
When I read your post I felt rage. While rage is something that tends to rise up, experiencing this kind of neglect would once have typically brought me down further into a depression. I can relate to how heartbreaking it can feel. My heart truly goes out to you so very much.
While some practitioners are absolute legends others can be depressing and enraging. I've met with both types over the years, in different forms. So tempting, hey, to say to those who neglect our pain (mental and/or physical) 'Based on the fact you have given me nothing, nothing is what I owe you'. I actually had an argument with a GP once, out of pure desperation. While he insisted I go on anti anxiety meds, based on me having an anxiety attack in his office, I insisted 'No. I don't experience anxiety. This is not anxiety. I need you to to figure out what it is. I'm not taking medication'. His response, 'Make another appointment and we'll discuss the medication. Long story short, another GP who ordered an MRI identified silent migraines (which were setting off my nervous system). Was having one in the MRI machine at the time. Another GP once advised 'The kind of fatigue you're experiencing is just a part of the life of a mother with aging parents'. Turned out to be a depressing level of sleep apnea. Doctors who refuse to listen.
Doolhof, you should not be left to suffer while others refuse to listen. At 52, it's taken me decades to finally reach the point of allowing the 'intolerant cow' in me to come to life. This facet (which you have inside you) can be a wonderful or wonder filled part of who we are. To a GP who refuses to help, that facet may lead us to say 'I can't help but wonder why you refuse to listen to me, why you would send me away to continue suffering and who you expect to be my support and guide at this point when I'm so lost'. The super sassy part of my inner cow would be desperate to say 'I can't help but wonder how you believe such neglect can be classed as a 'service''.
While once I tried so hard to suppress, now I welcome the cow/caretaker in me with open arms. Born from sadness, depression, desperation, heartbreak, absolute frustration and so much more, the labor pains can be brutal.
Hi Summer Rose, therising, and James1,
Thank you so much for your support and care, I greatly appreciate all your responses. I just had to get my thoughts out of my mind as they were rattling away and my recent disappointment with not being able to receive help just brought up memories of past experiences that went the same way.
I do realise there is no doubt a legitimate reason for the fact that neither psychologist can assist me, it is just frustrating this is happening all over again.
I also realise there is a lot I am able to do to assist myself, it is just hard to be motivated to do so when you are already emotionally and mentally exhausted!
This morning I sent an email to the Dr who made the referral and included a copy of the email I received from the psychologist so he will be aware of the situation. I have not yet made another Drs appointment. I should do so as it may well take me at least 4 weeks to see the same Dr!
Today I am in self preservation mode. I feel like I have done very little...I am resting and surviving, trying to regain a sense of self and perseverance I suppose.
I need to look at all of this as an opportunity to find ways to assist myself more perhaps. Then again if I was able to do that in the first place I wouldn't be so darn frustrated now!
Thanks again for all of your replies. I know Drs are not God and they don't know everything, they must be exhausted at times also. Hope we all find the assistance we need and deserve!
Kind regards to you all from Dools
I really need to get my life back on track.
At present I only have 2 days a week of work, stuff happened last year and no more hours are on offer for me. I have been looking elsewhere for work, not an easy thing to do when depression and doubts hit.
I'm trying to make the most of my days. Having trouble with motivation to do things.
Reading self help books assist only so much.
Needing to find a sense of direction and purpose.
From your recent posts it sounds like your mood has improved, and I really like the way you are reframing the issue. Good on you!
I’m sorry, however, to hear about your reduced work hours and can certainly understand why you now feel a longing for greater direction and purpose in your life.
You do such an amazing job volunteering as a Commentator Champion for bb that I’m wondering if this aspect of your life could help fill the void. Perhaps you might want to become a speaker or find other volunteering opportunities through blue voices? Or, you could look for opportunities with other mental health organisations.
Have you ever considered undertaking further study? Many TAFE courses (including in the mental health field) are now being offered for free to help fill important gaps across many sectors of the economy. Perhaps there is a new career ahead for you!
It’s really easy for people to become stuck within their four walls—and their heads for that matter—but I know from your work here that you have a lot of insight, intelligence and compassion to share. Think about your strengths and interests. Happy to brainstorm and chat anytime.
Kind thoughts to you
Hi Summer Rose,
Thanks so much for your suggestions and kind words. I'd just like to point out that I am no longer a Community Champion, and have not been for years now. I have been allocated the reference of Champion Alumni. I drift back to the forums now and then and contribute where I can and when I am able.
This morning I have applied for a volunteer position. Apparently I need two people to act as referees from work! My work situation is not all that pleasant . I have sent emails to my team leader and the next person up from them. I am not even expecting a reply from them, communication has been so bad! Maybe they will surprise me and accept my request.
I will ask a couple of other people at work when I am there next if they would be willing to do this for me. I can't believe how many hoops I have to jump through for this volunteer position!
I don't know anything about Blue Voices. Maybe I should Google that.
Study on the computer and me don't mix all that well. Ha. Ha. I generally have to ask my husband to come and help me out.
Hadn't thought about some Tafe courses being free! That is a wonderful concept!
Yes, I need to step away from my general way of thinking and consider other options. Thanks for your encouragement!
Regards to you from Dools
My Dr responded to my email about the cancellation of the psychologist. I had a message from the medical centre stating I have a new referral to pick up from the medical centre. I will drive the 20 kilometres to that town tomorrow to pick up the information. It could take a while as there are roadworks on the way and the delay can be 15 minutes or longer to get past the road works.
Maybe I will take a book to read while waiting!
I'm going to have a walk in a national park on the way there and then visit a cafe I like in that town for a treat.
Sorry about the mix up about you being a Community Champion--I just always think of you that way, despite information to the contrary being right in front of my eyes!!!
Good luck progressing your volunteer role application. Blue Voices is an arm of Beyond Blue, where people with lived mental health experience can contribute in various ways to shape the work of Beyond Blue. I'm a member and love it. You'll find information on the Beyond Blue website.
Great to hear you're making progress on your referral. It shouldn't be so hard but you are doing great. Yes to the book and making the most of your time in town!
Kind thoughts to you