Along my mental health journey I have often been told, “Sorry, you’ll have to wait a couple of months, as there’s little funding.” or “The course of therapy / counselling is for 6/8/10/12 weeks only, the NHS can only afford to run it for that long at a time.” The overall message has also included the fact that demand is higher than supply.
Two of the key points of my condition are anxiety, near zero self esteem and debilitating feelings of shame. If you understand C-PTSD / DTD as a condition and the effects it has upon the inflicted, then you’ll have little problem in understanding where this piece is heading. At a time when I am at my most vulnerable and absolutely in need of help and support, the very service that can help me is being systematically destroyed before our eyes. What hope do I realistically have of being able to live a half-way normal life?
The shortness of available courses of counselling and/or therapy has often been a problem in my own personal experience. Note the C in C-PTSD. It stands for complex. What I have found is that the fact-finding phase of these courses drag on and overflow into the remedial phase of the course, as it isn’t something that can be achieved in a session or two. The fact finding is a probing process that stirs up the memories, the feelings and leaves me very distressed. When I say distressed, I mean sobbing and close to screaming, during the session itself and highly agitated and disturbed for days, sometimes weeks, afterward. This is very counterproductive. By the time I run out of available sessions, I have often been in a worse state than I was when I started. This has gone on for over 25 years and it takes a lot of courage and will for me to ask for help again, but I know I have no other choice other than to give up and die.
Over recent months, my hope for the future, indeed vision of ANY future have been ground down to nothing. I am fully reliant on mental health services to stand any chance of recovery or even achieving any level of manageability of my condition. Yet those services are being destroyed by years of under-funding and defunding by the Conservative government. This is not a political statement in itself, I deplore politics, but a statement of provable fact going by publicly available statistics.
So the anxiety of knowing that the help I so desperately need is becoming a more and more distant option is making my current bout of severely depressive illness all the worse. It is adding to my illness and increasing the feelings of shame, as I read about the pushes for greater child mental health awareness, the social care and NHS crisis in general and how there are so many other more pressing needs in society, such as homelessness and refugee problems. This is not a dig at those other issues, I genuinely care about people in these positions and empathise with them as I myself have been on the brink of homelessness, but for good friends, and the way this country is going who is to say that I may not one day be a refugee seeking shelter in another country?
My depressive illness is getting so bad at present that suicidal thoughts, which I have not had for quite some time now, are beginning to creep back in. It all seems so hopeless, you see. I have to wait 14 days to see my GP which, given the suicidal thoughts I am trying to hold at bay, seems like a very dangerous waiting time. Part of the reason I started this blog is to get it all down in writing, so I can take the most relevant parts and put them into a list to present to my GP. It’s hard to get it across from memory, given only a 10 minute appointment. These aren’t complaints at the NHS, just facts about supply and demand. I am genuinely thankful for the very existence of the NHS as I feel it is the reason that I am still here. The medication I get is just one thing that has helped me over the years.
I absolutely NEED more support at this time. Suffering from depressive illness for so many years, I know myself well enough to make a very informed evaluation on this subject. However, the available support is far from adequate. I feel that I need something to combat the anxiety and I absolutely need to be assessed for a priority assessment for C-PTSD and appropriate treatment. Given successful therapy for C-PTSD, it is entirely possible that I could be weened away from the antidepressant medication, which surely would represent a future cost saving? Just being practical there.
The question is, will the powers that be see the same justification? In short, is it worth it?
Am I worth it? *
* Am I and other sufferers worth it, when we can continue being the recipients of expensive medications delivered through and at great cost to the NHS?
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