Archive for January, 2014

The Mental Health System

29 Jan

Since starting with the mental health services, I’ve seen how much jargon is involved but also how much things differ from place to place (in the same country). This is how my local system works based on my experiences in the UK – I know others to be different but hopefully will give an overall view.

Primary care services:
I went to my gp initially who is part of primary care and was referred for primary care therapy (think you get about 6 sessions with this).

I was told my case was too complicated and so was referred to

Secondary care services:
I was assigned a care co-ordinator (cc) (used to be called a key worker) and they can either be a social worker (sw) or a community psychiatric nurse (cpn). They all work for the community mental health team (cmht) as does my assigned psychiatrist.

My therapy is a secondary care service as it’s more complex and needs more than standard sessions you get under primary care. Also the range of therapies opens up more in secondary.

When things aren’t going great, my cc has the ability to refer me to home treatment team (htt), formally known as the crisis team and they provide intense support in the community instead of being admitted in to hospital.

I know this is short post but it can seem complex from the outside and so wanted to try and make it simple.



24 Jan

For those that don’t know the story behind me waiting for therapy, very briefly; I was part way through previous therapy when my therapist went on maternity leave. Instead of carrying on with someone else, we looked at changing the type of therapy and looked at art therapy (which I was initially declined for).

After a reassessment, I was given two options:
1) art therapy and then join a democratic therapeutic community (dtc) (approximately 2 years treatment) or
2) dialectical behavioural therapy (dbt) (approximately 1 years treatment)

To be honest, neither of them are what I wanted. The problem I have with these options are that they are both looking to treat borderline personality disorder and as shown many times in this blog, I don’t agree with that diagnosis. But these are the only options I was given and so I have to accept it and try and move on. All I basically want is to offload everything in my head and move on with life but apparently it’s not that simple! There was absolutely no way I was doing dtc and so out of what was left rather than choice, I said option 2, dbt. This involves a one to session per week, a group session (my issue is with this part) and telephone support once a week if needed.

One of the good things about it was there was a space straight away and that, to be honest, was the only thing that appealed to me about the options given (it had been well over a year since my last therapy session). In true NHS style, straight away actually means 2 months and so today I finally got an appointment through for a pre treatment one to one session.

So how am I feeling? To be honest, very much backed in to a corner. I don’t want to ‘do’ group therapy and I’m not looking forward to that at all. I’m also very apprehensive about starting therapy again. My cc keeps telling me to remember how I’ll go downhill to start with, but I’m very low at the moment generally and so I worry where that will take me. But I know I have to do it, if I want to fulfil my potential I have to go through this period of uncertainty and hopefully come out the other side!


TW : Rape and Casual Sex

08 Jan

***This post has a trigger warning for rape, casual sex and bad language***

When I started this blog, it was to talk about my journey through PTSD brought about by multiple rapes. I’ll be honest and never did I think I’d be writing a post like this, but I want to honour the honesty of my blog and whilst incredibly difficult to write, if it helps one person feel they aren’t alone, again it’s worthwhile!

Recently I have been meeting random men for casual sex, but that’s not all. I’ve been making sure they can hurt me, physically at the same time. I’ve come away hurting after being used like some kind of punchbag and even one person wanted to do a ‘mock rape’ scenario which I allowed.

So whilst this fills me with disgust, hatred, shame and guilt (to name a few), why on earth have I allowed this? Well, the mock rape scenario happened first. I read somewhere that it could be quite cathartic and because you regain control over the situation, it can help in that area of things. To be honest, I was at such a low point, being suicidal etc, that I thought why not? Things can’t exactly get much worse can they?

So do it work? For me, no. I left feeling dirty and disgusting and how could I have even done that, I felt terrible. But that feeling of terrible felt right. I felt it was deserved, that I should feel dirty and shameful and so that’s when I reached out to someone different who would just use me sexually and physically hurt me to compound these feelings.

These meetings were becoming more and more frequent and I knew I had to do something about it. And so today, I told my care co-ordinator what I’d been doing and how much hatred I had for it all and therefore myself. She listened, she understood and she said that I’ve been through some “fucked up shit” and it’s normal for me to process it using the same fucked up methods.

She tried to tell me that I deserve more for myself, but for every time I do something like this, I take huge steps back because it’s a form of self abuse. I understand this and really hope now I’ve put it out publicly that it’s the end of it.

I know I’ve not gone in to much detail, but I just want you to know if you’re reading this thinking you’ve done the same, it’s ok, it’s normal after what we’ve been through. I’m still trying to believe that myself though!