When I was in college, I saw the college counsellor for a year. Then I went onto therapy which I accessed through Birmingham Healthy Minds and I worked with that one therapist for two years.
Now I’m here in Manchester and feel I need a reassessment of my mental illness and would like to start therapy again, my experience with the service so far has been poor – unlike how it was in Birmingham.
When I spoke to someone at college about how I was feeling, I was in counselling within one week. After my overdose in Birmingham I was in one-to-one therapy within 8 weeks. I’ve been waiting for months trying to sort my head and emotions out and I’ve still got nowhere.
It is becoming more and more draining feeling as though I am not being taken seriously by the system; the system constantly trying to push ‘depression and anxiety’ on me. I have been depressed, I have been unable to get out of bed in the morning, not opening my curtains, not washing or eating, not speaking to anyone, sitting in my room and sleeping almost all of my time away.
Depression is an ongoing thing. You cannot switch it off.
Yes I do suffer with anxiety. But I also suffer with extreme fear of abandonment. I also suffer with anger problems. I also have very frequent mood changes with very unique triggers. I am also ranging from extremely confident and happy for two hours to extremely insecure, nervous and low for the next 4 hours.
I need an assessment for BPD. Many years ago I was initially diagnosed with it, after my overdose. My therapist believed I did not have BPD because I did not tick enough boxes, all of the time. I was not extreme. I do not believe I had BPD before my overdose, I believe BPD began within me as a result of it.
I am not the only one who feels this way. BPD is often misdiagnosed as Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorder, Bi Polar and so on and although the person suffering may also have one of these mental illnesses their main problem is BPD. The fact that it is so often misdiagnosed or ‘ignored’ means that this person only get progressively worse. I’ve spoken to a few people with BPD who said it also took them ages to get an assessment. But why?
No, I’m not a psychological therapist. But I know me. I’m extremely in tune with my emotions, my thoughts and my feelings. Since realising that I cannot be depressed, I realised well something else must be going on. I returned to BPD. It ticket the boxes for me. Using techniques for BPD and them working on me managing my mood swings and extreme anger, I realise surely I must have BPD?
But when I was sat in the smallest counselling room I’ve ever seen quite literally squished between a box of children’s toys and a sink in a very uncomfortable chair telling this mental health specialist what I need, that is an assessment for BPD or something else, and having them for depression and anxiety leaflets on me I wonder; does the system really care?
Yes they do.
But not everywhere. It seems.
No wonder the terms ‘Depressed’ and ‘Anxious’ are so overused, they will diagnose everyone with it in a heartbeat but no truly listen to their thoughts, feelings and emotions on a daily basis.
Filling in yet another DASS (Depression, Anxiety, Stress scales) form and being questioned on my answers and not being understood when I say ‘it doesn’t just depend on the day it depends on the hour of the day’ sometimes I will be completely zero on all these answers and within 3 hours I could be rating 3 on all of them. Depression would be rating 2 or 3 on all of them all of the time, but I switch. I change. I need an assessment for something else. Not this. To then hear there’s nothing I can do.
But there is? Surely? Do you not want to help?
I once diagnosed my friend with Dyspraxia; she didn’t know what it was, she had the assessment done to find out she did in fact have dyspraxia.
I was initially diagnosed with BPD. I may not be BPD but I’m certainly not depressed.
Just because I’m mentally ill doesn’t mean I lack intelligence both literal and emotional. I list my patterns, I list my triggers, I have books and books full of words written to myself from myself in all kinds of emotional states.
My therapist always used to say how emotionally intelligent I was. She noticed my ability to want to learn about how my mind works and why. This is no exception. This has not changed. I wish these professionals would listen to me.
I’m not telling them how to do their job, I’m asking them to do it for me. More importantly, I shouldn’t have to ask.