I’d brushed shoulders with NHS mental health services before and previously been told that to access any sort of talking therapy I’d have to wait months, so often at the point of desperation I’d always been forced to bite the financial bullet and take the private, more immediate, option.
But with my faith in the private route disintegrating and even my own consultant suggesting I might want
to consider going back under state supervision, I decided to swap the leather sofas and bowls of complimentary Werther’s Originals of the private sector for the threadbare chairs and dilapidated buildings of my local NHS mental health provision and hoped for the best.
The surroundings were undoubtedly uncared for but instantly I felt the opposite.
Whereas before I’d had the nagging doubt that the second I’d walked out of the room my handsomely remunerated practitioners had moved on,
I now felt like the team of professionals tasked with the unenviable goal
of dragging me out of this deep and debilitating malaise, genuinely gave a shit.
Alternative diagnoses were deliberated – was I in fact a more glamourous Bipolar II not just a bog standard Treatment Resistant Depressive – blood tests were taken, multiple treatment routes were discussed and comprehensive joined up care was administered.
Conclusions weren’t jumped to but I felt carefully monitored and genuinely safe under the umbrella of care I was receiving; a feeling I’d not experienced in or out of the treatment room for two full years.
A new medication was eventually agreed (a combination of the SSRI Duloxetine and the mood stabilizer Lithium), along with a back-to-basics weekly session of Cognitive Behaviour- al Therapy with a psychologist I felt instantly understood by to re-establish some routine in my previous flailing, rudderless daily routine.
That was all about two months ago and – touches a very, very large plank of wood – things have gradually improved since then.