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Access to my records and pointless assesments

S

skeptic

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Hi. Last week i had an assessment after being referred by my doctor. I had approached my doctor after a long absence from any treatment. I have previously had bed experiences with anti depressants and i explained that i will not be taking any, though i would like to restart a prescription for quitiapine i previously had to aid my sleep. The doctor tried to prescribe a/d but i refused and was told i would have to have an assessment. I was quite frustrated that he tried to start a/d after i had already explained my reasons, but i understand why he referred me.

At the assessment i explained straight away that i would not be accepting any a/d and explained that i wasn`t sleeping and that is making it hard to cope. (the doctors referral he read out also explained this situation) I answered his questions and listened to his `advice` (non of which was new to me or has ever worked), he left the room and then came back with a prescription for mirtazapine. I was already frustrated at having my opinions virtually dismissed and i very nearly blew my top at being given that script. I refused the prescription and was met with a confused look and a reply that basicaly said "i dont understand". "strange" was also another word he used. I was then asked what i wanted and i replied "quitiapine", he went away and came back with the lady thats does the prescriptions. I told her i wasnt taking the mirtz, or any other a/d and that i wanted quitiapine and she returned with a script for 1 month @ 50mg nightly. They both had a look of disapproval and disdain. I now have to go back in about a month and expect i shall have to go through the same rigmarole.

I had noticed the big grey file seemed awfully thick, and all the time the assessor was making notes and filling stuff out. I had to challenge him and correct things he was assuming in our conversation and basically I want to know what him, and others have put in this big thick file they have on me. I feel that they are making assumptions from stuff contained within it and if what i have said and my situations are not noted correctly then it could be adversely affecting my treatment and recovery. I am also just plain angry that i was clearly not being taken seriously at the assessment and i want to see what reference is made to me refusing their recommendation and if all of the relevant information has been recorded.

Ideally i would receive a complete copy of my file, challenge the contents (if necessary) and make it noted that i am not putting up with anymore nonsense or sub standard treatment. I am not interested in getting people into trouble or causing problems, just stand up for myself but is it a good idea to shake the hornets nest, so to speak? Am i naive to think it would help and it will actually have the complete opposite effect?

Sorry for the long post, i guess i`m asking, can i have a copy of my big grey file? And is it worth it?

I would also love to hear from people that have challenged the reccomended advice and if you felt that they respected/understood your choices?
Thanks.
 
T

Tiddle

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Yes you are entitled by law to be able to read your medical records. You can request a time to go and physically read them or you can request a copy however a full copy will most likely cost you approx. £50. They can also censor so to speak any parts that they feel may upset you so you may not end up with the complete picture any way.

You also have a right to have factual information corrected but information that is an opinion would be harder to have changed and it maybe that all you can do is have your own Version added and it noted that you don't agree.

In terms of complaining it depends what you want to get out of it and be prepared that it may not bring the desired outcome for you.
 
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skeptic

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Hi tiddle. Thanks for replying. I like the sound of making an appointment to read it, although it appeared to be shorthand that he was writing. (could have just been poor handwriting as i couldnt get a proper look).

What i hope to achieve is to correct errors and make it known that i am not going to accept their currrent method of treatment which is just arse covering and token gestures. I dont expect this to get me `special treatment` just to lower the patronizing nonsense they spout and not be talked to as though i am stupid. I feel as tho they don`t respect my opinion and assume that i dont have the inteligence/capability to form an educated opinion.

I respect that it is their profession and they have studied hard etc, but. the treatment they provide is no more than working through a flow chart of options, with ease and cost as their primary concern. The way they choose their options is based on flawed and generally irrelevent questions that they make their own answers for anyway. The whole process of assesments is largely inneficient imo, and as they are just working towards choosing which tablet they will give i have no real respect for their "help". If they cant have the courtesy to explain and justify their "advice" in a factually correct, relevent and transparent way they can offer me all the tablets under the sun but i wont take them unless i feel they are appropriate.

Answers like "well, you have to do something, you can`t keep going on the way you are.." are particularly patronising and infuriating. I can keep going like this, i have had suicidal thought for 25 years and i am still here, the only time those thought became a real danger was when i was taking their advice, interferance and tablets and became the worst i have ever been due to side effects and the pressure and hopelessnes dealing with the cmht entails. a/d`s made me volatile, unpredictable, irrational and possibly downright dangerous to myself and others. Their answer was to up the dose which obviousley did not go well at all. In short the tablets nearly killed me and they also contributed to the ruin of certain aspects of my life that i still suffer the emotional affects from today. I told the last assessor that i was not going to embark on a lucky dip treatment unless he could guarantee i wont have these side effects, he obviousley said he cant guarantee it to which my reply was "that is my point exactly..."

I`m sure one type of drug will help me but i am neither prepared or able to cope with the risks and possible extra problems involved in finding out. As it stand i am concerned that my opinion and refusal has gotten me labled as either paranoid (yes, i am aware of the irony of what i just said!) or at least unreasonable and hopefully i can make it noted that my reasons are valid, considered and to be respected.

I dont want to get anyone in trouble as i dont doubt that they want to help. Its just the whole process and system they use has the opposite effect (on me at least)

Sorry, that turned into a long rant! but i suppose i have explained my situation a bit better and i think it has helped me get my thoughts straight ready for the next assesment.

Does anyone think i am being unreasonable with what i said?
 
SarahD

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Hi Skeptic,

Sorry to hear you have had such a long time of suffering and that the treatment offered affected you so badly.

What tiddle said is good advice about reading/obtaining records. I have obtained part of mine and had my comments added to bits I did not agree with.

Quetiapine, although an antipsychotic, is supposed to help with depression as well as sleep, and if you have had it before you will know how you get on with it, so it seems a sensible choice.

Mirtazapine is an antidepressant that works differently to SSRIs and also can help with sleep, so they probably thought they were offering you something that could help you, and you know how they like to think they know best!

I have also had a lot of bad effects from psych drugs and sympathise with you. Maybe if you are able to show the quetiapine is helping you they will put you on a longer term prescription.

Wishing you all the best, Sarah
 
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skeptic

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Hi SarahD.

I had a long standing prescripton for the quitiapine previously and i know that i can tolerate it and it works to help me sleep. I stated this from the beginning of the assessment and i still don`t really understand their dismissing it. I can still function the day after it, im not sure if it has any antidepressant effect at the low dose but a good nights sleep definately helps. I know mirtz can help with sleep, sometimes too much which again is not an option for me. I do not want to be more lethargic, demotivated or desensitized. I also do not particularly `need` my mood raising as such. yes i am lower than normal but I am not interested in an artificial `happiness` and am currently trying to approach it from other angles. I have refered myself for counselling again, and have also recently found out i have thyroid issues which could be contributing to my problems. I also may have testosterone problems so there are a lot of things that could help my depression without taking a single a/d. It frustrates me that their is no consideration of other possibilities and/or treatments at these assessments and all they want to do is focus on their own particular brand of voodoo.

I think i need to see that file, i am actually feeling quite motivated about making my point on this and being heard and feels good to take back some control. I just hope i can keep it up

Thanks for the reply and the well wishes.
 
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Hi skeptic.

I think you way you describe MH practitioners is absolutely spot on, and my sentiments are the same as your own.

Much of what they do, is arse covering and token gestures, and more to do with cost and ease rather than effective support and care. And they sure do come out with some patronizing guff.

I think the 'service' they offer is for the most part, a non-service dressed up a service, a chimera, cos they have to be seen to be doing something in the 'caring' society. If we complain about things, we are met with obfuscation, and sanitized claptrap. They would rather make a liar out of clients, then take it on the chin.

I give them the bum's rush nowadays. Adios to that lot :)
 
T

Tiddle

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I really sympathise with you. I have had professionals lie to my face in front of their colleagues to discredit me. I eventually lost all my treatment because they couldn't manage some of my behaviours that they professed to be able to treat. At the end of it all I got was an 'oh well' attitude.

You are right a lot of it is box ticking in case we actually do top ourselves so they can say 'we did all we could for x'

I have come across some who are good at what they do but those are the ones you can't seem to keep hold of long enough to have the full benefit.

I think I can honestly say that the MH services have probably left me more damaged and less full of hope than when I started seeing them.

With regards to the antidepressants studies have shown that exercise is just as beneficial as popping a pill and that they didn't perform much greater than placebo sugar pills in some cases although I do recognise they do appear to work for some whether that's the drug or the person believing they are working I'm not sure!. Some of them do have nasty side effects but in most cases these have gone or lessened the longer I took them - the initial hit can be hard as the body and brain adapts to the drug.

If you have found something that works for you stick to your guns you know you best. Try not to get too entrenched in their attitude as they won't change and it will just be detrimental to your mental health and happiness
 
SarahD

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I think I can honestly say that the MH services have probably left me more damaged and less full of hope than when I started seeing them.
Me too. :low:
 
S

skeptic

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Hi skeptic.

I think you way you describe MH practitioners is absolutely spot on, and my sentiments are the same as your own.

Much of what they do, is arse covering and token gestures, and more to do with cost and ease rather than effective support and care. And they sure do come out with some patronizing guff.

I think the 'service' they offer is for the most part, a non-service dressed up a service, a chimera, cos they have to be seen to be doing something in the 'caring' society. If we complain about things, we are met with obfuscation, and sanitized claptrap. They would rather make a liar out of clients, then take it on the chin.

I give them the bum's rush nowadays. Adios to that lot :)
I have also pretty much avoided them and have had no contact, even with my gp either for at least a few years. I have recently changed my gp to a different practice altogether and am trying to move forward with my health. (mainly the thyroid problem atm and general health) and am pleased with my new doctor and progress. I am struggling with sleep and do not want to get to the point of being so tired or low i completely withdraw and disengage from everything (which is my usual pattern). I hope that improving my general health puts me in a better place to deal with my depression. ie more energy. Pretty standard stuff really and you would think that they would be glad i am trying rather than trying to dose me up and sedate/zombify me.

As a final kick in the teeth i was given a `prescription` for a healthy life as i left. A leaflet about exercise classes and groups and such. healthy body healthy mind, kinda what im trying to do already, and exactly what they should be focusing on rather than reaching straight for the script. (i mean checking for hormonal problems, nutrient deficiencys, debilitating health problems and even things like doing the autism spectrum tests to get the full picture) Also, if there was the faintest possibility that i could find some extra energy, motivation and inclination to exercise and deal with people, and situations i would have found, and used it, in my efforts to get my basic life in order....

I hope next assessment i just get a repeat for the quitiapine and refered back to the doctor to continue it.
 
S

skeptic

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I really sympathise with you. I have had professionals lie to my face in front of their colleagues to discredit me. I eventually lost all my treatment because they couldn't manage some of my behaviours that they professed to be able to treat. At the end of it all I got was an 'oh well' attitude.

You are right a lot of it is box ticking in case we actually do top ourselves so they can say 'we did all we could for x'

I have come across some who are good at what they do but those are the ones you can't seem to keep hold of long enough to have the full benefit.

I think I can honestly say that the MH services have probably left me more damaged and less full of hope than when I started seeing them.

With regards to the antidepressants studies have shown that exercise is just as beneficial as popping a pill and that they didn't perform much greater than placebo sugar pills in some cases although I do recognise they do appear to work for some whether that's the drug or the person believing they are working I'm not sure!. Some of them do have nasty side effects but in most cases these have gone or lessened the longer I took them - the initial hit can be hard as the body and brain adapts to the drug.

If you have found something that works for you stick to your guns you know you best. Try not to get too entrenched in their attitude as they won't change and it will just be detrimental to your mental health and happiness
Yep. it`s a joke. Perhaps they would have more time and money if the didn`t hand out scripts left right and center or waste countless hours asking stupid questions. They also spend at least half the time managing and dealing with the meds, and their fallout when they go wrong. It can be a self-perpetuating cycle, but hey, at least it keeps them in a job and the drug firms in profit... Who cares if the patient has to deal with months or years of problems after taking them, that is assuming they make it to the other side.


I have seen the different reports on the efficacy of differrent a.d`s etc and the risks to benefit ratios are not that impressive at all. Esp when you consider that the risks are to make a potentially vulnerable or unstable person worse. If the side effects were just increased weight etc it would be acceptable but it is not. Esp considering the level, and implications of the aftercare they offer are not particularfly inspiring.

I dont think a/d should not be used at all, but i do think that they should have to justify their use in a proper medical way. Not just - you are depressed here is a anti depressant. There is no real logic or reason to the things they prescribe just educated guesses. You dont see a dibetic being prescribed insulin without tests and real consideration of levels and doses for example. Cancer patients aren`t jus told they have cancer and heres a tablet that might work. They have tests and are told exactly what cancer they have and how it affects them and their treatment. If you have mewnnongitis they dontjust give you some penecillin and `see how you go` Depression isnt one specific illnes, it encompasses a lot of different aspects, causes and possible treatments therefore it needs more investigation and thought than a sit down chat with someone that may, or may not be qualified to spot what is wrong.

I am definately damaged by the mental health services. Their medication turned me into a monster and ruined some very important things in my life that can never be recovered and gave me very real reason to be depressed. This was 5 years ago, and a few years later after stupidly listening to the cmht to try a/d again, it happened again. I wish i could trust them to make me feel happier, but i can`t.

Sorry to hear you are in the same situation.
 
S

skeptic

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I really sympathise with you. I have had professionals lie to my face in front of their colleagues to discredit me. I eventually lost all my treatment because they couldn't manage some of my behaviours that they professed to be able to treat. At the end of it all I got was an 'oh well' attitude.

You are right a lot of it is box ticking in case we actually do top ourselves so they can say 'we did all we could for x'

I have come across some who are good at what they do but those are the ones you can't seem to keep hold of long enough to have the full benefit.

I think I can honestly say that the MH services have probably left me more damaged and less full of hope than when I started seeing them.

With regards to the antidepressants studies have shown that exercise is just as beneficial as popping a pill and that they didn't perform much greater than placebo sugar pills in some cases although I do recognise they do appear to work for some whether that's the drug or the person believing they are working I'm not sure!. Some of them do have nasty side effects but in most cases these have gone or lessened the longer I took them - the initial hit can be hard as the body and brain adapts to the drug.

If you have found something that works for you stick to your guns you know you best. Try not to get too entrenched in their attitude as they won't change and it will just be detrimental to your mental health and happiness
Yep. it`s a joke. Perhaps they would have more time and money if the didn`t hand out scripts left right and center or waste countless hours asking stupid questions. They also spend at least half the time managing and dealing with the meds, and their fallout when they go wrong. It can be a self-perpetuating cycle, but hey, at least it keeps them in a job and the drug firms in profit... Who cares if the patient has to deal with months or years of problems after taking them, that is assuming they make it to the other side.


I have seen the different reports on the efficacy of differrent a.d`s etc and the risks to benefit ratios are not that impressive at all. Esp when you consider that the risks are to make a potentially vulnerable or unstable person worse. If the side effects were just increased weight etc it would be acceptable but it is not. Esp considering the level, and implications of the aftercare they offer are not particularfly inspiring.

I dont think a/d should not be used at all, but i do think that they should have to justify their use in a proper medical way. Not just - you are depressed here is a anti depressant. There is no real logic or reason to the things they prescribe just educated guesses. You dont see a diabetic being prescribed insulin without tests and real consideration of levels and doses for example. Cancer patients aren`t jus told they have cancer and heres a tablet that might work. They have tests and are told exactly what cancer they have and how it affects them and their treatment. If you have meningitis they don tjust give you some penicillin and `see how you go` Depression isnt one specific illness, it encompasses a lot of different aspects, causes and possible treatments therefore it needs more investigation and thought than a sit down chat with someone that may, or may not be qualified to spot what is wrong.

I am definately damaged by the mental health services. Their medication turned me into a monster and ruined some very important things in my life that can never be recovered and gave me very real reason to be depressed. This was 5 years ago, and a few years later after stupidly listening to the cmht to try a/d again, it happened again. I wish i could trust them to make me feel happier, but i can`t.

Sorry to hear you are in the same situation.
 
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skeptic

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After re reading my last post i think i let myself get angry as i was writing it. I stand by what i said but i realise it is quite a simplistic view and possibly slightly harsh in places. I`m sure there is a place for what they do and i know many people are thankfull for the medication as it helps them.

I am going to see how my next appointment goes before making any noise about my file but i will be checking it out to see what they have to say about me.

Sorry for ranting before, though i do feel a bit better having got it off my chest.
 
S

skeptic

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Nikita said:
Skeptic,I got a lot worse on their drugs too and they almost damaged my kidneys and they have strained my heart, they did the same to me.Lucky there is one anti psychotic I can take,no obvious side effects, sorts me out for now,I've been on it 8 years,though I prefer not to take their drugs.They messed me about and wanted to cover their arses and make out I was ill psychotic cos I also had a thyroid problem and tried to say they had neglected me and left that untreated and gave me harmful psyche drugs instead,and that's why I had psychiatric symptoms, I even got a mental health lawyer.

But abuse from family members meant I kept breaking down anyway,nothing will help not doctor, tablets or therapy if you are enduring ongoing abuse from family and mental health workers.So I just took the one anti psychotic at the lowest dose and refused all other meds and now I don't see them for med reviews only for support so I don't relapse.I mean back when I was younger I wanted my files etc and to take them on but whatever you do you won't win and if they think you are trouble they will break you,they can section you and force whatever drugs they want on you so best to back down and just aim to get what you need out of them.

They obviously know you have sussed them cos they handed you leaflets on physical health and honestly if you have thyroid issues and low testosterone they are probably the cause of your psychiatric issues so focus on that, diet, healthy eating exercise and getting the thyroid levels right and the testosterone.

I reckon if they see you focus on physical health and that helps they will change their attitude soon enough.It seems like the less you need them and lean on them the more they will actually support and help you.

Anything else is asking for trouble cos you are dealing with crocodiles not other human beings.I wish you all the best.Nikitax
I hadn`t seen your post when i posted mine. It is this sort of situation that makes me angry about the way people are treated. I`m sorry to hear of your troubles and glad you have found a way that is working for you.

The bit about them being able to section you is a major issue and one reason why i am cautious in my dealings with them and their medicines. I am sure many others are too and that it prevents people from fully engaging. I don`t intend to poke the crocodile as such. I am not after getting people sacked and they wont get any reaction, or reason that will allow them to section me. (I hope!) I guess it would be more like putting up an electric fence. setting up boundaries without having to resort to the big stick. I don`t intend to engage with them much anyway unless i do get to a point where i NEED their intervention and as i have coped with pretty much everything alone and without a/d`s so far i am quite confident i can do without them. Plus, they are never going to help with the actual causes of what makes me depressed so i dont see it as too much of a loss. I may change my mind on meds if the counselling and thyroid treatment doesnt help and things deterirate, but things would have to get really bad and it will be on my terms or not at all.

As for changing their attitude, i think i might have had some effect on the last guy as he couldn`t argue with what i was saying as it was all sound logic and fact. I`m sure he thought i was over reacting or possibly just confrontational or defiant but i hope that by the end i had proved that i was being rational and simply stating my case. Infact i was pleased with being able to hold my tongue whilst standing my ground as they are normaly mutually exclusive lol. I dont know if i achieved anything, i shall have to wait and see and honestly i am not too bothered as long as they dont try to force anything upon me.

Thanks for sharing your experiences nikita, and for your concern.
 
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skeptic

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I fully understand that they close ranks and will protect themselves. And they are able to `justify` there actions as being `in our best interests` etc. This is one of the reasons i am making my needs, objections and reasons clear now so that it is clearly written and understood that pressure, interferance and medication will have the opposite effect on me. My position cannot be denied and i state my case rationally and with logic and fact and if it is recorded in my file properly i can always refer them back to it when they decide that they know best.

I can easily spot their loaded questions and traps. I am also quite good at those loaded questions myself and using their own words to prove my point. (tbh i kind of enjoyed seeing them squirm and try to backtrack and ultimately have to concede) I choose my words carefully and can tie people in knots with them if i decide to be so cruel. I have reduced people to tears using only their own words. I am not proud of it but it does have its uses. I know that doesnt give me the power to break or change the system, but it does take away a lot of the power they assume they have. They will never be able to say that i am unrational, as i am nothing but rational, and logical. They will never be able to say that i am psycotic or delusional as i will not take their bait of getting angry at their antagonism. I know the things they are looking for when they are thinking about sectioning someone and they will not get any of them from me. I also think it is obvious that i am quite strong willed and by standing up for my rights and opinions i hope i am showing them that i am fully aware of the rules and have the will and ability to defend my rights.

As for getting someone sacked, if they had done something to warrent the sack or a disciplinary procedure then i am completely confident that i could take it to its final conclusion. I will help them dig their own hole and then fill it in with proper legal procedure. They wouldnt know what hit them until its too late. Play them at their own game eh?!!:whistle:
 
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skeptic

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Firstly, you have misinterpreted my intent and the only assumptions are from yourself. i don`t mean to be harsh but you are projecting your experiences on to me, and i am not you. I do not need anything from them, nor have i given them any power to "demolish" me by involving them in my care or giving any information to them that they could use to section me. (there isn`t any to give anyway) There isn`t anything they can do to me. They maybe could be a bit mean and awkward to me but as i wont be seeing them anyway i dobt it will concern me much. Especially as i am not trying to "demolish" them, and just directing my care appropriately. As previousley stated.

Secondly, they do not always win. I won one battle by refusing their script and coming away with the one i went for. I won a battle regarding my appointment, and got a verbal aknlowedgment and acceptance of my case and the issue resolved immediately.

Lastly, the full force of my power is equivilent to theirs, as i am playing by the same book, and the same laws and policys that they work by. That is not "puffing up hot air" it is the basic common sense. There are boundries that i cannot enter (doing anything that would allow them to section me) and boundarys they cannot crossover (human rights, policys, and duty of care ect) I will not be giving them any reason or option to section me or bring my sanity into question which is the only way they can obtain any power over me. If they cross their boundaries i shall follow due process, to the letter, with full and proper evidence, in a professional, rational and proper manner. The worst that they can do is offer their defence. I may not win but they cant demolish me. I`m not sure how you think they have demolished you but i think you need to give yourself a bit more respect because they can only demolish you if you let them.
 
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