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How do people suffering with MH problems feel about complaining.....

Unique1

Unique1

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I suspect , like me, a lot of us don't like to complain, we mostly don't have the energy, and confrontation can be a scarey thing, along with fears due to anxiety.

I have read a lot of posts on various forums about people suffering with MH issues being unhappy with CMHT, and other MH professionals and services.

Do CMHT and others in professional capacities, worjpking in the MH sector have a complaints process, that is user friendly ,and who monitors this, I'm not sure.

It seems to me that anyone suffering with a mental illness would be reluctant to complain, and are in a very vulnerable situation, due to the nature of mental illness, and if they did could/or would that affect future treatment.
I don't have a complaint, but wondered if because of the above CMHT etc can treat people differently and perhaps get away with it. Because it's their word against ours, and we suffer a MH problem,
it is a fear of mine, not being listened to if I had a valid complaint, and if I would be treated differently after complaining....
Anyone any experiences ??
 
Mister.B

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My mate summed this up perfectly tonight, actually.

I said "I don't want to say I'm not going [to the social group my CC runs] because they will throw me in hospital. haha." and I was only joking but he kicked some knowledge my way.

He asked what is more indicative of MH issues; bottling up and not articulating how you feel, or voicing how you feel?

I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else but me, or even if it's relevant to this thread but I wanted to share.
 
Unique1

Unique1

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i would almost feel if I were to complain, I would need a separate agency or similar to represent /help me, as I would feel a risk of either not being taken seriously, or having my illness possibly used against me....
I wonder if there is any help with this sort of thing..
I could complain about a recent incident, although wouldn't because of what I mention above...I just wonder how many of us are the same ?
 
Unique1

Unique1

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Yes, I kinda get what you mean Mr B. It's relevant. They have so much power, and I understand some of it is needed, but who's looking out for us ! And seeing we are treated fairly, is there strong regulation and more importantly is it fair and easy for us to access...
 
Mister.B

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It's easy to be suspicious of people who have even a modicum of power over your life.
I am definitely guilty of that.

I think for the most part I am treated fairly.

That's not the case in all cases though.
I'm sure abuse of that power does go on, and I think it is very difficult to know where (or how) to turn, you're right.
 
Unique1

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It's easy to be suspicious of people who have even a modicum of power over your life.
I am definitely guilty of that.

I think for the most part I am treated fairly.

That's not the case in all cases though.
I'm sure abuse of that power does go on, and I think it is very difficult to know where (or how) to turn, you're right.
Yes understand, I heard of an agency in my area who will support if you are hospitalised and monitor how you are treated etc, not sure what they do. But in other cases outside of hospitalisation not heard of any support systems separate to the professionals.
Thanks mister B for input
 
Gajolene

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I've complained for me and the boys as well as my ex in the past. You know for yourself or if advocating for a family member when something is very wrong with treatments or meds. You have to fight for your health and sometimes it takes a lot of noise to do so. Interestingly I am much more apprehensive when complaining on my own behalf. I have no one to back me up.
 
BlueBerry

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My whole life I've tried my best to be quite self-reliant. I've always thought that complaining about MH problems would make me look weak or vulnerable, so when I started feeling the effects of depression around the age of 16-17, I naturally kept it to myself.

When my issues began to get much more severe around the age of 20-21, I still didn't complain because on top of my prior reasons I had the added fear of what shape/form mental health care would take. I'd heard bad stories about over-reliance on anti-depressants and the side effects of meds and I was unwilling to be put on any. I hated the idea of opening up to anybody (family or MH professional) and letting them in on my deepest darkest feelings. I couldn't stand the idea of exposing myself and making myself so vulnerable.
Furthermore, I didn't want my family to know because I knew they would worry too much and become very over-protective of me as well as disaproving of my quiet solitary lifestyle.

Finally, I was worried about being pulled out of my university course due to MH problems or put in a hospital.

Finally taking that decision to talk to doctors and family about (some of) my issues has been a massive step for me, and I'm still dealing with the fallout. Indeed, my family members have become very over-protective of me. They phone me all the time now and ask how I'm doing and if I've being taken my bloody meds. It makes me feel weak honestly, like I failed to deal with it by myself.
 
Unique1

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I've complained for me and the boys as well as my ex in the past. You know for yourself or if advocating for a family member when something is very wrong with treatments or meds. You have to fight for your health and sometimes it takes a lot of noise to do so. Interestingly I am much more apprehensive when complaining on my own behalf. I have no one to back me up.
Yes Gajolene , that would be my feelings too. I could do it for someone else, but not myself...for same reasons..no back up,
 
Unique1

Unique1

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My whole life I've tried my best to be quite self-reliant. I've always thought that complaining about MH problems would make me look weak or vulnerable, so when I started feeling the effects of depression around the age of 16-17, I naturally kept it to myself.

When my issues began to get much more severe around the age of 20-21, I still didn't complain because on top of my prior reasons I had the added fear of what shape/form mental health care would take. I'd heard bad stories about over-reliance on anti-depressants and the side effects of meds and I was unwilling to be put on any. I hated the idea of opening up to anybody (family or MH professional) and letting them in on my deepest darkest feelings. I couldn't stand the idea of exposing myself and making myself so vulnerable.
Furthermore, I didn't want my family to know because I knew they would worry too much and become very over-protective of me as well as disaproving of my quiet solitary lifestyle.

Finally, I was worried about being pulled out of my university course due to MH problems or put in a hospital.

Finally taking that decision to talk to doctors and family about (some of) my issues has been a massive step for me, and I'm still dealing with the fallout. Indeed, my family members have become very over-protective of me. They phone me all the time now and ask how I'm doing and if I've being taken my bloody meds. It makes me feel weak honestly, like I failed to deal with it by myself.
Yes can totally understand this Blueberry. Complaining is difficult for us, I tend to want anything for an easy life, as life some days can be difficult enough. Understand the weak feeling too. Thanks for your input, appreciate it.
 
Jimny

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I have developed an annoying cinical view, I keep on opening up to different MH professionals only to find I am dealing with the wrong person and excuses are made.
Last night for instance I attended a meeting with a PDoc and a clinician. After an hour I knew that they were sorry I felt this way and that the medication could be increased as more was better.
There were just no positives, no explanations, no alternatives just political answers and BS excuses.
All these meetings ever do is trigger anxiety and add unnecessary notes to my record. Still no action, nothing being done.
I have no idea how anyone who relies solely on these services ever gets anywhere.

I go with an open mind and it always seems to end the same way.
I get annoyed at myself for complaining as I realise it falls on deaf ears, you get that look we all know the look. 'This is down to his/ her condition' that look.
 
Unique1

Unique1

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I have developed an annoying cinical view, I keep on opening up to different MH professionals only to find I am dealing with the wrong person and excuses are made.
Last night for instance I attended a meeting with a PDoc and a clinician. After an hour I knew that they were sorry I felt this way and that the medication could be increased as more was better.
There were just no positives, no explanations, no alternatives just political answers and BS excuses.
All these meetings ever do is trigger anxiety and add unnecessary notes to my record. Still no action, nothing being done.
I have no idea how anyone who relies solely on these services ever gets anywhere.

I go with an open mind and it always seems to end the same way.
I get annoyed at myself for complaining as I realise it falls on deaf ears, you get that look we all know the look. 'This is down to his/ her condition' that look.
Hi Jimney

Yes, that look, that's my fear, that we are at a disadvantage because of the nature of the problems we can have. Don't get me wrong I'm sure there are lots of cases were professionals are doing a great job, and I'm really not one for complaining, although the whole thing about us being at a disadvantage and vulnerable if we do, which in turn makes us vulnerable to go along with whatever is said and not question or challenge them. I guess it's all about finances, and how far do you go with support for people,

Thanks for input Jim.
 
SomersetScorpio

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Do you not have a PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) in your area?
I have to say, they managed a complaint I made about my last therapist really well.
Whilst I didn't have any telephone contact with anybody because I was too scared, I communicated to them through e-mail and felt respected and listened to.

I thought that everywhere in the UK had a PALS service, but I could be wrong.

Having said all of this, I get the impression that the complaints procedure might not be so easily resolved or dealt with if it's the community mental health team that you're complaining about. It has to be worth a try though.
 
Unique1

Unique1

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Do you not have a PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) in your area?
I have to say, they managed a complaint I made about my last therapist really well.
Whilst I didn't have any telephone contact with anybody because I was too scared, I communicated to them through e-mail and felt respected and listened to.

I thought that everywhere in the UK had a PALS service, but I could be wrong.

Having said all of this, I get the impression that the complaints procedure might not be so easily resolved or dealt with if it's the community mental health team that you're complaining about. It has to be worth a try though.
I've just looked that up and we do have a PALS service, thank you for that.
I didn't know if someone wished to complain (particularly someone who suffered with a MH illness)how or what they would do, and what support would be available to them, during the time of complaining. It's very useful to know of this service...thank you...and reassuring to hear you felt respected and listened to by them.
I thought there must be some regulatory body who would be responsible.
 
Rod Whiteley

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As far as I know there should be a PALS service everywhere in England, but it's a separate service for each area. PALS is part of the NHS, which means it can often resolve some problems for you quite quickly. It's usually good at sorting out simple administrative mix-ups, for example.

However, because PALS is not independent it might not provide good support if something has gone badly wrong and you want to make a formal complaint. For this, every local authority in England should provide an independent complaints advocacy service (ICAS). The ICAS providers are independent of both the NHS and the local authority. They are supposed to provide real individual support, like helping you to write letters and going with you to meetings.

If you can't find out how to contact your local PALS or ICAS, then your local Healthwatch should be able to tell you. See: Find your nearest local Healthwatch :: Healthwatch
 
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