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Mental Health 'staff'?

JIBBAJABBA

JIBBAJABBA

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Any mental health staff out there who would like to add and comments, information or offer advice on how to go about emotionally coping with a new referral to mental health services and how to infact deal with the 'suggestion' from a Dr that we may have a Mental Health Illness?
 
M

mcintyre

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That would be interesting to see - one of my first thoughts on being told I had a mental illness was that I was going to be locked up - I panicked and told everyone I knew that if anyone suggested it not to agree to it.
 
JIBBAJABBA

JIBBAJABBA

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Hi Dan,

Yes i can totally relate to that feeling. I also thought OMG am I going to be sectioned or forced to go into hospital or something horrendous like that when CD was first suggested! I blame this partially on the fact that MH illnesses STILL have such a flaming stigma surrounding them that I was ignorant to the facts and certainly as CD goes there is very little infomation around and even fewer support groups!

So yes hopefully someone from the other side of the MH coin may comment on this one at some point and shed some light on it for us all!!

Hope your well

Julia x
 
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Dollit

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Perhaps some one who has a good relationship with their medics/psych could ask for a short paragraph to stimulate a debate perhaps on the main forum?
 
JIBBAJABBA

JIBBAJABBA

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Good Idea Dollit.....

Im still waiting for my referral so might have to ask someone else to do this but def worth a go sure it will result in an interesting debate!!!
 
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Dollit

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One of my closest friends is a GP with psychiatric experience - he's really busy at the moment but I'll ask him for a few lines to start a debate off with (which would be posted under my name) but he wouldn't have time to debate with people on forum.
 
Rorschach

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Any mental health staff out there who would like to add and comments, information or offer advice on how to go about emotionally coping with a new referral to mental health services and how to infact deal with the 'suggestion' from a Dr that we may have a Mental Health Illness?
I guess I'd answer the best way to deal with the self-stigma (after all that's what is causing this emotional problem at base, no?) would probably be to spend time with people who have recovered in one way or another, from the stigma or the associated illness. It's far easier to deal with the negative aspects of an illness (i.e. stigma) as a third person (i.e. carer, friend, family member) as you get to walk away and have some time out, or as is often the case walk away completely stereotyping the person as a lunatic you want nothing to do with.

Self stigma is of a different order and to my mind causes both emotional distress and psychological damage; when you live within the skin of a body that has been diagnosed there's no physical escape. This may explain why so many people in this situation continue to self medicate/suffer dual diagnosis; if you can't get out of your skin, then at least you can get out of your head.

The only solution I can think of that would make that process easier is to have a positive example of a person experiencing a mental health condition. We often speak about removing the stigma, and yet so many of us don't even get past step one and remove self stigma. Without that emotions will be like a rollercoaster and perhaps the insight, so often stated as required for any semblance of recovery, will be slow to dawn.

As to positive examples, by the very nature of the phenomena, doctors will know very few, and the few they do know may well be more interested in cracking on with their life given how much of it has been stolen. The more I think about it, the more I think that there needs to be a 12 step programme for the mentally ill.

Just my tuppence...
 
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Dollit

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I'd have to say that self-stigma didn't cause my emotional problems when I was first diagnosed. What struck me was that I'd been behaving as one person all my life and suddenly I'd been told I had a condition that affected my behaviour, my personality and I didn't know myself anymore. My then psychiatrist told me the best way to deal with it was as if I had died and grieve for that person while getting to know myself again. I fought the diagnosis for a long time because I wanted it to be anything else other than this huge mental health problem. But I never covered from anyone or hid away from it.

What I did need more than anything was someone who had been through the experience and could help me. I was ushered to groups and I hate going to groups and talk to in acronyms and about medication I'd never heard of. What I need was someone to sit with me and tell me in simple yet intelligent terms what the hell everybody was on about. There seemed to be a presumption that because I'd been in the system since I was 15 then I was completely at home with the terminology.

There are a few positive examples around and people do tend to focus on how to move forward but I'd personally always talk to people of the confusion I went through - it's part of the process after all. The doctors I know tend to use those of us they consider positive examples as part of the teaching process for students.

I was interested in your 12 step idea - I've been around 12 step programs for 17 years and without extensive adaptation they tend not to work with other health problems. What you have to do it take what you need and leave the rest. I can go into a whole diatribe about 12 step programs and their shortcomings but maybe that's another debate.
 
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Apotheosis

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I was interested in your 12 step idea - I've been around 12 step programs for 17 years and without extensive adaptation they tend not to work with other health problems. What you have to do it take what you need and leave the rest. I can go into a whole diatribe about 12 step programs and their shortcomings but maybe that's another debate.
There is DDA [Dual Diagnosis Anonymous] - But I don't think there are any meetings in the UK. I was first around 12 step recovery at 21; again for a short while at 26 & then a long stint at 28 - present day. I do the odd meeting & read the literature occasionally. I don't have a sponsor. For many of my "MH" side of problems they have been no help whatsoever; in fact overall 12 step has been detrimental to my MH recovery - & this is largely the reason why I don't have a great deal to do with it any more. Like you say - take what you need & leave the rest.

I do have some good "12 step friends", but most of the genuine help I have had has come from outside of these groups; with people I have met in my day to day life. I haven't found much help with orthodoxy psychiatry either. Although some patients & the occasional MH worker have been of assistance. I hold psychiatrists generally in very low regard; but this may be just my experience.

I also find the terminology confusing - I have written a long letter to my psychiatrist, explaining my situation, difficulties in the day to day & asking for a more informed explanation to my "condition". I shall wait & see if there is any response. I have found that a non medical framework to be the most useful in navigating my illness, & looking at things from a Jungian or spiritual perspective.
 
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Dollit

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I find the 12 step program is framed perfectly for addiction (and it was forumulated in the 30s) but mental health problems are far too nebulous. I have what is called Bipolar I which is similar to Bipolar II except I have psychosis and my moods swings are more violent (their effect that is not what happens). Some one else may be on just within the spectrum but still classified as bipolar. We all have some things in common but not enough common ground. I think it's far better that those of us with MH problems meet with one another as people without hard and fast rules. I don't go to 12 step meetings anymore, haven't for a long time, but still broadly apply the principles to my life along with all the other stuff that I've picked up that works. I don't go to meetings because I get fed up of half the room telling me I'm not sober because I take mood altering drugs.
 
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Apotheosis

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I find the 12 step program is framed perfectly for addiction (and it was forumulated in the 30s) but mental health problems are far too nebulous. I have what is called Bipolar I which is similar to Bipolar II except I have psychosis and my moods swings are more violent (their effect that is not what happens). Some one else may be on just within the spectrum but still classified as bipolar. We all have some things in common but not enough common ground. I think it's far better that those of us with MH problems meet with one another as people without hard and fast rules. I don't go to 12 step meetings anymore, haven't for a long time, but still broadly apply the principles to my life along with all the other stuff that I've picked up that works. I don't go to meetings because I get fed up of half the room telling me I'm not sober because I take mood altering drugs.
It's pretty much the same for me.
 
Fedup

Fedup

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What is the 12 step program ?
 
D

Dollit

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The 12 step program was formulated by the early members of alcoholics anonymous in the 30s. It's a constant program of recovery which begins with accepting powerlessness over the substance of choice and ends with the promise to spread the message of recovery to others. On the way you (allegedly) come to believe in a higher powers, and you make amends to the people you harmed during the course of your addicition.
 
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