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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Ross

R

Ross

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
12
Location
N. Ireland
Hello everyone
I am new to this site so please bear with me if I make any mistakes.
I have suffered from severe clinical depression for the last 17 years.
I underwent 11 ECT treatments during my first stay in a psychiatric unit (it was supposed to be 12 but my consultant decided it was not doing any good). Anyone else have any experience of ECT - good or bad?
I am trying in my own little way to remove the taboo of mental illness and to end the "poor relations" attitude that the government and the NHS currently have.
During my last stay in hospital there were 35 in-patients and only 30 beds available. Patients were juggled between home and hospital. There were times when I came back off 'home leave' only to be told that I had to go home again as there was no beds available. This unit has now been reduced to 28 beds!!
I have written to my MP regarding this unacceptable situation and I would encourage everyone to do the same. MPs can be emailed so it is not hard to do.
We are fighting a war on two fronts - our own battles with our illnesses and the fight for decent treatment by the government.
I know it is a hard battle, made worse by our conditions, but I would encourage everyone of you to use those better moments to add your arrows to the fray. We are all important and the bigger the crowd the louder the voice.
Thank you all.
Ross
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
Hey Ross,

Welcome to the Forum.......... Sounds like you ve got loads to offer. Never been an inpatient myself and overall have had pretty positive experience for the MH team but found I had to get to complete crisis before anything was done. My bug bear is primary care!

Intel
 
emski

emski

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Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
North West
:welcome: Ross

My first experience with mental health services was about 16 and I did not get the help I needed at all. I suffered with MH issues on and off until about this time last year when I had another total huge breakdown. Fortunately I had access to private care through my company's insurance scheme and have now had a correct diagnosis and proper care.

However, I don't think that this level of care should be reserved for the rich or those with private cover. Everyone with a mental health concern deserves to have the care they need
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Jul 21, 2008
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3,067
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BeNeLux
Hi Ross...welcome to the forum. :welcome:
I agree...there's too much taboo & stigma attached to mental illness. The biggest breakthrough will be general acceptance.
 
R

Ross

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
12
Location
N. Ireland
Taboo

Hello and thanks for all the welcomes.

I have just spent an hour typing a long message to you all but it seems that this site logs you out if you take too long composing your input.
I have just lost the whole thing.
Sorry EMSKI...there was a little bit for you but it's too late and my moment has gone. Maybe soon friend.

Love to all my 'Brothers and Sisters in Arms'

Ross
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Ross - if the site logs you out if you take too long then perhaps you could type it in Word and then just cut and paste? Less frustrating that way!
 
R

Ross

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
12
Location
N. Ireland
Taboo

Thanks DOLLIT

That was my thought too. If I had known of the timeout problem I would have cut and saved my message to Word every couple of minutes.
I hope that others who read this will be more careful with their precious input.
Even if you just copy your message to notepad it will be safe unless your PC tends to suffer from the occassional dreaded 'Bluescreen Restart'.

Thanks again Dollit...good advice for everyone.

Ross.
 
R

Ross

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
12
Location
N. Ireland
Too Late.

Hey Ross,

Welcome to the Forum.......... Sounds like you ve got loads to offer. Never been an inpatient myself and overall have had pretty positive experience for the MH team but found I had to get to complete crisis before anything was done. My bug bear is primary care!

Intel
Intelgal
Sorry about the hiatus but I had forgotten that I had subscribed to this site until I received a site email - depression...it plays havoc with my short term memory.
I quoted your message as you hit on a very important point - the time it takes to get help when symptoms first appear.
My first indication was severe heart palpitations. My GP told me to take two weeks off work and I, in my ignorance, said that a week would do - I never worked again! I was 35 and had built a very successful career as an engineer and was involved in converting the telecoms network to digital (paving the way for internet access like this).
It took six months before I was referred to a psychiatrist, but by that time I had descended into a darkness of a depression that resulted in me being hospitalised for five months. Since then I have spent more periods in hospital - the most recent lasting seven months.
I believe that if I had had the primary care you refer to, at the outset, I would not have become so ill and would not be such a burden on the NHS.
There is a false economy at work here which results in too many people being hospitalised due to lack of early diagnoses.
GPs need to use more lateral thinking with their patients (they're paid enough!) and discard this attitude of 'I can diagnose your problem in fifteen minutes'! Those fifteen minutes of arrogance can destroy a person's life but the GP can still drive home in his Merc without fear of retribution.

Sorry about the rant Intelgal but I just had to let it out.
Hope you're keeping well - looks like we're in for a good summer so get the rays while you can and get a good tan. Don't forget the sunscreen...lol

:hug: Ross.
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
13,625
Hello Ross,

Mmmm yes we are left to get to the pits of hell before anything is done in my experience too - I have been off work for nine months coming - who knows if I will ever return? I wish you well
KS
P.S Hello by the way!
 
nickh

nickh

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Feb 14, 2008
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Location
Birmingham UK
Hi Ross and :welcome: to the Forum. The war on two fronts idea is I'm afraid perfect and on the Government front it is being intensified by the attack on IB and the introduction of ESA (about which you see a lot elsewhere on the Forum).
And on ECT - yes I had and it did nothing whatever for me except cut some chunks out of my memory which I have never got back - in fairness as with all treatments there are those who say it worked for them, but as far as I have read here and elsewhere the majority opinion is definitely negative and the memory loss very widely attested.

Nick.
 
Q

quality factor

Guest
Hello there Ross and :welcome: to the forum.
I've been in the service for more years than I can remember and through all this experience there's one thing that I have learned about and that's the big inadequacies within the NHS and more particularly Mental Health services.
I suppose all we can do as like-minded people is to keep fighting the cause.
QF.:grouphug:
 
R

Ross

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
12
Location
N. Ireland
nickh et al
Please excuse my ignorance but what is 'IB' and 'ESA'?

ECT:
Although my shrink decided that this treatment was not working I think that maybe it did help - it just took time for the effect to kick in.
My condition was so bad that I spent the first couple of months as a 'guest' of the NHS in bed - in fact when the consultant wanted to talk to me he had to come to me whereas other patients were seen in his office - I was 'super glued' to that bed.
I was so desperate that I asked for ECT (despite my antiquated perceptions) but the doc was not keen on it although he eventually gave in to my request. He wasn't a fan of medication or other physiological treatments for depression.
A couple of weeks after my last ECT session I was up and about and joking with the nurses and enjoying my fellow 'inmates' company.
I do know that in recent years my consultant has not been so reticent in prescribing ECT to other patients. In fact he created a ECT treatment room in the Psych Dept but the Anaesthetist was not happy with the conditions and it was moved back into the main hospital unit.
When I first asked for ECT I had the images in my mind of the old horrific black and white pictures that I had seen on TV. It's NOT like that now - general anaesthetics and muscle relaxants have removed those effects.
Fortunately I did not suffer from any blanks of memory - in fact I remember the anaestetic taking effect and the tea and toast afterwards.
Although it is now a painless process it does affect people in different ways. I have met people who have had several sessions and do not even remember being in hospital.
I cannot recommend it as a treatment as I, and the most elite members of the psychriatic fraternity do not really know why it can sometimes be effective. A bit like the use of lithium in Bi-Polar disorder - the periodical table is quoted in this case, i.e. lithium possibly being a replacement for the lack of absorption of potassium as they are both in the same atomic group. Sodium (contained in salt) is also in this group and that is why people taking lithium should be careful not to lose too much salt through sweat, dehydration etc. as this can raise the level of lithium in the system which can be injurious to certain vital organs. Anyone taking lithium should have been appraised of this possibility - this is why lithium levels are (or should be) so closely monitored.

Sorry - I digress - the point I was trying to make is that ECT treatment is no longer the terror that it was (and sometimes still is) portrayed. In fact I would put ECT well below visiting the dentist in my table of things I don't like.

Sorry for going on - I can't help it - once I get started I tend to suffer from an overdose of 'the verbals'.

Hope I haven't bored you all too much......:sleep:

Ross.
 
nickh

nickh

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Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
Sorry Ross - Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

And thanks because you have reminded me to update the Jargon Buster thread which appears in the How to Use this Forum Section. We do forget ourselves and use jargon sometimes so anyone who sees some acronyms or initials they don't understand should first check that section then - please :) - ask; you will be helping everyone.

Nick.
 
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