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searching for info on UK treatment

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rossboy

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france
Hello, I am trying to get a true picture of what state treatment for depression is in the UK now. Hopefully you can help me out, I will explain.
We live in France and have done for the past 7 years. My wife (45) is suffering a very bad bout of depression and panic attacks. At times she is suicidal although she has never seriously damaged herself. She has had several bouts in the past (starting when her daughter was born 23 years ago) the last one being about 10 years ago after a hysterectomy when we lived in England. At that time she was treated with antidepressants etc at home by our GP with nothing else being offered. A very difficult process which put a great strain on the whole family for a long time. This time she is in hospital here in France but after 2 years now is still in a specialist clinic with very good nurses and a good psychiatrist who sees her every day and adjusts treatment as necessary. She gets a certain amount of occupational thearapy, although I think that’s one area that could be improved on, but the grounds are lovely with good wooded walks etc. She has in the last 2 years had just about every antidepressant and anti anxiety treatment available, some working for a short while. She has been home several times in 2006 but not for more than a few weeks before she shot back down again. In 2007 she entered hospital on the 5th of Jan and is still in there.
Her family are telling me to bring her back to the UK because the treatment is now better than in France, but they can give me no proof. My point is that here she is receiving very good treatment in a nice calm caring enviroment. If I move her back to England it will wreck our lives here and put a heavy financial strain on us, but I will do it if it gets her better.
I should point out perhaps, that for the last 6 months she has been in a dedicated psychiatric clinic in the south of France, but we live in the north. I moved her because of our sector, she was in a psychiatric ward of a general hospital before, which was sometimes chaos because of the mixture of different illness’s all mixed up together. So as you can see it’s not like it’s easy here as I am staying down here to visit daily and driving back (11 hours) home for few days every so often to keep things running.
The doctor is muting E.C.T but my wife has a horror of it because she had it before in UK, true it was 23 years ago, but it was badly done and had no effect anyway. What are your thoughts on that because again I'm getting completely mixed stories about it from members of her family in the UK, one says they don't use any more and another say's they know someone who it just worked for, so.... you can see my problem I would very much like to know other peoples recent experiences in the system there in England, (particularly in the south around Oxford) what do you think?.. Help please


:confused:
 
midnight

midnight

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hello,

What a horrible situation to have to be in. I can't imagine the feelings you must be going through.

The only advice I can offer is that it appears from the situation you hvae described that your wife's treatment seems to revolve around anti-depressants.

Its my personal opinion and that of the doctors I have come into contact with that medication is only half the answer. THere are a whole load of psychological therapies available, as well as learning about the psychological impact of exercise and nutrition that are often underestimated as well as a whole load of other issues to explore. There also needs to be an element of commitment to getting better - sometimes with depression - the 'not doing much' can actually make things worse.

If the French Health system is not offering these other therapies you maybe able to find private providers of these treatments without moving away from France. But I stongly believe medication is not the only answer it will take you only half way up the ladder, its then up to you to make the effort to climb the other rungs - with the right clinical help and guidance

To answer your question is the UK any better, well they do offer some of the above on the NHS but the waiting lists are not short, and you are not offered indefinate treatment usually for something like CBT you are allocated 6 to 8 sessions. Psychotherapy in the private sector costs £20 - £35 per hour.

If you do choose to go private get advice about which organisations people should be registered with from your wife's clinical team, to make sure you are getting a proper professional.

REally hope this helps and good luck stay in touch
 
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rossboy

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thanks Midnight

Thanks for that Midnight,
rossboy
 
sandybob

sandybob

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hello rossboy..

my own personal experience of the MH system here has not been wonderful i'm afraid :unsure:
 
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Dollit

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Hi Rossboy, welcome and I hope we can help. I've found that it really is a case of where you live that affects the treatment you get. I'm in an area of Bristol where I have access to a fantastic GP (if I ring up and speak to anyone when I'm in a crisis I'm seen as an emergency patient and my GP makes the appointments for me, I choose who does my bloods etc.) Also I have a fantastic consultant who allows me to ring between appointments and who discusses all aspects of all treatments with me. The wait for a psychologist in this area is very short (we're talking weeks), I've been offered art therapy, occupational therapy, my psych gave me a mindfulness (meditation) CD. So I have it fantastic, in another part of Bristol with a different set of medics who knows. If you want to private email me to talk then please do.
 
S

Silverski

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Hi Rossboy

You have my sympathy for the awful position you are in. I agree with every word that Midnight said. Medication alone is not enough. I can well remember when I was ill and in hospital. I sort of believed that there would be a pill that would magically make me better and the despair I felt when I realised there was no such magic pill. To recover meant a lot of hard work. I had to fact uncomfortable facts and try to work through them. It wasn't pills which helped me but a clinical psychologist in the hospital. I can remember her saying to me 'Well, if you want to be miserable then that is your choice". When I was suicidal she simply said that she would miss me for a while if I killed myself. She was really tough with me but she brought me back from the brink and taught me to believe in myself again. I am not saying this was a magnificent cure which lasted all my life. Not a bit of it. I still get spells when I feel worthless and would just like the comfort of oblivion. But I always remember the lessons I learned then - that I was responsible for my own life and if I tried hard enough I could make things a bit better. Not wonderful, maybe, but bearable at least, until maybe things brightened up again.

I have never had ECT but my daughter has. It didn't help her at all, but ECT did work brilliantly for a friend of mine. I firmly believe that if she hadn't had it she would never have left hospital again. No medication or treatment helped and I think ECT was just about the last treatment option left. She would now swear by it. I also knew a Nursing Tutor who regularly arrived at the hospital in her car and was admitted for ECT. These 'maintenance visits' enabled her to carry on with her job and her life.

The question of whether to move back to England or not is a major one. You would have no guarantee that things would improve back home. As well as that there are the financial implications. It seems that you have always done the very best you can for your wife. I hope you don't mind me saying it but I think you should also care for yourself a bit more. Your wife is being well cared for while you are struggling on. Be a bit kinder to yourself and don't make decisions without factoring in what would be best for you.

I wish you the best of luck in the future. You will be in my thoughts.
 
Rorschach

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Welcome Rossboy!!!! Hope you stay here is fruitful, seems that you have some heartfelt advice from the members...

:welcome:
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Any update's on this rossboy ?
 
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rossboy

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still waiting

Well she is still in pretty much the same state as before, for the moment I have decided to stay put. I had an interview with the doc this week who is now saying the only thing left is E.C.T. and she needs a jolt to get her out of this reliance on the hospital, basically he’s saying she has become institutionalised. I’m sceptical about that being the one that talks to her every day, she’s telling me she just wants to go home and to some extent I believe her, but it is true that she is noticeably improved when on a drip for the medicine rather than tablets. Apparently there is technically no difference it’s just a psychological thing, so I have broached the e.c.t. subject gently, needless to say she’s not happy about it. Watch this space as they say
 
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Dollit

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I wish there was something practical I could do but I'll just have to settle for sending you some positive thoughts & good wishes instead. You know where we are if you need us.
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Well she is still in pretty much the same state as before, for the moment I have decided to stay put. I had an interview with the doc this week who is now saying the only thing left is E.C.T. and she needs a jolt to get her out of this reliance on the hospital, basically he’s saying she has become institutionalised. I’m sceptical about that being the one that talks to her every day, she’s telling me she just wants to go home and to some extent I believe her, but it is true that she is noticeably improved when on a drip for the medicine rather than tablets. Apparently there is technically no difference it’s just a psychological thing, so I have broached the e.c.t. subject gently, needless to say she’s not happy about it. Watch this space as they say

Did you tell the Dr your wife want's to come home ?

Which ever route you decide to take i wish you both well , and keep us posted :)
 
Ashami

Ashami

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In my opinion (and I stress, it is only my opinion), stay put and find your wife a decent, open-minded psychotherapist. In the UK, in my experience, mental health issues are given very low priority. I believe it's a glorified babysitting service and nothing more. If you do come back, go private.

As far as your wife's treatment, as with all mental health issues I believe the key to recovery is to discover & resolve the root cause of the depression. Anti-depressants serve only as a buffer whilst the cause is explored, otherwise, they are just sedatives.

My own recovery is taking a very long time and the reason is simple, here in the UK I have been unable to find someone willing to help me explore in depth the causes of my own depression. I know that until I do, and resolve these issues, my illness will remain.

My father suffers from manic depression and in his twenties he underwent ECT many times. It did nothing for him whatsoever. He never recovered, and as far as I am aware has never undergone specific & indepth psychological treatment.

Good luck to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please make sure that you yourself are getting some good support as it sounds like you are under tremendous pressure. I believe there is a section for carers, spouses etc. and I do hope this forum helps you on your journey.

:flowers: for your wife and a :hug: for you
Love & Light
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Hi Rossboy

Any more updates?
 
skitzware

skitzware

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Hello Rossboy

I myself had 12 sessions of ECT 2 years ago in Epping. I was in hospital for 6 months. Every step of the treatment was explained in good detail in fact the hardest part was foregoing a cig 2 hours before & after treatment (lol). I was under sedation all through the process.

It was given to me as a last resort for depression & hearing voices it shook me out of the depressive feelings that I was having, although that has returned of late.

I can only add that living in Waltham Abbey the service is very good indeed. I now see my doctor every 4 weeks and my CPN every week to administer my meds & to see if everything is fine.
 
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