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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hooray For Mental Healthcare Professionals!

Back home after my first appointment at the Centre For Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley (from here on in referred to as "The Mighty Maudsley".)

Longtime readers may remember that I am, in fact, a little unwell on the mental health side of things. I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a variety of other anxiety disorders, and occasionally like to throw in some depression for good measure.

About a year ago, I went for an assessment interview at The Mighty Maudsley, and passed with flying colours. Sadly, waiting lists are long as demand is so high, and so it takes a while between assessment and treatment.

Anyway, treatment started today. I was apprehensive, of course, but it went very well, and I feel positive. I tell ya: there is nothing like speaking to a good mental healthcare professional.

Think about it - when was the last time you got to sit down and pour out everything that was bothering you? With no fear of judgement? And with no interruptions from the speaker about their personal experiences? ("Ah, yeah, that once happened to my cousin's best friend - here's what you want to do about it...") I'm guessing that you can't remember the last time it happened. I tell ya: there are very few good listeners around.

But when you see a good mental healthcare professional, you get to do all of that. You have someone listening to, and interested in, and concerned by you and what is bothering you. Admittedly, they're being paid to do that but who the hell cares? It feels great.

Of course, if ya think about it too deeply (as us obsessive compulsives tend to) you start to get into "who cares for the carers"? My theory: all good mental healthcare professionals marry one another. It's the only possible solution.

Which means that if I want to realise my childhood dream of marrying a psychiatrist (I figured it would solve everything), I better think about a change of career pronto...

4 Comments:

  • At 12:55 AM, Blogger Taxloss said…

    Good for you. I'm glad it's working out at the moment.

    One day I will tell the long, sad (people who here it find it sad - I find it infuriating) and still, bah, unfinished story of my journey through the mental healthcare system. But it's all a bit close to home at the moment, and I don't think I suffer as badly as you.

    (Oh no! My last comment! That sort of thing is apparently a NO-NO, according to the rubbish advice and "treatment" I once received! I compared my situation to someone else's! After all, the important thing isn't getting and being well, it's being intimidated into putting on an act of seeming well, isn't it?)

    Anyway, the fact I got a bit heated there is evidence that this is a subject I'm not going to touch for a long time in public, and I admire your bravery in doing so. I salute you, McReadie.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Thanks for your kind comments, Taxloss. Much appreciated.

    Very sorry to hear that your experience of the mental healthcare system has not been as positive. I have to say, it is very hit and miss. I have in the past had truly hopeless people whose "help" has been anything but helpful.

    I realise that I've got very lucky in being able to get treatment at the Maudsley. I also realise that it's extremely unfair that I can get treatment here simply by virtue of where I live, and that many other people who happen to live elsewhere slip through the cracks of a system which isn't as universally strong as it should be.

    I hope that, at some point, the system will come up trumps for you and, indeed, that one day it will come up trumps for anyone and everyone who needs to use it. It's a shame that it isn't already like that but, maybe, one day...

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Thanks for your kind comments, Taxloss. Much appreciated.

    Very sorry to hear that your experience of the mental healthcare system has not been as positive. I have to say, it is very hit and miss. I have in the past had truly hopeless people whose "help" has been anything but helpful.

    I realise that I've got very lucky in being able to get treatment at the Maudsley. I also realise that it's extremely unfair that I can get treatment here simply by virtue of where I live, and that many other people who happen to live elsewhere slip through the cracks of a system which isn't as universally strong as it should be.

    I hope that, at some point, the system will come up trumps for you and, indeed, that one day it will come up trumps for anyone and everyone who needs to use it. It's a shame that it isn't already like that but, maybe, one day...

     
  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Just because one experience with a counsellor or whatever doesn't work out, doesn't mean you have to give up on them all. I think it depends on the luck of the draw, in getting someone whom you relate to. I had to go see a shrink when I was a Troubled Teen and she was shite, but since then I've met, in a non-professional way, loads of people who are head doctors of one kind or another, and some of them I could totally sit down with and have a good chat. Good luck with it McReadie. If only more people would get their heads sorted out. PS As for the new career, a friend of mine did this thing called co-counselling, where the patients are also the counsellors (I know, I know, but it really seemed to work) and that led her into a whole new life training to be a counsellor herself. I wouldn't marry a shrink though, I wouldn't think they have any energy left to be nice people when they get home after a hard day of saying "And how do you FEEL about that?"

     

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