... because life's too short to do anything ALL the time . Creativity and positivity are my "hiraeth"

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Unacceptable Behaviours

I've got two blogs. This is my "personal" one, the other one is my professional one. I used my professional one to "come out" about my mental health difficulties in a recent post, this was part of my pledge to the Time to Change campaign.

I've transferred my Mental Health rantings now over to this blog. I can bang on as much as I like over here without mentioning make up!

So today, I stated a page.

I saw this post on my Facebook timeline a few days ago and was spurred into action.

Unacceptable. Makes a mockery of the days of thinking and planning and building up of confidence that I, and I dare say many others, had to go through to make their blog posts and pledges. As a long time sufferer of Mental Health difficulties I resent this.

So I made a page: Remove the Quiz "What is your Mental Disorder?" By I Just Quizzed and it's going really rather well. Why should I have to, though. Is my day off. I should be lying on the sofa watching Dexter.

One of the things that people with Mental Health requirements regularly complain of is the lack of compassion, understanding and empathy from their G.P. I have very many personal experiences of this. One G.P. told me to "take up gardening" one asked me "what do you want me to do about it?" (and not in a "could you advise me as to what you think might help" way!).

I have a friend. Difficult to believe, I know. She's a lovely friend. She was terribly upset today after her trip to the G.P. She is in the process of getting a hold on her situation and doing brilliantly. On waiting lists left, right and centre and doing all the right things to get better and back in control. 

When I've been upset like this I find that writing things down is a massive help. I told her she was right to want to complain to the Practice Manager - and to give her the confidence to do it I said that I would format it for her, if she wrote the detail. This is what she wrote:


"My name is Serena and I am 22 years old. I have recently been diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, better known as Aspergers Syndrome.

I struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, depression and I have regular melt downs which can result in self harming. After that I “shut down”. I don’t want to talk, eat or move. I don’t want to see anybody and I feel like I can’t leave my house – it’s hard enough to leave my bed.

I am currently on sick leave from work because I am not well. What I am, though, is human; a person. I have feelings.

So I did not appreciate that when I went to see my Doctor, to renew my sick note (keeping in mind that he is not the doctor I see regularly about my Autism – he knows nothing about the battle I have been fighting), he asked me why I was off work.

The other time I have discussed my Autism with this Dr. was an unpleasant experience for me. He told me that “You’re too intelligent to be Autistic”. Now I’m sure that’s called “discrimination”.

This time, I explained to him that I am Autistic and suffering mainly from anxiety, his facial expression said it all. What he said next confirmed that I was right about what he was thinking. He said “Autism stops you from working?!?!” I have never been made to feel so embarrassed for having a disability. I tried explaining how my Autism affected me and made me feel on a day to day basis, and why that made me unfit for work at this time.

I didn’t have a chance as he cut me off and said “I think you should go back to work Autism or no Autism. You’re too young to be on the sick, it will affect your record in the long term”. He refused to listen to anything I had to say. At this point I felt totally defeated and could say nothing else. My blood was boiling, my hands were shaking, my eyes were filling up and my heart pounding. I had to tell him that I wasn’t prepared to leave without my note. After he reluctantly handed it over I told him I would not be seeing him again. On my sick note he wrote “Anxiety – symptoms” which further confirmed to me that he didn’t believe me.

I also have Asthma and wanted him to check on my lung function as I have a suspicion there may be a problem but I felt so humiliated and uncomfortable that I felt unable to stay in his company any further to have him check my chest.

When I got home, I had a meltdown. What was supposed to be an appointment with someone who was there to help me to the best of their ability turned out to be an appointment with someone who judged me, made me feel like a lazy faker, made me feel embarrassed and hateful of myself and my disability. He made me feel like a freak, he made me angry to be the person I am. He hurt my feelings and for the first time in a long time he made me wish that I was “normal” Are doctors supposed to make you feel like that?

How many others have to feel like this before, one day, it breaks someone?

I am autistic, I am human and I have feelings."

No one has the right to make anyone feel that way. Much less a Doctor. It is wholly unacceptable and frighteningly common.  

Why is it that this is allowed? I know that society was very different years ago when a lot of these older G.P.'s were trained and put in post, but still, as a primary care giver they have a responsibility to do the best by their patients.

Many, many times have I come home from seeing a G.P. feeling the way she did. it has a massively negative effect on the way that person feels which can take days and days to start to heal. It makes you feel insignificant, like a terrible waste of air and a freeloader.

Despite being under the care of the First Access Team for my area, my G.P. keeps putting pressure on me to come off my medication! The board of psychiatrists has met with my case worker and agreed that while I'm feeling the benefit there is sense in taking me off them. I could actually go back onto my original "hardcore" medication at any time, if I chose to, but no, my G.P. (who I've spent less than 20 minutes with - ever) still knows best. Yeah, sure. 

This needs to be addressed. Mental Health patients are being failed by lots of G.P.s. They are over worked, over pressured and financially restricted. Mental health seems to be taking the brunt.