I am sat here writing this post, whilst listening to a prolific British soap actress explains on national television how poor her experience with a consultant on depression was. Granted not all consultants will be poor, but I can feel where she is coming from. I’m going to explain where I feel I was not dealt with correctly when it comes to my anxiety. The points I am about to make cannot be pinned down to one person and they are more just about the way the system works.
On diagnosis with panic disorder, I was referred to CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services). In some areas this would mean being seen in a couple of weeks, but in my area the waiting list was 6 months long. An initial assessment would have taken 3 months, in which time I don’t want to think what state I would have been in. I was fortunate my mum had private health cover with work, but this only covers 3 years of treatment, so at the end of this year we will have to pay for my appointments with the physiologist.
Another problem was the inconsistent advice I was given. A few years ago, I had a panic attack over the Christmas period and was advised to go to A&E and ask for the Crisis Team. The Crisis Team deal with suicide cases, so when I was there I did not get seen by one of the team, but a doctor who was not a specialist in mental health, so it was difficult for him to advise me.
My final problem has been, when I hit a rough patch, I have to wait to see someone. I don’t think the NHS offer emergency appointments with psychologists for anxiety and if they do I have never been made aware of this. A lot of things can change in a day and it would be nice to know someone is there when you need them.
These are just a few of my experiences, but feel free to leave a comment if you have had a different (or similar!) experience…