I asked for help and was turned away
Posted Wednesday 31 October 2012
The strange thing is that I felt it coming on and I was becoming manic. Things were going really well at work and at home, but I started to get the spiritual feelings I often get, this time they were stronger and more intense.
I remember thinking 'right, what did my physiatrist say to do?’ I knew that Olanzapine would take a while to get into my system so, as an alternative, I took Lorazipan. This knocked me out and as a result I had two excellent nights’ sleep. On the third night I was feeling physically ill and had a feeling of evil around me. I was unwell (sickness) and didn’t sleep most of the night.
Darell, my partner, was unaware of my disturbed sleep as he was himself very tired. In hindsight I should have woken him up but instead I started to panic, with my mind racing all over the place.
The next day I decided to take the day off work and get myself down to the doctors. Darell came with me as support - bless him. They checked my bloods etc and thought it was maybe my thyroid. I was very agitated and Darell could see that I was not myself - I was talking a lot about 'spirits and demons' so we decided to ring my psychiatrist for advice. We left a message saying it was important for him to ring us back as I could feel another episode coming on and I didn't know what to do.
I was starting to think all sorts of things, positive and negative, and was becoming paranoid that someone was trying to get me - this is all part of my psychotic episode. Paranoia is one of the worst things I experienced. I could feel evil around me and was having increasingly evil thoughts, which is so unlike me as normally I am very positive.
As we hadn't heard from my psychiatrist, we decided to ring the crisis team, believing they would be supportive and helpful to people in crisis. Darell spoke to them initially and said he was very worried, asking them what he should do. I’m afraid to say they were singularly unhelpful - to the point I even said 'well what happens if I thought aliens were on the planet?' and all they said was ‘a lot of people think that.’
I was crying out for help – the crisis team accepted that I was not having thoughts of self harm or killing myself, so did not seem to accept that what I was experiencing constituted a crisis. I knew I was going to have an episode, but they didn't seem to take it on board. They basically ignored me and said there was nothing that they could do at that point.
I was so upset, I couldn’t relax at all and still had manic thoughts, even voices in my head. My psychiatrist’s secretary did ring back at that point and we booked an appointment for the following day.
Unfortunately this was too late and that night I had a full blown episode. I ended up in a mental health hospital and stayed there for the next month, recovering.
I am annoyed at the way that the crisis team handled the situation, as I was so obviously in need of help. If they had acted on my cries for help it may have prevented a full psychotic episode and me being admitted to hospital. That’s why I support Mind’s campaign for more and better crisis care services.
If you are in crisis and need help, find out what you can do and how to get the support you need.
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