Garry Meets the Mental Health Team

Today was my first appointment with the mental health team at Goodmayes Hospital where I had an initial screening appointment with a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) following on from a referral by my GP.

Initially they discharged me without talking to me because my PHQ9 score had gone down from over a period of 6 weeks, despite it having increased since then so as you can imagine I am not fully confident using this route to begin with.

Apparently they even referred me to a local counselling service but 2 months later and they haven’t been in touch either so as far as I am concerned it is not a great start.

I arrived 25 minutes early and had to sit in the waiting room with the sun beating through the windows making me sweat even more than I do on an average day but thankfully they called me at bang on the appointment time where I met the CPN who invited me into a cold unwelcoming room. Not even a desk was there just four chairs, 2 on each side of the room.

For the next hour and a half I sat there and told everything about my feelings and past history while he took notes, and more notes and then some more notes.

It was nice to be able to unload some stuff BUT I am not convinced he was the right person to be telling it too. He seemed to be more focused on the death of my uncle than any other aspect of my depression. I told him that it was one of the main triggers that gave me suicidal thoughts but if I am honest I got the impression he just seemed convinced I was grieving rather than anything else, despite me telling him that the feelings have been around for years.

He also suggested that he doesn’t think I am bipolar but as he is not a psychiatrist he couldn’t make that diagnosis (why bleeding say it then?!!)

Anyway end result is that he has referred me to see a psychiatrist and suggested that I attend counselling to try and rid me of “low self esteem and low confidence issues”

And so the wait to unravel the mystery of the depressed moose continues for while yet…

And in all honesty I left wondering why the hell I bothered!

20 comments on “Garry Meets the Mental Health Team

  1. Have been through a few like that over the past few years, keep at it. All you can do is try! I walked out of the first one like that breaking down in tears, with them saying there was nothing they could do, just got to keep pushing with them sometimes!


  2. Yeah, those guys who do the initial assessments sometimes fixate on completely different things than psychiatrists do. In my experience CPN’s try to normalise everything – it is grief, it is a bit of low self esteem – whereas psychiatrists are more likely to take the symptoms more seriously. Don’t lose hope yet. Those initial assessments are always a bit pointless. Just ‘procedure’ :/


  3. Oh, that sounds so very familiar. I’ve notched up a total of 33 professionals that I’ve had to speak to over the last 9 months. Talking helps but you need the right person on the other end with whom you can establish a good rapport. Sometimes we’re lucky and that rapport comes quickly. Other times it develops more slowly.

    Keep an open mind. This isn’t an easy road, is it, but we can navigate it.



  4. It did sound rather pointless and a waste of your time, but that’s the system we have to go through to get to where we need to be. Keeps lots of people in jobs though! 😐 Kat


  5. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. Hopefully the psychiatrist will have a better idea of what they’re talking about. Pretty much the only people I’ve had bad experiences with so far have been nurses and CPNs. I’m afraid the last thirty years have given me a very dim view of the nursing profession as a whole. I don’t think a lot of them are up to much.


  6. Pingback: The Mental Health System Fail Me Again - The Real Supermum

  7. Pingback: Garry Meets the Mental Health Team | The Depressed Moose

  8. Sorry it wasn’t helpful for you. When I went to see the Mind counsellor I found that she was placing more importance on things that I don’t think affect me as much as others too…Hopefully you’ll have better luck with the psychiatrist! Good luck x


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