My psychiatrist is struggling with being very pregnant and I very much hope this is her last week before her maternity leave kicks in as she needs to not be attempting the stairs from office space to meeting rooms for much longer. My psychologist has had her baby really early, so wasn't there as was the planned thing. CPN isn't pregnant, you'll be surprised to know (though is currently knitting hats for grandchildren...)
Anyway, the appointment started chaotically, with the window cleaners quickly finishing off the inside of the windows as we all got seated.
"You look really well" followed up fairly shortly afterwards by "So how much weight have you lost?" and a "Wow" after the answer.
Bit of background reading:
When I got too old for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) I was transferred to the CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) who decided they didn't want me as I was nuts so transferred me onto the EIPT (Early Intervention in Psychosis Team). Right. EIPTs only take people on for a maximum of 3 years, then either you get sent back to the CMHT or back into the care of your GP.
I was asked by the psychiatrist questions re: the usual topics (Sleep, appetite, mood, hurting myself) which I answered semi-truthfully. Surprisingly a lack of questions about my alcohol consumption or whether I hear voices... Still, I answered the questions asked with a hint of "not completely fine", but still coping.
I was asked whether I was happy. I said no. Was I content? "Err, sometimes" was the answer I gave.
They talked about the fact my three years are up in June of next year, so one purpose of the meeting was for the change to be discussed. They currently believe if they put in a referral to the CMHT, the CMHT would ask why and they wouldn't have an answer so would feel silly. I'm deemed to be not CMHT material, as I'm too "well".
More background reading:
When seen by the CMHT in June 2008, I hated them. I was told I was being a silly teenager using "anything in sight to hurt herself", I was told I wasn't trying, I was told that I needed to start taking "serious medication that would sort you out" and that I needed to make a decision on whether I wanted my life or not. I had been out of a psych ward for 3 weeks at this point. I saw them once for the hand over from CAMHS, once for a first meeting, and once for a handover to the EIPT. I hated it, I hated them and actually I was rather going to die than to try to get "better" with that support. Thankfully they deemed me to be crazy enough to go straight into a specialist EIP team, who showed a level of compassion at first that was lacking in what I had just been experiencing.
So, it has been decided to discharge me from the EIPT and hand over my mental health support to my GP. Hoorah! No CMHT input.
Then there was an interlude as windows were cleaned on the outside, making it quite difficult to hear each other speak...
A little bit more background reading:
I don't like the GP. Though technically my GP, he referred me to CAMHS without my presence (parents went to say "She won't come here, but needs the help") when I was 13, he gets copies of care plans but otherwise is in no way involved. I saw a colleague of his about my joints, and I am now too frightened to ring up for another appointment about that. GPs scare me. Mental health teams deal with mental health and that is that. GPs, on the other hand, are scary. I'm sure they make judgements based on the MH stuff, on the alcohol consumption, on the weight, on the family, on the occupation, and they are based in this town. MH stuff is based in PsychTown or PsychCity, which is slightly more detached from my community and those who know me.
So we are basically looking at no involvement with anyone about my mentalness. 3 weekly CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) appointments are going to become 6 weekly (One mid-November to check Bonfire Night hasn't sent me too mad, one just before Christmas to check work hasn't sent me too mad, and then every six weeks in the New Year).
The "you will contact us if you need us won't you?" conversation then started. I said I was unable to use the phone to ring them. I can't do it, I can't type in the number into the phone and press the call button. But no alternative was offered, so I'm not quite sure how I'm meant to contact them short of an hour of sitting on buses to stand outside their offices and wail until someone notices and comes out to me. [I didn't admit to the attempted "help" email a few weeks back which bounced back as the email address is no longer valid...]
Mum voiced a concern about if she starts to realise things are sliding post-discharge. She is worried as I'm an adult how she could go about contacting someone if I need intervention again. They said even after they've discharged me, do give them a ring if I'm refusing to go to the GP to be referred to MH support and we shall "Ring up Hannah and tell her to stop being so stroppy and start engaging with services again". Right, glad that's sorted then...
I'm not sure I'm ready to be discharged. At least by being involved in mental health teams and the like, I'm like a fully paid member of the "mentally odd" clan. This feels like I'm becoming considered "mentally OK" so it feels like I should be a coping functioning being again. It takes human interactions in my life down to either the "leading groups of people"(work) role or the "being in a group being lead by someone else"(orchestra/tutorials) role - taking away that "being able to rant and shout or say I'm struggling without too much difficulty" interaction that my current support technically offers. I don't have real life friends who I could lean on for support, if I'm out with others in this town, it is in my capacity as someone with a job that has a social element. Internet is great, but not the same. It feels like the ability to go and crumple on someone that isn't my long-suffering parents is being taken away. I might be able to answer questions in an appointment which give me the "well" status, but I'm not sure if I actually am. [Me? Dependent on my crap support? Surely not...]
I leave you with the quote of the day from CPN: "We are humans too, you know". News to me mate, news to me...
Next thing on my to-do list is to get Mum to ring up the GP surgery to try and see what the situation is there. Betting is now open in the "how long from phone call will they offer as the first appointment with the same doctor" stakes. (And I can almost guarantee that it will be a 7.30am appointment...)