Your issues are too complex

That’s what the Eating Disorders Unit told me when they called to let me know they won’t be offering me any support. Apparently it won’t be possible to ‘isolate the eating disorder’ from my other problems, therefore their treatment won’t be effective.

I sat and listened patiently as the woman on the other end of the phone gave me a load of platitudes. She thinks I have good insight, and I can get the support I need from my private therapy. This, despite the fact that I’d already explained how my therapist is not a specialist in this area and is one of the people pushing me to find some expert help.

She also offered to help me find ‘resources’ (by that she means websites I can read) so I can get more information about anorexia. But it isn’t resources I need, it’s someone who can give me some guidance and help me strategise. I know what I’m dealing with. I don’t lack information, I lack knowledgeable support. It’s the same problem I always have; I know what’s good for me, I just need someone to help me do it. This psychologist seemed to have no perception of how hard it is for me to do the right things for myself.

It’s always just a game of ‘pass the buck’ when I go to the NHS for help. The EDU think it’s better for me to get support with all my issues from the Community Mental Health Team. The CMHT won’t offer me anything because I have my private therapy and they feel that is enough. I won’t consider ceasing that therapy to work with what they provide, because experience has taught me that; a) they don’t provide anything very useful, and b) I can’t rely on them being consistent. Anything I sign up to might have it’s funding pulled or get cancelled because of staffing problems.

That’s the awful, shitty reality. If you can’t pay for help, you don’t get help. How is that acceptable in this day and age? It was only a few weeks ago that the Health Secretary said mental health should be on a par with physical health in the NHS. It’s utter bullshit. They won’t intervene on my behalf until the situation is absolutely critical. I’ve read about people with anorexia deliberately making themselves sicker in order to access treatment. I’d hoped that was just a horror story, but now I realise it’s what people have to do.

I overheard some other patients talking about accessing help when I was in the psych ward recently. They were exchanging stories about how they’d sought treatment and been refused, even when they were actively suicidal. What they’d learned was that to get admitted, being suicidal wasn’t good enough anymore. You have to be a threat to others. So people are now using that tactic – they’re telling support workers they are a danger to the public because it’s that only way to get help. That is just totally fucked up.

I am so sick of being let down, ignored and disappointed by people whose job it is to help. After that call yesterday, I just sat and cried. I cried because I felt like an idiot for even asking. It’s bloody difficult to even take the step of making myself vulnerable and opening up to people in assessments like the one I had last week. So to then be rejected is crushing.

I went to that appointment, stressed and fearful and anxious, and pushed myself to be open and honest, to tell them things about myself I really didn’t want to say to strangers. Being told that none of that was good enough feels so massively rejecting. The message I take on board is that I’m making a fuss over nothing and should be able to work this out for myself.

All of this makes me want to just stop asking for things. I already struggle to reach out and admit I need support. Repeated experiences of this sort reinforce my sense that nobody wants to hear me or help me out. And it’s just too painful to keep making myself vulnerable, only to be sent away.

 

Photo credit: A of DooM, Creative Commons.

Advertisements

17 Comments Add yours

  1. I don’t have an eating disorder, but I do remember being told by a psychologist after a year that I was hopeless, and because I wasn’t making any progress they were stopping my sessions. I remember how betrayed and angry I felt that this person who was meant to fix things was abandoning me. It wasn’t til years later I realised she was right and that the only person who can fix things is myself. This is a completely different situation to the one you are in, but I do understand that feeling of rejection, it is a dangerous thing for them to do and it could make or break people. I hope you get the help you need soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you. I’m sorry you experienced that, but glad it sounds like you’re in a stronger place now.

      Like

  2. KD says:

    Please keep trying; I know how painful it is to open yourself up and be vulnerable and to meet a wall in the process. It hurts like Hell being turned away. It makes the wounds of rejection feel ripped open and raw. And the system is broken, there and here, which doesn’t help. But we have to keep fighting within it and advocating for ourselves because you’re worth the fight. For whatever that’s worth from some stranger on the other side of the screen and ocean (I’m assuming).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you for those kind words. I don’t feel strong enough to argue their decision. But I will look into other options in time, when I’ve recovered a bit from this knock.

      It’s always nice to have encouragement and support from strangers, however far away you are.

      Like

  3. DV says:

    I’m really sorry to hear about this outcome. You tried so hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. easetheride says:

    I’m so frustrated for you. I hear how defeated you sound and I am truly sorry that the system does not make it easy to get help. You are not, I repeat NOT, making a fuss over nothing. What you experience is real and painful and exhausting. I can’t imagine how you must feel having everyone keep passing you off to someone else. I hope that you will keep trying. I echo what the previous poster said: you are absolutely worth the fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you. It’s validating to hear that you feel that way. I will have to think of new avenues in private treatment and how to fund them. I’m not going to try and get help from the NHS anymore.

      Like

  5. smallgrapebigworld says:

    I relate to this so bad, I was assessed by the CMHT and referred to ED services and discharged from CMHT. A while later the ED service tried to get me back under the CMHT but my mental state declined too quick for anything to be done. Once I’d overcome that I was almost discharged from ED services to go back under the CMHT. It’s so annoying – where’s the integration, it’s entirely possible to take a holistic view to treat mental illnesses and having separate services seems so illogical and leaves many people – including me and you – stuck in limbo!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Sorry you’ve had such a rubbish experience too. I agree with you on holistic treatment, it makes no sense at all to keep separating it all out. But I am losing hope that the government will ever implement anything like that. It seems they say the right things and yet do nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. smallgrapebigworld says:

        Same 😞 they promise the money but it just never reaches where it needs to go

        Liked by 1 person

  6. La Quemada says:

    Reading this makes me so angry on your behalf. Here you are, knowing what you need, willing to make a huge effort, and there’s no help. This is completely wrong and unfair.

    And how can your issues be too complex? You can’t be the only one with an eating disorder and other mental health disorders–I mean, honestly, it’s not that uncommon. If they can’t deal with that, how can they even pretend that they are professionals?!?

    I’m so sorry you are running into this crazy wall, Laura. Don’t give up, please. You deserve skilled, informed care. You are so worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you for being angry on my behalf. I’ve run out of energy to be angry about it. Everyone deserves to get decent care, but it seems only those who can pay can really access it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. La Quemada says:

        I know! It’s a huge problem in the US, too.

        Like

  7. Hi this is a fantastic and honest post I’ve had exactly the same experience with the NHS dragging myself to ED assessments as it’s what everyone wanted only to be told they won’t help as I have BPD as well as anorexia so it’s too complex. Where is the holistic approach ? If I had cancer and a broken leg they wouldn’t treat only one of them ? I am thus trying to manage the anorexia on my own without much success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      I know it is utterly bonkers. I’m angry that you had this experience too. It’s not something a person can manage on their own, I can’t just shake it off. I’ve tried. It’s not that simple. I hope you get the support you need. A friend recommended I go to OA as although the title is overeaters it’s actually for all people who want to improve their relationship with food. Not sure if you’ve got a meeting in your area, but it might be worth looking into.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hiya I got told to go to anorexics anonymous but all the meetings are in London and I suffer from anxiety so it terrifies me getting the train and tube. I found a really good place called The Living Room but my people at the CMHT would give their ok for me to attend. It’s so hard and I feel like I don’t have anyone to help with the anorexia side of things.
        Your blog is really good by the way. I just started blogging at the weekend. You’re brave to write about your suicide attempts – I haven’t braved that yet.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s