It’s tough at the moment. More than tough and more than I can cope with. The only tiny bit of positivity is that a crisis nurse dragged me out yesterday to get some art supplies and, in the few brief bursts of minimal concentration since, I’ve been trying out a new technique: charcoal drawings. They’ve… Continue reading Drawing Through Darkness
Tonight, a lovely crisis nurse set me homework to draw a picture from one of the photos that I took with her manager on Friday. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I’ve had an awful day; I’ve been pathetic; I haven’t functioned and I wasn’t sure I could manage anything… Continue reading Artful Achievement
A year ago to the month, the Crisis Team Manager took me to a nature reserve to take some photos as a therapeutic intervention (I didn’t actually manage to take photos that day, but we still went out and spent time in nature). Today, she did the same things as part of a programme of ‘graded exposure’… Continue reading Graded Exposure to the World
Tonight I am incredibly thankful for an awesome crisis nurse who was patient, compassionate and funny over the phone to me both in the middle and right at the very end of her 15 hour shift today. She likely was in charge for most or all of the day, so goodness knows the strains she’s… Continue reading The Ones Who Make a Difference
Oh how I wish I could say this was a complete fantasy or massive exaggeration, however it is scarily close to the truth. In fact, in the past week alone, every single one of these things (and more) have been suggested or said to me (minus pouring the tea directly over my head whilst in the bath…but I’ve felt like doing so out of sheer desperation and frustration) and I have had constant responses such as this in the past. And it isn’t just me; what prompted me to draw this were several posts in the Mind Our Minds and Doodle Chronicles Peer Support Groups.
Time and again, highly vulnerable and distressed people are dismissed with condescending suggestions of having a bath/cup of tea/walk (even when certain of these things at certain times actually pose an additional risk) and/or are criticised and blamed for being acutely unwell, rather than being offered even a short amount of therapeutic interaction or appropriate assessment/intervention.
I do want to finish by saying that by no means am I suggesting that all crisis team staff act in this way (I have had 2 simply outstanding phone conversations with crisis team nurses over the past week, as well, which I hope to write about when I am able – this past post demonstrates the confusing and opposing approach of crisis team staff) and I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who do this demanding, undervalued and underpaid job with kindness and professionalism – you are true superheroes.
Yesterday. I honestly don’t know where to start with yesterday. Having had a peculiar and confusing appointment with the crisis team made at the last minute the day before, my mind was whirring and my anxieties were peaked to the extent that I didn’t get an iota of sleep. I was a mess all morning,… Continue reading From One Extreme to the Other in Mental Health Care