"Acute staff and Mental Health Care"
About: St James's University Hospital / Accident and emergency St James's University Hospital Accident and emergency Leeds LS9 7TF
Posted by Minnie13 (as ),
Having been very unwell these past 8 months with depression I have taken a number of overdoses to sedate myself from the extreme distress. This has led to multiple admissions via A&E to medical wards at St James's Hospital, Leeds. This is my first experience of mental health problems and it has led to hopelessness, fear, confusion, shame, guilt and despair. I have found the degree of distress incredibly difficult to manage especially as I have always been very controlled emotionally and functioned to a high level.
To be admitted in such a degree of distress feels hugely shameful and has led to even more distress as others have then witnessed my despair. Throughout the admissions there has rarely been any clinical staff apart from some of the paramedics and the self harm team who have shown any degree of care, kindness or compassion.
The majority of the clinical staff have done the bare minimum to ensure I am ok, have not tried to ease the distress, have not asked if I am ok or offered support. I have been made to feel increasingly stigmatised and one Dr told me I was wasting their medical bed.
I am dismayed to see that in the realms of medical care at a renowned hospital the attitudes of general nursing and medical staff still remains one of judgement and misunderstanding. To be in such distress is the most frightening experience one can endure. There is so much confusion, despair, fear and isolation when struggling with a mental health problem.
It would be a huge step forward if acute staff were taught how to care for those patients who attend after overdosing to minimise distress and shame to help these patients believe that someone does care about their admission and wants to offer care to help them in their recovery.