"Mental Heath Services: Being forced into a box..."

I have had the unfortunate experience of being "assessed" at this centre three times, after discussing with my GP that my depression and anxiety had been getting worse despite having had numerous stable years on meds after much trial and error and many kinds of therapy. Not one of the practitioners has listened to me to the degree I feel they understand what my concerns are and what my treatment needs may be. Instead my three sessions have resulted in one doctor reporting I have a dependency on a drug I mentioned using once (that I do not and don't even have repeat prescription for), the same practitioner also told me in an verbal assessment that I was "talking too much". Again this same doctor, informed me that I clearly could not have an anxiety disorder as I didn't have an anxiety attack in the hour I was in their office. This is egregious and frankly irresponsible. Another assessor was so hostile towards me bringing in my partner for support, I felt unsafe. This same assessor and a further one, refused to listen to my symptoms instead, tried to convince me that I had a different problem altogether (despite years of successful treatment that speaks otherwise). I was sent away with a questionnaire that has so little to do with my condition, I could only conclude they are trying to force a diagnoses to fit their therapeutic offering. This borders on malpractice, I have lodged a formal complaint, engaged a mental health charity for advocacy and spoken to St Ann's PALs. Everyone in this unit seems to have an anti-psychopharmaceutical agenda, to the point that every person I saw, decided to question me on my "obsession" with drugs (I'm a pharmacologist and had also wanted my medication reviewed in addition to exploring therapy). You feel bullied down one path of group therapy even if it doesn't apply to one's condition. They are also ill-informed about SNRIs and the like which even for psychologists is inexcusable and made a point of telling me that I "might have to comply with the mentalisation therapy by coming off my medication at some point during the weekly 18 month therapy session. There were no other alternatives provided and not once did any of the practitioners I dealt with acknowledge that my existing diagnosis was valid or worth discussing. Avoid unless you are comfortable with being bullied into a Dx and subsequent treatment that treats you like you don't matter.

Story from NHS Choices

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