"My family have to deal with my illness alone"

About: Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

Several months ago my daughter phoned an ambulance for me because I was apparently talking unusually. The ambulance came and I said I was fine but clearly I wasn't. I went on to have three months of psychosis which I have never experienced to such a great extent before. I was taken off my antidepressants because this could apparently make me high and was given nothing else to help with the psychosis. After three months I hit absolute rock bottom.

Psychiatry is so hit and miss. The worst part about this is, is that my GP is now agreeing with them and saying that I have a 'vivid imagination'. So my family had to deal with my illness all alone which is hard enough and to be disbelieved by help professionals is worrying.

I appreciate that finance is a big part in all of this and there is no magic bullet. I feel there is no point complaining to anyone because you just get treated worse (not by everyone) and people close ranks. As a patient or a carer you are at their mercy and I feel you have to tread ever so carefully. It's a worry to say the least.

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Response from Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Patient Woman,

Thanks for getting in touch to let us know how you feel.

Your experience sounds distressing for you and your family, I would like to apologise if this was the case. You said your family had to deal with your illness alone, this is certainly not acceptable.

I am also concerned that you feel by complaining about your experience you will be treated worse and people will close ranks. Can I assure you that we take all complaints and concerns very seriously and encourage all staff to be open and honest. I am more than happy to discuss this with you if you would like to meet with me, or contact me by telephone.

If you would like me to contact the ambulance service, your GP and the community mental health team who provided your care I am happy to do so and will arrange for your concerns to be investigated and a co-ordinated written response sent to you. To do this I would need your name, address and date of birth. My contact details are below and you can contact me in whatever way suits you best.

The Freephone number is 0800 587 4793, or you could email customercare@gmw.nhs.uk.

Alternatively, you can write to me: Judith Williams, Customer Care Team, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Trust HQ, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3BL.

I hope you get in touch.

Best wishes,

Judith Williams

Customer Care Manager

Update posted by Patient Woman (the patient)

Thank you for your kind response. The ambulance service were lovely and my GP has been very supportive. I understand my condition is hard to treat but I am scared. I am able to access drop-ins and out-of-hours helplines. I will ring you for a chat.