"Left without support"

About: Bridgend Lhb Cardiff And Vale NHS Trust

(as the patient),

hi there, the following is my experience of last year, the worst year of my life. I am a sufferer of long term chronic mental health problems, and in earlier life was frequently admitted to psychiactric wards, until 10 years ago. during the last ten years i was under the care of community mental health teams,and in 2006, i came under the care of the cardiff community mental health team. At the end of 2010, me and my psychiatrist decided to try and see what i would be like without the antipsychotic medication that i had been on for most of my life. i was tapered off it in several weeks, under her direction, but suddenly within a month of coming off, i collapsed at my home, and for want of a a better description, became, suddenly completely incapacitated. my body couldn't stop writhing around, and my voice, of its own accord began coming out in different accents. its was terrifying.

Evidently, it seemed my brain was reacting or had gone into some kind of shock of something.thankfully for me, my mother lives near by, and was i was able to stay with her. during this time, we repeatedly rang the c.m.h.t, panicking , asking what was happening to me, but they would not let me speak to my psychiatrist, saying she would see me at my outpatient appointment in 3 months time.the family were terrified, as i was unable to feed, wash or be on my own, it was as if i had brain damage, and my mother had to take time off work to care for me. during this time we rung the team also to ask if they knew of any care workers who could look after me so my mother could go to work, and the team did not get back to us.

In fact, of the countless times my mother rung asking for help from them, not once did anyone get back to us. On on occasion, my mum was categorically told by a duty worker one day that they did not feel that it was ' appropriate to respond' . my mother then broke down in tears. We felt completely alone, with no help and no answers as to why this was happening. the only thing we could do was hope that it was some kind of withdrawal reaction.

Unfortunately before the outpatient appointment came around, i had escalated into a psychotic mania, and my family had to ring an ambulance to take me to hospital. i was then admitted as an inpatient. the nurses on arrival, were pretty sure i needed to be put back on my tablets , that it was evident. unfortunately, my own psychiatrist was the consultant on the ward, and after giving me a quick test to check i hadn't been brain damaged, discharged me after 2weeks, without stabilising me i.e. i was still very evidently manic, and still speaking in strange accents very fastly. two weeks later at an out patient appointment with the same psych, still presenting as exactly the same, i was told to maybe just ' try and get on with life' , and 'get out and about' and that if people were alarmed at my speech then i was to tell them to 'bear with me'!

She could give no explanation as to why any of this had happened, but she was sure it would all settle down'.....fast forward to a year later, in which i attempted to kill myself twice, became so isolated due to this neglected state i was in that i stopped eating and lay in bed for weeks, ending up in a paranoid psychosis alternating with mania. i even tried to attack my mother with a knife in this time. all off these incidents were reported to the c.m.h.t, but they did not respond at all, on one occasion, my mother pleaded with them to give me a cpm, and they said they would 'try and discuss it at their next team meeting' and we never heard anything bk from them.

my g.p was sympathetic to the way i was being treated and on a number of occasions tried to intervene, but he said unfortunately his hands were tied as it was their area of expertise. the only way i managed to get treated in any of this, was to move out of my area(cardiff) and register with a different g.p. and c.m.h.t. and hope and pray for them to see me and help me. and i had to do all this solely with the help of my mother, who I'm eternally grateful,and would not be here today without.

i was admitted back to hospital in bridgend at the end of 2011 and was thankfully stabilised there after a year of hell, but this was not without its price. As i became more and more demented and paranoid toward the end of the year from lack of help, and what I feel is outright neglect from the services in cardiff, i drank cider for a few days to try and self medicate my illness. as a vulnerable woman, mentally ill and intoxicated, i walked my neighbourhood in the night alone, and in the week that i drank one night i was sexually assaulted and robbed . only then a few days later was i admitted to the hospital in bridgend, were i was treated very well, and finally put back on the tablets that i had needed .i now get seen by this team and my mind is back to normal, but unfortunately, i have a post traumatic stress from the way i was treated in that year. i.e i get nightmares about it, cry every day,and have severe trust issues. with the help of a psychologist, that i am paying privately for, i am slowly having to recover from this now too. i will never forgive the cardiff c.m.h.t and what they did. the only thing that is keeping me join currently is hoping that i will recover enough from the trauma of it, so that i can get involved in campaign work to ensure that no on else will be treated or left neglectfully in the way i was.

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