Quit labelling me…I am not an item of food in need of an ingredients list.

The mental health system here irritates me. There’s not enough funding, so the waiting lists are very long…and generally I feel sometimes like I’m the toy in a game of pass the parcel. I’m a complex case, and that’s not making anyone’s life easier – least of all my own. However, I don’t deny the fact the staff trying to compete with no funding and huge waiting lists *do* generally try their hardest and work very hard.

In some ways I guess the lengthy waiting lists for trauma-based psychotherapy may help; people have to find a way of coping in the interim and maybe this empowers them. But what if there is nothing? Or what if they don’t know where to look? What if they’re not lucky enough to have a group of friends who’re prepared to help?

It is not my friends’ responsibility to be my pseudo care-in-the-community. I argued this with a doctor once who told me the waiting list was longer so that they found someone who was trained enough, because I was a “complex case”…but in the next breath said how amazing it was that my friends would help me, and help me process the trauma. I agreed that it was amazing, especially as they had no training…and certainly not the amount that any mental health doctor had…and exactly how could an argument of who’s most professionally trained be valid if they’re happy for my friends to do their job?

Annoying. Did they not understand what it did to my head watching my friends’ tired faces the morning after an extreme flashback? They were compassionate always, and assured me that they could walk away at any time…and they were caring and kind and I’m indescribably grateful. But seeing the impact it had quite obviously caused me some upset, especially so when the professionals would do nothing to help. Several times I took myself to A&E after attempting suicide or feeling very suicidal, and was sent home to be watched over by my friends; the responsibility was passed onto them, despite it not being their job and despite them having their own lives. The only time I got admitted was when I begged. Interestingly I was listened to more when I went to hospital alone, because suddenly if they discharged me I was leaving on my own and at risk. I was on my own, crying and bleeding, and saying “I can’t do this.” Suddenly, they listened, and I was admitted.

At what point can a person receive proper help here? Am I actually supposed to have stopped breathing before they can do anything?

But anyway. My issue at the moment is that of “labelling.” When they do get you, they label you with so much!! Here’s what I have been labelled with so far:

-Depression (true)
-Anxiety (true)
-PTSD (true)
-OCD tendencies (true)
-Anorexia (was true. Not now…I feel)
-Borderline Personality Disorder (disagree)
-Agoraphobic (absolutely the opposite to the truth)
-Schizophrenic (this label was dropped, thankfully, but keeps cropping back up)
-Autistic (suggested, but dropped – I think – as it’s not true)
-ADHD (not true, and dropped)
-Bipolar (suggested but dropped, as it’s not true).

Thankfully the majority of wrong labels have been dropped, or weren’t formal diagnoses but what was said to me. However, it continues to stand that they believed that based on…what?? And what use is applying more labels to me?

I was abused. I have PTSD (which was surprisingly one of the latter labels) and the umbrella that is PTSD has caused other issues. If you address the trauma, and address the PTSD…the rest will follow. How is this so hard to see? The depression is part of the PTSD; it won’t go away if the PTSD isn’t addressed.

Some say that the more labels mean I will get more help. But I don’t agree – if it’s the wrong kind of help then what use is that? If I start receiving help for agoraphobia, then what help is that going to actually be? It doesn’t help me having labels stuck to me over and over, and then taken away.

I am a survivor of abuse = PTSD. There need be no more than that.

Schizophrenia has cropped up a few times, but thankfully the latest doctors have been more accepting of the fact that hallucinating abusers is part of the PTSD.

I do wonder though; how many more labels will come up before I get better? I am now luckily receiving trauma-based psychotherapy, but still seeing other doctors.

I wonder… where will the system take me next.

Here are my own labels:
-me
-musician
-small
-female
-gay
-survivor
-writer
-barmy
-student
-hair dye problems
-steel drummer
-singer
-poor fashion sense
-humour
-ptsd…complete with depression, anxiety, hallucinations..and everything else which makes life fun….
-living, not simply existing.

I like my own labels more 🙂 I think I’ll just hold them as my identity, thank you very much NHS.

J

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