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Mental health nurse notes


For mental health practice articles, news and opinion in one place, go to the Nursing Times mental health homepage.


Readers' comments (20)

  • My daughter (40) is currently under the 'care' of the Guildford Mental Health Services. She has been treated for a bi-polar/boarder line personality disorder condition for several years. However, after watching numerous documentaries adout the behaviour symptoms of Asberger's Syndrome, her mother and I felt she may well have been suffering from it, but because it was unknown in her formative years, it could have been undiagnosed.

    She lives alone in a single bedroom flat; until recently had been living on a diet of pizzas, because she feared going out of the flat in case she 'lost control' as she describes it. Her hygiene leaves a lot to be desired.

    In spite of all this she has been given a 'careplan, and has a CPN, who repeatedly, cancels his appointments with h,er, owing to' attending meetings' contact. However, apart from a pschiatrist meeting at irregular intervals.

    At her last one, in December, her mother and I were invited to attend. I brought up the issue of Asperger's Syndrome, and although her previous psychiatrist dismissed the notion, he told us he would arrange an appointment for her to see a specialist in the field. Secondly, he said he would arrange for her to attend an 'anger management course'.

    To date, none of these recommendations have been carried out. On top of all that, she has had her invalidity allowance stopped, because they think she is 'suitable' to seek work.

    She is not a malingerer, because until the time she became so depressed with the way she felt about herself and sought help from the mental health services, she'd had numerous jobs on and off since she left school. She never stayed in them very long, because her behaviour always interfered with her communication skills and interpersonal relationships; as a result she 'couldn't cope in the work situation and usually was dismissed.

    I think it is disgusting that her benefits have been removed at a point where she is still receiving care under the psychiatric services, hasn't been fully assessed and has not been officially discharged as being fit by her psychiatrist.

    It appears to me the government will stoop as low as they can to recover money from the vulnerable, who by the very nature of their mental health problems, are in no position to defend their rights.

    I would be interested to hear from anybody who is experiencing a similar situation.

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  • it would seem that benefits should not be stopped before consultation with the patient, their family with their permission, the treating team and the consultant in charge.

    Government departments who do not know the patient and their history, except on paper, are not in a position to make clinical judgements on a patient's needs.

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  • from Anonymous | 8-Mar-2012 9:05 am

    so frustrating that one cannot edit and add to one's comments after they have been submitted as on some other sites.

    I would just like to add to the above that I find it sad when people have health problems that these can be exacerbated by so much loss of energy and time by the patient and or family having to battle to have their queries answered or their needs met. It seems in an age of increasing IT, automation, reductions in staff and increasing demands, it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to find who is responsible when up against public services and government or local authorities. It is just like banging one's head against a very solid and high brick wall! Nobody is prepared to listen and even more to help individuals with their problems. Yet if people are unable to comply with the constantly changing rules they are held totally responsible for their behaviour and may be forced into adverse situations where they have to face the consequences.

    Iama Cynic | 7-Mar-2012 11:26 pm

    I wonder whether you have approached any of the MH charities
    who can often offer helpful advice and publish fact sheets. Although some may not be able to give advice on an individual basis.

    I am not familiar with these organisations but note there are several on the Internet and I believe some are listed in the BT phone book. It is obviously important to seek out a reputable and reliable one. Some are also dedicated to specific disorders. I believe two of the most well known are MIND and the Mental Health Foundation. The Royal College of Psychiatrists also has a useful page for the public and Borderline UK run by sufferers may also be helpful.

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  • Thank you, 'Anonymous', for your encouraging words of support and suggestions.

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  • Just a note to update my daughter's dilemma, she has been in touch with an organisation called 'Matrix', which supports people with mental health issues. So hopefully she will get the advice she needs to make her appeal to have her benefits reinstated.
    It makes me feel quite ill when I hear about all the wheeling and dealing these hypocritical MPs get up to gaining mi££ions of' tax payers' hard earned cash, for themselves, yet, they have the audacity to take the only source of income away from those in need of it.
    My children will gain something out of our meagre assets, such as they are, from my and I when we pass on... so, I guess instead of enjoying our 'retirement years, we will have to die prematurely, just to help them out financially.

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  • Anonymous | 26-Mar-2012 9:54 pm

    from Anonymous who wrote comments above

    thank you very much for the update. I do hope 'Matrix' will be able to offer you and your daughter the help you need. It is appalling that people already with so many difficulties have all these additional and needless problems and worries.

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  • Thank you. It makes all the difference when someone else understands what we are going through.

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  • Further ton my previous entries, I am writing to let you know my daughter has had a serious relapse in her mental health, and in a emotional situation recently, has 'self harmed' once again. Her HP has dosed her up with large doses of tranquillisers, and her face is covered with self inflicted scratches and bruises.
    Why she carries out this behaviour on herself is difficult to comprehend.
    This episode arose as a result of an accumalation of stressful events, and, possibly because of the removal of her 'benefits'. She is, unemployable, in arrears in her rent money, and is currently delving into whats left of her dwindling savings.
    Thanks David Cameron for your personal interference contribution towards this unpleasant. situation. I hope you spend the savings on something really useful!

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  • Anonymous | 16-Apr-2012 10:39 am

    from the second anon. who wrote all the other comments above.

    there is an enormous wealth of info. on the Internet on why people are driven to self harm and much based is on the personal experience of the contributors. Although it is hard to generalise some of the information to individuals I think many of the explanations must be a fair description of feelings, emotions and difficulties with impulse control in addition to all the underlying neurological processes.

    It is shameful that such extreme difficulties, and the enormous energy and effort to keep or to get one's life
    back in order, should be hampered and thwarted by such obstacles from the government and the authorities who now appear to driven not by empathy and compassion but solely by money and greed.

    Even those who had previously no mental or other health problems are rapidly being driven to them by all these sudden changes in our society and in difficulties in personal situations so it must be far harder for those already needing support and assistance which one now seems to have to fight for.

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  • Thank you for your comment. The saddest thing about all this, is, my daughter, who is still under the care of the Mental Health Services,says her Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) has 30 other clients on his case load, in the same position as her - all apealing against losing their benfits - and as yet, the, the Mental Heath Team, seem to be at a loss of how to treat her individual needs. The only thing her GP is able to offer her is sedating medication - the equivolent of a chemical 'Straight Jacket' - which makes her feel so stuporosed that they interfere with her concentration, memory which, causes her to feel lethargic, with even less energy, motivation, or to show any interest in her personal needs.

    The behavioural in Interventions, i.e., such as anger management, and or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) she was referred for, over a year ago, hasn't materialised - due to Health cuts, staff shortages, and lack of necessary funding.

    I suppose those of us who don't need the Mental Health Services should consioder ourselves fortunate, because if we did... there isn't any.
    The National Health Service in this country is deteriorating in much the same way the patients it should be providing care to do.
    Without sufficient funds, staff, and the functionable facilities how on earth can you expect people to get the treatment they need? Unfortunately, there aren't enough, 'Secret Millioaires' to donate the money. Alas, and I know this sounds have only got those well known millioaires, namely, bankers, MPs and the like, who have lied, deceived and been unscupulous in any way they needed, in order to gain their wealth, at the expense of the aged, sick and dying, and other vulnerable individuals in our community.
    It wouldn't mtter to her if she was wealthy or not... you can't buy mental health, but in our material world she does need the money to get by.

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