Occy health vs. mental health

Today I’m completely devoid of inspiration/motivation or anything positive. I had been doing so well. I went to the interview and answered the questions with some form of sanity. The issue is it’s clear from my age and looking at my CV that the job would very much be a stepping stone and I suspect they wanted someone who they know will be there for the long run. I tried to convince them but I don’t think I had much luck. I was also a bit dissociated so to me my voice felt slightly slurry and wirds kept tripping over each other and I think I rambled somewhat. But what’s done is done and I’m unlikely to know until early next week anywho.

I’m starting to realise that bad experiences with NHS occy health and mental health are not confined to me. This scares me. I want to be a nurse, in as much as I want to be alive that is what I want. I’m starting to realise this is going to be a lot more difficult than I initially anticipated. I have the experience and the passion but I also have the crazy. I think we’re on a cusp with the NHS and crazy. In the past, you wouldn’t have a hope and would probably just be locked up for life anyway. Now new anti-discrimination legislation and the power of lawyers, means they have to start taking it slightly more seriously. If anyone cares, the relevant policy can be found here. Basically it states what rights you have and what occupational health have to do. However, a lot of occy health people seem to be living in the past and basing their views on The Clothier Inquiry, 1994, an investigation into a truly crazy nurse who turned out to be a serial killer.

The report recomended that people with mental health difficulties be completely free of symptoms and treatment for at least 2 years prior to be considered for NHS employment. As stated in the above policy, this recommendation was never adopted by the NHS. However, occy health drs and nurses tend to get scared by crazy, something of which they generally have no knowledge, and go for the option of signing you off or not clearing you in the first place. Now technically they can’t do that. You have to have a psych review and all sorts according to the policy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be being followed, certainly not in my case. They told me I needed a psych review but then fired me before I had one, as I shouldn’t have had occy health clearance in the first place. But according to the policy, you need a psych review before occy health clearance can be rejected anyway. This is a shame as all my many and varied psychs have said there’s nothing whatsoever to stop me working in health care yet I’ve clearly been stopped and will probably be stopped again.

Now back to what I said about being on the cusp, enough people have to be prepared to fight their treatment by occy health at this stage in order to change the prevailing climate and make it easier for people in the future where policies are actually followed and discrimination is not allowed. Now this is just my opinion, I could be misinterpreting the information. I’m sure there must be good occy health staff out there, I’m just yet to meet them.

Which leads to the question of am I strong enough to take up the fight? I don’t feel like it. I spent last night in tears again because of the lack of support I’m getting. I was being truly obnoxious to Nick because I was after a fight. I end up saying whatever the most hurtful thing I could possibly say in any situation whether I mean it or not.

I still have no support network in place. Given I got a crisis referral to CMHT last Friday and a standard referral about a week before that you think they’d have got back to be by now. I need someone to talk to/at and to make me feel a bit less bonkers. I’m at home on me own all day as everyone has now gone back to work full time. Nick’s even doing an extra shift on Saturday so I won’t even get a weekend with him. He’d agreed it before I really flipped, but I’m feeling very needy at the moment, and selfishly I wish he’d pull out. But he needs space from me because I’m not a very nice person at the moment.

I’m glad my pills have been taken away from me because I’m really unstable again right now. I’d go down and see my GP, but I’ll just get sent home again no matter what I say or do. I did consider smashing up the surgery but thought I’d probably just end up in prison and that would really ruin any maybe future.

On the plus side, it’s snowing again, I like the snow.


4 Responses to Occy health vs. mental health

  1. Sorry that you’re in a bad place. Just wanted to let you know that I’m here if you need to rant. Not the same as a face-to-face I know.

    I wish I had some advice, if it’s any consolation Occy Health nurse said that I would become a nurse (eventually) and that there are plenty of nurses in the NHS with different flavours of mental – so it must be possible.

    Maybe we should organise a sit-in?

    Can you not see a different GP? Or at least go and ask if you can get a longer appointment in order to talk to/at them? Failing that what about the listening lines like the Samaritans (I’ve never tried them myself but they might be worth a go).

    I know what you mean about people needing space. My own boyfriend has pretty much run off because he can’t cope with anymore crazy – I think I’m giving him a mental illness. Still wish he didn’t have to go to work and leave me alone.

    Take care,

  2. Chapati says:

    Oh honey, I know what you mean about using your boyfriend as a ranting post, whether you mean to or not. I’ve been there; to a smaller extent – we broke up before I could get any worse, of which I’m glad!

    I think the best thing I did was realise that I had friends who were willing to support if I took the time to explain what I needed. Unfortunately by the time I realised that things had got far further than I ever thought possible. It wasn’t something I really thought about till I realised myself how unhappy I was – it was a real wake up call. Whilst they really can’t do anything at all about the stuff that is upsetting me, just knowing I am able to pick up the phone lifts me out of a black mood for long enough that I feel a little less…tense…despairing? It’s a bit of a tentative, rubbish, way of dealing with things really – it’s only a matter of time when a quick conversation won’t be enough of a distraction, but for now it works and buys me time to work out what to do.

    Anyway, I don’t know why I wrote any of that. I came over to say – I know it’s really not the same talking to someone you don’t really know, but I am quite happy to be talked at if you need it 🙂

  3. aims says:

    Having spent nine months on the psyche ward in my pajamas – I have some experience of life on the ‘inside’ or as I like to call it ‘on the hall’.

    The nurses who worked on that special unit were incredible. The best ones were the ones who had experienced some form of mental illness themselves. And they told me about it and talked to me about it. They really were the best.

    I’ve heard horror stories about mental health and the UK. I know you are up against a wall.

    My tendency is to shut people out. I turn off my phone and lock myself in so that I can rave at myself. I fake happiness when people come to help and I put up a huge wall.

    I feel that today – and my sadness is trying to overwhelm me and I don’t want to have anyone help me.

    I have learned that it is far easier to wallow in my despair than to do anything about it. It’s easier to be crazy than it is to be sane.

    Lately I’ve chosen the easy route – a lot.

    My sojourn ‘on the hall’ was in 1998. I have worked and worked at making myself better. Most of the time by myself because the doctors didn’t really care I felt. I hate it when they just sit and nod and make little notes. ‘Listen to me – actually listen to me’ is what I wanted to scream at them.


    Well now is a different story altogether. Now I want to help others. I want to try and keep people from going over the falls and getting sucked into the whirlpool. I know what I’m talking about – from where it all stems. And I know how to fight and struggle against the undertow.

    I also know that my saying – email me – is something you probably can’t do. My saying email Henry North London is something that you can’t do. Even though Henry is indeed a psychiatrist swimming in the same stream and fighting the GMC at the same time.

    I know that.

    It’s too hard. It’s reaching out to a ‘stranger’.

    Well fuck that. Just do it. Just write one line. Tell me something that hurts you right now. See if I understand or not. If I don’t – you don’t have to write me again. If putting it into words via a keyboard doesn’t help – then you’ve really only lost a few moments of your time. But give it a try sweetie. Please. I’m right here.

  4. I was feeling like this today

    Dont fret Tomorrow is another day and it can start afresh

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