Do I count as a guest blogger?

Hello, it’s ‘the partner’ here!

I usually write over at our Bipolar blog, but today I am writing here as S is too ill to blog. I’m sorry this post is so long, it’s more of an account of what’s happening and a vent too I guess.

We’ve had a rough day. S’s Bipolar/whatever-it-is has steadily gotten worse since we first noticed her symptoms. However over the last few years it seems to have evolved. S now has constant psychosis, every single day, outside of any significant mood episode. That is not Bipolar.

Yesterday was rough, but today was one of the worst days we’ve had. I have never seen S so panicked or terrified! She couldn’t talk or her voice would wobble, she was constantly fighting tears and she couldn’t breathe properly.  I have never seen anybody feel so immensely scared.

Back in early November S’s GP sent an urgent referral to a psychiatrist through a service called Single Point of Access. We didn’t hear from them for two months, so I called S’s GP and when he looked at the system it said SPOA had sent out a letter (which we never got) and because they hadn’t heard from us they ‘assumed’ we didn’t need help and discharged us. Ever heard the saying ‘couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery’?

The GP was furious with this and contacted them again, and last week we actually received a letter. There was no appointment but a number I could call.

I phoned them today and spoke to someone, they asked some questions about S’s symptoms and then gave us an appointment for tomorrow. We have never had an appointment given to us so quickly.

At the end of the call with SPOA they told me to phone Crisis Team if needed. They didn’t tell me who we will be seeing tomorrow, if they are in fact a psychiatrist or anything like that which seems odd.

A couple hours later S was unrecognisible, she was breaking. Do I take her to A&E, phone the GP and try squeeze in an urgent appointment, or phone Crisis Team? I phoned Crisis Team.

We have seen Crisis Team many times over the year, and we both hate the service. Every time we have seen them they haven’t helped at all and have always made things worse. Every. Single. Time. Guess what? Today was no different.

The man I was talking to had no interest in helping or sending someone out. I told him about the psychosis, the paranoia, the over-whelming anxiety…and he spent ten minutes talking about calm breathing (dear god…), and told me to phone SPOA to ask if they could push the appointment forwards. They had told me to phone Crisis Team! It was already close to 4pm, SPOA wouldn’t see us after 5pm and it’s over 90 minutes travel to get to them…Crisis Team are a 24/7 service!

Surprisingly Raiden has been amazing with S, and has managed to calm her down far more than I have. Not just with snuggles and helping her focus with his training, but when she is depressed or panicked he will lick her face for minutes on end. It is amazing and I am v. grateful to that little pup.

We took Raiden for a walk as he needed one, but just to the nearby field to try keep it as stress-free for S as possible.

That went well…Some fool let their Border Collie off lead by the road, only we didn’t know until S spotted it at the far side of the field (60+ft away), on a hill. It was doing the intense Collie stare. S saw it before Raiden did so we were able to pick him up and start walking away.

Well the Collie raced across the field and was so intense, in a way that only a herding breed can be. Hard stares, super alert body language, jumping up, sprinting in circles around me, nipping my legs. We did not need this, and Raiden was going CRAZY wriggling and screaming in my arms. This was so unfair.

S was freaking. She couldn’t body block the dog because it was moving so fast, I was struggling to walk because the dog was so close to my feet, and S didn’t want to grab the Collie’s collar because of its body language. She told me to walk away from the Collie, then she turned towards where the Collie came from (where the owner was, not that we could see them) and yelled at the top of her voice “CAN YOU GET YOUR DOG IMMEDIATELY!”

There was no reply, the owner didn’t appear. Raiden was screaming so loud he would easily have been heard by the dog’s owner. We were halfway down the road, Collie still circling and nipping, when an owner appeared a couple hundred feet away, bellowing for the dog. The Collie had fairly good recall but it should not have been allowed off lead or allowed to run so far away.

S didn’t take her eyes off the owner as we walked away, and she held up her hands like “wtf?”. The man stared at her for a while and then eventually shouted “sorry”. He is lucky she wasn’t any closer.

I feel sorry for Raiden and I feel sorry for S. I am furious with the other dog owners in this area, and I am livid with the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment team. For a service that are supposed to help those in crisis, it is disgusting.


26 thoughts on “Do I count as a guest blogger?

  1. Nothing drives me more crazy than not having your dog on a leash. We have a problem with that in my neighborhood- along with dogs who can easily jump their fences. Very frustrating…especially when you’re trying to keep it stress free. Hope all is well.

    • I think we’ve had really bad encounters with five off lead dogs this past month, it’s so exhausting and is ruining our walks. Our other dog was bothered by an off lead Lab a few weeks ago, and the dog ended up running towards a busy road as the owner screamed her name. Yesterday we saw the same dog chilling off lead by the same busy road as the owner stood and chatted. I just don’t understand how you can willingly put your dog/s in such danger.

      Do you have strict leash laws where you live? If so does it help at all? There aren’t any lead laws in the UK (other than keeping your dog on lead by roads, which people ignore) and everybody seems to think *all* dogs need to be walked off lead.

      Thank you.

  2. We are so sorry you are both going through this. Mom and I knows panic attacks, anxiety, and depression inside and out. That is bad enough on it’s own without the others. Mom has spoken with S via email and knows how hard of a time she had been having. It’s a shame that it’s so hard to get help for mental health issues. It’s the same here in America. Just know, we’re both here for both of you. *ear licks* Noodle and Mom Samantha

  3. I wish I could help you! Please inform us about any news as soon as possible!
    In my country, the best psychiatrical and neurological institute has been closed some years ago, and the mental health services have been considerably reduced, too. Incomprehensible. What a relief that S has you and Raiden! You are fantastic!!!!

    • Thank you, what a wonderful thing you’ve said to me, thank you! It seems mental health isn’t taken seriously or treated as it should be most everywhere, in lots of different countries. I just can’t understand it.

  4. aaahhhh, it’s been too long since I’ve been online since this “S” also has her very own similar issues and unfortunately does not have such a wonderful Partner in her life. I do have a wonderful pup in my life which helps a lot. please let S know i’m thinking of her and sending big virtual hugs from Australia. please have her watch Karma’s latest video – I think she’ll like it.

    • Haha I had to come check out my blog because my partner said there was a Karma video 🙂 I’m sorry you are going through something similar, take care of yourself xxx

  5. I saddened and shocked by the lack of help in the mental health sector, I hope you get the help that is so desperately need, not just for S but for you as well, I’m thinking of you both x

    • Aww thank you 🙂 I’ve taken over the blog again today (can’t leave it with my partner too long haha) but I think he wants to start ‘borrowing’ it more now, he was really surprised by the helpful and supportive comments people left us…every comment really does bring a smile to our faces, so thank you 🙂

  6. I care for my mum who has mental health issues as well as physical ones, and like you and S, but for different reasons, feel let down by the medical profession. Mum also has a dog, but we are at the opposite pole here: our dog is great with everyone but other dogs, and it’s such a shame we can’t enjoy a walk! I always have to have him on a lead and frequently have to walk the other way, as he is so aggressive to other animals.
    I wish you all well. xxx

    • I’m sorry the health care services have let you and your mum down too, it seems like such a common problem everywhere, it’s horrible 😦 Walking aggressive / reactive dogs certainly isn’t usually a calming experience haha, but it’d be so much easier if people taught their dogs recall or kept them on lead…it’s so unfair when off lead dogs go up and bother an on lead aggressive dog.

      Thank you very much 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 I’ve spoken with a few people and read quite a few blogs where people have had similarly shocking experiences with Crisis Team…it’s absolutely disgusting.

      • I think its because there is not enough money in the system for mental health, the problem with that is you can’t seem like you don’t care when talking to someone who is down, it just reaffirms what they were thinking that no one gives a shit

    • Thank you, we appreciate both the comment and the hugs!

      The appointment S was given (which we were told was with a psychiatrist who could prescribe medications) was actually with a mental health nurse who wasn’t able to do anything. She said she would phone a week later to give us an appt with a psychiatrist, but she didn’t phone – I phoned her two days after she was supposed to ring, and she said nothing had been sorted but she would phone us in another week’s time (which should be today).

      In the meantime things have been getting worse; I phoned Crisis Team, NHS 111 & our GP to try get help and S is now on sedatives…this is infuriating, the only reason she is doped up is because the NHS won’t rush an appt with a psychiatrist to prescribe proper anti psychotics for her!

      I feel we’ve been really let down by the system. I know it’s slow going, and of course there will be waiting lists, but we’ve been waiting for an urgent referral to a psychiatrist since November. It’s a long time when every day is such a struggle.

      I know we can get through it, it just breaks my heart to see how much S is struggling and I know she feels horrible about what she is putting me through.

      Sorry for such a long reply and waffling on. But thank you very much for the comment.

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