"Sadly you can't pause a mental health problem"

About: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I spent over a year asking and asking various people at this Trust for help with what had become very bad OCD, but was unable to get the help I so badly needed.

I ended up having to quit my job and move out of the home I was sharing with my partner, needless to say, very sadly the relationship didn't make it.

It appeared things were so badly run that one team didn't seem to know what the other was doing, one minute I was told I was on a waiting list, the next I was told that actually I'd not been accepted onto the waiting list but the person who'd referred me didn't know why.

I was told that there was a 'restructuring' underway, and so they 'couldn't' accept any new people onto a waiting list. Sadly you can't pause a mental health problem whilst someone far removed in an organisation decides to 'restructure'. I am surprised that this Mental Health Trust were not aware of that.

I'll also note here that, as well as asking for help from the people I spoke to, I also wrote letters asking for referrals and letters of complaint about how my case was being dealt with. I did not receive satisfactory answers to any of these.

The only 'therapy' I was offered whilst those I'd first been sent to tried to find out what was going on, was counselling sessions. I explained that this wasn't what NICE Guidelines recommended for OCD, but it's what this Trust offered me.

The counsellor seemed to know so little about OCD, I felt they were trying to convince me that actually my issues were to do with my childhood, relationships, etc. As well meaning as they no doubt were, if I'd not been as aware of OCD as I am, I think they would have done more harm than good.

At the end of the last session I had with the counsellor, (they ended as I'd explained that this approach was not helping with my OCD), they said they had learnt a lot about OCD from me and asked if they could have a hug.

Anyway, I've now finally received the therapy recognised as being successful in treating OCD, but via a research project and not this Trust.

I cannot express how let down I felt with this Trust, with the staff involved in my case, and those running the organisation in my opinion they did not put patients first during the restructuring and could not run an organisation which could communicate effectively with itself or its patients.

I hope that others have much better experiences with this Trust. If you have OCD and can get access to good quality CBT, it can make the world of difference.

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