"It's good to talk"
About: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Adult mental health North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust Adult mental health ST2 8LD
Posted by lizzie82 (as ),
A conversation. That’s all it would take for me. Someone to tell me that they understand how I feel. That the mass of emotion welling up in me is normal. That I’m normal.
It doesn’t sound like much to ask from a community mental health team. After all, they’re qualified. They know what their talking about.
Trying to change lifelong patterns of behaviour is no mean feat and giving up self harming is one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. I have had help and I have had support. The plan of action: before I act on my thoughts to self harm, I contact my community mental health team (CMHT). There lies the problem: at the same time as this I’ve also been taught distraction techniques and that by putting off self harming and delaying it for a few hours the number of cuts on my arm will be reduced.
So before calling anyone I distract myself. I try not to think about it. ‘Make a cup of tea’ they say. ‘Watch TV’. ‘Do some exercise’. So I do. But I can never distract myself for longer than the thoughts are present. Inevitably I get to the point when I’m all distracted out. So I stick to the plan. I call the CMHT. Their advice? Most of the time, it's to try distracting myself and call back later if I feel no better.
Now I’m not expecting miracles. As much as I wish it wasn’t true, I do know that they don’t actually have a magic wand to wave which makes everything ok. But some understanding? Some empathy? Some time to talk? Is it really that difficult?
Some staff take the time to talk you through how you are feeling but there are others who seem to want to get you off the phone as soon as possible. My biggest concern is the weekend closure of the bedded units in the area. Is anyone able to offer any reassurance that this situation will improve given the new changes? Or is it more likely that staff will have less time and will be more stressed and therefore more keen than ever to encourage me to just rely on making a cup of tea as a distraction?