When is this madness going to end?
It’s funny how quickly things can change. My situation was improving rapidly two months ago…
I’ve pointed out previously that I won’t get any help to deal with my fatigue. My oncologist has reached out to every unit at the hospital, and everyone refuse to help me. I have severe fatigue, a severe depression. However, I don’t fall in the category necessary to receive help from any of the specialist units. I simply don’t have the correct diagnosis. I’ve fallen through the cracks. I concluded this months ago in previous posts.
Subsequently, during this depression, it’s been my GP (general practitioner) who’s helped me. I had suicidal thoughts, I was completely knocked out one year ago. Still, it was my GP who helped me, despite me having a contact at the psychiatric unit at the hospital.
Interrupted by psychologist when I was about to bring up sexual abuse
At my local health clinic, there are two psychologists. I’ve written about them before, but I want to add something about one of them. Here’s my take on the other one.
So, during the worst part of my depression, I got in contact with a psychologist at my local health clinic (Capio Vårdcentral, Sävja). I’d had her before, and it went fine.
However, this time it was different, now I had severe issues. First of all, I had to wait three weeks to see her, during the most critical phase in the depression. I got a three-minute meeting (literally three minutes) prior to this, to let her know roughly what I wanted to talk about.
Once at the meeting, I did what many others do; I started with some small, less relevant stuff before I wanted to move on to the big thing, the difficult part. I wanted to tell her something I’d only told my immediate family. She’d have the first one outside my family I told this to. I wanted to tell her that I was sexually abused as a child by my uncle, most likely during a New Year’s Eve celebration. Somehow, for some reason, he found “us”. He intervened, interrupted the abuse, but never went to the police nor speak of it again. I was around age five or six. I feel as though the adverse effects of this have been limited, although I do believe that this is the reason that I am a control freak. Still, it’s there, and it’s the reason I have no contact with my father. This psychologist still doesn’t know, unless my GP wrote it in my medical records.
OK, so what happened then? Well, just as I was going to say the words, tell her about this, she started to shush me, told me to be quiet. I got confused, so I tried to keep talking. She just spoke louder and louder, not allowing me to get a word in. I remember she said that “We’re doing ACT-therapy, it’s science based, it works”. “This session is over.” I was in complete chock after this, I can’t remember exactly what else she said or did, I can’t remember the walk home. I couldn’t believe what just happened. This was when my mother called the person in charge of this clinic, who laughed at my mother and said that “She’s one of the most competent psychologists in Uppsala”. I don’t feel that I need to explain further why I never want to see her again, and why I have no respect for the person in charge of this clinic. I would change clinic, but then I’d have to change GP, which I simply can’t. I know the one I have can deal with a complicated situation, unlike the one before her who caused the depression.
I told this to the nurse at the psychiatric unit…
… But it doesn’t seem to matter. If I want a psychologist, I have to turn to another health clinic. They say it’s because I’m on too many medications for my mental health, as such they can’t diagnose me. Then, they say, I can’t get a psychologist because they don’t know which kind of treatment I should receive. They too follow this evidence-based regime, that have worked so well for me in the past… They don’t offer someone to just talk to anymore, the public healthcare system. It’s all I need now though, it’s what I had with my psychologist who recently had to quit. As such, I receive no help, at all, apart from three antidepressants and other medications as well. Of course, the obvious question is: how the hell am I supposed to get off of those medications if I receive no help?
I didn’t expect I’d react like this to losing my psychologist. Still, I did inform the psychiatric unit at Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala of the fact that my psychologist was going to quit, and why it was impossible for me to ask the other psychologists at the local clinic for help, but they didn’t set up a transition plan for me. I didn’t ask for one specifically, although I said I needed help finding someone new to talk to. It’s not enough to ask though, not these days in Sweden. You have to fight, tooth and nail to get the help you’re entitled to. Very few things “just work”. You have to keep track of when you’re meant to have a follow-up on a specialist clinic because you can’t trust that they will. Now, if like me, when you’re going to five different ones, and you also need to keep track of blood samples to a degree, it’s overwhelming. You can’t just call once and wait two weeks for a response either, because chances are they forgot if they haven’t called back.
Turning to my GP – again – and why your GP HAVE to be best-of-the-best
For those not getting this yet, getting help from specialist units in Sweden, Uppsala, is pretty much impossible. It’s likely similar in other parts of Sweden as well, although I can’t verify. I’m used to fighting to get the care I need, my family helps me as well. Still, it’s difficult. This is why I need a good GP. She’s got contact with my oncologist, who may have found someone who could help with my fatigue, maybe, sometime. She’d speed that up if possible.
I realise some might seem that I am in fact getting help through this, but when you’re having a depression, “maybes” and “we’re not sure when” doesn’t really help. In that time, your mental health could deteriorate quickly. Suddenly, you’ve got yet another medication or two. Some even end up committing suicide. Let’s also not forget that it’s been a year since it was concluded I needed help to deal with this fatigue… For now, I’m stranded. Maybe for a few days, a few weeks, a few months – and if this person who might be able to help won’t, years.
Frustration and Somebody Else
I react perhaps extra harshly to these recent events because I’m frustrated with the healthcare system as it is and has been. I’ve said this many times before; I was completely duped by my oncologists for ~10-14 years. Yet, although my oncologist, neurologist, GP and pretty much all specialists I’ve been in contact with now have concluded that I needed and need help, I still didn’t and aren’t get any from any clinic what so ever, except by my GP. This frustration has been growing stronger and stronger. And, it’s growing stronger yet.
Everyone’s clear on the fact that I need extensive help, but it’s Somebody Else who should provide this help. Does anyoIne have the number to this a “Somebody Else” so I could call him/her, please?