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Rebecca's Story - Part 2

By Rebecca

Medicine is opinion


I am now 44 with an adult son and I’m waiting for trauma psychology - the journey for this treatment has taken approximately seven years. In the last two years my mental health has been worse than it has ever been and 18 months ago I had my first hospital admission and a year later I had a second. It is thought by the mental health teams that I am perimenopausal and this is affecting mental health. One psychiatrist told me there was nothing I could do but I thankfully soon ignored him and saw the GP who started HRT whilst commenting that HET could potentially save my life. During my second admission a different psychiatrist agreed that it was probably perimenopause affecting my mental health but shrugged and said that HRT didn’t always work. I asked if we were just going to see if I survived my menopause and he laughed, it was not a joke. I have to had to pay for a private menopause appointment which I have soon and my GP fully supports this.


I have been talking about PTSD to psychiatrists for over 20 years and asking for an assessment but unlike an EUPD diagnosis which is just thrown out there with no discussion or assessment there has been significant push back around an assessment for PTSD. Multiple excuses; needs to be done in trauma work and ’we don’t like to label’. I asked again during my last admission and I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD with no assessment and absolutely no explanation or information. The work to understand what Complex PTSD means to me is just starting. Assessment is far more useful than diagnosis but the only assessment I have had is my autism assessment and I paid for that. I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD because over the years I have had further trauma experiences which include my interactions with services. I have developed a trauma response to accessing the services I need because there have been points where I have so badly treated that I have tried to end my life.

Different experiences

There are some excellent staff in mental health (my new psychiatrist nurse is one) but there are more who see patients as a lesser person, who are there to have power and there are some who are just incompetent. Imagine experiencing trauma and then having to reach out to the services that caused the trauma, sometimes to the people who have traumatised you, to access the treatment you need to recover. That’s where I am currently.


I find that mental health patients are not always seen as whole people – there seems to be a lack of care about our ability to function at work or at home or with our friends unless we are answering questions about distractions. I was given a leaflet about a particular treatment once and it said that the skills I would learn would lead me to 'a more fulfilling life'. I underlined it in red and wrote:

‘My life is fulfilling and meaningful and to assume otherwise is offensive’

Then handed it back. The practitioner laughed but I wasn’t joking.

1 Comment

Feb 07

I unfortunately understand the trauma you are talking about. I was a patient advocate for over 20 years. In the last 3 years I have had to fight for some of my care. I am lucky that my primary PA is in the fight with me and believes in me. I had a doctor that was rude and asked how long I kept my longest job. I had ended up homeless due to being unable to work in as a PT and was too old and fatigued to start a new. She thought I should go to neuropsych. Of course I am losing brain cells nightly because I need a CPAP due to hypoxia nightly and that has a…

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