Sep 9, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
So you’ll have to read my first blog post for this one to make sense. I’m kind of devastated right now, but I am funneling the pain into fight. Thanks to personal support team and SNW, I have a forum and a platform and encouragement and great people to help me because I know that I am not in this alone. I went to see my old psychiatrist yesterday and I got a reality check. I didn’t notice my expectations until the appointment was over. I had thought my old psychiatrist (Dr. S) would take me back and just refer me to CAMH when needed because I recognize I am not responding to any meds. I thought CAMH would add specialized help in the short term and Dr. S would adjust meds and everything would be ok. I would have long term care; I would get better. But that’s not what’s going to happen.
I didn’t realize how sick I really am.
Dr. S is willing to “bridge the gap”, as he is a “community” psychiatrist, but he feels my case is complex, will be recurring (number of past episodes are indicator of future, plus damage from past episodes and ECT) and that I need to be treated in a specialized hospital setting. Pow. Didn’t realize how sick I really am. Didn’t realize the prognosis is not so great. Didn’t realize how few options are left. Really worried about being a burden to my loved ones. I still don’t have long term care.
The community hospital that I was previously treated at is not particularly well run, as Dr. S told me he knew 6 psychiatrists from when he was working there who had left over the past 2 years. In fact, my Dr. P, who I used to see at my community hospital, told me last February she was running out of options. That news didn’t really sink in for me until I met with Dr. S yesterday. Due to the way our health care system works, I am trapped by “catchment” area, a term used to describe the geographical area a hospital serves. My address determines where I get treatment and unfortunately, that treatment is not optimal in my circumstances. I met with CAMH today and they have accepted me into their Bipolar Depression Clinic, which is good. It could last 6-12 months, but they will eventually discharge me. So I still don’t know what to do about long term care. And what I learned today at the Bipolar Depression Assessment is that treating my illness is less about the meds I take and more about coping with my situation.
I don’t want to have to fight but I am going to.
I’m pretty scared and depression is constantly there, trying to convince me this is hopeless and that I am just a big burden to my loved ones but I refuse to believe it. I am going to write to my MPP and to the Minister of Health and to Justin Trudeau. I am going to write to Patient Advocates at both my community hospital and at CAMH. I am going to research a different community hospital that isn’t that far from me, maybe I could fall into their catchment area. And I am going to ask every person I come across in the mental health care system, do you have an idea, what can I do. I don’t want to have to fight but I am going to and I am hoping that my fight will make it so others after me don’t have to fight so hard. In Ontario, we only allocate 7% of healthcare spending to mental health care. That has to increase to 9% and then 11%. If I had a complex case of diabetes or cancer or kidney disease, I WOULD NOT BE IN THIS SITUATION AND THAT IS NOT FAIR.
Together, we can see change.