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How do I go about getting help from the NHS???

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I have been severely depressed since around November, which culminated in a suicide attempt in March. I have put a lot of work into making things better since then and over the last few weeks things have begun to improve.
I left hospital without any follow up and have been to my GP several times since, but have not been offered any support (I did ask for it but wasn't very forceful). Things are complicated because I am at university and have now come home for the summer. On the advice of my previous GP I have re-registered at a GP Surgery close to where I live.
The next step I guess is to go into my new surgery and ask for a referral, but how do I make sure I get the support I need? I am no longer an immediate risk but I know that if something doesn't change I will become suicidal again, it's only a matter of time. I want to be ready to go back in September, otherwise I will soon succumb to the depression again.
I have seen 3 counsellors in the past but none of them have helped - I think I need something more intensive such as psychotherapy, the problem is that I know the waiting lists will be really long.
I am also on medication but I think I am going to ask to come off it as I don't think it's helping and I don't want the side effects. I don't think medication is really right for me because my depression is cognitive, about how I think so it can't effect that and I don't really get physical symptoms.
I'm not sure how much this post even makes sense but I'd be grateful if you could give me any advice about seeking NHS help. I feel really let down by my past experiences and having to fight for treatment is the last thing you feel able to do when depressed, which is why I haven't felt able to until now. I think psychotherapy is what I need but I don't really know as I've never had the options explained to me.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

    Which is now the recognised evidenced based form of counselling on the NHS for depression.

    Counselling / Psychotherapy are really interchangeable terms for similar treatments.

    Psychotherapy has a “deep” connotation, and perhaps suggests a more psychodynamic form of therapy. But it tends to take longer, and hasn’t established the evidence based status of CBT for the treatment of depression.

    The other main form of psychotherapy is based on the Person Centred model, such as Rogerian therapy.

    Psychodynamic, Person Centred, and the Cognitive / Behavioural models, are the three primary forms of counselling and psychotherapy.

    There are many variants stemming from those three central core domains.

    The latest variant from the Cognitive model is ‘Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy’, which uses deep relaxation methods alongside one-to-one counselling.

    This book explains the deep relaxation training:-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-frantic/dp/074995308X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339361396&sr=8-1

    MBCT has been approved by NICE, but I believe the number of therapists using it in the NHS is still quite small.

    If your new GP doesn't respond in the way that you are hoping for, I suggest putting your request for counselling/ psychotherapy in a letter to him/her. Give a brief summary of your relevant history, and make the request for support/ therapy very clear. Such a letter will go on your file, which should help your case if your doctor doesn't seem to be taking as much notice of your requests as you would like.

    Have you tried any other AD's? Some meds suite some people better than others.

    AD's are only going to treat the symptoms of depression, but they can sustain you while nature heals, or while other treatments take their course.

    Jed
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