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Does going to A&E atcually achive anything?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited June 2018 in Health & Wellbeing
Hello, and thank you for reading.

So I keep ending up at either minor injury unit (MIU) or A&E, or both for various mental health reasons. Basically it's either self harm needs medical attention, feeling suicidal, or went to minor injuries who don't quite know what to do with me so decide I can go to A&E.

It's getting stupid now. I don't know how many times I've been, sometimes by ambulance too so it's a slightly different process but I know the full system at the 2 nearest A&E's to me now as well as the MIU to the point I could possibly get a job there soon, or will start knowing people by name.

Basically their is a similar theme, I arrive, go through triage then. Wait for ages.

If MIU then they assess a bit like triage, make me wait for hours which turns out to be an assessment to see how I end up then eventually glue it. Before that I get angry and my mood changes every 5 mins so they want to send me A&E. eventually they decide that will make it worse so get the crisis team to see me the next day. they never do anything and I end up self harming that day and back in MIU the day after telling them no-one did anything. So they then send me straight to A&E.

At A&E if for self harm then first a nurse who just pokes it at sends you back to waiting room then I finally get treatment. Last time I went they was teaching a student nurse so I even know how to do them now. They don't do a Mental Health Assessment now. when I was under 18 or 16 whatever age it is then there's a rule that they need to, now no-one cares.

At A&E if for feeling suicidal i'm put in a room somewhere for hours to wait in there. then get someone from MH team come and ask questions. They used to ask me general stuff like where I live, what support I have, what I do and then specific ones to how I feel now and in the past week to assess me. They seemed to stop doing the general stuff so much now so I assume they are getting to know me in each department now. Regardless of what I answer they do nothing and tell me to go. I'm now getting to know how to answer to make the prcess quicker rather than being truthful because I've learnt regardless of what I answer they still just tell me to go and nothing ever improves. (don't know how much detail I can say, and really trying to stick to the rules, but when I was being truthful it's like do you want to die?-yes, do you have a plan?-yes, do you have access to whatever you need?-yes. why are you still here?-don't know I then walked out of A&E, got followed and brought back in before I got out of the hospital, but yes I was saying I was going to go and die) I always end up like I do at MIU and changing every 5 minutes or less which is what my main issue is currently. They call it an erratic mood, which MIU say needs to go to A&E but at A&E they still do nothing.
Part of me is just like what on earth do you have to do or say to get support!! like, if I actually did die would they then decide I need help? would be a bit late then though.
When your under 16 there's a rule that any suicidal thoughts you get admitted now not even that.

At A&E if it's for both together then mostly my self harm gets treated first (although I did go once in a ambulance, they told them it needed doing and never was done so got infected.) Then the Mental Health Assessment process above with the exact same end result.

Sorry this is getting long, thanks' for still reading.
What I now want to work out is if any of this actually achieves anything? like is there a 'you have been 10 times in the last 2 months we will now do ____' type rule or is it literally the same process and lack of support forever?
If it's the second one I will just stop going, now I am supposed to be doing my own bandages to be more 'responsible' or 'owning' of my behaviour and consequences (not that I do it as a choice, but I have no option to cope in any other way) so I could therefore now control never going anywhere again quite easily. There is a emergency procedure in place for all my services now but it's like 'actual self harm do___' 'threats of suicide do___' etc. If I just never tell them if I have self harmed, want to die or anything else how I feel they can't do anything. which would make life a lot easier.

Does anyone have any experience of support suddenly changing-or happening? Or any other useful experience or information.
Please help me work out what to do.
Thank you


  • MikeMike Screen addict 🎮 LondonPosts: 2,529 Community Manager
    Hey Amy,

    It really sounds like this process is getting frustrating for you, especially considering you're doing the best thing for yourself by going to either a MIU or A&E. :( Maybe even more so when you know they paid a bit more attention to you when you were younger. I get the impression that you feel like you're crying out for help but nobody's listening?

    In terms of practical information and advice, it might be best to contact the NHS or a self-harm support service. They should be able to give you a rundown on hospital processes in terms of access to further support. Speaking of, have you heard of TESS? They're a service specialising in supporting young women with self-harm. As well as being able to provide you with support directly, they should also have some information on hospital policies etc. that you were asking about. Same with Self-Harm UK. :)

    I'm not sure how much use it will be to you, but we have an article on going to A&E for self harm which has some useful bits and pieces in it, as well as a video. There are some good signposts at the bottom too if you're stuck for places to turn.

    Aside from those, remember you can always go via your GP for referrals to psychotherapy or counselling; for more ongoing support, as A&E generally isn't the best place to get that. Have you had support of that kind before? I noticed on a previous thread of yours you mention being on flouxetine?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Qostine
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    edited June 2018
    Hi Mike

    It is SO frustrating. I never go to either by choice. But I've now got some protocol been made that my support workers need to follow. It's basically if ___ do __ so I've always been with them, or sent by them or uni.

    Your right about the next bit too. Most of my self harm is my only way to communicate. No-one listens to me speaking or I can't speak so self harm is like more communication. It's just no-one listens to that either but I also cant stop because it does make me feel better to do it. But yes your right really it's wanting help and people never listen. Never have, I've been harming for 6 years and still do.

    I'll look at the contact the NHS page in more detail-thanks' that might be useful. I don't think any of the other links will be for this though.

    I was going to a GP until recently, or until their was nothing more they could do other than write to the MH doctor and say I need a appointment with him. Then all I could do was wait for that. I kept saying the medication was making me worse. I said from 2 months ago Im more suicidal than ever with this medication witch the leaflet says makes people suicidal. The GP said 'im only a GP not a MH specialist so talk to them' they said 'we are only nurses not doctors talk to your GP' so I was stuck. The specialists is the CMHT, who I was first referred to in November by uni but wouldn't help me then. Uni sent me to the GP who re-referred me to them with a letter so they finally put me into the service February/March ish and I started the medication in April. So the GP has already done the referring he can do.

    I finally(!) saw the MH Doctor last week, who confirmed what I worked out 2 months ago-it's the wrong medication.
    So yes, I'm on a antidepressant when this Doctor says I don't have depression and so it's not the correct type of medication for what is happening. But I have to have a blood test and ECG before I can find out if I can go on some other kind of medicine (I think it was mood stabilizer but don't know exactly). I've had the blood test, but not even got a ECG appointment yet. Either way, the Doctor said continue with the current medication anyway and come back in a month. I do now have that appointment so even if I never get the ECG I can go back. But, for now I'm stuck on a medication I now know is the wrong thing and therefore is making me worse but theirs nothing I can do about that.

  • MikeMike Screen addict 🎮 LondonPosts: 2,529 Community Manager
    Hey Amy,

    Eesh, it sounds like you're having a rough ride of it with the various specialists. It can be really frustrating when it feels like you're being pushed from pillar to post - "you need to see x" "you need to see y" and you end up at a loss with everyone saying they can't help you. Unfortunately you see it a lot in other places too. :rolleyes: Wonderful news that you finally managed to see the mental health doctor, although having to stick to medication you know isn't right for you sounds annoying - do you know when you're having the ECG?

    On a similar note, it's great that you've really been proactive in feeling your way through more continued support, and that A&E and MIU have really become last resorts for you (what they're meant for). Can I ask, are you getting any kind of support aside from your medication at the moment? Are you using any other support services, for example? Props for continuing to reach out to us here, by the way. :yes:
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Qostine
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Mike

    I don't have any news about the ECG yet still. No appointment letter even, so don't even know when it will be.

    I've just worked out that neither A&E or the MIU do anything, so even though according to the plan I supposed to go A&E whenever I want to die there's no point, and if I really did follow that I'd be in A&E constantly. They wouldn't even get through 1 assessment of it before I had changed several times while waiting and so if I am supposed to go every time, then I would be already their waiting, but feel bad so have to go again-which is not even possible. So, I'm not following the procedures thing they made.
    The issue with that seems to be though that people will now start to think I'm okay, because im not going. When that's a complete lie and the opposite is true. I'm now living with mum again not at uni with support workers so I couldn't even get to A&E anymore even if I wanted to. Mum would never take me, she's too Ill so even with all my issues I now become a carer too.
    So, I'm feeling worse than ever, I now have so many suicide plans I can't even count them anymore, and I have no support, and no way to get support. I'm not getting any other support for mental health, I've got a few day (or some are just a few hours) trips out between 2 disability organisations, 1 is the one near mum;s the other the one near uni that I will go back for. But other than that, I'm alone. Oh, except from when the CMHT want me to go and see them again on 14th July.
  • StephSteph Moderator Posts: 448 Boards Initiate
    Hey Amy, :wave:

    Sounds like things are really tough right now, you're doing really to continue to talk here about it *hug*

    What do you mean when you say that you just worked out that neither A&E or MIU do anything?

    You were saying that you're back living with your mum at the moment and caring for her too, how are you finding this? If you felt as though you needed to get to A&E and weren't able to get there you could call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you felt you needed to. There's also some information here about support for young carers which might be useful to look at.

    I'm not sure if you know about this already but there's an organisation called Papyrus Hopeline - Prevention of young suicide you can call, email or text them for advice and support
    Sorry to hear that you're feeling worse than ever and that you don't have any support. Would you like to get some support if so what type of support would you like to get that you're not getting at the moment? There's a video about getting help for mental health here which might be worth a watch too.

    We're here for you, feel free to keep posting if it helps to write stuff down :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    edited June 2018
    Hi Steph

    I kind of explained in my first message what they do. If I go with a physical injury (self harm) then yeh they will give me treatment. But then nothing else. Or if I go suicidal, im there hours just for some assessment to decide I am apparently fine (when urm no, I am here because I want to die) let me go and then I end up walking round the streets at 4am in the rain to calm down. Which worked, I was on my way back but then I got police appear.. Just read the first message, I'm not typing out everything that has and has not happened again-overall they achieve nothing! Meaning no help when I am there, no longer term support-nothing. The only thing they may do is make me really angry, remind me how terrible the system is and therefore make me want to die even more than I did at the start.

    okay, I will try to be calmer now.

    I've always been mums carer. So it's 'normal' to me to have a mum who never supports me, looks after me or anything. I only learnt how wrong this is when I ended up living with my Nanny for 6 months when I was doing my GCSE's (mums mum had died and mum got really bad, there was a big argument tho and they wouldn't have me so Ive been at mum's since-that's not an option anymore though, I got a birthday card without Nanny written in so she must have died since I left). So, living here and being a carer is the only option I have.

    Your right, I probably did need to go to A&E on Wednesday night - well it was actually Thursday morning about 3am. I attempted suicide but was sick which woke mum up I assume so she helped me clear up and I told her that and said I probably need to go A&E. She just said go to sleep, A&E won't do anything. Which I assume means "no, I am not going to A&E with my daughter even though she clearly needs it I am not going to do anything to help, I never have why should I start now?" Eventually I did get to sleep, about 6am. (I should probably say, I was in a chartroom on Wednesday night saying I wanted to die, that organisation contacted me on Thursday morning so I replied and told them what I did. They have now contacted and told the support team at uni, and are trying to contact CMHT but the person that sees me is not in until Monday so they can't. But you are not the only organisation that knows this so don't tell anyone else im just saying it to be honest and so you know all of what is happening)
    Since this the voices in my head have got worse, there is now another one saying I failed (as well as the one that says 'go and die') and it now includes some people I know too, mostly the people that used to bully me saying 'yes we were right, she is stupid not even able to kill herself so she really cant do anything' or other equally hurtful and terrible things like they all used to years ago. I just can't stop myself from listening to this and trying to plan more ways to die, so at some point I will end up attempting to again.

    That looks like a good organisation, It's a shame they are not 24 hours a day, so I could contact them when I am worst but It seems like a good idea to contact when they are open tomorrow and see if they can help.
    I would really like some support! What would be the most helpful things is 1) make my brain stop suddenly changing in between 'good' and 'bad' with nothing I can do to control it. 2) stop these people telling me I failed at everything even death but then the one telling me to die is still there so now my own head is arguing with itself. 3) make a actual REALISTIC plan that includes things I am ABLE TO DO when either of these happen that will MAKE ME BETTER. and for ************ don't include lies or ignore really bad issues like the current pile of *** 'plan' does. It's not even a plan, they just picked 2 random of the many problems and was like 'I will work on this' how the hell does that help me now when any of this is happening and I don't see you for another 2 weeks-even when I do you wont do reasonable adjustments because of my disability so I cant communicate so you just say things that both confuse and make angry. 4) If needed then yes get me in somewhere safe (like a home or hospital or whatever), or get people to come and check on me when MIU want them to and then no-one did. Like, yes I need more support than seeing you every 2-4 weeks or however long you feel like but that's currently all I get.

    Sorry most of this is so much like a rant, but I am trying not to. I just really need the help and now but it wont ever happen so really I Just need to keep trying until I find a plan that works.
  • LostsenseLostsense Posts: 1,331 The Mix Regular
    edited June 2018
    This is so annoying I too have been to A&E a few times for overdosing and they treat me like absolute crap! I refuse to go now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    edited June 2018
    Hiya I belive
    thanks' for replying.

    What do they actually do when you go? I've only done it once, and didn't go to A&E (mum said no/would not take me, above) so would be really interested to find out what happens.
    To me that is more serious than anything else-as it's (or to me at least) an attempt to die, so does that not get more attention, treatment, risk assessing or anything else they may do. From what you said it doesn't sound like it but either way can you explain more of what happens please?
    Also, how did you decide not to go anymore now. Are you still doing it just not going to A&E now?

  • LostsenseLostsense Posts: 1,331 The Mix Regular
    I'm out at mo but inbox me if you can on here and I'll reply this afternoon huni. Hugs xx
  • LostsenseLostsense Posts: 1,331 The Mix Regular
    I'm not being ignorant I just won't be able to reply properly now I'm a bit drunk haha so I will this afternoon xx
  • StephSteph Moderator Posts: 448 Boards Initiate
    Hi Amy,

    How are you doing today? Thanks for sharing this with us, and for being honest, just so you know you can remain anonymous on the boards. It sounds like things are really challenging for you at the moment. You were saying that your message felt like a rant, that's OK to write whatever you'd like to get off your chest here, how does feel after writing it all down; what's been going on and how you've been feeling?

    It's really positive that you'd like to get some help and support for yourself, you're doing really well by coming here to look for this help and support, we're all here for you *hug*

    As well as Papyrus there is also an organisation called I'm Alive which has a 24/7 online crisis chat, when you go on their website simply click 'chat now' which is the blue button in the top right hand corner. Hopefully this could be useful to look at.

    You mentioned in your post that one of the things that you'd like help with is a crisis plan that would help, there's an article here with some links that might be useful to have a read of.

    You're doing so well by talking here, feel free to keep posting if you find it helpful to, we're here to listen and support you.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    edited June 2018
    Hi I belive

    yes, thanks' for posting, it does help. Basically what your saying is that overdosing or self-harming it's the same lack of help or support afterwards, especially after you have been more than once and are known as doing it. Yes they did something at first by admitting you but I gather you were just discharged soon after with no other support. It sounds like we are in a really similar situation, stuck self harming with no chance of help or change and so will just carry on.
    I personally think this is a failure in the system-this health system which is wonderful in this country but not for mental health it's not. to me self harm (whatever way) should be seen as serious, if someone is that upset or feels that bad that the only way to do that is to go against everything the body says and hurt themselves physically then they need help. Regardless of the reason, like if they were crying for help, attempting to die or anything else.
    But in reality the opposite is happening. These people don't get anything possibly because it's so common and they do it for years, learn the system is terrible and give up. I just can't understand how this is possible. But I know I think far to logically and can't change the world to be logic so this is how it is. However what needs to happen is the very first time someone self harms, or the very first tome someone finds out then they are given support to stop, to resolve the issues and deal with bad things in a better way. Not left as 'self harm is not a mental illness so no-one does anything etc.' and ignored until the issues are much worse like it is for me now. And then people wonder why their is suddenly a massive amount of people self harming and it's labelled as things like the silent epidemic in young people!
    Sorry for that mini essay too, I'm just so angry about this whole thing at the moment. I also love finding really obvious causes to big peoples that people can't ever realise because they can't think logically like I can.

    Steph, might as well reply to you in the same message.

    I'm still feeling bad. It's just got to the stage now when I cant think about much other than death. I have decided I want to die and am only living until I succeed. so I keep doing usual things and thinking 'is this enough to make me want to live' no, okay, no change then. I don't have anything good enough to live for.

    Writing stuff usually makes me more angry because it makes me realise if I am asked to write an essay that is amazingly difficult. But writing about all the bad stuff happening to me, how bad I feel, how bad the system is, the lack of support etc. is all really easy, and I can easily write a lot about that without really thinking too much. It just makes me angry because of how bad it all is, and seeing it written rather than all mixed up in my head makes me realise how much or how big this bad really is. So in one way writing does not help, but in another it helps me to understand what is happening so I do still write as a way of dealing with things sometimes.

    That website looks really good. I might actually try that now after finishing this.

    I don't think I would be able to write a plan without someone to help, and I currently don't have anyone to help. I just don't think me telling myself to or not do something will work. I have no commitment to anything for very long.
  • LostsenseLostsense Posts: 1,331 The Mix Regular
    edited June 2018
    Yep self harm is just 0 concern. When it really should be a sign that something is not right. I don't think they know what it takes for us to self-harm. You're right mental health support is a big fat failure. I learnt that a long time ago.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was taken into a&e by an ambulance recently after a very serious suicide attempt. They took me straight to intensive care to stabilise me and then once I was physically/medically stable they didn't even give me a bed. They sat me in a waiting room, asked some mental health nurses to come down and talk to me - who just gave me a leaflet for the local women's centre and told me "next time ring the crisis line" - then ignored me for about an hour until my housemate went and said "is she allowed to get a drink or fresh air or something" and they said "oh, she can go, she didn't need to be sitting there after the nurse left". My gp's been really worried about me and has tried countless times to get involvement from the crisis team or get appointments speeded up and stuff and nothing's happened. And the one time that I actually did ring the crisis line the conversation went like this "I want to kill myself" "don't do that. You sound tired, it's late, why don't you go to sleep and if you still feel bad in the morning call us back". I have no faith in this country's mental health services.
    Sorry this is not positive so might not be the most helpful thing, just my experience.
  • LostsenseLostsense Posts: 1,331 The Mix Regular
    I totally agree with you jess it's so bad :(
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