My doctors practice councilor is not available for 6 weeks, feel like I'm loosing myself don't know where to turn

Over the last several years I've lost three relatives, had three jobs, been made redundant twice and to top it off I'm now off sick having been diagnosed with epilepsy. Today I broke down and cried for hours. My gp said I can't have any antidepressants and there is a long waiting list for the practice councillor. I feel lost and don't know where to turn

6 Replies

  • why the refusal for anti depressants, can't be because of epilepsy as I know a number of people with epilepsy who take AD's.

    There just need to be some caution when taking them with your anti-epileptic drugs.

    waiting 6 weeks to see a counsellor is just about average.

  • Hi

    I'm sorry you have had such a hard time with so many problems over a short period of time, that will have pushed your stress levels over their limit. Perhaps epilepsy is one result of that.

    I am puzzled why your GP said you cannot have antidepressants, was he concerned about over-dosing or was it in relation to the epilepsy? Did he discuss that with you? I can't think why else he would refuse to prescribe them if you are feeling in need of them. It may be wroth seeing another GP within the practice, especially if there is one you feel able to talk more freely with, also you might ask to be referred to a consultant if you haven't already seen one, so you can talk about prognosis and likely effects as well as meds.

    You say you have lost three relatives and been redundant twice which does suggest you may need to talk with a bereavement counsellot. There does tend to be a waiting list for practice counsellors but perhaps you could approach one of the organisations dealing with grief counselling, perhaps Cruse (or is it Cruise?) or similar. You could google bereavement counselling and your home town to see whether you can find anything locally, or google Cruse but try both spellings!

    Being diagnosed with epilepsy will have been hard. You do not say your age but it sounds as though you have been working for a while. I wonder how having epilepsy will affect your working life and whether that feels like an issue for you, I imagine it does. Only yesterday I was reading a supplement in the Guardian newspaper, the entire thing was on epilepsy so it will be worth googling that and reading it online if you can, also joining the Epilepsy association nationally as then you can begin to get to grips with the likely effects upon your life - knowledge is power and if you have more understanding you will have more control.

    Unfortunately you can't change the past in terms of jobs and redundancies, they are a reflection of the recession and not your fault, but you could use the time as an opportunity to think about what job you might do. It all depends upon your age but you might think about full time training courses, or taking a degree - I was over 40 when I changed direction completely. Obviously it may not be appropriate for you, you may be near retirement or quite young, I don't know, but you might think about new directions once you have your epilepsy under control and you have come to terms with it emotionally.

    It's tough having a lot of things to cope with all in one go, but if you seek help with the bereavements and gain control over the epilepsy and its effects you will be in a better position to think about what you want from your life in terms of work or other things.

    I hope things pick up soon for you and that you seek help as suggested.


  • Thanks very much Sue, I have seen my gp today after calling NHS 111 he is very concerned and we talked about anti depressants, he wants me to speak to my epilepsy specialist at my appointment next Tues about what antidepressants I can have because I'm on sodium valporate many antidepressants interact badly. He is also putting me forward to the local mental health crisis team.

    As you said, I have worked my whole adult life. I've always worked in construction in one way or another now I'm not sure what the future holds work wise as I won't be allowed on building sites or allowed to drive excavator's forklifts etc.

    As I'm 34 I have been thinking of retraining but because my wife has taken the role of breadwinner for the family we are only just above the poverty line. She works real'y hard but she doesn't have the earning capacity I had. I live in a small village with poor buses which isn't helping.

    Thanks again for your help, I will look up that supplement hopefully I can get my epilepsy under control soon

  • Great! I'm glad your GP saw the importance of liason with your specialist and also understands that you will need support from the crisis team at this difficult time.

    Do think about what you would like to do with the rest of your life once you've come to terms with having epilespy - there are many things you could train for that don't necessarily require money as you will probably be entitled to a grant - I did a degree as a mature student and was fully funded - but I agree that not having good transport around is a problem. It may be possible for you to get a career development loan, even to provide funding for a car, and although that sounds mad when you ae already short of money it may make sense if at the end of a training course you are eligible to earn fairly well again. Often government loans for people in your situation or student loans are only repayable if you earn over a certain amount.

    As an extra thought I wonder whether you have been in touch with the local CAB to make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to. You may even find that you and your wife are entitled to a partial attendance allowance or similar and although coming to terms with that idea may not be easy nonetheless having enough money is the first priority as it will reduce your stress level.

    Do contact the epilepsy society or whatever they are called as they will have a wealth of information and supports available.

    There may also be a social worker attached to the hospital who can advise you on any possible sources of financial or other help.


  • Hi again

    One other thought when I look back at your post is that it is understandable that you broke down and cried because you will also be grieving the loss of the life you had before you were diagnosed. It may help to have a short spell of counselling to enable you to come to terms with the massive change to your life and your GP could arrange that.


  • Thanks for your help things have been a mannic the last few days the kids are off school and the wife had a four day weekend they have looked after me! I am going to see the local mental health team next Fri I guess I'm luckey that the local town has a long history with mental health we had an old Victorian mental institution that got replaced! I have also seen my epilepsy specialist who has put me on anti depressants he was glad my gp waited before prescribing anything! At last I feel a little glimmer of hope for the future.

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