How do I get the right help for my postnatal depression if no GP is not willing or wanting to help me?


I would like some help and advice please. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression almost 14 years ago (my daughter's 14 next month and I was diagnosed with postnatal depression about 2 months or so after I'd given birth to her) and at the time I wasn't ready for counselling and I told my GP at the time that I wasn't ready for counselling and she said that she would put me on antidepressants (which I've been taking on and off since as either I've stopped taking them myself or a GP has stopped them) for the time being and that all I had to do when I was ready for counselling is to ask my current GP for a referral to the mental health team (I've had two separate appointments with the NHS Mental health team in my hometown, but I never got another appointment after the assessment appointment) and I have lost count of how many times I have asked for a referral to the mental health team and well u could say that I was ignored or fobbed off by different GPs. It's got to the point where I am too scared to ask for a referral due to being ignored and fobbed off that many times in the past. I just don't know what to do anymore.

11 Replies

  • Hi I emphasise. I think this is a new system they are bringing in because of the lack of resources. I thought long and hard about it and decided I needed some counselling to deal with long standing issues so I plucked up the courage to go for it.

    My area now does self referral whereby you ring up, go for an assesement with a team who then decided which service to pass you onto - in my case depression and anxiety. So I went for a second assessment with them, after speaking to a counsellor for a while she ran off to talk to the psychicatrist who (without seeing me) diagnosed me with moderate depression (despite my suicidal thoughts which I told her about), increased my sertraline to the maximum and said if that doesn't help to change to vex... something. He also said to stop my very low dose of mirtazapine to help me sleep, which I said no way to as I don't sleep otherwise. Then that was it. I was just referred back to my gp.

    I don't even think anything was sent to my gp as my meds haven't changed at all. So that was that, no counselling. So will have to go without unless I can afford to pay which I can't. I will just have to either deal with my suicidal thoughts on my own or not as the case may be.

    I think your gp is the only one who can insist you have another appointment but if they refuse to refer you then I don't know what else you can do. Have you seen all the gp's at your surgery? Maybe 1 would agree?

    I wish you better luck than me in getting what you need and deserve. Take care. x

  • Myself and my fiance only changed to our new surgery a few months ago and we are still getting used to the doctors and other staff. We also recently found out through one pf my fiance's sisters that our old GPs surgery has closed down for some reason or other.

  • Counselling services are under huge pressure and systems of access vary around the country. Some allow self referral.

    This is the NHS choices access link

    There may be strict criteria to try and control access to services as there are limited numbers of appointments. If you can find the phone number for your local service (IAPT) you can ask about how you can access them. I'm afraid it sounds like you will need to spend a bit of time on the phone to understand the arrangements in your area and whether you can be referred.

    MIND are very helpful in providing this type of information through their phone line.

    Good luck


  • Please stop posting this. Your website does not appear credible.

    If you want to help then help. Stop redirecting people to your questionable website.

  • Jermaine, I did look into yourself some more. Your books are self published, Chat recruit is used for adult conversations, and your Youtube video suggests that if a person goes to see a Dr and then you, you will be able to correctly diagnose and heal them.

    I will not come off this site, I care about this community. If you aren't looking for financial gain and want to help then that is fine. Please help. Alternatively, if you need help, then just ask.

  • That is so distressing! How upsetting that counseling isn't easily available to you and anyone who needs it. As you say (and as my therapist has said to me numerous times), self-care becomes essential when "the system" fails.

  • Hi, I'm sorry that I was distracted by another comment. I did intend to reply to you.

    I don't have children yet, so I don't know how long post natal depression can last for, but if you still have it then that should be ringing alarm bells for your GP. I don't know why they aren't helping you.

    If you have depression depression then I still don't understand why they aren't helping you. I can sometimes be quiet direct, so I would be asking them why they aren't giving you the treatment you need.

    If they think you need it they should refer you, and if they don't think you need it they should tell you. Leaving you in this uncertain place is really unkind.

    I think other people have suggested you see another GP and I agree. I have a GP who I prefer to see at my practice because I know she has helped me in the past. One of the GPs only wanted to suggest alternative therapies for me, which didn't suit me at that time.

    You can always talk to us about what you're going through. We're here for you.


  • Ty Lori. It's ok as it's not ur fault that u got distracted by another post from a complete idiot hun x

  • Hi Lori I completely agree with you, but as I was explaining to the poster it sounds like her area is like now in that they are rationing counselling on the NHS. I presume this is due to lack of funds. It seem like they are only interested in treating the most severe cases and like me her mental assessment team must have thought she wasn't 'severe' enough.

    The only option I can think of it to go back to her doctor and get them to pull some strings. I am still debating this for myself. x

  • It's such a shame that it has come to this. That it is stretched so tightly.

    I really hope we don't end up having to get health insurance. I am not going to go into it though as it stresses me out and I imagine could generate a hearty debate.

    It would be helpful if they were honest. Perhaps they could make alternative suggestions?

    I've been lucky in that my GP has always been amazing. She told me when this episode first happened that I would be off for months because I needed time to get better. She's always been honest with me. And I her. She has prescribed diazepam a couple of times over the year, but I've only ever asked for it when I've really, really needed it. I've got 6 tablets left from the 14 I was prescribed in June. I feel safer knowing they are there.

    My counselling ended months ago, and I am still waiting for my psychologist appointment. I have to call in September to chase it.

    After meeting my counsellor I know understand the difference between talking to your peers and talking to someone who specialises. I sometimes with that I could really help people on here. Actually make a serious difference, but I only know what I've been taught and it isn't a one solution fixes all kind of thing is it.


  • Jeremiah can u please not post ur stuff on my post as I do not believe in that sort of thing. I prefer reading posts from people who are genuinely wanting to help and not telling me to read this bit of rubbish or the other bit of rubbish. I am not a Manchester city fan, but I would rather read their match day programmes than about things that I do not believe in

    Thank u to everyone else who has posted helpful advice and sites like the NHS choices website where I can find out what help there's available where I live. I am going to go to the doctors and make an appointment for myself to see a doctor about getting counselling when me n my fiance go into town on Wednesday.

    Feel free to keep posting helpful advice and



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