How can they make even a hopeless man have less hope?

After breaking down in the office on Monday and crying, because I felt so lost and isolated, surrounded by people, my wife decided she'd had enough.

It's got to the point where I can't function any more. Work is hopeless, I'm so guilty about my failings as a father and socially, well, I stopped bothering with friendships many years ago.

So my wife booked to see the doctor and came with me for the first time ever. Naively, she believes that because I am sick to the point where I can barely face a day and want to kill myself, that all she has to do was tell them to help me and they would.

Sadly, some of her optimism even dusted onto me, thinking that with her support, maybe I'd finally get onto the road to some sort of solution.

Of course not. Met a doctor whose only experience of depression and anxiety is academic. She must've mentioned CBT 20 times before I explained that not only have I had CBT over the phone, the internet and face to face, but that I've done my own reading into the history of it, the rationale, the leading thinkers and innovators in the field and listened to audio books, read academic papers etc. Here's the truth, it's not a silver bullet and it just doesn't work for me.

She gave me 4 days worth of diazepam which took the edge of and then I went back in today, the interim to give her time to read my notes and determine a course of treatment.

More blathering about CBT and a refusal to prescribe more diazepam (because dependency on that would be worse than me wanting to kill myself, obviously) and the ultimate decision that she'd put me back onto fluoxetine, a drug which I've been on before but which a previous GP had switched me off of, albeit at such a low dose, I think she's taking the Mick.

Thanks to yet another experience with the medical profession and their failure to offer any real solution for my illness I've now made my decision. As I told the booksmart, streedstupid gp girl, living another potential 50 years like this is not an option.

Since there is no help or treatment available the choice is made for me. It will take me some time to arrange things, as I want to get as much sorted out as I can, but I've accepted and decided that ending my life is the only treatment available to me.

13 Replies

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  • I have been there to are problems do not have quick fixes I think suicidal thoughts all the time I found it's not good thing to go a and e or doctor and ask them you want to see mental health doctor and and I am on antiperspirant to so they might help you though it

  • Hi,

    Before you do anything that you don't want to do find another GP. Seriously I was where you are and I was lucky to have a supportive GP. I have done the internet CBT and also a Stress Control class that my local NHS authority offers as open learning now. I was then referred to see a psychiatrist , that didn't really would for me because it was locums and I was seeing a different one each time and basically they didn't do anything other than get me to relive my story. I refused to go back after one told me I needed to smile. I know the NHS has psychologists that you can see, but the waiting list was so long that I paid to see one myself. I am so glad I did because I was lucky to see a good one and she really helped me.

    Please find another GP to speak to, don't give up.

    There is good help out there.

  • Hi What a let down that you have had such a bad GP experience: suffice to say they are not all the same. Please find another because you are right that 50 years left in depression by medical services is not an option. The help you need IS out there, no quick fixes, no silver bullets, but you can be helped. Share a bit more with this community please; it is your illness that feeds the guilt, the feeling of failure. Be kind to yourself.

  • McCartas I feel your pain. My CPN had told me to keep an eye on whether my new tablets were elevating my mood too much. I felt that perhaps they were so I went to the GP to talk about it. She basically ignored everything I said and gave me a three month prescription for more of the same tablets! She gave a textbook explanation of how antidepressants work and sent me on my way. I got home and rang the surgery to ask if I could get a second opinion from a different GP. They agreed and I waited for a call. When it finally came it was the same doctor I had seen that morning and she was desperate to try and make it right without any of the doctors finding out!

  • Hey you have not reached the end of the road with dealing with your depression you know - only the beginning. Not a very auspicious start I must admit but some doctors don't really get depression. They don't have any magic wands either and it takes time for treatment to start helping. Try the meds for a minimum of around 6 weeks to give them time to start working. If they don't then try different ones. I had to try 2 others before I found ones that help me. Did you know that mental health issues are the 2nd most common cause of doctors visits? So your doctor will have heard it all a thousand times before and should know what she is doing.

    Counselling is the best way to go for long term help though. The NHS is quite limited and CBT is quick, cheap, and allegegdly observable so it is the favourite one to try first. There might be different types of counselling available, if not then going private is a good option if you can afford it.

    There is lots of hope out there so hang on to this. Stay with us as well and we will help and support you all we can. x

  • Sorry, I missed out the part that I've been on this nhs revolving door for 15 years.

    Keep getting spat back out the way I came in.

    Glad that some people have found help but telling me that the help is there, when it demonstrably isn't and hasn't been, is just not credible.

  • I understand what you are saying but I and many others have found some help out there. Also some rubbish too, but that's all there is I'm afraid unless we go the self help route ie mindfullness, natural drugs such as St.Johns Wort or vitamins maybe.

    We all know the NHS is in crisis now and whilst I have had counselling in the past was turned down for more 2/3 years ago due to rationing in my area. If you have got help then you are doing better than me.

    Counselling as I am sure you are aware isn't someone else doing all the work but gives you the chance to talk and work out your own issues. Getting someone's else view point is also helpful. A reality check if you like. Therapy is not an easy option either is it as obviously it can bring up some very painful memories and emotions so it's common to feel worse for a while before you feel better. That's what I have found anyway, just my view. It's often a long term thing and not a quick fix.

    I would also say that everyone on here has their own issues and no one has to reply to others, but fortunately some of us do otherwise there wouldn't be a site here for anyone. You only get genuine and honest replies from everyone here and it is only our opinions and obviously not professional in nature.

    I am sorry you didn't appear to find my reply useful. If I am not helping I will bow out. I wish you all the best.

  • The problem is that counselling and therapy are not a one size fits all solution.

    Maybe not everyone has issues to work out. Maybe some of us are physically just broken and need to stop talking about stuff and have some sort of treatment which addresses the physical issue.

    To me it's like getting a cancer patient to try and talk the tumour out. It won't work.

    I have a physical pounding in my brain. I can feel despair in my head as vividly as a kick in the balls. Talking about whether I had enough hugs as a child isn't going to fix that.

  • I agree with you but disagree that people who suffer mental health problems don't have issues that need solving. There are no treatments for physical ailments apart from the ones doctors can observe and objectively test for. Physical problems which have their origin in mental health can only be helped by psychological methods, apart from meds such as ad's which can help with the symptoms.

  • Mate you have to attend counseling min once maybe twice per week.Catholic Family Services are dirt cheap but quite good they saved me from offing myself last year.Do go you need to talk about your problems in depth.I am not expert on your symptoms mate but please go. My ex partner also left me after I got physically and as a result mentally ill,so much for thinking she was the one,so I still struggle everyday. Try and set a goal even a tiny one that you think you can accomplish.I wish you the best pal really I do,Blessings sent your way! They put my on Cipralex the only antidep that has ever worked for me.

  • McCartas I am sorry to read this. I feel for you. You so need support right now. I gave up with doctors. Truth is someone can have professional qualifications but will never understand it unless they've been through it. If your wife hasn't experienced mental health she will try support you best she can. My partner read up on it in an attempt to understand me but my constant low mood started to rub off on him. I think you need to take small steps to help yourself. I've had to go private for counselling as when I was at an all time low my doctor referred me to the mental health team. 4 weeks later I got a telephone call we chatted about how I felt. She said she would call me in a week. Never heard from her again. I came to the conclusion nobody out there will help me. I used to be desperate to talk to someone. I needed someone to help me find strength. I also took myself away from people but that was my way of healing. I'm getting there. I take no pills. My counsellor digs deep into my past but it's helped me. Please find the strength. Don't give up.

  • Well you sound so matter of fact about thing's that relate to giving up, well what about the other people in your life, don't they matter just as much as you.

    I take your point about CBT as it's the cheapest option open to our NHS and it allows the GP an out , but the thing about CBT and the data, is that the people who benefit from it would have more than likely have recovered over time as so many of us go through periods where life is hopeless, as opposed to many others who find a way to live with their condition because they have no choice.

    Most people who suffer from these bout's of depression and feeling worthlessness find that they begin to recognize triggers and the sign's and then an understanding and a coming to terms with it in their own way, or else we just become a pest to all those around us and of course the poor GP's are at a loss as to what to do with us.

    I suspect you are clever enough to find a coping strategy , a distraction, a recognition of the triggers, and then not wallow in the feeling's of self-worth and loathing that depression can bring,I mean who want's to wallow in those feeling's, I know I don't, and I've been round the block a few times'

    I'm no expert and don't pretend to be, all I can do is tell what I've discovered that helps me and hope it may give you a better understanding of how to live with your condition and accept that it is going to be with you as part of you, but it can be fought and conquered to the degree that you can come to an understanding with it.

    You have a duty as man to your wife, she needs you and loves you, what other duty is there. all the best Alex

  • But I cannot even function on a daily basis Any more. I can't work and will lose my job soon. I can't pay the mortgage. I can't even negotiate basic errands without huge amounts of stress, rage or fear. I'm finished. I can't live like this as a duty to anyone.

    It's constant mental pain. Torture. Every day I'm spending less and less time above the water line and I've nowhere left to turn. It's gone from occasional dips into repression, for varying lengths of time, to constant hovering near the bottom of a normal person's range of emotions, with frequent dips into despair.

    Triggers? Everything. Any aspect of daily life or contact with people.

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