Wanting Discharge From Services

My friend who has just recently been discharged from a private psych clinic told me that in case I ever get admitted, it’s preferable to have private health insurance, because private hospitals are much more pleasant when compared with public hospitals. I gave a silent titter in my head. To be admitted to hospital would involve the people treating me to both take me seriously and give a toss. Evidently they do neither, as demonstrated when I overdosed the night of my psychiatrist appointment – I did forewarn her…

Anyways, considering I have been having monthly sessions with my psychologist, I am anticipating this Saturday’s session will be the last one for this year. Perfect opportunity to end treatment with her I think. Usually at the end of each session we will make the next appointment. I’m thinking something along the lines of, ‘I’m going away in January…I’ll erm…call you when I get back.’ I could try honesty and tell her I don’t feel it’s working quite well with her but I’m afraid to cause offence. In theory psychologists are meant to realise that not all patients are going to ‘fit’ with them, but I still can’t help being reluctant to tell her the truth.

If I manage to fob my psychologist off, I’m leaning towards cancelling my next appointment with my psychiatrist too. This bit will be easy – I just tell the receptionist I want to cancel my appointment, no I don’t want to reschedule and that’s that. If she’s going to discharge me as a patient anyway I don’t see much point in seeing her again.

Yes, my plan of action is most likely primarily born out of hurt and frustration. But I’m past caring. Besides, if I am discharged from mental health care, it’s probably only a matter of time before I find myself back in the system. I lasted about seven months last time between my previous psychologist failing to show up at my appointment and resuming with a new Mental Health Care Plan after an overdose. Perhaps next time round I could aim for eight?

I find myself torn between wanting to just get on with my life and succeed – go to Uni, commence the Occupational Therapy course, pass all my units and make nice friends, and wanting to give up – it’s all too hard, nothing’s changed, nothing’s going to change and might as resign to my future of amounting to nothing except a screw up. Or amounting to a dead person – I much prefer that option. 

Either way, I am vehemently over being a consumer of mental health services. I realized this today whilst participating in an online live forum with the federal Minister for Mental Health, as part of the wider consultations that are taking place all over Australia about mental health care and services. It’s a topic I have too much to comment upon, and that’s not something to be proud of. How much I don’t want to be vastly experienced in this matter anymore.

Perhaps that shall be my reason to my psychologist – I no longer want to engage in mental health services because I’m tired of it, it allows me to indulge in the idea that I’m unwell and serves as an unwanted reminder that I have issues. Really, I think I’d fare better on my own. At least that way I’d be forced to just get on with it.

8 thoughts on “Wanting Discharge From Services

  1. Ah, hun. I wish I had some words of advice and comfort. All I can say is that I know what it’s like to be screwed over by the mental health system, and it’s hideous. I can only hope that whatever happens you find a way through. A meaningless statement I suppose – sorry – but the sentiment is really.

    Big hugs


  2. I’m not sure what the right choice for you is– I think only you can know that– but I hope when you make your decision you put your WELL-BEING as of primary importance. That’s so important.

    By the way, I absolutely love it when people say “give a toss.” We don’t say that in America so it’s foreign!

    Wishing you well,

  3. Difficult situation. How to respond…? Well, I suppose you could chuck it all in with the quack and the shrink – if you aren’t getting on with it because you can’t connect with them. I still reckon that you need to see another shrink in the hope that you might click with them and get something out of this form of therapy. I think it all depends on your sense of personal risk assessment – ie – if you don’t have access to therapy of this kind on an on going basis, how likely is it that you will “re-offend” and end up on overdose / suicide watch in your local ED / psych ward.

    But then, I’ve just asked you the most impossible question – how well do you think you are? Your answer can’t possibly be completely objective. And I suppose that is why it is perhaps still useful to have a professional on hand to give you a more objective bench mark to use in this respect.

    It’s totally up to you, but if I were in your position and as hacked off with it all as you are, I’d be gunning for a new shrink and an up front chat with my quack about how I don’t feel that anyone takes me seriously or that I’m suffering as much as I feel I am.

    I agree with Pan: it’s horrific to feel like you are being fucked over by the services that are meant to protect and help you. What ever you end up doing, you know that we are all here for you and accept you for who you are.

    X Clarissa X

  4. I don’t know what to say – I have no advice, but I understand completely your frustrations at not being taken seriously, listened to, or well anything…

    If you do make the decision to disengage, then I hope that it’s for you, and not to “punish” either your psychiatrist or psychologist, because from what you’ve written about them (and what I know about them in a generic way) I doubt it’ll bother them, harsh I know, but I don’t think any but the “good ones” see people in front of them, more “hard work” or something to be tolerated until lunch… (gosh they’ve made me cynical).

    Ideally you could replace them with something better, either a new psychiatrist and psychologist or something else that does care (I wish I could export V Place in a bottle to people). Some form of support which isn’t necessarily “mental health” related.

    Failing that, I’m forever being told by therapists that “life is therapy”… Personally though I’ve always just taken that as the “great fob-off”…

    I hope that you reach a decision that you are both happy and calm with, and that it proves to be the correct course for you.

    Take care,

  5. I agree with differently- If you do quit, you will have to find ways to still give yourself support. Also, I’ve had a few conversations with my therapist about quitting–and one of them had to do with the fact that I was angry at the specific counseling center (long story)–and he bluntly said I wouldn’t be hurting him–I would only be hurting myself.

    That said, I know you don’t want to do this, but you really should talk to your therapist about this. And if you do decide to quit, why not try someone different? I mean, it sounds like you are not getting much from your current therapist. A change could make all the difference.

  6. Doctors at public hospitals are mostly overworked and understaffed compared to those in private practice who have the luxury of time to devote all of their attention and concentration on each patient.

    It’s not that no one cares. If you tell yourself that long enough, you’ll come to believe it and nothing will dissuade you otherwise. One thing I’ve learnt is that we cannot expect someone to demonstrate/prove that their concern is limitless and bottomless. We’re all human with our moments of folly and frustration and a less than positive response from someone does not mean that we are not worthy of receiving care.

    For any medical treatment to be successful, the patient has to be as compliant with instructions and advice as the doctor is vigorous and persistent in follow-up and monitoring. I know your health care system is less than ideal; there is no perfect health care system in the world unfortunately. The aim of the health care system where I live is geared more towards preventing anyone who needs health care from slipping through the cracks due to wilful neglect or careless negligence than ensuring that everyone receives customised and individualised health care. Private doctors exist to provide the latter.

    When your psychiatrist said that you have to make some decisions next January regarding your treatment, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to see you anymore. I think what she was trying to achieve was to force some verbal assurance of cooperation.

    I support your decision to fly solo. I have always hated it whenever the school calls me to “invite” me in for counselling because it is an unwanted reminder that I am perceived as being emotionally friable compared to the rest of my batch-mates.

    But please, please be safe.


  7. I have to say I was slightly concerned by this post. I think you need to think really carefully about whether or not you are doing this for the right reasons – ie you genuinely believe you will cope better without mental health services, or if it is that as you said ‘my plan of action is most likely primarily born out of hurt and frustration’. Please do not go for discharge to prove a point or anything like that, because it backfires.

    If you really do want to stop seeing your psychologist then I really think you should tell her that rather than just saying you are going away in January. For a start she may have opinions on it that would be helpful for the two of you to discuss and see how you feel about it when you have had her view. She wouldn’t be offended, and I am sure she would rather you told her how you are feeling rather than just didn’t ever call again. That would probably leave her pretty confused actually, and would be more likely to upset her than if you told her what was going on.

    The other thing I wanted to say, is that not admitting you doesn’t mean people don’t care. It can mean that they think it may be counterproductive, or lots of reasons. Also, although I don’t know a lot about the Aussie system, the impression I get from your posts is that the private and public hospital situation probably isn’t that different to over here. People here can be admitted to private hospitals if they have insurance, when they would even be deemed ill enough to be seen by a CMHT, let alone admitted. So generally the people in public (NHS) hospital are far more ill than those in the private hospitals, although of course there are exceptions. But hospital isn’t always the answer. Yes, it can make you feel safe and like people care, but it doesn’t solve anything, and actually it is out of hospital where people make changes. People can become institutionalised very quickly, and find it really difficult to be out of hospital. Unless there is a really strong reason for needing admission, like someone being so acutely suicidal there is no way they can stay safe, or needing medications changed that can be unsafe to do outside of hospital etc – otherwise generally it is better to stay out of hospital, particularly if a public hospital is the only option. I do think you should be receiving more support, but it seems like the way the system works there makes that difficult without insurance from what you said about the number of appointments you can have per year etc? It often isn’t about how much they care – it is about the limitations placed on them by the system.

    Just think about why you are wanting to do this – if you genuinely think it is the right thing for you then talk to your psychologist and psychiatrist about it, but think carefully first. There is also the option of finding a different psychologist if you are not comfortable with this one – there is an option other than seeing your current team and discharging yourself from services.

    Take care,
    Bip x

  8. Hi , i know exactly how you feel when it comes to the support reminding u that something is wrong. Unluckily i dont have a psychologist yet. I have been on the waiting list for a year and a half now and the 2 psychologists in my area have left, not to be replaced yet. My parents are currently going through a complaints procedure for the NHS with the health minister person. I went through a period of time where psychiatrists just signed me off their list a good number of times, but now my psychiatrist is doing sand play therapy with me which i have to say is shit and i openly tell anyone who asks me this.

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