Upon discharge from the psych ward, I was told by the nurse that the referral for DBT would have been sent off to Dr T, my psychiatrist. Evidently this was not so, as she was not even aware I had been an inpatient in late December. I should’ve known they would not be this efficient. Neither have I received contact from the hospital Self Harm and Crisis Counselling Service. According to their pamphlet ludicrously entitled Care After Discharge, ‘We would like to contact you after discharge, usually within three days after you leave hospital.’ Right. It’s been how many days now? It’s becoming something of a farce how many times I manage to fall through the cracks.
But not to worry, I informed Dr T of my psych ward admission myself and was asked what led to me being admitted. Because I overdosed, why else? Was questioned as to why I OD’d, the third time she’s had to ask that in the seven months I’ve known her. It’s probably getting tiresome for both of us…
I reported I was put back on the Lexapro at 10mg daily and the doctor recommended I give DBT a go.
We spent a while discussing the options for DBT. I was told some public hospitals run outpatient DBT programs, but you must fall in their catchment area. Otherwise she suggested there are DBT type groups run through the private hospital, one of which is more ACT, but unfortunately because I do not own private health insurance it’s a no go. I do fall into the catchment area of one public hospital that runs a DBT program though so Dr T told me she’d send off a referral today.
I was given by Dr T the numbers of two other private clinical psychologists, as I concluded therapy with my now ex-psychologist in December, and was advised not to wait for the DBT referral to come through as there’s no telling how long that could take. So now I face the dilemma of choosing between the two. How do I go about doing so? I’ve consulted good ol’ Google. One of the psychologists have a website whereby they describe the work that they do and even have a photo to match, the other does not.
Given this is my forth OD this year (third as far as she knows), and I’m about to embark on the Occupational Therapy course at Uni, I was warned by Dr T that this could affect my registration. “How will they know?” I asked her. “It’s mandatory that we report depression and suicide attempts.” Oh. “If you had leukemia, we’d have to report it too if it can impact your work. It’s not just mental health,” she told me. “So can they stop me…?” I queried. “They can’t stop you from taking the course at Uni and they can’t stop you from graduating, but it means that you’ll come to their attention and be monitored,” she replied. Dear oh dear oh dear.
Because Google has all the answers, once home I attempted to find information about the DBT group run through the local public hospital. I found an information sheet written by said hospital on their DBT group. What is written includes a bit of information on the components of DBT and this,
This group is specifically for women who present with Borderline Personality Disorder or ‘Borderline traits’. Experiences for these women may include intense instability of mood, a pattern of unstable personal relationships and a self-image that is not clear. They may fear abandonment, have chronic feelings of emptiness, and often experience depression and anxiety. They may act impulsively and have difficulty seeing things any other way than in ‘black and white, good or bad’ terms. The feelings of confusion and pain may lead to feelings of guilt or shame, at times trying to cope with these feelings with self harming behaviours.
As well as this,
To attend you must have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder or Borderline Personality traits diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
So either I have BPD or at least ‘Borderline Personality traits,’ whatever that means, or I do not have the correct diagnosis to be able to access this type of therapy.
Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.