Another letter re: DBT!

Some of you may remember that way back in January after my first psychiatric admission, my psychiatrist referred me for DBT run by my local public hospital. After many months of not hearing from them, yesterday I clutched in my hand the first correspondence from them since April 1. I opened the envelope, wondering whether perhaps they were finally going to offer me a place in their DBT program. But no, starting the program after only eight months of waiting would be asking far too much. Instead, the contents of the letter told me this:

Another 6-12 months before I may get a chance to do the DBT program. That’s good to know. Perhaps I haven’t been annoying enough. After all, I haven’t called to chase them up on it and I’ve only ended up in their Emergency Department once this year.

The ‘list of some other services you may wish to access’ included this. He even took the time to enclose a short hand written note:

Yeah cool, but I don’t have BPD or a personality disorder.

Also enclosed is information about various other mental health services offered in my city. One of which I’ve already been referred to for their social anxiety group. I haven’t heard from that service either. According to the enclosed information sheet, they only have capacity in their ‘worry group’ at the moment which would ‘suit the GAD person’. Attending a group therapy program entitled ‘worry group’? No thanks.

Other services listed include those for mothers and fathers in the postnatal stage, relationship counselling and family services. Yes. Very relevant to me.

Lol. I think all that’s left to do right now is just laugh at how pathetically inadequate mental health services are. Which is better than the alternate, which is to cry about how I’m never going to get the proper help to get better. Not with mental health services how they are at current anyway.

12 thoughts on “Another letter re: DBT!

  1. Jesus Christ. It’s beyond a joke! Don’t they even take the most cursory glance at a proposed patient’s notes before contacting him or her?!

    ‘Worry group’. What in the name of shit is a ‘worry group’? I feel even more worried about mental health service, now that I’ve heard of its existence, than I did five minutes ago, and that’s saying something.

    I’m so sorry you’re being dicked about like this. It’s absolutely disgraceful 😦 Bastards.

    Hugs, for the little they’re worth.

    Take care

    P xxx

  2. aaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..

    well, that;s hasnt exactly helped my frustration at your situation, or helped you, but it’s about the most useful thing I can say right now……

    hang in there,

  3. this is really shit, no doubt about it.
    but can i say something that might help a little (or make things soooo much worse). The reason for this letter is that they care. They feel shit they can’t offer you anything themselves. They know there isn’t much out there. The information listing, although really fucking insulting, is the best they can do at the moment. It sounds -and is- really derisory, ignoring you as an individual & all of that. It’s a classic avoidance technique by bureaucrat types- oh yeah, we’ve cut our service but are still trying to pretend there’s *something* out there. But for maybe one person on their list, whom they haven’t been able to do a full assessment on, or whose situation has changed, the discovery of a service which might help them (and cut down the waiting list for you) is worth it.

    But question, I thought DBT was *for* BPD. Why would you be waiting for that?

    • DBT isn’t only for BPD, it can be used to treat other mental illnesses as well. I know a friend who did DBT in hospital as part of eating disorders treatment and found it helpful- she doesn’t have BPD. And I guess the reason the psychiatrist at the psych ward recommended it is because I self harm and OD.

      • ah- i’ve not really come across it much so that context’s helpful. (but what i have come across is that you may not be missing much by waiting- ok I’m very very very vicious about mindfulness (which appears to be a part of DBT) and consider it is inappropriate given the aetiology for a lot of mental illnesses, so that blinds me to any reasoned analysis…!)

  4. This is pretty grim isn’t it? But I guess theurbanworrier is right: somewhere someone is trying to make a small improvement to their awful service. Someone has recognized that at least they ought to try and pass on a list of addresses and phone numbers, in case you were missing out. Which means that someone somewhere has had to spend time compiling them and persuading their boss that it is worthwhile doing this.

    Pretty small consolation though! Obviously the persuasion didn’t stretch as far as making a personalised list for each individual, and what you got was a standard mailshot approach.

    I have to admit I’d never even heard of DBT. My daughter has been waiting for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for fifteen months and I don’t think she’ll ever get it – but maybe it takes even longer to move up the alphabet. You do have to wonder if a therapy is going to be as useful once you’ve had to live for months and years with an illness.

  5. Wow. It really should not be this hard to get adequate mental health help! Sometimes it feels like the only way you CAN get help is by being in an immediate crisis situation, and in that case, you’re rarely receptive to the help that’s forced on you…

    I’m sorry you’re being put through all of this. I hope you’re able to find help of at least some level of relevance and with some degree of timeliness…

  6. Pingback: This Week in Mentalists – The Rhinestone Cowgirl Edition « This Week in Mentalists

  7. I can relate to this! I was put on a wait list for an Anxiety Treatment Program at the local hospital here in Canada for 8 months! My dad even had to call and insist I be seen. Even after that call, is still took another 2 months before I got an appointment.

  8. DBT is saving my life (I have borderline traits – as a teen I would have been diagnosed with full blown borderline personality disorder but as we age some of them resolve themselves.) I highly recommend DBT especially for those who have strong urges to self-harm (whether by cutting, drinking, drugging, and/or engaging in anorexic or dangerously permiscuous behaviors.) I received years of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it didn’t help me at all. I am only half way through the DBT training and I am already changing – it is amazing!

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