The importance of being ernest

Today is the last day of my vacation, and like most of it
I'm spending this day alternately on the patio, trying to enjoy the outdoors
while still shying away from the scorching sun, and alternately inside
in front of the computer, with a glass of wine within reach.

A vacation was just what I needed. But even though I've done fuck all
it has not been a very restful time. I am dealing with some heavy shit,
and inspired by Lesthi's open and very personal post about her difficulties,
I want to share a little bit about what's going on with me.


Since 18 months back I am a part of the Swedish psychiatric care system.
This does not mean I am locked up or a ward of the state or something.
It just means that after 15 years trying to find the right help,
I finally got my foot in the door, and now they have to help me.

Care in Sweden is not entirely free, but it's pretty darn close.
A doctor's visit (no matter what care or drugs you get during your visit)
is between 200 and 300 kr (30-45 USD). If you reach 2000 kr within
a year, all care is free for the rest of the year. The same goes for meds,
 though this works on a discount based system. One gets a big discount
when reaching 1000 kr, and then it just gets bigger with each purchase.

This means you won't spend more than 5000 kr (750 USD) a year for any
and all illnesses, treatment plans or drugs. It is pretty great, and for this reason alone,
I don't mind paying our high taxes. But. BUT. Our care system is on total overload.
They are turning away people in dire need of help; They are sending birthing mothers
home too early, cancer patient have to wait for months to get treatment,
people are dying in emergency halls because there isn't enough staff.

It took me two weeks to get an appointment with a doctor in my area,
another two to see their on-staff psychologist. She was totally over-worked
and couldn't offer me any times, so she referred me to a triage team in another town.
They did an acute assessment a couple of weeks later: A random doctor gave me
20 minutes of his time and then put me on 3 different kinds of meds. I never saw him again.

I met with a psychiatric nurse a couple of times over the next month, filling out forms,
doing tests. Then they sent me to a new doctor. She was the Chief physician,
and she was great. We decided together that the drugs were doing me no good,
but I only got to see her a couple of times. She referred me to a cognitive psychologist,
but also to group therapy. It took another couple of weeks for that to start up.

If you've been counting, it took me 3-4 months to get there.
A steady psychologist, a care plan. The problem was that none of it
suited me. Finding the RIGHT kind of help often takes much longer than that.
Since I have studied psychology myself, tried several different drugs
and have been to therapy before, I am pretty well versed and informed by now.
I gave it 6 months, because I know these things take time, but then I said 'no more'.

When I expressed my wishes and needs for a different kind of therapy,
the circus started all over again. That was in November last year.
Since then I've seen 3 different doctors (none with a psychiatric degree)
and only a few weeks ago did I finally have a dynamic psychologist tell me:
"Yes, I have a time slot for you." I begin my therapy - one I feel good about
- in three weeks. 18 months after I first sought help (this time).

Dynamic therapy is usually a long term thing. We will have our first
assessment in November. It takes a lot of painful internal work on my part
and offers no guarantees whatsoever. It might take years. Yet, I am hopeful.
At 35, after struggling with depression and other things for 20 years,
I am more than ready to feel better. Yet, I am hopeless and desperate.
At 35, after struggling with depression and other things for 20 years 
- this had better fucking work.

Ok, so what is the point of this entry? I guess it's to offer some insight
to those experiencing troubles of their own. It's also about letting others know:
You are not alone. Other people are also struggling, but there are also people
that can help you. Asking for help is the first step, and getting there can sometimes
take a long time - too long, considering how long it might take getting
the help you need. So...don't wait until you are suicidal to ask for help.


29 kommentarer:

  1. I happy for you that you are finally getting the chance to talk to someone who has time for you. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder several years ago and they want to put me on pills. I refused. I haven't gone back to seek psychological help because I don't think it will help. in my case (changing my diet has actually been the biggest help). I do help it helps you, though!!

    1. I think there are many ways to manage a "disorder", and making changes and controlling different aspects of one's life will always be a part of it. However, for many people (including me) it is not enough, I can't do it alone.

    2. I didn't mean to imply that you could do it alone. I had enough university credits to minor in psychology and am aware that many people benefit from treatment As I said, I wish you the best.

  2. Whatever you can believe in will help you; I've never asked for professional help but once because at that time, it didn't help, moreveor....the doc managed to make me feel utterly stupid...so if I've ever believed in it, that's where it ended...

    Changing my lifestyle and getting into a better physical shape did a great deal for my mental state and I'm finally feeling much better and able to maintain social relations. I'm still having troubles managing everiday chores due to feeling exhauated or lacking energy, but I'm getting there...:)

    1. As a major believer in psychology and psychiatry, I think it's very sad to hear how many people have had really bad experiences with doctors and psychiatrists :(
      I'm glad you're feeling better though!

    2. Thank you! I forgot to add it to my first comment, but I hope you'll be finally finding the help you've been seeking at dynamic therapy.

      It's saddedning, indeed. But...I don't know how it is in Sweden, but Hungarian media tends to put psychology and psychologist in a tarrible light; they actually made a reality show with a psych who was insane himself, rude, aggressive and all that and that's how people in Hungary imagine them. Also, they communicate something like if you're seeing a psych, you're crazy, mental...whatever and people feel embarrased to go to a doctor with their mental issues.

    3. That sounds very conservative, but it wasn't long ago it was the same in Sweden, only 10-20 years maybe.

  3. Yea! for getting your foot in the door. I truly hope this dynamic therapy will be the club that works to get you what you need. Good luck &, I hope, to read come Nov/Dec, that this is helping your create the positive change in your life that you need & deserve.

    1. What a massively positive response - I almost feel like saying 'Yay' myself! Thank you :)

  4. I hate to hear that you've been going through such a struggle,
    and truly hope this therapy will help to get you where you need to be.

    You're not alone - the darkness will pass - stay positive and hopeful : )

    Sending you virtual *hugs* from Wales x

    1. Thank you Yvonne. Virtual hugs are better than no hugs :)

  5. Sweden's health care system sounds a lot like ours. It's tough when you have to wait that long to get any kind of help. I haven't a clue what dynamic therapy is (I'm going to Google that right now!), but I'm rooting for you that it's just what you need, Ms. Misantropia! :o)

    1. Thank you Ms Insomniac! Dynamic therapy is basically modern style psychotherapy. The traditional form you might say.

  6. Unfortunately, it's the same here in Belgium. Very ill people sometimes have to wait for their treatments for over six months. I know of people who needed an urgent operation, but their just wasn't any place left in the hospitals. Terrible.

    1. That's horrible!
      My mother was having severe back problems a few months ago (she's fine now). She was in so much pain she just lay in bed nauseous and crying. She asked for an x-ray several times - and they finally gave it to her - yesterday..!

  7. My mother always said that things will always look up when your perspective is down at the bottom.
    I can attribute much of my good mental health to my mother, but at times I sense myself teetering back into that darkness-- especially now that'm so far away from her. She is my therapy, and the only person who has ever been able to put it all into perspective; I was lucky to find it so close to home.

    It's good to hear you're able to find the help you're most comfortable with. Finding someone who understands and can give you that hand out of that pit is one of the biggest steps. =)

    1. I'm sorry your moods are low when you are far away from your mother. Being away from one's best friend is always hard. You must miss her a lot.

  8. You're brave to post abut things so personal and so important to you. I think the so called "normal" people aren't very different from you. Most of us have very dark moments, and some moments last longer than others. It's taking a long time, but at least you're making progress in getting help. In the US, if you don't have money or insurance - no help for you! Just suck it up. I really, really hope things improve for you soon. <3

    1. Thank you Lexa. Yes, health care in the states is a joke for people with emotional or psychological problems. I am thankful I live in Sweden.

  9. So, so sorry. I hope you get effective therapy.

  10. Jag hoppas verkligen att du får rätt hjälp den här gången :/. Det låter inte alls bra att kastas runt sådär. Jag hade tur, men jag var självmordsbenägen, jag skadade mig själv. Har man barn brukar man få hjälp snabbt tydligen. Första psykologen jag pratade med drog snabba slutsatser och tyckte jag skulle flytta isär från min sambo på prov. Vilken jäkla idioti! När man inte kan ta hand om sig själv så ska man börja stöka med en flytt från den enda som vet hur jag mår :( Tack och lov så slapp jag henne och fick en helt underbar psykolog och jag hade en bra doktor hos vårdcentralen. Det gjorde mycket. Så jag hoppas innerligt att du får rätt hjälp. Jag kan tänka mig att det tar ännu längre tid att bli frisk när man har gått så länge som du. Ta hand om dig nu och var snäll mot dig själv <3

    1. Jag är ledsen att höra att du mått så dåligt, och jag hoppas att du mår bättre nu. Om man är självmordbenägen, gravid och/eller har barn så hamnar man i en annan kategori. De ställer de frågorna varje gång jag träffar ny läkare.
      Och ja, en träffar många med förutfattade meningar inom psykiatrin... :(

    2. Tack jag mår betydligt bättre. Jag gjorde mig av med gammalt bagage via terapin och sen lite förändringar i arbetslivet som gjorde att jag slapp vissa personer.
      Jag hoppas att du finner lite tröst i din trädgård och odlingarna. Kram <3

  11. Usch jag hoppas verkligen att psykologen jag fått är bra! Jag är nog mest orolig att de inte ska ta mig seriöst, det verkar vara ganska vanligt..

    1. Jag tror kanske att ibland är det inte det att patienten inte tas på allvar, utan att vården har så hemskt kort tid på sig att göra en utvärdering. De ställer sina formulärs-frågor, checkar boxar för att se att patienten inte är självmordsbenägen, skriver ett recept och tackar för sig. Som patient måste en måste ligga på lite och ställa frågor själv för att få hjälp.

  12. I think, my beloved Ms Misantropia, that you've taken about 13 first steps here. You didn't let the bureaucracy keep you down, when things got difficult you didn't let the depression take you but continue to push instead, when something didn't work for you the search for better began, you are sharing... Like I said, tons of first steps. So I think you are way on your way!

    1. Thank you Magaly, I do feel like I am on my way - it is just such a long road...


Lately I have been falling behind answering comments, for many reasons. But I read and cherish all of them! Your comments make my day, yay!

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