Summer holidays for the kids, change of routines all around for those affected families as a consequence. Seaside towns like the one I live in becoming inundated by some of those families looking for some well deserved rest and relaxation. Whilst at the same time we look forward with some trepidation to the new school year and what that will bring. I'm feeling the winds of change too, I'm not sure I can put my finger on precisely why but I can feel a shift.
Since the last blog I wrote and left posted... I've had a bit of a roller-coaster ride with my emotions. A week ago today I visited a psychiatrist at the request of my force. They say to establish what treatment I should be receiving but I have my doubts that their grounds were quite that compassionate! Especially as they've not been the source of any treatment to date over the last seven months!
The encounter was not a pleasant one and the professional was overbearing, jumped to conclusions and put words into my mouth. I was so distraught throughout the consultation that I was continually crying and at times incapable of being coherent. The consultation was an hour in total and cost the force £350. There was about ten minutes of administration, thirty minutes of very closed questioning which was then stunted further by him contemporaneously recording everything I said. Then he used the last twenty minutes of the session to dictate his letter about me! He says he does it that way so that people know what he will be saying but I have to say it felt more like a time saving exercise to me!
I left the appointment feeling very low and ashamed as he'd made some wild assumptions that I felt stained my character and I spent the next two days feeling really quite distraught about the whole experience. Quite a joke really bearing in mind he is meant to be a mental health specialist and advocate!
After forty eight hours of feeling terribly downtrodden and utterly beaten by the system I had an epiphany. I recalled him saying to me that I could withdraw my consent for him to share his findings with the force at anytime. So I did! This resulted in some squirming, an apology and the letter he'd so hastily dictated being re-written to better reflect my case based on the facts as opposed to his snap assumptions. I have now reinstated my consent for him to share it with the Occupational health department and in turn my force.
Anyway what I have found in the last week is that I have been through a whole array of emotions. From the down trodden beaten feelings of despair to the incensed fire to stand up for myself. Now I'm feeling that I'm almost grateful he treated me so badly as it lit a fire under my butt and forced me to confront the issues head on if you'll excuse the pun!
The psychiatrist reached the following diagnosis for me in his letter:
1. Moderate depressive disorder
2. Generalised anxiety disorder
3. PTSD symptoms
I've had to email him back again and ask if No 3 is a PTSD diagnosis or if just having symptoms isn't quite going that far? Or does it take longer than thirty minutes in a one off session to reach that sort of conclusive diagnosis?
As an aside, he quotes a passage from the force's referral to him in his letter. Apparently they made the following statement "she is reluctant to return to work"? Now I read that as she's swinging the lead or can't be arsed to come to work as opposed to she's unable to return to work or she's too poorly to return to work. What do you think? Have to say it got under my skin somewhat. In his letter he refers to it as a poor prognostic factor!
Another odd comment in his letter is this one;
"perhaps either contributing or perhaps clouding diagnostically is her fibromyalgia"
How does it cloud things? If he knows his stuff and one is assuming he should, it's well documented that PTSD and Fibromyalgia often go hand in hand, in fact my last blog looked at just this area so why does he feel my Fibromyalgia clouds a diagnosis?
Anyway that letter will be winging its way to the OH department, as to what benefit it'll have for me I'm unsure! Does it take me any further forwards? I'm not sure. Was it worth £350?? Probably not! Any decent detective could have taken a far better, all encompassing witness statement from me gathering much greater detail. He could definitely learn a thing or two about listening and compassion because the way he went about things was seriously flawed. Plus detectives don't earn £350 an hour! It certainly brings it home how professional we are as a service for what essentially is peanuts in comparison to what that monkey is earning!