Friday 21 April 2017

But if you don't have the cash, then what's the point of raising awareness about adult mental health?

Earlier this year I sat down in front of my NHS EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist (for my Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress) only to be told that we had just THREE SESSIONS left. And you know what? I was LUCKY that I'd been offered TWENTY sessions in total; very soon the NHS would CUT these to just SIXTEEN. I was also DOUBLY LUCKY because I'd had a large number of other sessions prior to this - a mix of CBT and psychotherapy (which obviously didn't work, hence why I was undergoing EMDR).

In a blind panic at being thrown from the ship in the middle of a stormy ocean without a lifeboat, I yelled: "No, no, no!!!!!!" and scarpered down the stairs, down the road, into my car and out onto the motorway where I drove for 40 miles or so before returning home. I didn't answer the phone, I didn't want to speak to the therapist again.

Oh I know that it's not her fault that the NHS appears to be CUTTING DOWN on adult mental health provision at a time when many people, including TV and other media, are busy raising awareness of mental health in a bit to counter the stigma.

But my point today, after watching another TV programme about adult mental health last night, is: If you don't have the cash to pay for private therapy, then what's the point of raising awareness about adult mental health?

Being kicked out after (what would now be) just SIXTEEN sessions of EMDR for your Chronic PTSD just because you didn't recover quickly enough is CRIMINAL.

You can't possibly set a time limit on how many sessions it takes to recover from a mental health issue.

Furthermore, with EMDR the first two sessions (at a minimum) are spent explaining what EMDR is all about and why it's believed to work, and also getting to know and trust the therapist. So that leaves around FOURTEEN sessions to get the patient completely back to normal - or they're spat out of The System and left to fend for themselves.

At this stage you either pay for private help or shut up and put up with it.

I am so incredibly fortunate that my husband and mum are funding my private EMDR therapy with Steve, a fantastic (but private) EMDR therapist who really knows his stuff. He also knows eating disorders inside out, so that's even better - because the C-PTSD has come as a result of all those years of battling to get my son through anorexia.

But I am only too aware that not everyone is as fortunate.

There must be hundreds... thousands... of people out there struggling with mental health problems and receiving ZERO TREATMENT because they've been discharged by the NHS because their allotted sessions are up. And they can't afford to go private.

Also, if the NHS has cut its number of EMDR therapy sessions from 20 to 16, how long before it goes down to 10... 8... 4... zero?

I am left feeling kind of guilty because I didn't respond to the other therapy I was offered for the PTSD. Yet it's not my fault that it was ineffective.

Now as I undergo pure unadulterated EMDR therapy with Steve it has become clear that the other therapies were no more than sticking plasters (band-aids) on a festering wound. They were never going to get to the root of the problem and cure it. So they were a waste of my time, my therapists' time and NHS funds that could have been better spent elsewhere.

Like on proper, long-term EMDR therapy right from the start.

If CBT and psychotherapy are the sticking plasters of C-PTSD treatment, then EMDR is the antibiotics which will clear up the weeping wound once and for all.

But I am lucky. Others are not so lucky.

EVERYONE should have access to the right mental health treatment for as long as they need it, care of the NHS.

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