Author Topic: stereotypes and shocking professionals  (Read 1607 times)

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
stereotypes and shocking professionals
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:49:38 PM »
I was met by one of the acute mental health team today and she said many awful in many ways things. The first thing she said to me when she arrived (we've never previously met) was "why are you feeling suicidal?" in an incredulous voice.  Has she heard of depression. She told me forget my children; er, can't remember, did I have any?! And to cap it all she said I didn't look anything like she expected so I asked her what she expected me to look like and she said "well, you look like a normal pretty lady". Do people with MH difficulties look a certain way then, abnormal? Green ears? Arrive in their bikini?

Needless to say, i didn't warm to her and our meeting wasn't helpful!

Any health professionals said awful or insensitive things to you?

edit to add triangle - Sunshine  :-)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 09:20:08 PM by SunshineMeadows »

seegee

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 09:13:13 PM »

Very strange indeed coming from a MH professional - she is one, isn't she? >doh< >yikes< 

Of course we are all green with orange stripes & purple spikes when ill, so very easily distinguished from "normal" people - though, to quote Francesca Martinez, "What the **** is normal?".  ;-)

 >bighugs< Fiz >bighugs<


Sunshine Meadows

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7598
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 09:24:16 PM »
 >bighugs<

It is like the one where a doctor was confused that I had CP and an normal level of intelligence, to be fair that was a long time ago.

I suppose the doctor you saw could have been going for positives as 'well you are not like those people that stop washing!'  >steam<


NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7373
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 09:31:05 PM »
Holy Moly, Fiz! That was rough stuff! >hugs<

Yes, I've had similar experiences. Admittedly the 'What's a lovely woman like you got to be depressed about' comment came from someone who was looking after my physical health, but it's no less difficult to deal with.

Some MH professionals haven't exacly covered themselves in glory either. The suggestion that I sould 'just go to the gymn' instead of having an eating disorder was especially helpful, as was the idea that I should just 'get on with my exams' after I'd had to be taken into hospital during my A-Levels.

I don't know how to advise you on how to cope with what's happened, because I didn't cope terribly well myself. There's an abundance of insensitive people in the world, and some of them end up in caring professions. There are also otherwise good people who make horrible or insensitive remnarks because they're stressed and overburdened, and it's extremely difficult to tell one from the other.

The one thing to bear in mind though, is that you are not the problem.  >bighugs<

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2015, 06:37:45 AM »
Sunshine, I'm never told what kind of professional I am seeing when someone turns up from the acute mental health team. The are mostly mental health nurses, the occasional social worker and there are some support workers though to be in these crisis teams they usually have a good amount of experience before joining the team. My guess is this particular worker was a support worker, at least I really truly hope she isn't a mental health nurse.

The Doctor from that team came out to me in the morning beforehand and was absolutely lovely. He'd taken the time to read all my notes back to 2010, listened to me, and said what I was asking for medication wise was what he'd recommend anyway. My own consultant had said no to my request and wanted me on a different antidepressant, an anti-psychotic (I've never had any psychotic episode) and a mood stabiliser (I've never been high). When I said this to one of the shared care team he said, we're just trying to keep you alive Fiz. The very thought of anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers sent my eating disordered brain into orbit because of the associated inevitable weight gain that both drugs lead to. The crisis team Doctor totally got that. So I've got the meds I wanted. I'd recently told my consultant I'd be happy to have ect, having hated the effects for decades of the sessions I had in the 90's. However when you can't stop crying, can't sleep, can't go out etc you'll consider anything and this is my worst crisis to date. My own consultant was totally against the idea and made it clear that wasn't an option. The crisis Doctor asked me how I felt about ect and I said I'd thought about it recently and was happy to have it. He says he's very pro ect and it can be a very effective first line treatment for people in severe crisis so he's putting on the system that I'd be happy to have ect if it's needed at any time, he told me I could have it as an outpatient and transport can be arranged. How different can 2 Doctors be?! I guess this one has a lot of experience of people in crisis being in that team, but unlike my consultant his reaction to my crisis wasn't to forcibly medicate me into a sedated zombie like state, he listened, took my views into account and we agreed on treatment. Why can't all psychiatrists be like that.

To be fair about the crisis team, or acute mental health team as it's called here, yesterday's worker was the first to be totally unhelpful but I was shocked at the things she said. The worst thing about the crisis team is you never know who is going to turn up in advance so until you open the door, you don't know and as the team is so big and covers a 24 hour service, it's usually a complete stranger every time. I'm really hoping I don't see yesterday's worker again anyway!

Sunshine

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1834
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 08:25:37 AM »
Having people caring for those in need who take people as individuals and listen can make all the difference to the outcome of care and treatment  >bighugs<

I am not a mental health worker but you looking normal and pretty is not surprising. Getting washed,putting nice clothes on and makeup can be a small way a person is holding on to a part of their healthy identity. It could equally about wanting to look normal so you dont draw attention to yourself. There are allsorts of reasons.

Is the crisis team there to help keep people out of hospital or do they take a major role in getting people well again?

lankou

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2796
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 08:42:53 AM »

SashaQ

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 801
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 01:09:15 PM »
That is shocking, Fiz, but I'm glad there was at least the doctor who listened to you.  >thumbsup<

My worst experience was with an Occupational Therapist who came to assess me in the kitchen to see if there was anything to help me be safer and cook more easily.  First of all she didn't even step into the kitchen, just said "get takeaway", then she criticised the bathroom that was absolutely fine because it had had grab rails added just as I had asked for, then she told me about someone else she had seen that day who "made an effort to walk in the house", criticising me for being a full time wheelchair user who gets around on 4 legs instead of 2 if necessary...   To add the icing to the cake, she made some really insensitive remark about relationships, bordering on homophobia, then left...

I did make a complaint, but in the end I worked out myself what I needed, so my kitchen is good now, too.

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 02:01:40 PM »
Gosh Sasha that's awful. That's not just insensitive comments you might be able to roll your eyes at but she failed to do her kitchen assessment job and totally failed in her duties as well as criticising you without even knowing you.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4745
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 02:45:05 PM »
.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:47:14 PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

SashaQ

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 801
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2015, 07:28:36 PM »
Yes it was awful that it went totally opposite to what I was expecting, but it was such a surreal experience at the same time that I just laugh about it now! 

Dic Penderyn

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5228
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2015, 07:46:43 PM »
I once had a doctor tell me that my health problems were all down to smoking and I should stop smoking immediately.

I should add that at the time midway through a consultation in his surgery he was chain smoking Gauloise cigarettes after snapping off the filter tips and blowing the smoke in my face I had presented to the doctors with an upper respiratory tract infection.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 07:54:13 PM by Dic Penderyn »
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 08:05:12 AM »
Dic, with that Doctor's logic there are thousands of babies and toddlers smoking in the UK every year!

Dic Penderyn

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5228
Re: stereotypes and shocking professionals
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 10:01:19 AM »
Yes he was a very strange person to be honest if you broke your leg it would still be down to smoking according to him.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour