Depression and Other Mental Health Issues

smeg-head

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Had this many times before, there seems to be mental depression and physical depression, you can have it separately, or sometimes both at once, I've had tests before and there was nothing physically wrong they could find.

Also getting bombarded with negative thoughts, like someone is following me around trying to bring me down, just like that black dog thing.

I'm on 30 mg citalopram.

My Coping strategy is to keep alert, and recognise what the depression is trying to do, it wants to catch you off guard, and take over your thinking so it can trick you into suicide. If it can't do it mentally, it tries to bring you down physically.
The "black dog thing" is not the myth it is made out to be. It seems to follow me around. I often have feelings of negativity and self-harm. At the moment it is exacerbated by the fact that my Missus is being treated for Breast Cancer. This is the second time, even though she was told 21 years ago that she could never get it again after having both breasts removed!
I am being treated with 30mg Sertraline and have also attended counselling sessions. Trouble with counselling is it makes you feel worse by talking over problems.
I keep thinking, one day that black dog is going to leave me and find someone else. Until then, I just crawl under my shell until the black dog goes away.
 
For those in Thailand, I cannot recommend Manarom hospital enough: my angry outbursts, suicidal tendencies, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, fighting, excessive drinking, insomnia and "night terrors" have all been calmed (to almost acceptable levels) by several years of patient one-to-one counselling and declining medications. Most of all, though, because my wife and her family have been so supportive.

Unfortunately, SPVA/Vets UK have not been particularly helpful (except those on the 'phone whom I think are stars for their efforts) however I now have what I hope is useful advice for those who have, or think they have, PTSD or similar and live here.

Firstly, a bit obvious I know but has to be said, you have to admit that you may have issues and then go and get help. There are many hospitals that have mental health practitioners, I've met with several over the years at different hospitals, but Manarom has the widest spread of same and they also have more than one specialist in many fields of MHC (important if you don't "click" with the first, or second etc).

Points to note: 1) You must explain that you are a Brit Vet and that any prescribed medication must follow NHS guidelines for treatment of any/all diagnosed conditions - providing you want to receive financial compensation from HMG for same. They have forms they can complete for both Aussie and US Vets with MH issues, none from HMG. 2) You must ensure that the specialist specifically states that you are suffering from PTSD/MADD etc from the earliest possible session - again, providing that you wish to receive financial compensation from HMG. 3) Contact HMG asap after being formally diagnosed as it will take months or longer (started mine in late 2012 and still ongoing) for the process of compensation to successfully start to kick in. 4) Combat Stress are wonderfully supportive but cannot offer overseas/remote support unless you are able to return to the UK for a mutually suitable appointment. 5) Keep at it, including the extremely drawn out compensation process which can often add to your symptoms. 6) Note that virtually all MHC medicines (which tend to be very expensive - I've spent almost half a million since first seeking treatment) are only available via hospitals - even the "friendly pharmacy" around the corner/down the road etc that can always get you what you want without a prescription cannot supply same. 7) RBL legal are absolutely brilliant - in fact most of the reason I get any dosh back regarding my PTSD is down to them (and the former Hon Brit Consul on Samui).

I also recently received some very useful legal info from a UK specialist legal firm regarding suing the MOD/HMG (in particular for medical/financial compensation) which they have kindly agreed that I can share as follows:

"My firm does not deal with AFCS claims in isolation. We bring civil actions against the MoD for example, in the delay and diagnosing of PTSD. In such circumstances it is not enough to argue that you sustained PTSD whist in service, it has to be proven that there has been a breach of duty which has caused your condition to worsen.

Firstly, I have to advise you that to pursue a compensation claim in the English and Welsh jurisdiction, you must issue proceedings in the high court or the county court against the defendants within three years of your “date of knowledge”. The “date of knowledge” is the date when a reasonable person in your situation would first have had knowledge –

1 that your injury was significant; and
2 that your injury was either totally or partly caused by the act (or the failure to act) which you believe was negligent; and
3 the identity of the person (or organisation) who you believe was negligent.


Failure to issue court proceedings within this deadline could result in your claim being time-barred and you losing the right to claim compensation."


Hope this helps anyone and thanks to all those contributing/sharing on here - it has also been part of my therapy. Stay safe everyone, please feel free to PM me if more details needed.
 

smeg-head

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Can I just say, there is no direct cure for depression and ptsd! There are ways of living through it, but nothing cures it. My dear Father has the idea that if you just "pull yourself together" everything will be alright. This shows the ignorance of the non-sufferer. It is a very real disease that needs treating properly. The NHS method of chucking a few pills every month at the problem doesn't work. As I've said before, counselling for me, doesn't work as I always feel more depressed. I think finding your own way of dealing with it is the way forward. I know people who take up hobbies, start painting or do DIY, all of these are fine, but they don't stop the thoughts when you are alone in your bed. That is when some sort of chemical stimulant is required.
Drug therapy is fine providing it is managed correctly. Many anti-depressants warn of some pretty serious side effects; so it is better to keep in regular touch with your GP or practice Nurse. Unfortunately, with the the NHS being what it is, nobody has the time to correctly monitor your Anti-depressant usage and you are left to your own devices.
Sorry if this post is dis-jointed and rambling, but I needed to get my thoughts out among fellow sufferers.
 

Legs

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Can I just say, there is no direct cure for depression and ptsd! There are ways of living through it, but nothing cures it. My dear Father has the idea that if you just "pull yourself together" everything will be alright. This shows the ignorance of the non-sufferer. It is a very real disease that needs treating properly. The NHS method of chucking a few pills every month at the problem doesn't work. As I've said before, counselling for me, doesn't work as I always feel more depressed. I think finding your own way of dealing with it is the way forward. I know people who take up hobbies, start painting or do DIY, all of these are fine, but they don't stop the thoughts when you are alone in your bed. That is when some sort of chemical stimulant is required.
Drug therapy is fine providing it is managed correctly. Many anti-depressants warn of some pretty serious side effects; so it is better to keep in regular touch with your GP or practice Nurse. Unfortunately, with the the NHS being what it is, nobody has the time to correctly monitor your Anti-depressant usage and you are left to your own devices.
Sorry if this post is dis-jointed and rambling, but I needed to get my thoughts out among fellow sufferers.

This is pretty much what I have been told by my Psychiatrist. The roller-coaster of depression never stops, you just have to ride it out and use whatever help you can get when you're at the bottom of the cycle. Meds do help, talking to someone sometimes helps, but apart from that you just have to struggle on through. I'm just on the rise out of the lowest level again. Hopefully with the network of psych, councillors and friends I have will help me climb back up again.

I have found that NHS Psych services are useless. I ended up with appointments every 9 - 12 months, each time with a different locum who hadn't read my file. Zero help. In fact it made things worse. Combat Stress are OK (just) but have been of little help to me. Veterans' First Point have been great so far. Peer Workers/councillors, 'drop in' centre and Psych teams. The only problem is that they are in the centre of Edinburgh and parking is a nightmare (Thank goodness for my Blue Badge!).
 

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