“I Can’t Help You”

I waited 4 months for an appointment at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) just to hear the words, “I can’t help you.”

Last September/October I was slowly but surely becoming suicidal due to being on psych drugs. While my doctor knew my Borderline Traits diagnosis and knew I had difficulty with and wanted to control my anger when I became suicidal and scored high on depression tests my treatment because all about depression. I noticed that my file mentioned depression and never borderline and when I was switched to an antidepressant the idea that I was depressed became solidified. But I am not depressed and haven’t had traces of a mood disorder since I was 18 years old.

I pursued the appointment at CAMH because I wanted to know if I was on the right medication. I ignored the voice inside me that told me to speak out against the appointment being made with the hospitals Mood and Anxiety Clinic. But, I thought, maybe feeling suicidal like this means I have more going on then just borderline traits. I tried to hang on and wait for my August 6th appointment but I know that if I had stated on the psych drugs I would have attempted to end my life again. I went off of them and after withdrawal the suicidal thoughts and feelings went away and have not returned with that ferocity since.

I sit myself in the front of the CAMH psychiatrist and tell him that I stopped the psych drugs, am no longer suicidal , haven’t self harmed in 3 months and am happy. He already knows the basics about me because he has my emergency room intake form from January 2014 in front of him. I fill out the depression and anxiety questionnaire and know from my answers that it is obvious neither are my problem.

“I see no signs of a mood disorder.” he tells me. I knew that already. He tells me to look into DBT and I explain that I have tried and can’t find free or cheap programs. Of course, the woman who would be able to help me is in vacation. He wraps up our appointment quickly and tells me that he can’t help me but any information he finds on DBT he will send to my doctor. I left the appointment fuming.

The one good thing that came out of the appointment was he confirmed that psych drugs are not a path I should pursue. It was nice to hear a psychiatrist say that. Still, the pain of walking out with nothing to go off of that I didn’t already know or try was very strong. Even though I say I don’t care about it, I do.

I’ll put more thought into it when I have the time. I’m not at risk for anything bad. I just want there to be more good.


15 thoughts on ““I Can’t Help You”

  1. That is hard to reach out for some type of help and get nothing. I am glad you got confirmation about the fact that meds are not right for you though. I hope that you really do get the information about DBT sent to your doctor though and it happens soon so that you are able to begin it. There are a lot of books out there that relate to it – DBT workbooks. My therapists is having me work through those since I cannot get into any DBT groups due to my insurance. It is pretty helpful, she discusses it with me a little and we also talk about other stuff in my life as well. I am not sure if you could do something like that.

    • I have a great DBT workbook. It’s the support I wanted, a professional to talk to about it but it’s better then nothing.

      I’m glad you have found an alternative πŸ™‚ How are you finding it?

      • I am finding the book helpful, but I also find it a bit hard without having a group and someone completely trained in DBT. I actually just started going through it this last week, so I haven’t had a whole lot of it. I tried doing the same thing once before with a therapist, but she knew absolutely nothing about DBT. My current one knows more and is going through a DBT training next week – so I am hoping that this will be more helpful. I think having an individual therapist is really a great support though even though I don’t have DBT groups or anything cause I can still go through processing things and she tries to have me use mindfulness and grounding techniques — which I didn’t even realize she was doing until I started reading about this DBT stuff.

      • I think it’s great when mental health professionals update their skills. I had a social worker who went through training for sand play therapy. Wasn’t exactly my thing but I appreciated trying something different.

        Certain parts of DBT I think are probably easier to grasp with support (ie: radical acceptance) but it can still be a very accessible treatment if you’re doing it on your own.

  2. hi there, sorry to hear that you were told this. I bet you probably feel devastated. I know I would. I hope something works for you and that you get into a DBT program. Recovery is hard and I hope you find the right people to help you. Mike

  3. So what happened to the woman on vacation? Do you think you’ll get in touch with her when she comes back? Knowing the facilities, you’ll probably have to go through booking another appointment, wait two months, and then find out she’s on vacation yet again.

    All of this frustrates me beyond belief! I really feel for you!!

    Have you thought about getting in with a psychiatry resident? It might be an option.

    K, if there’s anything that I am confident about, it’s that you’ve got this covered! You have been through so much and you’re such a strong person. It might seem like I’m full of sh*t at times, but I honestly mean it.

  4. It’s pretty difficult to get good psychiatric help here in Richmond, Virginia, too, pride . . I’m finding that sharing with & receiving from peers is just as helpful if not more so than is professional help for me at this time in my life . . .

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