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I have always considered myself as a resilient, stoic individual. Give me a day or two and I bounce back from most things, but on Friday I just found that impossible. The alarm went off at the usual time to rise for the school day, and all I could do was weep into my pillow. I knew that I couldn’t trust myself to drive the 40 minute drive to the school. Mr FD offered support, offered to drive me to and fro, but his words just made me weep more. I could not console myself, nor have anyone console me.

I knew I needed help and so Mr FD drove me back to the city to see my doctor of the past ten years. She listened and I teared up and this is where I wonder about  the help people in real need receive. My doctor was understanding and suggested I see a counsellor, and perhaps she could give me something to help me sleep over the next couple of days BUT time restraints meant I had to make a longer appointment at another time, as soon as I could, to do a more complete mental health assessment.

So, if I was deeply, seriously, suicidal how would I have coped? Just gone out and lied down in the traffic?

I am not that deep and I have faith in myself that I will work my way out of this dark spot in a day, or a week, or a month, but what of others who are further down? It is difficult enough to get out of bed and present to someone your feelings and emotions to then experience “your time is up!”

I don’t blame the doctor, and I guess I could have said I needed a longer appointment when I phoned though as I said, I haven’t been thinking all that clearly to plan that well.

To me, it is just a symptom of our dysfunctional society where everything is a commodity that is allotted and priced, and inequities maintained. How do we reach out and support those without resources, without support, without resilience or stoicism or any of the terms we use for “getting a grip” or “bouncing back”? Or is it, now more than ever, a case of “physician heal thy self” – do it alone? Maybe that is why the self-help industry is a billion dollar industry!

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19 thoughts on “

  1. Hello.. The comparison of how I am with how others are is something that happens… there is no explaining it.. not truly.. just thank this good life.. I have a conscience and the place,, ability and heart to make it better.. make this world a place our decendents can live peacefully in for I think that is what is intended.. though thousands of miles.. or a couple of blocks may bring those in need to my face.. my heart and mind.. though I see folks contradict themselves in the matter of useless war.. I look to and see the good.. the children.. the mother who remembers the worth of a smile.. the trees and clouds are my friends for as it sounds.. I feel they know what it is about.. I hope this substance of what is most days for me helps you to understand.. Peace Tony

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  2. I empathize with you. A few years ago my youngest son was suicidal and self harming and I was told there was a 2-3 month waiting list for him to see someone. I don’t think it is any better today but fortunately my son did get through it ok. From what you have shared in your recent blogs it not surprising that it’s having an emotional impact. Take care – sending kind thoughts in your direction 🙂

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  3. I am sorry you are feeling so low. I am glad you got an appointment albeit too short a one. Maybe the meds can start kicking in whilst you book longer sessions with the doctors. Mental health issues have plagued me for years. Good luck. I am pleased you sought help and recognise that you needed it.

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  4. I’ve been experiencing that a bit myself lately, but I’m learning to become more assertive. It’s tough – take time for you. Lean on your support system. Hug Augie dog. I’m sending hugs.

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  5. Thank you for your honestly. I’m not being sarcastic when I say, when the Flamingo Dancer can be so forthright, it makes it easier for everyone else. You’ve brought up a huge issue…how do people get help? I’m not sure of the answer, but glad you were able to see your doctor and schedule another appointment. Keep us posted, and keep talking about this.

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    • I think we all feel as though we have to suck it in and soldier on, but damn it, sometimes we need to care for us and ask for others to care for us too. It doesn’t make us less, or faulty, it just is what it is… life

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  6. Here in the States you have to actually say you’re going to harm yourself before they offer emergency mental health treatment. It’s not very pleasant, however: one of my older daughter’s friends went to her school counselor to talk about being depressed, as they advise teens to do, and the man responded by having her admitted to a psychiatric hospital on a 48-hour suicide watch. They took the laces out of her boots so she wouldn’t hang herself and put her in a barren room resembling a jail cell. When my daughter and I went to the hospital to visit her, I thought, ‘Who would want to confess they’re depressed when this is where you end up? You might as well jump from a bridge or swallow pills if they’re going to treat you like a criminal.’

    Anyway, I am sad to hear your sorrows have overwhelmed you. You’re lucky you have Mr. FD to help, though you’d think the medical system would be more sympathetic. Be very kind to yourself in the day ahead. Know too you have friends on the internet who would love to help if they lived closer.

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    • ^ Yep. It’s too fine a line… the last time I understood this, well, I flipped out hard (and on BAD SIDE EFFECTS FROM EXISTING PRESCRIBED MEDICINE, NO LESS!) and so the cops were involved. *sigh* Fortunately my city’s police department is professional and diplomatic, but, well… 1. they aren’t really trained to deal with mental health emergencies, and 2. poverty is sadly a collaborative factor that brings them like a wolf to the door, i.e. to have a mental illness emergency *and* to be poor is a double-whammy.

      I have been told by other Aussies that mental health care in Oz is not stupendous, but… here… oh, I don’t know sometimes.

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  7. Thank you for your honesty.
    This part of your life is hard and, like many readers, I’ve been close to where you are now. We all deal with it differently and you will find a way.
    With respect, in your position it might be better to focus on you, and not the Mental Health world at large.
    Get better my Flamingo Dancer.

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  8. It’s an impossible, frustrating and expensive system we have running here, mental health sits very low on the list of importance. Waiting to get help then finding someone who is actually helpful takes a long long time – I went through this with a family member a couple of years ago and in the end it was family that saw her through, not any of the professionals we saw. I feel very sorry for mentally ill people who don’t have family support or money to pay for meds and psychiatrists (although don’t get me started on them!). I think it really is something you have to do alone though, it’s such a personal thing – no one else is really going to get whats going on in your head.

    Spring today FD – that’s always a good day.

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  9. Hope all works out well for you FD….I have had some recent depressive episodes and know how difficult it can be to work through the self doubt when professional assistance is either non existent or severely lacking. Your family will help you through this time. Take care of yourself.

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  10. Hi FD, Thanks for the honesty. I am in withdrawal from cigarettes and having a horrible emotional time of it. A few days ago I was sobbing and could not stop. The dr let me leave his office without any emotional support. The therapist could see me 4 days later. After 72 hours of sobbing over the top it pasI. It is terrible when professional medical leave us to sort out things for ourselves. As you wrote, when in this state we cannot help ourselves. Luckily you have family to support and help you.

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