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NHS psychiatric help

(11 Posts)
justanovice Mon 11-Jun-18 10:43:59

Does anyone have any experience of negotiating the NHS maze. My DS has been diagnosed with severe depression. The medication isn't working and it is ruining his life. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Luckygirl Mon 11-Jun-18 10:47:11

Sometimes it takes several changes of meds to get it right to suit the individual. He needs to go back to the GP and let her know that it is not working for him. And also perhaps request a referral to the community mental health nurses team; or a consultant psychiatrist.

It is such a dreadful illness and takes its toll on the family - so please look after yourself too.

humptydumpty Mon 11-Jun-18 11:25:21

My DH was referred (after a lot of hassling from me) to the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. If your DS is over 18 I would pressure for an appointment with a consultant at the local psychiatric hospital - otherwise you are in for months of faffing about, IMO.

justanovice Mon 11-Jun-18 15:41:10

Thank you for the information. My DS is an adult ( 35) and he lives 2 hours away. I am trying to do as much research as possible to help him help himself but I will go and make a fuss if I have to.

cornergran Mon 11-Jun-18 17:01:47

Depends which area he lives in as to what is available, some areas are better than others. You should be able to find out about primary care NHS CBT (a form of psychotherapy which can help a lot) availability whether individual or workshops via the web. Look for primary care psychology in his area. lucky is right, sometimes it takes time to find the right medication so best to go back to the GP, he could also ask for a psychiatric referral, the psychiatrist is the relevant consultant, informed about medication as well as the gatekeeper to a range of support. If your son would be happy for you to attend the surgery with him it might help, sometimes it’s hard for depressed people to find the energy to ask for what they need. Wishing him well, depression is a horrid thing to manage.

LynneB59 Mon 11-Jun-18 17:13:40

You don't say how old your son is, but I assume he's an adult. Has he been offered counselling? Sometimes also, the medication needs to be altered for something different, or the dosage changed.

My 36yr old son has severe depression, following the separation from the mother of his children (thus making his a part-time father). He was off sick from work for a few months initially, then with the right antidepressants (he tried 4 different types until he felt better), he returned to work and got a new routine going. He still has days when he is low, but not many nowadays. He's been on this particular medication for about 6 months now.

I too suffer from depression and have been on a very low dose of Citalopram for years.

muffinthemoo Mon 11-Jun-18 21:31:08

If his depression has been diagnosed as severe/major, although there are some things that might ameliorate his suffering, fundamentally he is looking for a drug and therapy combination.

The first step is normally to up the dose of whatever he’s taking. Then to try other drugs until he finds one he responds to, and then it’s back to fiddling with the dose.

He may also need a combination of drugs.

He needs to see his GP as soon as possible if this medication isn’t working. As stated above, his care may also need to be managed by a psychiatrist and a CPN in addition to his GP.

Inpatient treatment can be hugely helpful for some people, particularly if medications with heavier side effects are being introduced.

Your support is crucial to him at this time. It’s worth offering to accompany him to appointments even if he wants to do the actual consultation alone.

My teens and twenties were absolutely wrecked by major depressive episodes until I found a medication that worked long enough for me to get better and process a lot of stuff that had happened.

It is so important to believe that you can and will get better.

Thank you for being supportive, it makes more difference than I can put into words.

NanKate Mon 11-Jun-18 22:05:05

Hello Justanovice I have sent you a personal message.

Iam64 Mon 11-Jun-18 22:15:44

Hi, you probably know that antidepressant medication can take 6 weeks or longer to kick in. In the early stages, the depression can feel worse, the patient may feel like sleeping all the time. Your son needs to talk things through with his GP. If he's been diagnosed with severe depression, it's likely his GP has discussed a referral for talking therapy.
There are often very long waiting lists. CBT is the governments choice, they have some magical notion that 6 weeks of CBT is a cure all. Some research confirms that it's good for phobias and 6 sessions may indeed help the patient to get on the plane, begin the process of dealing with anxiety triggered by certain events.
I'm not dismissing its benefits but for some people, longer term psychotherapy is needed. Usually, it seems folks are referred for CBT and if necessary, go back to their GP and ask for a referral to adult psychology for longer term therapy.
There are some good private therapists. Expensive and not all therapists are as skilled or well qualified. The internet can be helpful in finding people who are professionally qualified and registered.
Best of luck to your son and to you

OldMeg Mon 11-Jun-18 22:40:12

Was listening to Radio 4 this morning and they were saying that ECT is making a come back for certain conditions such as severe depression. Many people back away because of how it was administered years ago, but some American woman was quite convinced this new, moderate version is The Thing.

justanovice Tue 12-Jun-18 11:59:26

Thank you all for the information and the kind thoughts and messages.