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"All who enter here seek help from those who care"

April 8, 2010: Last week, I saw my doctor after three years during which I lost a phone, resisted temptation of drink, and got used to managing my limited finances on my own. After describing my depression to him in detail, he set up an appointment to do a complete assessment the following week.

April 15, 2010
During that assessment, I found it difficult to describe my depression in detail due to the inhibition which a sound sleep provides me. This is consistent with borderline personality disorder; it's also consistent with the anger which arises from having to wait a half hour for an appointment in a walk-in clinic.

Eventually, I got a prescription for hydroxyzine for use as a sleep aid because I managed to convince my doctor that my experience with antihistamines has been positive and safe. In addition, the doctor gave me a contact number to get into therapy at the Mental Health Centre (MHC).

Before describing my week since the doctor's appointment, IMHO the Mental Health Centre is not unlike the entrance in Danté's Inferno, the doorway over which there is a sign that reads: "All who enter here seek help from those who care".

Later on Thurday is when I first entered the hell preceding therapy, which consists of much waiting, coupled with frustration. First, my cell phone decided to grow silent, so I'd missed a call from the social worker at the MHC.

Friday April 16, 2010: Friday is not the day for people about to enter into the hell of phone tag, followed by hours of silence as the social worker is able to handle other people who were worse off than I.

It's possible too that she is perturbed by the three calls I made to get assessed by her. As well, IMHO she may be the same social worker who met me at the local Surrey hospital in 2004 after my head injury.

Professionals of all walks of life tend to be intimidated when my expectation of a timely response is not satisfied. This even includes paraprofessionals.

Suffice it to say, that I am building the castle like a neurotic - and briefly living in it too.

However, the pluses are: I exhibited patience, but after 5 hours of waiting, found myself verbalizing my frustrations by repeating phrases aloud which normally I would only think of once and conduct myself responsibly. This is a neurotic abreaction to unrealistic expectations regarding the Mental Health Centre.

My solution was to check bases with my roommate, and he confirmed that the wait period may be long before the social worker returns your call. This is a plus, too.

I'll still fill the prescription when the monthly welfare check arrives. Both the prescription and the check are pluses.

Another plus is remembering how to consciously breathe as part of meditation. That reduces all the stress from waiting for help by an underfunded Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

Yet the most satisfying plus is witnessing the blooming of spring.


Steve said...

Here are some statistics to prove that the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions - the Mental Health Centre - is underfunded.

BC Budget 2009/2010

Expenditures in total - $39 billion

Ministry of Health Services - $14 billion
Mental Health and Addictions - $1.3 billion

Source: BC Budget 2009/2010
Table 1.4 Expense by Ministry, Program and Agency

Steve said...

The stats for Mental Health and Addictions (MHaS) is from their website for 2008, adding $70 million to take into consideration the $766 difference between 2008/09 and 2009/10 budgets.

Since the 2008/09 budget allocated $13.3 billion for Health Services (HS°, and $1.2 billion for MHaS - 9% of HS's budget, the assumption is that the MHaS budget for 2009/10 would still be 9%.

Steve said...

Apparently the reason for the delay in getting contact with the case worker assigned to my case is because of illness.

This is understandable as workplace stress is moderate to high.

So the MHC operator asked me if I wouldn't mind waiting until tomorrow to see if the assigned case worker is well enough to come in to talk to me, OR if she is still sick, to talk to the other case worker.

I agreed to this because I want to talk to a case worker.

What this means I will talk to a case worker tomorrow.

Steve said...

I also got the prescription for the sleep aid filled yesterday - a 30-day prescription of hydroxyzine at 10 mg per capsule.

The first night I didn't sleep well because I'd taken it too early, 90 minutes before bedtime.

Last night, I took a capsule of hydroxyzine a half hour before bedtime, and had no trouble falling asleep.

Steve said...

Also, I've gotten my appointment to see a caseworker next week on April 27.

Steve said...

Correction: the prescription was filled Apr 21.

It's been three weeks since I've been using them as a sleep aid.

Last week, as a result of getting better sleep, I've been able to moderate my thoughts to prevent negativity from distracting me.

Steve said...

Regarding having "resisted temptation of drink", the day I stopped drinking was February 15,2010.

After carefully thinking through my feelings on revealing this fact, noting the date of sobriety does not make me proud or ashamed.

Why? Because it's just a date.

Steve said...

The April 15 and 16 entries are merely hyperbole and implausible fiction. It is not hell to wait for MHC. Rather, my own assumptions about response are temporary delusions.

Actually, a minor communication problem on my end delayed a response to me seeking counselling.

Once that cleared up, I got to see the case worker on Apr27, the psychiatrist on May 11, and the psychologist on May 13.