Days 180 – 270

September 10, 2007 at 11:51 am 1 comment

This is a couple of days late, but every 90 days I write up a report about my treatment. It’s a way of keeping track of what’s gone on and where I’m going. You may also like to read it as a shocking indictment of the UK mental health system: I couldn’t possibly comment.

You can read about my first 90 days or days 90 – 180. At that point I’d just seen a psychologist who had referred me for cognitive analytic therapy, and also put me forward as a candidate for a clinical study into therapy. Although I didn’t know it then, the clinical study in question was for people with borderline personality disorder. I’d also just seen a sleep specialist, who had set my sleep times as 4AM to 10AM, with no deviation allowed.

Over-sleeping and under-sleeping

The sudden lack of sleep pushed me up towards hypomania. I cleaned my flat and bought a new microwave. By June 12th, I’d started to over-sleep. Things started to collapse on the 16th, after I’d reached a peak of anxiety and had spent an hour or two wandering around in the rain at night. Things continued to decline for the next few weeks and by the end of June it was apparrent that I wouldn’t be able to keep to the agreed schedule.


My psychiatrist (who I saw back on the 13th February) had, without telling me, referred me to a community psychiatric nurse (CPN). I went to see him on the 18th June. We talked about various things, including my concerns about my diagnosis. He agreed to refer to the psychiatrist and get back to me at my next appointment. This turned out to be ten days later. At this point he brought up the fact that I was now in the wrong sector (I’d changed GP surgery in the meantime), so rather than the psychiatrist re-assessing me, I should be transferred over to the new sector and be re-assessed there. We agreed to meet again in July for a final appointment before the transfer.

Slow Referrals

On 12th July I received a letter from the CMHT at the new sector, inviting me to call and make an appointment. I did so. The earliest available date was the 19th September.

Back to the Sleep Specialist

I went back to see the sleep specialist on the 19th July. We discussed alternative treatments and came to the conclusion that she would refer me to a national sleep centre. I was discharged from her care and she would be writing to my GP.

Last appointment with the GP

My GP appointment of 24th July went badly and included a frank discussion about my occasional misuse of codeine (the topic was appropriate, the way she went about it wasn’t) and a bizarre argument over whether she should write ‘depression’ or ‘borderline personality disorder’ on my sick note. I ended up self-harming on the 25th, mostly out of a sense of frustration.

First appointment with the new GP

I found out the following month that my GP had, in fact, been a locum. She had left the surgery, so I went to see someone else, who turned out to be much easier to talk to. He agreed to write to the PCT on my behalf regarding funding of my referral to a sleep clinic. We discussed my diagnosis: It turns out there’s at least four slightly different ones floating around in my notes: Depressive with borderline traits, borderline personality disorder, personality disorder NOS, cyclothymia with borderline traits.


If you’ve seen the last couple of these posts, you’ll notice that this one is much shorter. This is mainly because very little has happened in the last three months. The only treatment has been the failed attempt at using chronotherapy to adjust my sleeping pattern to something approaching normality. At this point I’ve been waiting over 7 months for therapy. It’s been 4 months since I last took any kind of medication. Nine months in and I have no firm diagnosis. I think I’m bipolar (possibly with a co-morbid personality disorder other than borderline). The borderline personality disorder (and ‘traits’) diagnoses seem to be based almost entirely on the fact that I self-harm.

Next week I see the new sector’s CHMT, and from there I should be referred to a psychiatrist. Hopefully this will result in a useful diagnosis and, if not effective medication, then at least an attempt to find medication that works. I’ll see my GP in a couple of weeks and see if the PCT have agreed to fund my referral to a sleep clinic. I’m fairly sure a long waiting list will be involved, but isn’t it always?


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. katm  |  September 11, 2007 at 11:48 am

    If I were in your shoes, I would have killed myself by now. Nine months waiting for some sort of treatment is absurd. Would they make a woman who found a lump in her breast wait that long? Not a chance.


    Hang in there.

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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