An Introduction

Welcome To A Jackals Voice. The intention of this blog is to be an outlet for myself and others on topics that are not generally discussed...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

For the Love of Medicine

Welcome back to A Jackals Voice. Today I would like to talk about medicine, specifically about my own treatments and experiences. For the most part, I have been in relatively good health my entire life. I've never broken a bone or become sick enough to require hospital treatment. For this, I am blessed. I have been incredibly lucky in comparison to many of my friends, and I am truly thankful. However, as my current situation has progressed I find myself at a loss. How can it be that modern medicine has progressed so far, and yet the brain and mind are so often overlooked?

Eight months have passed since my panic attack which started all of this, and in that eight months very little has changed. To be quite honest my condition has got progressively worse, to the point now where I am unable to leave my home most days. Shopping is a painful task at best and even going for a walk alone exhausts me. Whilst not everyday is hard, the amount of days that are not are getting fewer. I'd hate to sound like a broken record, but after eight months I still do not have a diagnosis and I am tired of it.
Whilst I do not blame the mental health system alone for the lack of progress, I can't help but get frustrated. In eight months I have seen 3 different psychiatrists, all of whom I had to have an induction with due to the staff being rearranged in my area. It has taken up until two weeks ago to get referred to a neurologist, who could only tell me what my condition wasn't. In all fairness, I have been given a name for the main symptoms and will be adding new pills to my medication. Whilst I am happy that something is finally being done, if I had been referred earlier I might already have an answer. Right now I can tell people that one symptom may have been diagnosed, but I'm still under testing. Even my new medication is not a guarantee as I'm almost certain to experience side effects, some of which could cause my condition to worsen.

In this day and age where people know that mental conditions are a real problem you would expect a little more haste. Up until two weeks ago I'd had just one round of blood tests and an MRI. Now, I've had two rounds of blood tests. It is ridiculous to say the least that this is all that has been done. Considering that most hospitals have specialists and just how many people make a living by becoming therapists or psychiatrists, you would think there is more that can be offered. Personally I believe there is more that can be done, but the funding is simply not there. I watched a video recently of a talk given by a specialist in psychiatry. He talks about medical imagery that can and has been used to determine what the brain is doing and whether or not it is healthy. I highly recommend giving it a quick listen and shall leave a link here:

I know I am not the only one who has had bad experiences with Mental Health in regards of medicine. The amount of people I know that go to the doctor saying different things that are wrong that come out with the same anti-depressants is incredible. Now, if these worked, there would be no reason to complain. However, they do not fix everything, sometimes they even make it worse. The one thing I have noticed, is that people that are taking anti-depressants seem less likely to press their doctor further if their condition doesn't improve. I can't say I blame them, it is not like there is any evidence that they can, or even will, be helped. My own situation has left me home bound and jobless, and yet I am still waiting for any real help.

To  me it seems that when it comes to mental health, many people, doctors included, prefer to shy away from the problem than actually fix it. If it can't be fixed with a simple pill, it just seems like too much effort.
If you went to a doctor with your leg broken they would immediately send you to hospital and you would be in a cast and home before you knew it. In this scenario the doctor recognizes a problem that they can't handle and refers the patient to a specialist. To the contrary, a mental condition is quickly assessed and a general medicine is given. That is like giving the person with the broken leg a load of painkillers and sending them home. Anti-depressants are no different in my opinion, they just numb the pain, and in doing so, hide the problem.
I was given Diazepam and anti-depressants for a month before my doctor finally acknowledged that the problem was not going away. However, even after this I am still on the same medication and have barely spent 2 hours in the company of specialists.

I know that sometimes anti-depressants work, what I dispute is that they are given out to almost everyone prior to any actual diagnosis. Mental health needs to be taken more seriously. Studies have shown that poor mental health increases the likelihood of physical illness. Logically speaking, surely treating the brain first would make sense? Why is the system so hard to progress through? The reason I get so frustrated is that I know that there will be one doctor out there that will meet me and be able to diagnose me within minutes, but at this rate I don't know when I am going to meet them.

Over to you now, lest I rant any longer. What do you think about the mental health system in the UK? What is the system like where you live? Perhaps you watched the video and have some thoughts?
Leave a comment below or feel free to message me privately.
Until next time,
A Jackals Voice.

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