Trying to get help: my records

The help that I have received or the lack thereof for my mental health problems has been, very nicely put, inadequate. Trying to get help is almost as much of a struggle as my actual problems are and have only caused additional breakdowns. I want to show you a glance into what it’s been like for me, based on general records I’ve kept.

The following records are records based on the appointments in my diary and the times that I talked to someone when I was having a rough time. These records will not have captured all my breakdowns, days with lower mood etc. as I often decide to try and deal with it on my own.

(In Aberystwyth
March 2018 Start 50mg Quetiapine (each night) to be able to sleep. The doctor says the solution is supposed to be temporary until I can see a psychiatrist.)

Since arriving in St. Andrews

07-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

11-09-19 Trying to arrange an appointment with student support

16-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

17-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

18-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

20-09-18 Student Support appointment | Am referred to a different SU person

24-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

24-09-18 Someone who I’ve been talking to and who has supported me in my mental health struggles calls Student Support to raise her concerns about my wellbeing in the hope that the process of getting to see someone is sped up | I am given a new appointment on 28-09-18

27-09-18 Doctor’s appointment | Get a reference for the psychiatrist. He thinks my 50mg Quetiapine needs to be reviewed, as well as options for taking antidepressants

28-09-18 Student Support appointment | Am referred to a different SU person

30-09-18 Dissociative breakdown

01-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

02-10-18 Student Support appointment | Am referred to a different SU person

02-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

04-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

07-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

08-10-18 Dissociative breakdown, everything feels like it’s my fault

08-10-18 Doctor’s appointment | Saying I don’t know how to go on anymore – start antidepressants: 50mg Sertraline

10-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

11-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

11-10-18 Anonymous person contacts Student Support because they are concerned about my wellbeing. I get an email from SU about this, asking if I’m okay and asking if I’m planning to attend my SU appointment next week.

16-10-18 Student Support appointment | Break down saying I don’t know how to go on anymore: I am referred to a different SU person

18-10-18 Obsessive thinking

20-10-18 Dissociative breakdown

25-10-18 Doctor’s appointment | Discuss antidepressants and stay on the same 50mg Sertraline dose

24-10-18 Come home to find my flatmates have locked me out so I have to call the police

25-10-18 Pack stuff with two friends and move to a new house

26-10-18 Student Support appointment | First appointment with an understanding counsellor

26-10-18 Feeling down

27-10-18 Feeling distressed

01-11-18 Feeling lonely and depressed, watch a film to distract myself

06-11-18 Dissociative breakdown

21-11-18 Feeling depressed

22-11-18 Dissociative breakdown

23-11-18 Student Support appointment

23-11-18 Dissociative breakdown

29-11-18 Doctor’s appointment | Change antidepressant dosage to 100mg Sertraline, getting a 2 month’s supply with the Christmas break coming up

04-12-18 Nurse appointment

07-12-18 Student Support appointment

10-12-18 Dissociative breakdown 

11-12-18 Feel like I need a sedative

13-12-18 – 31-12-18 Home in the Netherlands, no records kept of mood

04-01-19 Wake up in the morning screaming 

08-01-19 Nurse appointment

08-01-19 Student Support appointment

17-01-19 Dissociative breakdown

20-01-19 Dissociative breakdown

22-01-19 Doctor’s appointment | Discuss changing antidepressants due to side-effects: consider changing to 20mg Fluoxetine, but stick to Sertraline, but lower dosage back to 50mg. Also inform her that my sleep is getting worse and nightmares more intense. She says the solution will hopefully be the psychologist

22-01-19 Student Support appointment

24-01-19 Psychology Assesment

24-01-19 Call Nurse receptionists | Am informed nurse will call me back (I wasn’t called)

24-01-19 Feeling hopeless

25-01-19 Feeling depressed

28-01-19 Call Nurse receptionists | No answer

28-01-19 Call Nurse receptionists | Am informed nurse will call me back

29-01-19 Nurse calls me | Am given an appointment to discuss matters on 05-02-19

29-01-19 Doctor’s call | Asking advice on whether to change antidepressants or not due to fear of adverse side effects

01-02-19 Student Support appointment

03-02-19 Five different dissociative breakdowns spread out over the day

05-02-19 Nurse receptionists call me 1 hour before appointment | appointment is cancelled: am told nurse will call me (I wasn’t called)

07-02-19 Doctor’s appointment | Decide on starting 20mg Fluoxetine on 10-02-19

08-02-19 Stop taking Sertraline 

08-02-19 – 10-02-19 Withdrawal side effects: brain zaps 

08-02-19 Student Support appointment

09-02-19 Feeling depressed

10-02-19 Start taking 20mg Fluoxetine

11-02-19 – 16-02-19 Experience adverse side-effects: need to cancel all football practises/tennis and cannot move around

11-02-19 Obsessive thinking and breakdowns

14-02-19 Doctor’s call | stop taking antidepressants due to side-effects and start taking new ones on 16-02-19

15-02-19 Dissociative breakdown

16-02-19 Start taking 10mg Citalopram

16-02-19 Dissociative breakdown

17-02-18 Am completely numb and blocking people out, feeling depressed

18-02-19 Call nurse receptionists | No answer

19-02-19 Call nurse receptionists | Am informed nurse will call me (I wasn’t called)

20-02-19 Call nurse receptionists | Am informed she cannot help me

20-02-19 Dissociative breakdown

20-02-19 Dissociate during the entirety of my football match and feel numb and depressed after

21-02-19 Nurse appointment | Nurse is surprised to see me because she was told I couldn’t make it, so we have a shorter 30-min appointment. She tells me she will fix all of this, and that I don’t have to do anything. She truly seems to care and gives me a new appointment for 26-02-19

21-02-19 Feel like I’m not really present during drinks with friends

22-02-19 Dissociative breakdown, don’t know what to do

22-02-19 Student Support appointment

23-02-19 Feel depressed, mood lifts gradually during the day

26-02-19 Nurse appointment | -cancelled- Am told the nurse will call me (I wasn’t called)

26-02-19 Dissociate during class, feel numb and depressed after, mood lifts during football practice in the evening

27-02-19 Dissociative breakdown, want to shut everyone out and disappear

28-02-19 Doctor’s appointment | Discuss antidepressants and decide to increase dosage to 20mg Citalopram

28-02-19 Call Nurse receptionist | Am told the nurse will call me (I wasn’t called)

28-02-19 Breakdown, thinking of hanging myself and feeling hopeless

01-03-19 Friend who talked me down the day prior emails Student Support with concerns about my wellbeing in the hope help will be provided. (I heard nothing from Student Support)

02-03-19 Feeling down, a slight breakdown in evening

03-03-19 three breakdowns, one dissociative breakdown 

04-03-19 Call Doctor receptionist to raise concerns about increased suicidal thoughts on new antidepressants | will be called back later in the day

04-03-19 Call Nurse receptionist | Am told the nurse will call me


In the meantime, I have decided to use my student loans to seek help in the private sector. Rather be poor and potentially happy than slightly less poor and unhappy / also what’s the point in having money if you’re dead? The NHS is broken and Brexit is only going to make it worse. This isn’t just my struggle, a lot of people in many different areas are no longer getting sufficient help because the NHS is underfunded.


05-03-19 Doctor’s appointment | Discuss increased suicidality (potentially because of anti-depressants) and decide to go off them. Doctor makes an urgent referral for psychiatry and writes a letter that states I’ve been having trouble getting in contact with the mental health nurse

05-03-19 Breakdown (and feeling suicidal)

06-03-19 Breakdown (and feeling suicidal)

07-03-19 Nurse calls while I’m in class. She lets it ring twice before ending the call and I am unable to pick up this quickly. Her phone number is anonymous so I can’t return the call. She leaves a voice mail saying she will call back later that day.

07-03-19 First EMDR appointment: need to go over history and problems before being able to create a plan for EMDR treatment.

07-03-19 Breakdown 

08-03-19 Suicidal breakdown 

08-03-19 A friend from Aberystwyth calls Student Support in regards to concerns of my safety, as a result of my recent tweets. (Someone from Student Support emails me.)

08-03-19 Student Support Appointment | He will contact someone within student services who will try and call the doctor’s / mental health nurse for me.

08-03-19 Nurse calls and makes an appointment with me for next week on Tuesday at 2 PM.

10-03-19 Breakdown 

12-03-19 Nurse appointment | I arrive 10 minutes early and wait in the waiting area. She walks in with a colleague from the lunch area and tells me that our appointment was at 1, instead of 2, because at 2 is when they are done for the day and pack up and leave. I break down and can’t speak or do anything. She writes me a new appointment for Thursday 2 PM. I flee downstairs and sit on the floor of a toilet cubicle for 20 minutes to try and calm myself down.

12-03-19 Several breakdowns

13-03-19 Wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, as Mum tried choking me in my dreams

13-03-19 I call the nurse receptionists to cancel the appointment for Thursday since I have class at that time.

14-03-19 Second EMDR appointment: going over history and problems. She also suggests writing a letter of complaint to the NHS.

15-03-19 Receive a letter home with a new appointment with the nurse on Tuesday 26th of March 2 PM (which makes no sense because she told me they don’t do appointments at that time last time I showed up at 2 on a Tuesday???)

15-03-19 Phone appointment with doctor | I ask her if I need to see the nurse in order to get to see a psychiatrist, as I no longer want to see the nurse as it’s only making things worse. She says that technically, I shouldn’t have to see her, but she can’t do much more for me. She suggests writing a letter to the nurse’s department with my concerns to possibly speed up the process.

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