Becky (beckatsila) wrote in bad_service,

Bad service in the mental health system

First of all let me state that I know why I got this bad service--it's because I'm a disabled woman on a fixed income who receives both Medicare and Medicaid. I don't have a lot of money to throw at my problem, and I get what I pay for. Still, even when this is taken into consideration, I got bad service--to the point where I'm weighing filing a legal complaint.

Background info--I am disabled due to major depression and schizotypal disorder (a mild form of schizophrenia). Most of the time my meds work fine, but my body adapts very rapidly to medication. So I often need the meds either increased or changed.

First episode of bad service--I told my psychiatric nurse practitioner I was hearing voices and in a constant dark mood. She told me to quit making stuff up to get a reaction and accused me of not taking my medication. I told her I was, but I'd built up a tolerance and needed the medication incresed. She said that didn't happen and said I was fine and needed to work it out with my therapist. Predictably, I got worse, to the point where I told them I was setting garbage on fire and attempting to blow it up (made sense at the time). Therapist told me to use coping skills, but offered no suggestions. Five days after they told me I was fine, one of my friends took me to the hospital, where I was quickly admitted. First thing they did? Increased the medication. I told the psychiatrist "If you people had done your job on Tuesday, I wouldn't be here now."

Second, ongoing episode of bad service:
5/30/06--Told treatment team I was having difficulty telling fact from fiction and was talking to myself. Psychiatrist notified.
6/1/06--Psychiatrist does not call me back, but psychologist calls me to tell me what he said and suggests coping skills, again offering no suggestions. Meanwhile, 3 friends with strong backgrounds in psychology offer to take me to the hospital.
6/8/06--Told treatment team "I'm paranoid and homicidal", gave plan on who to kill and how. Told to take a hot bath and listen to music.
6/15/06--Psychologist states "You've been having symptoms for three weeks." NP tells me to seek treatment elsewhere.
6/16/06--Enter my mother. She tells treatment team in no uncertain words that I am suffering symptoms and that I need treatment. Treatment team listens to her and agress to discuss the issue.
6/24/06--Still waiting for said treatment and still suffering symptoms.

What do I have to do or say to get the treatment I need? Scary thing is, before I became disabled I was a reporter, and I covered a story exactly like this--the guy ended up killing somebody.

It's one thing to put my life in danger. It's another thing entirely to put someone else's life in danger.

Any advice?
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