Originally Posted by vespacat
Thanks for clarifying your stance, and since you've elaborated on this, I can understand why you may feel bitter.
Fortunately, I have a great counsellor, a GP who advocates on my behalf, and a psychiatrist who acknowledges I need more help than he can provide aside from meds (in the form of a referral to the country's top mood disorder clinic), so I got lucky, albeit only in the last few years.
I do understand your dilemma. I live in Toronto, and half of the population of this city does not have a GP. Psychiatrists have unbelievably long waiting lists, especially for individual therapy. Psychologists are not covered by our health care, and it's hard to find a good counsellor/social worker with enough expertise in mental health issues. Everyone is overworked, and it's a source of frustration for those seeking help.
At the same time, it's important to be your own best advocate, and seek out all options available. At least we do have a health care system that doesn't discriminate based on socio-economic factors, and we do have free access to mental health professionals. At least a psychiatrist can provide the initial diagnosis, and then one needs to be proactive about seeking further treatment if medication isn't an appropriate route. I know I've had to be proactive, but having said that, I haven't had to pay a dime for the (quality) therapy I've been getting. Even if it did take years to find.
Thanks to long waiting lists, inadequate health care in rural communities, and the stigma attached to mental illness, I believe underdiagnosis is the reality here, much more likely than overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis.
Thanks for 'getting' me
Sometimes its so difficult online to determine true intent..
I agree with you..There are so many frustrated individuals overworked and underpaid in the field as a whole.
I just rethought this and where I think that mis/overdiagnosis may be a problem, what I really intended to say is that there is an abundance of over-medicalizing a mental health disorder or disease.
But I agree, we are lucky to have the accessibility that we do, I suppose. I guess I just have seen far too many people falling through the cracks and see that the system could be SO MUCH better!
Though you say that socio-economic barriers are not a problem, the reality of it is that this is indirectly what I have seen...If you are mentally ill, and you don't have the supports within your own community to even eat well or sleep in a house at night, it sometimes is near impossible to find a way you can voluntarily be your own best advocate.
You simply don't have the skills or the supports to do so.
These are the people I see who commit crimes to eat, or suffer through a psychotic break alone, for example, get shuffled into see an overworked, underpaid harried healthcare professional, get shuffled out the door with some meds, to the street.
(most schizophrenics for example, tend to be homeless).
They get pushed through the wrong channels, (the justice system, for example) labelled as deviants, don't have anyone to advocate on their behalf, and are left to their own devices, where they stop taking their meds, and pursue the same cycles again...This is a worst case scenario, mind you...
But I still see this is very real indicationt that things are not yet perfect enough for me within the system.
Bottom line is that the people that I consider heros are not the psychs that push the meds. The heros are the frontline workers who deal with mental illness on a daily individual basis. They are the psych. nurses working in the community or the outreach mental health workers who show their efforts within the commuity...
Can you imagine if there are obstacles to "regular maintenance" for people like us how hard it is for people who simply cannot cope to seek out and obtain the adequate supports they need?
Wow, I didn't intend this to be a dissertation
Just my two cents and an area which I am passionate about so I tend to ramble on
and I am glad things are better for you now