I’m in crisis…but you have to wait 8-12 hours
If a crisis is when you are a danger to yourself or others, then I think my having suicidal thoughts counts.
I have bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Suicidal thoughts scare me as I believe I will act on them to try to harm myself. Imagining killing myself seems a real threat. I recognise I need help and I phone 111, who tell me to attend A&E. When I get there I am triaged and advised to wait for the Crisis Team who can take many hours to engage with me.
So you would think all would be well, I would get the advice and support I need to cope with my suicidal thoughts. Wrong. They give me the impression I’ve wasted their time and tell me that I shouldn’t have come in. By that point (and remember I’ve been waiting to see them for hours), I’m tired and exhausted, all I want to do is go home. But I’m not getting the help I need.
I’m sick of being passed from pillar to post and getting nowhere. Obviously I have a problem or else I wouldn’t have suicidal thoughts that I can’t get rid of.
So if I think I’m in crisis, and 111 think I’m in crisis, why don’t the Crisis Team? Venetia
I have been trying to avoid trips to A&E by finding other coping strategies, such as distraction, deep breathing, writing thoughts down and ripping them up, and talking to the Samaritans.
I knit or crochet, watch a favourite TV programme or DVD, read a book, do a crossword puzzle or listen to music. All these are good for distraction and to occupy my mind.
But these are only short term solutions. I want the thoughts to go away for good.
My advice for anyone to try if they’re in crisis is to:
- ring your GP. If you’re in crisis out of hours, call 111
- find someone to talk to like Samaritans 116 123 (Freephone), Saneline 0300 304 7000, Mental Health Matters 0800 1070 160
- try distracting yourself – anything to occupy yourself, like music, films and crafts.
You may live near a Crisis Café, which offer an alternative to A&E and have trained staff who can support your mental wellbeing. I have been a few times. One of the volunteers was particularly forward thinking and her attitude inspired me. She showed me useful tools that she uses everyday around thoughts, feelings and behaviour. I think I’m going to A&E, now try to turn it into a positive…when I get there I’m going to feel safe and my behaviour is going to change and I will not feel suicidal.
The views expressed in the blog are not necessarily those of Choice Support.