24th August 2012: Discrimination

Something happened today that hasn’t happened for a while… prejudice against mental health.  Luckily I’ve encountered this in the past so could keep my cool.  It was the GP receptionists.

Yesterday I had a good psych appointment, my meds are reduced!  but this means a new prescription is required.  this is what happened….

I turned up at 1.30 to pick up the prescription for my new dosage, and they didn’t have it. My psychiatrist hadn’t faxed it over yet. I was fine about that, but they said I wouldn’t get the new prescription until Tuesday at the earliest. I left and rang my CPN to tell her I won’t be able to start my new dose until tuesday and if that’ll be ok. CPN was shocked, said they had to do me the prescription today, and told me to go back to the surgery while she rings them and faxes them the new dosage. So off I went back and from that moment I was ‘problem patient of the day’. I was there for an hour and a half. Basically they were refusing to ask a GP to do the script (even though I saw one having a cup of tea with them), pointedly ignoring me and being bloody minded. This can happen with mental health…. people assuming you’ll become a problem when they don’t even know you, and I’d been nothing but nice and not on their backs at all. In the end I went up to them, and after ten minutes of them deliberately avoiding eye contact with me, I spoke up and said I was so sorry they were being inconvenienced and that I was in a really tricky position, and that consultants don’t think of the inconvenience to admin when they change people’s treatments. They looked up and I added, ‘its ok, I understand, and I can explain to my cpn next week. You can’t do it and I need to go, and its fine about the dose because I can cut up my tablets and measure out my new dose instead’. Goodness, they went white as a sheet at that and flew into a panic of script organising (fear of getting sued if I overdose) but they were too late, I couldn’t stay another minute and they’ve had to fax my script to Tescos.

Discrimination is not a frequent problem nowadays, but I could tell it was happening today.  My meds are an antipsychotic and I could tell that they were avoiding me and avoiding eye contact with me because they were labelling me in their minds as someone who could ‘kick off’.  All their defensive barriers went up.

I’m fine, it was more interesting than upsetting.  Though it was frustrating too.

I had a nice time afterwards though.  I went to see a movie with a friend which was fun, and I’m now home and relaxing.

x

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