Treatment

Dissociation treatment or lack of

The hope of this page is that you can avoid all of the years I wasted trying to find help and support

Skip and move on to the disorder

Please note treatments and hospitals may of changed over time (hopefully improved) and a number of professionals or doctors are probably long gone.

Since I was 21 (1989) I have tried to get help for my mental health problems. Thankfully times have changed and there is a greater awareness. Up until the age of 29 I used alcohol and drugs as I way of coping.

When I first went to a GP with PTSD and panic he thought I may have a phobia of people and sent me to the head of psychology at Bristol Uni (where I was student).  He told me that mountaineers would get panic attacks up mountains as there was little oxygen.  As people are everywhere and I was not a mountaineer this was not helpful.

So began 20 years of treatment without a single doctor except recently correctly diagnosing C-PTSD and my  dissociative disorder.  Before my breakdown I had tried a number of different treatments looking for something to explain why I felt so wretched.

As this is my story and I am not a doctor I will give a timeline of the treatment I undertook and what worked and what didn’t. If something isn’t mentioned that work for you or stuff I did that you would recommend then that’s fine, I only have my experience.

Treatment history

  • 1987 Aromatherapy (twice)
    • not suitable for depression and alcoholism
    • Smelt a small piece of cannabis for some reason
    • Therapist ignored the fact that I was smoking joints every weekend?
  • 1988 Acupuncture (five sessions)
    • worse than useless
  • 1989 First visit to the doctor
    • When I first went to a GP with PTSD and panic he thought I may have a phobia of people and sent me to the head of psychology at Bristol Uni (where I was student).  He told me that mountaineers would get panic attacks up mountains as there was little oxygen.  As people are everywhere and I was not a mountaineer this was not helpful.
  • 1990 NHS in patient treatment 10 days Epsom hospital
    • To gain immediate in patient all you had to do it answer ‘c’ on the Suicide Risk Assessment multiple choice. I did and in I went. I did not qualify as an alcoholic (who had excellent treatment) as I did not drink in the morning nor did I hide bottles
    • Taught me ‘typing’ as a remedy for depression (there was no paper)
    • It was like one flew over the cookoo’s nest,  the treatment was the worst I have ever experienced
    • Discharged with no follow up support or meds
    • Decided that I was incurable and the only person in the world who was mad
    • Started to use alcohol medicinally (code for I drank so I could do things)
  • 1994 AA Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Attending a single meeting and hated it although I heard give up drinking
    • Gave up drinking on my own
    • Got worse very quickly and came to the conclusion that AA lied
    • Stayed sober for three months by switching from alcohol to anti depressants ad tranquilizers
    • Started drinking with the other meds
  • 1996 – 2 year Therapist support
    • General therapy at the Haslemere homeless hospital rehab (since closed)
      • Depression was now clouding my thoughts, my life (future / past) was crap
      • Mavis my therapist was wonderful, I was not easy to deal with
      • I was angry, unsuccessful and full of hate
  • 1998 Priory Lambeth: 10 days in patient, six months out patient. I was 29 when I entered treatment for the first time. I had seen therapists and been to psychiatric hospital before but nothing had helped.  Either the doctors were terrible or I was in the way.  Alcohol had stopped working and I had another car crash, It ended in having a breakdown.
    • After my nervous breakdown I could not pretend that I was coping. I was covered in sweat, I could not be left alone and I was shaking and very frightened.
  • 1998-9 CBT (six months out patient) Priory Lambeth (since closed)
    • Don’t remember the name of the hospital (PTSD is partly  about forgetting trauma details) (Churchill Priory)
    • treatment was as gentle as possible as all patients were extremely truamatised
    • Excellent care and treatment plan helped with agoraphobia
    • CBT did not help dissociation and PTSD as CBT works on the logical side of the front brain when PTSD centres in the rear or back of the brain
  • 2005 28 day residential program Sturt Priory (Since closed)
    • introduced to the 12 steps of AA
    • excellent therapists
    • Useful experience learnt a lot from tough love especially from Carlos
    • Attended once weekly evening aftercare support for two years
    • Felt supported, did not cure PTSD
    • Increase in medication
  • 2005 – 2007 Intensive psychodynamic therapy NHS  (Three times a week for two years)
  • included psycho drama and group therapy
    • Taught me a lot about how complicated people were
    • Useless at treating alcoholism, PTSD and dissociative disorder
    • Probably the deepest therapists I have met
    • Poorly run due to rules and regulations
    • 2009 – 14 day in patient Woking Priory 
      • General program, (the glums)  good therapists, useless program
    • 2016 Lifeworks (Woking)
      • In patient 28 addiction programme
      • Life changing

Next: Medication