It’s been a whirlwind time in my own health and wellbeing, with new job responsibilities, changes to my treating team and the release of my public hospital file to me under freedom of information.
After a long time seeing my consultant Dr Angelo Virgona, a change in location means that I’ve had to find a new one. Hopefully Dr Gabriella Unsen is able to provide the bird’s-eye view of how I should be approaching my consumer life that Angelo did, in addition to her usual clinical practice. Reading the hospital records Dr Virgona finally gave me has made me realise: not only that I needed to be there, but that I wasn’t treated very well in the public system. The case notes seem to refer to a disorder rather than a person.
Going into a new phase of my infant career in mental health, what exactly do I owe the mental health system? My recovery wasn’t particularly clinically-driven, with many of my symptoms resistant to their treatments. It was only by finding new meaning in employment that I was able to recover. And all the psychological medicine in the world hasn’t done much to change my thinking around some of the more tumultuous experiences that I had while unwell – that has taken time.
I’ll be reconnecting with my old clinical psychologist from Campbelltown Private Hospital while my current one goes on maternity leave. Hopefully, with both of us more experienced and reflective, she will unlock some answers as to why I had some of the thoughts that I had, and unravel the ones that remain dormant.
As for work, I’ll try to make it my business to ensure that the people I see one-on-one aren’t left completely at the mercy of the very chaotic and curious creature that we call psychiatric treatment in Australia.