Residential Treatment?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I have had serious depression for about 17 years. I have been taking anti-depressants for most of that time, but I'm not sure they were really helping. I was left some money by a relative which I am thinking of spending on some private residential treatment. I just wondered if any one else had tried this, or knew of anyone who had? I know I am lucky to have this option, and there are many people on here who will have had a much worse time than me, but I would appreciate any advice.

0 likes, 8 replies

Report / Delete

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello, Im sorry to hear about your illlness -  Ive had serious depressions all my life as part of bipolar, but it took over 20 years to get proper diagnosis and treatment. The main thing I have learnt over the last few years in the NHS is that the right treatment is often available but you have to keep going back to the GP and CMHT to let them know how its going. If the anti-D's you have been on arent working, you need to tel the psychiatrist ad your GP, to try new ones until you get it right. They cant get the treatment right unless you give them regular feedback on how its going. I made the mistake of thinking 'the drugs dont work' but after a few goes with different pills i found mirtazipine and they are a miracle drug for me, alongisde lithium which can also be a godsend in long-term, severe, recurrent depression that doesnt respond easily to other treatments.

    I would really be very wary of paying for private residential treatment. The main part of any treatment for serious depression is medication, and you can get that for free/subsidised on the NHS under a consultant psychiatrist. To get the equivalent level of qualified professional privately is going to cost a LOT of money. Plus, how are you going to evaluate the clinics in order to make a choice? They are all going to tell you how wonderful and successful they are, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of snake-oil salesmen and quacks out there who'll tell you their new/controversial/revolutionary/natural/holistic regime is going to miraculously cure you - when you are poorly and vulnerable it is very easy to be sold hope, especially if you have been suffering for a very long time - its easy to feel desperate and cling to any promise of releif.

    I dont object to private treatment of any kind per se, I just think that you need to be very careful, get some advice and explore your options with your GP and Community Mental Health Team before you go spending your inheritance on something you could get on the NHS - especially when your judgement may be impaired by the very illness you are looking to treat.

    Best of luck and look after yourself.

     

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi. Thank you for your kind response and advice. Since being diagnosed as having depression I have been on 5 different types of anti-depressants - 2 SSRI's and 3 SNRI's, most recently Duloxetine. They have worked to some degree I suppose - I have managed to hold down a employment for most of the time, but I havent really felt better or positive about life if that makes sense, and at the moment I am not working. I have also tried a lot of different talking therapies, which have also been a relief, but again have not really improved things longterm. Whatever my issues are I can't seem to confront them, or move on.

      I really appreciate your concerns over residential treatment, and share a lot of them. I am feeling quite desperate at the moment, and I am not sure how I should evaluate these places so my family are trying to help me do that, but that also makes me feel bad.... I am mostly looking at fairly well-established/traditional places which offer 'holistic' approaches that include CBT and psycotherapy - but as you say they are all very expensive, and I am worried I will feel worse if they don't make things better.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hello there - may I just pass on a few things ive learnt the hard way, that others may not agree with, but I would hate to see you waste your money in vain!!

      Depression that persists long-term is very, very unlikely to be helped by CBT or any other talking therapy - because it is genuinely a physical condition caused by faulty brain chemistry, and no therapist however talented can talk your cortisol levels better!

      I have got more help and long-term benefit from a single book that proved to me that I needed proper psychiatric assessment. Its called 'They F@?k You Up' by Oliver James and its a self-help book to discover the origins and suitable treatment options for psychological distress. It literally changed my life because it made me see the depression isnt just a failure of self-control - its an illness.

      Theres another really good book that Lynne recommended to me - Depression: Curse of the Strong by Dr T Cantopher. Again - the emphasis is on explaining the phsycial - scientific - nature of severe or recurrent depression.

      Im going to highly recommend you put the inheritance money away safely, buy these two immensely helpful and sympathetic books, then ask your GP for a referral to your Community Mental Health Team for an assessment by a psychiatrist for recurrent depressive illness. Dont take no for an answer! - explain that the drugs really havent worked that well and that you are coming to the end of your tether. 

      And please, forget about paying thru the nose for 'holistic treatment. Its a total rip-off - the best chance of permanent, stable recovery is through a balance of a psychiatrist diagnosis, proper medication, maybe some ordinary counselling if it makes you feel better? and at home - good nutrition, good sleep (if sleeps a problem the CMHT can assign you a psychiatric nurse to help with sleep regime and a lot of other kinds of support), and some exercise. 

      Im worried that you'll pay for treatment out of desperation when what you need is totally there for free on the NHS from properly qualified people.... I cant bear to think of you winding up depressed again and skint into the bargain!

      Take care now - you deserve to get better so ring your GP now!!!

       

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    what sort of treatments are they offering at this residential centre?

    Richard

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I have only really started looking, and I am finding it quite hard work. I am looking at a few, but they all seem to offer a combination of CBT based therapies with other more physical & 'spiritual' activities.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      PS: I am especially concerned about the so-called 'spiritual' activities - thats a catch-all word for 'bunkum' in most cases, unfortunately they can be quite charismatic and you only realise you've been sold a load of empty promises once theyve had your cash!

      Of all people, Derren Brown wrote a really good book exposing these kinds of things - NLP, evangelicals, psychics, et al. I cant remember the title but its a brilliant and very funny read. 

       

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I would be wary about choosing the right therapy because you could end up spending a lot of money for common sense cures that you may already know the answers to.  CBT is a good starting point. There are things on the internet that are free to try.  Beware of life coaches because they may not be that good.  There are often volunteers there at the meetings who are not professionally trained.  I have had problems with life coaches in the past.

    Richard

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hear hear Richard. There are some real low-life charlatans out there making soooooo much money out of peoples distress and the general misinformation and ignorance about health. Sorry to hear you had life coach problems. (License to print money, to my mind!) but great advice to anyone who is considering buying in support or advice: 'a lot of money for common sense' - and sometimes a lot of money for complete nonsense too. How do these crooks sleep at night?!

       

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up