Some of those last posts hit very close to home. I had to take a break from looking inside and just write. Write to clear my head, write to stay busy. Also I wanted to share the way I was coping with all of this. Maybe it will help someone struggling with the same things. Maybe it won't. But it helped me and that's what this blog is all about.
To continue with my story: Waiting, I don't think I ever fully realized how long people, struggling with mental health, actually have to wait. Waiting to get an appointment. Waiting to hear the results. Waiting to hear what should be the next step. Waiting to get an appointment for that next step and just when you think someone might be able to help you. You have to go to someone else. We have an amazing healthcare system but the waiting for mental healthcare is absurd.
After meeting the Psychologist
After meeting the psychologist I finally had the feeling I was going somewhere. Not just stuck in the same place and waiting till someone sees me and finally has the time to help me. The psychologist mentioned several possibilities of trauma treatment. She would look into the waiting lists and the possibilities and get back to me. Seeing as I am a police officer there are some procedures I should follow on that end as well. I was supposed to have the appointment with the occupational physician. He actually fulfills the same role as a general physician but handles everything work related. And since I'm still unable to work he had to voice an opinion. Seeing as my appointment was still several weeks off, I decided to call and see if a spot opened up. I got lucky and they told me we could schedule an appointment by phone for the next week.
Even though nothing much had changed and I still suffered the same symptoms every day. I at least had the feeling things were going the right way. I now had in writing a report saying I had PTSD and the psychologist was investigating possible avenues of treatment. I could expedite my appointment with the ocupational physician. I was finally getting somewhere and close to getting help.
Talking with the ocupational physician
I have never talked to a more unsympathetic man in my life. The first time I had a conversation with the occupational physician, was by phone. He mentioned we had an appointment because of my mental health and that my supervisor has reported me 100% unable to work. I have been talking to a corporate social worker since the second week I got ill. They know at least some of what I'm going through, so I was expecting at least some sympathy or a kind word. But none of that. The occupational physician was strictly business. He mentioned that I might have seen a psychologist but that wasn't enough for the police to deem my supposed PTSD as work related. He specified that he would sign me up for a screening investigation by two psychologists employed by the police. They would be the ones to determine whether I have PTSD or not. And they would come up with a treatment plan.
An unsympathetic man, with a similar story. All I heard in the multitude of unsympathetic mumbo jumbo was: You have to start from scratch. I broke down again. It felt like I was starting all over. What was the use of all the waiting, the visits. Finally seeing the psychologist and finally getting the answer: you have PTSD. What was it all for? It took me quite a while to calm down again. I had several conversations including one with my corporate social worker. She was able to explain it a bit better. She mentioned that the police has several procedures in place in case someone has trouble with their Mental health. First they have to talk to the occupational physician. He or she then signs the person up for evaluation. This evaluation happens through an independent organization employed by the police. Which ensures the validity of this evaluation. These psychologists then write a report including an advised treatment plan. Pending this report, the occupational physician then signs you up for a treatment. Once you are signed up for this treatment you will finally get the help you need.
Now there is a completely separate procedure happening at the same time, once the evaluation has happened and the report is written. This procedure is to determine the liability of the police as an employer. This evaluation will be sent to a committee who will determine whether my PTSD is work related or private.
The corporate social worker helped me understand what was going to happen. What was required of me. And that calmed me a bit. It didn't take away the feeling of having to start over, but at least I knew what was coming. I knew I just need help, I don't really care where I get it.
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