Why does mental health recovery have a time limit? It’s one of the things that bugs me the most. Many people put into therapy get 4-6 weeks of therapy and then they are cast out into the world again. Some people get 12 weeks if they are lucky, but that seems to be the maximum. Why is it that mental illness comes with such a limit?
Would we treat a cancer patient and say well you’ve got so many weeks of chemo, but after that you’re on your own? Or tell someone who is recovering from something like a stroke that they have 12 weeks to rehabilitate and then off they go to do it themselves? I don’t think so. Why is it okay with mental health? It’s just as debilitating as any other illness. The difference is, is that it can’t be seen.
The reason from my rant today comes from my own experience. When I had taken an over dose those few weeks ago and gone to my doctor after the hospital had discharged me and for the first time I said to someone that I think my thoughts are wrong. I need some help, did I get some and felt relieved.
I was assigned a therapist. I have had therapists before and for various reasons either I didn’t stick or my time was up. This time I tried to give everything I had. I tried to be honest about how I was feeling. I even showed him my many self-harm episodes across my skin.
It was heart-breaking to hear at my last sessions that I only have three left. His manager said I could have 14 sessions. I’ve done 11 so far, because I needed so much, but that’s it for me. I feel let down again. I feel lost again. I keep hearing those words in my head and it makes me upset.
I am not a stupid person, but I am an ill person. I don’t understand how the doctors can say to someone who –
Who is suicidal and has tried many times before.
Who self-harms almost daily (although at the moment it’s been 8 days)
Who has flashbacks, sometimes so bad he has to leave the house.
Who suffers disassociation and often doesn’t know if he is a real person.
Who has BPD and breaks down and wants the world to end at something as simple as a cancelled lunch date.
Who suffers DDNOS and flits between different parts of himself at different ages because he is fragmented.
How can someone with so much to recover from be told they have 14 weeks and then they’re on their own again.
No wonder people don’t tend to get better. You can’t put a time limit on recovery from anything. That includes mental health.