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Any Help In Eastern Canada?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by ceedling52, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. ceedling52

    ceedling52 New Member

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    Hi all, I have been experiencing a total lack of support here in Nova Scotia in the area of therapy for PTSD. Well it is there if you have money, but I don't. I have gone the route of psychiatrists but find they are only in it for the money they can milk out of the medical system. I say this not to be negative, but from having worked for a group of psychiatrists and heard them pretend to be understanding to the patients face and pooh poohing them after they leave the office.

    I have been taking anti-depressants for so many years I have lost count. But there is no "therapy" other than drugs with these "professionals". I want support, understanding, treatment, not drugs. The last psychiatrist I saw, after waiting over a year to get an appointment, told me that she did not deal with these type of issues and perhaps I should look for someone like a husband who could offer support. AAAAGGGHHH. If I did not suffer so badly, I might have a husband for support, but when you have been abused repeatedly, you certainly have not learned to trust and most likely are not the best to be trying to form a relationship.

    Does anyone out there know how I can get some help when I don't have the money to pay and I know of no free services or group support? I am trying to be strong but am losing hope.
     
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  3. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

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    You should Google Local town name and PTSD or speak with your GP/Doctor for a list of available doctors in the local area.
     
  4. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Where in Nova Scotia are you? Anywhere near Halifax? There is a DND/CF PTSD support centre in Halifax, for military personnel and veterans, if you're military that is. Also there are a couple of clinical psychologists who specialize in PTSD at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Clinical psychologists who work out of hospitals are covered under the health care system, although as you probably know there's often long waiting lists. My family lives in Newfoundland, although we are currently not there. We will be moving back there in April, and I have a referral to a psychologist in St. John's.

    Anyways welcome to the forum. Even if you can't find any help in your area, this forum is a really awesome place and you can get a lot of support here.
     
  5. minceymeatpie

    minceymeatpie Member

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    Trained at Dalhousie so I do know a few psychiatrists there. Can only speak for Halifax though.

    You can self-refer if you are in Halifax to the Mental Health Day Treatment Program at the Abbie Lane Hospital (part of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre) - did 6 weeks there as a facilitator (not a patient) but from what I saw it could help although it can sometimes be pretty cut-and-dried. Waiting list for that program varies (at best two weeks at worst - in summer - up to 4 mths) but you would get in faster (sadly) if you go to the ER at the Halifax Infirmary and ask for a referral (of course you didn't hear that from me...)

    If you are a Dalhousie/King's student you can go to the Counselling and Psych Services and get free therapy from Master's/PhD level psychologists. That's what I did and it was one of the most helpful things for me as I ended up seeing a very competent therapist. PM me if you are a student and want to know more.

    Other options would be to ask your family physician for a referral to outpatient psych program in Halifax, or to a psychiatrist (though I know you've had bad experiences with them). There are a few psychiatrists in Halifax that are strange though... One guy I know does Thought Field Therapy and some really weird energy field stuff.

    The other option is if you are employed to see if you can go through the Employee Assistance Program which would cover costs to a certain degree.

    You can also try contacting various therapists at APNS (Association of Psychologists Nova Scotia) at [DLMURL]http://www.apns.ca[/DLMURL] and see if they will consider sliding-scale fees.
     
  6. ceedling52

    ceedling52 New Member

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    Unfortunatly there is a charge for psychologists and I do not have the funds. I am what we call the "working poor". I have no benefits plan that covers this. My family doctor has told me that there is a 2 yr waiting list at the Abbey Lane. I have been in the day hospital program 3 times in the past but the only way I got in was after attempting suicide. I now have a child and do not want to have to take this drastic a step. I have gone to emergency and been told to go home and make an appointment with my GP. She is wonderful but is not a therapist. It is so sad that you have to be suicidal befor you can get some help that you can afford. I am crying as I write.
     
  7. ceedling52

    ceedling52 New Member

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    Hi, thanks for the advice. I seem to fall between the cracks. I am not a student, nor in the military. I work but have no health plan. Employee assistance is only for government workers as far as I know, if I am wrong please let me know. I work for a lady who has no use for weakness and that is how she views any "mental illness". So time off work to go to a psychiatrist who only work 9-5 and only give meds anyway is not the solutiion. I am not a negative person, but I have tried this route. Imagine waiting 18 months for an appointment and then having the psychiatirst not show up for the appointment, waiting another two months and then getting one appointment where she took calls from friends and family while I was crying and pouring my guts out. Then she cancelled the next appointment with me and said to contact her for another appointment and despite trying to reach her every spare moment for two weeks, not being able to do so. By then I figured if this is the way she treats patients, she probably was not for me anyway. I have had a lifetime of feeling like I am not important and my pain is insignificant.
     
  8. ceedling52

    ceedling52 New Member

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    I just tried to google this in a variety of word order and got ZERO for results. I feel as if we are so backwards here, it is sad. No wonder I can't find help, there is none. Thanks anyway.
     
  9. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I think trying to be patient with people coming here to help guide you is your best bet. I am in the states so I have little knowledge of how the system works out there, but there are others who go through what you do, they just are not on the board 24/7. You need to give people a day or two to respond sometimes.
     
  10. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Yes Canada's health care system sucks majorly, no denying that. Especially mental health... in the 1960s, 60% of all health care was spent on mental health, and now that number is less than 3%!! However Ceedling, are you absolutely certain there are no psychologists or MSWs (master of social work) counselors who could see you out of the hospital or Mental Health Services? As I mentioned, there is no charge if they work for the health region rather than privately. The psychologist I am going to be seeing in St. John's is no charge, as he works for the health region. Yes you will need to be on a waiting list, but in the meantime you can come here. Personally my family and I have received more support here than from any doctor or psychologist. And what it really boils down to is, you need to help yourself. Counselors are there more as a guide, to point you in the right direction, etc. At least that's how I view them. Anyways good luck to you. Keep coming here, it helps.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Ceedling, welcome to the forum.
     
  12. minceymeatpie

    minceymeatpie Member

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    Hi C,

    If you work for a company they usually have employee assistance programs. If however you work for an individual then you're right there, there's not likely to be any EAP.

    You don't need to tell your boss you have a mental illness at all. Just that you have a doctor's appointment. You could have cancer. Crohn's. Ulcerative colitis. Rheumatoid arthritis. Who's to know? That's how I handled taking time off work. No way am I telling my colleagues and supervising physicians that I was off to see my shrink... If your employer asks you have the right to say that it is a personal health issue. No need to mention the word mental or psychiatric.

    There are psychiatrists in Halifax who do psychotherapy. Curtis Steele, Jacqueline Kinley, Allan Abbass to name a few. I do not know if they are good, only that they do psychotherapy not just meds. Ask your family physician to refer you *specifically* to a psychiatrist that does psychotherapy - if he/she refers you simply to "Mental Health Outpatients" you get assigned randomly.

    We have had patients referred in from the ER who presented unsuicidal saying "my husband was in the program it was good I want to be in too" and they got in... so perhaps you can try again. Go to triage and tell them that you need help, can't cope, list your symptoms, want to see a psychiatrist. It is sad but you need a good story, if you just go and say "I have PTSD I'd like to be in the Day Treatment" that does not fly. Bring someone with you who can tell the ER physician what your functioning is like and who is concerned about you. Ask to see the psychiatry resident after 10pm - if you go before then you will see the psychiatric nurses.

    As for psychologists or social workers - it is cheaper to seek out an MSW than a psychologist. Call down the list of psychologists you find on the APNS website and ask about sliding-scales. Look in the Yellow Pages under Marriage, Family, Individual Counselling for the MSWs and call around.

    If you truly want help, it is there. You need to do the legwork. You may have to pay certain amounts but you aren't going to find the sliding-scale fees unless you call and ask. Nobody publicises these so you need to do the work first. I am speaking from experience, having worked the system myself and worked in it as well.

    You just have to be willing to do the work to get the help you want.
     
  13. ceedling52

    ceedling52 New Member

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    Thank you very much. I have been told not to use this type of forum unless I had a therapist as welll, but I am desperate for help. I am in soooooo much mental anguish and feel that my life has been a total waste. I guess I should try to write about my story but am afraid no one cares. I am 54 and feel like I am 5 or 4!
     
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