Coroner’s Court

19 Jan

Last night when I was struggling to sleep I decided to write down things that were on my mind. I also decided I was going to share the things on this list with my care coordinator in our appointment today.

Most of our appointments so far have been a bit of a battle in terms of me and my stubbornness. I’ve mentioned before how I feel I should be able to cope with all of this alone and yet I know I can’t do it alone. This has been my own internal battle and depending on which side is winning when I see my cc, depends on how successful that visit is.

Obviously this can’t go on, and so last night one of the things I wrote down was parts integration. I’ll explain briefly what I mean by that. Basically, as just mentioned, there are two parts of me battling with each other; the one wanting help and the one saying I can help myself and do this alone. Parts integration is a process to find out what they have in common. So I kept asking ‘why?’. Why do I feel I should do it alone versus why should others help me as an example.

What happens is that eventually you get to the purpose of each side which turn out to be the same. So the purpose of both sides is to change things as they are now, and it’s just the ‘how’ of changing that is different.

So today, I spoke to my cc about this and the fact that I do want to change my life but the 2 options were just different ways of doing this. When I do it myself, the answer I come up with is suicide as I can’t see a different route. When the other option is explored, it’s about going through a process that the NHS has in place i.e. medication, therapy, social help etc. My point today was that as they are both options, both can be explored and whichever one wins, then the purpose (which is the same) has been achieved.

We spoke in a very blunt way (I prefer this as you know where you stand and my cc understands this), and she explained her side. One of the things the trust is run with in mind is money and if I died and they were proven to be negligent, it would cost them money. And so a number of systems and processes are in place to stop this from happening (there is obviously duty of care etc but we were talking in more resolute terms).

So far in my case, I have been allowed to keep control even though they know I am high risk. This is because my cc thinks we (as in her, myself and psychiatrist) can manage this risk and work through the suicidal thoughts. However, she said if I did kill myself, the coroner’s court would see it from a completely different perspective. They would look at my case notes and see that I had been honest with them about my suicidal thoughts and ask why I was left alone to kill myself. My cc had mentioned that before to me briefly but not the next bit. She said from a personal perspective, she would be shown to have been negligent as she has had so many opportunities to use the mental health act (she’s an amhp) and also to break my confidence and inform my nearest relative, and basically has never done any of these.

I am eternally grateful she hasn’t because I don’t think either of those things would be of any use to me – in fact I think it would make things worse. I believe both her and my psychiatrist can see that and agree and that’s why they’ve stuck with it so far.

Today she explained they are already over muddy waters in terms of me and my risk. She mentioned if I say I’m pursuing both options at the same time (like I spoke about earlier) then they need to look at if they are doing the right thing.

I think it’s left me feeling a couple of things. Firstly, I totally understand where she is coming from and in no way would I want her or my psychiatrist to take any grief for my actions. In my eyes they have done everything they should have and treated me with respect. However, the fact that if I carry on saying how I really feel might leave me vulnerable to them having to do things differently, makes me think I need to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to go in to hospital. I don’t think it would do me any good.

I’m feeling very confused as anyone who knows anything about me (just from twitter and this blog), I am a very honest person and so if I’m asking myself not to be honest in my feelings when I see not only my cc but also my therapist, then I might as well not be in the service at all. I feel that we are at a point in my care where what would happen at the coroner’s court is guiding where it goes from here!

Any advice appreciated!


Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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9 responses to “Coroner’s Court

  1. X

    January 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Hi. Please be honest with them and yourself.

    I suffer with depression so no-where near as bad as you. But what I’ll say is 6 months ago I had a plan to be dead by now. I’d just decided that was it, I got used to the thought and was calm and relaxed about it. Stopped me getting stressed too as I knew what my future was.

    6 months on I am here, I can honestly say my life is going brilliantly. Its amazing how much can change in such a short time. I didnt expect i’d ever feel happy again but I do. So remember your life wont always be this low. You have to be open to new challenges and ideas. As much as you want to stay under a duvet, you are stopping yourself being happy. No one else, not the people trying to help and not the ones who caused your pain. You can let them ruin your life. Or you can say sod it. Whats done is done, im going to get out there and have some fun instead of just existing. Get out, break a few rules and be mischievous !! Have you always secretly wanted to be an adrenaline junkie ? Well go for it. Plan your future so you have things to look forward to. You HAVE to have events to think about though. So book stuff!
    Clean slate, reinvent a new personality and organise yourself some activities !! But dont do it half heartedly or it wont work. You gave to go head first into it and I guarantee you’ll have fun and your life will change forever, for the better. Do not let them take fun away from you. Everyone deserves to laugh and to smile again. Youre the only one stopping that.

    • femaleptsd

      January 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I totally agree with what you say. The biggest thing for me is motivation and if I actually want to be alive. Guess that’s only me that can change that as well.

  2. Mike

    January 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I can see it from their point-of-view — that if you’d told them explicitly you were serious about suicide and they noted it in their case notes and then it happened then they would be asked serious questions. It’s not just down to compassion either — it’s similar in most jobs — even in IT you have to have a risk register and so on.

    A few posts earlier when you talked about when you discharged yourself I was quite surprised that they let you do that. I was under the impression that if you bluntly told a mental health professional that you wanted to kill yourself then it was their duty to prevent you doing so. (I’m not commenting on whether this is right or not but it’s a similar argument to legalised euthansia.) And all the points about informing relatives would come out in the Coroner’s Court. It’s ironic that you’d end up with your relatives (and potentially anyone else) being more informed about your situation now were it to be posthumous than if you were still alive — which gives you the option of being in control of what you want them to know.

    Have you read Catch 22? That’s a similar dilemma — the airmen who are insane are the ones who want to fly the dangerous missions while the sane ones don’t want to fly them because they’re likely to be killed. But only the insane ones can be signed off. It’s similar with your rational attitude — because you can coolly sit there and list out suicide as one option then they’re more likely to take some action than if you were emotionally volatile and not logical.

    You really ought to look at Hamlet as well. ‘To be or not to be’ — the most famous soliloquy in the English language is about this dilemma.

    By being in touch with these people and meeting with them, it seems you’ve really made your decision anyway.

    • femaleptsd

      January 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      I can totally see their point of view as well which is why I understand why they need to do what they have to. When I asked to be discharged, I didn’t tell her I was going to attempt suicide that night and so there was no reason she could detain me (she only knew I had suicidal thoughts over the past 6 months, nothing concrete).

      No i’ve never read catch 22, will try and take a look at it but struggling with concentration at min again. I think my point was (probs not got it over very well) was that I am constantly battling – one min saying yes I want help – meaning I open the door to my cc and then the other saying no I don’t – so making a 100% decision is not something I have or feel I can do.

  3. Pam Smith (@revpamsmith)

    January 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I think your care coordinator has been incredibly honest with you, she sounds as if she really understands what you need in order to think things through.

    You said in the blog

    “When I do it myself, the answer I come up with is suicide as I can’t see a different route.”

    but that

    “When the other option is explored, it’s about going through a process that the NHS has in place i.e. medication, therapy, social help etc.”

    I know it can be really hard to motivate yourself to go to appointments etc but it seems you really do know that you can’t progress towards healing without expert help. And the expert help does seem to be available.

    As you have a relationship of honestly with your care coordinator and seem to trust that she has your best interests at heart, I don’t think you should start to hide your feelings from her but turst her to help you find your way through.

    • femaleptsd

      January 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks for your comment and I agree with what you say – part of me does know I can’t progress. I think the other part is angry that I can’t and therefore want it to do things by myself which is when I become suicidal (rather than turn and ask for that help). Not sure if that makes any sense!!

      My cc and psychiatrist have both been great in letting me see this through in my own way, I just worry they are getting to the end of their job restrictions in what they can do without hospital when I am completely honest. I am going to try to carry on as I am I think and see where that gets me.

  4. Ben

    January 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Nicely putting it the cc probably would like to keep her job, no matter how your care and treatment ends up. So for her to not place you under care is a very brave act. However under the coreners court and investigation as long as she can prove and have it noted that mostly it was talk in comparison to events the. She should be ok. With no offence to you, your not high enough profile to make a media appearance. Your cc knows what’s she’s doing! And won’t put her self in a dodgy grounding place!

    • femaleptsd

      January 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      She basically said all that – I know it isn’t just her that makes that decision either. She is obviously answerable to her manager etc so i’m really not naive enough to think she would be willing to do something she shouldn’t on my behalf. After today, I do believe she is on the very cusp on what she is allowed to let me say without taking action though. And as for it being talk, it really isn’t – we are all aware (me plus the services) that I really shouldn’t be here right now with the actions i’ve taken recently!!

  5. Pam Smith (@revpamsmith)

    January 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Well so far you’ve proved her professional judgement right. And being completely objective about it, it IS her judgement (and the psychiatrists) that’s on the line, not yours.

    Putting it very simplistically, your ‘job’ is to get better, hers is to facilitate that in as much as you’ll let her.

    I guess that if she can demonstrate that you have been moving in the right direction that’s a very powerful argument to say that she’s made the right decisions.


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