He visited his GP in February 2020 and asked to be referred to a psychiatrist. 8 months later, changes to mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic mean Joe still hasn’t heard anything about his referral.
Depersonalisation disorder is a type of dissociative disorder. Symptoms can include feelings of being outside yourself. Joe describes it as “feeling like you’re in a dreamlike state. The feeling is similar to being drunk or having déjà vu all the time.”
After trying various forms of specialist treatment over many years, he made an appointment with his GP to discuss a referral to a psychiatrist, which he hoped would enable him to access specialist medication and treatment. In March, Joe rang up to check the progress of his referral.
Joe is frustrated with the fact that some mental health services closed down during lockdown. “It’s the not knowing that’s difficult,” he says. “I feel completely stuck.”
He also says he doesn’t know who to contact, other than his GP, to chase up his referral. “More communication would make life so much easier,” he said. “I understand that 2020 has been unprecedented, but problems don’t just vanish because something unprecedented happens.”
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