Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust - Trust HQ
An autistic adult traumatic experience
I was recently diagnosed with autism following a life full of depression and 6 traumatic years with this mental health trust, having been treated intensively by clinicians there whilst failing to diagnose my autism altogether.
During my time with them, I was registered with a number of their services where I met many medical professionals who failed to notice I was autistic.
A few years ago I nearly died, having been made suicidal following a psycholofical treatment there. I was referred to the specialist psychotherapist service at the trust for intensive psychological treatment which I did for the best part of a year before that. The clinician failed to notice my autism and the therapy ended up breaking the precarious balance I had managed to build in my life, leaving me confused, disoriented and in emotionally dysregulation. I became really Ill, sensory, emotionally and my executive functioning was severely distorted. Prior to that in my life, I had suffered with depression and anxiety for being different and not understanding it. Now I suffer with all the symptoms of a CPTSD as a result of the medical trauma for treating me psychologically whilst ignoring my them unsuspected autism and not understanding the way I communicate.
During my breakdown, I could hardly make a sentence or walk. I was covered with physical injuries because I could not coordinate spatially, I stopped any kind of social interaction altogether. I could not remember what day of the week it was.
I was then reassessed for more of the same treatment which I felt I needed because my mental health had deteriorated so profoundly. I returned to the same service at the trust despite the trauma from my previous therapeutic attempt having no other alternatives. It was deemed as appropriate by the trust.
I continued my treatment there whilst feeling severe PTSD symptoms. I could not even begin to explain what these feel like and I live with them to date with no exception. But my symptoms didn't seem to be displaying on the surface which is typical of autistic people before we reach a critical sensory overload. I kept feeling worse whilst the therapist kept making remarks about why I seem to not be improving during much of the treatment.
The therapy ended badly for me. I lost my home, my children who now live with their father because of how Ill I was made during that time. I am too emotionally scarred to allow any person near me any longer as a result. Despite my differences, I used to try to make friendships before and now I cannot.
I was made to feel suicidal by the lack of autism understanding at the adult services ran by the trust. I don't believe they consider autism as a problem resulting in mental health difficulties in female adults entering the services for depression such as I did. My personal experience has been utterly damaging and I feel dehumanised, ignored, disrespected, mistreated and scarred by my experience.
I wish that I knew I was autistic all these years ago with the trust before all my personal suffering but for pointing this out to them, I have only received threats and disregard in return.
The specialist multidisciplinary team who diagnosed me with autism a few months ago also disregarded all the previous diagnosis made by clinicians at the mental health trust but their opinion about this was completely disregarded despite all the years of oblivion regarding my developmental disorder by the clinicians at the trust.
According to my current diagnosis, I should be in the highest proportion or people under suicide threat yet, this trust has offered me nothing but a lack of understanding and more threats for pointing out my issues to them.
I would not encourage any autistic adults in mental health distress using their services. I do not believe that the services are up to scratch, nor do I believe that the mental health trust is committed to caring for autistic patients. I live with the trauma of my care there and I wish it to no other person. I feel victimised for the sheer lack of autism understanding and I had been made to feel that it is my fault for raising awareness about my problems whilst been ignored as if autism is not something that can affect an adult.