Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Association for Post Natal Illness(APNI) response

Well, I thought I would follow up the email I sent to the APNI with a little phone call and got directed to their voice mail. However, someone called back, and they felt that the points I raised in my letter were valid -yay!!! So, she gave me the number of someone more senior who I immediately rang. She also thought the points I had raised were valid, and asked if she could present my letter at the next 'big wigs' meeting in July. Of course - I said yes. Then she asked me if I could slightly amend the letter so it kind of skimmed over the whole little issue of bipolar disorder as she felt the professionals and doctors on the board might think that my experience of post natal depression just wouldn't be that relevant my main problem being BPD, and I may be best directed to Depression Alliance or something. Clearly the big wigs prefer their volunteers to have only suffered with a nice clear cut case of PNI. Oh dear. However, she didn't say to not mention it, just to play it down a bit. She genuinely seemed to understand where I was coming from, but basically felt that due to fact that I had a diagnosis of BPD and I remained on medication the big wigs who decide what the policies are might think that I wouldn't make a very good volunteer for several reasons.

Reasons I Might Not Be A Good Volunteer

1. Firstly, a mother who needs reassuring that they will get completely better and that the whole PNI thing is in fact just a temporary blip, might not be significantly cheered up by the fact that their telephone supporter was diagnosed with a serious and enduring mental illness after her post natal episode. Okydoky.

2. Also, the fact that I had been diagnosed with a mental illness meant that I was more fragile than those without a diagnosis, therefore more likely to be tipped over the edge by talking to someone else with a similar experience which would NOT BE GOOD FOR ME.

3. The fact that I was on antidepressant and anti psychotic medication would not sit comfortably with the "judges" as I shall now call them. It would be a bit dodgy having some medicated, mentalist advising on getting through post natal depression by yapping on about that one time when she thought her baby was possessed by a 23 year old called Daniel, especially if they just had a bit of baby blues and main problem was not being able to get up in the morning.

4. Another concern was that as a telephone volunteer you are basically left to get on with providing the support, and filling in the APNI admin office on how the mother is doing via a report card every couple of weeks. Basically, I would be lone working with no supervision and if I went bonkers it WOULD NOT BE GOOD for me or the poor depressed mother I was meant to be supporting. Fair one.

So, I shall mull these points over, and then I will begin in putting together a letter that could be presented to the Judges which will reassure them that I might be quite a good volunteer. Watch this space........................

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