Denied Neuro apt. for "Mental Health" reasons

Will try to keep this short. 32 female. Essentially after a ~14 year battle with numerous GPs, my current Dr. referred me to neuro in January.

Neuro have finally got back and knocked me back due to a “history of mental health issues” and recommended that avenue be pursued instead.

I first displayed MS symptoms around 2006. At this time I did also have a number of mild mental health issues including low mood and self harm (being a 16yr old girl though…). Since 19 I’ve had no mental health “incidents” and never had anything particularly notable other than constant low-key depression.

In retrospect, I attribute this as a symptom created by being in pain/being dismissed. I also think I likely have endo, and have extreme hormonal mood swings sometimes. I am on antidepressants, however and I manage my mental health issues well throughout my daily life as an adult.

I am unsure how to navigate this, as mental health issues go hand-in-hand with MS (and endo!!). My GP was understanding and is going to re-do the referral. However I do not have the energy or fortitude right now to advocate for my own sanity.

I have requested my medical records as I’m concerned that I’ve been mischaracterised at some point. Once I have the rejection, I intend to put in a complaint regarding the use of “mental health” to disregard me, as I feel this is also extremely discriminatory.

Has anyone else had any experience of this?

Hi ClayJo
I do feel for you. It is an easy way to sidestep a person’s physcial health problems by blaming them all on mental health (and thereby offloading the patient onto another department). Did your GP have anything to say about the reason why you were denied a Neuro appointment?

Persistence is the key and unfortunately you need to be your own advocate. It sounds as though your GP might try and progress things on your behalf if he is doing a re-referral and it’s good that you are getting a copy of your notes. Mistakes do get made and is definitely worth checking. If you make enough of a nuisance of yourself (not that you should have to!) hopefully you will eventually get a Neuro appointment.

Good luck!

Sounds as if you went through the neurology ‘triage’ system. As there are too few NHS neurologists and demand greater than there are neurologists, they try to screen out people who may have other things, and refer them back to the GP without actually seeing them. Good that your GP is redoing the referral. Hope you are lucky next time around.

Unfortunately this is happening a lot. There are some neurologists who are too focussed on trying to ascribe things being due to mental health, especially if you are female. I came across one of those.