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Old 05.04.2009, 23:52
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Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Hello all
I'm not sure where else to turn, so I'm hoping you can help me with some advice. I've googled, but am not finding anything very useful.

My husband has been very up and down since I've known him but since we moved to Switzerland 6 months ago it's got worse. He's found it hard moving jobs, settling in etc. He usually has pretty bad Seasonally Affected Disorder, which we weather with a good diet, exercise and the knowledge spring will come, and initially we put his feelings down to this, but it's all just got worse and worse.

My concern is the cycles are getting shorter - he's happy/sad/sadder/depressed within 36 hours now, and tonight it became unreasonable/ (verbally) aggressive/unable to move for 30 mins whilst crying/saying he wanted it all to stop all within an hour. I've got him lying down calmly in a dark room now having established he won't hurt himself. I'm working on him not going to work tomorrow but he's very against this. I'm trying to persuade him that he needs an expert as you would if you had measles or a broken leg.

Anyway, I know what to do in England - doctor's appointment first thing with an urgent request for help/referral to a mental health team. What do I do here? Is it the same?? Am feeling very far away from my support networks tonight.

Stella.
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Old 06.04.2009, 00:21
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

I have no concrete ideas yet, but will have a look now.

A question first, do you have a GP already? Second, check your health insurance card, and the insurance website, the big ones usually have a helpline you can call 24hrs, that could be a start (call them, explain, and they will probably be able to refer you since they know the system).

Third (long term idea, for next year), SAD patients who will likely benefit from light therapy can have lamps funded by their health insurance, perhaps even by the basic insurance. You need a referral from the GP for that.
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Old 06.04.2009, 00:29
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Hi StellaforStar,
I am not sure exactly the procedure, but I think you should, as you say, get a doctors appointment first thing, and they will probably be able to refer you to a mental health professional. I assume you have insurance. Are you registered with a doctor? Maybe there is a doctors service at the main train station, there is one in Zürich.
You are right, of course, that your husband should see it as an illness that needs to be checked out immediately. 36 hour mood swings seems quite drastic. Im sure the doctor will help calm some of your husbands anxiety.
Sorry, I am not a doctor or anything, but my sister in law is a Swiss doctor, you could send me a Personal Message if you want, I could call her in the morning, if you have any questions.
Im sure others will chime in with support and advice, but I hope this helps, anyway. Stay strong.
Morph
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Old 06.04.2009, 00:32
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Hi Stella,

This sounds close enough to an emergency to get in touch with a psychiatric center by phonecall. There is a service available around the clock, according to the city's website.

It's the psychiatric university polyclinic (third paragraph, 061 265 25 25 according to the city's website. The hospital however mentions this number also in some other contexts which means that you'll likely be redirected when calling - on the other hand they certainly know English).

As you know your husband best, your opinion carries much weight. Maybe you can make an appointment for tomorrow if you don't think it's necessary to address the problem tonight. Best wishes to both of you.
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Old 06.04.2009, 00:37
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Ok, for tomorrow, should you need it, here is a link to psychologists and psychiatrists in Basel.

http://www.doctor.ch/doctors/psychia...ater_o_ba.html

By the way, I have heard that if you have only basic health insurance, only psychiatrists are covered. (But this needs double checking). GPs often only refer to psychiatrists for this reason (and therefore this could be used to 'lighten' the message for the patient; and should medications be deemed helpful for a short while, you would not have to worry about seeing lots of different doctors.

Edit: Nathu's tip is the best option I think, should you need it tonight. I have called a general doctor's emergency line before and they were very helpful. They will certainly listen, and give you advice on what to do.
Good luck, and know that you are not alone in this.

In the mean time, I know this will sound weird, but if he wants to eat anything, give him yoghurt (with oats if he can stand them), and if possible nuts (any will do; sunflower seeds are best). (Looking to increase magnesium levels here, as it is at least supportive right now (against a depressed mood); but I agree fully that professional advice is needed asap).

Short term: if the sun is shining tomorrow morning in Basel, try and pursuade your husband to sit in it, with bare arms, for at least half an hour while you find out where to go. Might help somewhat with the down feelings, to start with.

Long term: for next winter, the sun in Switzerland and the absence of it! is a big problem; it affects many of us more than we realize the first year or so here. It is mostly because of the fog that hangs around the Swiss valleys in which all the cities lie. So vitamin D sources like cod liver oil can really help to improve mood when vitamin D stores get depleted during the winter.

Last edited by muze7; 07.04.2009 at 00:04.
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Old 06.04.2009, 00:48
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Since I live far I don't have any experiences from your area, but when I moved to Switzerland and didn't have anyone who would help or provide info - I used this database I found online and we were able to get couple of good local docs, we needed GP, OB and an eye doc. They all speak English and we did not need any refferals, they took us in immediately. I also believe there must be some kind of mental crisis centrum in your local hospital, if you call the hospital they should connect you to it.

Good luck, don't be alone in this. Relocation itself is very stressful for some, hope your husband's feeling better soon. Avoid cabin fever, I second the light therapy, this year's winter has been too long. Physical activity and a touch with familiar things (from home, people who speak your language, going to movies, etc..) might help too?
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Old 06.04.2009, 06:23
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

If your insurance isn't HMO, you could try this doctor - he helped me when I was suffering severe stress which prevented me working.

Dr. med. Stefan Kradolfer Facharzt FMH für Allgemeinmedizin St. Alban-Vorstadt 51, 4052 Basel Tel.: 061 271 26 55 Fax: 061 271 26 68 E-Mail: skradolf@hin.ch



www.medindex.ch/stefanp.kradolfer/

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He speaks English, and has a good bedside manner. He's very thorough.
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Old 06.04.2009, 06:31
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

I went through something similar to your husband about 20 years ago. The good news is that it doesn't last for ever, and, thank God, it has never come back. Other good news is that being ill in Basel is far better than being ill in the UK. Although the expertise is comparable, you get treatment a LOT quicker here.

You should tell your husband also, that he should see a doctor. Sometimes mental illness has a physical cause. One of my staff about five years ago had stress problems - we finally persuaded him to see a doctor, believing that it was just stress. It turned out to be a physical problem, and when that was addressed, it was like the lights were switched on!
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Old 06.04.2009, 15:21
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

Hi all

Thanks so much for all that help and advice. I really do appreciate it, and the PMs I got too. We're working on some stuff right now thanks to the good advice you've given (forgive me being a bit vague - I'm keen that I don't give away anything that could get him recognised as I know people we know use this site). We're both feeling that things can move forward today.

Thank you all once again
Stella
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Old 06.04.2009, 16:32
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

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I went through something similar to your husband about 20 years ago. The good news is that it doesn't last for ever, and, thank God, it has never come back. Other good news is that being ill in Basel is far better than being ill in the UK. Although the expertise is comparable, you get treatment a LOT quicker here.

You should tell your husband also, that he should see a doctor. Sometimes mental illness has a physical cause. One of my staff about five years ago had stress problems - we finally persuaded him to see a doctor, believing that it was just stress. It turned out to be a physical problem, and when that was addressed, it was like the lights were switched on!
I disagree i know from personal experience (not me) that the UK acts very fast on these cases

OP i am going to send you a pm.
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Old 06.04.2009, 17:11
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

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Hello all
Anyway, I know what to do in England - doctor's appointment first thing with an urgent request for help/referral to a mental health team.
Im not trying to be insensitive but you do seem extremely eager to get your husband treated for what you diagnose as mental health issues and which may / may not be all that serious.

Sure, get the urgent doctors appointment... and of course hopefully he will get a doctor he feels he can trust... but then let the doctor diagnose and decide what the next step should be.

In any case i hope you and your husband find some peace of mind soon. Would be worth reporting back on your experience because it might help others in the future.
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Old 06.04.2009, 17:25
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Re: Mental Health help needed in Basel - urgently

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Im not trying to be insensitive but you do seem extremely eager to get your husband treated for what you diagnose as mental health issues and which may / may not be all that serious.

Sure, get the urgent doctors appointment... and of course hopefully he will get a doctor he feels he can trust... but then let the doctor diagnose and decide what the next step should be.

In any case i hope you and your husband find some peace of mind soon. Would be worth reporting back on your experience because it might help others in the future.
From the symptoms the OP tells us her husband does need urgent treatment i have worked in mental health and her husband is displaying symptons of having a serious illness.

OP i sent you a pm, please take my advice, and remember you also need to be able to talk to someone so you can talk about how you feel and not keep it all inside, this is VERY IMPORTANT as you also need to be well enough to stay strong for your husband. I think people forget it is not just the person who is unwell that also needs help there family and loved ones also need help and support to understand what is happening
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