dearsley

Member
mental illness
Has anyone any experience of the treatment of mental illness in Turkey? My wife suffers from bi polar and although we have (potentially) a wonderful life this dreadful illness is slowly destroying our entire family. My wife is 53, a beautiful and intelligent woman. But mood swings and attempts at "self medication" mainly with alcohol have caused mayhem. We are currently trying to build a new life (in retirement) near Izmir. We have bought a wonderful home with fabulous views. Our neighbours are all terrific. But my wife's erratic behaviour is becoming almost impossible to manage. I realise no one on here will have the "magic bullet" answer. But I wondered if any other members had sought medical l advice in Turkey.....and what are the costs. We have been through the whole gamut of NHS practitioners for 30 years, plus AA.
 

nanamo

Member
mental illness
I don't have the answer you are seeking but just wanted to say I hope someone comes on here soon to enlighten you and I'm sincerely hoping there is the right treatment for your wife in your new area.

You will find an awful lot of caring people on this forum, it's not all about Turkey all the time. I've made a lot of friends on here who have supported me through some pretty tough times so if you ever feel like ofloading or just need a shoulder to cry on you will find someone will be there for you. Good luck. X
 

Spurs

Spurs
mental illness
I don't have the answer you are seeking but just wanted to say I hope someone comes on here soon to enlighten you and I'm sincerely hoping there is the right treatment for your wife in your new area.

You will find an awful lot of caring people on this forum, it's not all about Turkey all the time. I've made a lot of friends on here who have supported me through some pretty tough times so if you ever feel like ofloading or just need a shoulder to cry on you will find someone will be there for you. Good luck. X

I echo that post.
 
mental illness
Has anyone any experience of the treatment of mental illness in Turkey? My wife suffers from bi polar and although we have (potentially) a wonderful life this dreadful illness is slowly destroying our entire family. My wife is 53, a beautiful and intelligent woman. But mood swings and attempts at "self medication" mainly with alcohol have caused mayhem. We are currently trying to build a new life (in retirement) near Izmir. We have bought a wonderful home with fabulous views. Our neighbours are all terrific. But my wife's erratic behaviour is becoming almost impossible to manage. I realise no one on here will have the "magic bullet" answer. But I wondered if any other members had sought medical l advice in Turkey.....and what are the costs. We have been through the whole gamut of NHS practitioners for 30 years, plus AA.

I cannot speak about Turkish mental health services but I can say categorically that your wife will require expert medical and psychiatric help both with medication and advice re life coping and self help strategies. First and foremost getting the right medication regime for your wife will be the cornerstone of her treatment programme. Anti depressants on their own will not work - in fact they can exacerbate the problems experienced by your wife. There are many drugs for this condition - the trick is to find the right one which agrees with your wife and then it is important to find the right dosage. A considerable amount of trial and error may be required to find the right drug(s) and optimum dosage to control your wife's symptoms. There is more than one drug which can control symptoms and mood stability - however different drugs can have different side affects on different people. One drug may suit one person but not suit another. A cocktail of drugs may be required and I cannot stress how important it is to continue with medication where advised even when symptoms are being controlled and your wife is enjoying stability in her mood.
Once an appropriate medication programme has been established which suits your wife then other non medication therapies can be used to increase quality of life. This can include diet, exercise, sleep patterns etc but in the first instance it is so important to get professional expert medical help in establishing an individual medication programme which suits your wife.
All the best to your wife, yourself and family.
 
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tintagel

Member
mental illness
Hi Dearsley, I too cannot offer any constructive information specific to Turkey & can only echo Nanamo's words of support.

I have read quite a bit of what Stephen Fry has written about his journey & life living with & learning to manage his Bipolar.

Just a thought, you may be able to get some advice from the Charity 'MIND'.

Bipolar disorder | Mind, the mental health charity - help for mental health problems

Best wishes.
 

Rumpole

Member
mental illness
Turkey in many areas is fifty to sixty years plus, behind the times, mental health being one of them,having worked in this sphere in a high capacity for many years, if you have regards for your wife's and your own mental health, I would suggest returning to the UK, self medication and alcohol will only exacerbate the issue.

I wish you well
 

Sunny Seasider

Life is so precious
mental illness
I just want to offer my thoughts for you all, to see someone you love dearly fighting with this condition must be exhausting. Getting the right medication is, as posted earlier a trial and error. I really hope you can get some professional help I really feel for you.
 

jakebeak

Member
mental illness
Hi there

I wouldn't give up on Turkey's mental health facilities just yet. As you are living near Izmir there are a lot of good hospitals in the city and I'm sure there will be someone who can help you. I just googled mental health in Izmir and came up with the name of a psychiatrist based at Izmir University Medicalpark Hospital. His name is Assistant Professor Dr Tarkan Amuk. His number is 0530 510 6745 and he works in the Department of Mental Health and Illness. His email address is tarkan.amuk@medicalpark.com.tr I guess you will need medical insurance. It's worth a try to make contact and see if he can help you. I'm sure there are plenty of psychiatrists in the city to consider. Maybe this man can help you.

I worked in the UK for many years in mental health and it's not impossible for someone with Bipolar to lead a good life with the right treatment. It would be terribly sad for you to leave Turkey for this reason. Personally I would research your options in Izmir. I have a Turkish friend from Izmir and I will ask him what is available and if he knows of the best hospital to approach. Good luck to you and your wife.
 

Akasya

Postless Pointer
mental illness
With all due respect i would have thought that one of the keys to " managing " a bipolar condition would be the exactness of diagnosis as elicited by expert understanding of the " language exchange " between patient and practitioner.

to be treated or even assessed i would have thought that first language skills , by both parties would be hugely desireable.

Your good Lady may have excellent Turkish at hand , however if not i would have thought that consultation in the country of her mother tongue is most appropriate.

Please excuse my presumption.

Very best of luck.


Steve
 
mental illness
Well said jakebreak and what a helpful and informative post.
Whilst not criticising other posters who obviously have vast experience of the UK mental health services, sadly sometimes generalisations about Turkey being 50 years behind may not be applicable in major cities with world renowned university hospitals.
With the greatest of respect, i seems to me that Dearsley has tried everything he can for his wife (and himself) in the UK and is asking for help here in Turkey.
Again, whilst a forum is excellent for debate, it can sometimes not be helpful to tell people to return to the UK - especially without knowing what facilities Turkey has to offer and giving the OP chance to explore them before making an informed decision.

I have a close Turkish friend who travels from the Mugla region to Istanbul to see a Professor in psychiatry and says he is worth every penny and time of the journey for the expertise. I am sure as jakebreak says there will be similarly qualified and experienced specialists in Izmir who will be able to treat the OP's wife and I wish them all well.
 

jakebeak

Member
mental illness
Yes I think you're right Villabaris and I would also point out that there are a number of doctors who are bilingual. Also if this gentleman has Turkish friends they could translate for his wife if she can only speak English.

Without firsthand knowledge of the Turkish psychiatric facilities in Izmir it's not helpful for people to make sweeping statements about the care here in Turkey. That's just the usual ex-pat fear of the unknown and making comments about things they know nothing about. I visited Soke Hospital last year and there was a healthy queue of people waiting in the Psychiatric clinic there. So somebody must be doing something right! Anyway, I hope they can find the appropriate treatment.
 

dearsley

Member
mental illness
Thank you so much to everyone for their posts. They contain some excellent advice and most of all it is a boost to know I have some support in cyberspace. Yes, we HAVE tried everything in the UK....more than 20 different drugs, rehab, AA. I honestly get the impression that doctors just don't know and are almost experimenting with her mind. Her latest GP for example criticised the drugs that a Crisis Team's consultant had prescribed and ordered her to stop taking them immediately. As for the language barrier in Turkey, I cannot believe it can make much difference if we are on this trial-and-error merry go round. I will certainly contact the doctor in Izmir and see where that takes me. Thank you all so much.
 

teosgirl

Member
mental illness
Hi,

I've found that seeking private health care for mental health issues is the best course of action in Turkey. The state hospital care is quite slow and arduous for mental health problems; a friend of mine has a daughter who is currently in a state hospital being treated for depression and will stay there for a month undergoing 'treatment'. Mental health issues are taken seriously but I think the state health services' reaction can be extreme (in the cases I've seen).

I can speak from experience (a family member) that medication seems to be the preferred course of action for these types of problems. I've always been concerned with over-medicating in Turkey, after living here for 13 years I've seen all kinds of pointless medication administered (including antibiotics for a broken arm) and tend to be quite cynical about the prescription of drugs. A family member had one private psychiatric appointment and was prescribed antidepressants, which I was sightly concerned with, but the drugs work along side some weekly therapy sessions and I can see some improvement.

Private care is not cheap but you may be able to find a hospital that accepts private insurance or SGK. If not expect to pay around 200tl per appointment, with a minimum of 1 or 2 hours a week for therapy sessions.

If you've only just relocated to Turkey it could be that your wife just needs some time to adjust.

I wish you both well.

Charlotte
 

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