Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 October 2008

what a week

I’m worn out. The world is getting me down. What with the Economy, World Poverty day and Mental health day the ends of my fingers are bleeding, and I have almost worn the letters away on my keyboard.

Aren’t politicians strange people? They come out with all those promises before they get elected then, when we are daft enough to vote for them, they renege and just do what they want.

Take this story from the BBC- PM says markets' flaws exposed, back in 2005 Gordon Brown said this -“ The better, and in my opinion the correct, modern model of regulation – the risk based approach - is based on trust in the responsible company, the engaged employee and the educated consumer, leading government to focus its attention where it should: no inspection without justification, no form filling without justification, and no information requirements without justification, not just a light touch but a limited touch.”

Now, de regulation of the banking system was his idea, “risk based approach” were his exact words, well he took the risk and it blew up in his face.

But now he says “ the current global financial crisis has "laid bare the weaknesses of unbridled free markets".” And “However, he also sounded a cautious note by saying that society should not live by markets alone.”

Let me reiterate, this was his idea.

And then this year he said- “And where I've made mistakes I'll put my hand up and try to put them right. So what happened with 10p stung me because it really hurt that suddenly people felt I wasn't on the side of people on middle and modest incomes - because on the side of hard-working families is the only place I've ever wanted to be. And from now on it's the only place I ever will be.”

Well we are waiting.

But he won’t put his hands up because politicians don’t function like that, they will say that it is a global problem, or the previous government, or the pixies got into the system, or it is all our fault because we took on too much credit.

Which was supplied by the banks, because there was no regulation, because Gordon Brown de-regulated them.

Then they jump up wearing their Superman outfits to save the world, which they managed to cock up in the first place.

And how do you reconcile these stories from the BBC-

Rich and poor gap 'narrows' in UK

More children living in poverty

Aren’t politicians strange people? But we elected them, didn’t we.

Other political issues this week

BBC NEWS Scotland Funding for council tax freezes

The Scottish parliament is freezing council tax rises, very nice for the Scots, but where will the money come from? Us?

Then there is this also from the BBC- Civil servants to strike over pay

Civil servants who are members of the PCS union will strike because they are angry at a 2% cap on public sector pay.

“The union has held a series of pay strikes this year which have hit government services across the UK.

In April, 100,000 civil servants walked out for 24 hours during a strike which coincided with action by the NUT teachers' union.”

General secretary Mark Serwotka said “a quarter of civil servants earned less than £16,500 per year, with thousands paid just above the minimum wage.”

Join the club with the millions of other people in the same boat, they don’t have the luxury of striking, I think words like, selfish, short sighted, sod you and lets screw the public for even more money come to mind.

I am sure that pensioners and the disabled and the sick would be quite pleased with £16,500 per year.

I have a “cure” for the problems with people who have been lent too much money by the banks on mortgages.

Reduce the amount of the mortgage to the price that their houses are now worth, and let the fat cat bankers pay the difference, What do you think?

And again from the BBC- Hoon defends giant database plans

Geoff Hoon the transport secretary said- “He was responding to criticism of plans for a database of mobile and web records, saying it was needed because terrorists used such communications.

By not monitoring this traffic, it would be "giving a licence to terrorists to kill people".

Why is the Transport Secretary getting involved with this? Why doesn’t he concentrate on his “speciality” and leave proper politics to the proper politicians?

And is it just me or does he bear an uncanny resemblance to Rick Parfitt from Status Quo?

And something to cheer us up from the BBC-Stuffed toy foxes 'saved my life'

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, stepped off a ramp outside a hotel in Beijing only to find himself falling down a concrete shaft.

But the stuffed toy foxes, given to him by a Chinese internet firm, cushioned his fall and he escaped serious injury.

"I took this huge bag of stuffed foxes and by pure luck it literally saved my life," he told the BBC.

All together-SHAME.

Any relative to Gord? Because he is good at getting himself in a hole.

And Gord, dont forget what you said in 2008-"Third, responsibility - no member of a bank's board should be able to say they did not understand the risks they were running and walk away from them."


I must go and put plasters over my fingers, and then, have a lie on the settee with a coffee, and watch the Formula 1.

This is a late entry, I have watched the F1, and am now opening a book, on who will take Lewis off at the first corner in Brazil. my money is on Alfonso.

Angus Dei


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

World Mental Health Day

I am a bit late posting this. I didn’t know when it was until the 13th.

I did send it to NHS Exposed a while back, but I think I may have upset the editor because it wasn’t posted.

I am good at pissing people off. It’s a gift.

However here it is.

Are you mad?

A definition of mental illness.

“Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture. The recognition and understanding of mental disorders have changed over time and across cultures. Definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary, but guideline criteria listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals are widely accepted by mental health professionals. Categories of diagnoses in these schemes may include dissociative disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, and many other categories. In many cases there is no single accepted or consistent cause of mental disorders, although they are often explained in terms of a diathesis-stress model and biopsychosocial model. Mental disorders have been found to be common, with over a third of people in most countries reporting sufficient criteria at some point in their life. Mental health services may be based in hospitals. Mental health professionals diagnose individuals using different methodologies, often relying on case history and interview. Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options, as well as supportive interventions. Treatment may be involuntary where legislation allows. Several movements campaign for changes to mental health services and attitudes, including the Consumer/Survivor Movement. There are widespread problems with stigma and discrimination.”

There is no way I am going to delve into all the different “kinds” of “mental ilnessess”, a) because I am not qualified, and b) because I am lazy.

But I note that part of the definition is “a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture.”

If we take this definition as absolute, then aren’t we all “mentally ill”.

I think we can take it that Murder, rape, paedophillia, stabbing people , shooting people, mugging people, burglary,elderly abuse, child abuse, and other such crimes are way beyond the “norm” and people that commit these actions are “Not Normal”, and should be removed from society for as long as possible.

But what about the rest of us?

Isn’t drinking too much, or smoking, or overeating, or verbal abuse, or anti-social behaviour, road rage-pavment rage-pram rage, “not expected as part of normal development or culture.”?
Is smoking, drinking and overeating “destructive behaviour”? Or is it our method of dealing with stress, or life in general?

Is verbal abuse, or anti-social behaviour, road- rage, pavement- rage, pram- rage, normal behaviour?

We have all probably been guilty of road rage, I know I have, but I suppose the difference is that most of us do not actually follow it through to attacking someone, we rely on the one finger salute and plenty of adjectives method to “vent our spleen”.

I personally have never had “pavement rage” or “pram rage” but they are reported.
Don’t we all have some sort of personality disorder, however mild.

Is this “normal” behaviour -
Are the staff that did this to the old people “mentally ill”? Or is it that they just don’t care? And is lack of caring a sign of mental illness?

Or what about this- about “Kate” and her treatment by police when she was held under the Mental Health Act.

Or this- about Thousands of people with mental health problems are being detained in police cells rather than being taken to hospital for assessment.

Or this- from, Marjorie Wallace Founder of Sane

Or this- the interview of Mr Bondevik on newsnight.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories like this, which we push to the back of our minds or ignore completely because it makes us uncomfortable.

So why is there such a stigma attached to mental illness? Why do we avoid those people who through no fault of their own, suffer from probably the worst “affliction” that can infect the human psyche?

Why do we assume that all schizophrenics are dangerous? Or all depressives are suicidal?

I was married to someone who had Manic Depression for over 30 years (I dislike the term “BI-Polar” intensely) she was the most intelligent, caring, thoughtful, creative and modest person it has been my priviledge and honour to know.

But “people” who didn’t know her would “stand off”, in case they became “infected” or were “attacked.”

It is the assumption that “mentally ill” people are not like “us” and should be ignored because it isn’t something “we” are willing to discuss or accept, rather like Cancer a few years ago, or Death, which is still a “taboo” subject.

People make assumtions that the mentally ill are not capable of rational thought, or contributing to society, take a look at this list of people who have or have had Manic-depression.

Famous Names and Faces with Bipolar Disorder

These people have contributed far more than us “normal” people to society, they are much braver than us because despite their “affliction” they have carried on with their lives, just as most Manic-Depressives do.

The Manic phase of the “disease” can be wonderful for the sufferer, the creative juices flow and great works of art or literature can be produced. The downside of course is the inevitable “depression” phase.

But with medication, this can be controlled, the problem is that when a Manic-Depressive is “stablised” there is the sense of loss of the “up” side.

I also know some schizophrenics, I met them through a Day centre my wife attended, while I was working. The first impression I got was the fear, they seemed afraid of me. It took quite a while to get them to trust me.Once they did we got on famously, I would go on days out with the group, and help out. Their sense of humour is wicked and you could catch glimpses of their personality through the heavy medication.

But the overall impression was of dispair, I talk about the “dark mist” but what these guys were going through I could not imagine.

And of course there were the tragedies, one guy, Anil, who was shy and modest just couldn’t cope anymore and threw himself off the top of the muilti-storey car park.

Yes there is still a stigma and discrimination and fear regarding mental illness, but isn’t it about time that “we” looked it straight in the face and accepted it?

So next time you find out, or somebody tells you they have a “mental illness”, think for a moment, because it could quite easily be you, they deserve our respect and support. Not our distain or fear.

Because I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have the courage to try to carry on if I was in that position.

Just remember 1 in 4 of “us” will suffer from some form of mental illness in our lives. Yes that’s 1in 4. And that includes doctors, politicains, nurses in fact every one.

By the way I am “mentally ill” I have severe depression, but you have read this haven’t you.

Angus Dei