Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Older people denied access to MH Care

BBC News online 3oth March

Mental services 'shut to elderly'

Older people are often denied access to the full range of mental health services available to younger adults, a watchdog has found.

At four out of six mental health trusts examined in England decisions were based as much on age as clinical need, the Healthcare Commission found.

Out-of-hours, alcohol and crisis services, and psychological therapies were often unavailable to the over 65s.

A body representing trusts said new policies would benefit older patients.

Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker called the findings "unacceptable".

The date on a birth certificate should not be the measure of whether or not someone receives the help they need

Kate Jopling of Help the Aged

The research showed that older people were often prevented from accessing care because of stretched services or a lack of age-appropriate care.

Some staff said patient groups considered to be of high risk to the public or where government targets were applicable were often prioritised, leaving older people's services lagging behind with little funding.

Ms Walker said: "Trusts are not always providing appropriate mental health services to the over 65s.

"It is truly unacceptable that out of hours and crisis services were often not available to older people.

"There needs to be a fundamental shift towards providing care based on a person's clinical need rather than their age.

"Considering a quarter of admissions to mental health inpatient services are over 65, this issue needs urgent attention."


Kate Jopling of Help the Aged said: "It's shocking to think that, despite the need, older people are routinely being denied treatment for mental health services.

"The date on a birth certificate should not be the measure of whether or not someone receives the help they need for a mental health problem."

And Gordon Lishman of Age Concern said the services that did exist for older people were often chronically under funded and are not of the same quality to those offered to adults of working age.

He said the situation was scandalous and urged the government to use laws to stamp out age discrimination.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said any unfair discrimination against older people was unacceptable.

"We are taking action and we expect NHS trusts to make improvements."

Steve Shrubb, director of the mental health network which represents the majority of mental health trusts said: "We have some of the best mental health services in Europe yet it is clear that there are still improvements to be made to mental health services especially to ensure that older people get access to the correct care when they need it."

He said new policies, such as quality accounts, would put the needs of patients into sharper focus.

Meanwhile, a second study from the Commission of all 68 NHS specialist community mental health trusts in England, found that almost half of under 65s needing specialist mental healthcare still do not have an out-of-hours number if they are in a crisis.

Half of people with schizophrenia have not been offered recommended psychological therapies, it suggested.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Reality is so passe....and you can change your reality (tv) to suit

Yes, it's official. Gotta keep you sunny side up.

I burnt mine on a sunbed but have a red jumpsuit and Biggles hat and as the future is so bright I am already wearing shades, no one will notice.

Forgive me if there is a teensy weensy bit of cynicism sneaking in. Old habits die hard but is okay cos I have my memorial magazine of Jade Goody's life as a form of inspiration. We could all learn alot from her.

So the new road to perdition/reformation involves

Smiling at everyone and smiling even if someone isn't there (You never know whose lurking about)....not forgetting to smile at yourself every time you look in a mirror, window or anything remotely reflective...see it as a kind of CBT.

Taking your medication with a spoonful of sugar and being grateful to the pharma companies for their generosity in creating this tabby for you...remember you really are that special.

Love your enemies more than your friends (or at least show appropriate amounts of adoration)...because they are the ones who you can rely on to be up there..or heading that way and hell why do all the work yourself? No! you don't need the top job (heads always roll at some point) far enough behind to make a sharp exist or change allegiance when necessary....not forgetting to smile at everyone whilst you do.

Wear a badge saying "Happy to help". Simple but effective.

Go on a reality tv show. It's important for people to know that you are a bit bonkers but not much so keep laughing in the face of adversity...and don't be afraid to get your bits out (the punters love that sort of thing and you can claim it as 'one of those wobbly times when the moment ran away with you' when it comes to writing your book). Do ensure you have a publicist ready and waiting when you leave. You want the world to share in your recovery.

Write a book...for sure you can stick in really devastating stuff but mix it with some 'revelational bits of how you made progress' (in between shenanigans with a couple of minor celebs, some wild parties followed by days roaming around dressed as a chicken in unknown places and waking up from a drunken stupor aboard the QE2, followed by an in depth debate around stigma with Prince Phillip) it off with an epiphany (in the form of words of wisdom from a fellow wandering star) and Bob's yer uncle.

I feel better already. Now for a chorus of "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life".

Friday, 27 March 2009

"He lives in a house. A very big house. In the country"

Lucky bastard!

As to am I because my dwellings are council estate, and until Mr NICEY NICE has rehabilitated me into the workforce (along with the employers and other employees..what's left of them... and not forgetting the NHS which is in the most direst need of all) then my home is in I will have a home to live in. Unlike thousands out there.

Are we to become a nomadic state? Does that sound like neurosis talk? If so, well so be it because I am trying to work out where exactly the people who lose their homes are living or going to live?

Will we see a big rise in the sales of tents? Or sleeping bodies found curled up in the remnants of dumped cars after the joy riders have had their thrill and moved on?

Perhaps the 'wartime Blighty spirit' will kick in and people will take in the 'redundant' homeless.

Perhaps I need to be more grateful than I am (regarding present state of having place to live in). For sure if I wasn't paranoid to hell about stangers (sometimes people I know) staying here, I would see the value in 'putting the homeless up'.

I reckon we all like to live in hope that the present financial nightmare is just a blip and the mega borrowing of our Government will carry us through..until such time as. That is if the pound is worth anything at all come July!!! And then well maybe we can start do so something about the environment!!!

I sense is a very good time to be a tourist..then again likely to be quite wealthy anyway and be thinking they have hit the jackpot coming to Britain to do some retail therapy.

And fekk knows why I really wrote that. Perhaps because I read the latest 'rehabilitation' spin from NICE as a form of insanity.

When it takes over a year to get anything remotely near to the right care support for my Dad, I wouldn't trust these organisations to find an easy access place to store their paper clips!

Having met with my MP today, I think he is of the view that things are a mess. Seems I am not the only service user in Bedfordshire that has gone to him with concerns over systematic failures. He has decided to write to the Strategic Health Authority....Another arm of the system but I suspect local Trust will not be best pleased about that and start a new arse covering exercise.

And that progress that was being made with Dad. Well, the carer's are turning up...sometimes around 9.30 pm, making a sarny and buggering off pronto and the meals on wheels is fine and dandy when it arrives (only they are starting to forget his address..wonder where his meals are actually ending up).

He collapsed yesterday, whilst friend and I were there, and I rang the GP. This being 3 weeks after the CMHT said they were going to organise a GP home visit! The GP saw him today and told him he has 'postural hyper-tension' (dizzyness on elevating his body). He has been advised to hold on to something when he gets up.

Hence, why I felt need to go to MP today...because I want organisations with a 'DUTY OF CARE' to carry that out...something they find beyond their capacity to deliver, on a regular basis.

Whether MP input will make any difference... I don't know but surely only so much arse covering can go on before action is taken. I assume that because it isn't just me (the mad woman with the garden fork against the steam-roller), the MH Trust and SHA can't use the cop out clause "It is an isolated case".

I still think you should trust no one (well the very few known and worthy) and then you won't be disappointed!

P.S. Big thanks given to MH Advocate, without whom I wouldn't have got to meeting today. Was in awful state this morning and they rallied me through.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Murder or a case of negligence by MH Services?

Ikechukwu Tennyson-Obih was sentenced (24 March) to life imprisonment for murdering PC Henry in Luton on 11 June 2007.

If you believe what the prosecution said, and the subsequent sentence that was given, then Mr Tennyson-Obih was of sound mind when he killed the policeman.

He had been diagnosed as suffering from scizophrenia in 2005. From what the media are saying that was due to alcohol and cannabis abuse.

What is missing from media reports is whether or not MH services were being provided to Mr Tennyson-Obih, after his diagnosis, and if any monitoring of his condition was taking place.

From a non emotive perspective, I do not know whether he was of sound mind when he committed the crime but think it is likely that he was suffering from his illness, possibly aggrevated by use of illicit drugs and booze.

Marjorie Wallace (Not always the most compassionate person to speak out on behalf of the mentally ill) has been quoted as saying that most mentally ill people do not kill others and based on research carried out by SANE, 1 in 3 killings, committed by people who are mentally ill, were preventable. This, has (hopefully) put some balance back in the media circus but does little to get any real justice for the mentally ill, whilst the public now have another pound of flesh to pacify their neurosis around lunacy.

Afterthought, if Mr Tennyson-Obih is of 'sound mind' (the prosecution's and jury's view....not mine) does that mean he will NOT be treated for scizophrenia whilst he is in prison?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

If this is scaremongering then I am scared!!!

Couple of news stories arrived today:

From Times Online March 24, 2009

Hundreds of deaths linked to schizophrenia drug clozapine
David Rose

Fifty people die each year and hundreds more suffer serious side-effects as the result of taking powerful tranquillisers prescribed by the NHS, The Times has learnt.

Data from the medicine watchdogs own reporting scheme suggests that clozapine, a drug taken by schizophrenia patients, has been linked to 950 deaths since being licensed in 1990 equivalent to nearly one fatality a week.
Recent figures record the deaths of 55 people taking the medication in four months, from October to January, despite the drug being prescribed to relatively few people.
The anti-psychotic drug is used as a treatment of last resort for schizophrenia patients but appears to increase the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, or of suffering other long-term health problems that are not adequately monitored by current checks, campaigners say. More than 11,600 adverse reactions linked to clozapine have been reported in 19 years, according to the Yellow Card reporting scheme of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is designed to flag up potentially harmful side-effects for licensed drugs.
Related Links

Schizophrenia is the modern leprosy
Children given unlicensed anti-psychotic drugs

Mind, the mental health charity, which analysed the figures, said that the number of deaths associated with the drug was chilling. The MHRA promised to look into the charitys concerns.

The warning comes as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is due to publish guidelines tomorrow on the treatment of schizophrenia, which affects about one in every 100 people in Britain. The watchdog will recommend that oral anti-psychotic medications should be offered to people with newly diagnosed schizophrenia, although patients should take clozapine only after trying at least two other drugs.

The drug, also known by the brand names Clozaril, Denzapine and Zaponex, was prescribed on 7,000 occasions last year many of which will have been repeat prescriptions to help to control delusions and hallucinations.

People who take clozapine must be given regular blood monitoring for the risk of a potentially fatal blood disorder known as agranulocytosis, but at present there is no mandatory requirement to monitor their health in other ways.

NICE will recommend tomorrow that GPs and other primary healthcare professionals should monitor the physical health of people with schizophrenia at least once a year, with a focus on their risks of heart disease.

Alison Cobb, senior policy officer at Mind, said that the drug could be effective for some patients and acknowledged that people with schizophrenia had a higher risk of death than the general population. There are health risks and side-effects associated with all anti-psychotic medications but it is chilling to see this number of deaths associated with clozapine and the month-on-month increases, she said. The figures refer to heart disease, strokes, cancer and other long-term health problems that cannot be explained simply by suicides or an increased overall risk of death.
We want to see the use of clozapine properly reviewed and for people taking it to be offered the full range of health checks and alternative treatment options that might mitigate any harmful effects.

A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry last month concluded that use of clozapine in patients with severe mental illness was associated with a significantly increased risk of death compared with the general population. However, the author of the study, David Taylor, the chief pharmacist at Maudsley Hospital, South London, defended the use of the drug, which he said had transformed the lives of thousands of people around the world.

Most of the deaths reported could not be said to be a result of clozapine treatment; none could be definitively linked to its use, he said. Clozapine, it is widely agreed, is under-used in this country and in practice its use is delayed for much longer than NICE currently recommend.

The safety of clozapine has been continuously monitored since its launch in 1990, he added. In fact, no other drug has been as closely monitored. Close and intensive physical monitoring should be mandatory for all people with severe mental illness, regardless of treatment.

In a statement, the MHRA added: We are aware of the particular concerns of Mind in relation to clozapine and have already indicated to them that we will look further into the concerns they have raised and consider whether the trends in reporting through the Yellow Card scheme raise any new issues that merit update to the product information or indeed require reminders to prescribers about the need for close monitoring of patients to optimise safe use."

Simon Hough was diagnosed with schizophrenia 14 years ago and still manages his condition with medication. Fellow patients warned him off clozapine, after those taking it compared the effects to like coming off cocaine or heroin.

They described feeling really low and lethargic, and the side-effects such as weight gain and dry mouth were so much worse than other drugs, he said. One guy I knew was average weight, about 10 or 11 stone, and he just ballooned up to about 18 or 19 stone when he started taking the drug. Thats got to have some impact on your long-term health.

Mr Hough, 42, who now works for Making Space, a mental health charity in Northwich, Cheshire, took part in the CUtLASS study, a large-scale trial comparing the effects of modern antipsychotic drugs with those of older treatments.
I was offered clozapine but after all that Id heard about it I preferred to be in the group that took quetiapine [an alternative drug] instead.

Psychiatrist over-prescribed lithium

3/23/2009 8:30 AM
By Justin Anderson -Cabell Bureau

HUNTINGTON - A Huntington man is suing his former psychiatrist for allegedly over-prescribing lithium that caused end stage renal disease.

Troy L. Robinson filed a lawsuit against Deleno H. Webb III and Area Psychiatric and Psychotherapy Group in Cabell Circuit Court on Feb. 17.

Robinson says he was a patient of Webb's from Feb. 12, 1997, to April 23, 2008. Robinson sought Webb's services because he had feelings of depression and anxiety.

The complaint says Webb diagnosed Robinson with bi-polar disorder and began prescribing him lithium -- Eskalith -- in September 1998. The dosage was 450 milligrams twice a day.

By November 2001, Robinson's lithium level was recorded in the therapeutic range and the creatinine was elevated at 1.7, but he claims Webb did not changes the dosage. In October 2004, Robinson claims his lithium level had grown to 2.4 and the amount of creatinine in his blood had risen to 3.3, a level described in the complaint as "dangerous.

"Despite these dangerous blood levels, Dr. Webb continued to prescribe lithium to this patient until it was discontinued in January of 2007," the complaint says.

On March 16, 2007, Robinson was diagnosed with end stage renal disease as a result of lithium toxicity, the complaint says. Nevertheless, Robinson continued to see Webb until April 2008.

Robinson claims Webb was negligent in his prescribing lithium and that Webb did not warn him of the possible dangerous side effects of the drug.

Robinson says he's sustained physical and emotional injuries, medical costs, loss of earning capacity and earnings, loss of household services, pain and suffering and other damages. He claims the company, Area Psychiatric and Psychotherapy Group was negligent in hiring and retaining Webb.

The plaintiff seeks various compensatory and punitive damages as well as pre- and post-judgment interest and legal fees.

Timothy L. Eves is representing Robinson. Cabell Circuit Court Judge David Pancake has been assigned the case

NICE Issue Guidlines on Work and Long Term Incapacity

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today (25 March 2009) issued guidance on managing long-term sickness absence and incapacity for work.

It is estimated that in Britain the annual costs of sickness absence and worklessness* associated with ill health is over £100 billion. This new NICE guidance aims to complement existing initiatives; helping reduce the number of employees moving to long-term sickness absence and promote return to work.

The recommendations in the guidance are aimed at all those who have a role in managing long-term sickness absence and incapacity. This includes all employers, employees, managers, workplace representatives, trade unions and professionals, as well as the health service.

The full guidelines are available via the NICE website.

On the website there is also a section relating to the rehabilitation of people who suffer with scizophrenia.

I'm all for it, in as much as people who are fit for work and can be 'rehabilitated' should be helped by different arms of the system. However, am ever cautious, not just because I don't trust the system but the timing seems to be at odds with what is going on in the job market...then again 'long term planning' could lead to a fully integrated and happy society in the long term.

Optimism is my new middle name. Ha!

Concerns around Mixamatoxins and Vet Appointments

Part of me wishes I had never taken all the meds I took before because am not looking forward to going on to Lithium with an innocent warm glow of positive anticipation.

Doing best to keep my Doubting Thomas at bay but having spoken to friend who has now been given a mood stabiliser, on top of their anti depressant, benzo and strong pain killers for physical problem am wondering where the layers of medication ever end.

I shouldn't really do comparisons ....for one... because everyone has varying tolerance levels and for two... I am only going on to one mood stabilizer although that is on top of benzos...which is making me para.

That the mix of these toxins is going to mong me out.I take biggest responsibility for this as have put up a damn good argument for staying on benzos (that being basic quality of life, in the absence of).

If only there was an off switch and I could go with the flow without wondering what the flow is, where it comes from, where it will take me and where I put my water wings.

There are some little rays of hope, filtering through. As in friend is managing to cut their benzo down by half each day but says they feel they are losing their mind and sense of self. Hard for me to know if that is benzo withdrawal or the combinations of the different meds ending in a cacophony of fekked up ness.

Also have done a bit of a surf of the net and Lithium is seen as the only true mood stabilizer. The King of Queens. Or is that the Queen amongst the Jokers?

Is all pretty iffy as in I won't know until I try it but the thought of feeling worse than how I do is mega concern.

When I was on the phone to Dad yesterday he said "I don't think it could get worse than this". My response was, "I often think that way but reckon it could be worse" (heaven forbid).

Which leads me back out of contemplation and into the getting on with life thing. Took Suki to vets yesterday for annual check and jabs. Big fun...NOT! The pair of us weren't really up to it. Thankfully friend was on hand with words of wisdom..such as "She seems to be handling the car journey, how about you?" (whilst Suki is doing cat equivalent of whining).

Vet was thorough, which means they were doing their job properly and Suki's anxiety levels were going through ceiling. The thermometer up the jacksie was the last straw and Suki was contorting herself (in ways I have never seen), hissing, screeching, scratching and trying to bite. My empathy was with her.

Everyone survived, although vet has nasty scratch on hand which they were kindly dismissive about and I have a freshly washed towel which I need to return along with urine sample tomorrow.

There is a possibility that Suki has diabetes or kidney problem...hence trip back with sample. This could lead to blood tests....oh dear! If that is the case will try and leave a few weeks between visits. As I think too much stress in one go won't do Suki any favours and I am not exactly 'gung ho' myself.

If life were a merry go round, I would be getting off now...and trying to find the porta loo.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The case of the missing 'Out of Hours' service

The manager of the Emergency Duty Team rang me this morning. He has been trying to get hold of me for a while but due to neither of us being available at the same time (and me sometimes disconnecting my phone for some peace)it has proved difficult.

However, we finally touched base and discussed the problems people with mental illness come across when they hit crisis, out of hours. That's not to say there aren't problems trying to get a service during 'normal' working hours but the particular area we discussed was when Community Mental Health Teams have shut up shop for the day.

The manager was very concerned about the gaps in service and that the team he manages are not 'trained' or have a specific remit to deal with people with mental illness.

Following our convo, they copied me into a letter they were sending to a MH Trust Director and the Director of Social Services. Below is my response:

Thanks for copying me into the email and responding so promptly, following our telephone conversation this morning.

I have experience of contacting the EDT on 3 occasions (once for myself) as you so rightly put, they can offer a brief chat to discuss the issues but then advise the person to ring the locum GP service or go to A&E. Speaking for myself and my father, and most probably many other people with mental illness who live alone and don’t posess a car, it is very difficult or impossible to get to A&E when crisis arise.

I don’t want to ramble on and lose the plot so need to be clear that there is a gap between contacting an out of hours service and then appropriate response/action being taken by support services.

My view is that a specific out of hours service, for people with mentail illness, is what is needed. Where the people manning the phone understand the complications and diversity of illnesses as well as the isolation people often find themselves in, which becomes more acute when someone hits crisis point. The out of hours service could have a direct link to the crisis team (as a referral service), it could even become an extention of the Crisis Team (as part of its core remit).

If I remember rightly the MH Director was going to look at the problems in regards to out of hours access to support services, with a view to putting a proposal to the Commissioner/Funder. I am not sure if that is an on going project or what the outcomes on any research done are. I would very much appreciate knowing what the outcomes were.

I would also be willing to contact the Commissioner/Funder to seek their views on how progress can be made in regards to this on-going problem.

I will be contacting my GP practise to find out how much is known about the crisis team and how GPs and Locum GPs refer their patients on when necessary although I fear that, again from my experience, dealing with people with mental illness is seen as the remit of Beds and Luton Partnership Trust. I think, being objective, there is a problem with communications in regards to professionals being aware of what MH services are available and how they can access them on their patients’ behalves but I will be finding out for myself how my GP practise goes about dealing with patients in crisis.

I look forward to hearing from you and anyone else involved in running, or making decisions about, services which respond to people in crisis and hearing their views and what action can be taken to improve service provision.

Interesting (should read frustrating) that I was raising these issues when I was part of NIMHE Eastern Region forum and the local SU rep group. I have subsequently raised the same issues with the MH Director responsible for 'Crisis and Acute Care' and was involved in a resolution meeting (last year) to see how the problems could be resolved....and still nothing has changed!!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

What is so evil about condoms?

Sent from Avaaz Organisation:

Dear friends,

Pope Benedict's statement last week that condoms may aggravate the AIDS epidemic could put millions of lives at risk. Sign the petition to the Pope to take care not to undermine proven AIDS prevention work!

Take Action Now

Last week, on his first visit to Africa, Pope Benedict said that "[AIDS] cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".

The Pope's statement is at odds with the research on AIDS prevention, and a setback to decades of hard work on AIDS education and awareness. With powerful moral influence over more than 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, and 22 million HIV positive Africans, these words could dramatically affect the AIDS pandemic and put millions of lives at risk. Worldwide concern is starting to show results and a willingness by the Vatican to revise the statement - sign our urgent petition asking the Pope to take care not to undermine proven AIDS prevention strategies:

This is not a religious dispute, but a grave public health concern. Personal beliefs of Catholics and all people should be respected, and the Pope's advocacy for a culture of fidelity and respect could be helpful in prevention if condoms were not discouraged. The Catholic Church engages in a vast amount of social service work, including the care of those living with AIDS. But the Pope's claim that condom distribution is not an effective AIDS prevention mechanism is not supported by research. It's untrue, and if it diminishes condom use, it will be deadly.

The fact is, HIV and AIDS are prevented by condom use. There is no easy solution to the spread of this tragic disease, but condoms and education are the best known prevention combination and have not been found to increase risky sexual behaviour. That is why even priests and nuns working in Africa have questioned the Pope's statements.

We may not be able to ask the Catholic Church to change its broader position, but we are asking the Pope to stop actively speaking out against prevention strategies that work. It's important that people of all beliefs, especially Catholics, call on the Pope to exercise care in his leadership on this issue. Sign below then spread the word to your friends and family - this petition could actually save lives:

25 million people worldwide have already died of AIDS, and 12 million children have been left without parents. If enough of us join this outcry, we will win an important battle in the struggle for a world without AIDS.

With hope,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Graziela, Iain, Brett, Paula, Pascal, Luis, Paul, Veronique, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

PS - this campaign was polled among a randomized sample of 20,000 Avaaz members. Over 90% supported running the campaign, and over 75% of Catholic Avaaz members supported it.


The official position of the UN and the World Health Organization on condoms and AIDS prevention:

The Pope's statement opposing condoms (BBC):

European governments criticise Pope Benedict for his statement

Condoms 'aggravate' AIDS scourge, Pope says:

CNN Report on the Pope’s anti-condom position:

Vatican backtracking on condom statement:

Growth of the Catholic Church in Africa, see: and

South African Bishop supporting condom use:

UNAIDS Report on the AIDS epidemic:


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368 Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!
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My little corner of peace and tranquility

Comes to me, or I go to it, when I am making cards. It is one of the rare times where the noises in my head quieten down and I lose myself.

Today, have made up a few and also sorted out materials for next lot. Will be getting on with that soon cos I seem to need alot of peace at present.

So you have a diagnosis...problem solved..erm

It ain't easy being a loony but then no-one ever said it would be!!!

Having read latest posting on the Last Psychiatrist's blog has got me to re-chundling. In itself, that is okay because false comfort is very little comfort in the long term. I mean that in relation to my impending trial on Lithium.

To say I am comfortable taking the Lithium would be an over statement, but it is about options and how well or unwell someone (namely me) remains without medication. Have to look at track records and it hasn't been a positive one. Then again track record on meds hasn't been that great either. Ho hum!

In this totally non ideal world it is looking at what can be done, in addition to any work I put in myself, to tick along best as.

Reason TLP's posting is relevant is because it is revisting issues around drugs trialling and the reports from pharma companies and how they use medical professionals to support them. When people start getting into the scientific nitty gritty, that is when I start getting a nosebleed but I gather enough info to clock that in the main, psychiatric medication is being sold under alot of false pretences. Perhaps that is the case for alot of meds. Dunno!

One of the comments was about Bipolar and the person wrote that unlike Manic Depression, which is a valid illness, Bipolar is now being used 'willy nilly' to classify people who are otherwise well and tickety boo'ing along. Could well be the case but I can't say either way (where is the evidence base?). As I've written before I don't have a problem with being diagnosed Manic Depressive or me it seems the closest diagnosis to the symptoms, states, behaviours I have. The question 'how relevant is the diagnosis criteria' should be asked but what would replace it and why? Also the variance in peoples' diagnosis (as a broad statement) and dependant on which psychiatric professional they see has to be taken into account.

Maybe, at the end of the day, my diagnosis of Bipolar will be as much use to me as a spare groom at a wedding (although a last minute choice might not be a bad thing!!!). Who can tell but all we can work with is what we have...and as I have been unable to heal myself, although often given it a good try, am comfortable enough, at present, to accept the diagnosis and, pending a revolutionary alternate theory that works in practise, to give the meds another go.

The diagnosis I have given myself is 'fekked by trying'.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Empathy for friends

Used 'Empathy' because wasn't sure quite what title was most appropriate and whilst waiting for brain to re-settle, seemed as close as.

Lareve is in acute care. She asked me to put a comment up on her page as a kind of update and have duly done so.

Am not going into any more detail than that because want only to share what Lareve is comfortable to be shared.

I have blogged here because I feel there is a time and a place when people need to be 'safe', as in safer than being at the mercy of their illness and not protected. I am not always sure that acute care is the safest place for people but in the absence of other 'safe' houses it is what is there and I hope that Lareve gets the care and support she needs.

I will be ringing Lareve later, so if anyone wants messages passed on to her, I am happy to do so.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Outcomes of Meeting and Falling Asleep At The Seams

I consider myself a very lucky lady indeed. I got 50 minutes of the psychiatrist's time. Not only that, as was the case when I was in crisis care last year, he listened to what I said and, more importantly, seemed to pay attention to my concerns.

Before the meeting with him, care co-ordinator and support worker (yes I finally got to see her), I was given a care review sheet by care-co-ordinator. Irritating things because most of it seemed inapplicable to me as it was about my carer (what carer?). I did tick the box to discuss my diagnosis. I didn't think that would hurt but is not like I am uncomfortable with my diagnosis just I am happy to review it and seek any further clarity when it is to be found. Anyway was onlyhalf way through completing it when was called into the meeting. Bit of a DOH moment! So we discussed my moods, how I have been feeling..then went on to my history of medications (and low tolerance with negative outcomes) and finally agreed that a low dose..lower even than the minimul prescriptive dose of Lithium should be started and to see how I get on with it.

I asked about side effects and interation with Lorazepam. Side effects, that shrink knows of can be: feeling flat, severe dry mouth and putting on weight although he told me that of all the bipolar meds Lithium is least likely to cause heavy weight gain. I asked about the longer term and he said it can mess up the thyroid. Hmmm.. As for interaction with Lozees, am more likely to feel drowy because both meds have that as side effect. Not the greatest place to be but as we discussed, I can't carry on feeling as bad as I have.

I did say that the continual frustrations and worry of Dad and waiting far too long for help to be put in place for him has severaly rocked my boat...I said that just in case the clinical side of things was being addressed at the expense of the social/relationship side.

Interesting that towards the end of the meeting support worker told me that she would no longer be able to see me every 2 weeks due to added case loads. I knew summat was up because I haven't seen her every week since before Christmas. I wasn't happy about it and said that in my care plan it is agreed that I see her twice a week. The shrink was on side and asked what could be done to ensure I see someone every week. As an interim measure I will see support worker one week and care co-ordinator the next and when the new care worker is in place they will alternate weeks with support worker. Am fine with that..that is as long as it happens.

And so I now have to go see nursey at GP practise to get baseline blood tests done and have an ECG and then I will be starting the Lithium. It is pretty freaky, more so because of my history on meds, but I have to keep that in the context of how crap I have felt and have some hope that it might alleviate some of the severer sides of my illness. Not that I get so manic these days cue 'Dubstar' but the depressive and paranoid side of the illness has been pretty pants to live with.

Am hoping that, now Dad has more care support being put in place, I won't feel so stressed and can re-focus on what I want to do and how I go about doing that without being swamped. Is that wishful thinking? Maybe.

Doing my in the personal pro-active stuff by getting out every day to the local shops and back (neurosis enducing as it is) and getting some sense of achievement from that. Am also trying to cut back on lozees, cut down by a quarter for a few days and now cutting down by a half. Is bit of bumpy ride but wanting to be on lower dose when I start Lithium as I don't want to be monged out all the time...or have a withdrawal plan forced on me. I hate being forced, or feeling forced, into doing anything.

Was a bit of a weirdy day, yesterday. Got back from one friend's which time was needing space. Didn't get enough time to re-aclimatize myself before Hayley turned up for card making and in between got call from another friend about her meds. It went okay from there though because card making chills me out.

The really weirdy happenings kicked in later. Hayley was in a car crash on the way home. Thankfully, she is not badly injured (mostly shock) but her car is a write off. I talked to her whilst her hubby was outside gathering evidence. Sometimes, I can be quite calm and collected...which is bizarre because I am a highly neurotic and emotive person at heart. Well, then an ex, the one that gave me a nasty present, rang me to say he had a new girlfriend. Literally told me that and put the phone down. I have to ask "Why?". I can do bitter and twisted as good as the next one but for me ex's are very much in the past.Perhaps, that will be closure for him. I hope so because you have to let go (or be eaten up by stuff..stuff that you can well do without carrying around).

Em and her fella turned up. She was quite raw due to working additional hours at the pub, a group presentation at uni that went tits akimbo and assignments getting on top of her. So it was a hug in. We had a Maccy D's at Dad's and it didn't do him any harm to have to think about someone else's problems for a change. Because of his isolation, me thinks, he becomes totally obsessed and negatively so about himself. Not like he is alone in becoming like that (I am guilty of similar thought patterns)but it was good that he saw that others (of his flesh) have hard times and are fragile too. Ironically, he was rather between saying how difficult things are for him. Certainly the company was good for him and by the end of the evening we were all more upbeat.

Additional personal note: I got a beautiful card and a 'yummy mummy' nightie off Em for Mother's Day. Bless her. Lots of things I am but 'yummy mummy'Ha! ha!

And the second half of the blog title comes from the previous morning. Friend and me always struggle to get our heads in gear and when she said "We are falling asleep at the seams" that about summed it up for me.

This song is going round in my head and so it is my video of the day:

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Just looking, not buying

Due to some internal conflicts and general debilitation (aggrevated by demands that I have felt unable to say "No" to and needing to get things done, which has proved complex because my support worker has gone missing in non desire to blog has been hammered.

Been a case of fear and loathing in Dunstable.

So when I have been on blogland it has been to venture to other blogs. Sometimes that is healthy because it can stop introspection, that "Why me" self indulgance and can even add some jollity into the day (Dr Rant, on a good day, is hilarious although they can be a bit dictatorial in their views). Other times it can be reason to bang my head against wall in frustration that others seem to be doing so well, reinforcing what a waste of air I am, or it can piss me off because there are those who would dictate the way forward for the rest. Like there is any absolute in dealing with mental illness. My arse!

Today, I ventured to Abysmal's blog (amongst others). Can't say I am glowing with the joys of spring but, for whatever reason, it made me laugh. Laugh at the futility of it all, maybe. Not sure, but sometimes stark realities help, in some wharped way, to deal with all the variables (of the illness as much as other people who I am in direct contact with).

Fekk me, sometimes I prattle on. Sometimes the prattling leads somewhere useful. More often than not, and certainly as I have realised I am older and more tired, it serves little purpose but to while away time.

I used to watch the semi-intellectual debating programmes (late night jobbies) with gusto...thinking that there was an ultimate logic to it all. Now I realise is people liking the sound of their own egos. A crime I am just as guilty of..only these days my ego spends most of its time being totally confused by most things.

And whilst on the subject of variables.....have meeting with shrinky person tomorrow. Sort of instigated by me, in that I haven't been coping at all well and things have got worse. Care co-ordinator thinks meds are the answer and I am open enough to discuss options (such as they are) with the prescriber. The list of medicines the care co-ordinator promised to send me, ended up at the local sorting office because they hadn't paid enough postage. It cost me £1.06p to receive a statement of what Bipolar is (like I didn't know that) and 3 medications which are the offical meds for the illness: Lithium, Sodium Volporate, Carbomazepene..another list of anti-pyschotics, the main one being Olanzapine and a lealfet on Venlofaxene.


Have tried Volporate and Carbomazepene. Wouldn't try the Volporate again as it sent my blood pressure through the ceiling. the Carbomazepene made me feel sleepy the first time I tried it but I managed to stay relatively well for 6 months (came off it because had to go back to work, which meant getting up early in the morning and being compus at work... and the second time I was put on it, the more I took the more drunk I felt. I won't touch Olanzapine but, and this is where I start getting the heebies, might try Lithium. Only because I am so bloody desperate and not because I genuinely believe it will help..but it might??????

One thing I have to do, which I have rightly been reminded about (by someone who genuinely cares) is that I need to get them boundaires back in place. I too quickly allow people to take over my space and their needs become more paramount to mine. As example someone texted me 10 times on Monday, and although I understand people need others who they can turn to, getting a text in the middle of the night saying "If I die tonight it will be due to the medication" is not condusive to holding any safe ground in myself. I think people are so needy and because their needs aren' being met by services (or other more able people) they will turn to people, like me, who aren't necessarily equipped or stable enough to give them the help they need but know the score and can empathise in some way. Sad really.

Anyway, people will keep waving and drowning. Of that I am sure.

Dad's care assessment took place Monday. Outcomes, if what was agreed is put in place, are that he will get a carer going in, at tea time to make him a snack, warm drink and do a few bits around his home. He also agreed to have the modern day version of meals on wheels. A hot dinner and pud (for £3 a day). That covers the eating front and maybe daily contact with a carer will mean some conversation and help with the isolation. However, his continual falling over was not addressed and I worry about that. Still, is some progress and I asked for follow up reviews to see how it pans out and if it doesn't pan out too good (as in Dad remains 'incapacitated') then residential care needs to be sought. Dad seems to be coming round to the idea that residential care is best for him. Time will tell.

And now back to me and today I will be mostly dossing.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Some Uppy Bits

Thanks to dropping 3 quarters of a loz before hand, popped to see Dad, with lunch and clean laundry, yesterday. We couldn't stay long because friend was feeling day progressed they got worse and we are putting it down to a virus.

Whilst there I got to look at cards Dad got for his birthday. Didn't get chance on his birthday as was pre-occupied with organising food and trying to stop Dad dropping it all over himself and then tidying up (whilst playing translator...Dad is 'mutton' so I end up having to tell him what people were saying). Anyway I digress, saw this and it hit the spot so asked if I could borrow it:

Recently, I have found other people demanding. Not necessarily because they are but because tolerating myself has been enough. It has been a week of trying to bunker down, best as, whilst not going over the edge. Avoided trip to A&E. Not sure whether (in the longer term) that will be beneficial to me but have survived that and also another missed appointment by Support Worker (who has gone off sick). Getting used to missed appointments now. It seems it is one week on and one week off with them.

Anyway, I managed to do a bit of a stonker of a fry up for tea(I don't care what they say about vege bacon, I like it)and looked after friend without feeling wired out and, whilst they zonked out, I caught up on housework (which had been the least of my worries and so ignored up until that point).

Watched 'Comic Relief' Dance Final, which was a hoot. Robert Webb was the worthy winner. In fact, he's very agile and funky. I still prefer him as 'Sir Digby' but he can flashdance for me anytime.

As a sort of disclaimer, although am not happy for charity money (and definately not mine) to be spent on MH quangos, was glad that enough money was raised to buy masses of mosquito nets and possibly lots of other life saving stuff for people in Africa as well as money for projects which help young carers (a cause close to my heart). Still not totally comfortable about it all and the self promotion, I think, celebs do but if it actually is making a real difference to people who live in Africa (in spite of chaotic governance, military/factional infighting and over-zealous religeous doctrine)..... and young carers are getting the support they need in the UK...then I see it as making a positive difference. I texted through a fiver, which, I hope, goes to a cause I believe in.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Different routes to healing..and self reliance

Am a bit muddley in the head.Most of that is down to me but some is because am trying (again) to cut the loz use down.

Managed a good night's sleep on quarter of a loz and was going to try and muddle through on another quarter this morning but think I was pushing it. Certainly my body was having none of it. Anxiety was heightening with pre-migraine flashings. Fekk that for a game of soldiers. Have taken a half and seem to be settling back into a coping level.

My additional support mechanism, last night, was a meditation cd, which worked as part supplement to the lower dose of loz. The pre meditation spiel told me I need to use the cd, every night, for six weeks for it have maximum in a lasting one. I dunno about that but am going to try it out. Is not like I have anything to lose.

Blog title is due to contemplating therapy outside of the NHS because what the NHS has is often inconsistent and certainly not accessible when it is most needed. Sadly, I haven't got an income that would allow me to pick and choose from the vast array that is on offer and I wouldn't necessarily know where to start. However, looking at some other blogs there are options. Have signed up, and been put on waiting list, for something to do with mindfulness in regards to dealing with anxiety. Which is a free study course. There is also the Charles Linden route (with a sign up fee) although am not going to sign up for everything that comes along, good as they may be, and will wait for feedback from others on how helpful it is to them.

I think it is cronic that people are having to seek the right support outside of the NHS (because it isn't working for them) but positive that there other options, hopefully that more people can access rather than only those with enough money to do so.

In the meantime, I am trying to get to point where I accept the NHS isn't fit for purpose..and not get all twisted up about it. Would be okay to be angry and frustrated and have places where that frustration would lead to positive action but that is 'la la' land. No one cares enough. It is not good when all it does is eat away at me. From that point trying to do small things to help myself, like biting the bullet and walking to local shops and back (in spite of impulsive thoughts and worse, these days, the neurosis about people coming up and asking how Dad is). I need things that take me away from the pain rather than keep leading me back into it.

So am trying to cut back on loz use..whilst not doing that too soon leading to severe effects of withdrawal, using the meditation cd, having reflexology when I can afford it and hunting out little things that help along the way. Maybe they won't stop the rot but is better to try and stop it than just accept it is there and nothing can be done to prevent it spreading everywhere.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

My achievement of the day

Walked to local shops and back by myself. It isn't exactly being atop of Kilimanjaro with a red and runny nose but it will do for me. A sign that there is some flame alight inside.

Yesterday was Dad's birthday and (having come out of the semi coma and getting some semblance of a level back) I went round last night with Em, her fella and friend. Dad was pretty infantile and so I was playing nurse maid but, that aside, he enjoyed himself. He ate 2 plates of Chinese food and joined in a bit with convos. He started to slump as we left, which gave me that wrenchy feeling in pit of stomach but considering I am mostly fekked, is rather futile saying anything more on that.

A social services assessment has been organised for Monday. Will deal with that when it comes round also MP's secretary has written back asking me to ring to make an appointment. Will do, just not right now.

Going to have a reflexology session this afternoon, along with friend. A discounted session because therapist is friend of the friend. Will certainly beat taking a sleeping tablet.

Nothing else of relevance to me to add, so heading off.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sleeping Tablets are Weirding Me Out (even more)

Had hoped, guided by savvy of GP, that the sleepers would allow me a full night's sleep with possible added bonuses of feeling a bit droopy next day and thus more able to lie in bed, without breaking out in sweats or major flapping in the cerebral region.

Not quite the outcome I got although haven't broken out in sweat yet.

Got off to sleep without any blips. Quite relaxed. All going well till somewhere around 2 am. Came to to the call of Mother Nature (her timing sucks). Was okay cos I got back to sleep but the dreams that followed, I could well do without.

Was back in a home I used to share with Mum and Dad. I was playing some kind of Cinderalla role. Dad was characteristically aloof but any comment he made was sarky and he was continually wingeing about me to Mum and Mum was uncharacterstically a total bitch. I made a roast dinner and was being chastised for burning the potatoes and not giving one the same amount of meat as the other and the gravy was missing. Like that would ever happen!!! It was definately a "Let's beat Mandy with a big stick" dream.

Now, illnesses aside, my family was never anywhere near perfect but we were, more often than not, quite a tight fit of a team. We had to be but also we were. Certainly Mum and me came from the same pod and she was my best friend. A best friend I often got frustrated about but a best friend I could go to with anything and the only person who I have ever felt okay to break down in front of.

Funny how a dream has not only ruined what I wanted to be a long easy doss in bed but got me to questioning things. Things that should I be on a more even keel might warrant some kind of one to one therapy (or personal contemplation) but not now.

Perhaps, even in another hypnotic state, my brain is trying to heal itself. I wish it would get the message that now is not the hour for heavy psycho-analysis. Particularly as drug enduced sleep cannot be trusted in such ventures.

I doubt I will be using another sleeper tonight. Okay, I can see the GP's point- in that they would rather I wasn't using lorazepam to get to sleep...on the grounds I am using it quite heavily during the day BUT...2 wrongs don't make a right.

So it is back to the lozees and the waiting game of when/if I get to see a psychiatrist and what/if there is (more than this) to offer and whether it helps or hinders. Like me or they really know. DOH!

Time for tea.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Ah, Fekk It

My perfect night would consist of me dancing to this:

and ending up doing something else to this:

For All You Naughty Little Puppies

Okay, so the 2 key players are well out of it now (having left the doo doo growing for their successors) but the meaning is still same as.

So let that be a lesson to you! PAH!

Just saw some alert on my home page asking if Our PM Non-Elect should apologise for the financial crisis we are in....Hmmm....Perhaps he could start by apologising for existing! That would do it for me.

Saying It With Flowers

Confess to being rather meany minded when was re-awoken by postman, at around 7 this morning, as was well asleep and wanted to stay that way.

However, was worth being woken for. Was handed a long box. The contents were a lovely bunch of carnations and some choccies. Game on! That led to my first earnest smile of the day. Hoping it isn't my last either.

I am a person who likes surprises (as long as they are nice) and a person who likes flowers and chocolates too so it was a win/win/win situation for me.

I know depression along with pretty dire situuations aren't suddenly resolved by nice surprises but they sure as hell help.

Not much else to add to that, except to say here that am more than a tad chuffed.

Is too early for I might actually go back to bed for a while as I think I could sleep some more. Oh one thing, friend thinks I need to go to GP, ASAP, to look at additional medication that will help me (theory being I might not need so much lorazepam if it does). Granted care co-ordinator has said she will send me a list of meds and try and get me appointment with psychiatrist - the one I got on with whilst in crisis care - but that could take some time and she might forget. Sounds like an insult but they have been apt to forget things before. Will think on it.

This is over the top but it is the song that came into my head so here goes:

Monday, 9 March 2009

It all comes down to staying power

I have dropped another half a loz to deal with the squiffy eyes. Am getting cycles of migraines again...and have clocked that there is a link with lozees. In sense that if I try and leave it too long before taking one, that triggers a migraine too. Whoopie! Another added bonus.

Whilst semi offering me something that could amount to nothing, the kindly MH people who saw me Friday told me that Lorazepam is not the answer!!!!!Yep, as in if there were other answers then the lorazepam wouldn't be the answer. If Dad was getting care then I wouldn't either be at home, for whatever reason going more insane or with him going more insane.

Anyway before I rant on about how sweet but ineffectual MH staff are (well some are sweet), causing those working in services to become more affronted by my blatant disregard of how much effort they put in (that is those who are actually trying to do their job properly) and those with MH problems \9who think the sun shines out of the arses of the MH services) to become more affronted by my insistance that 'treading water' is the name of the game. Hell, why the fekk should that matter? Is not like I am going for patient of the year award.

And bless their hearts, friends are now reminding me how ill Dad is...or how much of an emotional drain he is on them too and how he must go into residential care....Cheers.

Unemotively, I can see that everyone (including me) is playing pass the parcel with Dad. I don't expect anyone (who hasn't got a professional responsiblity) for Dad to do anything but if they can't do anything, I would rather they would not do anything and then I wouldn't keep having to get negatively reinforced about how useless a daughter I am and that he is beyond them. Is worse that MH services are making it very clear that they are playing pass the parcel and that the parcel is ultimately back in my lap.

My MP's contribution to all this is to forward my letters, along with his questions as to how things can be resolved, to an acting CEO..whom I am not sure exists and certinly acts like he doesn't. I think he is hiding behind his finger and hoping no-one spots him.

perhaps I need to justify why I am an active participant in this pass the parcel game. Well, let us take Saturday as an example. My friend, the one who does offer practical support has a duff back, which quite possibly needs an operation, so I went round to Dad's with lunch. I was worried he wasn't going to eat..which seems to be a regular occurance....was there half hour and got a migraine. Ended up having to take a tablet and then getting strung out and taking a loz because Dad can't cope with himself let alone someone with a migraine.

People who have had breakdowns will clock that I am too fucked to be providing care because my illness seems to be spreading like a cancer through my psyche and pouring out through my body. And yep, I am fighting the paranoia and self destruction as best as I can..and still trying... but am severly blotting my copy book by failing. No gold star for me then. Get the Dunce Hat out.

The month is nearly up and, as expected, (although would much rather have been pleasantly surprised) nothing has been forthcoming in regards to additional support. And so am going to make an appointment to see the MP. Quite how I am going to manage to hold myself together to get there, or whilst I am there, is another matter.

I have asked a friend (a friend with varied experience in MH field and qualification enough cred wise- in the eyes of those who like qualifications) to be there with me. They have kindly agreed. They will be acting as MH advocate. More because everytime I wonder where this is going I freak out and although will be seen as a drama queen..can sense that I am heading towards something horrific. I am trying to avoid suicide - as anyone who thinks/hopes there is more to life than despair would but by fuck endless nothing feels like a better option than endless cycling into more despair.

I am fighting for something more than horror. I just can't see where it is.

Perhaps I need to apologise for any sensitivities I have rubbed up the wrong way but ultimately what point a blog if the blogger can't write it how they feel, think, see it?

and I used to think it was sad that people committed suicide but maybe it isn't so sad. Maybe it is release and maybe I am trying to find reasons to talk myself either into or out of suicide. ?????????? That buck deffo stops with me.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

No Sex Please - I am too poorly

having commented on a post on Marine Snow's blog...I think it is important to write. Well, important for me, that vulnerable people are often taken advantage of.

I shared one of my experiences of such a thing happening to me on Lola's site so won't go into it again here. Not that I am ashamed of it but have taken a whole lorazepam and not sure where that is going to take me. Nor, at the moment, do I care!!!

In both my extreme states i am highly vulnerable. When manic my libido can rise along with the mood. Not only does that send signals out that I am up for it, or can do but it also breaks down my own self protective barriers. I became more care free and have little regard for anything but the moment. It was rather different when I was taken advantage of the last time. My manicness was more edgy rather than happy la la and I believe I was taken advantage of because I wasn't able to say No...I was caught up in something but mostly my own neurosis and thinking it was the right thing to do, to please them...particularly as they were on the charm offensive.

Looks like I am going to re-write what I wrote after all. DOH!

Anyway, cutting to the chase, the bloke became more bullish and controlling and even after i had to go to a clinic to sort out the nasty present he had given me, he was ringing me and demanding to see me. When I refused he threatened me with legal action. Not sure quite what any more but he blamed me for having sex with him. Said it was all my fault and sent endless texts with the most foul comments. The only thing I think was wrong on my part was not using protection but when someone is not in a position to think straight and being bullied is hard to keep any control.

The problem is...and is very clear to me...that there are predatory creatures out there (part of the human race) who will not only force opportunities on others but will then manipulate people so they feel bad for allowing things to happen. Never mind what state a person is in at the time. Not only that but predators can be very charming (part of the act) so you can't always see the wood for the trees, particularly if you are off centre yourself.

Sadly, it has made me highly sceptical. I used to be a very trusting soul but now my 'bastard' alert is active 24/7. For me, that is not such a bad thing because I never want to be in situations where other people are controlling me, although I totally dread going manic because then I can be known to throw caution to the wind. One thing the lozees do is stop that side of my nature/illness. Which is one of the bonuses of being on sedation for me.

However, it is even sadder that there are people more vulnerable than I who might not be able to prevent others controlling them and you can bet your bottom dollar the predators can spot them a mile off.

so maybe is best not to wear the "No Sex Please" t shirt because they will zoom in on it and will be like a sitting target. Ho hum!

Know i have put this video up before but I love it, so here we go again:

Friday, 6 March 2009

Seeing the right from the wrong through jaded glasses

Contemplating next steps for myself..whilst waiting for the Virgin Media Man to turn up and fix my knackered phone line.

I might try and place my mistrust of the NHS to one side and make an appointment with my GP and try another shrinky med. It will have to be done with caution..not just because of my low tolerance to meds but also because I am taking it will need to be a medication that does not react negatively with benzos. In the longer term (if there is to be one) that will be with the hope of cutting down the benzos.Maybe this is all pie in the sky bollocks because I think I have tried most meds, with the exception of Olanzapine and Lithium. Of the two I am more likely to take Lithium than Olanzapine...because more evidence is being dug up that pharma companies buried trial results and whatever anyone says the medication piles the pounds on and does something to the body which leads to diabetes. Something to do with how the body breaks down glucose..or not! Anyway, it is an option. I might also re-try amytriptalene..even if I can't spell it. I was put on it in the past and it made me high but maybe a high that is more controllable is better than this constant, trudging through the mud and fighting off paranoia (which seems to be sneaking in all over the place and I find myself having to question judgements alot).

I fear the GP will say "You need to be referred back to the psychiatrist". I don't want to be referred back to them because of the conflict of interests and my total distrust of how they diagnoses patients (namely my father). Ho hum.

Sure I get that the biggest part of dealing with lunacy is down to the lunatic themselves and staying positive (in the pits of depression) helps but a person needs things to be positive in order to see them and build on them. I am still breathing, which ,I guess, is a positive although is debatable.

The fact I am writing with a level of coherence means i haven't completely lost the plot yet although 'losing the plot' goes in varying degrees and I know that big chunks of the plot are missing in me. Someone, in acute care, once questioned my illness reckoning I couldn't be ill because I was aware of how I was. At the time I thought they were right but anyone who blogs knows that you can be acutely aware of how wrong you feel and think and able to express that but it doesn't change how wrong you feel and think. Acts of expression do not mean you are recovered. Maybe they help in a process of some kind of recovery or getting back to coping but nobody knows the illness beter than the person that has it. I do believe that is the case for the majority of people who suffer mental illness. i don't think any professional has the capacity to see inside someone's psyche and suss it out. They just get the observer's view and if they are an astute and understanding observer, who gives enough time to a person, then they may well get enough of a picture to help.

Sadly, some professionals give people 20 minutes of their time and think they are in an expert position to diagnose and prescribe. That is nonsensical and some professionals write up diagnoses that contradict how the person is. Possibly because it suits the paperwork and manpower available rather than the needs of the person. Then again, I would say that and I would say that based on experience!!!

Whatever, it is Friday. My Care Co-ordinator is coming to see me. She might be able to offer some advice or practical support. Being as objective as I can about that.

Friend sent me though this video. Glad to see Depeche Mode still rallying on...having survived and still surviving their own dramas. I am on a one woman campaign for them to get a Brit Award and is not like I am the only one who thinks they are still relevant. This song is in the top five most downloaded tracks.

I read that The Cure got the equivalent of a 'services to the music industry' accolade at the NME awards. Good for them...although I prefer their early stuff.

Time for a tune:

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Time Away and being a Passenger in my own life

Have been staying with friends in The Peak District.

Shows you how weird I have become because I thought (and not even sure why now) that I was staying in a croft in Cumbria. Anyway, by the by, was a restful weekend.

I explained, prior to going, that I was raw and wanted to mong out and that is pretty much what I did.

Having spoken with support worker last week and the conversation veering towards a possible stay in acute care, trying new meds....I needed to get away or that might have turned out to be a reality via a 3-5 hour wait at A&E although the thought of A&E sends me into a paranoid state..along with the experiences of previous stays. Crisis care is no longer an option...beds being needed for the acute ward etc etc blah dee blah.

It was a weird weekend for me. Friends were lovely. No pressure or demands, They fed me well, looked out for me and let me mong about but I felt like a passenger. Nothing to do with them actually. It was me. Is me.

The good thing was that there were no demands. They are pretty self sufficient people and although one of them has MH problems (more to do with brutal upbringing than anything else and not writing anymore than that because is private) they have a rare balance in their relationship where they play to each others' strengths and compliment each others' foibles. I was in awe of them. Being a person whose weaknesses tend to dominate my life and certainly not finding a place where my strengths seem to compliment anyone, it was nice to know that there are couples who 'get on' and without seeming to have to compromise much to do it.

I actually found the ease of being with them did help me to relax more although the dread of coming home was something else.

I spent the weekend eating alot, resting and going for the odd trip out to the shops for choccy.

I saw a bit of the Peak District. We went right into the heart of it to pick up their caravan (they were heading off to the South Coast) after dropping me home. Beautiful it is..the District and the caravan is pretty nifty too.

Have an open invite to go back there anytime. Which is one hell of an offer and considering I consider myself as much company as an exhibit at Tring museum, I think that is more a measure of their kindness than my value as a useful addition to any situation. They even offered to pick me up ont heir way back from their holiday. Should I need more time away from homestead.

I will go there again but am hoping that next time I am a bit more lively. I remember being a sparkle once. Someone that was fun to be around. Now I am the person trying to find a bolt hole in most situations.

Perhaps I have had a bit of a breakdown. perhaps I never actually recovered from my first breakdown. I dunno but I certainly find the sheer effort of existing so much more exhausting these days.

So, am back home. The time away did some good..if only to provide breathing space amongst people who didn't demand of me.

Time for a cuppa, a cig and the next stage of my continual breakdown!!!