Raising Questions

Raising Questions About Mental Illness

When I first heard about Raoul Moat running around shooting people, I must say I didn’t really know what was going on or take that much interest.  I had my own stuff going on and I was absorbed in that. A friend of mine, Sherry, called me up and we started talking about it. She mentioned that there was talk of him having asked for psychiatric help and not getting it. I asked her to send me any links and here they are, have a look and see what you think. http://www.itv.com/news/exclusive-moats-anger25784/

Slowly information filtered through and someone mentioned a bit more to me. I said I felt sorry for Moat, that he must be in a lot of pain to be doing what he was doing and what is being done to help him and those around him? Not a lot by all accounts.  The more awareness that is being raised about the lack of facilities for people with psychiatric, mental health isues, the better. The Raoul Moat story highlights what can happen when someone is not taken seriously. It is a tragic loss for everyone. I found this article very insightful  http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=154126009

Little did I know the extent of his psychological problems and that he had been asking for help for a long time and not getting it.  He has been described as aggressive and in a way it is understandable.  I am not for one moment saying what he did was right, far from it, he clearly lost the plot. However,  I do want to respond to the distress suffered by so many people at the lack of support available when in dia need. How many people do loose the plot under such extreme stress and it is at high cost to themselves, their families and society. People can get so lost and so far gone they cannot see a way out and something just snaps.

I have also come across a website of a book by James Bartholomew who has written about this same subject, commenting on the fact that Raoul Moats last words were ‘I’ve not got a Dad, no-one cares about me’.  Here Bartholomew raises the question that Moat was abandoned by his father and then his mother met and married another man, leaving him alone and feeling unwanted.  I will be writing more about this subject for myself in a later blog, it is a subject very close to my heart.

I have been out of re-hab now since the 19th April.  Have been to see a psychiatrist who assessed me, then told me to come back a month later with no offer of support in the meantime, then telling me there is a community psychiatric nurse who can help me at which I freaked out, I had had one of them before 14 years ago and know they cannot help with assessing me, giving me therapy and moving me forward in that area. I was then offered lithium incase I had borderline personality disorder or bi-polar……I am still waiting for help.  I was told I was aggressive, I was asked to calm down, I was scared and there were no answers for me……….I then went to see my doctor who suggested I tried anti-depressants to see if there is infact a chemical inbalance in my brain, so I am trying them.  I feel wierd, tired, distant, a bit zoned out..apparently it takes a while to kick in, and I am still waiting to see what the community mental health team are going to do. I have been referred to a Psychologist, with only one in the area, there is a big waiting list, in the meantime, I wait.

There are hundreds of people out there who are being left to rot, drugged up to the eye balls with no way of getting help.  I would be one of them if it had not been for some help from a friend so I can get to see someone. I was desperate and I needed help.

In the next few months I will be starting a series of interviews to highlight this exact problem, what can be done.  It isn’t ok scapegoating people saying they are aggressive. When people need help and cannot get it,  ask for it, knowing there is a problem, it is sometimes little wonder they feel frustrated.  I know I felt very scared indeed.

In Search of My Mental Health

I am so excited…….it has been a really emotional week, one way and another.  In the midst of it all, it has all started to come together. The hope of a documentary with two Addictions Therapists talking about service provision, or rather lack of it, for people like me with no private health care and little funds to pay a therapist, has finally come to fruition.

I have got a production company on board and we are shooting on 13th August, it will be on this website asap after that. We are not commissioned, we are all doing it for free because we believe it is a very important thing to be doing.

It is my  passion to use my journey, (battling with Mental Health, Addictions, Eating Disorders and Co-Dependency, to name but a few of the Addictions I have), to highlight the gaps in the provision available to people like me, and just what a huge impact that has on mine and others lives.

The jury is still out on my diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder/Bi-polar, the Psychiatrist has now passed me over to a Psychologist and hopefully I will get to see her before the end of August.  Thank God I am not as unwell as I was even a few weeks ago, this waiting and having to go over what is going on, over and over again really does my head in……!

I once saw a huge bill-board on the way out of Waterloo Station which said, ‘If Britain was a person it would be sectioned……’ I do truely wonder if it is not the people but what we are expected to tolerate that compounds the state of our minds, it certainly feels like that to me.

The series is entitled In Search of My Mental Health.  I will keep you posted.

Life’s Lessons

Today has been a wierd and wonderful day……….full of ups and downs and confusion. It has been going on for a while now.  When there is confusion for me there is generally something I am not looking at, not wanting to see and it is in those moments I need a good friend around me who is prepared to take the risk of telling me the truth.

The truth in this particular instance is that the lesson has been here a lot of times and what is it?  I pondered most of the day and finally it hit me between the eyes, I cannot change anyone else and nor can I blame them for being who they are.  My job, and here in lies the rub, is, I have to take care of myself…………..boundaries!  Well if I don’t know what someone is talking about and what a boundary is how  am I supposed to put one in place.

This is a long lesson and I am slowly learning it, it is painful, it is co-dependency in it’s full force and it is the route of all my addictions, not being able to take care of myself and not knowing how or what that means.  So I end up being, or feeling put down, pushed down and not knowing how the hell to do anything about it.

The lesson has finally come home, I let them, whoever they are, same shit different smell I always say, doesn’t matter whether they are male, female, tall, short, whatever, there it is.  Now I have to learn, to say no.  No, that is not ok for me and stick with it, and if they are not ok with that, then I do not have to change and contort myself so they won’t leave me……………what is your name………….what do you want it to be?  All that people-pleasing mania that almost took me to my grave is slowly changing.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be, with my history, my way of relating and it is all up for healing, to be investigated, not blamed and shamed as I know only too well……….and I was doing the same, only I did not know it.

I remember when I was just being me……..not doing anything to anyone and I was accused of all sorts of things that I was apparently doing to others, I took it all on board, blamed myself and changed my behaviour and a lot of my natural personality just because someone didn’t like me.  I now look at that and feel very, very sad, it was their stuff and I had no idea I could have stood up to them, said sorry you feel that way………..I just did not know how to do it.

Thank goodness I am learning, a day at a time to look at myself, face my demons and take the time to stop and ask …….what is the lesson here and be prepared to change. Sadly I was and have been doing a lot of what was done to me, blaming others for treating me like crap, but I let them, just like those people who blamed me, they let me and I took it all on.   I once heard a brilliant analagy of this about a public convenience, people want to dump their stuff, and will keep trying each door til one opens.  I choose to be one that is no longer open………and they will just pass me by until someone lets them in.

What a day!