Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Another interesting blog

Hi again

This guy recovered, or as he prefers to term it, was cured from schizophrenia when he was thirty, which is now thirty years ago.  So there is a wealth of experience here:

I read a lot of it the other day, need to go back and finish. 

He is completely well now, and I guess by his 'Skyblue' standards I am not quite there - he suffers from no anxieties for example, and I still do.  But I do like to read someone who writes from the perspective that complete cure is possible - because belief that one can become better is essential in order to be able to do so.  This is where psychiatrists are failing their patients most - in refusal to believe in them as complete human beings.

I want to make the point today that for all my attempts to write clearly on the subject of mental health, I am only speculating a lot of the time.  I don't know a lot about schizophrenia really, except for my own experience of it, which I have analysed a lot over the years, and the experiences of others who were ill alongside me.  I know, for example, of two men who made amazing recoveries, both of who attended the same day hospital as me.  Both of them got better after they embarked on relationships with mental health nurses from the hospital - from this I conclude that the love of a good and strong person is a vital aid to recovery.

Also, I write about schizophrenia from the perspective of someone with a chaotic upbringing and very little or no family support.  Therefore I cannot speak for the experiences of those who have had loving chidlhoods, except in so far as they have experimented with drugs such as cannabis, where their experience overlaps with my own.  For this reason I may seem dismissive of family 'carers'.  Rationally, I know that they are loving people, who want the best for those who they support.  I can see this, and I understand it. 

When I write about how families can sometimes hold a person back, I am personalising the issue.  My mother is an alcoholic - I have always felt secure about the fact that she loves me (I think I would have completely disintegrated without this knowledge) but as a mother when I was growing up she was useless.  I see her failings all too clearly now that I am a mother myself - I know how much attention children need, and how little I was given.  I still love her though, and she is a good Granny to my kids.

After I became unwell, I became emotionally reliant on my sisters.  I tried to cling to them - they had homes, children, they seemed secure.  They led their lives successfully.  I longed to learn from them.  I couldn't let go, because I felt that I needed their approval, their validation, their love of me.  It is only since I have had a family of my own that I have been able to move on properly - to approach the world from an adult perspective, to stop being so sensitive.  I still have a way to go!

Another point that I wanted to make is about psychiatric drugs.  I believe that they are over-prescribed, that people should only take them when they choose to do so and that they should be encouraged to believe that they can manage without them.  Because they can.  However, I never stopped taking any medication without the full knowledge, consent and monitoring of a psychiatrist.  I would have been too scared to do anything else. 

So really I was quite fairly treated by the mental health system - except when I was sectioned.  I was lucky, though, because I could have been swallowed up by the system - it was only my longing for a child, and my discovery that the drugs had made me infertile, that helped me to find my way out.  The diagnosis nearly did for me!  It does upset me when I see people who have been on medication for many years, and who are basically walking shells, but I don't know all the circumstances behind their stories.  I only suspect that things could have, and should have, been different for them.

Anyway, that is enough about me.  I am only rattling on about this because I have embarked on my book about recovery, so the matters of the hows and whys are in the forefront of my mind.  I am really enjoying the writing process this time - writing about mental health in a positive way is very cathartic!

Bye for now


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