Friday, 14 June 2013

Just Checking In

I don't write this blog much nowadays, which doesn't mean that I am not reading and thinking about mental health just as much as ever.  I have recently been privileged to make the acquaintance of another 'schizophrenic'. This chap is quite elderly, and seems very together, but has had every treatment going, including deep shock insulin therapy and 'about 40' goes of ECT.  He says that none of it has helped, but is still very much of the biological viewpoint, feeling that there is a biological cause for his condition and that therefore there must be treatment that will fix it.  He reads a lot around the subject, and if he hears of a new medication, he asks his doctor for it.  Although, he says, none of the medications fix his problems.

The odd thing is, that from what I've heard about his symptoms, they sound like extreme anxiety and not much more.  Even way back, when he was a teenager and all his problems began, he was never psychotic.  He says that he asked for a diagnosis - the psychiatrist treating him did not want to give him a label.  But he needed one, he says, because he needed to know what was wrong with him. 

Well, in my opinion, although he still has some anxiety and suffers from insomnia, there is not much wrong with this chap.  He is a fine example of a human being, if you ask me.  He has lived a full and active life, and is an upstanding member of the community.  I have no idea what would have become of him without all the treatment, but he has survived all of it remarkably well.  An inspirational chap.  Even if I don't agree with the biology thing, I totally respect him and his opinions on mental health, and I am glad to have met him.

I finally got around to writing several reviews today - of Agnes' Jacket, by Gail Hornstein, of Food as Medicine  co-authored by Patrick Holford, and a few others.  I started off the day really poorly, I started coming down with a cold yesterday and took a turn for the worse this morning.  But after hours lolling around on the sofa, I finally pulled myself together, wrote a long email and later those book reviews.  So I feel as though I achieved something, and remarkably, I also feel much better.  Hopefully I will be well for the weekend - which, if you had asked me this morning, I would have said was an impossibility.

I took my exam, hurrah!  The day afterwards, I hired a beach hut just for me (Paul was at work, and the kids all at school).  I sat and roasted, read and wrote.  It was cool (well, hot, but cool).  Paul came down in his lunch hour from work and brought me ice cream and crisps.  I will remember that day for a long time! 

Hope all of you readers are well.  Any of you with your own blogs, I will be catching up soon.  That's all for now!


  1. Apart from the cold, it sounds like you've had an all-round good week.

  2. At the risk of tempting fate, Rossa, I lead a pretty charmed life these days! I hope you and yours are well and happy. Louise xx