Archive for December, 2006

New Year, New Start, New Outlook

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts here in the last week or so. Secondly, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am spending the night in an Irish club, which is sure to bring plenty of drinking, dancing and laughs. I’m taking it as a celebration of the progress this year, and a way to thank everyone who has helped me! (Buying many rounds of drinks is a perfect way to say thanks πŸ˜€ ). To all those that have shown their support online, anytime you are in the Bedfordshire, UK area I will take you out to say a special thank you πŸ™‚

Due to memory problems, I cannot actually remember any of the year apart from the last week. I can remember events – but I have no idea which month they happened in, nor if they were even in 2006.. but hey, I won’t remember tonight tomorrow so all is well πŸ˜‰

I have taken my qualms regarding psychotherapy to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, so fingers crossed for that. On Wednesday, I will be receiving my complete and entire notes from The Priory North London, which will make for both interesting and emotionally-hard reading, but it must be done. I may post snippets I find here πŸ™‚

To end, I wish each and every one of you best wishes for 2007 and sincerely hope you enjoy tonight!

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Unbelievable. Astounded.

I have just returned from a meeting with a new care-coordinator, and my previous one. They informed me my dispute against the decision to refuse me psychotherapy was dismissed, again by a team that has no idea who I am. They have never seen my face. They have never ever talked to me on the telephone. They just decided against helping me live my life like a life instead of a cycle of anxiety and nightmare-filed sleep times.

I don’t normally use this argument, but I do now ask the question of why I pay national insurance contributions. If the Hippocratic Oath means nothing to them, surely the legislative Good Medical Practice Guide means something? Obviously not. The box of tissues I was passed in the meeting this afternoon held more symbolic meaning than normal, because I could see the front-line soldiers knew I am f’ed up, but sadly those in the safe and warm MOD head quarters cannot see the wood for the trees.

I am severely under the impression that these people cannot organise a piss up in a brewery. It has reached the point of this treatment being past a ridicule of my integrity. I am filled with rage but the disappointment and utter disbelief are firing louder. I am scared for the future for the simple reason that this was my last window of opportunity for a very long time.

I’ve even had to return to work now until 6pm after that meeting. Sickened, I cannot work unless there is a sherry involved.

PISS. TAKE.

Music Concerning Schizophrenia?

There is little in the world I could compare to the beauty I find in music. I often search for a song for particular states of mind.. and certain situations I have been in. I don’t think it’s the ‘relating to the words’ aspect as much as using them to express how you feel, when you don’t have the energy nor strength to compose the sentences yourself.

I found this list on wikipedia which is very exhaustive. But, the problem is, it’s too exhaustive! Whilst a perfect resource for many, I am particular about the ambiance of the music I listen to so to go through the list to find a match would take hours…

I would like to throw an open question out.. if I may πŸ™‚ Do you have a favourite track concerning mental health? Is it on that list? (If not, add it!).

I would love to find a slow (ish) tune, about hope and positivity when you’ve been kicked down. Probably acoustic, I love just piano+voice or guitar+voice exclusively..

So, come on then! Whatcha-waitin’-for πŸ˜‰

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Medication (and the Lilly Story)

As you may be aware, yesterday it was reported that Lilly, the company behind the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa (Olanzapine) had been actively promoting it for uses other than treating ‘psychotic disorders’.

I was once prescribed Olanzapine. In fact, it was the first anti-psychotic I was given. The timeline was like so:

  • First ever appointment with a Psychiatrist – 5mg / day prescribed.
  • Second appointment, one week later – 10mg / day prescribed.
  • Third appointment, 3 days later – 15mg / day prescribed.
  • Fourth appointment, 5 days later – 20mg / day prescribed (this is the maximum dose, for anyone.)
  • Fifth appointment, 1 day later – admission to the Priory North London.

I would like to point out I was 15 years of age, and these drugs have never been officially tested on under-18’s.

Looking at that in bullet-point form, it disgusts me. The medication was given next to zero time to ‘kick in’ before it was upped. And upped. And upped again. And once more. These types of drugs can take a long time to have any positive effect, but the side-effects are almost instant.

I was taken off Olanzapine after I complained of ‘zombiness’, i.e. constant tiredness, lack of motivation, and continuous hunger. I am now prescribed Abilify (Aripiprazole).

But I do not take it. I have took Abilify once since March 2006, and that dropped my blood pressure down to such a level that I passed out on a railway platform. Surprisingly to the doctors, and unsurprisingly to me, my ‘symptoms’ have reduced greatly since I stopped taking them, and I live a much happier life. I don’t, necessarily, suggest anyone else not taking their medication. I do not have enough knowledge about the subject, nor am I a trained professional, to give that advice.

I’ve always always allllways seen my ‘condition’ as something which is only treatable through self-determination, and changing cognitive patterns within my mind. Talking to anyone, psychologist or not, helps me. More than any tablets have, ever.

There is a tendency among doctors in the UK to feel that prescribing meds will ‘sort the problem out’. A one-stop-fix, if you like. The eagerness of professionals in this country to give out extremely strong medication to under-18’s, or to anyone for that matter, scares me.

I do like Lorazepam though, but that’s a different story πŸ˜€

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Perceptions Of Schizophrenia

I had an alert in my inbox today, and this post on a forum was in the content of the alert. I would first like to same thank you to Melis16, the post’s author, for his/her (sorry!) attention to the ‘condition’ and helping to inform more people on it.

I would like to respond here, if I may.

Quote:

The cause for Schizophrenia has been widely studied and widely argued – in fact, it has been quite controversial at times. One widely held belief for the cause of Schizophrenia is that there is a genetic predisposition to the illness and certain environmental factors (e.g., severly neglectful/abusive parenting, trauma, etc.) can – in lay terms – “bring it out”. Usually, the biggest genetic link is from parent to child, so if it a relative outside of the bmom has Schizophrenia, it is a better situation.

My experiences, in my eyes, are a jumble of all of those. My grandmother, who died of Leukaemia in 1996, had been diagnosed since the 1940’s (she had been in the prison-like castles in Ireland that we know all too well). She was my biological relative and had only brief, i.e. 2 months long, periods of relief from the ‘illness’.

I was also sexually abused by her husband at age 7. When I say sexually abused, I mean raped in every room of the house in the same night. As you can imagine, I suffer the trauma still today (I suppressed and dissociated from reality as a safety mechanism) and he appears frequently in delusions and/or paranoia.

Quote:
Significant symptoms of Schizophrenia – the obvious ones meaning psychoses, which includes hallucinations and delusions – don’t usually show themselves until late in the teenage years (for boys) or sometimes later (for girls). However, there are often many “signs” we see earlier in childhood that can tell us if a child may suffer with Schizophrenia. Being aware of these, would help diagnose a child earlier and allow for more effective interventions.

My ‘symptoms’ / experiences arose at age 15, but I have always been ahead of my years both physically and mentally. I am not sure what you are referring to by ‘signs’ – if you mean clues to latent schizophrenia then I am not personally aware of specifics to watch out for. One of the main ‘gotchas’ in the illness is it’s unpredictability and the feeling of ‘creeping up on everyone’. I guess if you analyse the situations of a child at a young age, with their experiences and genetic position in mind, you could hazard a guess of it being ‘possible’ but certainly there are no bullet-points for spotting it in childhood to my knowledge. I would love you to expand on this if possible..

Thank you Melis16, you are a wonderful person for taking the effort to write such info.

By the way, I believe we’re about to hit 1000 views anytime soon πŸ™‚

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No News is Good News

I have just took a break from working and gave the CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) a phonecall to check on the status of yesterday’s deliberations.

I was slightly disappointed I had not been contacted as soon as something was decided, as I had asked, but I expect nothing more. Consistant failures are part and parcel of a Local NHS Mental Health Trust.

The lady I spoke to informed me I had been appointed a new care co-0rdinator (what care there is to co-ordinate I am not exactly clear on). But that’s numero uno that I’m happy with!

I then asked whether my appeal against refusal of psychotherapyΒ  had been taken into mind. The replies from then on in were ‘wait for a letter in the post’. The good part of this, I assume, is that they wouldn’t send a letter to inform me of an admission.

It looks like I’m spending Christmas outside a psych ward πŸ˜€ Which calls for a celebration I think.. next round is on me πŸ˜‰

Update: Police Chase in South Africa

As I commented on previously, a man in South Africa was arrested for fleaing from police with their blue lights and sirons in full flow. He has reportedly been on medication for ‘Schizophrenia’ since 2004, and has now appeared before magistrates in a South African court. Something that wasn’t originally reported was that five police vehicles were damaged in the chase. A quote from the new article:

Deena Naidoo led police and Road Traffic Inspectorate and municipal traffic officers on a wild car chase for 40km on the N3 on Saturday night, side-swiping their cars in the process.

Five police cars were damaged during the pursuit.

According to his attorney, Naeem Essop, Naidoo had been on medication for schizophrenia since 2004 and had been boarded from his job as a deputy director at the uThukela District Municipality in Ladysmith.

A common trait in many circumstances like these is hypocrasy. Before a ‘patient’ hits crisis point, they are treated as they are not in control and need decisions to be made for them (which is possibly sometimes the case). But as soon as something actually happens, the buck is passed, once again, and the ‘patient’ is suddenly the ‘criminal’ who did wrong.

Major new, worldwide, approach and thought needs to be applied in my opinion.