Saturday, May 21, 2016

when the expert professional has been caught with his knickers around his ankles

it is the only way to live, not subjected to abuse consistently and be disempowered.....

vive la difference!
Looking back in time an occasion happened three years ago that opened my eyes on Irish ‘progress.’

The mental health system has been struggling.  The ‘Vision for Change’ to which i was an expert withness and contributor  never got off the ground.  Each new year sees more and more taken from the budgets of mental health in ireland and also sees crisis in the services for younger adults, troubled teenagers and also adults who are sucidal and mentally unwell.

There is little being done, if nothing at all.
Pharmacology remains the root of all the evils in terms of getting people back on track, it remains the only option open when across the globe recognition that many of these medications are not only dangerous, injurous to long term physical health, leads to violent tendencies and shootings in America (see Dr. Paul Breggin), is of little therapeutic value if any at all. 
Even as we speak, anti-depressants are viewed by many experts as nothng short of placebos and fob offs.

The pharmaceutical industry is triving on the backs of very sick people and the list of ‘mental health “diseases” rises all the time.
For instance, grieving for a departed relative is now classed in some instances as a disease/disorder.
Children not being able to sit still as ADHD when in fact they may be too bright to be able to sit in a boring classroom when they should be given more stimulation.

They also do not get the chance to ‘run wild’ physically as once we used to be able to do.

So society is changing.
The thinking behind mental illness and disease is shifting drastically from the pathological to the emphatic, but the stigma is getting stronger and the pharmaceutical industries are being relied on far more than ever before.
There are more dumbing down medications and less of any efficacy at all.
So while the thinking is growing apace with modernity, the age old standards of antiquated methods remains and are increasing at an alarming rate, including the use of ECT which is barbaric in my view.
When thinking sees that security, love, less abuse and bullying, more empathy  and more productive activity and self confidence building would allievaite a tremendous amount of the levels of pain of the psychological/mental kind today in the world.  No one is putting in place ways and means to bring about this holistic structure and care.

Popping a pill remains so easy, the patient then is virtually ‘out of it’ and by default, out of society and has been labelled which will remain with that individual to the day he/she dies.
it is the only real way to live, not be subjected to abuse and disempowerment, consistently.

In ireland today i have been long out of the mental health services, but was deeply entrenched for decades.  I was to all intent and purposes vulnerable and remain so, but todays thinking as above would have gone a long way and when it came, i blossomed out of the ethos and the prejudice to be able to hold myself high in confidence and join the world that frightened me so much.  I have alot to be thankful for and love being now, part of the world.

But then, back then we were still in an economic stalemate,  the whole state was held in a paralysis of stagnation and nothing was moving forward towards becoming a modern way at all.
The mental health services relied on mediation, containment, but no real therapies or constructive involvement with people ever took place.

It was in fact quite destructive.

Group therapy sessions had a group of the unwell, the least able and also the depressed for very minor and some major life events, but none really were so unwell that they could not function, many were very intelligent, articulate, had children and were functioning.
What wasnt done for us distressed was enlightened ways around whatever got us in this situation in the first place.

Group therapy relied on the participants to pick holes on each there in that circle.  It was uncomfortable and negative.

People were queried why they had odd socks on – which today even professors manage to get away with but not so if you were in the mental health system in the 70’s.

Why did a poor art college student have one single ear ring rather than two – this took up a full hour of debate and arguement between the psychiatrist and the patient, me!
This obviously had a deeper meaning other than i was too poor to get both done at the same time and had doubled up with an art college student friend and we shared the cost.

The debate raged as i a young person was pitted against the unreasonable arguements placed by the psychiatrist but none the less we know whose opinion would have won on that day.

People who never were married were pitching at another woman who complained constantly about the state of her marriage.
We, as young people should not be in a position of such power as to tell this woman to get a divorce, which i told her to do.
This is wrong.  This was actively encouraged.
The woman who complained so openly about this marriage needed marriage guidance, not a troubled young person telling her to divorce the man she obviously had a grudge against.

Also exercises were designed in such a way as to denegrate one individual over and above another.

Asking each patient to put themselves in a line, againts the person you feel more fortunate to in the ‘depression’ or ‘mood’ stakes means that the one who ends at the end of the line, feels the damning judgement that they are by all accounts the most sick, the least happy and the most helpless, whereas the schizophrenic, who ended at the top of the line was the happiest, but possibly the sickest!

This is a type of ideal far from perfect and it was degrading.

Each day for hours on end, the group of mentally ill patients then did what was called ‘industrial therapy’  in other words, factory work.  (i remain unconvinced that the vast majority of us were nothing more than sane with issues needing addressing).
We had there many individuals who had been to university and college and many who were journalists, business men and of high callibre, all in one type of work of packing three black plastic bags inot one labelled bag and thrown then into a large box for collection by the company at the end of the day or week.

For this we got paid no more than 50 shillings a week, thats half a pound note in them days.

What happened to this money?
Well i was the only one allowed out of the building during the day there.  So i gathered all this up and got everyone their cigarettes, their sweets and whatever at the corner shop.

It didnt go unnoticed to the staff either that crisis occurred all too often.
Penning in people without anyway out, either of the mental anquish nor their physical constraints of a small house in an estate labelled a ‘day centre’ led them and me to desperate boredom, monotony and anxiety.
 We barely knew each other and because we knew where we were, the depression we went there for to get help with (and were not getting that help) made it worse for us, knowing we were in a mental health care facility, indefinitely.

  The relentless despair was palpible and explosive behaviours against both injustice by others naming us either in group therapy or doing stupid exercises got to us in a major way.
One day i was informed that seven of the patients that day had managed to take a blade or other sharp instruement to themselves and causing blood to be drawn, myself included.

Is this heathy?
Was it.
It most certainly was not.

But three years ago after decades away from this archiac and demeaning environment, i went and had to go to the psychiatrist locallly in order to be referred to psychology.

The sway of the shrink in ireland is vast, remains incredibly steady and incredibly strong, so labelling is about as much as you get and this is accepted.
The general forms of ordinary behaviours are always pathologisted by these professionals, always without a shadow of doubt they have lost their way to seeing normality at play.

I duly got to the place, the door was locked and opened from the reception and i was let in, only to be locked in after i passed the treshold.
I was early so i wandered about, to a vast cavernous area akin to a warehouse with tressle tables.  Absolutely no comforts at all, none.
Its was the most run down institutionalised shed i have ever seen for the sick and forgotten.  these people there today were elderly.
It was ghastly.    This was the uninviting, dismal, pathetic effort  called mental health care and it was degrading and outdated and poor in extreme.
I then went to sit in a small waiting room.  A young girl came in and sat down and opened a book.
She was out of her tree on medication, she had head bent over the opened pages and the eye lids were closing as she appeared not to be able to keep them open.  Basically every few minutes she was falling asleep.
There was no way she was going to read that book.
She was drugged too much.

A male nurse came in and called out her name cheerily, the lady looked up in slow motion as if not to either see, understand or even hear.  But she was young and pretty and i do not feel was intellectually incapacitated, just too drugged to have normal responses and reflexes to the stimulation that her name being called required.

‘here mary!’ cheerily, ‘here mary is your morning medication!’  cheerily. 
I watched in utter horror as more drugs were poured into her cupped hands and she was helped to lift that hand to her mouth by the nurse, and with his other hand, he poured water from a plastic cup down her throat.
One pill fell on the floor, he picked it up and gave it to her.
Surely to god she had enough to keep her zonked for the day that was in it, rather than pile on more?

Reasoning here was not evident.
I was so appalled i had to get out of that room and back to the cavournous metal shed with tressle tables, endless tressle tables.
I came across two people opposite each other, an older lady and an older man.
I looked closely at small boxes all around them and to my shock/horror staggering disbelief the elderly gentleman was picking up a sanitary towel one by one and putting them in these small boxes. 
A man in his late 60’s or early 70’s who could have gone his whole life leaving the ‘women’s affairs, ‘ to the women is now face to face with items of course, he knew from his life but was handling items that were taboo in irish culture as ‘unclean’ and probably still is in many parts of ireland today.

I had had enough and seen enough.
I was long out of mental health care with indeed an apology given for ever being there, but this was not going to give me my life back and all i had lost and time wasted in this regime.

I still remained to see this psychiatrist that day.

I saw him, a dashing hansome guy with golden skin and longish hair.   This is the man i have watched at the public health centre who had the charisma of jesus over the women sitting in a row to see him for their five minutes and have their mediations topped up.  The look of those women, their adoration, their hearts missing beats was obvious.  The draw to the shrink is very strong in Ireland and there are elements of love from patient to doctor which still isn’t being discouraged, the doctors love this type of sick adoration and its endemic.

But when i saw this man, far younger than i, for the first time on that day in the shed i was enraged by half an hour wandering around and lost the plot enough to tell him i thought we had all moved on from the dreadful days of the 70’s.  Alas we had not it seems and i was expressing my anger especially about the drugged young lady and the older man packing sanitary wear for mentrating women!

He asked me in all honesty did i need a course in anger management.
As he leaned towards me i also leaned towards him and announced, ‘i think you will find that a course in up to date clinical therapy from your end is needed, not my anger management course.’
‘i think you will note from the tone of my voice that i am angry at what you are making these people do and take all that medication, even a decade after i personally was subjected to this outmoded method of so called mental health care which i had though had become at least more sophisticated.’

Stuff the doctor i flew out of the building and never forgot the actually pathologising of anger from a woman who had her eyes wide open that day.
This is so easy.  You do it though the descriptive narrative of believing anyone who is angry and is facing a shrink must need anger management, instant.  So instant it can be said in ten minutes, whe the indivudal is angered by what she had seen and rightly so.

Anger management is suggested after a far longer period of time of knowing a person, not in ten minutes.
Its also akin to another professional stating after even less a period, ‘aah no, she doesnt have Asperger syndrome.’  This woman was a pyschologist who attended one meeting at the time, and saw me for no longer than fifteen minutes, but who never knew me, my history or where i had received this diagnosis.
She just spat that out as her expert clinical judgement, which was to stand over and above a professor of trinity college dublin while she was stuck in a situation in a village setting where her role would not be normally to either diagnose or treat or care for anyone in the primary care sector who had an autism spectrum issue.

Inhumane and degrading treatment in Ireland is pervasive, and spans from the time of the instigation of the state.
There is no way forward yet, in modern thinking around pathology, disease, mental health issues or equality.

A person is very much what the professional will decide.
The decision can take as quick as ten minutes and last a lifetime.
Certainly no  one escapes once in mental health services.
The docuemntation on an indivdiual in the mental health services today is kept for longer than a murderer.
Yes, this is true.  The files have to be kept until you have reached 70 at least or dead.

You can walk away from the mental health services and get then proper help and begin knowing who you are finally and how to conduct your life in a mature manner, even if limited fashion as in having asperger and profound/severe hearing loss. 
You still can be a fully fledged human being in your own eyes, you can hold responsibility and you take this with pride.  You show care and empathy to the least able and you work for community as best you can at all times.
But behind closed doors, many professionals who have opinions are making these very openly even if they never see you as has been the case, have only met you once,  and that is then sort of sent by zip wire, ‘findlater style’ along all the branches of the weightiest healthcare system in europe, the most dysfunctional one and the most dangerous.

There is no way back if you live in Ireland with a healthcare service hell bent in making you out to be who you most definitely are not.
There is no way back either when these giants get in on your life and decide for you against your wishes all manner of things.
There is no where to hide, and no equality of arms for justice.

You will remain a speck, a piece of shit for the rest of your days, even if you are far more honest, accountable for your good character and personality, trustworthy and a helpful citizen.   If the irish healthcare system do not like you attempting being equal eg the consultants can get rid of you or the primary care teams can label you.

The day you face an irish healthcare official with these words, ‘no i will not.’  Or ‘why will YOU not.’ Is the day you start to land in deep water.
They dont like it.
Nor did the psychiatrist like me say that the emperor was wearing no clothes.
When you remind them of all this, they become heated and judgemental.
Its sort of the reactive force of the Irish dynamic and usually only happens those they know they can attack.
If they feel they will be compromised by opposition, they shut up and say nought.
Certainly a single Irish older lady is no more or is also less meaningful than the clinical professional and is easy fodder for abuse and bullying.

Believe me i know more than the clinical professional who has only just been caught with his knickers around his ankles.

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