My new website is dedicated to my 25 year old daughter who is severely ill right now and a patient on an acute mental health ward. What I will write on a weekly basis (as that is all I have time to do) is an account of her progress and will appeal to anyone who is either in a similar position or carers looking after people who are mentally ill. I will talk about my daughter’s care under the NHS and the care in the community from a personal point of view.
Before I commence writing I would advise you that the views/opinions and content of this website are purely that of my own. I am not advising any patients to take themselves off medication, neither am I professionally qualified to give out medical advice in this connection.
My daughter is one of many mental health patients in the system but she has become severely ill and has been in and out of hospital 8 times in a short space of time. I have challenged the team to the hilt. I would like to see changes made in mental health care and have researched this quite a bit. At the moment there is no choice and not everyone can afford to turn to the private sector to get advice. In desperation this is what I had to do.
I will refer to my daughter as “Elizabeth” for the purpose of this website.
Elizabeth seemed happy as a child. She had a small circle of friends from primary school and got on well. Problems did not start until secondary school when her best friend moved to another area. I then noticed a change in her. I was caring for my father who had Alzheimers and later went on to care for another family member at the same time. Elizabeth started to skip lessons and this came to the attention of Child Guidance who became involved. Elizabeth seemed to be unable to communicate as it later turned out she had difficulties with a certain lesson as it was a regular occurrence. I immediately paid for private lessons to help her in this regard. I then became engrossed in my caring responsibilities towards 2 other members of my family and unfortunately thought that Elizabeth was by this time doing well. She had left school and gone on to college, was chosen to go abroad to work, she left college after passing her exams and went on to a leading college to train to be a chef but it was not until the age of 18/19 that I really saw a change in her and put this down to a phase and change in her eating habits. She had become a vegetarian and then vegan. Her whole appearance had changed and she became forgetful, losing everything, key after key, handbag, coats, everything! She had a job and was in this job around 2 years – I told her to cut down on things as I felt she was doing too much. In addition to college she was learning to drive, she had passed her theory, she was learning french as well as piano. She had become withdrawn and secretive and I felt something was not right. She was constantly on the computer which was quite unusual for her as she never took an interest in this before. She dyed her hair, her appearance and behaviour was strange. I questioned whether she had taken drugs as she was out a lot. Throughout this time, I was heavily involved in the care of my father who was deteriorating and living in his own home. Elizabeth’s behaviour became more and more strange as time went on but I hoped this was just a phase but one day took a look at the computer she had left up and running and I was shocked and horrified by the content ………………………. I took emails to the police and later looked around in her room for more evidence. Police and social services became involved and a year later Elizabeth was called to the police station to give evidence but it was all too late! I cannot mention anything more (except to say that there was no family connections in these incidents). Elizabeth had become secretive and I was extremely upset at what I had read and found out and perhaps I did not go about things correctly as I wanted justice as a parent and questioned her to find out not in a calm manner which maybe added to the stress she suffered. I then was extremely watchful of her and wanted to know where she was going and did not trust her to tell me the truth. The awful truth is that when someone has been abused they turn back to the person who abused them and continue with contact. This I could not bring myself to understand.
Anyway, by the time the police interviewed her there was lack of evidence to present to the court because of her decline – the decline being as a result of one drug after another prescribed by the various Psychiatrists under the local NHS Mental Health Trust. There are several diagnoses as I have the medical files up to the most recent ones and this is what brought me to challenge the doctors and team as a whole when I read the shocking content of the medical files.
This is just a bit of the background surrounding my daughter but I will soon be posting some pictures – pictures of the local area where I live and pictures of the gorgeous pet kitten which I will be filming in my home.
Next week, I will be writing all about the huge lengths I have gone to in challenging the team. This will be of interest to anyone caring for someone who is mentally ill and patients themselves. In fact I have invited my daughter and the patients themselves to write if they so wish.
I will end my first blog to describe a picture I saw pinned to the notice board of the acute ward. The picture was drawn by a patient and I could not put things better in words. The drawing showed a patient being given an injection and on the syringe was the words “poison” and the words in large capital letters “THANK YOU NHS AND THANK YOU CAMERON”.
My aim is to draw people’s attention to the abuse going on under mental health care which I will do on a weekly basis from a personal point of view, although as I have said other patients are keen to submit their comments and views. I hope that eventually I get the attention I would like at Government level and I would be more than happy to appear on TV as I feel that there should be changes made in mental health care and choices given to the patients who are often just dismissed and a Government who wastes money left right and centre and does not care.