I was having a debate with two people the other evening on Twitter.
As a mother who has a daughter who has been under section 2 years I am really seeing the reality of what is not exposed in the press and I am talking openly and honestly – not everyone is going to like what I have to say. In a newspaper things are not always portrayed correctly and mental health patients are portrayed terribly so I believe. This is what gives the public a bad impression that all people with mental health problems are violent for instance.
There are some mothers that prefer to keep quiet for one reason or another and that is their right. However I am not the kind of person to sit back and do nothing when I see that something is wrong and there is more than one thing wrong with the whole system. EVERYTHING IS WRONG! The law is wrong that allows enforced drugging and CTOs. The treatment is wrong as even if in doubt of whether a diagnosis is correct or not – drugs are pushed. Even if a patient complains of the most terrible side effects – drugs are pushed and they are pushed and pushed for years on end until no longer effective and then a new drug is given and as a last resort Clozapine even if a patient signs an Advance Declaration and says they do not want to go on it. However what if two drugs being given are wrong – what if you have researched and looked into matters and sought top professional advice to confirm your beliefs. Well not only do I have more than one brilliant private report which not one member of the team have read to my daughter as far as I am aware but I have in writing information that can back up my claims. I know for a fact that a patient is taken off the drugs when they get diabetes for instance. However if you as a mother present evidence that the drugs are harmful – CONTRA INDICATED you are up against a brick wall.
There are good and bad members of staff and I am in touch with people – former patients who HAVE BEEN abused on the wards and nothing has been done about it.
It is all very well being defensive and stating – well I am a good nurse or a good doctor. Well I am not criticising everyone however I have seen and come across behaviour that I do not see as caring at all by professionals.
Mainstream psychiatry is all about control and someone mentioned counselling – well yes if you delve into the past constantly questioning whether your mother abused you when there is evidence that something else happened for instance – this kind of counselling by psychologists is not helpful at all.
However drugs mask the problem and on an acute ward where it is often crowded, noisy and frightening, someone can easily be affected. My daughter liked peace and quiet – tranquillity. On a ward staff have to drug someone in order to control them. Sometimes staff have to pin a patient down and forcefully inject them. I do not see this as being care at all.
If some patients are happy with this treatment then all well and good but there are others who are not happy who are not being considered because there is no choice.
That is why we need a specialist centre like Chy Sawel.
My daughter was promised a drug free period of assessment and the minute she arrived on what I thought would be a specialist ward under a top leading professor we were delighted as we had watched helplessly one hospital admission after another take place locally. Each time drugs were given and increased. The rest of the family were not happy “you’ve been tricked” I was accused of placing my daughter in this place she called prison yet had a letter from a leading professor who I trusted and all they did was introduce Clozapine despite an advanced declaration and not only clozapine but this so called worldwide leading hospital have given contra indicated drugs. Complaints were followed by threats and accusations against me leading to one hour supervised visits and a complete ban altogether. There were virtually no visitors because patients were sent from all over the country. The swimming pool was never used by my daughter and seemed to be let out to the community. Most of the patients were extremely drugged up on the wards and I heard them complaining of human rights not being listened to.
So, I am hopefully meeting up with a group of mothers who have sons/daughters trapped on sections for years and years on end. Their physical health in many cases have been affected by this – many have spent a lot of money in their campaigns – some have just not got the strength to carry on fighting any more – the majority want to see a fairer system that respects the patient and family. The majority feel the current system is not working and are worried about their sons/daughters becoming physically ill by long term drug use. Many are feeling trapped in their situation and some have actually lost their sons/daughters due to psychiatric drugs and find themselves up against a brick wall when it comes to the legal system.
Much money is being wasted. Private hospitals and care providers reap the benefit by failed NHS care as patients like my daughter are taken away from families and placed on more luxurious wards with better food and outings not provided under the NHS. However the private sector can keep people for years whilst at local level public money is being spent. Even on an NHS ward to keep someone for years and years – they are bound to go downhill and be harder to rehabilitate into society.
As one expert said “she would be happier amongst her own kind” – I wholeheartedly disagree. As my daughter said once “they cannot see what is in my head Mum”. A patient may not wish to speak to a psychiatrist probing all the time. A patient may not wish to take part in every single activity. None of this is respected or is it respected how someone feels on these drugs. They can affect someone in very different ways. Just because someone says “I have no problem with the drugs” – well these comments do not apply to everyone and everyone is different.
I was accused of wishing to see an end of anti stigma campaigns – there are so many going. I wish to say that I contacted Asda and Tescos – they both wrote to me. I think that it was wrong to have these costumes and in a store like this many people have to do their shopping including former patients for instance and even those who may be sectioned are taken out with staff. This in my opinion was offensive but they have responded and withdrawn the costumes. It would have been nice if they had asked the patients themselves where the money should be donated for instance. I would have wished for the money to go to Chy Sawel so a specialist treatment centre could be set up offering holistic care and proper treatment to those who do not get on with the drugs and are kept as prisoners for years at great expense to the public when many are of no risk whatsoever.
Asda to their credit employ someone who telephoned me and said he had mental health problems and I felt that I was dealt with extremely well. It is all about communication.
Unfortunately, families are cut out, not all families are abusers yet if you complain you are made out to be rotten. There is no communication and that is the problem.
I believe that if people pay to go into Thorpe Park and wish to see such attractions then this is up to them. I have asked my daughters how they feel and they are NOT offended and you can choose to go into Thorpe Park whereas shopping is something that you have to do and I do not see this as the same at all. If you do not like such things you do not have to go near them and by banning such an “attraction” can only lead to more stigma in my opinion. I spoke about it at the group meeting of Speak Out Against Psychiatry the other day but most of the people there are more interested in seeing some decent care in place and a change in the current system quite frankly.
However having said this if there are some who wish to continue with petitions etc to ban this “attraction” then this is their business.
I will not be putting my name down and neither will my daughters.
If I had the chance though I would go to Thorpe Park and speak to everyone in the long queues about the shocking care in the UK and show them how many chemicals my daughter has been put on. If I had the chance I would ask for a donation for Chy Sawel – not forgetting Speak Out Against Psychiatry who wish to change the current system for the better. That is the way to educate people – not by banning an attraction.
I will be speaking to my daughter Elizabeth later. Elizabeth cares about other people and would always look after those who were weaker on the ward. I see a bright future for my daughter Elizabeth. I am not only proud as a mother to have a daughter who may just happen to be on a section through no fault of her own (if they had not switched the drugs the way they did she would not be sectioned) – I see a bright future for Elizabeth and hope that once Chy Sawel is set up that this could be a turning point in the care of the UK – if all care in the UK was like in Tornio Finland there would be no need for a complaints procedure and I cannot wait to go over to Finland to see this wonderful care myself and to report to everyone in the world how they treat patients in a humane manner and include families.
Lastly, unfortunately I am not able to go to the Carers UK Conference this year.
However I will make sure I get these comments to Mr Lamb himself that since I got up to speak last time I have not seen any improvements. I would like to know exactly what he intends to do about it and no doubt I shall see him again soon. On the other hand if he was to step in and help Chy Sawel then I would have nothing but praise.