I found the debate very interesting and agreed with some of the professionals.
I got the opportunity to speak myself and reflected on my younger daughter who could not be there with me but said she would come another time. I just mentioned that the diagnosis of Schizophrenia as a child of 13 led to a prescription given whilst under section of Risperidal and that this was devastating to the whole family. I said that she was fine now but even on 1mg she ballooned in weight and that drugs were wrong in dealing with the trauma my daughter had experienced. It was hard to get her off 1mg and she relapsed and was referred back to hospital. I mentioned that the “cure” was a small private school in another area, not the drugs. She eventually came off this low dosage but she has everything to thank that school for and is now on top of the world. This shows mistakes can be made in a diagnosis and that drugs should not be so quickly given especially to a child but I believe it is wrong to force anyone as not everyone is happy to take the drugs due to the serious side effects they may experience. I have known people to get better on their own after 6 months without any drugs. It depends – everyone is different – it is a matter of choice and whilst some are happy to be on the drugs, others are not. Everyone should be treated as an individual and proper assessments done. I had private tests done on my daughter which actually show her health declining. The tests were done at the Bio Lab and this is the second lot of tests I have had done and from the initial test you can see significant decline.
Whilst there are some mothers who want the drugs for their hyper active children, I believe first of all tests should be done like I had to take a look an intensive look at diet and nutrition. As Peter Bennett of Rehealth discovered -(I believe he was given Home Office funding to carry out research on youth offenders) it was proven that some had food allergies and some had B12 deficiencies etc, copper/lead imbalance. None of these tests are properly carried out as far as I know and my elder daughter has just been put on 14 mind altering drugs on after the other and sometimes several at a time. At the moment she is on Clozapine 300mg and Metformine 500mg and then on top of this I found out Lorazepam was being given and I complained about this. I have looked into these drugs and read books on them and contacted experts who have advised me. I have had some excellent expert advice lately about these drugs being contra indicated. As I did not get a chance to say everything I would have liked about sick society my question should have been – how come someone is taken off the drugs immediately if they get diabetes for instance and yet the test results I have produced show a substantial decline in physical health yet are just ignored. This is not good enough for me and as a mother I want to know where the facilities are for something to be done about this problem. The reason patients are drugged up so much is simply so staff can control them in the confined environment of an acute ward. If there was somewhere like Root and Branch want to set up or Chy Sawel with the involvement of Dr William Walsh there would be proper assessments being done and the other thing is reductions in drugs are not being done properly like I have documented – a leading professional told me you cannot take someone off a huge amount of one drug and mix it with another without causing psychosis and now I am challenging why on earth my daughter is on a section in the first place when this kind of thing would cause adverse behaviour in absolutely ANYONE! I cannot understand why these professionals ignore the physical health of a patient and just concentrate on drugging and if one drug does not work another is given until as I have documented a huge amount of drugs are given and I know people on as much as 1500mg of drugs. These people are kept in hospital – they are not treated fairly. It is wrong that a section should last for years and years without a proper look at someone’s underlying health problems. It is wrong that someone should be written off like rubbish and left in hospital because there are no suitable facilities. Patients are made to take these drugs and are forced under section and then Community Treatment Orders in the community and they can be recalled to hospital if they do not take the drugs but I can understand why they drug people on a ward but surely a ward is not the best answer for those who are unhappy to take the drugs, those who are suffering from serious side effects and health problems. I know only too well as a mother that you cannot just take someone off these drugs and that professionals need to be involved but I am shocked that from what I have seen the professionals do not seem to have the knowledge or else perhaps they know things will fail as they are reducing by too much leading to withdrawal symptoms.
It is a sick society that allows such cruelty and where are the facilities – where would someone go into to be reduced off the drugs. As far as I can see there is nowhere although I have been advised by a leading expert it has been done and will be done in the event of someone contracting diabetes. I think this is disgusting to wait until someone suffers from serious health problems and then what – what if someone dies as a result of the drugs – try finding a solicitor who goes beyond the Tribunals.
As for the Tribunals I have put in my comment on what I believe should be changed and have requested an appointment to see Sir James Munby QC himself so that I can further explain what needs to be done to improve matters. I understand a Tribunal looks at risk to the public, risk to that person – the patient. What about the risk to the patient if the care and drugs are not right and are affecting their physical health. This is why I have turned to Dr William Walsh – enough of this experimentation with harmful drugs – now I as a mother want to see a proper assessment and a thorough look at all the things mentioned on the private medical reports. An expert is also providing me with every bit of scientific evidence I need as regards the combination of contra indicated drugs.
What the professionals need to remember is if they were in my shoes and this was their daughter they would probably be doing the same.
Dr Walsh wants 20 doctors to train up and my daughter has agreed to take part in the kind of research I as a mother would be happy to see. This research looks at diet and sure enough I have noticed that certain foods would affect behaviour. What have I got to lose as a mother by requesting a proper assessment and look at holistic care as everything else has failed and my daughter now is going downhill physically.
No matter how much better facilities are provided under private sector care if the care is still the same and all about drugging at the same level without a review then this is no good. Someone is not going to get better this way and I have gone out of my way to prove this fact and have everything documented in the reports I paid for. I am not the only mother who has tried to help their son/daughter in this way but then the professionals step in and try to intervene in a not very nice way and that could be the entire team who all stick together no matter what.
If a more thorough assessment was done by someone like Dr Walsh then this could save some children being put on dangerous psychiatric drugs and I am in touch with mothers who have autistic children who say the drugs have made them worse and they are better without such drugs.
A professional does not see the suffering like the family do and the other thing that is wrong is that families are excluded and when I got up to speak at Carers UK conference Norman Lamb said he would be doing something about this but I have not seen any improvements. I believe that professionals should be sent to Tornio Finland to learn what wonderful care is being offered there. This is what is needed in the UK.
So, getting back to sick society – this is a society that dishes out drugs to children, vulnerable adults, autistic patients, elderly suffering from Alzheimers and those who are abused who really should have had counselling in the first place. This is a society that labels someone in order that the person concerned can access services, this is a society that does not take into account whatsoever that someone on 800mg say of mind altering drugs cannot function at times. My daughter tells me they are highly sedatory. She has to sleep in the afternoon and goes to bed at 8.00 pm at times. This is no life for a 26 year old who once had a job, once was studying and had a bright future ahead. She was placid, not violent but these drugs do not work for everyone and can have shocking effects on some and Dr Walsh identifies this in his book Nutrient Power and Dr Ann Blake Tracy in her book Prozac Panacea Pandora states the true facts. I as a mother have seen the effects of the drugs on my daughters and know now how harmful they are but to begin with I trusted doctors. I knew nothing about the drugs and it was only when I saw the effects of them that I read lots of books and did a lot of research into matters.
There is too much emphasis on Stigma and the campaigns can actually make matters worse because if ordinary members of the public were to be more involved and psychiatry more open instead of secrecy then people would become educated. I believe that certain newspapers make matters worse and portray patients suffering from say Schizophrenia with violent behaviour and as murderers/killers. Dr Candace Pert tells the truth in her book Molecules of Emotion and so does Professor David Healy – Pharmageddon. I am now reading “De-Medicalising Misery – a very good book I would highly recommend and I have attended a presentation by Dr Joanne Moncrieff who I greatly admire. This professional is someone who had time to listen to all the patients at the Stuart Lowe conference.
When I got up to speak I said I was against the labelling as my elder daughter just gave up when labelled with Schizophrenia. It affected my other daughter badly too and not everyone appreciates a label.
After the debate you could speak to the students and people who had attended and judging by some of their faces not everyone liked what I was saying and some absolutely reacted in a dismissive way. Of course I am critical of the treatment of my daughters however that does not mean I do not think there are any good professionals. I can honestly say there are some good psychiatrists but the bulk are pro drugging and that is just my personal experience. I said the main failure was lack of facilities in the community as someone like my daughter needs to regain her confidence and could not manage in a flat on her own even if there is a member of staff there. A place where she could make friends but somewhere where there is plenty of supervision and maybe one to one peer support and that does not have to be a highly qualified professional. It is friendship that is important and a young person could influence my daughter in the right direction.
There are lots of people I know who have sons/daughters just locked away. One young person I spoke to talked about symptoms and that if someone was sectioned there must be good reason for this. This person refused to even think that any wrong may be happening but training should involve meeting the families and learning more about that person – it is not a qualification at the end of the day that counts because it is real knowledge and interest and that cannot always be clearly indicated in the files that may be far from accurate. There is much money to be made by keeping someone in hospital and after many years – especially private sector and that could amount so I was told to a lot more than I had thought per week. The patient gets to the stage where they become more and more dependant and more and more disabled and then the excuse for not allowing that person out is “a risk to themselves”. Yes it is a sick society that decent care in the community cannot be provided which may be a lot cheaper than long term private sector hospitalisation and there needs to be a specialist centre incorporating holistic care like Chy Sawel as a matter of choice with the involvement of Orthomolecular Psychiatrists and I appointed one of these privately – this person could prescribe the drugs but knew a reduction should be done very very slowly and gradually unlike in most establishments and this is why things fail.
If patients end up with physical health problems as a result of the drugging then they in turn become a burden to the NHS. When is the Government going to step in and do something about this.
As for the most recent comments “she’s not doing herself any favours” well I am just a mother and have watching the decline of my 26 year old daughter and I am not alone in wanting something done about the situation and if there is nothing over here then the Government needs to send someone over to Tornio, Finland to look and see how things should be done here in the UK. The Government could also help by getting Chy Sawel set up as they would be saving money in the long term.