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Monthly Archives: January 2014

I have just returned the car to Enterprise Car Hire after my stay in Wales and then I hope to go to BMW garage to see what is wrong with my car. Everything worked out well in the end and the journey was good boh there and back. The farm I stay at with my daughter Elizabeth is superb but Elizabeth was too ill to go into the local Asda Store and looked as though she was having a panic attack before we were due to leave. I wanted to get her some clothes as everything she brought with her did not fit and was too tight or too small. She had a voucher left over from Xmas so Elizabeth is petrified of heights and even the escalator leading to the top of the store where the clothes are kept. I went in alone and a friend stayed with Elizabeth in the car. I bought some longer length jumpers and trousers which fit her – a size 16 as before she was a size 10. I cooked dinner in the cottage which felt more like home than my own house. The views surrounding the cottage looked beautiful and I could not help thinking if only I lived in a place like that rather than in London. I felt the environment was the right place for Elizabeth to get better. I remembered a fantastic Indian restaurant nearby and drove there but because Elizabeth does not feel comfortable eating out in restaurants or anywhere where there are crowds, I got a takeaway. Elizabeth goes to bed early – she goes to bed around 7.00 pm. The drugs make her very tired and after she has just taken them they make her feel dizzy and disorientated. I bought some DVDs to watch – it was not nice weather and so we could not go out anywhere. People go for walking holidays where we stayed and I remembered back to when Elizabeth liked sport and walking – not only that she was a very good runner and advised me on technique when it came to speed and she also took part in a sponsored run for which I have certificate. Elizabeth does not have the energy to do what she once used to. She does not have the strength to pick up a phone and call someone – this is where it is all very unfair when someone like my daughter should have legal support and backing and regular contact from solicitors but her solicitors were changed to a Welsh firm by the team and when I asked my daughter if she ever saw a solicitor – she said no. She said no one (up until very recently) told her of an important decision. She said no one to this date has told her of her new diagnosis or given her a copy of the report by the consultant psychiatrist I appointed stating a different diagnosis and treatment. Well it is a good job that I am the Nearest Relative as I wish to make sure that my daughter is treated fairly. I do not think my daughter has been treated fairly and that is because no one cares about her physical health. Certain behaviour of various professionals have not been ethical in my opinion – I cannot even print what a certain solicitor has called my legal representative – d… h… I will leave this to your imagination. Then of course the displacement of me as the Nearest Relative. These attempts have happened twice now and apparently I am advised that this is extremely commonplace. It is done by trying to sever contact and distance the person under care to the mother or whoever is the nearest relative and then someone from the team says “do you really want your mother to be the nearest relative?” – it is also done by making that person feel embarrassed and ashamed if they do not go along with what is expected of them. No team should try and influence a person who is vulnerable or under their care in such a way. There is a reason this is done and that is when there is something to hide.

Well, when I went to see Elizabeth I needed to know the name and address of her GP. I had no idea the GP had been changed but this had all been carried out by the team. So with the Job Centre checking up on my daughter the first person I turn to was the GP. Of course you are up against a barrier the minute you try and discuss anything. Unlike in Finland there is nothing like a humane system here in the UK – in Finland they have decent care with 95% success rate although that is in a small area of Finland called Tornio. How I would love to go and see this care for myself. So, Elizabeth did not even know the name of her GP so I found out who the GP was and took Elizabeth along there whilst I visited. What is going on! My daughter does not know about the new diagnosis let alone the name of her GP. Now thanks to me she does know the name of the GP and they were extremely nice when I called there with Elizabeth. Elizabeth has given permission for me to speak to the GP. What I am concerned about is that some drugs are prescribed via the hospital ie 350mg of Clozapine. Then 500mg Metformine is being prescribed by the GP. I have had this situation before – a skin care drug called Lymececlyn was being prescribed by the GP on top of other drugs being prescribed by the hospital. Luckily I research this drug only to read that this skincare drug should only be given short term. Immediately the GP stopped this chemical especially when I provided evidence as to potential harm. Now a GP is there for physical health and therefore I pointed out that the drugs concerned were CONTRA INDICATED. I have been told that I must not interfere in anything to do with the drugs but as you can see there is a huge problem here – who is looking at my daughter’s physical health. Obviously to be given Metformine there is a problem and when there is a problem or even a potential problem a review needs to be given otherwise if things are left as they are then this will be a drain to the NHS as my daughter could become even more seriously ill.

So I am copying this link of my blog to all of the politicians. I want to know what they are going to do about this.

So far I have seen anti stigma campaigns and then £25,000,000 spent on police working alongside MH professionals. I as a mother want to know what is being done about specialist centres ie somewhere that can really look at what harm is being done by such contra indicated drugs and if there is harm being done then quite rightly so things need to be done properly – on an acute ward full of other people it is not a good place to deal with something like this. I would hate my daughter to end up again on an acute ward. A farm full of animals would be nice with the expertise of Dr Walsh and someone who really knows the full workings of the drugs and there are experts out there.

Where are the facilities – this question is given to Mr Hunt, Mr Lamb, Mr Burstow and Mr Clegg. I would like to hear from them all about this as I want something done about the decline in my daughter’s physical health and I intend to address everything at conferences and in public if something is not done.

I am not happy that there are some honest professionals who have to go along with a system that is rotten and needs changing otherwise they could lose their jobs or be bullied and harassed. Well I have less to lose than they do and I do not care what people think as I am more concerned in drawing to people’s attention what is really wrong with the care than my own reputation which is probably shattered in any case judging by the things I have read about myself in past files. These people have never really got to know me or really taken an interest in home and family background so why should I care less what is said about me.

So, we obviously need to know if there is something really wrong with my daughter physically or if something has shown up on the tests that the team are worried about. The reason we as a family need to know this basic information is that if say my daughter has got diabetes for instance I as a mother need to know what diet she should have when she comes to stay with me or the rest of the family. If you are not provided with this information then that could be detrimental to the physical health of my daughter.

Somebody on Twitter has said that people with MH problems can get better – I replied to the contrary – how can someone get better if their physical health is being ignored.

There is much in the way of research going on right now that the public may not know about. The Government should be giving more funding to those experts who care about the physical health and there are such experts about who are being honest and admitting that whilst the drugs can be effective for some, others may not be able to metabolize them but then again what about the long term effects of the drugs on physical health.

Whilst the Government is stripping the NHS of funding and A&Es/Maternity Wards are being closed down in favour of private sector care – well as far as MH care goes I can comment that the prime care of drugs has remained the same and even increased yet it has been pointed out that the drugs are contra indicated at the same time – the prime treatment remains the same. Much needed A&Es are being shut down that provided a good service and what is draining on the NHS is MH care for those returning time and time again on the wards but what can the staff do. You cannot just take someone off the drugs on an acute ward. It can make someone unstable if they have any change in the drugs as well. All I have seen time and time again is increase after increase in the drugs after each admission. This is clearly not the answer and having sat down with my daughter her memory is still intact going right the way and certain people were mentioned as though she was in a time warp. It reminded me a bit of my father with Alzheimers.

Here are comments from my daughter Elizabeth “Mum – I do not think the drugs are doing me any good”.

I had nothing to say to these comments – what could I say when I have looked so hard to find a decent place that could help my daughter but there is nowhere in the UK that I know of. All I know is that if done correctly someone can be drastically reduced off the drugs but if a drug reduction is done too steeply then it is bound to fail and then a psychiatrist turns around and wrongly says “you have to take the drugs for the rest of your life”. If things are done correctly in the first place then this is completely wrong and untrue.

However I have heard from more than one professional that SOMEONE IS IN FACT TAKEN OFF THE DRUGS WHEN BLOOD DISORDERS OR SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS ARISE. Yes it is done.

I am 100% behind Chy Sawel because when someone has the right diet and nutrition and environment whilst tests are being done unlike under the NHS – in fact some of these tests not on offer you have to have done privately like I have had and that costs money. So here is another way the NHS can save money. What is the price of having such tests done at the Bio Lab as opposed to just carrying on drugging all the time until someone has a very serious health problem?

This is the question I wish to ask all the politicians.

I would also like to see them come to the next Chy Sawel meeting so they can hear from more than one mother and some former patients what care is needed. It would be great if they could provide a suitable meeting room that is convenient for them all to attend themselves as this is so important that something is done as soon as possible. I cannot accept that a change can only take place very slowly and gradually when there are lives at stake here and that means urgent action is needed.

As regards the training of these up and coming professionals under the Royal College of Psychiatry – it is a good thing that Sir Simon Wessely wishes to change the image of psychiatry. I think he should take these points into consideration as well as the entire Government. After all I am not dismissing the drugs altogether however I have made some very valid points here and can provide proof.

I am in tears right now.  I have promised to see Elizabeth and have made arrangements not everyone in the family can come with me but it is her Birthday how can I tell her I cannot come at the last minute.    I have been very busy at work today and have not had time to properly sort things out and now I am trying to do this.  The garage has informed me there may be a problem with my car.  Former friends stole money I gave to repair my car and I understand from the Police this car has been scrapped.   I will never get my car back and trusted these longstanding “friends” and the court has ruled that there is nothing they can do so I have lost money however I bought another car and paid for this car and now something major is wrong so the mechanic thinks.  Anyway I have no choice but to  hire a car but the trouble is it is late and the car hire shop does not open until 9.30 am I wanted to leave well before then.    Anyway things like this in life happen and more than one thing seems to go wrong for me.  It may take some weeks to get my car repaired as the garage in the next road is very busy and I do not wish to drive it if it will cause harm to the car.  I know this is nothing compared to what some people are going through but sometimes little things like this can become unbearable.  Elizabeth has texted me to say she is looking forward to seeing me and last time I was late in arriving as there was roadworks and trouble on the roads and she was anxious and upset.  Anyway I must pull myself together – there are times I feel I am on my own when dealing with things as no one understands.  My younger daughter is happy now –  there is case similar to hers in the papers right now – my younger daughter did not want to live and I have copies of the cyber bullying she received and physical threats at the time.  Some children do not know how damaging this can be however far more damaging and what is not reported are the mind altering drugs.  For instance Elizabeth did not experience what her younger sister did at school but Elizabeth must have gone to her doctors and the doctor gave her some anti-depressants.  Who on earth advised her this!  I would have said NO DONT GO.  I remember when I lost my mother and she died of cancer after three years of seeing her go downhill I went to the doctor and asked for sleeping tablets and got offered Valiium.  Luckily I realised –  I did not take many.  I would never ever advise anyone to take these tablets I soon got to find that I was craving for them and knew I had to stop.  After that experience I have never ever touched another drug.  I do not drink much – if I go out just in moderation as drinking can lead to you feeling depressed and as for drugs even though I did not take much of the highly addictive Valium I am thankful that I realised and I felt absolutely terrible at having nothing which at the time I felt bolstered my confidence through a difficult period of losing my mother and watching her go downhill and putting on a show of strength.  I overheard on the telephone that she had two weeks to live.  My mother did not want me to know however what is better knowing or not knowing in the circumstances.  I suppose this has made me an open person who does not feel ashamed of having two daughters under the mental health.    I suppose being just a mother it is easy for me to comment – it must be far worse if someone is a patient and has experienced what is on offer on the wards and it is of no fault of some of the dedicated nurses.  I have recently met some really decent professionals just when I thought there was nothing here in the UK.  It is true there is much dishonesty and much is hidden from the public.  Unless you are affected yourself who cares about the mentally ill.  Some people have no sympathy – they think they have themselves to blame but what I have seen has opened my eyes and when I see someone on the streets I no longer think the way I used to –  no one can understand unless they really research matters and some may think people who are diagnosed with these labels are dangerous to the public and should be locked up and that it is the right thing to do to drug them up.   I would suggest that such people read books to educate themselves like I have done.    One way or another tomorrow I shall make the journey and I think the best option is to hire the car as I will need a car there in Wales.  I have booked the usual accommodation but again this is a flying visit –   just two nights in accommodation and about 1 day with Elizabeth.  Elizabeth I do not feel is any better.  She has to cling on to us to walk, she cannot stand to be in crowds any more, she feels dizzy, ill after eating, she is like a child excited at me coming to see her tomorrow so I cannot let her down. 

I have to use up two days holiday from last year this month but the timing of all this could not be worse. 

Once in Wales I hope to go out with Elizabeth in the car places but wherever I go I have to think about peacefulness of the area and Elizabeth is petrified of heights – she is more anxious than ever before – she is more disabled than ever before and she has a new diagnosis that I bet no one has told her of.  She has only just been told about her forthcoming release.  Now what!  Elizabeth faces a lifetime of drugging – shortening of her life by 20 years.  All because she did not have the right care in the first place.  Guess what – Elizabeth can remember everything –  I was shocked –  At Xmas Elizabeth sat down with me to talk – all 14 mind altering drugs and what have they done for her – nothing.  Elizabeth is now suffering from physical health problems and on Metformine which the team say is for weight loss however Dr Ann Blake Tracy who the previous consultant psychiatrist called a “Quack”  said otherwise and so have other experts so who do I believe.  Who could be covering up truth.  I would rather have the truth any day and if something happened to my daughter be told – I would respect this and would not go running to a solicitor not that there is any that would take on such a case because my eyes have been opened wider from what I have seen.  I am lucky Elizabeth is being released but what about all the others and some who do not have mothers to stick up for them and expose what is really going on.   “you are up against a lot of power ”  – in response to these comments  God is more powerful than anyone and may God look at this situation and do something about it. 

There is research that is not widely known about by the public – there is a lot going on behind the scenes and I may well need another appointment to discuss further issues.  Sandra has sent me the business plan in draft for Chy Sawel and it is my dream to see some humane care in the UK –  it is not that there are not humane people it is the SYSTEM IS ROTTEN.  What are we headed for – an army state of healthcare?  I have been looking at the backgrounds of some of the top people in care right now – an army state of healthcare is what it looks like to me and I am just a mother but there are people making a lot of money out of misery right now and others who are afraid that may not agree with what is going on in their profession or what they see right now.  They are afraid their reputations will be ruined, they will lose their jobs or suffer bullying or harassment or worse.  Well I think myself lucky.  Twitter lately has come up with certain well known people being bullied, threatened – even death threats well as far as I am concerned I am grateful –  I am grateful for all the support I have had from strangers and I have not h ad such threats yet I am speaking out about a subject that I would expect to get such threats and if anyone has any grievances I would be more than willing to meet with them personally as I cannot see anything more cowardly than a death threat on line.  It is better to say things face to face and be honest in my opinion.

I feel I am in a hopeless situation.  Every day my daughter is receiving 850mg of poison which is not making her any better.  I doubt the team have told her of the new diagnosis of PTSD which I happen to agree with.  With a new diagnosis should come a new treatment but there is not yet one specialised centre established but as I have said there is a lot going on behind the scenes right now and I think that a slice of the money being used right now to appoint professionals to work alongside the police should be offer and that the Professors who are doing the vital research into really improving the system should be given the maximum in research money by the Government as the whole care system is in crisis.  If the care is the same as in the NHS – just a more luxurious environment – in my opinion this is not the right answer.  A proper assessment centre is needed as mistakes can be made – if a mistake is made and someone is wrongly labelled and say like they cannot metabolize the drugs then this could be doing harm to their physical health. 

If Elizabeth feels well enough she may wish to write to you herself.  By the way for anyone who thinks it is wrong what I am doing my daughter is entitled to know I have a website although I do not tell her absolutely everything on my outspoken comments on the drugs for which I have no regrets or apologies.   If they work for some people I am not telling anyone to stop taking them.  I am not commenting on other people’s cases.  All I can see if the harm they are doing for Elizabeth and right from the very start –  The antidepressant Cipralex caused severe mood swings ranging from suicidal thoughts to aggression and as friends comments “she is unrecognisable”.  Yes – that says it all.  There is also now talk about the long term effects of these drugs and the harm they do to someone and yet only as a last resort is anyone taken off them – why wait – why are there not any centres to deal with this.  ANY drug is harmful to come off not just psychiatric drugs.  There is help for some on illicit drugs.  There is no help for those once labelled from a condition which may be entirely wrong like in Elizabeth’s case.  Then you get the threats and bullying from the team if you dare to ever challenge what is going on. The only time the smiles were taken off their faces was when I announced I was on the Police training course.  I only wish that there had been the funding to do what I really wanted to do at the time for m e and that was to the a Police Community Support Officer – simply because I wanted to work with people like my daughter who I respect 100% – they are the most decent and honest people I have come across and there is so much ignorance out there I would welcome anyone to contact me and to meet me in person.

I have not finished publicising the wonderful New Psychiatry Blog by my  guest blogger who by the way I appointed as an advocate.  The reason I appointed this person as advocate was that I was very impressed with his honesty, experience of the system, enthusiasm and I think that someone like this could have a very positive role.  To think that the team once described me as “over protective”.  My answer to this is nonsense – I would personally appoint a former patient as a peer support and I have seen there are good professionals out there I would wish to appoint as well like Joanna Moncrieff for instance.  I am hoping to meet similar minded experts when I go to a certain venue that is opening shortly. I would also applaud Dr Ann Blake Tracy and Dr Walsh.

 

  

  

I am hoping for a better year with Elizabeth’s release at long last from hospital and hoping that she chooses the right placement and moves on with her life. I am hoping to see Elizabeth in a week’s time – it is nice to get away from London however if I did not work or have a car when would I ever get to see my daughter. There is no rush to pay basic expenses for vital meetings and certainly no help towards visiting when someone is placed miles from the family home. There has been no news other than what I hear from Elizabeth herself. No-one picks up the phone and tells you anything. I am still waiting to hear whether it will be OK to have Elizabeth stay with us. Elizabeth will be 26 soon but this will be in February – maybe the rest of the family will either go and see Elizabeth or bring her down.

We will hear next month on a decision no doubt where Elizabeth will be placed and I hope that Elizabeth will make a choice that will make her happy and be able to move on successfully in her life.

My biggest hope is that Chy Sawel is set up and that all the Professors doing vital research that is not widely known amongst the general public can be involved together in a project that can look at indepth assessments before a label is given wrongly. My daughter has a new diagnosis now and I want the correct treatment for her. I would like all the expertise and research to be widely known and on offer to not just my daughter but everyone. It would be cheaper to have specialised tests done than keep someone in hospital for years and years on end who is receiving the wrong treatment and not getting any better. I have already had tests done privately which show substantial decline in my daughter’s physical health which is being ignored and I have also been studying recent research over the last two years which should prompt a major reorientation of the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis and a fundamental reappraisal of the use of anti-psychotic drugs in general. Why should my daughter’s life be shortened when wrong diagnoses have been given in the first instance.

On Twitter today I have read about the appointment of Sir Simon Wessely as President of the RCPsch and how he wishes to improve psychiatry.

It is my hope that he comes and listens to what the mothers and patients have to say and not ignore important research. How can psychiatry ever be improved unless they do something positive in terms of much needed change. If there are mistakes made then how can these be rectified? Where is the facility for this to be done and I would like to hear personally what he has to say on this.

I am also hoping to meet lots of decent psychiatrists when I visit the Dragon Café when it opens soon as well as go to the INTAR conference in Liverpool where I shall hopefully meet more professionals – the kind of professionals that wish to see vast improvement which is much needed that is for sure.

I am looking forward to another meeting with the mothers/fathers who wish to see decent humane care in the UK very soon. I was surprised at what a good turnout there was at the last meeting considering many did not live locally.

“Negotiation and the Power of Finding Alternative Options

Total freedom for everyone is a dangerous myth.  In pursuit of absolute freedom, we will all end up feeling like “slaves” of one kind or another.  The answer to feelings of “oppression” is for everyone to always have plenty of options.

So, when negotiating with anyone, including psycho-social service professionals and including clients, one should always solicit at least 2 alternative options from the other person, and always suggest as least 2 options of your own, and always negotiate at least 2 compromise options in any difficult negotiation situation.

Person-to-Person Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern therapy that has the objective of achieving as much “psychological flexibility” as possible.  It basically aims to undo the obsessive, compulsive and addictive patterns that result from past trauma and too much worrying about further future traumas.  So, modelling “psychological flexibility” in one’s own behaviour, and actively contradicting one’s own obsessions, compulsions and addictions makes complete sense.

Peter K. Gerlach, author of the “Break the Cycle” programme, gives a good explanation as to how “addictive personalities” gets passed down from one generation to the next, so I recommend studying his work and working through his programme.

John Bradshaw, author of “Healing the Shame That Binds You”, also has much to say on the subject of “addictive personalities”, their roots in “being excessively shamed”, and how to recover.

Another therapy that is calling out for more attention is Schema Therapy which explains that we see the world through “filters” (called “Schemas”) that have arisen as a result of past traumatic experiences, and the way that one sees the world has to be adjusted if one is ever to recover.

Then there’s my invention which I call “Modality Therapy”.  In this therapy I have found it extremely simple and helpful to label, as well as possible, everyone’s “operational mode” (though perfection in such labelling is not required).  See Appendix 3 for full details.

Then there’s my variation of the “Open Dialogue” group therapy process which is a facilitated group healing process.  See Appendix 4 for my “Open Dialogue Group Guidelines”.”

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Speaking of Open Dialogue this is something I am greatly in favour of myself.  I have noticed how carers are treated and feel that this could work in some cases.  Maybe this and other choices of care should be available to patients that do not get better under the current system.  I believe that open dialogue could ease the pressure of emergency services and there are people who would like to be involved in negotiating with the patient –  I believe it can work and it should not be just the police and MH professionals involved here.  People like my guest blogger could also play an important part in helping.

Today has been a very quiet day – I have not spoke to Elizabeth but did speak to her during the week and she sounded quite happy and positive.  I hope to go down and see her in the near future.  I am getting back into routines now that Xmas has gone and have dragged  myself back to the gym again.  I used to take Elizabeth along to the local gym but now I go to one in London which is very nice.  The problem is there are many nice places that sell good food in the surrounding area of the gym and I am leaving late in the evening.  It is too tempting at times.

I am extremely happy to hear some positive news about Chy Sawel and hope soon there will be another meeting in London.

I am looking forward to going to the Dragon Café as well –  I have heard some extremely good reports about this.

Then I hope to really put an effort in to raising funds for Chy Sawel .  I would like a specialist centre set up in the UK looking at how best to treat those who are not getting better and being affected by physical health.  This would hopefully involve Dr Walsh who I met a year ago and was most impressed.  There are other things as well that need to be looked into as many mental health patients have suffered from trauma and automatically given the drugs rather that decent care and because of this they do not get better.  There has been important research done on PTSD and this needs to be looked at closely together with tests to see if someone can metabolise the drugs as otherwise they can do more harm than good.  I think that a different approach needs to be given to some patients and that there is no choice.  Some patients prefer to go on acute wards and take the drugs and for others this kind of care is not working.  As my guest blogger says with the right approach it is sometimes possible to talk someone down whilst suffering from psychosis.  A fellow patient and there are many who wish to help – they should be allowed to help in such circumstances in my opinion.  I think a former patient could have a very important role to play and I as a mother would be delighted to have this kind of involvement for my daughter alongside the professionals.   The right kind of peer support is what is needed.   Wrong diet can also affect someone’s behaviour and in the right environment – a peaceful location then I think this is the way forward as from what I have seen of the acute wards they are not peaceful locations and I do not believe in any case they should be used long term.  They do not suit everyone.

£25,000,000 for MH professionals to work alongside the police at police stations – well why not include some former patients themselves to assist.  Some patients would be excellent in a situation of crisis of another patient and I have seen time and time again on the wards patient looking after patient and there are some that have no fear of helping others and may well offer the right approach down to their first hand experience.  

 

“Therapeutic and Anti-Therapeutic Staff Interventions”
Excessive seclusion is “an abomination before the Lord”, doing much more harm than good. Seclusion in isolation should definitely be used only until “unmanageable derangement” has subsided for around 5 to 10 minutes, and should be followed by “seclusion” with the company of a single member of the staff team who is up for the job of “talking the client down” into a place where the “seclusion” can be ended, with PRN “medication” being given “as part of the deal”, but only with the consent of the client.

Ideally, “restraint” (legalised assault{?}, especially if injury results) should only be used when a client is so clearly “unmanageable” that “restraint” is seen as necessary to get the client into seclusion.

When “restraint” is used, but then seclusion is seen to be unnecessary, the client should be “talked down” in a private room by a single member of the staff team who is up for this job. And, again, PRN “medication” should be offered, but not imposed, as a matter of informed consent.
And, PRN “medication” should be offered (not imposed) when it believed that it may help the client, and it should never be offered for the benefit of anyone else, or because some “rule” says it should, or to serve the needs of staff, or of any system. And, all “restraints” should be regarded as staff team “failures” because it’s always possible to “talk people down” if one’s individual and group de-escalation skills are good enough. All staff should have a “de-escalation skill grading”, and when any member of the staff team feels out of their depth they must be expected to get help immediately from staff with a higher “de-escalation skill grading”. So, when an “incident alert” is activated, the most experienced staff members should be expected to take charge of the situation. And, all such “failures” should be reviewed with a view to learning what should be done in future similar situations to avoid harm, avoidable distress, and unnecessary alienation.

Also, in any environment which is supposed to be therapeutic, the concept of “punishment” should be avoided as much as possible. One should go out of one’s way to avoid any client feeling “punished” for any reasons other than ones that are not completely sound. When clients feel “punished”, their thoughts and feelings should be acknowledged, and appropriate sympathy and/or apology should be found.

Also, contrary to common belief, putting excessive downward pressure on environments being “stimulating” is actually anti-therapeutic for everyone (see “the only way out is through”, above, and the problems of “interference” below).

When “restraint” is used, but then seclusion is seen to be unnecessary, the client should be “talked down” in a private room by a single member of the staff team who is up for this job.  And, again, PRN “medication” should be offered, but not imposed, as a matter of informed consent.

And, PRN “medication” should be offered (not imposed) when it believed that it may help the client, and it should never be offered for the benefit of anyone else, or because some “rule” says it should, or to serve the needs of staff, or of any system.

And, all “restraints” should be regarded as staff team “failures” because it’s always possible to “talk people down” if one’s individual and group de-escalation skills are good enough.  All staff should have a “de-escalation skill grading”, and when any member of the staff team feels out of their depth they must be expected to get help immediately from staff with a higher “de-escalation skill grading”.  So, when an “incident alert” is activated, the most experienced staff members should be expected to take charge of the situation.

And, all such “failures” should be reviewed with a view to learning what should be done in future similar situations to avoid harm, avoidable distress, and unnecessary alienation.

Also, in any environment which is supposed to be therapeutic, the concept of “punishment” should be avoided as much as possible.  One should go out of one’s way to avoid any client feeling “punished” for any reasons other than ones that are not completely sound.  When clients feel “punished”, their thoughts and feelings should be acknowledged, and appropriate sympathy and/or apology should be found.

Also, contrary to common belief, putting excessive downward pressure on environments being “stimulating” is actually anti-therapeutic for everyone (see “the only way out is through”, above, and the problems of “interference” below).

Furthermore, another factor in the exacerbation of “emotional disturbance” is the suppression and/or repression of anger and aggressive feelings, even when these feelings are expressed in safe ways.  And, a massive problem affecting recovery adversely is that of the suppression and/or repression of swearing as a result of a social conspiracy to keep a lid on other people’s expression of anger and/or aggressive feelings, even when they are expressed in safe ways.  Therefore, in a therapeutic environment, there should ideally be no anti-swearing interventions, unless it’s clear that failure to intervene could result in unsafe expression of anger and/or aggressive feelings.

The correct response to anger, aggression and swearing is to establish their cause, and to do one’s best to address the cause, in ways that everyone can be okay with.

Also, although pre-pubescent children should be protected from anger, aggression and swearing that could cause them to feel uncomfortable, anxious, nervous and/or unsafe, even children should not be intimidated and/or bullied into strict compliance with “social taboos” of this kind, because of the serious harm that anger does when it’s “bottled up”.

In fact, allsocial taboos” should be regarded with suspicion, as should any kind of over-reaction when any “social taboo” is flouted.

And, staff who have a problem swearing, hearing swearing, or being on the receiving end of swearing should not be employed as Psycho-Social Health Service workers, because their preoccupations will make it impossible for them to do the right thing in difficult, stress-laden, and/or complex situations.

Have you noticed the way some people “punish” others for “swearing” by refusing to listen until those others “comply” with anti-swearing dogma?  And, have you noticed that the reason people swear is because, when they don’t swear, others don’t listen anyway?

Having said all of this, I see no problem with not liking anything and expressing one’s dislike in assertive ways — i.e. politely, respectfully, and with due deference and diplomacy.  It’s only unassertive behaviour that can result in a proliferation of problems.

Unassertive behaviours include:

  1. Abandoning logic as a result of being in a state of panic or desperation.
  2. Excessive begging, and/or passive-aggressive behaviour.
  3. Excessive stubbornness, and/or not knowing when to back down temporality or permanently.
  4. Getting hysterical (or throwing any kind of tantrum).
  5. Bullying, and/or demanding with menaces.
  6. Getting violent for the purposes of bullying, “punishment”, and/or retaliation.

And, what is really not okay is intimidation and/or bullying inspired by “social conspiracies” regarding any so called “taboo”.

My guest blogger will be delighted to answer any questions.

I as a mother would like to see people like my guest blogger more involved in helping people like my daughter although as a mother I do not really like swearing as an example for my daughter!

Whatever people may think whether they agree or disagree with these comments it is clear that there are some very caring people (patients) under the mental health with intelligence who have a lot to offer and what is more could also be working alongside the police and MH professionals with the £25,000,000 awarded. I know some professionals agree with this but it is a fact that my daughter responded to fellow patients/residents and there are some who could also be included in such a project by way of open dialogue. All I have ever wanted was to see my daughter treated fairly and a fellow patient would have the full understanding of someone who is going through crisis and some are very good at helping others in such situations. Inclusion is important and equality. The problem is that all too often patients are not treated fairly and open dialogue is the way forward and also students should be given the opportunity where possible to come and meet the families and see the family background. If notes written about a family member are inaccurate how on earth can any professional do their jobs. For instance the consultant psychiatrist had read all about me in past files. Obviously it was far from complimentary and this is where judgement should be reserved unless the next team or new professionals come and meet the families and get to know them properly. It is wrong to base your opinions on assumptions. You need to hear and see things first hand. Not every family may welcome such involvement however I would as I have nothing to hide and prefer openness and honesty as this is the way forward in terms of working today, families, teams and patients. This is the system that has a high success rate in Tornio, Finland and it is no wonder why.

By the way if anyone thinks I am against all front line staff they are wrong. If someone is on call 24 hrs a day having to face distressing situations it is not easy but someone who has been through should not be underestimated and could play a huge part in helping others and I hope one day that Elizabeth will be able to do this.

I do not know yet what the future will be for Elizabeth – she will not be coming home and that is not because I have said no. It is the team who control her decision but the family do not get considered. The team will give options and none of us know what will happen next. Elizabeth will be 27 soon – I would like to see her have some normality in life. I do not see how she can work on this quantity of drugs – there are good days and bad and I have no control as a mother. The law is all about drugging and there is not one single facility in the country where someone can safely be reduced off these mind altering drugs with professional help. If a client complains of side effects they may be offered another drug – that is the care in the UK until of course someone has a very serious problem that could be life threatening and only then is physical health considered and someone taken off the drugs.

“You have to take these drugs for the rest of your life” said the consultant psychiatrist. Since then others have stuck by this decision whether right or wrong.

However there are very good people in the profession as well – I am not dismissing this at all.

If I was to re-write psychiatry then the first thing I would say is that the drugs should not be a long term solution or given to abuse victims. Proper tests and assessments should be done to see if someone can metabolize the drugs and this is something not being done properly and neither is a proper look at food intolerance and nutrition/diet. For this you need a specialist centre but it is not just the professionals that should be involved here but the wider community and former patients as peer support plus students as they could gain valuable experience from working with someone like my daughter.

And, where clients are well enough to engage with “talking therapies”, the “going through” process can be facilitated with specialist support such as Life Skills Training, Group Therapy, Loss and Bereavement Counselling, Trauma Therapy, Schema Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but I will say more about these methods below.

Therapeutic and Anti-Therapeutic Environments

An environment is therapeutic only if it is homely, only if it’s staffed by people who are thoroughly humanitarian and friendly, and only if client needs are met to the satisfaction of a sizeable majority of the clients for most of the time.

In a therapeutic environment, self-help should be facilitated as much as possible, but everyone’s frustrations should be managed well, and no one should be left “in limbo” for extended periods of time (not leaving someone “in limbo” meaning that when the client sees a need for a “way forward” with an important and/or urgent matter, he or she is not left getting more agitated for any significant period of time with no way forward).

Anti-therapeutic environments are environments that, apart from not meeting the above specifications, are staffed by people with agendas that serve some or many things other than client interests.  Such environments are damaging in that they can easily entrench existing “psycho-social health problems” and problems of “emotional disturbance”, and/or make matters a lot worse for clients with such problems.

Therapeutic and Anti-Therapeutic Staff Interventions

Excessive seclusion is “an abomination before the Lord”, doing much more harm than good.  Seclusion in isolation should definitely be used only until “unmanageable derangement” has subsided for around 5 to 10 minutes, and should be followed by “seclusionwith the company of a single member of the staff team who is up for the job of “talking the client down” into a place where the “seclusion” can be ended, with PRN “medication” being given “as part of the deal”, but only with the consent of the client.

Ideally, “restraint” (legalised assault{?}, especially if injury results) should only be used when a client is so clearly “unmanageable” that “restraint” is seen as necessary to get the client into seclusion.

 

 

 

 

“The Only Way Out Is Through”

To put oneself firmly on a path towards meaningful recovery from “emotional disturbance” one has to “go through” some pain, chaos, confusion, misery and fear before one can “re-emerge” with the capacity for making more meaningful differences in one’s life.
In too many cases, psychotropic drugs inhibit the “going through” process, interrupting progress, blocking progress, or even making matters worse, the result being it being made hard or even impossible for any meaningful recovery to begin, progress and/or get anywhere near complete enough in the client’s eyes.
And, all help should be as “client-centred” as possible and all matters of “chemical or electrical intervention” (with drugs or ECT) should be a matter of “client consent”, except in those few cases where there is a clear need to override client consent in the interests of the client. Client consent must never be overridden in the interests of anyone else as it is always “an abomination before the Lord” to “medicate” one person to address the “sensibilities” of another. Even the preferences of someone who is considered by most to be “chronically deranged” should be respected when those preferences are expressed clearly and consistently.
And, it should almost always be preferable to “contain” someone in a “secure environment” indefinitely than to “medicate” them without their consent. (IF ONLY THERE WAS THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT IN THE UK) However, according to my latest thinking, it may make sense to “enforce” PRN (as needed) “medication” without consent in clear-cut cases of “problematic derangement”.”

My comments are in capitals as I truly believe that an acute ward and enforced drugging is wrong in some cases and I truly believe that if only there was a specialist centre proper assessments could be given as some people cannot metabolize the drugs. I personally think the system is very wrong and whilst some people like going on the wards and taking the drugs others are suffering. I believe there should be choice and I do not believe patients are being treated fairly or families. I have recently had a few debates on Twitter which is a good thing. I might have my views on the subject but others may not agree but would still be interested perhaps if there was a specialist centre with open dialogue and I would like to see the patients themselves involved. I obviously cannot put everything on this blog or on social media but I am not the only one who would like to see a fairer system and there is lot going on that people are unaware of.

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