LONDON

Today I will first of all pick up the drugs from the hospital and hope they are ready as I remember last time having to hang around waiting for a long time.

It is better now that the team are not coming round – they were not doing anything other than questioning Elizabeth so what is the point and I can just drive up to the hospital and collect the drugs which is easier and leaves time free so that Elizabeth does not have to be back by a certain time during the week. A much better arrangement.

It is a nice day so I do not want to be stuck indoors. Hopefully Elizabeth will be well enough to come out with me but sometimes it does take some persuasion as she now suffers from Agoraphobia. It is not severe to the point she flatly refuses but when I have been without the car on a couple of occasions I have had to order a cab just to get her out of the house. Today I am hoping to go to Camden – plenty to do there and I would like to see that beach I have read about. I would also like to show Elizabeth round the area where I work but I do not know if there will be time today.

Before we head into London I must sort out this gym membership and Elizabeth has spotted a Yoga and Pilates studio up the road and this could be beneficial. She has asked to go there so I am pleased about this. These two places I shall find out about today. One problem is finding someone to take her out during the week. She has not once been out on her own. Being in hospital so long as not helped as she was not allowed out alone. It will take some time to build up her confidence and I see the gym as the way forward and what I need to find is the company in order to encourage Elizabeth. Such people could be students themselves – young people that I could pay to come round to my house and it would benefit someone who is studying for psychology/nursing. I could start by advertising at the local university. I would prefer this to her going to a drop in centre for the mental health. There should be more integration – since coming home Elizabeth has shown no sign of any abnormal behaviour whatsoever – if someone is treated the same as everyone else then this is the way forward. In a hospital environment where I noticed staff sitting in their office, patients knocking on the windows crying out for attention – this is not a therapeutic environment. I previously thought that the area I lived in would be wrong for Elizabeth’s recovery. However being in the home environment in itself has been beneficial and I never thought this would be possible. I would urge every mother to think beyond what they feel is possible but my increased knowledge has helped me in greater understanding and reading the right books is the answer which is what I would recommend to other mothers. At least at home I can see that Elizabeth is not being drugged up to her neck – here she is only on the Clozapine right now and there is no need for any of the other drugs especially Lorazepam as and when required. Also smoking has stopped since coming home which is a good thing as when the NHS promotes no smoking well if there is nothing to do for patients then it is boredom that leads to smoking and also nor forgetting the atmosphere of an acute ward. Private sector is no better as they just offer drugs too and I thought in Wales she would get the holistic care in accordance with Welsh Law. It also depends on the consultant psychiatrist as to whether you get good care or not. Bad care is when a patient is put under pressure by staff to do what they want them to do and this is especially the case when it comes to Nearest Relatives.

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