I am now nearing the end of this wonderful book and under the heading “Sociably Sane” is written “when the mind goes wrong it does so because it is being driven not by one but by two intents at the same time, pushing in opposite directions. Dr Johnson talks about infant and adult survival strategies and how right he is to comment that “those who deny we have any possibility of intent in the first place, by this very decision exclude themselves from any understanding of the painful agonies of mental disease”. He talks of the problems of continuation of infantile survival strategies into adult life causing many problems. With Elizabeth I think this is applicable because it is as though she does not wish to be an adult at times and there is certainly evidence of “frozen emotions” – when someone has suffered trauma in adolescence and further trauma relating to the care in terms of hospitalisation I believe this is her way of coping – Elizabeth could not cope in the local scheme in the community and was unhappy there whereas at home she feels safe. Since going away for nearly three years and coming home again Elizabeth is a changed person and is calm – I put this down to not being on such a huge dosage of drugs any more. One can only imagine how terrible it must feel to be forced to take 800mg Quetiapine and on top of that Clonazepam, Haloperidal and Lorazepam together with skin medications. She was clearly having adverse reactions to these drugs but in psychiatry this is regarded as symptoms. Tonight I have been working with Elizabeth to try and get her motivated to do things herself – she never refuses. I am teaching her the basics – to wash up properly, to iron properly, to throw rubbish away and recycle. Washing, ironing and cleaning and eating healthily. I cannot just leave Elizabeth to do these chores and expect them to be done properly so I have to stand with her and encourage this. She takes it well as she knows I am trying to help and she needs motivation. It is a good thing that Elizabeth is calm about all of this as some people could react – Elizabeth appreciates the support as it is no use me doing everything for her. I would not only like her to be able to go out without me but to be able to look after herself. I am seeing improvement compared to when she first came back. “Emotional health applies as much to societies as to individuals” – that’s true. Dr Johnson talks about the importance of independence and I am going to do everything possible to see that Elizabeth gets the help she needs. Help to go out places as she suffers from Agoraphobia now. Help and encouragement around the house but I am so lucky to have so many good friends helping me. I have learned a lot and adopted a difference approach thanks to wonderful books like this. To begin with I had little knowledge of anything to do with psychiatry – since reading all these wonderful books this has provided me with a much clearer understanding than ever before.
Elizabeth continues to make good progress. She is taken out regularly by close friends. Others help towards the blood test essential for her being kept on the chemical Clozapine. We are still waiting to see the consultant psychiatrist. I am really happy today at the start of the weekend.
This weekend we have a show to go to “Beautiful” – Carol King. I have booked a deal where you get a meal as well. There is no other plans but I will help Elizabeth tidy her room and encourage her to hoover over the weekend.
My thoughts are on holidays right now and I would like to go abroad and take Elizabeth. It will be so nice to have Elizabeth with us on holiday as in the past she has been in hospital miles away from home and family.