Monday, 11 February 2013

disrespect for carers, that's what it's all about

[about Fife experiences]

The mental health act principle of 'respect for carers' isn't happening and I can testify to that.  I'm assuming it is a wish or a faraway expectation, not the here and now.  Don't let's kid ourselves.  To be a carer or mother in the psychiatric setting is like entering the lion's cage. 

We're talking growls and teeth, fur flying and fear.  It's not for the faint-hearted and you need to be prepared.  Voice at the ready, for they're out to get you.  The biomedical modellers or the bio model meddlers.

The mothers among us have been labelled as genetically flawed.  We're to blame for society's ills.  So says the patriarchs of psychiatry rather than it being about the sins of the fathers.  It's our fault there's war and oppression, armies and bloodshed.  Orphans and victims, poverty and famine.

And for those of us who have completely recovered from lifelong mental illness, despite the labels and psychiatric drugs.  Well what a cheek!  How dare we!  Defying the diagnoses and ignoring the DSM and ICD.  Making a fool of the hierarchy that keeps people safe and secure, with community treatment orders and coercive control.

Like the jokers in the pack we keep appearing unpredictably.  Bouncing back from adversity and the bullying behaviour of people in power.  Playing the game in the way that we like, knowing that what goes around comes around and it's more about the taking part than the winning.

As a survivor, mother and carer I'm in it for life.  It's not about choice or a vocation, a paid job or a pension.  It's £58/week, according to the government's calculations.  But that doesn't mean we deserve the worst treatment and bottom of the pile consideration.  Have some respect, professionals on big pay in the service of psychiatry and its subsidiaries.  We deserve it and have earned it.

We need independent advocacy, for carers and service users/patients.  Locally managed.  The tendering process in 2009 resulted in the Circles Network, Warwickshire, winning the contract, and the local advocacy groups losing.

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