The day of the seminar, 6 September 2016, was my youngest sister's 50th birthday. I describe both my younger sisters as psychiatric survivors. We have all experienced psychoses and psychiatric treatment. However my younger sisters were treated in the same health board area as our mother who had a "mental illness" diagnosis of Schizophrenia (I wasn't). My youngest sister was first "assessed" when only a child, fostered at the time, and still lives in our home town. She is on Clozapine, possibly other meds/drugs, and walks with a stick, although leads a very productive and creative life, serving others in the community and church.
My middle sister, also fostered, was first treated forcibly with drugs and ECT when a teenager in our home town, in the psychiatric hospital where our Mother was forcibly drugged and shocked on many occasions in the 1950's and 1960's, possible also after this. [I don't like to think about it.] Fortunately my middle sister eventually escaped "mental illness" when she moved out of Perth and went to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, then London for a year.
My youngest sister also studied at the RSAMD. Both my sisters played in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (NYOS) and travelled abroad with it. My youngest sister was a boarding pupil at St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh, funded by Perth Council, after being sent to Ochil Towers, Auchterarder, following the psychiatric assessment in Murray Royal Hospital, Perth, when a child. I kept up with her, visited, she came to stay with us on weekends.
Then I fostered my youngest sister in school holidays from St Mary's c1979-1983 until she was 16, while also keeping up with my middle sister as she studied in Glasgow, played second clarinet in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I watched her play in Candleriggs City Hall on one occasion. She has been a peripatetic woodwind instructor in schools for over 30 years, and a mother of two children.
I am very proud of both my younger sisters. Together we are proof that psychosis and mental illness can be overcome/survived, whether in the "system", a service user, or out of it, recovered. Our Mother led the way in a life of dignity and achievement, overcoming adversity, coercive psychiatric treatment and 20+yrs on Depixol until her death in March 1998.
I don't believe in mental illness as a disease, rather it's a psychiatric construct used as "mental disorder" to force treatment on resistant patients and as a lifelong label when the treatment doesn't "work". I believe that psychosis is a journey or transition from one place to another in a person's life, and that "professionals" should support people, young and old, through psychoses, whether first, second, whatever episode, without having to resort to force.
Here are the photos I took on entering the Western Infirmary site, at the seminar and afterwards before travelling home. I had to ask directions from people passing by about where the lecture theatre was, it looked like a building site. There are about 48 photos, so be prepared! About 40 shots of the slides by Prof Lederman, brief comments on captions.
I left before the end but think I captured most of the presentation.
|had to ask folk passing by if lecture theatre was in here|
|got directions by security guard coming out|
|looked a bit dreary|
|lots of green and grey|
|at lunch I stocked up on chocolate squares & cakes|
|making connections with ladies from NES & NHS Forth Valley|
|grapes for refreshment|
|Prof Andrew Gumley chairs the meeting|
|AT RISK in large print also MOOD and CARERS and APPS|
|[Stephen Fry is English not Scottish, anyway I don't agree with his perspective on "mental illness"]|
|was this a presentation originally prepared for England? looks like it|
|what's the problem? language eg "strikes" & dodgy looking graph|
|mental illness talk; don't believe in it|
|money money money|
|well done to the folk dropping out; I'd be doing the same|
|adherence; oh oh; resist|
|Prof spoke of "SOLID evidence"|
|overcome overcome: I say resist|
|Prof said that materials for psychosis "sufferers" were written for 8 year old's understanding: why?|
|beware! image of microscope; brain stuff, biomedical interference; ECT, NMD, mice, guinea pigs|
|3 pronged like a pitchfork|
|discriminatory identification: cognitive deficit, equating psychosis with intellectual impairment (daft)|
|ICT can spark paranoia? so can presentations by nutty Professors|
|I was starting to get cheesed off by this time; heckling; laughing; bored bored bored|
|better things to do than sit listening to this nutty professor|
|I don't get paid to sit listening to nonsense unlike the Others|
|then it got even worse; boring website design, a topic I know about|
|engaging? is she joking? has she done youth work? was she ever young?|
|then the circles came; Prof talked of "super users" not sure of context|
|lots of circles to cause confusion; boring graphics, blue blue blue depressing|
|strengths, I shouted out about Kansas University work in this area for Prof to check it out|
|Orygen building I think; Prof said "we trust in Orygen" (I say, be sceptical Mrs Lederman)|
|I was giving up by this time, bored|
|moderation; oh oh; Prof used term "danger words"|
|reporting, blocking, silencing, record keeping (a right turn off)|
|spaceship diagram aka abandon ship|
|if you behave yourself you'll get unblocked (just like a sink or toilet I suppose) I'd prefer blocking|
|well done me for staying at seminar for so long! unpaid, voluntary, I deserve a medal :D|
|some young folk actually stuck it to the end of this project; well done them!|
|ejector seat at the ready: lift off!|
|escape from nutty professor seminar! yay; fresh air|
|exiting Subway at Buchanan Street|
|bike shop then bus home; yeah|