Monday, 13 August 2018

big pay packets are like anaesthetic

Just said this in a tweet, regarding the behaviour by DClinPsy (clinical psychology/psychological therapy) Professors and academics towards me since 2009, and "they are experts at blaming Mothers for mental illness & making sure our voices are silenced in the places of power ".

Prior to this I'd tweeted:

My action research about safe haven crisis houses won't be possible due to being financially impoverished ie I've not got the money for it.  The plans I had in 2016, slide from Minorities Conference 5 July 2016, have not materialised:

 However my vision is still the same, Safe Houses for Psychosis.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Handstands in the Dark: Janey Godley

I read this book very quickly which these days is unusual for me.  I said to a friend in an Email that the book had made a difference to my life.  It was both a confirmation and an inspiration.


Thursday, 9 August 2018

retaliation: what does it look like?

son Daniel & I in Crossgate Cupar 17Sep17
Since becoming a whistleblower about human rights abuses perpetrated on my son in February 2012 when a psychiatric patient I have become something of an expert in retaliation.

I've been faced with it in many different forms by people in positions of power who don't like a survivor Mother speaking out, the repercussions, and take it out on me.  It's not been pleasant but I've got more used to it, and prepared for it.

It can be subtle, undermining, softly softly approach, difficult to discern until afterwards, upon reflection.  Folk taking the high ground and making the point that I'm on the low ground.  Rubbing my nose in it.  

It has meant that I've become more of a lone ranger and independent traveller as it's easier to resist retaliation when I don't have to defend a friend or companion who may get caught in the crossfire.  

I see it as grist to the mill.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  And take every opportunity to write about it, in blogs or on twitter.  Maybe eventually in book form.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

playing the system

Was tweeting this morning about antisocial behaviour getting the attention and it being a system issue:

It was concerning to hear the story of antisocial behaviour disrupting the peace of an elderly couple from Stirling, how it had affected their health, the 79yr old woman said this and her 84yr old husband spoke of his son-in-law putting up a 6ft high fence.  And so they use their bus pass to travel around Scotland to different places, in each other's company, the woman now walking with a stick after a fall in town, getting pins in her hip.  

They have 3 children, 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.  Well done to them!  We enjoyed our chat, wished each other well, hoped to meet again some day, in the passing.


Wee video on the move 3 August in Dundee after swimming at the Olympia, before meeting elderly couple in McDonalds:

then tweeting afterwards: 

minding your own business; whistleblowing isn't a career choice

Email just sent to Dr Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health, NHS Fife:

"Dear Dr Hannah

This is an Email about mindfulness.

Please don't come up to me again in a train and ask to sit down next to me, just so that you can go on about retiring early on your big pension and then going on to lecture, write books and help your husband in his business.  Next time I will say No.

I'm really not interested in your ability to earn money while I get financially poorer because of being a whistleblowing, human rights campaigner in Fife and an unwaged Carer for my son who was abused by Nurses in the locked seclusion room of Stratheden IPCU, NHS Fife, in February 2012.  Fife Health Board got richer, to the tune of £4.4million, and we got nothing except targeting by DWP and bullying for speaking out about psychiatric abuse.

After I said to you about my hopes of teaching and earning some money, on DClinPsy or MH Nursing programmes, being dashed you showed no compassion at my plight, which I think demonstrates mindfulness perfectly.  A switching off to the other person's situation.  Being unable to feel compassion at their circumstances and sacrifices.

Copying in others, for their information and as witnesses.

Regards, Chrys

Chrys Muirhead
Safe Houses for Psychosis
writer, researcher, activist; cyclist, photographer, gardener, swimmer

BA Admin Management (best student); Postgrad Dip Community Education; Postgrad Cert TQFE (care subjects, 2008 Stirling University)

Monday, 6 August 2018

Prof Schwannauer 3May17: "I remain inspired by your motivation and energy for it" #SafeHouses #Psychosis

link to Express article 5Oct14
I was reflecting on the failed PhD Clinical Psychology journey alongside my continued promotion of Safe haven crisis Houses for Psychosis, based on the experience of supporting my son in his recovery from abusive psychiatric treatment in February 2012 in Stratheden IPCU, Fife, and coming off Haloperidol which was forcibly injected in the IPCU locked seclusion room.  My son lives with me, we share a house together.

I remembered how Prof Matthias Schwannauer in his final Email to me said that he was inspired by my endeavours regarding Safe House alternatives:

And that Prof Andy Gumley had offered to be my academic mentor after giving a supportive reference for the PhD, saying:

"In terms of her abilities, I have no doubt as to Chrys’ analytical abilities, her ability to work independently, to make arguments or her industry, interests and motivation. I have been very impressed by the level of independence, energy, speed of thinking and commitment that she has brought to her campaigning and activism and this directly corresponds to the topic area of her PhD":

And then after my PhD offer was withdrawn I heard via Emails from Dr Paul Hutton about the bullying culture within the DClinPsy programme at Edinburgh, how he had been undermined, as I had been, and this had affected his confidence, also having to defend his students when in tears.  And so I approached Judy Thomson, NES Director of Psychology, about these concerns, and subsequently raised a complaint, reassured by her responses indicating support (which didn't actually transpire).  This was a very difficult time, it took up a lot of my energy, time and commitment, but it seemed the right thing to do.  I'd talked it over with my son after having second thoughts, deciding to go ahead with the complaint.

I know about mentoring and had previously worked 2006-8 in Fife College setting up and running a student mentoring project, was involved with the Scottish Mentoring Network and with a partnership of colleges and universities working in the area of mentoring.  I have supervised students at college and in voluntary sector and statutory agency posts, in a variety of disciplines, including community education and social work.  I knew what to expect from a supervisor and a mentor, and I didn't receive it from the academics involved in my PhD.  For whatever reason.  This was a big disappointment. 

My vision for Safe Houses in Scotland for people in psychosis is still ongoing.  I cannot afford to undertake visits to safe havens and crisis houses to gather information and network, as I'm on a low income, a pensioner and unwaged Carer receiving no allowances.  However I will continue to campaign for safer alternatives to psychiatric hospital inpatient treatment for people experiencing psychosis, altered mind states and extreme emotional distress. 

I will do my best to focus on the positive comments by Professors Schwannauer and Gumley about my motivation, energy and commitment, even though the PhD didn't happen.  They are busy men with their own projects and research areas.  I don't suppose my campaign from the survivor Mother perspective was a good fit.  My childhood was a happy one and I enjoyed bringing up my boys.  Many happy memories of achievements, shared adventures and experiences:

Angus & Edwin

Angus, Daniel & Edwin

Daniel & Edwin



me & the boys at my Sister's wedding, I was Maid of Honour 1999 😍

Thursday, 2 August 2018


Said this in an Email to a friend the other day:

"I thought of inciteful/insightful, how being the latter leads folk to accuse one of the former.  Also troublemaker/troubleshooter.  Exposing fly chancers and bully boys does not make me the baddie."


me aged 3 or 4 in kilt
Go to your Room! blog post 29July18

"Another story was of when we used to stay in Dunsinane Drive, Letham, Perth, 1950's, a council housing scheme, and the Dobie brothers bullied me when playing out in the street, and I'd go running in the house, greetin (crying).

I'd be about 4 years old so don't remember this.  My Mother said that my Dad taught me to box so as to defend myself from the bully boys and after this they ran in greetin tae their Maw.  And then she complained to my Mum about me bullying them.  She was very proud of my ability to stand up to the bully boys and to girls who would challenge me to fight in the Caley (Caledonian) Road Primary School girls playground.  This happened a few times and I had a seconder, a friend who stood with me, but the challenger never turned up to fight."

my Mum & me 1953 Perth


"A wee blog post in praise of my Mum, Anne Patterson, who was a fine example to me in so many ways.  Not least her managing to live productively on a Depixol 3wkly injection and the stigmatising discrimination of a Schizophrenia diagnosis when she didn't hear voices and wasn't a threat to anyone.  I couldn't have done it, put up with the continual constraint of neurotoxins going through my body."

Monday, 30 July 2018

out and about in Summer sun 2018 on bike, to castles, by bus, train

Facebook photo albums:

Royal Highland Show Ingliston Edinburgh 21Jun18
bus, train, tram to RHS Ingliston, for 3pm entry, special price £10, recapturing memories of visits when my sons were boys; particularly enjoyed seeing Bluefaced Leicester sheep

Perth with bike by train 23Jun18 #DiverseCiTay 
Year of Young People events in Perth; I cycled round South & North Inches, coming upon celebrations, listening to House & Garage Orchestra; nearly cycled to Bridge of Earn but turned back when met with a flight of stairs!

Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse 26Jun18
with my son

Dunfermline Cathedral & Abbey 29Jun18
joined Historic Environment Scotland & National Trust for Scotland to visit such places as this; helpful guide, awesome buildings, first went into Cathedral, saw Robert the Bruce tomb

Meigle Museum Pictish Stones 12Jul18
a selection of photos; a most interesting visit

to Markinch via Thornton train/cycle 4Jul18
cycled to Cupar, train to Thornton, cycled to Glenrothes then by path to Markinch; refreshments at Drummonds
to Methil Docks 6Jul18
by way of fun event

to Arbroath Abbey 7Jul18
with youngest son by buses; must go back

to Aberdour Castle 10Jul18
via Dunfermline; originally aiming for Culross Abbey; dropped by Andrew Carnegie Birthplace, again

Glasgow Tenement House 2Jul18
National Trust for Scotland residence of Miss Toward born 1886; then a wee visit to Mitchell Library

A selection of photos:

Meigle Museum Pictish stones

Dunfermline Cathedral
with youngest son in Ceres
Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Arbroath Abbey with son Daniel posing

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Go to your room!

my Dad, a selfie
When I was about age 10 or 11 I started to question my Dad and defy his judgements if I thought they didn't make sense.  For example, I wanted a pet rat but he said I couldn't have one because they were smelly.  I said: well so are you! Go to your room! 

[most of the photos taken by my Dad, not sure about the one of me aged 3 or 4, who took that one, and the one of my wee sister Eva taken c1969 at photographer's in Perth]

I spent some time in my room at that age, looking out the 4th floor Pomarium Perth flats window at the wasteground outside (before the Bus Station was built), watching my friends playing and climbing trees.  It was a fitting punishment because I liked to be outside playing better than anything else at that age.  However it didn't stop me on occasion speaking out to my Father if I thought his decisions didn't sound right.

My sister Frances who was 9yrs younger would eventually be asking my Mother where her room was because it was only a 2 bedroom flat and we'd be sharing a room by then.  My Mum told this story later on as she did other stories of our childhood which I'm very grateful for, her sense of humour and love for her family.  Another story was of when we used to stay in Dunsinane Drive, Letham, Perth, 1950's, a council housing scheme, and the Dobie brothers bullied me when playing out in the street, and I'd go running in the house, greetin (crying).

me aged 3 or 4 in kilt
I'd be about 4 years old so don't remember this.  My Mother said that my Dad taught me to box so as to defend myself from the bully boys and after this they ran in greetin tae their Maw.  And then she complained to my Mum about me bullying them.  She was very proud of my ability to stand up to the bully boys and to girls who would challenge me to fight in the Caley (Caledonian) Road Primary School girls playground.  This happened a few times and I had a seconder, a friend who stood with me, but the challenger never turned up to fight.

I was thinking of the 'Go to your room' scenario in relation to what's happened regarding the DClinPsy programmes at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities.  In effect I've been sent to my room, banished, silenced, for speaking my mind and defying the patriarchy.  With Glasgow it was because I left the CUSP user/carer group end of December 2014 after being bullied, ganged up on by members when Gumley wasn't there, and complained about it.  
me aged 10

me with favourite comic at the time
Gumley spoke about this on 4 July 2017 in his office at the MH & Wellbeing Unit, how it was very difficult after I left CUSP.  I had said to him that he shouldn't infantilise the members or trainees.  This is a problem, assuming that DClinPsy students and people with "lived experience" of MH challenges, don't have full capacity.  Since then he has stopped speaking to me and Prof McLeod has banished me from any involvement in their DClinPsy programme.  Sent to my room permanently for having an opinion and not putting up with infantilisation.

As for Edinburgh DClinPsy, I'd left the user/carer group APEX early 2015 and had complained about it on twitter, the facilitation by the men at the top, the misogyny.  Inbetween times I tried to do a PhD Clinical Psychology at Edinburgh but that fell through, my unconditional offer withdrawn after I rejected the supervision by Prof Schwannauer which was both unsupportive and undermining.  I was set up to fail.  Formal mentor Gumley did not help the situation and it was after this that he raised a complaint which resulted in my banishment. 
me eating an orange before playing outside

I returned to Edinburgh DClinPsy APEX after this but it wasn't a positive experience.  Again I was being silenced at meetings, there was a resistance to my independent, survivor Mother voice, and a preference for dominant males having their say, as before.  (they seem to prefer victims)  So I retired to my room before being sent there.  Clinical Psychology academics and practitioners prefer to work with people who have reduced capacity and don't challenge the status quo.  In my experience they are not able to work on a level playing field with people who have survived psychiatric treatment and are independent thinkers.

I was very fortunate to have a good Father who wasn't heavy handed, I didn't stay in my room for long, had many opportunities for play before puberty set in and I grew into a woman, in my own time.  Memories of my childhood are happy ones, adventures and games with friends who were boys and girls.  I remember it as being free to explore and to develop a curious mind, open to learning and self-expression, returning to the safety and security of a loving home.

my lovely Mother Anne Patterson [1929-1998]
me with Mum Anne and Dad William Patterson 1953 at Kingswell Terrace, Perth
from Jeff Hawke facebook page

link to Amazon page Overlord

wee sister Eva c1969 when she was 3
My mum took my sister Eva to a photographer for this photo since there weren't any photos of her as a baby as by this time my Dad was stuck in London after his Jeff Hawke contract was terminated by Daily Express.  Eva's wearing a dress made by our Mother, in either blue or pink, she had two of them in that style, as I remember.  My Mum was a skilled seamstress.

Friday, 27 July 2018

some tweets about psychosis, mentoring, tapering neuroleptics 27Jul18

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

tweets in response to @EMPOWER_EWS Implementation Theory Poster

Link to Implementation Theory Poster 2018 - Empower study

My tweets 24 July 2018 in response to viewing this poster:

I don't expect an answer to my questions, the Chief Investigator isn't speaking to me and the others don't engage either.  However it's useful to record my comments and questions since this project receives over £800k just for the Glasgow University research.  The Australian contingent likely receive an equivalent amount from different sources.


my survivor Mother tweets #PsychDrugDebate 24July18

Sunday, 22 July 2018

retaining balance

Yesterday I was out on my bike again, cycled to Cupar then got train to Markinch for Glenrothes and back again.  Had enjoyed it recently, the path by the Haig Estates buildings on one side and countryside with wild life on the other.

Markinch to Glenrothes path 21Jul18
I also cycled on roads here and there, sometimes a wobble when setting off but managing to retain balance better than I used to.  In the first 6 months of cycling I tended to fall if overbalancing rather than righting myself.  So I'm pleased to be in better control of the bike on different surfaces.  I also can go quite fast downhill, enjoying the thrill of speed!  

Last Wednesday I was part of a panel session with 5mins presentation in the Queen Elizabeth Teaching & Learning Centre, Glasgow, at the Active Minds Workshop, and showed slides on Safe Houses for Psychosis while speaking on a variety of other topics, including psychiatric abuse, marginalisation by Clinical Psychology Professors and the failure of my PhD at Edinburgh University.   I'd included some hyperlinks so that workshop participants could view these afterwards, if interested.

During the panel session and question time I had to get up from my seat to retrieve my diet coke from rucksack as I was thirsty, and retracing my steps tripped over the foot of my fellow panel member from University College London.  I may have misjudged but it seemed that his foot had moved and I did ask him if he'd tripped me up, by accident.  He brushed this off.  I also asked the cameraman who was filming if he captured the incident.  Didn't get an answer.  So I took a couple of selfies:

Then the UCL academic said to me I could be a Shepherd's Pie, this was in response to my talk with a vet lecturer in audience, where I mentioned having been a shepherdess, lambed sheep. I didn't take kindly to being described as a Shepherd's Pie or mince, and said so to him.  I was glad to have retained my balance when tripping, in the past I would likely have fallen flat on my face.  

Some more photos from yesterday's cycle trip:

parking up bike at Morrisons Glenrothes
in Glenrothes, Auchmuty, map out!

in Morrisons cafe

at Markinch rail station for train to Springfield