Saturday, 14 September 2019

Life isn't fair (get over it)

The Professor was correct in February 2017 at a PhD preparation meeting when he said "life isn't fair" in response to my speaking out about psychiatric abuse, the implication being that I should get over it.  His fellow Professor just sat there, he used to speak at Compassion conferences.  I was very angry at their switching off to my pain, at their ACT. I walked up Calton Hill after our meeting, got a sore knee, wasn't used to the exercise back then.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 7Feb17

By the May our relationship was over, no more supervision or PhD, by the July it was over with the other Professor, he ended it, got his Glasgow Professor colleague to ban me for tweeting.  It wasn't fair.  I've got over it, eventually, by externalising my distress on social media, reflecting on what happened, gradually the pain lessened and it doesn't hurt now.  Plus I've got fitter.

yesterday after usual swim at Olympia, Dundee

walking with my Son Daniel through Duffus Park, Cupar 8sep19

Saturday, 7 September 2019

damage done by psychiatric treatment: discrimination, separation; surviving

I woke up thinking about the damage done by psychiatric treatment to families, the stigma and discrimination resulting in separation.  Speaking personally, it's been really tough, particularly in my family since 2002 when I was taken into Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, by my two older sons.  It was a menopausal psychosis, body changes, a spiritual element, wasn't sleeping, this was the biggest issue, not getting sleep.  Was working FT in Perth, went to a church in Dundee, both these settings had challenges plus my youngest sister in Perth came off her Depixol weekly injection cold turkey, barricaded herself in her flat which was near where I worked.

A number of external pressures combined with menopausal changes, resulting in overactive thinking and difficulties in sleeping.  A nervous breakdown or psychosis.  Going into Lomond Ward was very risky for me, having raised complaints when my oldest son was an inpatient there in 1996, following a critical incident with ECT.  Plus the ward layout wasn't good for female patients, dormitories down long corridor overlooked by male patients in single rooms, no nurses around:

I was put in the end female dorm and noticed a young male patient in the end single room opposite when I awoke the next day, having been coerced to swallow Risperidone.  They had detained me for 72hrs and said that I had to take the drugs or I wouldn't get out of hospital.  Reading the Notes from that time it said that I slept in my clothes, as if this was odd.  Rather it was a sensible thing to do, in my opinion, knowing that antipsychotics take away agency, are sedating and leave a person more open to manipulation (doing what psychiatric staff tell you etc).

I phoned my ex-husband from the ward to let him know I was a psychiatric inpatient.  He had supported me in both 1978 and 1984 when I voluntarily became a mental patient in Hartwoodhill after experiencing puerperal psychosis due to traumatic childbirth and other stressors.  He helped me escape ECT in Sep78 when Nurses were coercing me to sign form, allowing shock treatment.  I had to go back into the ward due to muscle spasms after stopping Chlorpromazine suddenly.  Nurses taunted me saying that if I'd taken the ECT I'd have recovered more quickly.  I kept my thoughts to myself, that they were talking nonsense.  Best to say very little when a mental patient.  I knew this when in a psychosis or on mind-altering neurotoxins.  Had capacity to know the dangers of telling the truth to psychiatric staff when in their oppressive system.

We remarried on our 30th wedding anniversary, 4th July 2002, and he supported me at Psychiatrist appointments, was a witness to the "Are you tearful?" question from Dr C and my response "No, I'm flat".  Eventually I ended up on a cocktail of psychiatric drugs: Risperidone, max dose Venlafaxine and Lithium, with Lorazepam as required.  I was zombie-like, lacked decision-making abilities and mornings were really difficult, lack of motivation, evenings the best.  The drugs were hellish, tying me in to Lifelong Mental Illness.  I had to escape and I did, tapering, making a full recovery, unrecognised by Psychiatry who described it as Remission.

My youngest son had physical health issues impacting on his mental health, resulting in Lomond Ward inpatient treatment in 2005/8/10 and the 2012 psychiatric abuse of the locked seclusion room in Stratheden old IPCU/Ward 4, well documented by me in blog posts and on social media, on the front page of the Scottish Sunday Express 5 October 2014 after I won the Ombudsman complaint against NHS Fife:

link to Express article

My husband and I separated in the summer of 2011, we hadn't been getting on since the end of 2009, and I divorced him in January this year.  It's not easy caring for family members who are becoming revolving door mental patients and this can have an impact on other relationships within the family.  Becoming a mental health activist, human rights campaigner and whistleblower about psychiatric abuse was another isolating factor, affecting income and ability to earn money.  There's no profit in exposing abusive practices in psychiatric settings.  

I had a physical and mental breakdown in the summer of 2015, after the years of campaigning with no justice, got through it by taking Lorazepam twice, for sleep, with a bladder prolapse which I thought was a tumour and ignored it until 6mths later.  I got back to swimming and fitness, by the end of the year having no car, taking 2 buses to the Olympia Dundee.  I couldn't swim regularly in the Cupar pool as there were Stratheden psychiatric nurses using the facilities, one of whom had assaulted my son in Lomond Ward.  From 2012 I've wanted a move to Dundee, tried various ways, still trying.  It's not easy moving house on a low income.  I don't receive Carers Allowance now, since getting State Pension in Feb15 and haven't earned any money since 2014.  

I did want to lecture or teach as I've got 2 postgrad education qualifications but this has been impossible due to whistleblowing and speaking out.  They couldn't risk employing a truth-teller about psychiatric abuse and so the opportunities to teach at MH Nurse and Clinical Psychology programmes disappeared, even when preparing to undertake a PhD in CP at Edinburgh University.  The Professor could not guarantee any lecturing.  I taught once at Glasgow DClinPsy when the Professor wasn't there.  They made it very difficult for me to continue with researching Safe Houses for Psychosis.  And so my voice was silenced in their academic settings, their big pensions intact.  Guid luck tae them.



Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Dundee derby fitba fun ⚽ 30Aug19

I wanted to go back to Tannadice and watch a fitba match after my first visit in January this year which wasn't positive, for different reasons.  And so I bought a ticket for the Dundee Derby last Friday night, Dundee United v Dundee, and really enjoyed the game!  It was a sellout and I was surrounded by fans who advised in respect of goal scorers and other fitba matters, even offering me a sweetie.  Guid stuff.  It felt like I belonged, part of the community, and so I will attend other home games in the future because I do think that United are heading for the Premiership.

Here are some photos and videos from the night:

walking to Tannadice

queuing up to get in

warming up

panorama photo from my seat

Shankland penalty from my S row seat 118 in George Fox Lower!  [I couldnae make out who had scored]:

Beginning of 2nd half:

End of game, fans singing "It's United they're my own team ..."

heading back to car parked on the Hilltown

it was raining, I got a bit lost following fans, then found my way again!

Monday, 2 September 2019

There is no Justice after Psychiatric Abuse

It has to be faced, to move on with life after.  It's taken a while to come to terms with the 2012 psychiatric abuse, the worst of my 40yrs personal and family experience, engaging with Psychiatry.  The human rights abuses of the locked seclusion room with no toilet, light or water, in the old Stratheden Hospital IPCU.  The state of affairs in Lomond acute psychiatric Ward, Feb/Mar 2012, as if the Nurses had switched off, doors slammed in my face, space invasion, witnessing inappropriate behaviours, vulnerable female patients at risk and so on.  

I won't forget it, will on occasion recall on social networks what happened, and my experiences before that, as a Lomond Ward patient in 2002 and a visiting Mother/Carer in 1995/6 and 2005/8/10.  I've lived near Stratheden Hospital since soon after coming to Fife in 1990, the last 21yrs here in Springfield which is synonymous with the hospital which was built on the Springfield Estate.  I'm long overdue a move out of here.

My main aim these days is to keep fit, mentally and physically, to live long enough to have a life in Dundee.  I've externalised my distress about the lack of justice, come through nervous breakdowns/psychoses and near death experiences since 2012, self managed.  It does shake the core of your being to come through such trauma, the bullying and blaming for something that wasn't my fault.  So unfair.  It wizny me.

on my PC desk, from Open the Doors by Edwin Morgan

Glad to say that I'm now at a place where it doesn't bother me as much to speak of it.  I've externalised the pain and it has made me feel better.  That's what psychosis is like and should be a positive experience but it isn't when engaging with Psychiatry.  We need alternative ways of helping people through emotional pain without silencing them with toxic chemicals, abusing them in locked seclusion rooms, controlling them with clinical psychology.  I wish there was an appetite for Safe Houses funded by Health and Social Care or Scottish Government but there isn't.  


Today I was checking if my name was on a Dundee Allotment waiting list and it was!  I'd visited back in May time and asked for my name to be added.

It was raining a bit so I took shelter in the Eastern Cemetery then a 5 bus into town, walking back to supermarket carpark.

walked about 4.5mls in total today

Sunday, 1 September 2019

completed Dundee Council House Application Form: one bed Sheltered Housing

For me, on my own, a move to Dundee.  I'm 67 later on this month, not getting any younger, and I really do want out of Fife before I'm immobile and incapacitated in any way.  Have wanted a flit to Dundee since 2012, tried for an exchange also council house but no chance.  Have also checked out private rented accommodation, too expensive, can't afford it.

It's been 7 years of caring for my son after the psychiatric abuse of the locked seclusion room in Stratheden Hospital, 5 years this month since I "won" the Ombudsman case against NHS Fife for "unreasonable treatment" and received a written apology afterwards.  I got it on two points, the bare feet and underpants transfer between Lomond Ward and Ward 4/old IPCU, and the dirty protest in locked seclusion room proving that staff left my son unobserved, in the dark, no toilet, light or water, for hours on end, through the night, on at least 4 occasions.  

[I didn't get an apology for the human rights abuses, the face down restraints, assaults by Nurses and attempts made to blame me in Ward Notes and in the Adult Protection Investigation Report led by Fife Council Mental Health Officers.]

after swim, Olympia 30Aug19
I do my best to keep fit and mobile, swimming most days at the Olympia in Dundee then walking a few miles, really looking forward to living in the city so I can cycle often as well.  My car can't take a bike carrier, would have to get a tow bar fitted first or a roof rack, then a carrier, too costly.  I've not had a Carers Allowance since 2015 when receiving my State Pension and haven't earned any extra money since 2014, as scribe and mentor for my son at Abertay University on BA Hons Sociology.  

I did try to get lecturing work at Abertay, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities at various times as a Lived Experience/Psychiatric Survivor on Mental Health Nurse and DClinPsy programmes but after whistleblowing in 2012 it became impossible.  The PhD Clinical Psychology 'Safe Houses for Psychosis' in 2017 came to nothing, wasn't supported.  I hope to earn some money after moving to the city, in some capacity, so as to travel, do more leisure activities and socialise. 

I'm just glad to still be on my feet and mobile after what seems a lifetime of surviving psychiatric treatment/coercive drugging and the after effects (clinical depression, suicidal impulse, bone loss, 6in Titanium plate right fibula, decades of caring, tapering toxic chemicals).

Recent photos on walks around Dundee, seeing the sights, enjoying the landscape:

Dundee (demolition) Derby at Tannadice 30Aug19
Verdant Works Dundee 29Aug19
Reres Park Dundee 26Aug19
legal graffiti park DPM off Canning St Dundee 23Aug19