Wednesday, 20 March 2019

'A Cause for Concern' #HunterWatson March 2019 #HumanRights #MentalHealthAct

Latest Paper from Hunter Watson, Scottish Mental Health Human Rights Campaigner.  [link to more of Mr Watson's Papers on blog]


"The UK has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and hence Scotland is required to observe and implement it. I have for some years been pressing for Scottish mental health legislation to be reformed so that it is compliant with the CRPD, especially with Article 12 CRPD: this Article would seem to imply that states which have ratified the CRPD "must abolish policies and legislative provisions that allow or perpetrate forced treatment" : section 38 of the General Comment on Article 12 issued by the CRPD Committee in April 2014. .."


Hunter Watson's Petition on Scottish Parliament website 'PE01667: Review of mental health and incapacity legislation'

Mr Watson's Petition will be heard tomorrow, Thursday 21 March 2019 in Scottish Parliament:

link to Public Petitions Committee

Link to Scottish Parliament TV, for watching Public Petitions Committee live tomorrow 9.30am, David Livingstone Room (CR6)

'who is responsible for making sure the mental health act safeguards are safe?' 31Dec13

Email I sent to Dr Donny Lyons, Consultant Psychiatrist and CEO of Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, on Hogmanay 2013:


I got no response.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

risk of relapse dogma; mental illness mantra

Revisiting Risk of Relapse and Mental Illness or Biological Psychiatry, how the former backs up the latter, keeping a coercive, and at times abusive, system in place.  In my experience of engaging with psychiatry since 1978 it has been abusive, being coercively drugged with toxic chemicals, taking away my agency/independence, making me vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation. 

I've witnessed the same with family members who have engaged with psychiatry when experiencing psychosis, there were no other alternatives but hospital treatment, antipsychotics, forced in if resistant, for some of us (not me) shock treatment (ECT) against our will, in the earlier days when it was considered "therapeutic".  

I didn't know about my Mother's schizophrenia diagnosis until later on but was aware at age 14 that she didn't want to be a Murray Royal Hospital, Perth, inpatient when experiencing another nervous breakdown & resisted it; I didn't know about the forced shock treatment, "courses" of ECT.  It was Psychiatric Abuse or torture.

my Mum Anne c1963, photo taken by my Dad Willie Patterson at home in Perth

It wasn't just one shock treatment, rather a series of 5 or 7 or more; I cannot imagine what it was like; some mental patients I've heard got ECT without anaesthetic; that's definitely torture, no other word for it.  I also heard from a Senior Lecturer in MH Nursing at Dundee University that female patients at Stratheden Hospital in 1980's got ECT with their private parts uncovered.  I was horrified to hear this, told him to tell me no more because I thought of my Mother and what she might have had to go through when unconscious being shocked senseless.

Therefore the Risk of Relapse philosophy or dogma, in my opinion, is more about the risk of subsequent psychiatric inpatient treatment, more invasive procedures, increased quantities of neurotoxins coercively administered and more likely to lead to "lifelong mental illness" and discrimination in society due to the psychiatric labels and side effects of the prescribed drugs.  Agitation, shaking, staring eyes, being just some of the stigmatising visual effects of neurotoxins and which I have experienced myself when on Chlorpromazine and Risperidone.  But I was fortunate to get off these antipsychotics within a year of them being forced in.  However being put on maximum dose of Venlafaxine at the menopause led to 3 fractures on fibula, due to bone loss, and a 6in Titanium plate, March 2005.  This causes muscle issues on my left side.

I also have a bladder prolapse from August 2015 when I was experiencing another breakdown, physical and mental, after years of campaigning for justice, following locked seclusion room abuses Feb12 and singlehandedly caring for my son at home, no community MH support, we were abandoned by Social Work after I raised complaints.  I try to manage this by exercise although it will need some intervention, doesn't improve with age.  I particularly enjoy swimming and cycling, the latter isn't possible in winters at Springfield, so hoping to move soon to Dundee, easier to keep fit in the city, nearer pools, cycle paths, shops, social groups.

rare day cycling to Cupar in winter, 26Feb19, over 10deg
at Cupar Cross

after swim at Olympia Dundee 25Feb19, taking 2 buses from Springfield leaving 7.25am
at Eminent Monsters film premiere Glasgow Film Festival Theatre 3Mar19

I have a Schizoaffective Disorder Diagnosis/Label in my medical notes from when engaging with psychiatry in 2002-4, which I see as a justification for the coercive prescribed medication, drugging with a cocktail of neurotoxins: Risperidone, Venlafaxine, Lithium.  To recover I had to take charge of the drug tapering myself, so as to get back on with my life.  The 3 fractures on right fibula happened March 2005 at a job interview Cupar Library when only walking downstairs afterwards, accompanied by Librarian interviewers.  I didn't trip or fall, leg just gave way, I sat down, they called Paramedics and I was lifted out to Ambulance, for Ninewells Hospitals.  Started PT Library Assistant job in May 2005 when walking again, metal plate right fibula, foot swelling two sizes bigger in shoes.  By May 2006 I had a FT job at Adam Smith/Fife College, by 2008 another postgrad qualification, Stirling University, FT lecturing, self funded.

January 2008 I dived into Scotland's Mental Health world as a person with "lived experience", setting up voluntary organisation Peer Support Fife and Chrys Muirhead Associates websites, the former work developed while the latter didn't as I was quickly unsupported, marginalised, excluded, bullied for having an opinion and speaking out.  

Peer Support Fife 2008-12
Chrys Muirhead Associates website 2008-now

I count myself fortunate to be a psychiatric survivor, to have tapered the prescribed neurotoxins under my own strength and conviction, and to have inherited the fortitude of my Mother and the independent scepticism of my science fiction scriptwriter Father:

selfie by my Dad Willie Patterson
in Jeff Hawke 'Overlord'
Chips off the old block, with my son Daniel Muirhead:

New Year's Day walk 2019
An example of my Son's 3D modelling work:


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

on being a catalyst for positive change #mentalhealth #NHSFife

Tweeting this morning on walk to 94 bus at Springfield rail station at 7.30am, to Leuchars for 99 then a swim in the Olympia, Dundee:

Hollyview Ward, Stratheden Hospital, May 2016

My son Daniel and I together have brought about improvements to psychiatric treatment in Stratheden Hospital by our witness and campaigning actions:   

Express article Sunday 5 October 2014

It wasn't profitable, we got no official recognition, no medals or money.  I've been silenced and bullied for speaking out about the human rights abuses and it has impacted negatively on my physical health, a breakdown in July 2015 after the years of campaigning, resulting in a bladder prolapse.  But I feel fortunate, it could have been worse.  Since the end of 2015 we haven't had a car and this has been challenging, living in Springfield which is known as the Stratheden Hospital village, taking buses, carrying shopping.  We are aiming to move to Dundee, applying for sheltered council housing there, and our MSP Willie Rennie has offered to help.

I recently read in a Mental Welfare Commission Report about the new Hollyview £4.4m ward which replaced the old IPCU where my son was an inpatient in February 2012, that it has no seclusion room:

"Hollyview has a locked door policy in place. We were advised that there is no seclusion room, although there is a relaxation room should patients require individualised nursing and a higher level of observation. This room was not in use during our visit as it was being refurbished.
p3 Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland Report on unannounced visit to: Stratheden Hospital, Hollyview Ward, Cupar, Fife KY15 5RR; Date of visit: 23 January 2018

Our previous MSP Roderick Campbell told me that NHS Fife stopped using the locked seclusion room in the old IPCU at Stratheden after I won the Ombudsman case in September 2014.  It had no toilet, light or water, and my son had been locked in the dark for at least 4 overnights, unobserved, with a broken hand.  This cell had been in use for decades to "manage" patients.  I didn't know despite having engaged with the hospital since 1995 when my oldest son was an inpatient of Lomond Ward.

My youngest son has not been a psychiatric inpatient since discharge from Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, in April 2012.  We have received no community mental health support, only psychiatrist appointments for my son.  I have a Schizoaffective Disorder diagnosis in my medical notes from being a Stratheden inpatient for a week in March 2002 then an outpatient until about 2004/5 when I tapered the psychiatric medication (Risperidone, Venlafaxine, Lithium) and made a full recovery, getting back to PT library job in 2005 then a  FT college post by 2006, achieving another postgrad qualification in FE lecturing June 2008, to add to my community education diploma in 1998 at Northern College, Dundee.  

The 3 fractures on my right fibula March 2005 and 6in Titanium plate, most probably due to max doses of Venlafaxine at the menopause, did not prevent me getting back to paid work, driving, walking, in my 50's.  Although it causes me pain and muscle strain on my left side (pulled hamstring Sep16), which is why I swim most days, do lots of stretching, walking, cycling in better weather.  Carrying rucksack and shopping bags however can be stressful for my health conditions, putting strain on my back and prolapse.

I'm proud of my son's recovery from psychiatric abuse and living with a Bipolar mental health condition, also being prone to collapsed lungs, another operation in November 2017 which was very painful, requiring months of recuperation.  He's asthmatic, since we moved to Fife when he was 6 in 1990, to Dairsie Mains Farm, along the valley from Cupar Industrial Estate.  We are both looking forward to the move to city of Dundee where there will be more opportunities for study, paid and voluntary work, social engagements and keeping fit.  I was born and brought up in Perth, so will be closer to my roots in Tayside approaching 67yrs old, while Daniel's two older brothers live in Dundee, nearer for support.

Moving out of Fife will enable us to move on with our lives, leaving behind the negative memories of psychiatric treatment, the constant reminders when taking the 64 bus by Stratheden's old IPCU and new Hollyview Ward, which my son avoids.  Our names were on the Dundee City Council housing list from 2012 until 2016 when I forget to renew the application, my time taken up with swimming, recovery from the years of campaigning, adjusting to taking public transport, to getting by.  Glad to have survived.

this morning 8.26am in Dundee Overgate, on way to Olympia for a swim
this morning 10.57am, back in Cupar Bonnygate, 64 bus stop for Springfield

Sunday, 10 March 2019

brief film & book reviews: Alita, Captain Marvel, Woman in the Window

Some tweets about films I saw Thursday, Friday in Dundee Cineworld and DCA, and book I read mostly last night:



I'm trying to get into sci-fi films and comic books, the genre, since my Dad Willie Patterson made his living writing Jeff Hawke sci-fi comic strip for Sydney Jordan and the Daily Express 1956-69 (then didn't work again until his death in London 1986):

eulogy by Sydney Jordan on 1987 Titan Books Jeff Hawke Counsel for the Defence

link to Overlord on Amazon


me with my Dad 1953 Kingswell Terrace, Perth, Scotland

Mum & Dad August 1952, I was born a month later in PRI