Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Obfuscation: Hunter Watson Sep16 #MentalHealthAct #ScotGov #HumanRights

Here is an Email and 11 page Paper 'Obfuscation' September 2016, received this morning from Hunter Watson, mental health human rights campaigner, Aberdeen, Scotland, sent to Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Parliament:


Response from Dr Peter J Gordon:

"20th September 2016.

Dear Mr Watson,
Thank you for copying me into this communication and the attached paper which I have now read.

I do hope the Minister will do her very best to provide some clarity to the questions that you raise.

I think most that you circulated your paper to will be aware of my successful petition to the Scottish Parliament for a Sunshine Act (PE1493)which was closed after a public consultation. In a majority the public asked that payments from commercial enterprises to healthcare workers, researchers and academics are made available to the public and that this needs to be on a “Mandatory” basis.

I mention this, as I am of the view that it is a most important backdrop to your paper. In the cases you outline in your paper, psychotropic treatments have been given under the 2003 MH(S)A.

Sunshine Act Petition PE1493
As an NHS doctor working in Scotland I prescribe psychotropic medications as appropriately as I can trying to follow the evidence base.  I am quite certain that healthcare workers all want to help anybody who is suffering. I am also certain that no evidence base can ever be fully complete. However we will not know if we are potentially doing unwitting harm given the current level of commercial interests in NHS Scotland. If anybody is in doubt, have a look at the evidence collected for PE1493: https://holeousia.com/about-me/a-sunshine-act-for-scotland/

Given that current Scottish Guidance on this (HDL 62) has been ignored across Scotland for more than a decade it is reasonable to be significantly concerned about this. I understand that the Scottish Government are currently proceeding with this matter following the closure of my petition in March of this year.

I mentioned evidence. Before signing off, I just want to make a few reminders of  prescribing patterns in Scotland:

·        1 in 7 Scottish adults are now on antidepressants. Mostly taking them long-term it seems. Yet commercial interests only ever undertook short, 6 week studies. There is thus a lot of unknowns about long-term prescribing of antidepressants.

·        Each year, the prescribing of antipsychotics in Scotland, in all age groups, is rising. This concerns me very much. These medications have a role in reducing suffering but are also associated, most commonly with significant, and potentially life-shortening, side-effects.  Such use of antipsychotics in our elders has been very widely promoted by the pharmaceutical industry who developed the term “Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms in dementia” (BPSD). The industry then promoted this use by “educating” healthcare workers on “BPSD”. Today, healthcare workers are even more likely to be “educated” by commercial interests, and indeed, “Continuing medical Education” (CME) is a necessary part for doctor and nurse annual appraisal. The commercial sector are exploiting this professional requirement.

I hope this summary Mr Watson is of some help to you, and that the Minister may consider replying on the additional points I make.

We do need the help of the Scottish Government here to make sure we can achieve the best possible outcome when interventions are made whether willing or unwillingly.

Kind wishes

Dr Peter J Gordon
(writing in my own time)"

Saturday, 17 September 2016

online response to #MentalHealthStrategy 10yr vision 16Sep16

Here is my brief, quickly written, online response to Scotland's 10 year vision for Mental Health, their Strategy, submitted yesterday late afternoon.  After falling off bike near Cosla Edinburgh on Wednesday, sustaining a hamstring injury and bruising, having attended ScotGov MH Strategy Engagement event in Cosla, I didn't have time to make a full response.  Therefore I will write a document with more detail, expressing my hopes and commitment to action, in respect of Safe haven crisis Houses for people in psychosis and extreme emotional distress.  Alternatives to psychiatric inpatient treatment.  

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Prof Reeva Lederman 6Sep16 Glasgow: Moderated Online Social Therapy

I attended the Prof Reeva Lederman seminar at Western Infirmary, Glasgow, with a critical voice.  From the Psychiatric Survivor and Carer perspective, having experienced Psychosis on 3 occasions and being forcibly injected with antipsychotics in psychiatry hospitals.  Resisting mental illness diagnoses/labels and making a full recovery by tapering a cocktail of psychiatric meds/drugs in 2003/4.  With only a 6inch metal plate on the right fibula, bone loss, Venlafaxine, to show for it.  I'm fortunate.

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