Saturday, 28 September 2019

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

from isolation to insulation

Yesterday, walking down Strips of Craigie Road, Dundee, on the way to Broughty Ferry by the River Tay:

I was remembering the isolation and loneliness I felt in 2015 when breaking down physically and mentally after years of caring and campaigning for justice, following the systematic abuse of my son in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital, February 2012.  Abuse by the system because of "mental illness" and attempts made to blame the Mother/me in Notes and Reports.  

To where I am now, in some sense insulated and at peace even though there was no justice and I'm still waiting for a move to Dundee.  The main aim just now is to keep fit, swim most days then walk a few miles in Dundee.  So there isn't much time for writing and I like to be creatively crafty when returning to Springfield, knitting socks or other items, stitching trim on shorts, baking as the nights draw in.   Homemaking.

Some photos from yesterday's Ferry walk:

Saturday, 21 September 2019


I was speaking to the Director of a large organisation in Dundee a few weeks ago, had met him in the 1990's when he was a Community Education Worker in Whitfield and I was a postgrad CommEd student at Northern College, on placement at the Learning Centre.

We chatted a while about this and that, then I mentioned the psychiatric abuse at Stratheden Hospital, the locked seclusion room in use for decades and the human rights issues, to which he responed "too much information", patted me on the back and moved on.

I suppose it's similar to the Life isn't Fair comment from the Professor of Clinical Psychology and the banishment from the Glasgow Mental Health & Wellbeing Unit in 2017 for telling the truth, speaking out about psychiatric abuse and other matters that happened, as honestly as possible, the nitty gritty.  I think people/men in high positions prefer diplomacy and tact rather than the bare facts of abusive psychiatric treatment, unvarnished by "mental illness" mantras and single track vignettes of how coercive toxic drugging saved their lives.

Tough.  I have to say it how it is and was even if it offends the ears of highly paid male professionals.


walking through Baxter Park Dundee 5Sep19

Video taken at Swanny Pond, Stobsmuir Park Dundee on 5 September 2019:

Friday, 20 September 2019

no more researching Stratheden psychiatric Hospital; a thankless, costly task

Stratheden Hospital blog [28Jul12-10Dec16]

 Tweets from this morning:


"My recent FOI request about Lomond Ward which took twice the time it should have gave me no information about when it was built, by whom etc"

I visited Fife Archives at Bankhead Central Park, Glenrothes, on 9 July, to research information about Stratheden Hospital, and although it was interesting and I could easily spend many hours looking through records, minutes, photos and other media, it's not really what I want to do in the future.  The period of time I'm most interested in, 1970's-1990's, isn't represented in the Fife Archives managed by Fife Cultural Trust, and NHS Fife doesn't have archive material, according to an FOI request response about Lomond Ward, Stratheden, received on 30 August.

I would have liked to find out what led to the dehumanising treatment of psychiatric patients in Stratheden Hospital but I think the answer will lie in the stories from patients and Nurses, especially those who suffered ill treatment and those who witnessed it as paid workers.  I've heard some of the stories since speaking out myself after whistleblowing about the 2012 locked seclusion abuses, from former patients and Nurses.  I just don't have the resources to pursue this any further.  

There's no justice after psychiatric abuse.  In my case Fife Health Board benefitted financially, £4.4m from ScotGov to build new IPCU Hollyview Ward, while I got poorer even though "winning" an apology from NHS Fife after Ombudsman declared "unreasonable treatment".  It was human rights abuse, locked in a cell with no toilet, light or water, for hours on end, unobserved, prone to collapsed lungs, asthmatic, restrained face down and forcibly internally invaded.  [like Mother like son, I was forcibly internally examined in Hartwoodhill mental hospital one week after my son was born November 1984 then forcibly injected with toxic chemical Chlorpromazine]


Perth with son Daniel 7Sep19

28Sep14 with son Daniel on Edinburgh Royal Mile
me! [photo taken by my Dad]

too honest?

Recently a friend said to me "sometimes you can be too honest".  Maybe they had a point. However when you set off down a path of telling the truth about psychiatric abuse and dehumanising treatment, and everything that goes with it, then the die is cast.  

That doesn't mean you have to speak out honestly about everything and anything in day-to-day life but when it's to do with mental health matters and abuse of family then only the truth will do.  Poor but honest was my response the next day.  It's costly exposing human rights abuses in psychiatric settings.

today after swim at Olympia, heading for city centre
earrings I made recently 18Sep after purchases at Hobbycraft Dundee

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