No, it’s cool. I got your submission and it was brilliant - I’m saving submissions for the printed zine :) When the submit page is down that means you can’t even see it, so you’d know if there was a problem with it :)
so did you receive any of the stuff kids submitted?
People have been submitting via the ask feature. I think the ‘submit’ page has only been down since the tumblr redesign, but it’s quite odd - I keep enabling submissions and it keeps undoing that! Most annoyed. Perhaps I will contact tumblr.
Ok, so for some reason tumblr decided that it didn’t want people to be able to submit things to me. I’ve fixed that, and redesigned the page. From now on I will also be using image descriptions. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to start: honestly I’m worried about assigning gendered descriptions to images containing people, especially given that I’m a blog that is meant to be inclusive for people with so-called ‘gender identity disorder’. So, I’m going to tread carefully and, as ever, I am open to suggestions for improvement if I write something that upsets or offends you. I am here to learn.
Could I use rivotril for problems of concentrating?
From what I know of clonazepam it’s a benzodiazapene aka really addictive if you mess with that shit. Basically don’t fuck with prescription meds unless they’ve been prescribed by a medical professional - even then, do your research and question your doctor on their shit: don’t let them give you something you’re not comfortable with.
In general, I agree with this— and to add: There are responsible, non-destructive ways to deal with mental illnesses (or, minimally destructive). Many people (including me) have/had irresponsible, harmful, and destructive ways of coping that are detrimental to both themselves and those around them. Learning to live with mental illness is learning how to be responsible and minimally destructive. It’s a long, hard process— but I don’t blame people who walk away and can’t take it anymore. It’s a lot, and when we don’t responsibly take care of our illnesses, it becomes much, much more. We need to see what we can change and what we can’t, and work to change what we can to better ourselves and our relationships with others.
“For Baron-Cohen, psychopaths are just one population lacking in empathy. There are also narcissists, who care only about themselves, and borderlines — individuals cursed with impulsivity, an inability to control their anger and an extreme fear of abandonment. Baron-Cohen calls these three groups “Zero-Negative” because there is “nothing positive to recommend them” and they are “unequivocally bad for the sufferer and those around them.” He provides a thoughtful discussion of the usual sad tangle of bad genes and bad environments that lead to the creation of these Zero-Negative individuals.”—
WOW. Way to spread stigma NYT/Baron-Cohen. I think they were trying to say the disorders in themselves are not associated with anything positive (which I am highly skeptical of, because every disorder is correlated with so many things), but it came out really badly and seems like the individuals themselves have nothing positive to offer. This is simply not true.
It would be nice if we could move the dialogue about mental illness away from ‘how do we get rid of it?’ to ‘how do we create a societal framework that helps and allows people with personality disorders to be who they are?’ Does that make any sense?
Also, really not cool with being told, even indirectly, that I should feel bad for the people that have to ‘put up’ with me. That’s like saying I ought to feel guilty for my illness. Fuck you.
even though i only deal with mild anxiety and depression, i hear this. supportive people saying, “just get over it, you always get like this” or “why do you stress yourself out so much?” being made to feel like you’re the problem often feels worse than the feelings of anxiety and depression in the first place. and then trying to tell someone this, through tears? getting yelled at, saying “i’m just trying to help! god, what’s wrong with you?” how many times have people who struggle with depression been in that situation? where you’re made to hate yourself?
and you wonder, what is worse? struggling with mental health issues, or living in a world where people with mental health issues are portrayed as what’s wrong, not the world that offers very little affordable and accessible help or support, let alone understanding. where our friends, families and peers don’t have the frameworks to try and understand and be more supportive of these kinds of issues. where people with mental health issues or illnesses risk losing their jobs if they tell their workplace about it. where young women dealing with mental health issues are dismissed by their peers and sometimes health care providers, being told they’re just “overly emotional.”
i write this as i try to leave my house and go to work today, and feel glued to the floor. all i want is to take a mental health day. but i don’t have any when i am not on payroll, but being paid by honorariums, part-time.
I don’t have much to add except yes.
And the fear of people “putting up” with me is a huge contributor to my poor self worth, anxiety and depression.
British actor and comedian Stephen Fry says his depression may one day lead him to commit suicide and that bipolar disorder should not be dismissed as a “celebrity designer accessory”.
Fry, 53, has long spoken publicly about his battle with cyclothymic disorder, a form of bipolar disorder, including in his documentary series Secret Life of The Manic Depressive.
In an interview aired in Britain, Fry expressed his frustration that his condition was sometimes described as “bipolar light”.
“It’s a morbid condition and any doctor will tell you it’s one of the most serious morbid conditions at present in Britain,” he told the Sky Arts interview program
In Confidence. “The fact that I’m lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean I won’t one day kill myself. I may well.” He joked that many people do not talk about their mental health issues, in the same way no one would show off a case of genital warts. “We’ll take your word that you’ve got them, but must you really show them to anybody? “Similarly with my mental disorders, why would anybody want to see [them]?” But he said it was worth speaking out for the sake of others who might turn to alcohol and drugs to control their moods. “I know how easy it is to think that it must be a celebrity designer accessory problem, in the same way that homosexuality is seen as one because only people like me talk about it. “Naturally someone who works in an office is not going to talk about their mental instability because they’ll either get teased bullied or fired. “That’s the problem with it, the stigma of it is enormous.” In excerpts of the interview published in The Daily Mail, Fry also spoke about the “exhausting” demands of fame. “You resort to not travelling on the Tube or walking round the street any more and going in a big car with a driver. “And people think, ‘Oh, he thinks he’s so grand, doesn’t he?’ Well, no. I’d rather walk, but sometimes I just can’t. “I feel I would love to close down for a number of years in some way and just be in the country making pork pies and chutneys and never have to poke my head out of the parapet.”
I agree— I wasn’t told when I was given a personality disorder NOS dx — later, when it was apparent that no, that was a misdiagnosis, i’m actually bipolar I— well— yeah. i wish i had been told up front. it’s wrong.
Thanks for your opinion - I think there’s more to be gained from sharing your diagnosis with the person concerned than by hiding it. For one thing, it doesn’t foster a very healthy therapeutic relationship!
I had the first chance to review some of my medical records today--ones that were sent to my public defender in support of me getting a 'better' plea bargain. I saw my diagnosis of bipolar, along with the type (mixed) and under Axis II I also learned that I was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder some months ago. Am I over-reacting or is it a bit unprofessional/slightly odd to not tell a patient about their diagnosis, even if it is secondary? I'm very much in the 'learn as much about what's wrong with you as you can' camp. Just wondered what your take on this was. You can answer publicly. :)
Yeah, that’s really not cool in my book. I personally feel that it’s best to have an open and honest dialogue with your patient / client - especially where not doing so would mean labelling them without their knowledge. You can certainly see why so many mentally ill service users / survivors of the mental healthcare system feel disempowered by the whole diagnostic and treatment process. However, then again, I have no clinical experience in this matter. I’ll open this up to followers: what do you think?
“The anxiety, I told myself, was a sign of improvement; at least it wasn’t despair. But in some ways it was worse. It was like being locked in an airtight box, about to run out of oxygen. Impossible at those moments to sit still, impossible to complete a task, impossible to do anything but get outside and walk, for miles, trying to outrace it. It was like a crazy itch, way down under my skin, and I never knew when it would attack.”—Tracy Thompson
Overcrowded and understaffed psychiatric wards are leaving patients fearful for their safety and unable to make proper recoveries, according to a damning assessment of Britain’s mental health service by its lead professional body.
Professor Dinesh Bhugra, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, told the Guardian that widespread failures in inpatient care for mentally ill people meant many hospital wards did not meet acceptable standards and discharged back into society sick people who remained a risk to themselves and others.
Bhugra blamed the problem partly on a “dangerous vacuum” created because British doctors are not training as psychiatrists, while visa restrictions mean doctors from abroad can no longer fill the gap.
"Society will be overwhelmed by the demand of those in need if government doesn’t act now," he said in an interview.
A survey by the royal college found that 544 consultants’ posts in the UK – 14% of the total – are either unfilled or filled by a locum. In addition, 209 consultants intend to retire or resign soon, a situation exacerbated by the government’s cap on immigration from outside the EU.
"This is a huge, a massive problem," said Bhugra. "We will be left with a dangerous vacuum of help for people with mental health disorders or will be forced to get special dispensation from the government to recruit heavily from countries who can ill afford to lose their mental health professionals."
His warnings are supported by a study to be published next week in which the royal college describes how about half of patients – mostly women – report feeling unsafe in many of worst-performing hospital trusts. The report also says:
• Average bed occupancy rates in English inpatient units are much higher than the 85% standard, with some wards running at 120% occupancy.
• Access to psychological therapies falls far short of acceptable standards recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and other health bodies.
• Daily one-to-one contact with nursing staff is less than that accepted as being conducive to recovery.
• Outreach links into the community are insufficient in two-thirds of the wards inspected by the royal college’s centre for quality improvement.
Bhugra said the failure of wards on the 85% bed occupancy rate was particularly troubling. The report reveals that more than half of all adult general wards run at more than 100% occupancy, with 16% meeting the required target. Just 21% of acute wards meet the 85% target.
"Very high bed occupancy militates against quality and safety of inpatient care," Bhugra said. "It is a main driver of inpatient care standards. [High bed occupancy] can result in patients becoming more distressed and unwell, and likely to need more longterm care.
"Given the continued reduction in bed numbers and increased community care over the past decade, inpatient units have become places for crisis stabilisation and are likely to admit only those individuals who are the most disturbed, distressed or unwell. For such people especially, as they are unable to make the choice to leave, the ward is their home."
The report also reveals that wards are failing to provide separate sleeping and toilet facilities for men and women, despite gender-segregated accommodation having been government policy for a decade. Just 85% of wards have segregated sleeping accommodation and less than 60% have separate lounges. “This remains an intractable problem,” said Bhugra.
Several dozen psychiatric patients take their own lives while in NHS care every year. Mental health charities such as Rethink claim this shows that care needs to be improved and staffing levels boosted.
Rethink spokeswoman Rachel Whitehead said: “Psychiatric wards are not a therapeutic environment. Many people tell us they don’t feel safe there and they are not getting access to the support and therapy they need. Supervision is also a problem, largely due to overstretched staff and wards which are over their occupancy levels.”
Another research paper by the college, to be published next month, shows that the number of medical graduates who accepted an offer of psychiatry training posts in England and Wales fell from 184 in 2009 to 158 in 2010. Bhugra said “dangerously few” doctors train as psychiatrists because the specialism suffers from a poor reputation compared with other medical disciplines. “It is wrongly seen as less scientific,” he said.
Professor Peter Jones, head of the neuroscience department at Cambridge University, admitted the lack of psychiatry applications was a “terrible state of affairs”. He said the formation of specialist mental health trusts had made psychiatry “seem more remote from mainstream medicine”. He also said stigma “is a huge problem for people with mental health disorders and trickles into professional lives.”
Wards are also failing to provide structured therapeutic activities, the royal college report finds, with 35% of patients complaining of too little to do during weekdays, rising to 54% in the evenings and at weekends.
Bhugra said: “The value [of this] cannot be overestimated. A lack of regular activities can lead to boredom, frustration and inactivity, which not only impede recovery but also can instigate unsafe, violent and erratic behaviour. Inpatients may be experiencing paranoia, be easily over-stimulated and sometimes frightened and disorientated.”
Bhugra criticised wards for falling short in standards of security, risk management, violence prevention and management, medicines and confidentiality.
The report highlights evidence revealing that in the worst-performing 20% of trusts, only 50-60% of patients said they felt safe. Overall, less than 45% said they “always” felt safe.
"The Care Quality Commission has found that unnecessary and excessive restrictions, and security measures are sometimes imposed on detained patients," said Bhugra. "Undue restrictions on a patient’s autonomy compromise their personal dignity and rights as an individual. Such excessive restrictions are upsetting for the patient and can delay recovery.
"Safety and risk policies are in place to aid patient recovery. Unnecessary bureaucracy and rules can not only hamper a patient’s recovery but possibly exacerbate their mental illness. Whether a person is detained or voluntarily admitted to hospital, general ethical standards that are adhered to in the community should, wherever possible, apply on the ward."
The report found just 52% of patients claimed to have “supportive”, one-to-one meetings with staff for at least 15 minutes every day. In 20% of the worst-performing trusts, as few as 50% of patients felt they were given enough time with a psychiatrist and even fewer said they were given enough time with a nurse. Bhugra said every patient should have a one-to-one session with a relevant staff member once a day.
Bhugra also admitted deep worries about the drop in British medical graduates going on to train as psychiatrists. He said that government’s cap on immigration from outside the European Union will make the problem much worse.
The Royal College’s survey reported that 544 consultants posts in the UK are either unfilled or filled by a locum: 14% of all posts. In addtion, there are 209 consultants who intend to retire or resign in a short time.
"This is a huge, a massive problem," he said. "We will be left with a dangerous vacuum of help for people with mental health disorders or will be forced to get special dispensation from the government to recruit heavily from countries who can ill-affod to lose their mental health professionals."
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Mental health is a cross-government priority. We published No Health Without Mental Health, our cross-government mental health outcomes strategy, to drive up standards in services and improve the nation’s mental health. The strategy makes clear that mental health services should be just as important as physical health services such as those for cancer and heart disease.
"We have supported the Royal Colleges of GPs and Psychiatrists to develop advice and support for commissioning consortia to commission effective mental health services. The strategy emphasises the importance of improving quality and productivity across the system, while making efficiency savings that can be reinvested in the service to deliver quality improvements.
"In addition, we will invest around £400m over four years in psychological therapies for those who need them in all parts of England, expanding provision for the entire population."
so my mom got denied medicaid and financial aid through the state of new hampshire because she’s not, and i quote, ‘sick enough.’ she can’t work because her medication and treatments make her sick and mess with her head but they insist that she’s perfectly capable of finding another job.
my mom works for a school, you think the state would be a little more in favor of her due to her profession and degree.
she’s dying, we’re without any means of transportation and losing our house and all you can say is that she isn’t sick enough to receive help? that’s absolutely disgusting but you’ll help the 18 year old drug addicts and provide housing and money for them.
reblog, pass the word or something. anything will help; kind thoughts will even do. i’m not asking for a lot.
I’m really sorry that this is happening to you, and I hope this reblog serves as some kind of signal boost, because I have a lot of followers - I just can’t get behind maligning those with substance abuse problems. My thoughts are with you and our mother.
James Verone says he has no medical insurance. He has a growth of some sort on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot. He is 59 years old and with no job and a depleted bank account. He thought jail was the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head. Verone is hoping for a three-year sentence.
Given that I’m stuck at my folks’ house ill and contagious with chickenpox, I think I’m going to take this time to get back to work on the printed zine. Excited! I am still taking submissions on any aspect of mental illness or wellness: would you like to share your experiences? do you have advice or words of support for people who may be going through something similar? what do you do to ensure mental wellbeing? I’d love to hear from you!
A Conservative MP has suggested “vulnerable” jobseekers - including disabled people - should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage.
Backbencher Philip Davies said the £5.93-an-hour legal minimum may be a “hindrance” to some jobseekers.
Firms were likely to favour other candidates and MPs should not “stand in the way” of those who wanted to work for less to get on the “jobs ladder”.
But mental health charity Mind said it was a “preposterous suggestion”.
Mr Davies, the MP for Shipley, made the comments during a debate in the Commons over the minimum wage and employment opportunities.
The minimum wage is currently £5.93 an hour for those over 21, £4.92 for those aged between 18 and 20 and £3.64 for 16 and 17 year olds.
'Less of a risk'
The MP claimed the most vulnerable, including those with learning disabilities and mental health problems, were disadvantaged in their search for work because they had to compete with candidates without disabilities and could not offer to accept lower pay.
They were desperate to work but continually found the “door was being closed in their face”.
He said he had talked to people with mental health problems during a visit to a surgery run by the charity Mind, and they had “accepted” that they would be passed over in favour of jobseekers without disabilities.
It would set the cause of equality for disabled people back sometime to the middle of the last century”
Dame Anne BeggLabour MP
"Given some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, cannot be as productive in their work as somebody who has not got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable given the employer was going to have to pay them both the same they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk," he said.
He continued: “My view is that for some people, the national minimum wage may be more of a hindrance than a help.
"If those people who consider it is being a hindrance to them, and in my view that’s some of the most vulnerable people in society, if they feel that for a short period of time, taking a lower rate of pay to help them get on their first rung of the jobs ladder, if they judge that that is a good thing, I don’t see why we should be standing in their way."
Mr Davies was challenged over his remarks by fellow Tory MP Edward Leigh who told him: “Forget the fact there is a minimum wage for a moment. Why actually should a disabled person work for less than £5.93 an hour. It is not a lot of money, is it?”
Mr Davies replied that, irrespective of whether it was “right or wrong”, that was “just the real world that we operate in”.
He later told the BBC Radio 4’s PM that the minimum wage had benefited a lot of people and he was not suggesting that vulnerable people should work for less than the legal minimum.
But he believed they should have the opportunity to do so, should they wish, for a short term to ensure they had time in the workplace “to prove themselves”.
But Mind spokesman Sophie Corlett said: “It is a preposterous suggestion that someone who has a mental health problem should be prepared to accept less than minimum wage to get their foot in the door with an employer.
"People with mental health problems should not be considered a source of cheap labour and should be paid appropriately for the jobs they do."
She said employers should be educated about mental health problems, adding that more than 50% of people with mental health problems lived on weekly household income of less than £200.
A Conservative Party spokesman told the BBC: “These comments do not reflect the views of the Conservative Party and do not reflect government policy”.
Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, chairman of the work and pensions committee, said more needed to be done to remove the barriers facing disabled people in the workplace but the MP’s arguments were “unfair and wrong”.
"To say that all disabled people should be excluded from the coverage of the minimum wage … would be discriminatory against disabled people. It would set the cause of equality for disabled people back sometime to the middle of the last century."
That’s an interesting list. I’m actually compiling a list myself for the printed zine. Any suggestions are more than welcome! Just try to take as a guiding principle that whatever you’re replacing to perhaps avoid ableism against the mentally ill shouldn’t, in doing so, be offensive to the learning disabled or physically disabled. It’s about finding neutral alternatives! It’s a constant process of checking yourself. I still mess up sometimes; we all do.