The other side of me…ntal health & drugs.

Much has been made of depression, Bipolar and the importance of treatment recently. I have much personal and professional experience and want to add one more little sideways shout to the issue.

I have had people I called friends commit suicide, and others just die…
I wish the formula was as simple as Cognitive Behavioural therapy for some, drugs for others and it should all be OK… The drugs are clumsy, the therapy very variable.
I am one of the lucky ones – a combination of careful drug management and long term psychotherapy from the third (private) therapist I tried, got me to the happy and sustainable drug free person you are reading today.
For a few lucky others with bipolar I know this path has also been followed – but for many more the drug treatments appear to be a permanent requirement, while others gain little from psychotherapy.

The group who receive least loving attention are those labelled “Schizophrenic” – in the public’s eyes, “The really scary ones”.
The figures for murders by Schizophrenics, by the way, are no higher than murders by “Rugby players” (- for example)
bipolar v schizo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trouble with labelling is illustrated above.
The harsh facts are that we create these names for people who think differently to the norm, and then treat the intricacies of these most special human beings with a toolkit straight out of a road labourer’s van.
Some of them work – you really can bang in a screw with a lump hammer if you try. But the long term prognosis for people with the Schizophrenia diagnosis is an odd one…

I cannot show you evidenced research on premature deaths of Schizophrenics.
Sure there are records of the suicides, but there is a more worrying reason that I cannot confirm whether my anecdotal experience of people dying prematurely after being on long term psychotropic medication is true, or not…
To put it simply, no one, especially not the drug companies, wants to find out if drug treatments might actually be killing people with Schizophrenia. So no one is going to do this research, ever.

To put in my observations from working in the field out there – besides the suicides (many of which were by people who were on drug therapies) there were a remarkable number of people I came across dying in their late 40s or 50s of heart attacks, and some people of all ages dying of “unexplained adult death syndrome” – (which means the autopsy discovered no cause).

I cannot offer a happy solution – taking people with that label off their medication would almost certainly be a disaster causing more deaths and misery. I just want to see development of better drugs, and better talking therapies – given to people whose label is not helpful to treating that person as a complex human being.

One should note that, adjusting for population, the total number of people in the USA diagnosed with either Bipolar(1) or Schizophrenia, is about the same as in the UK.
however, in the UK the proportion diagnosed with bipolar is way smaller, while in America the number of Schizophrenia diagnoses is exactly proportionally, way smaller…

No one wants a label – but I have been mislabeled in the past – had to fight to get it changed on medical records. It illustrates how easy it is to get the wrong label fixed to you and forever you are looked at in “that certain way” .

I once gave a talk with my friend, Nick, who was a leading Psychiatric nurse, to a group of Voluntary sector workers working for groups such as MIND, the MD Fellowship (as was) and many more.
He told us of someone in a midlands hospital they had cured of schizophrenia…in 2 weeks.
An excited member of the audience leant forward saying, “This, I just have to know about!”
“Yup”, Nick said, “The consultant had seen this florid and aggressive older man, given him a diagnosis of schizophrenia and put him on the ward”.
(more leaning forwards)
“We gave him some new batteries for his hearing aids, and three square meals a day and in two weeks he was entirely sane”.

My point being, the deeper you look into this system of mental health and treatment, the more you realise how it is not simple, not something the tabloids can have a five day jamboree over and dismiss… it is as complex as the people affected…
Compassion and understanding, of the kind that Jayne Zito showed in setting up her foundation are what we need a lot more of…
Typical tabloid coverage – much less.

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Fame, depression and death of a hero.

I read a lot of people implying something along the lines of “If I’d been Robin Williams I’d have just been happy to have made it”.

CW, CBS And Showtime 2013 Summer TCA Party - ArrivalsThere are still so many, so confused about fame, about the nature of depression, and about why we get so upset when someone we don’t know at all, not only dies – but chooses to leave us all.

I feel a huge sadness over Robin Williams’ death, and also, a touch of anger that his demons got the better of him and deprived his wife and young children of his compassion and humour in such a devastating way.

The facts remain:
Depression can be in anyone’s life – it touches most.
Fame is not a good goal to be pursued – it will never bring happiness.
Suicide is to be talked about in wise ways – not the way the shitty media cover, this and mass shootings… as a mawkish grief-spreading cancerous feeding frenzy.

Being misunderstood is a part of any life where you express a view in public.
No matter how carefully we choose our words, no matter if people we trust express their deep understanding of what we are saying, and therefore how we feel, they can at best only scratch at a temporary surface.
Those who we do not know, but who read our material, can build amazingly false pictures of who we are – and in turn publicly cement a false version of us in their public’s eye. It has happened to me often on a very minor scale, abusive tweet replies sometimes resulting from a complete misreading of a text apparently well understood by others.
Do you see the fame catch here?
Thousands of people on social media are asking, “Why?” as if they had some understanding of what it was like to be Robin Williams.
No one could ever know, but perhaps it involved the following:

Going home from a stand up gig that went incredibly well, but now there’s no way and nowhere for that buzz to be sustained. You are alone, and you know that none of those people who applauded have any idea who you are or how you feel.
You have been told you have an illness called depression, but when it is at its worst, it lies to you about being a permanent inescapable hell. It is a very good liar, it uses the most honest part of YOU to lie to yourself. It can do this right after your greatest high…

The lies we tell ourselves when we are young often include the one about fame, “I will make a name for myself! – be recognised”.
Whereas those who have made it as movie stars generally dread being “recognised”.
Why do you think that contradiction arises?
The cliché is that you are looking for the love from the world that you didn’t get as a small child. This cliché carries a lot of weight.

You cannot get love from strangers, and the illusion of their love can make you feel less loved than ever…
Only the love of self that incorporates an understanding of your whole self – and the unconditional love of another is critical to that – can be satisfying.

The tragedy for the public who feel something they describe as love for the famous who made us laugh and enjoy ourselves so much, is that we do have a genuine loss, it is a small bereavement. I feel it now.
The wise teachers I had as psychotherapists taught me a lot about this. That no matter how much we may feel we have “got our act together”, or become some kind of top class Zen student, these deaths of the famous can still kick us in the teeth.
My long term therapist, Jeremy Hazel, was learning his trade when George VI died. His teachers noted that nearly every client, Republican, Royalist, orphan or otherwise, reacted as if they had been bereaved of a father.

We should take note of this with regard to how we will be in the UK when the Queen dies.
Just as we note why and how we feel, as the King of Comedy has died.

 

 

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Rape – a law to be eliminated.

I have tried, over 10 years – and despite some verbal support from enlightened criminal lawyers and a couple of MPs, this last attempt failed.
Law commission appeal on rape law

I am getting too old now – but the cause remains true…
Someone else needs to grasp this issue and stop the system from abusing victims of sexual assault three times over, via…
1. Process abuse of victim
2. Failure to prosecute
3. Failure to convict those brought to court due to law being WRONG

Please read, and if you agree, spread it wider.
Thank you.

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The social democrat idealist’s dilemma

Despite the mini-kerfuffle over Cameron choosing some women cabinet members to decorate his dying brand, and wisely removing the GreasyGove, (thus gaining, maybe 25, votes from tory teachers) – it is patently clear that this Tory led “coalition of the corrupting” has to be buried at the next election.

Unfortunately, my vote cannot go whereed-miliband
perhaps you would think it should…
The two Eds’ backgrounds as privileged political  twonks, things like this picture, and THIS and THIS and so much more, convince me that the Labour party will never again be an agent of positive change – just a seeker of power and membership of the establishment.

If you are thinking of voting Labour in 2015,  can you put your hand on your heart and say it is because you think that Labour has vastly improved on its pink Conservatism and war-mongering of Tony Blair? -
Or is it a vote from habit? – a belief that the party which brought in true democratic institutions, and brave positive actions, after the disaster of WW2, may actually return to its root beliefs in equality and social justice?
It is now a plastic imitation bush, not a thriving tree with roots.

There is one party that does appear to hold true to those principles – and unlike the 3 “main” parties, it does not have unwritten drivers based on, “Trying to help my mates for the next 4 years”.
The Green party is founded on the idea of doing the work that might allow our great grandchildren to live in a better world.
This actually involves some solid socialist principles – the very ones abandoned by 90% (bless Dennis Skinner & Paul Flynn) of the parliamentary Labour party.
It also involves some aspects, in terms of reactions to their policies, that may mean not winning an election, – such as the generally under-educated and short sighted selfishness of the Tabloid reading public…
but what choice do we have?

Would we of the left really vote for the lesser of two patent evils because we believe they may make life better in the long run? That they can not only change back but also magically overcome the heavy hand of the establishment and its puppet tory media? Or do we vote for something that we can actually believe in, that doesn’t leave us smelling of shameless compromise and the very shortsighted grab for power that we wish our political elite would abandon…?
Challenge the Greens on their policies and beliefs by all means,  I want to see them held to account. They are going to have a hell of a job breaking down establishment resistance to long term thinking so need heavy discussion and engagement from all as to how to achieve this… but don’t say there is no alternative to the Labour party,
…it has become a comfy bed of quicksand for the self-serving middle class wannabes.
When it comes to that den of defunct dragons, I’m out.

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That Mail apology to Clooney in full…

clooney

Hey George,
We’re sorry, OK?
Sorry that we stitched you up, and yes, you are right, we are the “Worst kind of Tabloid”

But you really want us to apologise in FULL for what we have done? – OK, here goes…

We have a long history you know – long before we were a Tabloid we were on that difficult side of the establishment that supported Herr Hitler – indeed our owner counted him as his personal hero…right up until 1939. But perhaps this now looks too obvious a channel of criticism given that it is historic and it would have been very different if Hitler had been a paedophile, (slobber, sweat, stamp, shout) instead of just loving children.

More recently our agenda has included publishing material reflecting how we regard people like you, the celebrity class, as fodder…or rather, annoying fair game, but only a small part of our racist, misanthropic, misogynistic, hypocritical, deceit-laden, fear-playing, message distorting, Dacre-”soul” reflecting, daily output.

For this daily behaviour we apologise, unreservedly.
Knowing full well that the judgemental god we are taught to believe in by our, King of the Hypocrites, Group CEO, has already condemned every last one of our editors to eternal damnation. He always called them “cunts” and they have long endeavoured to live up to this demeaning curse.

You, of course, represent the worst kind of celebrity as far as we are concerned – an intelligent, left leaning liberal, trying to make the world a “better place” (Yuk!) – and what’s worse, someone with considerable power over the female readership we are trying hard to turn into self-hating consumption machines. You may make people sit up and take notice of our shameful behaviour towards humanity. This is why we had to try and undermine you by whatever methods suited our canon.

For this we are genuinely and deeply sorry. We feared that it may actually affect the only goal of our management:- profits, but it seems that the public are possibly even more stupid than our past, lower, sales figures suggest, so perhaps this was a needless worry.

So we are really sorry
that we can’t discover that you are a paedophile.
Really, really, sorry, and we hope you accept this fuller apology and leave the country soon,

Hahaaaaaa – of course not, it will just raise sales again!
do your worst, we are unaccountable and you can Hack off,
you liberal twat!

oops – Ed. 

 

 

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A formal complaint to the BBC

Complaint-DepartmentAgain on the Andrew Marr Show – on the 1st June.
Enough is enough.
So I decided to make a formal complaint to the BBC:-

“…it isn’t just ONE incident – you have given the MPless, spineless bigot refugee from the Tories, more coverage than the Green party have received in a decade. I had hoped that following the Euro elections you would cease to be his party promotional machine but it goes on…
STOP
Interviewing Nigel Farage.
and let’s have Caroline Lucas or Natalie Bennett on, talking about the politics of world disaster that your squabble focused tittle tattle enhancing hacks seem to think is unimportant compared to the Little Britain, rally-the-bigots agenda.

MPs constantly vote down the “popular death penalty majority” – basically the same crowd who want to ban all immigrants and refuse to listen to education and information.  Now, stop building these morons up like they were important, or a majority. They are not.

Educate inform and entertain them with some world truths outside the Westminster bubble of 4 year selfish blindness.”

You can make a complaint that has to be recorded – online at BBC.co.uk/complaints or via the phone line  03700 100 222.

Fight back against Stupidity bias at the BBC.

 

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A Litmus test to use on friends & acquaintances

farage-TatchellThe question is this:
What is your reaction to these two people?

and then 3 basic sub questions:

1. How much do you know about what each of them has done in the field of politics and what each holds as beliefs?

2. How much have you seen either of these people in the media, and what do you believe this implies about the media you imbibe?

3. Are appearances (clothing, approachability, “attractiveness”, apparent sexuality etc.) more or less important to you than what views erstwhile leaders represent?

I confess to having met one and not the other, and given that my views are those of the intelligent liberal humanitarian base, it’s no surprise to know I sought out Tatchell’s company over Farage. (and always will)
I also confess to at one time distrusting Tatchell, I felt he was being too uncompromising and radical for the good of the labour party.

That was a long while ago, and I was wrong. Peter has now adopted Green politics, as have I, and I see his radical intent for what it is, a heartfelt commitment to right and proper thinking. As opposed to Farage’s commitment to selfish right wing garbage.

So if you find that you cannot warm to Peter Tatchell, but are reading this blog because you have fairly liberal ideas, maybe you should wonder why? – was it his attempts to get Mugabe arrested (that led to him being beaten up)? his attempts to stand up for equality in an Eastern Europe obsessed with homophobia? (that led to him being beaten up) or merely his out gay personality? (which led to a silent rejection by many in the Labour party back in the 80s…)
And if you have a wafer thin mint of grudging respect for Nigel Farage as a politician “different from the mainstream” – then please – drown yourself in beer and burn down a rainforest, because underneath that traditional smarmy veneer, that’s what he is all about…

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The death penalty is next, then the poor house.

nooseIt’s rare that I get so fed up with the shallow approach of the BBC news service to the extent that I turn off Radio 4, but hearing this UKIP-laden juvenalia has done it.

Labour are doing the post election media rounds, busily defending Ed Miliband and his adenoidal weather vane checking. The Tories remain supremely loyal to the distraction based manipulation of the rich and their short term selfishness agenda. The Lib Dems’ one decent message – that Europe is a good thing, successfully created to prevent the repeat of 2 world wars, – is rejected, and the Greens are ignored because they want to save the planet rather than next year’s wage increases.

This is disastrous.

The media appears to be owned by this short term selfish establishment ground (not those mythologised, hard-working families in the squeezed middle) and no politician is ready to stand up and shout, “European free movement is a good thing”.
I will.

European free movement is a good thing.
Good for British people,
good for our economy, and
good for Europe’s and the world’s human population, no matter what the apparent short term costs.

Politicians who stand up to the UKIP fascist tendency will be standing up to the same “Hard working families” who want to reintroduce the death penalty.

The death penalty is a bad thing.
Here is something that politicians do say, and agree on. Every time it comes up for a renewed debate due to some private member bowing to the”hard working people’s” shallow thinking (70% of UK public want to see it reintroduced), it gets rejected following rational debate.

Spineless, mega-wealthy-Tory owned, fear-pandering media, I am used to. To counter this we must have a BBC that does NOT bow to the misanthropic agenda. Rational debate does not require daily revisiting of flat earth arguments.
BBC producers and journalists need to find a backbone here, not continue to pretend that a populist fear-based nonsense debate deserves more airtime than a serious, world-threatening climate change, mass extinction, future of mankind agenda. This is not about pandas and snow leopards, it is about the future progress of all life on this planet.

I may not be able to persuade the majority of voting British public to grasp the need for intelligent debate on our great grandchildren’s future, but at least I can shout at our precious BBC not to stoop so low. So low as to actually feed this pathetic thinking that, getting out of Europe, stopping immigration and returning to the Daily Mail’s hallowed “good” old days of death penalty, poor-house barbarism, is even worthy of discussion.

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An Idiot’s guide to Europe for potential UKIP voters.

You’re young,eu puzzle
you think the straight banana story is true and you like to take the mick out of the French, I understand, it’s fun, but… Europe is decanting millions of its unwanted scumbags to us and ruining our economy! Isn’t it?


I’m old – well, old enough to understand why Ted Heath’s generation grasped the importance of a European union in creating a modern society where we did not spend our time undertaking economic and tribal warfare at the expense of millions of lives and militarised demolished economies.

This is what the European Union is for – to prevent war and encourage harmonious and easy trade for the benefit of all its members.
It has been an amazing success.
At this point the potential UKIP voter will no doubt be thinking about all the negatives – the mythical straight banana laws, the appalling Human Rights Act (that may well save their families from any authoritarian regime in the future) the free travel that means we can deport all our scumbag criminals to any part of the EU… such as all those EDL members and retired bank robbers living it up on English breakfasts in the Costa del Crime. Apparently these people have enjoyed reading the gutter press myth-making that has fed this bogus notion of Europe for decades.

Oh… was that freedom we enjoy not what sprung to mind when the idea of free travel and right to work anywhere in Europe was mentioned? I’m sorry, “Eat cake and still have it travelers”.

Yes, there is a smell of bad bureaucracy about Brussels, (Farage should know, he does love to personally profit from it),
Yes, Monetary union has been a step too far, that we are blessedly free from, thanks to Gordon Brown’s spotting of the loopholes that other greedy states fell through.
Yes, Europe is possibly a bit too big now, with all the new members who have wisely sought its protection from war and its positive economic benefits.

And yes – the ignorance of the post war generation, believing that “getting out of Europe”, is a good idea, is a mind-numbing reminder of just how possible it is to forget history, including a Holocaust… and rely instead on the basest of xenophobic instincts. Rely enough to reboot the whole cycle and ruin the lives of generations to come.

Europe is a massive benefit to that subtle state of peace that an entire generation has enjoyed for the first century since the dawn of time. It has also allowed us to be a more humane and socially inclusive society in a world where capitalist greed and myopic selfishness cannot be allowed to grow like a cancer in the UKIP (and many other Tories) notion of freedom.

I have corresponded with my four MEPs over the laws that will critically allow us freedom of the internet when the USA and other large bodies are seeking to curtail it. If you do not even know who your MEPs are then you are disqualified from having an opinion on what it should and shouldn’t do… Democracy relies upon our mutual vigilance, Tabloid Nazis upon our ignorance.

So to those who fail to grasp the importance of this debate, I say, Wake up and smell the delicious Parisian coffee.
or drown in an ever more small brained idea of nationalism that will lead inevitably to war and retrogressive legislation.

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Time to burst the money illusion bubble.

gideon ratToday’s news reports included mention of how RBS will get around the limit on bonuses (of 100% of an already over-good salary) to try and reward their “best banker” employees with larger sums of money.

Despite the best efforts of Occupy and many other intelligent voices, not just on the left, we still seem to allow the idea of the banking bubble in our economic thinking as being a good thing.

The idea seems to go like this.
The banking industry is one of the key drivers of the UK economy, so… attracting the best people here, with ever larger sums of money that any decent human being would find almost impossible to spend, means we should all roll over and let them play this international amorality game.

The idea that this is harmful to the entire western world now has an eloquent spokesman who has garnered a mass of evidence that even American capitalist think tanks are taking seriously. I am all for the Labour party taking this seriously too (as suggested in that article) …but what do I see the Labour party doing? Seeking American expertise to get Miliband elected. What is it with our obsessive idea that America is a success story?

Banking – fail,
Green policies – fail,
Religion – fail
Education – fail,
Military spending sense – fail
Their economy suffers from the biggest national debt in the world and we still want to emulate them?

How about we try some vague and gentle socialism?… what’s that you say?! not a Labour party policy? Instead of learning from those in Scandinavia who have succeeded in economic and social terms we should copy the failing and flailing beast that is the USA?
This is insanity.

Anyway my idea for the banking industry is as follows -

All the evidence shows that far from being the irreplaceable geniuses that we need to make banking work for us all – the vast majority of bankers are mediocre thinkers at best and utter failures at worst. These are the people who helped create the world economic mess, have no magic skill with numbers and are far from irreplaceable.

So let’s take all their bonus pots – (Shareholders: listen, learn and follow this rule) and invest it in the best “moral banking” teaching for our unemployed graduates who show ability and understanding. Train these people up and within 3 years we will have brilliant bankers happy to do a better job for just a decent living wage – say 1ooth of that taken by the fattest cats. If I can live off £30K a year they can easily live well on £100K – no one needs to earn more than that in reality.

But no – we will stumble meekly on allowing these and other fat cat greed merchants to dictate the terms of employment, punish the poor and reward the rich until a people’s revolution, possibly prompted by major catastrophic climate events, ends the system to everyone’s detriment.

 

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