The buzz word in Mental Health Stigma, we must speak out, we must were it label it lovely smiley faces on twitter at the moment I have Mental Health its ok say have , it’s ok you get help. I salute you for being proud, I salute your optimism, I used be loud, be proud open about my experiences was told was inspiring it boosted my confidence, lifted my self esteem a short lived adrenaline buzz but sadly no changes came were made, society gets an understands stigma are open to help they just don’t know we’re go, were access and get doors opened to care, Joe bloggs on the street does care, does understand I usually knows someone or even they themselves affected by. I don’t engage as much now with speaking out campaigns, wear my label on my sleeve now because I lost my brother to a preventable suicide he had both Mental Health and Substance Misuse he didn’t face stigma from his family or friends it was from the services that were meant to support him those that are now behind twitter campaigns like #I have Mental Health, I saw my brother at times at crisis took him to A and E be told he’s to ask for help is not sat in A n E over 8 hours in height of crisis not asking for help, when did ask for got turned away past from pillar to post, Even when stopped taking drugs was always told “it’s the drugs” it’s the drugs. Never asked him why he ever became an addict, Never explored his childhood upbringing, never asked Why if did ask Why they’d have seen then yes it was because of the Mental Health but they never did they stigmatised because of the substance misuse. My brother was stigmatised because of a Dx he was given Anti Social Personality Disorder the condition shut doors to access to recovery, was probably why assessments for suspected learning disability got passed up, passed up not just one professional that suspected was most who came into contact with him, why did you not do when came to you when spoke out said I’m here I need help, his protector Dennis a doll became his tormentor took his identity offer, the doll got into his head told Tim what do we his family asked for help knew he possibly wasn’t mentally ok even asked for support an help but got turned away. I do have Mental Health needs myself an manage I recognised certain things in my brother, Hearing Voices, Dissociative Identity, Depression, Obsessive an Compulsive Behaviour, self harming because he’d felt lost control needed help was not helped he openly said had but didn’t get so is why know I struggle support an engage with #IhaveMentalHealth. I’m only doing this blog because need rant get my upset, anger, frustrations out I’ve to do that to manage mine so don’t obsess about, get worked up about, have it bring me down and me turn on myself internalise and berate myself for not speaking out an challenging the #IhaveMentalHealth. The angry voice inside me wants say it’s patronising, that those that failed in my brother’s care murdered my brother they didn’t carry it out but nor did they step in an prevent it’s too late now for sorry. Campaigns like #I have Mental health are belittling to individuals and families affected an they’re belittled by the association of the unnecessary use of the word stigma, we must talk about yes stigma led to my brother doing what did but it wasn’t because of lack of understanding but care for all those professionals sharing their photos, retweeting posts ask yourselves why are you sharing, retweeting are you actually as a result of that post go out make a direct action, something that does get help, get changes made and actually stand up make a difference it’s time moved on from speaking out an do for those brave enough do, speak out, do for those who ask for help and on my post look at the photo and do for my brother Tim someone who said #IhaveMentalHealth help me the person whose voice not heard and do for my mum, my siblings an our children who have to live with his loss, live with pain knowing asked for help and enough not done because we don’t want people going through what we are.
On social Media I’ve seen people debating Patient Safety in relation to my brother I’ve realised that more could have been done for him and that Patient Safety did not come into his care. To help me come to terms with his passing I’ve to understand an process why and find the solutions to could have what made a difference it is what manages my self care an also putting pen to paper gets my thoughts an ideas out an mapped out. So today while I’ve had an empty house an cleared up house listening to the song that played at the start of my brother’s funeral I listened to the song ” How to Save A Life by the Fray and asked myself that question. I asked myself how Services from a Patient Safety point of View could have saved a Life and been all Tim needed and here’s what I came up with.
1.See me as a Person
2.See my Circumstances
3.Include my family and Friends in my Care
4.All Services needed to work together an not in Isolation
5. Choice an Opportunities
6. The important one Listen When I ask 4 Help
7.Judgement Free Care
8.Check my Records be it Safeguarding,Crisis,Suicide Prevention,Care Plans and Recovery Plans are all up to date, working an implemented an everyone including Me an My Family were made aware off.
9.Take Responsibility Don’t keep passing me to service to service from Pillar to Post.
10. Carry out All assessments
11. Don’t exclude me from Services Because of Labels Attached to Me
12. Support through Major transitions
13 Finally Compassion an Understanding as Human Beings we are all entitled to having that met.
These things don’t seem like much but to my brother they’d have made a big difference and he’d still be here for all those looking at Patient Safety please look at this and ask yourselves could you have been All Tim Needed.
Theirs been lots in the media debating the pro’s an cons of taking Medication for Depression, BBC Panorama highlighted the dangerous of an how individuals became mass murderer’s an that’s in extremities.
I suffer from a Dysthmic Disorder in layman terms a neurotic mood disorder, Depression,Anxiety, Obsessive and Compulsive Behaviours, I have complex PTSD hear voices and Dissociate.
I don’t take medication for my conditions I used to they were harmful for my physical health I ballooned to just under 19 stone was a walking zombie did not interact, engage the world passed in a blur and still I was seen as disengaging by services it wasn’t that I was disengaging but the needs completely shut of all my receptors so I couldn’t engage.
The conditions I have are the result of Childhood Abuse, Losing a Child Born Still Born and the result of been a revolving door patient on an off throughout my teens to my early thirties. The medications I were on varied from Anti-Deppresant’s, Mood Stabilizer’s, Anti-Psychotics, Relaxant’s and Sleeping Pills. The medications just sedated my so called behaviours to me their now just my traits be it survival, be it instinct, be it my defensive mechanisms. Dissociation at times though can be a pain when things in my locked box want to surface as that hits when am at my most vulnerable an most risk and I’ve just to ride it out.
It’s been hard not been on medication and not easy but I try face each day as I can medication will only plaster over the scars of my past, therapy can help me address but the unstable emotions and how I handle things they’re what I’ve to learn to address, I recently nearly ended up back on medication I struggled with coping with my brother’s passing thought long an hard and in my heart knew wrong as it may take the pain away numb it but eventually have to face it and so may as well fight may way through it now but also the anger side of my cptsd has come in handy as I’m using that part of my grieve to fight for him wished did more when he was alive, also if agreed go back on the slow cocktail of men’s would build up again I’d be talked into needing more for different things and different behaviours an probably extra Dx and my son he needs me, he needs me to be strong for him be brave for him most importantly be alert and functioning and be all he needs so as hard as the days are I throw myself into It theirs days I feel mentally drained, exhausted, on edge, thoughts scrambling but for my son I attack each day, I also do for my family, I do for my brother too as he so wanted overcome his past.
Medication can help mask things and give me a rest from but in the end they’ll stop me from seeing the beauty in the world even though theirs too sadness in it, the voice i thought so hard to re-find would too agin be lost and one thing I’ll always tell my son fight for what you want well if I’m not living it he can’t practice it.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not easy theirs days when I can just drag myself up ready, Myles though he’s always immaculate, theirs days I’ve snapped my anger lids burst an that’s not been good for person who got brunt off, theirs days I have just crumbled just broke look liked a car wreck and all around gets to much and times to preserve myself I’ve to shut out the world keep my bubble to myself .
I’m not telling people to stop taking mess nor if they help you to stop believing that they don’t an to stop.
I’m asking that as I respect medications for you please respect though it’s not for me an in fact has been life altering an harmful an I don’t want that for me, I also need you to respect that just because I say no also does not mean I don’t have my conditions an my experiences an opinions like well you can’t be that bad if you don’t take because I can be.
The brave face people see is just a mask as if accepted people a) don’t get or understand me so I give up trying explain, b) if I don’t try I give up an where does that leave my son an family and c) if I go on meds the world will be shut out again.
If their was better monitoring of my help, safeguards an provisions that stopped me going on more an more mess then maybe, but I know for me I have to address my pain be it therapy, be it pretending life’s ok or be it writing my blog like now, I’m exploring having faith in my life that’s been a challenge an battle of perseverance, I throw myself into soft play just as much as Myles an that s my anger energy, we do crafts, go for walks we play the child in me likes that as that’s reminded sometimes life is good, being an activist for awhile was hard but then I missed it so am slowly going to re-dip my toes in the water and look to do again as my heart an a part within me missed that an so listening to myself keeps me going.
I suppose because I didn’t feel listened too an knowing my brother wasn’t listened to is why I’ll always shy away from medication in time that may change I’ve to meet that one person who will listen and give me the perfect care package so till then I’ve just got to listen to myself.
Whilst I do that though please don’t shame me an belittle my depression, my pain just as I don’t pill-shame you an vocalise the drugs are bad. It is these debates that create divides in the mh community an we need to be supporting each other and each getting the support that works it’s time focus on getting it right for everyone as at present services aren’t working and we need to work together to get that so let’s #endthepillsdebate.
How do you help someone have hope an believe in themselves when they have been wrote of with a Dx of Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
Anti- Social Personality Disorder is defined as sometimes been called Sociopathy, a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right or wrong, ignores the feelings of others, People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonise, manipulate, treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no remorse for their Behaviour.
(Taken from NHS Choices)
Doesn’t make nice reading,, Does not look like a. Dx that someone would get support an help for, Dose not inspire hope for a shot at recovery nor Does it ask the important why an individual may be this way, what factors have contributed to, what’s happened in certain situations, Does not take into consideration an individual may have an Alternative Personality or Part and what if it’s the part that’s the anti-social and not the individuals themselves is it then helpful to give that person a Dx of Anti-Social Personality Disorder. I’d go with a big fat no because you then exclude that person from the right help an support because the Dx gets people wrote off.,
My brother Timothy in his notes had this listed he did not have Anti-Social Personality Disorder he himself wasn’t the things highlighted above. Timothy until became Mentally unwell was hard-working, would help anybody out, do anything for anyone this was what sometimes got him then into trouble he’d accept responsibility for other people’s behaviour and actions that to me showed he understood right an wrong if he could do that, My brother Tim nor was manipulative or treat others harshly, Tim was a protector, a supporter, a friend and amazing big brother, when my son was first born he waited in Leeds city centre after finishing work 6 hours to see his nephew and god son for visiting hours to start because he so desperately wanted see him, my sister who has MS her 2nd child was born on the toilet he was their with my mum on hand to help my mum help look after both my sister an baby and get sorted the ambulance to have them rushed to be checked out doesn’t sound like a sociopath does it, In 2002 I lost a child the day after my little girls passing he was their by my side supporting me through my pain doesn’t sound like someone does he that doesn’t care for others or have no feelings for does it you could probably safely say Timothy did not have Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
Timothy wasn’t perfect nor was he bad he was at times easily manipulated himself and yes easily influenced and yes unfortunately did take drugs but Timothy did not grow up in a perfect background, perfect home, it was far from growing up his childhood was more survival based but that’s for another Time. Also growing up with a father as an Alcoholic probably played a factor in why turned to drugs but that too is a separate debate but also a factor consider, I hate saying too both my brother an I were susceptible to MH as was on our Fathers side of the family and traumas in our lives an how we dealt with led to us both be affected by.
In June/July 2013 my brother Tim went missing an in that time something happened we don’t know what an the Timothy that was found was not Timothy, Timothy had become Dennis, Dennis was not just a doll that he started carrying about, Dennis could be described as the above person the person with the Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Dennis made Tim a danger to himself, Dennis was never an issues Services addressed, took into consideration, Dennis was a part, the voice inside tims head, Dennis had took hold of the individual the person, Timothy. We tried to get services to get help regarding the Dennis part acknowledge it address the voices, address that Tim was Tim no more get him therapy but it was never addressed or acknowledge yet recorded in his notes. We as a family always told Services an his key worker did too when Tim mentions Dennis he’s a risk to himself not other’s not addressing Dennis enabled it to take over Tim so why he never stood a fighting chance.
Tim did try recover, regain control attended Hollybush, Lighthouse, George’s Crypt they describe Tim as Tim was but with a Doll in his man bag, they described him as friendly, helpful, loved getting involved in his art, doing jobs and too was quite liked at times just blend into the group or sit in the corner read his paper. Following his Facebook posts, seeing him at mums he was alive Tim again always tried getting us go down £1 dinner, Robynn would love the gardens were he’d been helping at the kids would enjoy too, This does not sound like someone who was manipulative, dangerous, did not know right from wrong, his worry though about moving from were he was to somewhere new he worried he’d fall through cracks an yes sadly it came true,
A diagnosis of Anti-Social Personality Disorder shut doors to Assessments for Psychological Therapy, Referal to see if he had a Dissociative Identity i.e Dennis, recommendations for Hearing Voices groups, recovery focused groups, shut the door to referral to a rehab and recovery unit to address all his needs, and why so many other assessments never got done, why plans became out dated and why became dependent on the few people who tried.
If you go back an look at how NHS Choices Defines Anti-Social Personality Disorder reflect on how it’s defined what stands out for me Sociopath, Manipulative, not knowing right from wrong sounds like they’re dangerous a risk to others and individuals do get made to feel that imagine if the Dx was wrong and the implications it then will have on a person surely then that has a detrimental impact an potential human right breach when impacts on their lives an sadly that does happen since losing Tim I’ve met people he met on his journey an seen how impacted them an too those people I would say did not have because they’ve carried me through my storm an been a support, a friend and I’m streetwise and an abuse survivour too and have a 6th sense who’s ok an who’s not.
Ask yourself if you saw Anti-Social Personality Disorder on someone’s notes how would you see them, treat them, what help you would give them, if they were at crisis would you realise that help them if they’re not ok, would you even help them but more importantly how you view the Dx and would that influence you.
Antisocial personality disorder potentially labels people off Antisocial personality Disorder should really only be used in extreme cases and as a last resort when gone through every other assessment an diagnosis an no interventions have an impact.
I’m only someone who’s lived experience, I’m someone who was someone’s sister an know am friends with people who have the Dx an if I can see is a harmful Dx one that does not in anyway inspire hope, recovery, regain an control then sureley you should too and turn your back on Dx Anti-Social Personality Disorder an try look for an Alternative too.
More lives will be saved as a result, More individuals will be better supported, No one will fall through the cracks an be turned away for help.
To my inner me, little Katie I am sorry,
Im sorry I didn’t protect you from harm
I’m sorry I didn’t have a voice back then sorry I didn’t say No this is wrong, Sorry I didn’t know it was wrong sorry by time did didnt speak out soon enough n yelled loud enough sorry the person who harmed you still walks the streets n didn’t get the sentence he should.
Im sorry I’ve banished you somewhere, I’m sorry I hated you, Sorry I tried to deny you were part of me Sorry I blamed you Sorry I felt disgusted and ashamed by you, Sorry I couldn’t see you were not at fault,
Im sorry I’ve lost that part of you, the child in me I’m sorry that part of you was robbed n a part of me can not recreate with a snapshot memory or experience, I’m sorry I never got to experience you and Katie been a child.
Im sorry I hated you, sorry I punished you more n caused you harm by bullying u when u try resurface, I’m sorry I tried to cut u out, attack myself n try poison myself to get at you. I’m sorry because I envied you as even though suffered harm was still able to be vulnerable something I want feel but can’t.
Im sorry when u tried resurface, I flashback, I feel u in me i try block out the fuzzing the entity of u inside trying to help me heal n move on I’m sorry I saw you as a disease a condition a damaged brain you were none just a damaged child within.
Im sorry now I’m going to be a mum I couldn’t be mum to us, I’m sorry we lost our childhood, I’m sorry Katie for our childhood been robbed to Katie I am sorry I lost our inner child n chance be too.
I Katie I am sorry to the abused child that I was and have lost somewhere inside myself.
This is the inside of my head I was doing this as art of something for healthy minds and around stigma and our thoughts and experiences around own mh.
I call it a beautiful mess inside for those feelings inside are part of me they’ve caused me darkness but to bring me beauty as they make up part of me.
The mess inside is due feel one time ugly, hated myself I’ve been bullied by others but I’m a worser bully to myself.
I have slowly started grief for my loss Marybeth the childhood shed never have nor see her grow up. I slowly grief for the live I’ve never had as I find the light n life I want to have.
I know that I’m not Mad nor Crazy nor mentally unwell.
I’m just simply a beautiful mess inside.
I’m a beautiful mess inside or I’ve been hurt, felt vulnerable lost and unloved, scared, isolated frightened too scared to say my heart to wounded and broken due childhood pain and grieve.
I’m a beautiful mess inside because I just needed to feel loved be taught a good person that I’m not damaged but beautiful inside and out.
29th August 2018 A beautiful mess inside no more the inside is no longer beautiful,
I apologise to Dianne an Tamsin now at the time we did this activity we were reclaiming back our labels using them to challenge stigma to educate others an I did try, I tried till my legs gave way, my heart fell weary no longer a voice to call out, the words are no longer beautiful nor helpful an I reclaimed them back but now they trap me I’m prisoner too, they’re the stark reminder who I am and what it was that destroyed me so, my world my heart my soul.
I’m MAD, I’m A Bully I Scare people
I fight, I argue you, I yell I scream you’ll be weak the victim not me.
You won’t dare target me you won’t dare battle with me for in my woundedness I’ve learned to bite and in the wilderness I’ve found my bark the bark fuelled by pain, by anger and pain and grieve for the one who knew me most who’s passed.
The mess that’s inside is no longer beautiful but the fuel to my fire so those that relate to the inside of me my head will no longer be held isolated, unsupported, the fuel of my fire will fight for compassion an then one day maybe a beautiful mess inside again