Song of the Day: The Girl You Lost To Cocaine by Sia.
Today a news article caught my eye- the plight of a teenage girl desperate for help to manage her Bipolar Disorder and left to wait for 2 years by the NHS.
It’s shocking…crazy. I’ve experienced it myself. Hospital when I was 19, quickly in for diagnosis, meds, brief CBT and then you’re out again in a flash, left to your own devices- often in a severely traumatised way. The NHS seem to insist on treating only the symptoms of depression/anxiety/mania/psychosis- “let’s get you back to work again” is the motto, which is all very well as a first port of call, but what about the hell many people are going back to after their psychiatric appointment? Parents don’t care or even love their offspring in some cases and work places are still secretive about mental health diagnoses. “Talk to friends” I may well hear you say . It is the hardest thing in the world to tell a close friend ” I don’t want to be in the world anymore, I want to curl up and die”. You don’t want to upset anybody or be a burden. At a time when your rational thought processes fly out the window, all you can think about is what a piece of shit you are.
“Pull yourself together” is the oft used response to revealing you’re verging on suicidal, maybe in a more sympathetic way, but basically with the same meaning. So what are we supposed to do when we’re despairing and desperate? Go to GP, ask for counselling…. yeah right!
I wanna be a billionaire, so frikkin’ bad!!
That way I can start up my own Mental Health and Wellness Centre which will consist of the following:
Gym, with studio for yoga, dance, martial arts and relaxation classes.
Treatment rooms for massage, reflexology, counselling, etc.
Library with cafe and comfy chairs, aromatherapy oils, relaxing music etc.- with books about different conditions, CBT, etc, as well as fiction.
Regular classes: Mindfulness Therapy, CBT, etc.
Staff who are available to deal with emergencies.
I would want hundreds of these centres to be available to all, all year round, whether someone is in the midst of an episode or not. I think the emphasis has to be on prevention as well as treatment for symptoms. Patients needs long-term solutions, not a quick shot of ECT. And with the NHS seemingly against the long-term solution strategy, maybe it falls back to the rest of us to look out for people who are suffering. We need to accept mental health conditions as concrete, valid illnesses, just like cancer or MS. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean the sufferer is making it all up- it is very, very real, very frightening and desperately in need of all of us to be more sympathetic and offer help wherever we can. We are all in this life together, the problem of our friends should be treated as our own problem too, if the friend is incapable of helping him/herself.