Category Archives: News and Entertainment

I wanna be a billionaire……so f****** bad.

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.

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X Factor

Song of the day: The Dog Days are Over- Florence & the Machine.

I used to watch X Factor pretty religiously, but I have to say after switching it on again last night, I just couldn’t watch it. It’s turned into the most cringe-worthy show: the dodgy voiceover guy with the fake voice, Cheryl looking like she can hardly move for fake hair, teeth, nails, tan- God that girl is gonna be in trouble when she loses her looks. Simon is just a joke and has become a caricature of himself, he’s so up his own arse it’s untrue (however I think he does some amazing work for charity so I’d better give him a bit of a break). Then there’s the judges comments which consist of one of the following if good:

“You made the song your own”
“You’ve got the whole package”
“I think people at home are gonna like you”

or if bad:

“You’re such a hard worker”
“You’ve been on such a  journey”
“You picked the wrong song”
“You’ve got the looks of a pop star”

Genius.

Good job it’s the last series.

Elections for Dummies

After having skimmed through the three main parties’ manifestos (out of a feeling of responsibility rather than because I thought it might be fun), I have come to the conclusion that someone needs to write an election pamphlet for dummies, clearly defining the differences between the policies, and giving unbiased advice on the pros and cons. I’m a fairly well-read person, and reading those manifestos, even to me, is daunting, dull and a task nobody really wants to do. So if I feel that way, I imagine the less academic and responsible will be totally put off using their vote, which I strongly believe we should all use. Surely an information handout of this sort will help those who are apathetic or undecided to make an informed decision? I think it’s great that the TV debates have been aired, which I believe will encourage more people to vote, but this serves as more of a personality contest, than a real display of what each party can offer. We need more clearly stated information.

I hate politics. I feel disillusioned and depressed to find that the main political parties basically want to change the same things, but that there are no radical plans to completely restructure the education system and NHS. To me the most important thing is to revive the British youth and give them hope of a better future. This could be better served without compulsory, old fashioned school subjects and with more disciplinary powers for teachers, more inspiring work, and without the need for pupils to each achieve at the same rate- some children just need more time. What is the point of a child struggling through French GCSE never to use it again in their life? Youth need much more social support too, with far less emphasis on sex education. Surely educating kids on the subject just increases their curiosity- it’s like telling someone not to do something- it immediately makes you want to do it. If they don’t know about it, they wont do it. Teen magazines should be banned too (oh yeah- here I go!)- or at least the content severely restructured. Emphasis should be on family, friends, education, creativity, sports, etc. There is so much more to life than sex and celebrities- but you wouldn’t think so having rifled through the latest issue of “More”. Kids these days are looking for fast fame and money as an escape from the dreary, mundane future they see in this country. Who wants to spend their lives working in Tescos, factories, financial companies, telesales, etc. OK this might appeal to some, but where are the exciting, futuristic, more creative places to work? They are there, but they are few and far between. Celebrity is fortune, luxury and adoration- love, perhaps something they are sorely missing at home. A topic I’d better save for another day, or I’ll be here all day.

By the way, I’m voting Lib Dem.

Election Apathy 2010

General Elections: I feel I should be interested and use my right to vote- as fought for by the Suffragettes (ooh what a good name for a band)- but I just can’t get into the whole politics thing. As far as I’m concerned all the parties are pretty much equal and all the political leaders inclined to avoid direct answers to questions, never appear genuine and I wouldn’t trust any of them. So I’m going to take on the role of virtual prime minister, here’s my manifesto:

-Benefits system: maximum of 6 months jobseekers allowance per person end of. Cut income support. Rigorous testing for incapacity benefit, three-monthly health checks. No child benefits at all, tax credits etc.

– Much stricter rules on immigration, limit number of entrants each year. Only enter for asylum, study and professional work.

– Nationalisation of football clubs (don’t know if that’s possible-but hey, neither is me being prime minister). Maximum wage for footballers and managers £50,000 per year.

– Increase number of nurses. Increase in pay for all nurses, emergency service workers.

-Privatisation of schools. Curriculum to be set by headteachers. Focus to be on Maths, English. More varied subjects to be taught: Music, Art, Drama, Financial Management and Economy, Running a Home, Relationships, Communication, Parenting, Cooking, DIY, Dance, Sports, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Sciences, Self esteem, Nutrition, Environmental Awareness, Vocational Experience. Maximum class sizes of 15. No labelling of “gifted and talented”. Increase teachers numbers and pay. No sex education to be taught until 16 years, or free contraception.

– Radical improvement in care homes.

– Stop increase in tax on petrol. Campaign for cycling, car pooling, more frequent and reliable bus services.

– All troops to be taken out of Afghanistan.

– No advertising for junk food.

– Extra community policing in inner city areas.

– Inner city centres for young people- sports facilities, arts, dance, etc.

Ooh I could go on forever….

Cheryl Cole and that horrible Ashley.

I used to think Cheryl Cole was the luckiest woman on Earth. I watched Popstars the Rivals when she became a member of Girls Aloud and imagined how great it would be to be able to sing and dance for a living. Since joining X Factor as a judge for the last two seasons, she really has appeared to have it all: fantastic looks, engaging personality, successful career with Girls Aloud, footballer boyfriend. It is this last asset that has been turned upside down, and now I really feel for the girl. Nobody deserves to be cheated on, and the way in which the paper’s splash about such intimate details of the lurid texts between Ashley Cole and his object of lust is disgraceful. The media have no respect for the lives that are involved. I’ve been cheated on before and was thankful to be spared the grisly details of what went on, despite reeling from the betrayal. Imagine the gut-wrenching pain Cheryl Cole is faced with everyday: photos of her beloved sent to another woman and their indecent text messages splashed about the media like a new toy. I hope she realises she is worth more.
Without putting any blame on her, I think this recent media soap opera proves there is a lot to say for balance in one’s life. Focusing so whole-heartedly on one particular goal and devoting the majority of your time to it is undoubtedly taking your time away from other areas of your life. I am lucky and have a trusting relationship, not perfect, but the trust has been established over a long period of time. However perhaps my devotion to the relationship takes me away from developing my self career-wise. I am scared of taking energy away from Chris and trying to have a perfect relationship, I’ve always had a thing about being alone, it terrifies me. But to the extent that I don’t have energy to put into myself, is that a life I want. I need to find my own balance to bring stability to my life.

Edward, Jedward and newsy-things.

Place: Cafe Car Marzanos (writing in diary, typing up later)

Time: 11am-ish

So excited, I’ve been buying Christmas presents in The Forum. The Norfolk Wildlife Photographer is here, with prints, calendars and coasters, which I’ve bought for Nanna and Dad. Also bought some lovely Christmas cards in Jarrolds.

It smells gorgeous in here. There is a lady with a stall selling orange and cinnamon- spiced goods, it’s so Christmassy. There are lots of kids here too, and I think I might be getting a bit broody- gulp! I must be feeling well at the moment, as I know in the midst of a depressive episode, there is no way I’d even consider it.

This morning’s news, as broadcasted by GMTV, stirred up a mixture of emotions: fear for my future with the poor care provided in British care homes; disgust at the fact that Tiger Wood’s affairs are making headline news, and anger that the media believe grandparents should be financially rewarded for looking after their grandchildren whilst their parents are at work.

Two things struck me here: the lack of support for the elderly, and the generosity they display in looking after their grandchildren. Surely a much better way of thanking them for their time, would be to improve care homes rather than giving each a financial reward. Sometimes this country seems a bit backwards to me. When I get old I want to feel happy to be going to a care home where I know I can peacefully retire to a clean, friendly, social and fun care home, with lots of activities and good medical care. Sod it, why not throw in a swimming pool, jacuzzi and masseur as well!

Moving onto more trivial news- has anybody else noticed the resemblance between The Twilight Saga’s Robert Pattinson (in full make up as Edward Cullen) and Jedward? Perhaps I have uncovered the secret to their (unlikely) success and the British teenage, female population’s hysteria? The terrible twosome display pale complexions with gravity-defying hair- just as Edward does in the films. Of course teenage girls could easily be deceived and transfer ther adulation from the incredibly popular Twilight vampire to the ungainly twins. Of course Mr Pattinson should indeed be thankful that the spotlight has been taken off him for a while. He is particularly fond of shying away from the media spotlight and acts as if he had no idea why his fans are so persistent and what they want from him. Surely he can’t be so modest or unintelligent. I am certainly not immune to his charms-particularly his musical ability, but he made the decision to be a part of the film industry, he knew the possible risks, he needs to be a man and take responsibility for his decision, rather than shun his fans.