Protected: MENTAL ILLNESS OR MORAL COLLAPSE

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Resigned to taking the drugs

This is my followup message on the mental health story I introduced as a blog recently. Please read the previous messages first, or this wont make any sense to you. 
It is a difficult message for me to write. I feel very stressed about it but it would be wrong to fail to write it. All I can report is the truth as it appears to be to me.
 
My friend is in a very different state of being (of mind and body) today to that of February this year; to that time prior to the major ‘state benefits’ review and all the trauma that attended it – leading up to it and beyond.
 
My friend is talking over the phone about migrating from quetiapine back to clozapine, which she has been on before. This is not a matter up for discussion, at least not with me, and I am not aware that she meets many obstacles from health professionals when she is passionate about her drug needs. They seem OK about serving her drug dependence and I am shocked by that. 
 
My friend seems increasingly disorientated and ‘fuzzy’ headed.
 
Weight gain, immobility, insomnia… She has reported these conditions consistently for years. What changes is only the strategy for dealing with these problems.  She is now resigned to a drug regimen. The drugs don’t work (its not only a song) but there is a disconnection. Her recall of events is not true. 
 
In the time that I have known her it was the periods when she self-managed controlled drug reduction that were the brightest and most life enhancing. 

She’s given up that control. i think its because she gets no support with it, and quite the contrary. Altering the drugs, that she can get support with, but not with reducing them and really making her life better. That’s the way I see it.

 I think she has surrendered because its just too difficult to fight the system and resist peer pressures. This is a very drug orientated society and we all know it, but how many of us are facing up to the implications and consequences of that?

Reflecting further, it seems to me that so many of the labels used to describe our ill health conditions, such as bipolar, psychotic or even drug addiction, are just covers for deeper underlying problems, such as human rights abuses, domestic violence, poverty and discrimination.

I’m having to face up to these things in myself, and that’s another story.  

human rights – no progress

The situation is absurd. Mental health patients trying to improve their lives by bringing their medication down are doing so in secret, like its a criminal act, with no support and a real chance of being punished with a CTO. And, as I explained, the way a mental health patient, like My friend, relates to this predicament creates another level of danger and health risk

Follow up – not yet received acknowledgment for the letter sent on the 8th April 2013 to a firm of solicitors in London. Tried again…

Dear (solicitor),

Below I have pasted in a copy of the email I posted to office on the 8th April 2013.

Update: I can sadly report that my friend’s condition is currently unstable. I attribute this, in part, to the recent benefits review and the abrupt changes she felt forced to make to her medication usage to comply with her psychiatrists expectations and earlier (eighteen month old) prescriptions, and reinforced with the threat of a CTO. Friends concur that she was of more sound mind on the lower dose she had come down to.

Therefore, I would argue that the CTO, rather than protect the patient or the public, is increasing the risk of a complete patient breakdown and all the consequences of that for friends, family and the public.

I would like to know if this is an issue being brought up within the legal system.

Further thought:

It is the patients labeled as psychotic who seem to be in the most vulnerable position because their problem behaviour is perceived as antisocial and threatening, which it can be, and the psychiatrists can point the finger at neurosis in instances when prescription drug regimes, and not the patients so called illness, have triggered a destructive incident.

Its a moral dilemma… Someone is saying, “You can’t be responsible for yourself. I am now responsible for what you do providing you take the medication exactly as I dictate (but if it doesn’t work out well I’ll still try to blame your illness!).”

human rights abuse in more detail – letter to solicitors

The CTO law has just caused my friend to double her medication and put her life in danger. Here is the story:
I was reading with interest (and dismay) an informative article on your website on the subject of community treatment orders (CTO):
Thank you for those valuable points and insights, but there are serious human rights implications that were not identified in that article and which I have become aware of through the experiences of my closest friend. I would like Sophy Miles to be made aware of this.
A doctor described my friend as a long term sufferer from severe mental illness. She has been sectioned and hospitalised on numerous occasions throughout her life. Though she has admittedly been psychotic (for whatever reasons), I am not aware that she has endangered the public or ever been prosecuted for a criminal offence. However, it is arguable that she has less civil liberties than a person released into the community after a prison sentence.
Here is a person who wants to get well; who doesn’t want to be drugged for the rest of her life; who, to my knowledge, has worked voluntarily to support at least three community projects over the past twelve months; who is inspirational and supportive within her community.
The law is stopping my friend from helping her self. In fact, more than that, it is putting her in danger. The extent of the human rights violations implicit in the CTO, as I have witnessed through her experiences, has perhaps not been appreciated fully hitherto.
Its a shocking state of affairs when people literally aren’t allowed to get well; to recover from ‘mental illness’; to try autonomously to improve their own health; to get support in reducing their toxic burden – HER PSYCHIATRIST WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER A MEDICATION REDUCTION PROGRAMME, and that is the root of the problem.
In other conditions thought of as terminal, such as certain forms of cancer, there are many accounts of unexplained spontaneous remissions. So it can happen with cancer, but not with the mind?
She is being treated as ‘beyond any hope of recovery’, and ‘a danger to the public’, neither of which can be proven. What laws has she broken? She is not a criminal.
I recently had a conversation with my friend over the phone. You should know what she just told me. Everyone should know. There is a lot of fear around at the moment because of the changes to the benefits system (in the UK) and particularly the requirement to complete the new ESA form. I’m told there have been associated suicide.
One aspect of the review, in her case, is a forthcoming appointment to see her psychiatrist, whom she hasn’t seen for 18 months. She is terrified of this man, and as I have learned, for perfectly sane reasons. She anticipates a blood test and that the medication reductions – very gradually coming down to about 50% – that she has achieved and managed so well (independently and with my support) over the last couple of years would be picked up in the test.
She also reminds me that the last time she saw the psychiatrist he made her aware of the possibility (a tangible threat) of her being placed under a community treatment order if she made any attempt to interfere with or reduce her prescribed medication. Her worst fear (I’d say terror) is at the thought of being sectioned once again.
So guess what, about a week ago she decided to double her quetiapine dose (back up to 300mg). That’ was a very dangerous reaction to a fearful situation, and its hardly surprising that the sleep problems she had before have been multiplied and that her behaviour and moods have become less predictable. She is increasingly ‘out of it’, and I’m horrified and outraged by how and why this has come about.
Does the psychiatrist really have the right to place a CTO on her if she is found to have reduced her medication (EVEN IF SHE IS WELL!) ? It is barbaric that people have to live under this terror.
What can I do? I feel terrible and want to gather some support for her in this nightmarish situation.

human rights abuse

I’ve just had a conversation with my friend over the phone. You should know what she just told me. Everyone should know. There is a lot of fear around at the moment because of the changes to the benefits system (in the UK) and particularly the requirement to complete the new ESA form. I’m told there have been suicides…
Genocidal implications ?
One aspect of the review, in her case, is a forthcoming appointment to see her psychiatrist, whom she hasn’t seen for maybe a couple of years. She anticipates a blood test and that the medication reductions (50%) she has achieved and managed so well over the last year (with one short blip) would be picked up in the test. She also tells me that the last time she saw the psychiatrist he made her aware of the possibility (a threat) of her being placed under a community treatment order if she made any attempt to interfere with or reduce her prescribed medication. Her fear (I’d say terror) is the thought of being sectioned again.
So guess what, about a week ago she decided to double her quetiapine dose (back up to 300mg). Hardly surprising that the sleep problems she had before have been multiplied and that she is increasingly ‘out of it’. I’m horrified and outraged.
Does the psychiatrist have the right to place a CTO on her if she is found to have reduced her medication? It is barbaric that people have to live under this terror(ism).
What can I do? I feel bad…

How can I relax around this process?

Let me persist with this. I feel so inhibited at the moment. I don’t seem to trust myself. I feel judged before I’ve even started! I am the one who judges. I want to be able to express myself without having to constantly check back and edit. I get things wrong – so what! The idea behind this blog is to require of myself the unedited truth; to deliver the truth as I experience it now. Perhaps the truth is not an absolute thing but a constantly shifting point of consciousness; point of searching and inquiry. There will never be an end to the qualifications and the revisions, but the truth is the process and not a final outcome.