For many years mental illness and suicide have been considered taboo subjects. Often misinterpreted in the past, and called different names, they have always been a factor within society, but even now the treatment of such conditions is in a set aside area and thereby often hidden from regular view. I appreciate this is maybe in consideration of the sensitive nature of such illnesses, and certainly, in my own case I welcomed such segregation, but the fact remains that all to often such a range of illnesses have been ignored.
So it would seem that recent commitments cross party commitments on overhauling mental health and suicide prevention and care would be good news. At long last action is being taken, or at least being promised, so as to help mental health sufferers deal with their illness, and to cut down of suicide incidents across the community
Will this happen though, and even if such words are in earnest, and not akin to a pie crust promise, are such noble ideas be in for a rough ride?
Don’t get me wrong; I want such proposed changes to occur but having worked within the NHS, and having then been repeatedly ground through the mental health services millstones, I have had to face the real world face on. Sadly this has meant that the following factors are all to real, and that such factors could all to easily spell the end of the politicians, I hope, fine and sincere words.
- The NHS has only finite resources and, in it’s current form, it has not, and never will have, adequate finance to do all the work that it wants to do
- It is hard enough to get into , understand, and potentially change an undisturded mind, so trying to help a mental illness sufferer is even trickier
- Currently such fundamental; overhauls are only words, and canvassing for an oncomming election has already begun
This sounds bad, so maybe each point needs a little explanation
NHS finite resourcing
Established in 1945 to
“create comprehensive health and rehabilitation services for prevention and cure of disease”
The NHS or National Health Service, was a brilliant free at the point off usage service designed to improve the post war health of the nation. If ever there was a noble idea s regards community and individual care this is a fine example, but 70 years on we have a problem
In essence the service is potentially approaching the point of no return. Why so, because of lack of funds to pay for all the modern services that we now desire. As good decent citizens most of us pay our taxes and National Insurance, and, in receipt of that payment we then go and see a doctor when we are feeling ill.
” Cure us.” We ask of them. ” Give us antibiotics, or put u down for surgery, and a new heart would be handy as well. After all, we ‘ve paid for such services, so why should they not come our way”
There s one problem though, we haven’t paid for them, and in the case of the more advanced treatments, we never will. Why so, because we, as individuals, and as a society, do not have the funds to pay for them, unless we opt for private treatment, and if we do not have the funds what is a government meant to do when, through taxation and N.I, they are dependent on our funds.
Sad but all to true, and we had better get our heads round this quickly, as this is one problem which is both on our doorstep, and increasingly ever likely to stay
The Great Mental Divide
What’s on this guys mind?
What is he thinking about?
How can I ease his pain?
I am no doctor, never have been, never will be, but I’d bet a fair old penny that may mental health doctor or specialist has thought of such words as they have studied a patient before them. They are paid to investigate the illness that lies before them, and to do so by understanding the history and the mind of the patient.
I am sure that, bar a few rotten apples in the barrel, they try their best to do so, but almost inevitably, they face the great divide. Quite simply, they cannot enter the suffer’s mind, and the sufferer, all too often , cannot build that bridge mad then hand over a key so as to unlock that door. Why is this so, well just think about it.
Two worlds face each other, two utterly different worlds with different words, different values, and with differing views on the here and now, the past, and the future
Under such impossible conditions, how is any kind of resolution to be achieved. sometimes Lady Luck provides a solution, and sometimes, as in my case, the patients understanding of his or her condition maybe is so clear as to make it virtually transparent. But more often than not there is no such clarity, and so the condition, and it’s treatment caries on
Politics and pie crust promises
For those who are unfamiliar with the term pie crust promises, they are empty promises often made to impress or to buy a little time, and such promises, in my experience, are often made by politicians! I can’t blame them really, they are only there for a short time, they are, in reality, little different from you and me, and they know that in order tp stay in their job they have to say things that we, as good honest folk, want to hear
One of the hings they have got to say, in Britain anyway, is that
“The NHS is safe with us”
After all what else can they say? Would we vote them in to office if they stated that the service was on it’s knees, with a grave cut dug ready and waiting? Would accept their words, or the words of a medic if we were told that there was no money to treat us, so therefore, go home and die?
I think not, but in my opinion, such things are not that far away.
All is not lost though, for all of us can fight back, and all of us can have our say
The Fight Back
So there we have it, three reasons why such scheme cannot work, yet things are not necessarily as bad as they seem. Why so, because we still have ourselves, and despite what our mind may be telling us, we are all unique, we are all special, and, by our actions we may be able to make a difference as regards our future to come
With this in mind, lets look at those three points again
NHS finite resourcing
If we want to buy something, or even just to get something, we generally are faced with three choices, i.e to buy it with ready money, to buy it on credit, or to source the item in various other legal or illegal ways.
Getting a service or services from a registered health care provider is no different, so if , in time, we are unable to gain access to certain services through the regular or Orthodox channels, what are we to do?
How about thinking, and thereby acting differently, and how about seeking relief elsewhere. As depressives we are all to often guilty of talking about the things we can’t do and not about the things we can do, but if we are really honest with ourselves, do we not know that such a resolution comes from within. Of course we cannot always don this alone, and I’m not advocating self medication or blind treatment in any way, but we have access to the internet, or too YouTube video’s or what ever, what is top strop us taking free treatment on line. There are countless relaxation, stress release, cognitive and alternative therapy, and hypnotherapy videos online, and for those who want to access help or support from the web the internet is bulging at the seams with good advice and support groups.
So while we are seeking help from the medical services, why not build up a stock of such resources, so that we may again further relief over time. I am sure that the medics could assist us with such matters, and in cases of severe mental illness, I would always advocate full consultation, so that no further harm might be done
The Great Mental Divide
Yes it’s there, and, yes, your own mind can be your greatest enemy, but, even as your enemy, it can also be your greatest friend
It all depends what you do with it, and how you interact with it, and, just as critically, whether you allow it time to rest and breathe.
It is all to easy to convince ourselves, and I suspect our mind, that we are crap. We can’t do anything about anything, there is no point in trying to change, and the best thing to do is to run into a corner, and turn our face to the wall
Been there, done that, and got the T-Shirt, and occasionally I still wear it to this day, but what if we turn around, begin to look at life in a different way, and allow our mind to express what is going in a completely different way. Please not the highlighting of the word allow. I could easily use the word try in this context, but that would imply a cognitive effort, and that is something which, at times, it is good to avoid.
What I am advocating here is not to think, and not to analyse what is going on. The chances are that most of us have done this already, and that we have ended up as hamsters frantically spinning a wheel, so why not try a different way. If it works we might end up by seeing things differently, and if seen differently, we might be able to explain our problems in a way that others can understand
Politics and pie crust promises
Who we support, and who we believe,is up to us, but, if we are lucky enough to have a say as regards who represents us in parliament, then their future, and thereby their promises, lie in our hands. So why not mobilise that power and ensure, or at least try to ensure, that they represent our views. We can do nothing of course, and say that no politician is ever worth voting for, but someone will end up in the house of commons representing us, so why not try and make them dance to our tune.
In essence, we have the same rights to be heard and listened to than everybody else in the community, so if mental health is really on the political agenda, isn’t it time our voice was heard.
So it is that this post is ending now, but I hope that despite of some almost brutal negativity as regards future developments, you will have found some comfort in my words, and I close this post with a video called Being positive about depression.
It is as honest as it is sincere, and there is no attempt to hide the damage that depression can cause, but there is within that honesty, there a strong belief for better things may come, and an intention to make sure that those things do come. I believe that in these young ladies’ words, there is a message for us all