Tag Archive: Psychiatric Assault


This is the title of a blog entry on Mad in America, but it actually concerns Britain and the British government.  The writer, James Davies, PhD, who has worked in the NHS and was first accepting of the mainstream view of psychiatric categories and drugs, has since changed his mind and realises he was wrong.  Even better, he belongs to a group, the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry, which from April this year will be speaking to MPs at the Houses of Parliament about the harm being done by psychiatry and its drugs.

“The official launch of CEP will take place on 30th April 2014 in the Houses of Parliament, London. And to mark the occasion two eminent critics will address the invited audience of journalists, MPs, policy makers, practitioners and survivor advocates. Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a senior researcher and psychiatrist at University College London, will first talk about the exaggerated benefits of psychotropic medications, discussing the largely ignored evidence of their toxic and long-term debilitating effects.

She will be followed by Professor Peter Gotzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, the gold standard for the review of medical research data.  He will talk about failed drug regulation, buried negative clinical trial data, conflicts of interest at medical journals, drug-induced harms, and other issues familiar to Mad in America subscribers.”

As Dr Davies points out himself, it is all very well being in the critical stream, but the problem is that the decision makers, like MPs, don’t get exposed to it, but this is a change and it is good.  At the end there are links to their website and Facebook page.

Advertisements

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24720069#TWEET937913

This prison is exactly like psychiatric hospital acute wards in the UK, except for the electric shocks, the acute wards don’t do that.  They call people’s credibility into doubt as well in the same way that doubt is cast on a psychiatric patient.  The news story this links to shows a guard being interviewed and acknowledging that electric shocks were given and that inmates were forcibly injected.  There is a man who says he wasn’t a danger to anyone and my own experience gives me no reason to doubt him.  The fact that he is a criminal doesn’t mean his testimony about this isn’t reliable.  A man was injected for complaining about the food.  The guard says that inmates had to be made afraid of them because they are few, even though they knew it was against the law.  Psychiatric hospitals are the same.  Most compliance comes from the fear of the consequences of not complying.  It is torture and terrorism.  Someone has to help us.  Please.

Update 27.10.2013 – Hospital and Housing

I’ve been obsessive about my stats recently and it’s been an obsession that has pushed everything else out.  I could have kept my blog up to date but I haven’t, so here is a bit more.

Last Saturday I sat down and filled in an application for housing with a housing charity, and at the moment I am waiting to hear what points I’ve been allocated.  I am hoping very much that things will move quickly.  There were boxes for six separate area codes and I filled them all in, but even that might not be flexible enough.

Life in the residential hospital is not too bad.  The main thing for me at the moment is that the fridge-freezer is easily big enough for a family, but not for four individuals.  It looks to me as if two of us are doing a weekly shop, and there just isn’t sufficient space really.  It is frustrating that we are doubling up on things and I’m sure there is a lot of wastage because things don’t get eaten quickly enough.  I’m not the one with the least space, apparently, and the one who thinks she has the least space keeps putting her stuff on top of mine, and it annoys me.

Also people doing big sharp knocks on the door and asking if I’m all right when I am trying to relax.  It jolts me out of it.

About two or three weeks ago I had a problem with one of the residents who keeps staring at me when I am focusing on something else.  I asked her why she was doing it and she said she wasn’t, I was being paranoid.  Then she told me to shut up and said I was kicking off when I didn’t like that, so now I’m not talking to her, nor she to me.

The nurses I encounter are nice, usually, but I daren’t talk to them about how I feel about my diagnosis and medication, normally, because I fear they won’t understand.  I’m keeping a low profile at the moment about the things I don’t like which I usually see towards other people on occasion.  I don’t want a repetition of Rowan 2 and other places.  When I become aware of it, normally in the shower (and I’ve self-neglected a fair bit recently), I suppress an urge to scream.  I guess screaming isn’t allowed or looked on very favorably, and I have an iron grip on myself to make sure I don’t scream, I daren’t put myself in that situation here.

That’s all for now.  Thanks to my new followers for following.  Welcome aboard.  I hope it won’t get too boring for you.  I’m pretty monomaniacal at times.

Angel of Light

The Bible says that the devil can appear as an angel of light.  I said that this morning meaning psychiatric staff, but obviously I am aware that it can have as many applications as people want to give it.  So let’s not go there. Maybe for me the biggest angel of false light is that which says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.  Perhaps a twin would be ‘the experts must be right’.

I was thinking and saying tonight, 16th August, that I can’t understand how someone can, in good conscience, take a job which empowers them to commit acts that in other contexts would be viewed as assault.  I find it appalling that someone can assault you one day and, without apologising or anything, act as if nothing has happened afterwards and put it down to general relationship problems on the part of the patient, or mental illness, if the patient doesn’t go along with that.  If they did at home what they do to us here they might not have a relationship to go back to.  I would certainly find it hard to consider having them in my home,  Do they apologise for major failings at home?  If so, why don’t they apologise to us?  Are they trying to kid us that they really think their behaviour is an acceptable part of a normal relationship, or that they think we think it is, all of us, and that we wouldn’t want or expect an apology?  When Jim grabbed me I wasn’t putting myself or anyone else at risk.  So it really was an assault.  He wasn’t the only one involved.  I’m worried about the reasons for having me on a Section 3 as well, that while I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I suffer from a mental illness of a nature and degree which requires treatment in hospital.  Being mistaken about the reasons for harassment or violence or antisocial behaviour from others does not, in my mind, constitute a mental illness.  And if people believe I am not mistaken all the more reason for them to say, unilaterally and without any assurance of my good will, that they have made a mistake.  From the bits I’ve seen and the much that I’ve heard, we are all over the broadcast media, and it isn’t because of me.  It was happening before I started blogging about them.  It’s been happening to me, to my knowledge, for nearly 18 years.

In Brief

It’s a while since I have been able to update my blog.  We are not allowed computers on the ward.  It was in brief when I started. 

I absconded from Macmillan Close and was 12 days in London.  The last 4 of those were spent falling asleep upright anywhere and everywhere because I couldn’t afford a bed.  When the police eventually picked me up after many close opportunities I was taken to a hospital in London where I was put behind the nursing station and alternately I was told 4 times I could or couldn’t have my door closed.  The nurses were badly behaved all the time I was there, when in the evening I finally got my meal and tried to close the door for privacy a nurse became aggressive and said she would call security.  I was brought back to Nottingham between midnight and 2 am in something which said ambulance outside but was like a police van inside.

When I got to Rowan 2 I was met by two staff, one male and the other female.  I made it clear that night that I didn’t want to get too close to the staff as I was there against my wishes and believed I had a right to protest.

The next day I was lying in bed relaxed, I wasn’t bothered by anything that normally had bothered me, like door slamming and shouting.  Although it was happening it was separate from me and identified it easily as out there and hardly noticed it.  However, during the course of the day 4 groups of nurses woke me to confront me about getting up, and after this happened I realised I was again feeling oppressed by the other noises.  I was afraid of their unreasonableness, and angry.  One of them said it wasn’t fair to the other patients, I said something about care being patient specific and needing sleep.  After 4 confrontations all feelings of safety were undone and any benefit from any sleep I had managed was destroyed.

I haven’t got long to write this so I’m going to try and put in everything I feel relevant but it won’t be particularly ordered.

Today I have an appointment with a Second Opinion Approved Doctor.  The first time he came I was only given 1 ½ hours’ notice and I managed to get it rearranged so I could arrange to have an advocate present.  However, although I am sure that when I phoned the advocacy service last week and left a message on their machine I gave them all the details they needed, when I picked their response up on Friday they wanted me to phone them again with the time.  I’m usually good about giving all necessary details, and even on Friday when I spoke to someone directly she asked me what time it was going to be when I knew I had already told her.  They have a 48 hour call back policy so at the moment I don’t know if I will have an advocate or not.  I am worried about having to go ahead without an advocate because last time he kept interrupting me, said he wanted to ask me 2 questions then after that I could decide whether I wanted another meeting or not, and he asked me if I thought I had an illness and if I thought I needed medication.  I said no to both and he said we wouldn’t need another meeting.  I insisted pointing out he had said it was up to me and that the purpose of the meeting was to do a proper assessment, not just get my opinion of illness and medication.  I was shocked and disturbed by his rudeness and ground shifting and believed it to be deliberate, knowing that even I in his place would not behave as he had.  I shook his hand at the end and he was holding a pencil.  He didn’t even put it in the other hand.

The first meeting I had with my psychiatrist seemed quite friendly and reasonable until I mentioned that my English degree had involved a critical method path of psychoanalysis and reader response.  She looked shocked and nervous, not to say afraid.  In meetings after that she got heavier.  She told me that if I named people in my blog they could or would sue me.  I said good, it’s about time it was made legal not medical.  I’ve thought about it since and thought that must have been deliberate intimidation, as they already have enough to sue me with from before and have threatened it before but have not taken that route.  She often wears a mocking and provocative expression on her face when I am talking to her.  She has told me that because I believe things are happening I need medication, and has said that if I am heard shouting or talking to myself in my room or laughing I will be medicated.  She tried to reinstate a depot the other week.  On the day of the following review my advocate told me that that wouldn’t happen as the paperwork was not up to date and it would be illegal without seeing a SOAD.  I can’t believe she didn’t know that at the time she told me it would be reinstated.  2 or 3 weeks ago she terminated the review because I tried to tell her that what they wanted to do to me filled me with fear and revulsion, and she said she wasn’t prepared to have me speak like that.  She said she wanted to keep it rational.  I have said that when people introduce physical threat as something they believe they have a right to they lose the right to expect reason from the person they are dealing with and to expect to be seen as reasonable themselves.  Recently she has been harassing me, asking me to take just a little medication knowing how I feel about it and that we are waiting for a SOAD.  I have told them that I believe in natural healing, sleep and rest and self-management.  I’ve also said that I am afraid of what they want to do and asked how fear is good for someone’s mental health.  I pointed out that last time I was in London the panel said that in view of my feelings about medication and the fact I had held them for a long time they were not going to force me and were going to end my section, and have said that although Nottingham is a different authority this decision should be taken into account and respected.  This has been ignored.  I am worried that I have heard people here tell me they have been in hospital over a year and up to 3 or 4.  I’ve been in hospital here now since 1st May last year.  I’ve never been in hospital this long before.

I’ve seen a psychologist twice and he has given me the impression he is on my side in things I have said to him, and my key nurse told me as much last week.

I’m on an all women’s ward but we have male staff.  Although I tend to enjoy relating more to the men at the moment I still can’t see why there are male staff on a women’s ward.

One man keeps positioning himself near me and saying ‘My God’.  I have told him I find it offensive but he still does it.

One man, when I had my bedroom door open with a nurse inside one morning, looked straight into my eyes as I was lying in bed with piercing disapproval.  Recently the same man came out of the office and started playfully teasing a patient who interrupts me every time she engages me in conversation and had just done so.  It feels as if they deliberately affirm anyone who gives me a problem.

There is one female nurse who told me that she wished she had a mute button so she could switch me off.  I told her that was verbal abuse and she said she didn’t care.  I said she might not care but I did and thought she should because she had no right to be talking to patients that way.  When I told my psychologist this he said ‘good for you’.  The same woman the next night heard another patient shouting and swearing at me, calling me foul mouthed and evil and saying I should wear a sign round my neck saying I was evil.  She came out of the office and sat in a chair and watched it for about 5 minutes without saying anything.  When the other patient got up and walked away (I hadn’t sworn during the whole conversation), this nurse turned and said to me, ‘See, Sue, nobody likes you’.  I told her she had no right to say that and that it wasn’t true anyway.  She asked me why I had involved her in the conversation in the first place and I said I hadn’t, she had come and sat down, and she told me to F off.  I reported this in a review meeting, it was handed to the ward manager for investigation and I have been told that this nurse denied it happened and the ward manager said she didn’t feel that any of her staff would behave that way.  I had a concert booked one night and I was at breakfast and this nurse was on again.  One of the patients started shouting at me and I said I was tired of her shouting at me and of the nurses letting her.  One of the other nurses on with this nurse, instead of trying to diffuse the situation, made it worse, saying I was rude to nurses.  I was shouting because I was so upset and the nurse who had called me rude threatened me with an injection.  I said it wasn’t going to happen and the nurse who had sworn at me before said to me that I was going to get an injection and that when I did she would be there.  I said she wouldn’t and she said do you want to bet.  When she saw my fear when it was first mentioned she was pleased and laughed, then the first nurse told me I couldn’t go to my concert or go out at all that day and that I was restricted.  This woman has thrown a tantrum several times when she has not wanted a conversation with me, though she started it, and has threatened me twice with an injection when I’ve got upset about it.  Medication has only ever been raised as a foreseeable imposition or threat, never as an offer.  I didn’t go to the concert.  That night the man who keeps saying ‘my God’ around me stood at the end of my corridor singing ‘soldier, solider, won’t you marry me’, and ‘Red red robin’ sounding really upset.  It was two nights after I had been upset because I had been told that a depot was going to be reinstated.  I was saying they were psychological terrorists and rapists.  They just walked around me ignoring me, not offering help or support.  He said ‘bloody hell’ to another nurse and I told him to stop swearing, because they came down on us like a ton of bricks of we swore, and he repeated it.  I was touched by the singing and thought he was going to be on that night, but he wasn’t and I was upset and disappointed.  He was finishing his shift, not starting.  My advocate told me the afternoon staff would have let me go to the concert, but they never tried to communicate that to me.  I was offended by what had happened in the morning and I didn’t want to approach it with them.  I felt it was my own fault that I had missed it for not approaching them.  But I have often felt that they are making me ask for things rather than offering in an attempt to break me, because I have said that I am not playing patient to their doctor nurse and I have a right of protest.  I have missed quite a few meals through a combination of fear of harassment and protest, and in my tribunal the other week one of the members of the panel asked the staff about it in such a way that gave me the impression that they were so cynical about me that they just put missing meals down to a ‘bargaining chip’, that was the terms used.

The day after the missed concert I got to the breakfast hatch 5 minutes before it was supposed to close and it was already closed.  The nurse who swore at me was on and I asked if I could have some breakfast and she gave me a one word answer – ‘no’.  I asked her if she had brought her whip and stilettoes that morning and as I walked away she asked me if I had enjoyed the concert.  As I was trying to answer he she shut the door in my face and I pushed on it to finish my answer to her question, and she suddenly let the door go and I ended up on my back in the kitchen, so I finished my answer from there.  Another nurse threatened to have me removed if I wouldn’t get up but backed off when I said it was illegal if I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  Eventually she asked me if I wanted breakfast and I told her I had been told I couldn’t have any.  She told me the nurse had said I couldn’t have anything hot, I told her the interchange that had taken place and she said ‘that is what you are hearing’.  I said ‘that is what I am hearing because that is what was said’.  She was trying to put it down to symptoms of mental illness.  I have had this with two other nurses on two different occasions, they refuse to have a normal conversation without putting something they don’t understand down to delusional beliefs.  That’s why I don’t like talking to them.  I talk to other patients, but when I do the nurses interfere with my conversations, start mimicking me, talking loudly over me at intimate points in the conversation, matching my tone of voice to say something in the office.  They have denied that any of this happens, but other patients say it happens as well, and we are all angry.  When my psychiatrist told me I would be medicated if I was heard shouting and slamming doors I said to her that a lot of people feel and act the way I do, and rather than face the fact that the staff might be doing something wrong and need to change, they threaten us with medication on our own in the review, in isolation.  That night I went to bed determined not to let anything come out of my mouth.  I fell asleep and had a nightmare that someone was hammering continuously on my door and I was shouting ‘please stop shouting at me’.  Somewhere between asleep and awake I wasn’t sure if I was actually shouting, and waking up I took myself in hand so that I wouldn’t verbally express the distress of my nightmare.  I felt like a child in an abusive situation who lies quietly in bed as they hear an abuser coming in the hope that if they are really quiet this time it won’t happen, and in fact I have been in that position many times on the ward, but it always does happen, because it is deliberate, but when I say it is happening I am told my belief is a symptom of mental illness.  It’s like a gagging mechanism.  This morning before 6am a man who had been on duty overnight came into the corridor talking loudly and making a sound like throwing up.  That is the kind of wake up we get every morning.  Staff shout, we can’t.  Staff shout at us, and threaten us if we get upset.  If I talk confidently about something I have seen as positive for me that is not ‘treatment’ related, staff nearby laugh in derision.  When they knock on my door they hammer.  They mimic, they walk past ignoring, sometimes with disdain on their faces.  I believe this is an expression of civil war.  Because I made my position clear I feel they have withdrawn service and support and are often deliberately opposing me.  The first time I heard bedding being offered to people I wasn’t offered any.  I had been there about a week.

When I first got there there was a lot of shouting and overt bullying.  I stood up for someone a couple of times.  The shouting has largely turned to boy scout behaviour and uproarious laughter.  A male nurse shouted at a patient outside the office once, went back in and closed the door and everyone in the office laughed loudly.  I thought it was inappropriate.  I have said to my psychiatrist that I don’t want medication and that some people used it for bullying and sadistic pleasure and that it turns into a grotesque theatre of subjugation.  Two nurses have said to me when shouting at me and having threatened me that they will be pleased when I am on medication (taking it for granted it is going to go that way with the SOAD) and that they will be there when I get the injection.  They will also use it verbally and cruelly at other times.  When they first said they wanted to restart the depot I told them I wanted it once a month not once a fortnight, because I know it is available and that I was limiting their access to me.  I have told them that if they force medication on me I won’t co-operate with them over anything else and that it will be an assault.

I was out on leave one evening and a couple of times I was so touched by people’s humanity and vulnerability that I wanted to break down and tell them what was happening.  I didn’t.  But on the way back I thought that I was being roughed up in the name of medicine, and that wanting to break down and tell complete strangers my story was evidence of that.  When I got back on the ward I was upset and told some of the patients what I was thinking.  I got more and more upset until I went to my room and gradually regained control of myself and went quiet.  After I had been quiet for ages I suddenly thought, ‘I’ve got shoe laces in here, and electrical cables.  I could have tried to harm myself, and no one cares to check if I am OK.  This is an acute ward, and they aren’t even checking that I am OK after being upset for ages then going quiet’.  I started shouting that and the male nurse on duty eventually walked past my door and yawned loudly and offensively.  At least, anyone else might have seen it that way, but when I told one of the nurses they said that might be just the way he is and he might not have been meaning to be offensive.  I’ve contacted the police several times since I have been here, including about this incident.  I was given a crime number for this incident.  I’ve heard nothing back.  I have said before and know it is true, that these people can get away with anything and are completely unaccountable because all they have to say is that I am a paranoid schizophrenic and that my perceptions are part of my illness.  I said to a patient the other day when we were talking about having to send our washing away and wait 2 days for its return and I’d been told sometimes things didn’t come back, that I hadn’t expected to be here so long anyway, and a nurse laughed as if it was a funny joke.  The man who says ‘my God’ around me laughed or said something contemptuously when another female patient said she had had enough and was going home.

The staff say things like ‘vain’ and ‘rude’, just throwing the words around, apparently.  They used to say ‘baby’, which seemed to be a stop word, or acted that way anyway.  I confronted it a couple of times and for now it has stopped, more or less.  I hear them talking about other patients by name, gossiping at and after meal times.  I am sure I get the same treatment, and one or two times domestics have had a hard time hiding their outrage at me when I’ve just been relaxed and normal.  On one of these occasions it was followed by an apparently untargeted ‘we all know’, after using the word ‘wee’ which has happened a few times recently.  Patients have started mimicking each other, and one commented that the staff mimicked me a lot, but if I say so it is my mental illness making me think that.  I’ve told my psychologist this and from what he said and my key nurse said, he is on my side.  The person using the word ‘vain’ was a man, and so was the one who angrily and derisively mocked my accent from the office, which I have been told never happened and that the fact I think it did is just more evidence that  need medication.  They look through my slats without speaking and I have said I feel like a lizard at a zoo.  None of this can be good for my mental health.  There are three patients they let shout at me or tear into me in other ways.  They don’t try to stop it or express any concern for me.  I used to like talking to the patients but I have withdrawn a lot now because of staff harassment.

I realised last week that I have been having strong urges to self-harm as a result of all this.  I won’t do anything about them but the urges have been there.  I’ve wanted to cut my hair, even thought about shaving my head.  I’ve wanted to run forks down deep into the flesh on my cheeks.  I’ve thought it would be a good thing if someone would whip me.  The other day I sat upset and rigid in a wooden-armed armchair in the multi-faith room.  I was upset because of something that had been said by a volunteer I had seen as a friend.  I realised I was wanting to self-harm and dissolved the emotion by saying the words quietly out loud as a realisation.  I thought about the electric chair.  I asked myself what would be the worst thing that could happen and I thought I might wet myself and defaecate and fry, but that would be all there was to fear, and it would all be over.  When things first started years ago I used to think a lot that I wanted to go to America and be executed judicially by lethal injection because everything was my fault and if I died everyone else would be free of the problems association with me seemed to bring on them.  Now I am correctly identifying urges of self-harm as a result of what people are doing to me and not my fault.  They don’t need medication, they need a change of situation.  Enforced medication is one of the things that adds to my feelings of hopelessness.

I’ve seen a lot of lookalikes from my present situation on the tv this weekend, and I noticed one woman noticing a lookalike of herself.  It’s the multiplicity and density that makes it unlikely to be coincidence.  I am sure the staff are aware of it and I think they are blaming me.  I have said it isn’t my responsibility to address it as I have been talking about it for years and having it put down to mental illness, and that it is their responsibility to approach me and say they think they might have made a mistake.  I feel I am being harsh and unreasonable, but if they won’t raise it with me and it has been rejected for 17 years . . . I hve said that people who resort to physical assault in the name of medicine have no right to tears around the people they treat that way, but I have started feeling responsible for their emotions and obligated to them.  I think that has been manipulated and what they are expressing at the moment is cruel and puerile cowardice.  I think the same of myself though.  I keep thinking it isn’t about feelings, it is about facts.  Being rude, vain, irritable etc are not evidence of mental illness and a need for medication.  I have been told I am paranoid schizophrenic because I believe that things related to me and my situations appear on the media and that I am being stalked and experiencing vigilantism bordering on and occasionally involving violence.  I see my time in hospital as one of these latter situations.  It is psychologically violent, physical assault.  I have said and meant that it is Nazism and scientific totalitarianism and that it is barbaric and brutal.  I have said I can’t trust people who will operate this way because it is an easy out and I think there is something wrong with them as humans that they cannot or will not see themselves as cruel and unreasonable, especially when someone says that other things help them.  I have said that I don’t want doctors taking serious risks with my physical health without my consent, risks that have been known to put people in wheelchairs as a result of ‘rare’ side effects.  If there is a risk like that, it isn’t right to say it is minimal to a person you are forcing medication on and denying them a right of refusal, while refusing to acknowledge that that person might be one of the people so affected.

I’m also afraid that even if they acknowledge they have been mistaken about this longstanding ‘reason’ for calling me mentally ill, they will shift their ground and insist on calling me mentally ill for other reasons which have arisen as a result of the constant bullying, untruthfulness, misrepresentations, etc, over the years.  I was up one night at 4 am and heard one of the male nurses up the corridor, a constant stream of ‘bastard’.  I have said they are employed to do a job and I have been there on my own time for over a year, but they come down hard on me and others if we swear, although swearing is a part of life.  Enough for now.  Oh yes . . .  My psychiatrist says the expressions on people’s faces don’t mean anything, then sits there with a provocative look on her own face.  A look passed between her and the clerk which knocked me out for the whole tribunal hearing, because I didn’t dare say anything.  I’ve started confronting this, talking about drama training and conveying thought process and feelings through facial expression.  I’ve also said most people disagree with her, and sometimes I have put it stronger than that.  Everything I say is put down to mental illness, everything said about me is used as fuel fir their invalidating, undermining and subjugating theories and decisions.  I have started saying that It is untruthfulness and dishonesty.  I said when first told I would be sued if I named people that it is a humanitarian obligation to name and shame these people, but I haven’t.  Sometimes I have felt guilty that I have protected myself by not writing at the expense of others who need me to speak.  Today I feel as if I am letting myself down and being dishonourable to the staff by writing.  And I’m scared because I’m not going to have an advocate this afternoon.  I have felt it is treated as a sign of weakness and validation of the staff if I don’t write, and also that it is a validation of their position and something they can blame and hate me for if I do write.  I’ve been hoping that if I don’t write they won’t medicate, but I feel they take advantage of my silence and will medicate anyway.  I feel that this strong feeling of certainty and relief that they won’t medicate if I don’t write is a true feeling from God to which I am being disobedient and that by writing I am not trusting God.

Pro Choice

In All In the Mind, BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, they were talking about a new venture in Manchester where patients who would traditionally be treated with anti-psychotics, or anti-psychotics and talking therapies, are being treated with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) alone.  The programme has several testimonials that this is working for those people.  It acknowledges that it doesn’t work for everyone, but that neither do drugs work for everyone, and stresses that it is about choice, which it says the NICE guidelines say should  be given to everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The programme acknowledges that while the NICE guidelines say this, many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are not given this choice.

There is a bit near the beginning about the USA presidential elections. It lasts a short while and the above follows it.

I didn’t know about the NICE guidelines.  Maybe the team here interprets them as meaning you should be given a choice of medication.  My situation has not felt right to me for a long time.  The only choice I have been given, which is no choice at all, is oral or injection.  I am being forced to take drugs.  As I have said before, literature on our boards says that this trust does not tolerate bullying, fear and other such things.  I quoted this to the doctors and they didn’t care.  One of them talked about me being abusive when my speech became heated, totally blind, so it seemed, to what they were doing to me.

The decision makers at Highbury Hospital think they don’t have to be nice, or that niceness is all right for moving on, once the abusive decision has been made and is being enforced.  They should not be moving on like that regardless and without me.  If I am living in unreality, it is their unreality that I am being required to live in.  That one unacceptable little thing which I am visited with twice a day.  These people are not trustworthy.

Today in Redwood 2 – Pre-Review

I have just explained part of my situation as I understand it to one of the other patients.  She has confirmed that she has been aware of things on the television reflecting us and that it has only been during this admission and had never happened to her before.  I told her I had had it for 16 years.

I’m writing this in Word at the moment, before I go out.  It is easier as it gives me a degree of privacy I can’t get outside.  I find myself wishing I had done this before, because I am feeling as if my head is beginning to calm down and I am becoming less afraid and disturbed by noises outside my room. I suppose the reason I haven’t is because of the way I was approached before by Alison, the ward manager, when she expressed concern over ‘what I was using my laptop for’.  I have been afraid I might have it taken away.

What has happened today?  To start with they told me that my review would be on Friday and not tomorrow, as I had been told by Dr Fahy’s new SHO last Friday that it would take place this Friday and that medication was definitely going to happen following the review.  That was how I understood it.  Today they told me the review would be on Friday but that medication was written up to start tomorrow, Wednesday.  I had thought it was good news that the review was going to be on Friday because as I understood it, medication was going to start again then, when I had had a chance to re-present the reasons for rescinding the section.  Before I have always assumed that waiting for the tribunal was all I could do, but this time has been different.  Because the section 3 I was under for a few weeks from May was rescinded before tribunal I realised that I could argue for it to be rescinded from day one and that waiting for the tribunal is not my only hope.

When they told me that the review would be on Friday but that medication was going to start again tomorrow I felt really upset and I said ‘this is an assault.  If the worst comes to the worst I’m going to phone a radio station’.  Anyway, later they said the staff team had talked about it and that they were going to recommend that medication be delayed until after the review, but that it was Dr Jaffur’s decision (I’m not sure of the spelling).  I was told that Dr Jaffur was away today and might be away tomorrow as well.  I spoke to my advocate who told me that she had phoned the ward last week and been told I was not on the unit, whereas the truth was that I had no leave, except Section 17 worded that I had no leave except for medical emergencies, which I have never received before.  That isn’t leave.  An emergency has to receive attention by law.  At that point I had already not eaten all weekend except for one sandwich and a few bite size shreddies.  During the weekend they decided they wanted to take any food I had out of my room, I suppose to put pressure on me to come out of my room.  But the fact was that at the time they wanted to do that I had no food.  They didn’t take great pains to find out why I wasn’t coming out for food (they knew about harassment and stuff which they keep insisting isn’t happening and that they have seen no evidence of).  The point is, I had no leave at all last week and never left the ward, but my advocate was told I was not on the unit when she phoned.  At that point the Section 3 was back in place and seeing her would have helped me.  That was probably the day she phoned to say she wouldn’t be available for the scheduled review on the Friday and left a message for me which was not passed on.

Anyway, later today they put the review which they had told me was going to happen on Friday back to tomorrow, after telling both me and my advocate that it was going to happen on Friday at a time I can’t remember now.  I found this out when my advocate phoned me on my mobile and left a message for me to this effect saying that I knew and had agreed to it.  I think this must have come from Dr Fahy’s new SHO who came to my room to engage me in a conversation about times, when I had just realised that I was being kept spinning and not allowed to stop as people kept coming wanting to discuss one piece of conflicting information after another.  I told her that I thought that was what my key nurse was for, to pass on the decision rather than different people keep coming to me with conflicting information and trying to get me involved with the conversations.  I have found it exhausting, and this is not the first time it has happened.  She did not tell me this had been a definite change and I heard it from my advocate who said she had been told I had agreed to it.  They told me Dr Jaffur was not going to be available on Friday.

I refused medication as soon as it was offered to me the first time Monday last week, on the grounds that this trust, according to its literature, does not tolerate fear and intimidation, and that this was the effect of what they wanted to do to me.  They told me it could be enforced but I argued calmly and assertively that although it could be, it didn’t have to be.  Eventually they accepted that and my nurse told me that it would be discussed again at review.  I had been told in London that you can refuse until the next review so I was fairly confident.  I had tried to say that to them before though and they had pushed it through anyway, not acknowledging the validity of what I was saying.  I suppose all the manoeuvring and manipulation today has been because that is the legal position and because I said it would be an assault to go ahead with medication before review and that if the worst came to the worst I would call a radio station.  But how many other people do not win this fight?  Every time I show signs of relaxed and healthy communication people start getting uncomfortable or looking cross or disapproving.  I am really feeling bullied and have been for ages.  Every time I speak the nurses copy what they hear.  I said that to the other patient I have mentioned and she said she had noticed it happening to me.  It is either the smile offensive or the snoot offensive and every time I open my mouth they push me and keep pushing me for a bit more, or talk over me, sometimes deliberately scrambling their own speech and being completely provocative and outrageous.

Someone on Radio 4 today mentioned ‘ad hominems’, a personal attack in an argument, and I thought about that in the context of all the times people have talked about illness and medication every time I have felt strong and hopeful in communication.  Yesterday Alison told me she had seen no evidence of harassment and she said she thinks I misinterpret things a lot.  I thought afterwards that that would be like someone who didn’t speak a language telling someone who did that they were getting it wrong.  She doesn’t see all the links that I see because she is not me and doesn’t have complete access to everything in my mind and memory that makes it understandable to me.  I told the other patient about it today because she came out of her review angry and I realised how powerless she must be feeling so I decided she was entitled to know that she wasn’t mistaken about the things she was seeing.

I can’t remember if I said in my last post that I have submitted the same complaint 3 times via the email address given on the website for the hospital and that it was supposed to have been answered within 3 days.  Today, 13 days later, Alison has received it and offered me an ‘opportunity’ to talk about it.  At the time I was flustered and wanted to use my leave and said so, saying it was now 13 days on and this was now my time and I wanted to take it, but also that the hospital has already broken its side of the agreement and that I believed the way forward now was to talk to my advocate about it. This is something her approach to me did not acknowledge.  It feels almost as if all this stuff is now being presented to me thinking they can get me to co-operate in the hope that my section will be rescinded and medication become a non-issue.  It’s a complaint about the night when staff came into my room and turned the light on at 4.30 in the morning and continued to be unruly and I reacted in anger and desperation because of that and previous broken nights through angry door slamming that I had said would make me ill if it didn’t stop, and rather than leave me alone when I said I just wanted to be left alone to sleep they kept going, one of them with her foot in the door, and escalated it to the point that, even though I was informal, they had me medicated.  The next morning the same team turned the light on at 3 am, no explanations, apologies or anything.  The first time, even though I eventually said please and was beside myself with desperation because they wouldn’t just go and let me sleep, they kept going.  Then Alison yesterday was talking about me needing to deal with this thing with Errol, who was involved in that, and it is like telling someone they need to make peace with a person in authority over them who has raped them.  They seem to be contriving to make me feel emotionally and relationally obligated here.

On the night before I tried to discharge myself I stayed out rather than go back and sleep on the ward because I thought if I slept there I might weaken and decide not to discharge myself.  I decided I was in a stronger position because Shelter’s solicitors had told me that I could not make myself intentionally homeless from a hospital.  I spent the night in a hotel room and the next morning I turned on BBC news to see all this stuff about the Home Office wanting to take away the embassy status of the building where Julian Assange has taken refuge, so they could arrest him.  This kind of coincidence has happened to me before, and as I said in my last post, when I went back and they wouldn’t let me go, in spite of having told me after the first interview that I could go and then changing their minds, police helicopters were flying over the building.  Last night I thought that the only thing that made sense to me was that the authorities thought I had absconded (I didn’t know I could do such a thing as an informal patient, but the police were looking for me, I discovered when I was able to use my phone again to get the messages – the battery had run out because of a long conversation with Shelter’s solicitor and I didn’t have the charger, that all has to happen in the office) and that the right way to deal with it was to arrest Julian Assange.  I thought they must have thought that I was going to go back to Occupy or to the Ecuadorian Embassy, whereas actually my first intention was to go back to Housing Aid and get myself rehoused.  But when I saw that on the news I wanted to go to London.  I felt helped by the timing of the first set of leaks that came from Wikileaks.  I have written elsewhere on this blog about Julian Assange and what I thought about things being reported around him, for what that writing was worth, and I feel it can’t have been much because everything I said must have been obvious to any good lawyer, and they also would have known about loopholes and things I couldn’t possibly know about.  I think most things I write are a bit silly at best and that I shouldn’t think too much of myself because of them.  But if I am right in my interpretation of this situation I don’t understand why it can have ben seen as so important that they wanted to take away the embassy status of the building so they could arrest Julian Assange.

They have been saying that they have to extradite him to Sweden to answer charges there, completely failing to acknowledge the truth that he had always co-operated with them freely so talking about extradition in his case is cause for him to be concerned for his safety.  He has always co-operated with the inquiry and the process.  Maybe they want us to forget that so they can call him, as I heard someone say on the radio recently, a stupid, self-regarding idiot, or something like that.  I think it is likely that that description might be more accurately applied to me.  By the way, there is a place in Ecuador called Quito, it has been in Radio 4 news this week.  I thought it was the capital but a member of staff said it isn’t. But I used to live in Kitto Road, at my last London address.  I feel as if I am being wretchedly ungrateful for all the protection which is being offered and exercised towards me by all my various stalkers and hackers, state and otherwise.

My advocate asked me about 2nd opinion doctors and I told her that the doctor involved in the final assessment for a Section 3 hadn’t asked anything situation-specific and had wanted to know my life story, which  thought was not good enough.  She agreed with me, that he was not there to get my life story.  Also he kept smiling at me as if he understood what I was talking about, so eventually I asked him if he understood and he said no, and when I said that he was smilingas if he did, he said he was smiling to encourage me.  I am wondering how many other such situations have been similarly misunderstood.

They keep talking as if I am going to be at the hospital a long time and keep saying they will see me next time they are on, which in my key nurse’s case is a week and a half.  It is exhausting me.

There is a right to silence.  There is also a right to not recognise any relational responsibility when those who are trying to make you feel it are in power over you in a way which allows them to impose themselves on you physically against your will if you defer to them and allow them to go unchallenged.

In the first place they asked me what I would do if I wasn’t sectioned and said my answer might affect their decision.  I told them to make their decision and then I would make mine, at the assessment.  But last week in the review I didn’t attend because the advocate I had been expecting wasn’t there I felt completely happy and relaxed and in my right mind when I asked the review nurse to tell them I would stay until I was rehoused if they wanted me to but that I wanted to come off my section and I didn’t want medication, but they were not interested in that and took the control back and left me feeling insecure and unhappy again.

WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero

"While I breathe, I hope"

Emerging From The Dark Night

Working through the Dark Night of the Soul to emerge as me.

The Elephant in the Room

Writing about my experiences with: depression, anxiety, OCD and Aspergers

The Sir Letters

A Tale of Love

The Seeker's Dungeon

Troubling the Surf with the Ocean

Seroquel Nation

Onward and upward...

We are all in this together

it's gonna be okay.

my last nerve

psychology | psychiatry | neuroscience | n stuff

A Philosopher's Blog

A Philosopher's View of the World...assuming it exists.