Eclectic Blue

Still crazy after all these years

Comments Off on Still crazy after all these years 02 December 2017

Still crazy after all these years

It’s time for an update on what the media might describe against my “battle with depression and anxiety”. Of course, it’s anything but a battle on my part. I mean, I’m doing my best. I know how mental ill health works – I’ve been afflicted by the bloody thing since 1969, so I should know – and the “battle” is more a desire to keep going. Where am I now?

Leaving an employer whose managers caused me to have a breakdown earlier this year has been a Brucie bonus. It means that for the first time since 1973 I will be out of work at Christmas, something that is not too much of a disaster since I start another job on 2 January 2018. It’s just the psychological aspect. I have always had a job at Christmas. Thanks to some uncaring people, this year I won’t.

Following the breakdown, I sought therapy and/or counselling through the NHS. Some chance. One on one treatment? There is nothing. The only thing that was left was group therapy, something you really want when you want to unload highly personal and often very upsetting issues. I’ve have always prided myself in accepting anything that was available and I put my name down. Almost three months on, guess what? Nothing. Not even an acknowledgement. And why? I am told because there are so many people waiting for treatment, no one can tell me if I am even on a waiting list, never mind offer me a vague idea of when I might see someone.

This endless delay is because I am not near being sectioned. Severe clinical depression is one thing, a mental breakdown is another. If I can still perform at a very basic level, this is my life. Believe me, I do not want to be any worse. I suspect that there are people who are a whole lot worse than me who are getting nothing apart from prescribed drugs. And this gives the big lie that the government actually gives a toss about us.

What did the government do and say when confronted with the growing mental health crisis? Theresa May kicked the issue into the long grass. She arranged for Paul Farmer from Mind and Dennis Stevenson, a mental health campaigner, whatever that means, to carry out an “independent review” which is another way of saying she is doing absolutely nothing other than mouthing platitudes. We’ve had endless reviews over the years and we already know what the conclusions will be. There is inadequate provision for mental illness throughout the land. Unless you are going to be sectioned or you have extensive private health care, you are, we say, absolutely fucked.

I am not angry with the people who made my mental health worse because I rarely, if ever, lose my temper. Rather, I feel pity for them. Their empty, selfish and empathy-free lives show only their inadequacies, not mine. I have spent the best part of a year having my sleep patterns wrecked and it’s little better today. But, as Sir Elton John rightly put it, I’m still standing, albeit not better than I ever did.

So I have no hate and just a little more hope. And I’m here to fight another day. Still mental as anything but just about knowing what day it is.

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