AFYH WK13: The Problem with Mental Health!
Another Five Years of Hell!
(It’s hard enough to recover from mental health problems without this Government cutting services and attacking those that need support, care & our compassion!)
The Tories keep attacking the systems, reducing the capacity of such systems that keep people such as me alive and able to access our own communities and the world of work, ironically creating more unemployment from this very sector of society that these Tories hate so much, we the disabled! They reduce the money going to Councils so they have no choice but to cut schemes and community care that facilitates people with disabilities entering the world of work. Access to Work funding is cut which increases the cost to employers of employing a disabled person, increasing the difficulty for employers with the inevitable consequences of less disabled people being in the workplace. Tories attack disabled people in the press and other media, branding them as scroungers, cheats and fraudsters. However, they don’t acknowledgement that the amount of fraud is such a small percentage of the entire Welfare State Budget, and is exceeded by £hundreds of billions by companies avoiding tax, or the estimated levels of tax fraud, being over a £150 billion per annum. There is simply no comparison, but still the disabled and the people that are legitimately too ill to work are deliberately tarred with the same brush as the few illegitimate claimants.
The disabled and the people with long term illness also differ in one important way from the corporation and personal tax avoiders. The disabled and the ill rarely fund the Tory party, whereas corporations and individuals of considerable wealth give vast funds/donations to the Tories (often buying themselves a place in the House of Lords!), because this sectors is very aware that avoidance of huge tax bills are NOT a priority of the Tories, so they get away with £billions. You will never hear at all that a disabled person has defrauded the welfare state out of £millions or £billions, but when did amazon of google last pay their corporate tax to the full in the UK? You never read anywhere that a disabled person caused the financial sector crash in 2008, that the Tories state over and bloody over caused the austerity they are forcing us Plebs to endure, whilst the Westminster booze bill increases by £millions.
This is the current environment of Government blaming and attacking those unable to fight back, in many cases unable to defend themselves, the vulnerable, the ill, the millions in poverty, those that don’t know where the next meal will come from, or when they will be able to have a warm room for their children. Fighting the tyranny of the Tories is pretty low on the list of things to do when you have to find food, resolve homelessness, clothe your kids, the only fight you have is to cope with life one day at a time, fighting against the bitter, hurting, misery that is living in poverty. Along with announcements of cuts and savage, sadistic slicing to budgets, is the announcement that the migrants continue to try and breach the meagre defences that protects UK borders. Perhaps we should be defending our country from the French Police’s lack of action, from the striking French Harbour Workers. With this comedy of French errors, is it no wander they fold to the pure determination of people fleeing the bloody horrors of war with the only thought that in the UK they can live in peace, free from fear of persecution and death. Little do they know how hostile the Right Wing of this Country is to anyone wanting, needing asylum and freedom from harm. After all this Right Wing Government penalises and persecutes people in poverty, on state benefit, for having an empty room, so what chance have Asylum Seekers. Yet these Tory animals are happy to give state benefit by the £millions, all taxpayers money, going every year to the richest Royals in the world, who have hundreds of empty rooms, yet strangely this isn’t a problem for the Gov and the bedroom tax doesn’t affect them. The first thing Seekers of safety in the UK should know is that it is one rule for us Plebs and a different set for the rich and the royal.
I have to say I start to feel some level of despair at times as I am one of those that is affected by the this Governments targeting of the disabled, especially as my degenerative condition is ever worsening, leaving me more and more dependent on the services that this Government are cutting day by day. Then I see a programme where an investigative reporter goes undercover with his team to investigate, yet again, people defrauding the benefit system by pretending to be ill, have mental illness, back problems, etc. The programme even showed people who could show you how to make a false claim and use false GP sick-notes, which these criminals could sell to you of course. I wanted the programme narrator to keep saying that these were absolutely the exception, that the vast majority of people are genuine claimants, in genuine need, but they only said this once at the beginning of the programme. By the end you would be forgiven if you thought everyone in a wheelchair, everyone claiming to have a mental illness, anyone claiming long term disability support, or long term illness, was just conning the Tax Payer and the Welfare State out of precious money and valuable resources, which are in terminal decline under the Tories. It was horrific, I could tell people would just assume this was what we were all up to, which is just not the case of course, the vast majority are desperate for help and support from resources such as care services, welfare state, NHS, housing, benefits, etc., etc.
Do you imagine for one moment that someone with a significant disability or illness wants to depend on the Welfare State, don’t you think that needing care with hygiene, with incontinence, with every aspect of one’s life is humiliating, embarrassing, degrading and disempowering enough without the labels now being attached to someone like me. Don’t you think someone with a significant disability or long term condition would rather earn their own money if it were possible, and feel proud that they had done so, contributing to society as a tax payer and not a tax user! ! ! ! It’s is going to be far worse for people who have outward sign of illness, no outward display that they are ill, such as depression. Just because you can’t see it, this doesn’t lessen the impact of such conditions on self, on family, on one’s life. People with mental health conditions need support & compassion every bit as much as someone in a wheelchair, and no I do not exaggerate this problem the Tories and programme makers are fostering at all.
With severe depression, one’s mind closes in; you sink in the darkness of despair and loathing for oneself. This is where your own mind starts to betray yourself as your thoughts spiral in an ever decreasing spiral of negativity, until you utterly hate yourself. You start to think that no one could possibly like someone as disgusting as you, and that they are desperate to escape you. After a while everything you see and hear convinces you that you have nothing to offer, your life is worthless, that you are worthless and the spectre of suicide wraps its arms around you, drawing you ever close to it as the only answer available to you. No matter what you are told, or who asks if you are ok, you know they would be better off without you breathing, without you infecting their lives with your toxic contamination. Every look, every word, everything and everyone reinforces this singular thought, which has become so twisted, so warped, so disfigured. Your world has crumbled, your reality has become bizarre and scary, ceasing to be real, and even the constant anxiety you feel shattering your body and mind. You try to dampen off the anxiety with misuse of medication or alcohol, it’s called self-medicating. I was aware of one case who took sleeping pills during the day just to keep his demons from escaping and also misused his prescribed controlled drugs for pain, taking far too many in order to flatten his anxiety levels, but even this didn’t work and the demons escaped at night to play with my fear. With the drugs cocktail he was abusing he was hallucinating at times, seeing distorted screaming faces screaming at him from the curtains, the garden, reflections off the cars in the drive, screaming gargoyles who would appear in a shadow and disappear, who would laugh constantly and then screech with fear themselves. Without realising it you are now self-medicating just to keep going one hour after another, your senses and now utterly overloaded and it is all you can do to hide away.
You become utterly exhausted as you can’t get to sleep with such disturbing thoughts and you wake early with horrific nightmares that are so very vivid and realistic. Your appetite diminishes or you binge as you cannot feel full, your hygiene reduces and simple everyday tasks become near impossible as your concentration is dampened down, dulled by lack of sleep. You become like a plant starved of soil, water and light, you die bit by bit inside until death becomes a real and achievable option, soon the only option left (and this is a mark of how screwed up you have become). As so messed up in the imploding mind is you want to release the ones you love the most from your misery. You don’t perceive death as your release, far from it, but it is what you must do for your family, for your partner and any children, as this is what they need you to do. You are utterly convinced this is the right thing to do, to end your life in order to make theirs better or to allow them to escape you. By this stage, in your mind, you feel as though you are in a room with no light, huddled in a corner crying uncontrollably, interspaced with screams of the agony you are in, all the time smiling and nodding when people talk to you, functioning on automatic as your interactions with other become superficial. Whilst they talk, your thoughts are consumed with,
“When will the right time be?”
“How will I collect enough pills?”
“What arrangements do I need to make?“
“What do I need to leave in my goodbye message?”
“Who will find me?”
All of these things are running through your head, a destructive and macabre ‘to-do’ list, that has to be completed. You do not know when you make the final decision that all arrangements have been made and it is now the time to act, you just find yourself taking your own life. You know this is the right thing for your family, you know this is what they need so that they can be released from you, that you will no longer drag them down into your misery, your disgusting existence. All this runs like a loop in your head, over and over, eroding all sense of self, you only know that this is for your family because you love them much, very much more than your own life. Yes this is utterly perverse but at the time you have no connection with reality or the truth, as anything that is said to you is twisted in your crumbling mind to justify that this is the right thing to do and your suicide is the ultimate and final act of love for your family.
Once you wake up having survived this stupid act that you actually had no control over at all, you will face months of utter confusion as you don’t understand why people are upset, angry and crying over what you have done, and all you can think is “why don’t they understand it was done for you?”. You are watched constantly, have strangers asking you about the most intimate of issues, examined, questioned, analyses, assessed time and time again, by more professionals than you ever knew existed. If you resist or are reluctant to participate they take your liberty away in an instant, and you are detained under the mental health act, with the most classic of ‘catch-22s’:
Say you don’t think you a risk or you are as ill as they say you are, you are labelled as lacking in insight, proving you are ill and need detaining!
If you say you are ill and admit what they think about you is correct, this proves you are ill and need detaining!
But very slowly, over months and years, with medication, with counselling, family support, individual therapy, group therapy, Psychiatric input, Social Work, Occupational Therapist, Wheelchair Services, Pain Management, copious amounts of pills several times a day, enough to make you rattle as you move (and the list goes on), that things return to normal, that everyone can breathe again, that reality returns slowly. You look back and don’t understand why you thought what you did, why you acted as you did, none of it now makes sense. But the light has returned and bit by bit you claw back your dignity, the trust you damaged with family, the love you share, but it is years before you are able to look forward, to plan for the future, to think further than the current day you are in.
Amongst this living hell that your family and you are going through, you have to also put up with the Welfare State treating you like a scrounger, putting you through yet more humiliation, forms so long they take hours to fill in, often with the help of a Social Worker, and all because:
- The Government want to pile on the misery that people already suffer from with Mental Health problems;
- There are these scum pretending to be ill to defraud the benefits system, smearing the vast majority that are genuine with the same fraudulent effluent;
- That the thousands of people suffering severe depression every year and then suffer stigma, made to keep such problems secret, made to hide when they need support, because the media demonises people with mental health issues – Not everyone is a character out of the film Psycho!
But the real culprits are the Government who just see you as a deficit on the budget they want to cut, whilst they maintain a nuclear deterrent at a cost of £100 billion. Then they have the nerve to tell the British people that they have not cut beds or services in the NHS, well in reality Mental Health (which is part of the NHS) inpatient beds have been reduced by 50%, adolescent specialist beds are down by 65%, and community services are cut to the bone. As an example of this there is a Psychological Talking Therapies Service in an area of the North East that has a waiting list of 8 to 12 months, as funding has been cut again and again. If you are in desperate need of help how can you wait up to a year? If you have a life threatening illness, which depression can be, would you be happy with your Doctor telling you to wait 12 months?!?! Community charitable support services have had their funding reduced and people with depression and other mental health problems are suffering. Yet the Government just attacks, cuts, slashes at services and the Welfare State. All the time IDS hides the Government statistics of suicides and deaths post being assessed by the Welfare to Work Programme, having their benefits affected or having been sanctioned. Remember the news and exposure about the behaviour of ATOS assessing people’s need for welfare support, the deaths post such assessments are being hidden and the DWP are fighting in the courts to keep it hidden. They are using tax payers’ money to cover up statistics and refuse openness under the Freedom of Information, which the Tories ignore whenever they want to.
Mental Health problems are life changing for families and at the extreme life ending. The Tories needs to be stop bullying and intimidating those that need the support of the Welfare State, go after the corporations that avoid tax by the £billion and use this money to invest in services that they have reduced to the point of people dying! How do I know the above, use your imagination but I also spent 30 years in the care industry as well as being a qualified Psychiatric Nurse for all of those years.
Yours most sincerely
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