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A good article - Carers UK Forum

A good article

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
By one who knows.
Very moving and telling it how it is
https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... SApp_Other
Yes, it was a good article - very long.

It did raise a lot of issues however. (Be warned, as you probably know from all my previous posts on MH, I'm not the 'best person' to discuss it - I am very 'anti-MH' because of having been raised by a mother with MH, and having a niece with MH as well. I am aware of my 'hostility' but it's still there, all the same!)

I think the first thing that struck me was when she talked about the encouraging posters telling everyone that it was easy to get help she misses the MOST important thing of all.

What help IS there?

By that I do not mean what she seemed to be focussing on - the shortfalls of the NHS system - but the root problem itself from a medical/psychiatric point of view.

What CAN psychiatry do for those with MH?

What help can RICH people get? What help IS there?

To me, this I the MOST important question of all!

In Cancerworld, yes, there are drugs and treatmetns that the NHS won't fund (justifiably or not), but even with private health care there are severe limits as to what treatment can achieve by way of life-extension let alone cure. It simply is not medically possible yet to cure all cancers - end of.

So, similarly, it simply is not possible for medical science to 'cure' all MH. End of.

I can remember my sister in law saying tearfully how her daughter - also very tearful! - had said to her 'I ask and ask for help and nobody helps me!'

And of course the answer is not necessarily that the NHS isn't providing the help - it is that THERE IS NO HELP that CAN be provided. No one can 'cure' my niece! Any more than they could cure her MS if she had it, or any other currently incurable disease.

That really hard issue was never addressed in the article. It was a catalogue of complaints that may, or may not, be justified, but it did not address the issue of how much help is available were money no object!

If she can't answer that, there is no point writing a diatribe about the NHS! That's the starting base - what IS the 'best treatment medically available', and how effective is it.
I'm afraid the other thing that automatically put my back up was of course the inherent 'self-focus' of the piece. It was all, sigh, me me me me me.

Which is probably the main reason I dislike MH so much.....

I know that' unfair - it was an article on her experiences. But it's the air of 'self-pity' that comes through.

That said, to be fair, I think she does say right at the end that there are others worse off.
Finally, like all too many Guardianistas (!) she seems blithely oblivious to the fundamental problem she faces (after discovering just how 'inherently curable/mitigable' her condition is.

ie, the COST to the NHS - ie, to the taxpayer.

What she wants (what DOES she want, by the way - she never spelt out the treatment she WOULD like to receive!), costs HUGE amounts of money in terms of skilled time and attention etc.

Who is going to pay for it?

And why should we?

If 'health rationing' (as part of overall 'welfare rationing' and 'state investment rationing' - ie, the recycling of tax revenues and government income into 'the commonwealth', whether that means building roads and railways or paying the salaries of doctors etc) is applied - and it IS applied - otherwise we'd all be having facelifts on the NHS! (well, I know I would!!!!!), then for every pound (make that a thousand!) spent on MH, that same amount of money spent on other, Physical Health conditions, could be FAR more effective.....

I'm not saying it is, just saying that the 'cost-benefit-ratio' of spending limited resources on complex MH needs, rather than on other 'simpler' things with more clearly defined and more easily and cheaply achieved outcomes, may just be a more 'sensible' way to spend the NHS budget (whatever that budget it, assuming it will always have limits applied.)

This is NOT to say 'oh, send a fat person to a health farm on the NHS' is more (ethically) justifiable than say 'send an MH patient to a decently operated and funded psychiatric hospital' (or whatever), just that in the end, cost-benefit decisions DO have to be made. And then paid for.
PS - I think the most extraordinary thing about the article is that this is a woman with clearly severe mental illness, and yet somehow she'd manages to get one of the hardest-to-get jobs in the world - a journalist on a national!

How on EARTH did she get that???????

PS - ALL CREDIT to her that she did!
In many sectors , an " Eccentric " is often sort for novel insight into various problem solving.

Mathematics and Physics / Cosmology are just two ... many eccentrics employed there ... to others , they would appear to be boardering on madness.

Try watching a theoretical physicist in action ... using just chalk with a blackboard ... not a calculator in sight.

Hours of contemplation and then ... the explosion !

Often spending days just working on a problem , oblivious to the outside world.

Almost impossible for others to know what he / she is working on unless they , themselves , are proficient in maths and geometric concepts ... occasionly involving theoretical higher dimensions ... or quantum weirdness ?

Even the money markets use eccentrics ... most working on abstract models of finance.

History is full of instancies of " Eureka " moments.

Many use the word MAD when they should be saying UNUSUAL ?

Sanity ... a mild form of madness ?

Enthropy ... flows only way ... from an ordered to a disordered state.

Are our minds any different ?
"Many use the word mad when they should say unusual."

I definitely agreed with her that she warned that too much is being medicalised, that is simply part of the human condition, such as sadness, grief, unhappiness etc.

It's like the report that has come out about MH in students - that so many of the students that are being labelled as 'mentally ill', are simply lonely and unhappy at uni. (Because uni can be the loneliest place in the world where 'everyone else' is being invited to parties, getting girlfriends/boyfriends, having fun fun fun.....)

As for the author if that article, she must have gone to a top uni, and come out with a top degree, or else know a lot of influential people, as NO ONE walks into a job on a national newspaper if they are not VERY privileged already!
Oh, it seems to have pressed buttons for Jenny due to her experiences as a child, sorry Jenny

For others of us we realise that some MH issues arise because the persons very deepest self has been harmed in some way, and that takes many many years to heal, and even then is liable to be hurt again. Some of us are not as resilient as others, some have learned to wear hard armour.

For others the MH may be caused by some chemical imbalance, but whatever the cause, it is difficult and long term, one is always fighting it or trying to cope. It is relentless.

I read it as though the author sees the current campaigns saying 'speak out' as a step in the right direction but that it isn't backed by the resources to actually effect help.
At the time of writing she was obviously heading for some kind of hyper phase and I hope she has the intelligence and support to get through it.
And finds people and friends who are more understanding and supportive than Jenny would be.
As far I can see and I've just scanned it, this article has no relevance to caring whatsoever and so not be on this forum imo. :-???

Also, if it is going to be allowed to remain on the site by mods I feel it is important to give a trigger warning.

As a mental health activist - can confirm that such warning are good practise.
G Fraser_1612 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:46 pm
As far I can see and I've just scanned it, this article has no relevance to caring whatsoever and so not be on this forum imo. :-???

Also, if it is going to be allowed to remain on the site by mods I feel it is important to give a trigger warning.

As a mental health activist - can confirm that such warning are good practise.
There are many threads on other conditions such as dementia, Parkinson's, aspergers etc. Anything that helps a carer learn about their carees condition is helpful to the carer surely?
There have been several posts recently by carers asking how to support someone with an MH issue and I thought this article could give some pointers as she writes about what helps her.

I am sorry if any one was hurt or offended by it, but I stick by my original intentions. No one has been forced to read it.