Monday, June 1, 2015

And I have been silent too long

OK, so I was actually busy yelling about other stuff - and often found that I couldn't find the right words to express my anger on this subject. But today I find that the correct words were there all along and they are in fact:


The subject is mental health services in New Zealand. You might have guessed. And the target of my IRE is once again, and no surprise, the National led government of New Zealand. There are insufficient swearwords in my vocabulary to deal with how Muppet-riddled I believe our parliament to be. Say "cuts to mental health services" one more time motherfuckers. 

Mental Health Services in this country have been an endangered species for a lot of years. It was quite a long time ago now that I self-admitted to Hillmorton as I realised the bad situation I was in was leading to bad ideation in my head. They stuck me in a corner and basically let me look after myself. Fair enough, I was there for the safe environment and the knowledge that they probably wouldn't let me do anything really stupid. I didn't need a lot of input. More than I got for sure, but given that they had people trying to climb the fence on a more than daily basis and way too few staff able to deal with it I think they did pretty well. 

I even made myself useful by noticing the people trying to escape. To be clear, they weren't trying to escape because the hospital treated them badly or was a terrible place. They were trying to escape because they were batty. The terrifying thing is that only the very most unable to care for themselves people end up in full time care, or even part time care, because THERE SIMPLY ISN'T FUNDING FOR EVERYONE. You might have noticed people who are really crap at being people wandering the streets a lot. They haven't escaped. They have nowhere to go. The are the unwashed mentally ill. The not quite bad enough to make the top of the list. But certainly bad enough that the average punter will be a bit mortified and/or terrified to see them on the streets.

And now here's where I begin to worry... many of these people are just barely holding it together at the best of times. They already suck at society, because of their illness, and in the face of LESS HELP what will happen to them? In the face of CHEAPER help. Seriously, are we going to just take any old cowboys over the trusted professionals now? FUCK YOU NATIONAL. 

I was in hospital for several weeks, as I slowly got back to a place where I felt safe not to hurt myself. I was never a physical danger to other people, not for an instant. But I could have hurt myself. Terminally even. The moment I realised I actually needed real help was after a phone call from WINZ (Irony). The booked an appointment with me. When I rang off I thought to myself, ha I won't be around for that! BAM. What? I've gone from quite situationally stressed to has a plan to end it in a very short space... well no not really, I'd been HIDING the plan from my conscious mind. It's quite possible that if that simple little thought hadn't snuck out I might not be writing this now. I literally stood in the middle of the street, stunned, as the entire plan unfolded in front of me fully formed. My conscious mind apparently wasn't quite there yet, because I went straight home and called my doctor. Who's nurse gathered from the uncontrolled sobbing that is a VERY LONG WAY OUTSIDE MY PERSONA that something was drastically wrong. I was in care the same day. I could see that they were appallingly underfunded. It's quite clear from within that no one but the staff give a flying fuck about making anybody actually better. They want to get you on what they call a suitable level of drugs and get you back out the doors. I'd have left earlier, but my very 'kind' mother-in-law got me to have an angry breakdown the day I was supposed to go home. Give that girl a Valium. Also throw that nasty piece of work out of the hospital... that part was funsies. 

But there are people who are not only a serious danger to themselves, they are a danger to others too. Not necessarily because they are violent or aggressive but simply because they aren't very good at people. Trying to people in a world where all the other people are NOT LIKE YOU can be pretty fucking terrifying. And how do you react to terror. Fight or Flight. It's programmed into us. Sooner or later someone who is unable to react normally will be backed into a metaphorical corner and will FIGHT. We already live in a society that is a bit scared of mental illness. It will only get worse as long as we continue to not treat it properly. I'm not even slightly suggesting that all people with mental health issues need to be in care... that would be upwards of 20% of the population. I am saying that a small portion of those people need proper care. Respectful proper care. No Bedlam Asylum.

Mental health issues need to come out of the closet. A huge number of people at one time or another in their life will suffer from a mental health problem. And many will suffer in silence rather than *own up* to it. Because it's ugly and embarrassing. BUT IT'S NOT. It's just illness like any other. It's a part of our body not doing quite what it's meant to. Sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. It just needs treatment and time. And maybe if we didn't keep it in the cupboard people wouldn't get treatment plans that don't really work for them. Patients are embarrassed to really discuss the direction of their treatment. Doctors are - bloody annoying actually - unwilling to discuss changes of medications and dosages. My doctor really doesn't like it that I stand up to him over anti-depressants. I don't like what they do to me, and increasing the dosage makes me actually sick but that is what he keeps falling back on, every time ANYTHING goes wrong with my illness. I have Fibromyalgia. It has SOME mental aspects. They think. But in fact they know fuck all so why they keep insisting that things are AS THEY SAY, when they patently aren't is.... well according to a specialist I spoke to _just covering up for their lack of specialised knowledge_ I think I love him. The one thing that has helped I can't get in this country. The other thing that might help I can get but not legally. Fucking super. Not actually interested in making people better. 

Two. TWO, major mental health providers have "lost their government contracts" (this is jargon for they found someone willing to pretend to do the job for way less money). People will suffer. More people will suffer. As if our government aren't already pretty expert at suffering. The constant ebb of taking money from the vulnerable and giving it to big business is making me tired of this country. This country that I once loved with all my heart. I loved her for her heart, and she has lost it. She will die without it.

Peace. Out.

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