For the first 37 years of my life I suffered in silence. Emerging from a dysfunctional childhood and adolescent depression I moved into adulthood only to be come ensnared in a violent marriage which brought me to the brink of insanity. Only by walking away did I postpone for 6 years what was to be a highly terrifying descent into psychosis, a six month stay in hospital, culminating in 6 horrendous treatments of Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). During the next 6 years I stumbled in the darkness of my soul and insult was added to injury when 10 years after my psychotic breakdown, I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, caused by the ingestion of enormous quantities of neuroleptic drugs. I faced surgery twice and recovery from the second operation was both slow and painful. Seven years after my breakdown I’d given up the cocktail of medication. Withdrawal was far from easy and since 1993 I’ve relapsed on six occasions. I call that recovery. Others do not. Through talking therapies and cathartic writing I have broken my silence and found my voice. No one could hear my headaches or see my optical migraines. Now I know it is my responsibility and mine alone, to ensure that my mental well being remains constant and continual. By nurturing my psyche with good music, good nutrition and company of positive people – and by avoiding negativity as far as I can -I can achieve good health. I understand that the vagus nerve responds well to this regime and blood pressure and heart rate are attuned accordingly. More and more of us are now acknowledging the link between early life trauma and adult psychosis and the move towards demedicalisation of mental illness is gathering pace. Talking about distress and verbalising my pain has helped me process and absorb traumatic events and see, that once delusions and hallucinations have dissipated, the pain is unprotected – and hurts intensely. Without the cloak of madness I am vulnerable and raw, exposed and stinging. Healing comes when crying and talking clear and clean my psyche and allow new and happier memories to replace the wounds with genuine emotional growth – and understanding that it is a sign of strength, not weakness, that I survived those traumatic times and can now move forward, without looking over my shoulder.
It comes to something when a patient is asked to pay a General Practitioner to write a letter to the Department of Work and Pensions. A General Practitioner is surely there to oversee the mental wellbeing of a patient? Shouldn’t a standard letter, sent on behalf of a patient, to the DWP, or indeed any part of HMG, be sent by electronic mail, or by Royal Mail, for the cost of second class stamp? I’ve reluctantly agreed to pay £16.50 so that my GP can convey some information on my behalf. Once again, I shall think very carefully about approaching a General Practitioner for any help in relation to any aspect of my mental well being.
I’ve received another email from NHS Choices
The content of our drugs “Medicines A-Z” is provided by an external company called Datapharm. It is a comprehensive list but certainly different people can have different experiences on different drugs.
However, at NHS Choices we merely publish the content they provide.
If you have a complaint about that content please contact Datapharm.
I’m waiting to hear from Datapharm. Last Friday they told me “The Medicine Guide for Chlorpromazine currently covers the lens opacity side effect with a listing of ‘eye or eyesight problems’. I will refer ask our editorial team to consider the inclusion of a more explicit term, such as lens opacity. I will contact you in a week with an update to the status of this information.
Making Sense of Voices- Maastricht Interview Training
(This training is targeted at all mental health workers, criminal justice personnel, and third sector agencies)
Facilitators: Pete Bullimore and Chris Tandy
|The Crown Hotel, Crown Place Harrogate, HG1 2RZ – 3rd, 4th and 5th July 2013|
The Institute of Mental Health Building , Innovation Park, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU- 17th, 18th and 19th September 2013
|Wirral Mind, 90-92 Chester Street, Birkenhead CH 41 5DL- 15th, 16th and 17th October 2013|
The Maastricht Interview is a semi-structured questionnaire that is used in therapy with voice hearers. It explores the experience at length and can assist voice hearers in a number of ways. It helps people overcome the shame of talking about the voices and encourages them to describe their experiences. The therapist will need to show the voice hearer that they recognise their experience by demonstrating a completely open-minded interest. By asking the right questions, in this way, the therapist can offer people the reassurance that hearing voices is in fact a well known phenomenon, enabling the voice hearer to feel properly acknowledged. The questionnaire should then facilitate discussion about the voices and confirm the reality of the experience. It is also a means of systematically mapping all aspects of the voices to gain more insight to the experience. This promotes acceptance and empowers people who hear voices.
(Places are limited)
Apply now: please email Karen Sugars firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place on this training
Some quotes from our previous attendees from our joint training initiatives:
‘A truly inspiring training experience. This gave me so many useful strategies ideas for working with voice hearers’
‘Logical and practical solutions for working with voices’
‘It focuses upon Romme and Escher’s ground breaking work with voices which is fantastic!’
‘Excellent trainers that consider the key implementation issues from a voice hearer and worker perspective’
According to what was then my local Primary Care Trust, psychiatrists cannot be expected to know about the side effects of the medication they prescribe. What? Yes, it’s a given that medication has side effects. Lens opacity/cataracts is a side effect of some anti depressants, anti psychotics, and steroids.
I was 48 when I was diagnosed with cataracts. When I saw the ophthalmologist he said my cataracts were not the usual ones he saw in his clinic, and he asked if I’d ever taken the anti psychotic drug Chlorpromazine. I’d taken large quantities of Chlorpromazine ten years previously, while sectioned under the l983 Mental Health Act. The ophthalmologist said the Chlorpromazine had caused my cataracts. I had surgery in 2003, and 2008
Recently I followed the link Tweeted by @NHSChoices to their Side Effects section. I searched for Chlorpromazine and there, listed under Side Effects was “Eye Problems”.http://www.nhs.uk/medicine-guides/pages/medicinesideeffects.aspx?condition=schizophrenia+and+psychosis&medicine=chlorpromazine+hydrochloride&preparation= That was it. I note that since I made my enquiries it says “Eye and Eyesight Problems”.
I queried this on Twitter and was told the information was meant only as a guide. I went back to the NHS Choices website and contacted the NHS to ask why lens opacity/cataracts was not listed, arguing that patients could not make clear and informed decisions and choices, if the information given by the NHS was incomplete. Eventually I had a reply asking me to contact DataPharm http://www.datapharm.org.uk/with my enquiry. This I did. Back came the reply from DataPharm that I could contact some Pharmaceutical companies myself. I protested about this and had another reply to say sorry and that they did not list lens opacity/cataracts as a side effect of Chlorpromazine because it was not listed in the documentation they received from the Pharmaceutical company. Ah.
I contacted the manufacturers of Seroquel/Quetapine and they said the medication does cause cataracts in dogs.
I’ve written back to DataPharm and to the NHS Choices Website to say just because the Pharmaceutical company does not list this specific side effect it does not mean this side effect does not exist.
I’ve contacted APRIL (http://judithhaire.com/april-adverse-psychiatric-reactions-information-link/) and RxISK (http://judithhaire.com/rxisk-is-a-free-independent-drug-safety-website/) and let them both know how my enquiry to the NHS Choices website is progressing and I have now passed my email correspondence to my MP Laura Sandys for her comment.
To be continued.
From The Observer Sunday 19 May 2013 – Mental illness: the claim that abuse is behind psychosis is irresponsible Oliver James’s assertions are unhelpful and risk demonising people
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy. It’s on page 11 via this link – No 67 Spring 2013 http://www.yourvoicesheffield.org/media/YV67final.pdf
At first Denise looks for quick and painless solutions; then, in rehab, she courageously begins to work her way through the problems of Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and substance abuse.
- Stress and how to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Why your emotions matter to you and to others.
- What you can do to harness the energy of your emotions and make them work for you.
- How you can become calm, energized, focused and more aware of yourself and others.
Changing Diets, Changing Minds – The Importance of Nutrition For Behaviour, Learning and Mood: Putting Research Into Practice
Start Date: June 06 2013
End Date: June 06 2013
Duration: 9.30am to 4.30pm
Location: Inverness IV2 3BL
Venue: Lecture Theatre, The Green House, Beechwood Business Park
It gives us great pleasure to announce an opportunity to hear from Professor Michael A Crawford of Imperial College, London – an internationally acclaimed expert on the role of nutrition in brain development and function. At this special one-day event, he will be joined by Dr Alex Richardson and Dr Bernard Gesch, senior researchers at the University of Oxford and leading experts in the links between diet and behaviour, and Mr David Rex, specialist child health dietitian at Highland Council.
The programme for the day has been designed for a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals, policy makers, researchers from academia and industry, and other interested groups and individuals. It will give all participants the chance to hear about and discuss the links between nutrition and mood, behaviour and learning in children and adults – both in the general population, and in special groups such as those with developmental or mental health conditions.
Find out how our food choices, and those of the people we care or provide for, could be affecting our wellbeing and performance – at home, at school or in the workplace.
- How does what we eat affect the way we feel, think and behave?
- What’s the truth about sugar and fat? Could some of our favourite foods really be toxic and addictive?
- Does nutrition really make a difference to children’s behaviour and learning? If so, what are the implications for conditions like ADHD, dyslexia or autism?
- What’s the evidence that dietary interventions could reduce antisocial behaviour?
- Can diet help in the prevention and management of mental health conditions like depression, psychosis and dementia?
- Improving food choices – what can be done, and who should be doing it?
Find out from our panel of experts what the real truth is about the food we consume, and what it’s doing to our brains as well as our bodies. Join in the discussion about the impact of modern day diets, their implications for the public health crisis, and what can be done to improve outcomes for both current and future generations.
This event will provide you with opportunities not only to learn about the latest research findings, but also to ask your own questions and get answers that may influence some of the decisions you have to make every day.
This event will also be available by interactive webinar.
‘Dietary fats and human brain development: implications for the nutrition of mothers and infants’
Prof Michael Crawford (Imperial College, London; Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition)
‘The Importance of Diet for Children’s Behaviour and Learning’ and ‘The Role of Nutrition in Mental Health and Wellbeing’
Dr Alex Richardson (Founder Director, FAB Research; Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford; Author of ‘They Are What You Feed Them’)
‘Nutrition and Antisocial Behaviour – Is there a Causal Link?’
Dr Bernard Gesch (Research Scientist, University of Oxford)
‘Practical dietary approaches to ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders and related conditions: What works in practice?’ and ‘Improving children’s food choices: theory and best practice’
David Rex (Dietitian, Health & Social Care – Children’s Services, Highland Council; lead public health role, food & health in schools, nurseries and children’s residential units; and provides specialist Dietetic advice for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
An essential event for:
Local Government Policy Makers | Education and Health Professionals | Researchers from Academia and Industry | Professionals working in Social Services and the Justice System | Caterers and Food Producers | School Meal Stakeholder Groups | Charities, Support Groups and Voluntary Organisations | Parents, Carers and other Interested Individuals
Standard (Public Sector, Health, Education, Local Authority) – £79
Concessionary (Students, Support Groups, Charities) – £49
FAB Research Associate Members – £29
Interactive Webinar – £49* (free to FAB Associate Members)**
*Includes access to the webinar on the day and for one month post-event via the FAB Audio/Video Library. For continuing access, consider a subscription to FAB Research – see below.
**Subscribe to FAB Research as an Associate Member today and enjoy free access not only to this webinar, but also to our library of eventcasts and other resources, including footage of our recent event with US Pediatric Obesity specialist, Professor Robert Lustig MD in London, March 2013. Join up here FAB Research Associate Membership.
Contact Information: Fiona O’Fee email@example.com 01463 667318