Far be it from me –

Man with schizophrenia to receive Electro Convulsive Therapy, orders court

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/man-with-schizophrenia-to-receive-electroconvulsive-therapy-orders-court-1.2621202

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The Guardian view on cannabis and psychosis..how do we protect teenagers?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/17/the-guardian-view-on-cannabis-and-psychosis-how-do-we-protect-teenagers

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Dolly Sen – Questions and Answers

I’ve read that you first started to hear voices at age 14, can you tell me what happened?
Every Sunday the radio would play the UK top 40. I listened to it and taped the songs I liked. All of a sudden the music went quiet and a troll-like voice issued from the radio: “What do you want, Dolly? How much do you want?” My skin prickled. I shut off the radio in fear. Deep demonic laughter followed. “Can’t get rid of me. I’m yours for life now.”
  “Who are you?”
“I am the universe. I choose whether you live or breathe.” I got up and ran out of the room. I stopped listening to the radio from then on. As the days passed, I thought maybe I just dreamed it all. But they came back and haven’t left me yet.
Was it one voice, or many? … What were the voices saying?
At first it was only one distinct voice with whispering voices in the background, but not long after my first experience, one voice became many. The voices were quite vicious and abusive, ordering me to kill myself, telling me I was evil and a demon, that my family were better off with me dead and that I would bring harm to them just by being alive. If there was a disaster on the TV, they told me it was my fault. They called me a whore, a slut, that my heart was rotting. Imagine hearing that day in day out, for years on end.
When you heard these voices were there any images that appeared in your mind? Did these become visual hallucinations as well?
Before I heard my first voices, I was seeing shadows in my room, and sensing presences behind me, or over me when I slept, so they all came together more or less. It was only days after hearing that first voice, that I began to see demonic faces. The voices felt demonic too. I was too scared to know their faces so I didn’t have any images in my mind as to what they might look like.
How difficult was it to go about your daily life whilst experiencing these voices?
I had no life. I couldn’t function on a day to day level. I rarely went out or communicated with my family. I had no friends, no hobbies, no work, nothing to occupy me but terror. When that happens to you, you either lash out or freeze. I froze. I became a statue for over a decade. I did nothing; I couldn’t do anything. Even when I tried to brush my teeth, the voices were telling to stab myself in the eye with a toothbrush.
Do the voices feel as if they coming from inside or outside your head?  For over 20 years, they came from outside my head. I even felt the breath and the body heat of the voices I heard behind me. The more I deal with why I have my voices and accept they are part of me I can’t face or are too painful, some of them move into inside my head.
Does the distance of the voice change with its character (i.e. angry voices compared to soft soothing voices?) They cover all sorts of distances. Sometimes they seem far and muffled, like they are in the other room. Sometimes they feel so close, their spittle touches me and disgust me. These close ones are the ones that are characteristically negative, abusive and overpowering.
Do you believe that the voices you hear are a metaphor, holding traumatic experience safely?
Absolutely. The evolution of my voices were at first thinking they were demons. When I was diagnosed with psychosis, I was relieved they were not demons so welcomed a diagnosis. But as the years went on and the medication turned me into a zombie but did nothing to address WHY I was having those voices. Pills do not cure trauma or abuse. Although voices produced terror, they also saved my life. The abuse at the hands of my dad and others was so horrible that if I believed what he told me about why he was abusing me, it would have ended with my suicide. Voices took it away from my heart and head to save my soul, to turn it into metaphor so I can deal with hell in installments. My voices are the sanest part about me. I have to learn to listen to their pain. Voices tell me about the state of my soul. If the voices are telling me I am an alien, it is telling me I am feeling alienated from the human race. If they tell me I am Jesus, God or all-powerful, I know it’s because I am feeling powerless and need to address that. Whether you want to describe voices as flesh, ghost or dream, I have to listen. What has changed over the years is the power dynamic of the voices. They controlled my life for many years, now I am in the driving seat, but I understand they have to be in the passenger seat until they have reached the end of their journeys.
You mention that you find it very difficult to make phone calls. Please explain more about this.
Try speaking on the phone whilst listening to music or talking on your headphones, and see if you are able to do it. It is physically impossible, because the voice at the other end of the phone is also disembodied, which is the right voice to listen to in the orchestra of confusion? That’s why I think you should have more than one way to contact crisis services than a phone.
Often when we hear about conditions like voice hearing it’s considered a ‘broken brain’ issue. Would you agree the issue should be considered in this way?
No, because they still haven’t proved it. But what I can prove to you is that people who hear voices have a broken heart that needs healing. The more my heart heals, the less power the voices have.
Tell me about some of the art works you’ve produced and the role of auditory hallucinations in the process. Do voices help you in your work? Creativity seems like an exorcism of pain. One day I will write and make art about pretty things and being middle class, but I have still some terrors to release and some ghosts to make even more invisible. Art helps me do that.

http://www.dollysen.com

 
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From The Guardian: Why Mental Health Bed Cuts Make Me Ashamed To Work For The NHS – Alex Langford

http://gu.com/p/3jkgc

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It Wasn’t Me

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.

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From BBC Health – Avatars Help Schizophrenia Patients Talk Back To Voices

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22720248

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Making Sense Of Voices – Maastricht Interview Training

Making Sense of Voices- Maastricht Interview Training

A three day assessment skills workshop delivered jointly by Asylum Associates, Hearing Voices Network Sheffield, and the Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham.

(This training is targeted at all mental health workers, criminal justice personnel, and third sector agencies)

 

Facilitators: Pete Bullimore and Chris Tandy

Venues

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.

Training Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of the Maastricht interview for Voices.
  • Learn how to conduct the interview.
  • Undertake two interviews with voice hearers from the Hearing Voices Network
  • Write reports and develop constructs from Maastricht interviews
  • Develop a shared understanding of voices and ways to help voice hearers

 

Price £300

(Places are limited)

 

Apply now: please email Karen Sugars karen.sugars@nottshc.nhs.uk 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’

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From The Independent Tuesday May 14 2013 – We need to change the way we talk about schizophrenia If we only ever talk about schizophrenia in the context of a violent murder, is it any surprise that the public think people with mental illness are dangerous?

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/we-need-to-change-the-way-we-talk-about-schizophrenia-8616022.html

 

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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

http://gu.com/p/3gv3y

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PCCS Books Anniversary Conference 16th October 2013

Anniversary Conference

Conference in Celebration of 20 Years of PCCS Books

Proceeds to the Soteria Network UK

October 16th 2013, 10.00am  – 4.30pm
Clarendon Suites, Birmingham.

 

Speakers

Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool
The myth that schizpohrenia is a genetic disease

Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, University of Strathclyde
Are the facts friendly? Person-centred therapy in an era of ‘evidence-based’ practice

Jacqui Dillon, Chair of the Hearing Voices Network, England
The history and work of the Hearing Voices Network – the personal is still political

Stephen Joseph, Professor of Psychology, Health and Social Care, University of Nottingham
The positive psychology of the person-centred approach

Joanna Moncrieff, Senior Lecturer, University College London, consultant psychiatrist
Mother’s little helper: The politics of consumerism and psychoative drug use

Lisbeth Sommerbeck, clinical psychologist, accredited specialist in psychotherapy
Danish Psychological Association
Rebutting criticisms of applying person-centred therapy with clients diagnosed with psychosis

 

PCCS Books is celebrating 20 years of independent publishing this year with a one-day conference bringing together experts in their fields who share the desire for honest, democratic, equal and fully informed care for people in distress. The speakers represent the dominant themes in PCCS Books’ lists: person-centred psychology, critical psychology and psychiatry, and service-user perspectives.

Of interest to service users, carers, professionals, academics, students and everyone interested in critical debate on mental health care.

 

Fees (including lunch and refreshments):

Earlybird: £65.00 before 30th August; £75.00 31st August – 14th October; Service-users:£20.00. Please note there will be an additional £10.00 administrative charge if you want your organisation to be invoiced for your place.  

Book your place here:  

 

Venue:  The Clarendon Suites2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 9SB. For venue map follow this link: 

 

Travel: 

Driving: The Clarendon Suites are easily accessible from Junction 3 of the M5 motorway. There is ample free parking on site.

Train: Birmingham New Street station is 2 miles from the venue. £6.00 taxi fare; bus route information to follow.

Plane: There are regular trains links from Birmingham International Airport to Birmingham New Street train station.

 

Accomodation:

The Clarendon Suites are on the intersection of the Hagley Road and Stirling Road. The Hagley Road and surrounds have many options for accomodation to suit every budget. This link will get you started: http://bit.ly/13100AC

We have preferential rates at the Menzies Strathallan Hotel, directly opposite the venue: http://bit.ly/18et9eP. Please phone 0121 455 9777 to find out rates, mentioning that you are attending a Clarendon Suites event. Rates start at £56.00.

 

 

 

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