Squeezed Out of Existence……

24 Jan

Globalisation and Homogenisation……

Take a look at the ‘society’ we have become, or more accurately, we have been moulded into, from government departments to banks, insurance companies, utility service providers, in fact almost every aspect of contemporary life has been given the blanket approach to dealing with the public.  All of the 0845 non-geographical telephone numbers that connect you to an efficient, cheap to run and impersonal call centre, used by almost all large companies and government departments, only have the ability to cope with the most simple of enquires.  Anything that doesn’t have a box to tick is beyond the scope of the badly paid and highly pressured staff to deal with.  Escalation to a higher power usually returns little and I’m sure there is a majority like me that simply cannot bare the stress of attempting to resolve their problems and quit, having had their mental illness tested to  breaking point.

You are left feeling, anxious, demoralised and unable to cope.

If, for example, you have a hearing impairment, legislation dictates that the organisation have to provide access to services or, should you be a wheelchair user, ramps  are a legal requirement for access.  However, if you suffer from a mental health condition such as chronic bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, feature on the Autistic Spectrum or have a complicated combination of mental health issues which is not unusual, you are at the mercy of the machine.  Sadly, mental health services have fallen victim to the machinery of statistics and the ‘tick box’ culture.  The very people charged with supporting you are effectively paralysed.

Driven to the Brink……

I have some personal experience of mental health services and know others who have.  A friend with a history of suicide attempts; she genuinely wanted to die and was not ‘crying’ for help, was in the throws of an incident when she felt she could not cope and was planning another attempt, was fortunately lucid enough to call the Crisis Management Team of the local CMHS and was advised to ‘go for a walk’.  Thankfully, somebody happened to call on her during her attempt and was able talk to her and defuse the situation.  This does not absolve the Crisis Team of responsibility.  Stretched they may be.  Working with budget cuts may feature but what use is a Crisis Management Team who’s idea of managing an imminent suicide attempt from someone known to them with a history of serious mental health problems is to, ‘go for a walk’ does not cut it……

A Policy of Persecution……

A mental heath problem can be debilitating.  It may not manifest in the same way an outwardly obvious physical health problem but is just as serious.  In their drive to save money on the welfare bill the government have taken to persecuting some very ill people through the £100m contract they have with Atos Healthcare, a French IT company.  They are finding thousands of people ‘fit for work’ based on a brief interview and without any information from the doctors and consultants that are treating them.  Recent figures have shown thousands have died within 3 months of being told they are ‘fit for work’, or before their appeals against the unprofessional decisions have been heard.  This clearly demonstrates the reality of process.  They have been tasked with reducing the number of claimants and to ensure they keep the lucrative contract are obliging.  This was exposed by Channel 4s Dispatches program when a doctor went under-cover to the Atos training camp, where they were told in no uncertain terms that, in one case, if you have one are and one finger on that arm, you can press a button and are therefore fit to work.

The most sickening part of this whole debacle is that the money they save pales into insignificance when compared to the industrial scale tax avoidance which the legislator do not seem to be dedicating many resources to stamp out.  Far be it from me to insinuate that they have a vested interest in protecting these huge multi-national companies, even though many ex-MPs become consultants and lobbyists for them when their political careers are over.  The political classes, with the exception of a handful, are completely out of touch with the realities of life and akin to a corrupt mafia as has been demonstrated by the Leveson report and the exposure of the close relationship between bankers, the media and the police.  The tip of a sycophantic iceberg is all we see……

One More Push and a new Statistic will Appear……

My own mental health ranges from states of being catatonic to manic, via obsession and punctuated with addiction.  The argument that addiction is a choice is not invalid; however, my addiction to Valium, Opiates and other depressant drugs is as a result of the lack of intervention when I pleaded for it.  Having had absolutely no help, I began ‘self medicating’ to switch off the mania and anxiety that was driving me toward an early death.  Referral to Drug and Alcohol Services is a joke as they fail to follow even the most fundamental rules set out by NICE and the NTA.  In 20 years I have been stuck on a maintenance prescription with little psycho-social intervention which is a prerequisite in the treatment advice given and the occasional meeting with a key worker does not meet the threshold required in the guidelines …..

Everyday I die a little more and become ever further detached from society.  The black and white I see is a choice to carry on fighting a loosing battle with the establishment, to no avail or, to take the other route out and die so I no longer have to wake up every day and within a few seconds of opening my eyes, realising the untenable nature of living for livings sake.  When I am found dangling from the end of a rope I will have a note that explains the failings of all the many and varying services that were supposed to help.  They will doubtless chalk it up to my mental health and not the failings that lead me here……

‘Only time will tell if and when I defer to making an exit but I have an idealised plan which could be put into action at any time, maybe after taking that walk’……

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2 Responses to “Squeezed Out of Existence……”

  1. about drug abuse March 16, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Intervention:. This is one of the most maddening things about alcoholics is that they are often the last person
    to admit that they have a problem when it comes to drinking.
    It also produces a physical dependence and when it does, it becomes a chronic disease.
    Unless you have been personally touched by the destruction that is alcoholism,
    it is hard to impossible to understand. Some of the people accept that this is because conscious concerns and social pressures create a
    new choice in behavior. Therapy can help
    them see why they have problems with alcohol and why they
    actually feel that they have a need to drink to solve their problems.

    The struggling teenagers who long to come of the fatal trap
    of addiction can avail the supportive and positive environment of
    the rehabs. The first step in rehab is detoxification.

    • Steve Walker March 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      I accept and welcome your comments and, yes, you are correct that acceptance and detox is the first step to recovery. Unfortunately, the psyco-social intervention that is as, if not more, important than drug therapies is sadly lacking. This leads to the repetitive cycle that addicts, myself included, get stuck in for years….

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