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Archive for February, 2011

Seeing All Sides of Me

Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to man
He must have seemed out of His mind
Even His family said He was mad
And the priest said a demon’s to blame
But, God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

God’s Own Fool, Michael Card

For me, my religion is part of me, it defines who I am, it affects the choices I make, the opinions I hold. There is nowhere God is excluded from, no relationship he is not part of, no time that he’s asleep or on the loo (if you ever doubt that God is above a bit of potty-humour, check 1 Kings 18:27, or for that matter 1 Samuel 5:12.).

Yet, almost without exception, I’ve found that mental health “professions” seem to have slept through all their RE classes at school, not to mention all those “equality and diversity” drives that the NHS seems to like putting up posters about.

Some of the corkers that most stick in my mind, are the nurse who told me it would be preferable if I talked to my family rather than people from my church, as my family “would be there for years to come”, as opposed to the people with whom I actually had things in common, who were just “a bunch of strangers”. I think quite a few concepts had flown right over his head, but the most glaring was the fact that my familly don’t believe in a life after death, which kinda shifts the “sticking around” balance back in favour of church folks.

Then there was the worker who, while assessing me for their service, asked me about social contacts etc. I told her that I wanted to go back to church, and get involved in my bible study group again. “Oh no!” she said, sounding a bit confused. “You can’t talk about that yet, religion’s at the end of the form”. Which left me wondering if, not social, were those needs… unsocial? anti-social? non-social?

And then there’s the ones who never even bother to ask, even though faith and my expression of it is a very good indicator of my mood. When I’m down, God is still there, and my faith is too, but the gates are down and the blinds are closed – I lose my ability to pray in “words” and my ability to remind people that these things are important to me. When the illness speaks to me, and tells me things, I may easily mistake it for God, who has spoken to me in the past. An easy mistake to make, but a potentially deadly one. When I have strange experiences, I may not be sure whether I need an exorcism rather than a psychiatrist. The ironic thing is that over the past few years, I’ve suffered from having very puzzled (and seemingly unconnected) people randomly telling me Jeremiah 29:11 is a significant verse for me. But then, I never am quick to take a hint when it’s really needed.

To be honest, all that these experiences have done is to make me feel stigmatised, part of a minority – that if I talk about anything related to my faith, it’ll be written off as not-appropriate, or a load of rubbish, or that I’ll be deeply offended during vulnerable times.

But apparently it’s not just me… pages 14-17 of this paper strike a lot of bells with me.

I guess that some of you guys might not be able to relate to this post, but if you do then I’d be really interested to hear what your experiences are.

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Medical Evidence

Please describe health problems and diagnosis.
Recurrent depressive disorder

Medication prescribed:
Venlafaxine XL 150mg od
Trazodone 50mg nocte

Please indicate main symptoms
Loss of interest & enjoyment, lack of motivation, recurrent suicidal thoughts, depressed mood.

In your opinion was Ms Chouette continously unfit for work between 23/11/09 and the 7/6/10
Yes

Any other comments:
Currently recovering from depression. An occupational therapy assessment has been done and she is being encouraged to return back to work. Physically well.

Thanks for the support Ms Psych, that’ll look great when my ESA is reassessed next month.

I guess I’d better procure a copy of the “occupational therapy assessment” so I can highlight the section that said I wasn’t fit for work…

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Late Nights Make Me Thoughtful

First off, a little note – if you’re reading this, then I’m not talking about you. I know that sounds a bit odd, but the people I’m thinking about are people I met through my normal life activities.

Why…

… do I have to make the first move?

… do I have to put in all the effort to have a social life?

… did you never get in touch after you moved?

… do I have to follow everything up?

… do you assume I’m just being polite when I say I’d like to come round?

… when I call you, do you always say you were thinking about me?

I know what my reasons for not being good at staying in touch are, and yes, I share part of the blame. It’s difficult to deal with this stuff when you’re “ill”. But I don’t understand why you do it.

I really really miss you. I just wish you were missing me…

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