Monday, 3 January 2011


There seems to be no level of care between nothing and strapped howling to a ward bed in Haringay. There is a good case for saying that there is no real mental care available, nothing, at least, until you blow up and then there's a ward bed and a ton of after the fact drugs; a chemical cosh to calm you down. And then you're off out there again until the next time you cant face it any more. Kelly is a blisteringly intelligent woman with a strong interest in social issues and a lot of savvy friends and a large and motivated family behind her. If she has been ignored, if she has had no treatment, if she has nothing then what happens to most people with mental illness. What chance do they have?

This is how mental health treatment doesnt work: Kelly is in the throes of an unusual manic episode or rather a classic breakdown triggered by recent, awful events but also by the effects of the steroids she has been taking to avoid seizure. This is a known side effect even in people with no known history of mental illness.

Her three options are: do nothing, spend time in a respite home (effectively the same as doing nothing but in a different room) or I could have her sectioned on a ward with the seriously distressed. She hasnt seen a psychologist or been prescribed any drugs.

There is nothing: she's not mad enough.

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