Thursday 23 October 2014

BBC Free Speech

This week I recorded a show on BBC3 called Free Speech as they were having a discussion about Mental Health.  I am glad I watched it and to see so many people speak openly and honestly about their conditions and their views was amazing.

The show raised some very interesting questions, some of which I have noted down and will answer and I also heard a story which utterly shocked me.

One panelist, Jon Ronson, told us a rather shocking and utterly disturbing fact. In America, children as young as FOUR years old are being diagnosed as bipolar and prescribed anti-psychotic medications!!! Why? Simply because they are having temper tantrums.  I was in tears. How can anyone possibly diagnose a four year old child with such an illness when it is clear that in most cases the child is being like any other 4 year old.  My son has tantrums at times but I would never take him to the doctor and say "oh I think he has a mental illness" I would love to get hold of the parents and ask "are you having a laugh? you are OK with that?" Madness utter madness.

Moving swiftly on! Below I will answer some of the questions asked with my own views.  Please feel free to leave your answers in the comments section below this post.

Can you like your mental illness?

I did not like having anxiety. Not one bit. I 100% hated it. HOWEVER if it wasn't for anxiety I wouldn't be the person I am today and this blog would not exist.  I didn't like it but in a way it helped me deal with what was wrong in my life and re-evaluate what I wanted to do and what was really important to me.

Do doctors need more training in mental health?

YES. I feel that some doctors simply say "oh well here have some tablets bye" It is like they don't care but looking back it was down to them not having any real understanding.  More training needs to be given as many more people are going to their GP's with these conditions and need to be supported and given the right care and treatment. Not given medication and sent on their way,

Are doctors too quick to hand out antidepressants?

I think we all know my views on that already! Now don't get me wrong for some people these medications are a lifeline and really do help but on their own are they really the answer? Panelist MP Sarah Wollaston said that access to talking therapies should be greater and offered alongside medications.  I agree with her and she also said that these therapies work better for some than medications.  I am currently waiting for my first counselling appointment and cannot wait to get started.  Having someone to talk to, outside of family and friends, can be a massive help to people.  

Some other important points were raised during the show.  

Waiting times for access to counselling and other therapies are ridiculous.  You don't wait long for treatment with a physical illness so why do those with mental health conditions need to wait months and sometimes years?  They are looking to cut times down and I really do hope this happens as how many people are in desperate need and are high risk!

Education is key.  We need to teach children,  at high school age, about mental health. There is an emphasis on physical education so why not teach them about mental health too?  Maybe then this will reduce the stigma attached, raise awareness, get them talking and helping each other in time of need instead of bullying and laughing at people who are suffering.

What are your views?

1 comment:

  1. wonderful blog post so much information i agree with more people need to be aware of mental health etc as its more common then we think x but not alot of people know much about it