#EoTFMH0001: Famous Mental Healthers: Paul Merton

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFEX9EVmnZA]

Paul Merton is #EoTFMH0001 and is the first of the End Of Terror’s Famous Mental Healthers #EoTFMH Series.

We would love to have your input on as we don’t have a great extended database in this particular area. It isn’t something we are pleased to reveal about people but I think if you’ve been through the system yourself, you’ll agree that one of the few things you can take comfort in knowing is that someone else has been through a similar situation. Not every anonymous patient is known to the public at large. I personally have drawn inspiration in knowing that some of the TV stars, musicians or great people in history whom I admire, have had similar battles with ‘Mental Health’. If you might know a famous mental healther that you think we can cover in this section, please email us: EoTFMH@endofterror.org

Back to Mr Paul Merton… I think if you watch the video above you will blatantly see that he is a totally bonkers. I say that in the nicest possible way. Paul Merton is an absolute hero of British humour. I can’t think of any comedian in history who can be compared to him in terms of style.  He is well known for his regular appearances as a team captain on the popular BBC panel game Have I Got News for You, as a regular panellist onRadio 4‘s Just a Minute and as one of Comedy Store‘s Comedy Store Players. I am a fan of Have I Got News For You, and it is Merton’s sharp wit and off-the-ball remarks on this show which really make the whole series. Balanced against Ian Hislop’s dry satire, Merton’s laddishness touches the nation’s hearts and he brings what is essentially a current affairs show of a serious nature to every man’s television set. Whether its his woodwork O-Level that he harps on about or just the sheer wackiness of his bizarre thinking, Merton is a born entertainer and he appeals because of this to the common man. I know he has done other series’ on TV and its great that his talent is so recognised these days. There was a decent run on BBC2 about his comedy influences (all in black & white) and a great piece of television came with his travel series, an excerpt from his visit to China being shown above. I thought it was great that he managed to get away from that stinking ‘Have I Got New For You’ Studio’ for a change and it really showed the man in a different light, a man of the world, with some interesting philosophies that transcended his funny personality but also simultaneously incorporated it.

Paul Merton makes the list as he suffers from severe depression. He has given public interviews about this and it is common knowledge although he doesn’t seem to be baited in any way by it, even in the harsh environment of Have I Got News For You. It can be traumatic how the public deal with you when you have spent time in the Mental Hospital. That ‘lunatic’ brand is not an easy thing to shake off, especially at a time when you are recuperating from the rather nasty time you might have had during your hospitalisation. Shortly prior to becoming a household name on Have I Got News For You, Paul Merton booked himself in for six weeks at the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital which he put down to overwork caused by overexcitement at getting where he’d wanted to be all along, all aggravated by anti-malarial pills. He  was hallucinating conversations with friends, and became convinced he was a target for the Freemasons.

Whatever his troubles with mental health, I feel that Paul Merton is a great inspiration to us all and he has gone on to prove that a successful life and career can develop in the post-mental hospital life of an inpatient.

We hope that Paul Merton is pleased to be branded with his #EoTFMH tag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Merton


East vs West?

Chinese Herb Shop
Chinese Herb Shop

Years of psychiatric abuse and torture in a non-voluntary capacity has left me deeply sceptical of Western Medicine (as it is practised in the UK at least). In a way I can thank the years of chemical torture the psychiatrists have committed upon me for opening the doors to Alternative Health. When your body is being pumped full of female hormones a la Risperidone or your white blood cell count is being ripped out by Clozaril, leaving your immune system exposed to any minor virus., you sure start shopping about.

Normally the first point of call for health matters would be the GP’s surgery, in my case, Gray Hill Surgery, Caldicot. Now, years ago, this surgery seemed to me to be well run and dealt with most of my innocuous childhood ailments. However, especially over the past fifteen years, during my ‘mental illness’ treatment, my lack of faith in the charlatans that practise there has eroded beyond all hope. They will never stand up to a psychiatrist and question their medical opinion. This has happened to me on numerous occasions, when all the medical tests prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the psychiatric treatment is causing me severe medical distress and shoudl be stopped purely on health grounds. It’s as though teh Hippocratic Oath has been dissolved in favour of powers under the Mental Health Act and to me, GPs are interested less in prevention and cures of illness and are simply tablet dispensers. They are the pushers of the Drugs Companies’ product. The final cog in the wheel, necessary for the grand machine to keep churning. The only reason these days that I go to the GPs is for the antibiotics they so blatantly overprescribe to the public. I need them every once in a while to clear up nasty chest infections that my damaged immune system just cannot easily clear. In, Past the Desk Nazis, grab a script and straight out. It’s like a military operation to just arrange an appointment these days so I endeavour to make the whole procedure as painless as possible.

This leaves a gulf, however, as I do not have a regular healthcare provider, or one that I recognise. The internet is a great help in terms of medical education, but as for most things it is best to see a pro. My exploration of Alternative Remedies and Natural Products has been vast. Some works, some doesn’t. It’s an experimental journey which is often fun and overall my health has been vastly better managed in this journey. I find that most of the knowledge and literature for alternative health dates back many years. It is easily dismissed by the profiteering Drugs Companies as all a load of nonsense and some of it might. But as you full well know yourselves, the healthiest things in your lives are almost always those things which are as close as possible to their natural form. As soon as industrial processing of a product emerges, we start to see the trigger finger of commercial exploitation and big business. For the sake of profits, the product suffers, even if the original intention is good, the final outcome is bad for your health.

I noticed the Chinese herbal shops springing up everywhere in South Wales and began to get intrigued. For ages I have sought out loose Chinese Jasmine Green Tea and I religiously swear by its cleansing properties. It is available in Chinese supermarkets at dirt cheap prices. On day leave from the local nuthouse for that area (Talygarn) – I wandered into Pontypool town centre and came across a little herbal shop just by the newsagent’s in the High Street. The Chinese Owner ‘Louis’ peered over his counter at me and politely inquired as to the nature of my malaise. I explained how I was seeking something that could counteract the harmful properties of the psychiatric meds that I was at that time having to endure. Louis, had a puzzled look, and then sprung into action, digging out some entwined leaves.  I was to put one in a cup of boiling water once a day where it would unravel and diffuse. once ingested, it would act upon my digestive system and assist in processing the toxic chemicals in my body and reduce the harmful side effects and general imbalance that was harming my body. He popped a selection of these weird dark green leaves into a brown paper bag, wrote a few characters on it for me and having paid the two or three quid cost, I muttered a quick ‘Xie Xie Ni’ and went on my merry way.Yes – once I got back to the hospital they gave their usual sneer and confiscated the product with glee as it ‘hadn’t been prescribed by a doctor’ but I managed to smuggle a few leaves out with me for use at home and did exactly as instructed. The mild bitter taste was great and it is an old adage that bitterness is best for the body. After a few weeks I genuinely did feel a lift. The taking of this ‘tea’ became part of my daily ritual and was civilised and pleasant. That is what healthcare should be more about. Voluntary, helpful, pleasant and non-intrusive. Eastern Medicine has been around for thousands of years and techniques are highly sophisticated. I realise that Western Doctors study for a fair amount of time at university, but Eastern practionners are not just in jobs they live as medicine men. Their knowledge comes from a  whole lifetime’s experience. Secrets are preserved and handed down from generation to generation. There is a spiritual reverence for their products and their systems when properly analysed, even with Western scientific methods, do actually perform very well indeed. I know that in places like China, western Medicine is also available and popular, but they haven’t totally abandonned traditional medicine and its deep cultural roots. I think that there is hope and much to be learnt by Western Doctors and scholars, from studying this style of medicine. Ignorance is not acceptable for a genuine doctor.

I did read a disturbing recent article about a Chinese political prisoner within their mental health system. I think all the human rights orgs were up in arms about his situation. I read in detail about the guy’s experience and although it wasn’t exactly Cinderella, and the guy had a lot of bad things done to him, it was obvious to me that he hadn’t had the full Western style chemical cosh applied to him. The meds were low dose, low quantities, and weren’t hardcore psychotropic drugs like Clozaril or whatever the en vogue drug company affiliate program happens to be promoting that month. The point is – I think that in not totally devoting a healthcare system to modernist ideas and over-teched experimental drug solutions, perhaps it is a healthier way to conduct a health program? East vs West may be a theme I touch  upon a lot, and Modern & Industrial vs Organic Natural & Traditional is certainly a debate well worth considering.