How did you first come to the attention of mental health services?
In 2000 I went to hospital after attempting suicide not long after my mother passed away, aged 48. I had also not long split up with my girlfriend of four years and was really down in every way. I decided to visit a casino in Birmingham which I was a member of but hardly frequented, lost about £1000 on gambling, bought a few bottles of JD and some pain killers, went home and attempted the deed. I was only found because when i arrived home, I had left my front door wide open and the couple next door had called the Police as they had thought I’d been broken into.
Was your first hospital admission a shocking experience?
Hell yeah! I woke up on the first night to a woman running up and down the wing on fire, screaming like a Banshee. I thought I was tripping and went back to sleep. It wasn’t until the next day when the other residents were talking about it that I realised that it wasn’t bad drugs…
How did the medication make you feel?
Medication wise, it was always a struggle. Just when i thought I’d found the cure, the side effects would kick in, sometimes making it physically impossible to take them. My first prescribed meds had me trying to iron clothes with the kettle.
What do you think of the public perception of mental illness? Is there a stigma attached?
I have always been very, very open with my illness which has left me open to certain folks taking advantage or ridiculing me. Worse than that are the folks that try and help but the minute something goes wrong in some way, blame it on me because it must be my fault…
How have you built your life back together away from the mental health system?Apart from a few times when I was addicted to drugs (my way of self medicating at the time), I have very little to do with services.
What are your coping strategies?
Just try and live each day as it comes
What improvements would you like to see in the field of mental health?
Actually care and when you’re having an ‘off’ day and this goes to friends and family of all sufferers, stop asking if we’ve taken our meds. We can be pissed off to you know.
Do you believe that mental illness is incurable and will last for life?
Unfortunately, yes. i think it’s going to get a whole lot worse in terms of numbers too…
Yesterday we tweeted about wanting some input from people with appropriate track for the #EoTVibe offshoot to End Of Terror. #EoTVibe aims to empower our movement with positivity. Using something creative and expressive that shows our freedom as people, fighting such evil and tyranny. Joe Nebula, a long-established producer and DJ from Nottingham, well-known for his drum & bass and breaks, sent us in this track which he hopes will be appreciated by the End Of Terror audience.
The chillout track is very calm and perfect to relax the mind. The song title ‘Take Some More’ could very well be just what the nurse says when the med trolley is wheeled out last thing at night or the order from the psychiatrist at the care meeting. They do like to push the boundaries on medication – just see how much people can actually take as I’m sure many patients will testify. But that’s all by the by and speculation on my part.
The track itself, which you’ll discover when you listen, is about love, and if we cannot share love in this world, between fellow human beings, what can we do? Have a listen and special thanks to Joe for being the first person to input some music to #EoTVibe. His Back2You remix projects are well worth a mention and we hope to see them return at some stage in the future.
There is more info on Joe and Nebula2 at the official website http://www.nebula2.com/ RESPECT!
What we’ve decided to do for #EoTVibe, is ask around guest musicians and DJs, to get them to supply us with a top10 chart of their favourite End Of Terror Mental Health tunes. All varieties of music accepted. I know there’s a bit of a lean so far in the #EoTVibe posts towards dance music but that is my own personal preference. Music embodies all cultures and transcends all boundaries. The tapestry is rich and we welcome the widest variety of music ideas to help the #EoTVibe expand.
Any Top 10 submissions for the #EoTVibe chart please E-Mail us at EoTVibe@endofterror.org
Hopefully include a short paragraph about the chart if you can – why it might be relevant to the End OF Terror. Every little helps.