Culture of Fear – Thievery Corporation


culture-of-fearSeems to me like they want us to be afraid, man

Or maybe we just like being afraid

 

Culture of Fear

written by Roberto Manuel Garza, Richard Eric Hilton, Jeffrey Haynes.

 

Seems to me like they want us to be afraid, man
Or maybe we just like being afraid
Maybe we just so used to it at this point that it’s just a part of us
Part of our culture
Security alert on orange
It’s been on orange since ’01 G,
I mean what’s up man
Can’t a brother get yellow man
Just for like two months or something
God damn
Sick o’ that

Mic check

The groove is dead so I’m a rhyme like a lunatic
I do this shit with an unassuming wit
The corporation conjured up the bass and the tempo
My name is Liff, that’s the intro, now let’s go

The flow of life throwing strife into the mix
The big dark condition and the word is sick
The powers that be
A power in me
To speak a cause
Stress and strife that I see every day
And more to speak upon
Culture of fear
It’s up in your ear
They’re telling us terrorists about to strike
May be tonight
Right
Let me just back up slowly
With critical analysis of those who control me
It used to be we just had a screen in the crib
On the TV
But now we carry screens when we leave see
Laptops smart phones now we’re never alone
A new affliction I call it media dome
But on the road famine is the programming
You want to watch a favorite show because it’s so slamming
Hold hands and let’s gaze into the beautiful glare
While we’re here so immersed in this culture of fear

We fear the IRS, fear the INS
Fear God
I’m more afraid of the credit card than the terror squad

Weapons overseas
Mastercard and visa want to buy me the greed
They deceive
The enemy is in the fine print
They assassinate sally
With no sense of the selling

represent an element ahead
A sentiment that you feel on the road for real
The deal starts with a spark concludes with a hand shake
Physical to alter the subliminal landscape
Relief thinking I can really trust that guy
To be honest could have should have really punched that guy
Now it’s operation shank a banker
Thank you for the loan
See you when you come to repossess my home
Alone at night sweating with visions of Armageddon
I never seen the threat
Yet I feel threatened
Parts of our society designed to smear
Freedom don’t succumb to this culture of fear
Fear fear fear
Don’t succumb to this culture of fear
Fear fear fear
Don’t succumb to this culture of fear

Songwriters
ROBERTO MANUEL GARZA, RICHARD ERIC HILTON, JEFFREY HAYNES

Read more: Thievery Corporation – Culture Of Fear Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Living with a Self-Destruct Button – Roy Keane


Roy Keane on “the madness of me”  trying to make sense of  struggling to trust his own very considerable success in the world of football [to say nothing of beard-growing] ; always wanting more yet also being the world’s most contented man,  and the doubting, down-putting inner voices he calls his self- destruct button, anger, rage, drinking and a “mid-life crisis that has been going on for years”.

“That’s the madness of me. When I’m going off on one, even when I might be right, there’s a voice in my head going: ‘You’ll pay for this.”

From Guardian 17th October 2014
Barclays Premier League 2014/15 Aston Villa v Manchester City Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom - 4 Oct 2014Roy Keane says he is living with a ‘self-destruct’ button, citing his 2002 World Cup walkout as an example.
Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA
 

Roy Keane has described himself as living with a “self-destruct button” as he looked back over his tempestuous career and tried to explain his old drinking habits and how difficult he had found it to adjust to life after playing football. Keane, opening up in his new autobiography, admits he “used to go missing for a few days” before giving up alcohol and paints the picture of someone who has struggled to cope at times. “My mid-life crisis has been going on for years,” he says.

Keane uses his book, The Second Half, to be heavily critical in passages about Sir Alex Ferguson and some of his other former colleagues at Manchester United but the person he is hardest on is himself, questioning whether his issues stem from low self-esteem and admitting that his former team-mates used to be wary of going out with him because he was “a time-bomb”.

“Anger is a useful trait. But when I’m backed into a corner, when I get into situations, professional or personal, I know deep down that when I lose my rag, and I might be in the right – it doesn’t matter – I know I’m going to be the loser,” he says.

“I will lose out. Saipan and the World Cup – ultimately I lost. Or when I left United, when I could have stayed a bit longer if it had been handled differently. I was the one who lost; I know that. That’s the madness of me. When I’m going off on one, even when I might be right, there’s a voice in my head going: ‘You’ll pay for this.’

“That’s the self-destruct button. I don’t know if it’s low self-esteem. Things might be going really well, and I don’t trust it: ‘It’s not going to last,’ or ‘Why am I getting this? Why are things going so well? I’ll fuck things up a little bit, then feel better myself.’ I might be buying a car: ‘Who do you think you are buying a new car?’ And I’ll fuck it up. I’ll drag things down around me.

“The self-destruct button is definitely there. And I suffer for it. With my drinking, I used to go missing for a few days. I think it was my way of switching off, never mind the consequences. It was my time. It was self-destructive, I can see that, but I’m still drawn to it. Not the drink – but the madness, the irresponsibility. I can be sitting at home, the most contented man on the planet. An hour later I go: ‘Jesus – it’s hard work, this.’

“Maybe ‘self-destruct’ is too strong a phrase. Maybe I play games with myself. I have great stability in my life. But then, that worries me. I like home comforts, but then I want to be this hell-raiser – but I want my porridge in the morning. I want my wife and kids around me. I’ve dipped into this madness, and I don’t like it that much. Maybe I’m like every man on the planet – I don’t know; I want a bit more than what’s on offer.

“My midlife crisis has been going for years. Someone once said to me – an ex-player and it’s going back to my drinking days – that going out with me was like going out with a time-bomb.”

Keane says there were days at the end of his playing career when “self-pity kicked in” and opens up on his struggles sometimes to contain his rage. “When I have been angry that’s been me defending myself. There is a difference between anger and rage. With anger – when I’ve been angry – somebody with me, or even myself, can pull it back. But with rage, I’ve gone beyond all that; it’s beyond anger. It’s rare – even more so now that I’m not playing football. There’s no control with rage. It’s not good – especially the aftermath. You’re coming down and it’s a long way to go. The comedown can be shocking in terms of feeling down or embarrassed by my behaviour, even if I feel that I wasn’t in the wrong.”

Keane also accepts that his reputation means strangers are naturally wary in his company but argues that he is not the person many think. “I don’t get as angry as people might think. But it might help me. As soon as I walk into a room, I know people are apprehensive; I know they are. They are expecting some kind of skinhead thug. So I’ve a good way of disappointing them. I think I treat people pretty well. I’ve got friends I’ve known for 30 years. If I was some impatient thug, I think they’d keep their distance from me.”

Original at:
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/07/roy-keane-mid-life-crisis-autobiography

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Psychiatrists learn from the experts: their patients


One of the great myths of what often gets called “mental illness” is that people who have been diagnosed “lack insight”.

The truth is that too many doctors lack the insight to ask – or the time to listen to insights that differ or dissent from the masses of data they have crammed into their busy brains and busy schedules.

Another  great myth is that all psychiatrists must be evil – when in fact very few are. Some are even making the time to listen and to help make space in busy training schedules for trainee psychiatrists so that they too can learn to learn not just from text books but from their patients.

These are interesting times in mental health services and it is always a pleasure to be able to spotlight an initiative within the heart of “the purple empire” that is at least partly about bringing the bureaucracy-dominated practice of psychiatry more in-line with it’s name – psyche – iatry means “soul healing”.

Psychiatry is “in recovery” too, eh?

__________________________________________________________

the star

Providing staff with patient perspective helps foster ‘a well-rounded relationship’

By: Camilla Cornell Special to the Star Published on Wed Jun 11 2014

agraval

Photo: Staff psychiatrist Sacha Agrawal (left), with resident, Jake Crookall, calls the benefits of a patient-mentor relationship “transformative.”NICK KOZAK

_______________________________________

“Schizophrenic”. “Bipolar”. Clinically depressed. Too often, “people become reduced to that label,” says Kevin Hareguy. “But that’s not who the whole person is. There’s a human being there.”

This is the key message Hareguy delivered to a group of staff members from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health when he spoke to them earlier this year.

Hareguy is articulate and well-educated, with two BAs, one in philosophy and another in social work. He’s the father of a brand-new baby boy, Oliver. He holds a job as a peer support specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. And he is eminently qualified to talk to CAMH staff about what they do right, and what they could do better.

After all, Hareguy’s first experience within the walls of CAMH wasn’t as a speaker. He was a patient, hospitalized there on three occasions beginning in 2001. Sometimes he heard voices. Sometimes he was brought in to CAMH because he was acting erratically. Several times he came in under police escort, handcuffed, as is their policy when dealing with the mentally ill.

“It’s very traumatic,” Hareguy recalls. “You feel a bit like a criminal.”

For most of the last five years, Hareguy has been well. And he has been participating in a project that calls on him to share his recovery journey with CAMH staff, offering productive feedback on the care he received at the hospital.

Hareguy is one of a group of 12 former patients who held 44 talks over a year. Their audience: groups of four to six CAMH staff members, including nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, recreational therapists and, on several occasions, doctors.

Hope and connection
“When you work on an in-patient unit, you tend to see people when they’re at their most unwell,” says Dr. Sean Kidd, a clinical psychologist and researcher at CAMH, who initiated the speaker series. “You don’t tend to see them when they’re doing better and getting on with their lives because, of course, you discharge them when they hit a certain point.”

Kidd’s hope in bringing back former patients is twofold: It would provide “living proof that people sometimes do get better,” and offer a patient perspective to staff they don’t often get. The outcome, he hopes, is improved care for patients.

In fact, many staff members are amazed by the feedback about what makes a difference in care.

“It’s the little things,” says Kidd. “Such as a staff member who takes a few minutes to play a game of ping pong with a patient, or talk about the hockey play-offs or crack a joke.” Something that goes beyond, ‘Did you take your medication?’ or ‘Have you thought about suicide?’”

During one of his hospital stays, Hareguy recalls a staff member bubbling over with anticipation about her upcoming wedding.

“I would always ask her, ‘How are things going with the plans?’” he recalls. “And she would tell me. She let me in on a part of her life and that was important to me.”

That may sound touchy-feely, says Kidd, but “underneath this is some pretty serious business.” So much of the stuff that feeds into clinical decision-making around mental health comes out of a conversation with the patient, he points out. “It’s not like getting an MRI or a blood test done, which is more objective.”

Having a well-rounded relationship with a patient “where they feel a little more trust and engagement has a lot of potential to feed into better assessment and better clinical decision-making,” says Kidd. “That’s the underlying agenda.”

Mentors with “lived experience”
Providing staff with a patient perspective to further good care is a concept dear to CAMH psychiatrist Dr. Sacha Agrawal’s heart. He recently launched a mentoring program where fourth-year psychiatry residents meet with people with “lived experience” of mental illness for an hour monthly for six months.

The goal? For the residents to get a better understanding of the lives and needs of the people they’re treating.
Agrawal knows the benefits of such a mentor relationship. While still a student at Yale University, he set up a series of meetings with Maria Edwards, a peer support worker who’d worked with hundreds of clients and been in and out of the hospital system herself.

It turned out to be “really, really informative for me,” he says. “I would even say it was transformative.”
For one thing, Agrawal admits he hadn’t clearly understood what he calls “the insidious us-and-them dichotomy” between the mentally ill and those supposed to be helping them.

“Because of those boundaries,” he says, “I think there are a lot of ways people who use our services feel looked down on and alienated.”

One example: Doctors often refer to patients as “non-compliant” when they refuse to accept treatment recommendations, he points out.

“In my work that is often seen as a problem with the person’s thinking — they’re not able to see the need for treatment.” But Edwards helped him understand that the reasons are much more complicated, sometimes stemming from past trauma, or a fear “of being judged or criticized or labelled, or involuntarily confined, or incarcerated.”

Edwards even helped him get in touch with some of his own faulty thinking.

“The first time we were supposed to meet, we had a mix-up about locations,” Agrawal explains. “The two of us were sitting in different places waiting for each other.” Rather than thinking there must have been a miscommunication, “I was thinking, ‘This isn’t going to work out. She’s probably not going to be on time. Does this peer support worker really have anything to add to my education?’”

Only after he came to know Edwards — a woman “who has lived through it all and yet she arrived on time, and was articulate and powerful and has done amazing work” — did he become aware of his biases and how they could potentially impact his work.

Insights like those have an impact on how psychiatrists practice, says Dr. Jake Crookall, one of the residents currently participating in the mentoring program. He admits his initial interactions with patients tended to focus on such things as their symptoms, the drugs they’re taking and their side effects.

Getting to know his mentor has helped him see that those things may not be of prime importance to the people he treats.

“Sometimes they’re more concerned with getting a job, or housing,” he says. In order to help people, it’s important to connect with their goals.

Now, he says, “the first questions I’ll ask are: ‘What are your goals? How can I help you?’

Original at: 

http://www.thestar.com/life/breakingthrough/2014/06/09/psychiatrists_learn_from_the_experts_their_patients.html

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Posted in life, myths about mental illness, Training - for workers | 5 Comments

Everyone is capable of “hallucinating”


everyone is capable of halluvinatingA very accessible short film by SciShow offering a brief description of the variety of experiences that might get called “hallucination”.

It starts with understanding perception – how we all experience the world differently, and as a result we all hold within us our own unique model of what some call  “reality”.

Sometimes, in some situations that can go a bit wonky- which can perhaps be worrying but can also offer insights we’d otherwise be without.

Explanations vary of how people “hallucinate”- meaning how we can see things, smell things, see things feel things that others don’t.
But, then how do we really know because we make this stuff difficiult to talk about, eh?

Everyone can [and does] “hallucinate”.

Rather than regard every “hallucination” as a fault of brain or biology, or as some character flaw,  maybe we’d be better off recognizing that we all can -and likely do – experience what some call “hallucination”.

Instead of asking  “why do some people hallucinate”; it would be more useful to ask:
“Why do some people not recognize that they do too?”

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Posted in crazy world, hearing voices, making sense of "mental illlness" | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

exploded diper – Loded Diper


loded diper r u people readyExploded Diper!
Feel the Diper Thunder!
We’re gonna hit the fan!
Can’t keep this diper under…

Exploded Daiper

We are Loded Diper!

Woooooooooowwwwwwwwwww!

You told us we were losers and we can’t do nothing right.
You said we’d never make it but just look at us tonight…

Exploded Diper!
All over the place!
Exploded Diper!
In your face!
Exploded Diper!
Feel the Diper Thunder!
We’re gonna hit the fan!
Can’t keep this diper under…

This one goes out to all the folks who used to put us down.
We’re up on stage and there you are just sitting in your seat.
It’s time to face the music and you feel our diaper heat…

Exploded Diper!
We can’t be stopped!
Exploded Diper!
Your head is gonna pop!
Exploded Diper!
You can’t keep us down!
We’re gonna hit the fan!
And rock this sleepy town!

Get up all you haters!
Coach Malone!
Lunch ladies!
Crazy old man next door!
Prom queens!
Dumb jocks!
You will bow down to our…

Loded! Diper!
Loded! Diper!
Loded! Diper!
Loded! Diper!
Loded! Diper!

Once we shred this hall and win this whole contest
We’ll unleash the force of Loded Diper’s awesome-num-ness…

Exploded Diper!
Ya hear that knock?
Exploded Diper!
It’s us, the Diper, and yes, we rock!
Exploded Diper!
It’s Diper happy hour!
We’re gonna hit the fan!
And unleash this Diper power!

Exploded Diper!
Exploded Diper!
Exploded Diper!
Exploded Diper!
Exploded Diper!
Exploded Diipeeerrrrrrrrr…!

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Nag nag nag – Cabaret Voltaire


nagnagnag

Nag Nag Nag Nag 
written by Ian Stuart Wilson, Christopher William Hammans Ward, Friederike Siepe, Michael Breyer, Eddie Argos.

 

Wet trousers in the washing machine
But I’d rather be damp than seen in jeans
I’m grown up now but refuse to learn
That those were just adolescent concerns
I’m possibly missing something
Someone should have told me

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

Learning lyrics from the CD inlay
To impress people with the stupid things I say
I’m grown up now but refuse to learn
That those were just adolescent concerns
I’m possibly missing something
Someone should have told me

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

I used to have a bedroom to hide in
Now I’m outside deciding
Older but wiser, this song’s the decider
Is it the sound of a man wrestling with emotion
Or the sound of him losing and causing commotion?

I’m nothing to my peers but envy and hatred
How many girls have they seen naked?
I’m grown up now but refuse to learn
That those were just adolescent concerns
I’m possibly missing something
Someone should have told me

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

A record collection reduced to a mix tape
Headphones on, I made my escape
I’m in a film of personal soundtrack
I’m leaving home and I’m never gonna come back

 

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I can’t breathe


I cant breathe

Posted in adversity, crazy world, real disorders in a crazy world, sh!t is f#cked | Tagged | Leave a comment

Understanding Psychosis And Schizophrenia – BPS Report


A new, excellent and useful resource – a report  published by British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology.

It’s available as a free pdf download – see the links below.

Understanding Pychosis - BPS 21Nov2014“One of the most important messages of this report is that there is no dividing line between ‘psychosis’ and ‘normality’.”

“A fundamental message of this report is that ‘psychotic’ experiences are understandable in the same ways as ‘normal’ experiences, and can be approached in the same way.”

 

 

Selected Key Messages …

Key Messages those working in Mental Health Services

  • Professionals need to be open about the fact that prescribing is pragmatic: finding out whether medication is likely to help someone, and if so which drug and dose, is always a trial-and-error process.
  • In particular, professionals should not insist that people agree with the view experiences are symptoms of an underlying illness. 
  • Professionals need to acknowledge that the only way someone can find out for sure what helps them personally is to try things out.
  • Lived experience of mental health problems should be recognised as an important source of knowledge alongside ‘book-learning’ for professionals.
  • Our role is to provide information about what is available and what others have found helpful, and then support people to choose.
  • Services should see personal experience of mental health problems as ‘desirable’ in their selection criteria for staff, including senior clinicians.
  • Training by people with personal experience is vital, both with regard to how people understand their difficulties, and also with regard to what helps and what doesn’t.

Key Messages for all of us

  • If we are serious about preventing distressing ‘psychosis’ we need to tackle deprivation, abuse and inequality.
  • There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ – we’re all in this together. Many of us hear voices occasionally, or have fears or beliefs that those around us do not share. Given enough stress, for any of us these experiences might shade into psychosis.
  • This report has highlighted the complex causes of distressing psychotic experiences.What is encouraging is that many of the causes are things that we can do something about.
  • There is a parallel here with public health in the physical arena, namely that some of the steps that need to be taken are economic, social and even political.
  • Evidence shows that a major contribution to serious emotional distress is not only poverty but particularly income inequality – the growing gap between the richest and poorest people in society.
  • There is no doubt that people who have been subject to oppression, and particularly discrimination (racism, homophobia, discrimination on grounds or gender, disability or ‘mental health’) are put at risk by these experiences.
  • We need to campaign against prejudice and discrimination on ‘mental health’ grounds.


________________________________________________________

Part four of the report sets out what we need to do differently, and is divided into  are two sections.:

13     What Mental Health services need to do differently.

 14    What we all need to do differently.

 

Part 4 What We Need To Do Differently


Section 13 What Mental Health Services Need to Do Differently

 

13.1 We need to move beyond the “medical model”


13.2 We need to replace paternalism with collaboration

13.2.1 Listening
Professionals often underestimate the power of simply listening. Careful listening is an essential prerequisite of offering appropriate help, and it is also a powerful form of help in its own right. Many people say that lack of listening is what most disappoints them about services.

13.2.2 Accepting views other than the medical model                               Some people view their difficulties as a medical illness, some see them as a reaction to things that have happened in their life, some as spiritual experiences, and others as a combination of these.
In the past, rejection of an illness view has sometimes been seen as ‘lack of insight’, sometimes even as ‘part of the illness’. However, it is unhelpful to insist that people accept any one particular framework of understanding.

In particular, professionals should not insist that people agree with the view that experiences are symptoms of an underlying illness. Some people will find this a useful way of thinking about their difficulties and others will not.

13.2.3 Collaboration rather than just ‘involvement’                       Professionals must listen to what service users and former service users have to say about services and treatments – it is only by listening that we can learn what really is helpful.

It should be standard practice for service users to be involved at all levels, from planning the service as a whole to providing feedback to individual teams and, perhaps most importantly, in planning their own care.

Lived experience of mental health problems should be recognised as an important source of knowledge alongside ‘book-learning’ for professionals.

As some NHS Trusts already do, services should see personal experience of mental health problems as ‘desirable’ in their selection criteria for staff, including senior clinicians.

13.3 We need to stop telling people what to do and start supporting them to choose

13.3.1 Trying Things Out
Professionals need to acknowledge that the only way someone can find out for sure what helps them personally is to try things out. Our role is to provide information about what is available and what others have found helpful, and then support people to choose.

13.3.2 Talking therapy                                                                                                    It remains scandalous that despite the NICE recommendations, still only a minority of people are offered talking therapy. Psychological help should be available to all, as should help for family members who support people experiencing psychosis.

13.3.3 Medication or no medication                                                               Service users and their supporters have the right to information about the pros, cons, possible adverse effects (‘side-effects’) and evidence base for any medication that is offered.

Particularly when contemplating taking medication long-term, people should be encouraged and supported to ask questions about the drugs and any alternatives.

Professionals need to be open about the fact that prescribing is pragmatic: finding out whether medication is likely to help someone, and if so which drug and dose, is always a trial-and-error process.

We also need to provide information about the best way to come off medication if that is what the person wants to do, and to support them in the process.

13.3.4 Professional help, peer support or self-help                                          As we explained above, many people will prefer community-based or self-help approaches to any kind of professional treatment. Professionals need to give people information about groups affiliated to organisations such as Mind, Bipolar UK, Rethink Mental Illness, Together, Intervoice, the Hearing Voices Network and the Paranoia Network.

13.4 We need to make rights and expectations explicit                                  As any treatment has the potential to do harm as well as good, the principle of informed consent is paramount. People should have the right to refuse treatments, from ECT to medication and psychological therapies.

13.5 We need to reduce the use of compulsion and mental health legislation

13.5.1 Changing the culture of psychiatric hospitals                                Mental health wards can be aversive places to be, particularly for anyone who does not think of difficulties as an illness. This is probably the main reason that mental health legislation has to be invoked so frequently to keep people in hospital. We need to create places that people want to go to when they are in a crisis, where care is informed by the approach outlined in this report. Acute wards need to change so that they operate on the principles outlined here. Every district should also have at least one non-medical crisis house.

13.5.2 Is mental health legislation inherently discriminatory?             Many psychologists feel that the existence of separate legislation which applies only to people deemed ‘mentally ill’ is discriminatory, particularly in view of the problems we have outlined with the whole idea of ‘mental illness’.

13.5.3 Is forced medication ever justified?                                                    Some psychologists take the view that whilst compulsory detention can sometimes be justified in order to keep someone safe, it becoming increasingly hard to justify forced medication.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment has called for a ban20 on forced psychiatric treatment including drugging, ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), psychosurgery, restraint and seclusion.

13.6 We need to change the way we do research                                       Firstly, research efforts have been weighted too heavily towards the search for biological abnormalities. The focus of research needs to turn much more towards the events and circumstances of people’s lives, and the way that these affect us at a social, psychological and even biological level.

The issue of funding for research is also important. Traditionally, drug companies have funded much medical research into ‘schizophrenia’. This raises several important issues. Firstly, this research has often been based on the assumption that the tendency to experience psychosis is primarily a biological phenomenon. As this report has demonstrated, both this assumption and also the view that everyone who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia needs to take medication, are increasingly being challenged.

A second issue surrounding drug company funding is one of reliability and bias of findings. Concerns that studies funded by drug companies selectively publish positive findings, and do not publish negative results, have been supported by a number of studies.

The profound effects of the pharmaceutical industry’s vested interests have been summarised in a paper called Drug companies and schizophrenia: Unbridled capitalism meets madness. There remains an urgent need for more research funding that is independent of drug companies, and for research which focuses on psychological, social and self-help approaches.

13.7 We need to change how mental health professionals are trained and supported                                                                                                          Perhaps even more important than the availability of specific talking treatments is the need for all mental health workers to be aware of the information contained in this report. Many workers are unaware of the psychological perspective on psychosis, and are unfamiliar with the research described in this report.

A fundamental message of this report is that ‘psychotic’ experiences are understandable in the same ways as ‘normal’ experiences, and can be approached in the same way.

This message needs to form the core of pre- and post-qualification training. A manual for a two-day training course is available, Psychosis Revisited, based on our earlier report and designed to be delivered by a professional in collaboration with someone who has themselves experienced psychosis.

Training by people with personal experience is vital, both with regard to how people understand their difficulties, and also with regard to what helps and what doesn’t.

The Health and Care Professions Council has recently made service user involvement mandatory in professional training courses.

Counsellors and therapists working in primary care or in secondary care psychological services often lack training in working with people who experience psychosis – indeed, often such services specifically exclude people who have experienced psychosis. This needs to change.

These changes need not be expensive. We are suggesting a change in the way that all professionals are trained and approach their work, rather than necessarily recruiting many additional staff. Training costs money, but we are already paying for training, and it needs to change to reflect our developing understanding of the nature of psychosis. What we are recommending is more fundamental than increased resources: a change in the guiding idea behind services.

Finally, staff can only offer the compassion and emotional support that people need when they are themselves supported and shown compassion by their organisation, and when the demands on them are reasonable. It is vital that rather than being quick to criticise, we recognise how demanding mental health work can be and also acknowledge its vital importance in our society.

Section 14: What we all need to do differently

Key points
There is no ‘us and them’, people who are ‘normal’ and people who are different because they are ‘mentally ill’. We’re all in this together and we need to take care of each other.

If we are serious about preventing distressing ‘psychosis’ we need to tackle deprivation, abuse and inequality.

14.1 We need take on board that we’re all in this together – there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’

One of the most important messages of this report is that there is no dividing line between ‘psychosis’ and ‘normality’.

There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ – we’re all in this together. Many of us hear voices occasionally, or have fears or beliefs that those around us do not share. Given enough stress, for any of us these experiences might shade into psychosis.

Sometimes what constitutes ‘psychosis’ is in the eye of the beholder: for example, if someone does not get on with his or her neighbours, is frightened of them and suspects their involvement when things go wrong, when does this shade into ‘paranoia’?

The main way that we all need to change is by taking on board that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’, there are only people trying to make the best of our situation.

14.2 We need to focus on prevention

This report has highlighted the complex causes of distressing psychotic experiences.What is encouraging is that many of the causes are things that we can do something about.

There is a parallel here with public health in the physical arena, namely that some of the steps that need to be taken are economic, social and even political.

A famous example of the huge difference that public health measures can make is that of Dr William Duncan in nineteenth century Liverpool. As with most doctors in Victorian Britain, Duncan came from a privileged background. But after working as a GP in a working-class area of Liverpool, he became interested in the links between poverty and ill-health and started researching the living conditions of his patients. He was shocked by the poverty he found, and in the clear link between housing conditions and the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, smallpox and typhus. He started a lifelong campaign for improved living conditions, particularly better housing, cleaner water and better drains, which led to huge improvements in the health of many thousands of people.

So what might be the mental health equivalent of clean water and sanitation?

The evidence suggests that two things are particularly important: safety and equality. These are addressed in the following paragraphs, together with other issues that we need to tackle in order to reduce the rates of mental health problems in our society.

14.2.1 Prevention: Safety

To feel safe and secure we need to know that our basic needs will be met. This is why efforts to reduce poverty, and particularly child poverty, are so important if we are to reduce the numbers of people who go on to experience distressing psychosis.

To feel safe and secure we also need to be able to trust those in positions of power over us. In particular, when we are growing up we need to be able to trust the adults who are entrusted with our care. This is why efforts to reduce child abuse and neglect are central to efforts at preventing psychosis as well as other mental health problems. We all need to work with teachers, social workers, community nurses, GPs and the police to identify and then respond to early warning signs that children might be exposed to sexual, physical or emotional abuse, neglect or bullying. As parents we need to seek support ourselves if we worry that our own stress is having an impact on our children.

Children who have been exposed to these things need support and nurturing and there is evidence that where this happens, the likelihood of hearing distressing voices later in life, for example, is much reduced.

14.2.2 Prevention: Equality

Evidence shows that a major contribution to serious emotional distress is not only poverty but particularly income inequality – the growing gap between the richest and poorest people in society.

In their book The Spirit Level, sociologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrate that mental health problems are highest in those countries with the greatest gaps between rich and poor, and lowest in countries with smaller differences. Equal societies are associated with more trust and less paranoia.

This suggests that rather than primarily targeting our efforts at individuals, the most effective way to reduce rates of ‘psychosis’ might be to reduce inequality in society.

14.2.3 Prevention: Reducing discrimination and oppression

A classic paper published in 1994 was entitled Environmental failure – Oppression is the only cause of psychopathology. Whilst some might think that goes too far, there is no doubt that people who have been subject to oppression, and particularly discrimination (racism, homophobia, discrimination on grounds or gender, disability or ‘mental health’) are put at risk by these experiences.

We can all work to combat discrimination and promote a more tolerant and accepting society.

14.2.4 Prevention: Reducing harmful drug use and addressing its causes

Alcohol is unquestionably the most serious substance-related public health issue, but cannabis and other drugs have been associated with mental health problems in general and psychosis in particular. Over-use of recreational drugs appears to make it more likely that someone will experience a psychotic crisis. This does not necessarily mean that we need a stronger clamp-down on drugs – the so-called ‘war on drugs’ does not appear to have been won, and many people argue that de-criminalising the possession and use of drugs would be an important positive step towards protecting people’s health. It is also important to address the social problems that lead people to turn to taking drugs, including poverty, inequality, unemployment, hopelessness and feeling disenfranchised from society.

14.2.5 Prevention: What we can each do to protect our mental health

So far, this section has concentrated on what we can do together to reduce the risk that some of us will experience distressing ‘psychosis’.

However, research also suggests that there are things that we can each do ourselves to protect our own mental health.

Firstly, we can look after ourselves physically: as we saw above, getting regular, good sleep is vitally important, as are nutritious food, exercise, and exposure to open air and green spaces. We can exercise caution with recreational drugs, even very commonplace drugs such as alcohol or cannabis.

Since our social environment is also vital, we can usefully examine our relationships with family, friends and colleagues and take steps to resolve sources of stress.

Money worries are one of the most common stressors. Although our income is often beyond our control, we can take steps to deal with debt, to plan for retirement, to manage our finances, and to plan for the future (psychologists call this ‘adaptive coping’).

Finally, we all experience major negative events during our lives, such as when someone close to us dies. Whilst we can’t prevent things happening, we have some control over how we respond. For example, do we tend to jump to conclusions or take things personally? Sometimes it can help to talk over with a friend or counsellor how and why we habitually respond the way we do, and any changes we could make.

The New Economics Foundation’s ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ framework might be of use here.

14.3 We need to campaign against prejudice and discrimination on ‘mental health’ grounds

This report has shown how we can be affected as much by the reaction of people around us as by the actual experiences themselves.

For example, people who are seen as ‘mentally ill’ often experience prejudice, rejection and social exclusion, which can be significant – sometimes even insurmountable – obstacles to recovery.

For many people, prejudice based on misinformation presents a greater obstacle than the original mental health problems.

Too many people have been taken in by inaccurate media images and are prejudiced against those with mental health difficulties, wrongly believing them to be incompetent, unreliable, unpredictable, and dangerous.

For many people, the mass media are their major source of information about mental health. However, the way that problems are portrayed is often unhelpful. Unfortunately frightening stories about unusual events have more ‘news value’. A second reason is the lack of good information available to journalists. In the absence of other sources of material, they currently often have to rely on court cases and inquiries. Obviously this will lead to a preponderance of stories about crime and tragedy. Alternative sources of material are badly needed, as is training for journalists.

We hope that this report will prove to be part of an ongoing major shift in public  attitudes that sees prejudice against people with mental health problems become as unacceptable as racism or sexism.

Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia is published as a free pdf file by the British Psychological Society,  Division of Clinical Psychiatry.

https://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division%20of%20Clinical%20Psychology/public/understanding_psychosis_-_final_19th_nov_2014.pdf

Understanding_Psychosis_-_final_19th_nov_2014

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superhero sugar rush


batmanEveryone of us has experiences that could be diagnosed.

Too much sugar [or other substances], too little sleep, too much lifecrap and those experiences can start to make life weird, or difficult.

Even a superhero cape, mask and on-the-outside-underpants cannot cure us – because there is no for human experience – but we can learn to inure ourselves even from that which we fear.

Heck, we can even learn to have fun…

Get your Bat freak on.

Everyone of us has experiences that could be diagnosed.
Too much sugar [or other substances], too little sleep, too much lifecrap  and those experiences can start to make life weird, or difficult.

Even a superhero cape, mask and on-the-outside-underpants cannot cure us from human experience but we can learn to inure ourselves even from that which we fear.

Heck, we can even learn to have fun…

Get your Bat freak on.

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KebabTraume – DAF


kebabtraume
Kebab-Träume in der Mauerstadt

 

Kebab-Träume in der Mauerstadt,

Türk-Kültür hinter Stacheldraht.
Neu-Izmir ist in der DDR,
Atatürk, der neue Herr.

Miliyet für die Sowjet-Union,
in jeder Imbißstube, ein Spion.
Im ZK, Agent aus Türkei,
Deutschland, Deutschland, alles ist vorbei!

Kebab-Träume in der Mauerstadt,
Türk-Kültür hinter Stacheldraht.
Neu-Izmir ist in der DDR,
Atatürk, der neue Herr.

Miliyet für die Sowjet-Union,
in jeder Imbißstube, ein Spion.
Im ZK, Agent aus Türkei,
Deutschland, Deutschland, alles ist vorbei!

Kebab-Träume in der Mauerstadt,
Türk-Kültür hinter Stacheldraht.
Neu-Izmir ist in der DDR,
Atatürk, der neue Herr.

Miliyet für die Sowjet-Union,
in jeder Imbißstube, ein Spion.
Im ZK, Agent aus Türkei,
Deutschland, Deutschland, alles ist vorbei!

Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!
Wir sind die Türken von morgen!

Translation

 

Kebab-dreams in the walled city,
Turkish culture behind barbed wire.
New-Izmir is in the GDR,
Atatürk, the new lord.

Miliyet for the Soviet Union,
at each lunch-counter, a spy.
In the ZK, [an] agent from Turkey,
Germany, Germany, all is over!

Kebab-dreams in the walled city,
Turkish culture behind barbed wire.
New-Izmir is in the GDR,
Atatürk, the new lord.

Miliyet for the Soviet Union,
at each lunch-counter, a spy.
In the ZK, [an] agent from Turkey,
Germany, Germany, all is over!

Kebab-dreams in the walled city,
Turkish culture behind barbed wire.
New-Izmir is in the GDR,
Atatürk, the new lord.

Miliyet for the Soviet Union,
at each lunch-counter, a spy.
In the ZK, [an] agent from Turkey,
Germany, Germany, all is over!

We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!
We are the Turks of tomorrow!

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