Saturday, 16 February 2013

Why should mental health law matter to you?

One in three people will suffer from some form of mental illness in their life. 70% will recover whilst the rest will have to fight it for the rest of their life. It does not matter which group you fall into, you will be bound by the mental health laws while you lack capacity.

If you are among the lucky ones who have a nice caring family who all agree with each other and you there should be no problems with the care and treatment while you are in hospital but, what happens if you are incapacitated and there are ongoing family disagreements? Your life is then in the hands of people who don't know a thing about you. How can someone who does not know your likes or dislikes, or more importantly how can they make decisions about your welfare when they know nothing of your views on life, drugs etc.

My sister spent 21 months longer in a secure unit due to just that. She was due for release in Jan 2011 but died in Sept. 2012 still in the hospital. This was due to an old power of attorney that everyone knew had not been fulfilling her duties. She had not seen our sister for more than 7 years yet, she was allowed to make decisions that time and time again were proved to be wrong. No matter how much I tried I could not get anyone to see that this was wrong.

Mid 2012 she was moved to the clinical investigation unit where the doctor there agreed with me that she had been over medicated. So much so that he could not get an aenethsetist to look at her for fear that giving her more drugs would kill her. The same doctor then took her off most of the medication she had been prescribed and said that he noticed no significant change in her mood. In fact she was able to laugh and joke with the nurses, eat and drink unaided. Prior to this she could not tell you her own name. In fact she did not even have the will to sit up of her own accord.

Do you want this to happen to you or someone you love? If not take action now and sign the petition to get the laws changed. Thank you. Stop Over Medicating Mental Health Patients.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

 Mental Health and Triggers

A lot of mental health problems can be brought on by certain triggers. Poverty, stress, seasonal changes and poor diet to name but a few. The key to maintaining good mental health is to find out what your triggers are and find ways to avoid them. I am not saying that this will be a cure for your mental health problems but, recognising when your mental health is suffering means that you can seek help earlier and the quicker you get the treatment you need the quicker you will be back in good health.
So how do you recognise your triggers? One of the best ways I have found is to keep a mental health diary. 

The diary should be written as below.
On a scale of one to ten, one being miserable and ten being very happy write e.g.

MOOD 4 Struggled to get up but went to work, did nothing for the rest of the day.

Breakfast.     Cup of coffee, skipped eating
Lunch           Cheese and ham toastie and mug of tea.
Dinner          Spagetti bolognese and mug of tea.
Snacks etc.   Mars bar, two more coffees and a half bottle of wine.
Washed face, brushed teeth, wore same clothes as yesterday. 

Stress level should be written in the same way as mood one being no stress ten being ready to explode.

When done on a daily basis you can then look back and see what you did on each of the days that you feel miserable and compare what you did, had etc. If any of the things match try to avoid them, you will soon know what your triggers are. Avoiding them in the future is then down to you.
This method won't work for everyone but, it is certainly worth trying. Many people don't realise that what they consume on a daily basis impacts on the way we feel. Simple dietary changes can make a huge difference to how we feel.
One of the first things you may notice when your mental health starts to deteriorate is that your personal hygiene may suffer so, keeping track of that is a key part in recognising that you may be getting unwell.
Medication is not always the answer. Sometimes it is the simple things that we neglect that are the cause and if we recognise the cause we can then fix the problem.
I am campaigning to have the mental health laws changed. If you believe that we need better laws, take action and sign the petition. Stop Over Medicating Mental Health Patients


Friday, 8 February 2013

Mental Health and Medication

What do you really know about the drugs you are taking? A lot of the medication given to mental health sufferers contain toxins and sedatives. Yes sometimes mild sedation may be the best and safest option for the patient but, is it right to sedate a person to the point that they can no longer talk let alone function in any other way? I don't think so, do you? So how do you stop over medication from happening to you?

Family members can make decisions for you while you lack capacity and usually this works fine but, what if there are disputes within the family about the medication or treatment being offered, what happens then? The doctor can then ignore all of the advice being offered by relatives and give you whatever he decides and if anything goes wrong he has a get out clause. He can reply that in his or her opinion it was the best thing to do. Would you like your future care and treatment decided by someone who did not even know you or your likes and dislikes etc. I'm sure I wouldn't.

Next option. Have a power of attorney drawn up. These are very powerful documents that need very careful planning before you consider getting one. They can cover your welfare while you lack capacity as well as your finances. From experience my advice would be, never consider getting a lasting power of attorney. Things change, people move on and families break up. We would all like to hope that this will never be the case with our families but, what if it was? If a document has been drawn up years before it is easy to forget about it in the midst of a family break up, if you become ill during this time and the person who holds the power of attorney disagree in any way with other member of your family. The ones you are now living with and know your recent wishes etc. It would still be the one with the document making your decisions for you, even if they have not seen you fro years. How can they possibly know what you want?

The way to avoid this kind of situation is to have a document drawn up on a yearly basis. This way if you should require hospital treatment you know it's the people around you who know what your wishes are and know how drugs have affected you in the past.

My sister was subjected to being tried on various medications which she had been prescribed before. I knew the serious side effects she had endured in the past but, because I was not the one who held the power of attorney my wishes were over ruled every time. Each time I was proved to be right but it made no difference. She was given them anyway because the attorney said they could. She died on the 20th of September 2012 aged just 51. The cause of death was put down as heart failure due to her body having just given up.

If you don't want this to be you or possibly someone you love take action now to make sure it never can? Sign the petition and get the mental health laws changed! Stop Over Medicating Mental Health Patients