Woman’s Politics Weekly: TABOOS AROUND MENTAL HEALTH: A WAR of WORDS: Women, Black Men, PTSD & ‘Patient Profiling’…

Tuesday 10th September, 2019

Reporting, Base Camp, Tottenham, London

❤ Woman’s Politics Weekly: TABOOS AROUND MENTAL HEALTH: A WAR of WORDS: Women, Black Men, PTSD & ‘Patient Profiling’…

So I decided to take a visit, to see a friend, to the somewhat infamous, ‘Chase Farm Hospital’ the other week.

As I have to take several en-route bus diversions, and walk, from a bus stop, around a moat of car park, past a derelict looking nineteenth Century hospital, and an equally derelict modern hospital, I hear silent echoes, and whispers, in the wind, of a place, a sanctuary, where usually it is not because you don’t know enough, but because you know too much.

I speak to someone, he has been sectioned here before, and his experiences, reported quite bleak.

I don’t know how much of it is true, but what I do know, is that he’s fleeing national service in his home country and has been sent to Italy before reaching army recruitment age.

He resided in Libya for some time before reaching Italy.

He was abused in Italy under his status as an asylum seeker and found himself sleeping rough and relying on charities to survive.

Now, is not great, but a little bit better, with a little help from a housing organisation who provide him a bedroom, a shower, 2 meals a day and 5 pounds a day to live off, as ‘pocket money’.

Sounds not too bad, but as a middle aged man, with no rights, no work permit, quality of life is, little brighter, than the gems, of the lights, you can see, in a fruit machine.

A few energy drinks for maximum impact, maybe a box of cigarettes, maybe he can sell some drugs he says, or win money on a betting machine -he comes home one day with a brand new suit for his son, some clothes and a box of cornflakes, that is his only way to make money, but usually he ends up getting nicked. 

“Jenny, can I buy a gun” he asks me.

“No you can’t, not in this country, not in my house” I reply.

“You need a licence first” I add.

“You don’t need a gun I tell him, we have each other now”.

2 weeks later, he comes home “They came at me with knives, they tried to take my phone,” he cries at me.

Whilst I try to give the kid what I call, some ‘place of mind’, a place where he knows he can always come and feel safe, at home, where he has a place he can sleep in an emergency, and have a warm meal, and wash his clothes, we make cookies, and discuss how he can become more independent and within the law.

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It looks like it is a matter of changing his status to indefinite leave, he has a son in this country with a British woman, so I am angered that this Jamaican family did not do more for this poor man, the father, of a very beautiful son.

The guy is actually a geologist, from Ethiopia, I have met several of his friends and they too, 1 a civil engineer, 1 social worker, are very good people.

As a black man, with 5 quid a day to live off, and no work permit, this makes life more difficult, his life consists of cycles, between police detentions and custody centres for being stopped and searched for trying to carry a bag of weed to sell, and a dirty sheet of an attic, sprawled with clothes of a residency owned by St Mungo’s.

Unfortunately, now homelessness and housing, is based on mental health and thus this is the route to take, to obtain housing if you are homeless.

He says he has schizophrenia, since coming out of prison, his life is a battle between homelessness and mental health services.

I don’t believe this, although it is probably true now, through his ‘patient profiling’ I believe he originally, had Post Traumatic Stress (Disorder), but this is, the perfect example of how National Mental Health Services are using ‘patient profiling’ to diagnose schizophrenia and other mental health conditions usually personality disorders and bipolar and many black men and women altogether irrespective of race too in fact,  are falling victim to this type of ‘Patient profiling’ to cover up, something that is a lot more volatile, expensive and tricky to treat: Post Traumatic Street Disorder.

I mean Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

‘Patient profiling’ is the practice whereby certain patients are regarded to have certain behaviours or illnesses based on prejudices and discriminations against, that patient’s appearance, their race, gender, or financial status as three very common examples.

Usually it seems ‘patient profiling’ is informed, by prejudice and discrimination against  someone’s ‘financial status’ more so, and hence perhaps (?) includes subjugated and marginalised factions of society, such as women and black men, who tend to fall in lower paid sectors compared against white men, who are more ‘exempt’ from this category as we all know, they get paid on average, 50% more than women.

Whilst people suggest this prejudice and discrimination or ‘patient profiling’ is about people’s appearance, such as race and gender, I think it is more informed by a universal prejudice and discrimination, against ‘financial status’.

If you are upper class, you are likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder, or perhaps Depression, if you are lower class however, you are about 10 times more likely, to be diagnosed with an ‘uncontrolable’ ‘demonic’ disease, such as schizophrenia, that requires medication and control versus therapy.

You can suffer Post Traumatic Stress from anything really, from a pregnancy and childbirth, to a hospital visit perhaps, a diagnosis of something, an infection, a strange event, a divorce, these things can put you, in shock, and have even proven to be the most stressful life events in causing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but the NHS unfortunately, does not provide any support for this, the only available support is for anxiety, suicide and depression, so you have to go down that route instead.

But if you are denying yourself the reality of your own experiences from the start, by suggesting you have something else, in this case ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ or whatever it may be, instead of Post Traumatic Stress, how can you get better (?) If your treatment plan and care will then be, based on a foundation of lies, this can become vexatious.

It usually backfires, and these misdiagnosed patients are unfortunately, believing that they are mentally ill, with a mental health condition that cannot be improved, like in this case, schizophrenia etc when actually, they are or were just battling a traumatic episode perhaps.

Untreated however, and the longer you leave it, it can turn into schizophrenia and other personality disorders and mental health difficulties.

This is then followed, by a life of dependency on medications, more like medical testing, messing with men’s salt balances, and sodium levels, which naturally, can even, inform hallucination. 

It is deeply saddening, and many black men, under the age of 40, end up in the mental health system, and or battling demons, and killing themselves.

When I get home, I sit at the table, put my head in my hands, and start to cry a little bit.

I feel terrible, I feel awful.

And if not, “killing someone else” my friend says to me, as we eat sugar popcorn and chocolate cake in the meeting room and listen to music.

I wish he wouldn’t say these things sometimes.

“It is important to assess what is worth worrying about and what is not”, Professor Green says.

“Be more honest about your vulnerabilities, and you will feel stronger”, Professor Green adds.

Personally, I believe this helps you, to learn to love and accept.

And I have a new friend, a man who believes, in Cyrus, a utopia, which is a bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory he says, with honey rivers and chocolate trees.

This guy has some clarity.

Whilst the High Courts of Justice, mess with his Sodium Valporate…

I don’t know, but sounds pretty cool to me (!) this guy is tripping, on the NHS, for free.

“Where are all the doctors hiding then (?)” I say.

A white nurse who looks nearly dead with a scarf tied round her head walks past wheeling an empty wheelchair.

“Look (!) even the staff in here are dead (!)” I say.

Intervention: How to deal with Mental Health Difficulties & Post Traumatic Stress (!) 

Whilst Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT seems to be the ‘BOG STANDARD’ approach to most mental health difficulties and PTSD across the spectrum, whatever drugs you are on, I have never had much faith in this approach to mental health, AS ALL IT REALLY is, is ‘journalling’, which naturally, as a journalist, I find is a highly beneficial activity to pursue on a regular if not daily basis anyhow, in order to reflect on ones behaviour and give oneself perspective.

This naturally, ensures a healthy personal development, however, using it to cure PTSD I find is irrelevant, as this ‘perspective’ actually, makes people feel anxious, and thus just aggravates people of PTSD a condition which is already informed by symptoms of heightened anxiety and Depression, anyways.

RAP

Writing poetry however, I find, or Rap as Professor Green has pointed out, is a PEAK cure for mental health difficulties, for him it was trauma, as it enables you to express your innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions in relevance to their actualisation in your mind, to unwravle all the ‘jimble jamble’ that is going on inside of your head, and make proper sense of it, instead of judging and procrastinating on your own behaviour all the time through CBT by journalling.

Rapping, is quite simple, you just need to start to bust a rhyme…

Think about being in the present, think about what you feel and do not be ashamed about it, do not hide things.

Go with the flow and try to use, as many words, that are aesthetically pleasing, to rhyme.

This type of creative thinking, is what kind of informs dyslexia (!)

It is almost like a game of word association, and is a peak task to do to develop and enhance your lateral/creative thinking styles and abilities, which help you to cope and adapt to new situations. 

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