30 years ago I walked into hospital as a voluntary patient in the middle of a manic episode.
One World Suicide Day 2022, read this powerful post by Kevin Hall, first written in 2018 after fashion designer Kate Spade and TV chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide
I’ve always had my mental health, but sometimes it’s been a bit dodgy.
Our brains are naturally very good at adapting and responding to our environments. That is, after all, how we’ve survived (in an evolutionary sense), but these built-in adaptive processes are still very apparent day-to-day. Read more
Compassion (noun): a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Towards the end of last week in deepest west Wales, something remarkable happened. It was a gathering of people who share a passion for compassion and a hunger to see more of it in the way we approach health, specifically mental health. It seems a cruel irony that at a time when people most need a compassionate response, all too often feel unheard, disconnected and disempowered from the very systems supposed to help. Read more
Feeling disconnected and misunderstood I took a last minute decision to go to the Compassionate Mental Health Conference in Wales last week. I’d had such an affirmative experience there back in March I felt It would be just the medicine I needed to restore me and nurture me. Read more
Not long out of hospital again, where I received little care.
Feeling powerless and hopeless and so full of despair.
My ‘life’ has been traumatic, distressing, I long to be free.
Yet, I don’t deserve kindness from others, let alone me! Read more
Over the last 40 years as a dissident therapist and activist, I’ve known many people who were so negatively impacted by their subjective experience of receiving and indefinitely enduring a psychiatric diagnosis that I’ve come to see such dehumanising labeling as the infliction of what amounts to a medical curse.
We live in troubled times. Prejudice, oppression, poverty, climate change, and nuclear war affect everyone simultaneously thanks to the internet and TV. We see more and yet are more fragmented and powerless. These factors are creating trauma for everyone. Most people are now in a state of dissociation in which their feelings and emotions are severed from their thoughts.
Those of us with lived experience of recovery from trauma through extreme emotional states labelled mental illness are offering a gift. We have learned that our recovery from trauma is helped by three simple phases: emotional connection, emotional empowerment and emotional revitalization. We call this process emotional CPR (eCPR). Read more