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Opinion extra

Where was the counter argument that much violent behaviour IS induced by medication?

I read with some alarm the issue raised concerning whether nurses should accompany police when they are dealing with “violent” mentally ill people.

Having read some of the comments those in the “caring” professions have made regarding such vulnerable people deserving CRB reports that prevent them getting work and “deserving to suffer as a consequence of their behaviour”, I felt compelled to express my indignation that such subscribers would view themselves as belonging to the “caring” professions.
 
I have suffered from mental health problems in the past - and only carried out inappropriate behaviour as a serious side effect of the mood stablilisers I was prescribed.

I have heard “caring” staff refer to patients as “b……s”, and seen vulnerable patients deliberately wound up by nursing staff, especially in NHS foundation trusts, so that the police can be called and the vulnerable person passed on to the legal system.
 
Many reports show this is a routine method of trust’s “balancing their budgets” by moving the problem to the legal services.

The pharmaceutical industries hide data that indicates their dangerous medicines create psychosis or enhance it or make people commit violent acts when they have never had a violent personality.
 
Mental health staff are woefully under-trained. The 5BPT, in this area, has admitted it has only ever attempted “containment” as it cannot provide effective services. Scrutiny reports indicate it has failed to provide effective services for decades, and the trust itself admitted staff do not respond to “crisis” call out as the trust has never defined what a “crisis” is, so the team do not know what is appropriate.
 
I have friends who are social workers, and have worked for the NHS in the mental health field. How come not a week goes by when someone has died as a result of the “caring” professionals not going out in response to families’ desperate requests that their loved ones are really ill? No, let the police taser them when the person has become totally deranged and acted on compulsions induced by medications or their conditions.
 
Thankfully, I was allowed access to funding for private treatment and after decades of suffering abuse and seeing it inflicted on others by your “caring” professionals, I am now in a safe environment - well away from commenters like the ones who responded to your article.
 
At one point I was presented with an alternative: go to the local 5BPT hospital or remain in police custody - on a minor issue , I had not been violent to anyone - I chose to stay in the local police station. And I will say this, I was actually treated with more respect, concern and dignity that I have ever received in NHS hospitals.
 
In hospitals, it is usually auxillary staff who have the most sympathy for inpatients, and I have met very kind individuals who have caused patients upset only by saying they were leaving the NHS “because they couldn’t stand to see how patients were being treated”.
 
I once had to talk a young lady out of committing suicide. I asked a nurse to intervene and she responded: “let her do it!” Later, the same young lady told me why she was suicidal - one of your “caring” professionals had raped her. She made me promise that I would not tell anyone - she said no-one would believe her as she had mental health problems, and she would be stopped from having any services if she complained.
 
Fortunately, the rapist WAS arrested for rape - not for the young lady, but for raping elderly women and taking pictures of them.
 
So, for those commentators who attitude “if you can’t do the time, don’t commit the crime” - if you can’t do the job, leave it for someone who can!
 
I receive CBT from a lady who is an ex-social worker, and an ex-forensic psychologist for the NHS. When I told her what I had witnessed and suffered she said she had left the NHS because she had seen too many similar incidents, and the system was not set up to deal with abuses by “caring” staff.
 
I have always believed those who stigmatise the mentally ill the most are those engaged in the mental health services (not all, of course), and the ones who suffer the most injustice are the mentally ill - See Justice for Joe Campaign!
 
Where was the counter argument that much violent behaviour IS induced by medication? Why does your “caring” profession rather sit in warm, cosy offices, rather than act on emergency call-outs? How many times do we read that families had tried for weeks or months to get your “caring” professionals out to vulnerable mentally ill patients well BEFORE they commit an act of violence?
 
I was actually relieved when I read clause 75 of the new NHS Act - mental health hospitals will all be closed. It will not make a difference to the mentally ill - there has been no effective access to community care for many in the last several years. The only difference is your caring professionals will not be getting paid NOT to do their jobs!

I will bet by now you are thinking: “Obviously this is written by someone who is paranoid or delusional” - well, every genuine complaint by mental health patients gets dismissed in the same - which rather makes my point, doesn’t it? I have expert witness reports from several prominent psychiatrists and psychologists, including Dr. Denman, who is in charge of a large, leading hospital, that would indicate that I am neither delusional nor paranoid.

God help anyone who remains at the mercy of the NHS if they have mental health problems.


Helen Waine

Readers' comments (8)

  • tinkerbell

    Helen, you are right. I have witnessed these incidents also, having been a psyche NHS nurse and also worked in the private sector. Toxic psychiatry.

    We visited an elderly gentleman yesterday who had been dishcarged from a medical ward as fit but' suicida'l without any back up in place, so we went out with the briefest discharge summary from the medical ward. Before his discharge he should have been properly assessed by the psyche team but how could they know if they hadn't been informed.

    Sometimes those who claim they have been abused are the most vulnerable because they are the least believed, so it is easier for the perpetrator to abuse them again.Peter and the Wolf.

    It's a sad, sad situation. I hope you maintain your wellbeing and are treated as you would wish to treat others with kindness and consideration.

    I don't doubt what you say for one minute but likewise have seen good nurses doing their very best to go the extra mile for their
    clients. May they be ever present.

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  • tinkerbell

    http://cchrvictoria.org.au/resources/Psychiatric_drugs_and_violence.pdf

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  • Helen, a truly excellent article and extremely well written. I also am shocked at the treatment of many of those with mental health problems and some of the attitudes expressed here by 'caring professionals'.

    Those with mental health problems present not only in the mental health services but like every other patient may also present in a variety of other settings and as everybody has a right to an understanding of their problems and symptoms and to receive holistic care and treatment it is vital that all nurses working in all clinical areas other than MH also have good training and awareness of the needs of those with MH problems and how and when to refer them to more specialist services. Unfortunately it appears that even some proffesionals working in MH who presumably are trained are also disrespectful, discriminatory and even mistreat their patients.

    I have written a number of blogs and a few articles defending this position and appreciate the highly risky unwanted effects some drugs can have on altering thoughts, feelings and have the potential to ultimately adversely affect behaviour as well. Something of which all clinicians should be fully aware.

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  • I saw a great deal of abuse when an auxiliary in a psych 'bin' in the early 1980s. I reported a SEN for overdosing patients on sedatives. I was told that as an auxiliary I was in no position to make a judgement. However, as an intelligent person I could read the dose, work out the necessary volume and see that she was giving quadruple the amount given by all other nurses [and no it wasn't diluted as I watched it being poured]. As a result he had 'paradoxical anxiety' as stated on the side effects and screamed all night when she was on.
    As a consequence of standing up for a patient i did not have my contract renewed.

    Since then as a patient [following an accident which caused PTSD] I have suffered from very poor treatment. Last time I saw a shrink I was told I was being discharged as 'you haven't tried to kill yourself yet...'.
    Caring. My rectum is it.

    I hold down a very responsible job in nursing and yet every night when I go to sleep I hope I will not wake up. I have black moods at home which are incredibly oppressive.
    As long as I can hold it together at work I will continue, but sadly without support.

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  • Take a look at the latest DSM codes -----All aspects of human behaviour are now capable of being classified as aberrant !

    There are no sane people left !

    Tinkerbell

    Guess you have never attempted to secure a pysche for a patient in an acute ward or A/E dept.
    These patients are given a very low priority by the pysche "service" the argument being that these patients are in a "safe" environment!

    Another favourite tactic used to avoid assessing A/E patients is to claim the patients are under the influence of drugs/alcohol and therefore are "unfit" to to be assessed!

    Easier to to have the police arrest individuals (under Sect 136 of the MH act) if they are a threat to themselves or others!

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  • tinkerbell

    No, you guess wrong as often attended A&E for a psyche assessment or a Sec 136 as our acute psyche wards were in the same hospital grounds as A&E.

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  • tinkerbell

    Sorry I worded my comment badly

    I intended to say that generally speaking it is extremely difficult to secure a psyche assessment particularly in A&E even when the situation is acute.

    No reflection of your personal practise/experience was intended.

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 10-Jun-2013 3:14 pm

    you are probably right, especially nowadays when so many services are being run down.

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