Voices in the Dark
Posted by
30th Mar 2012

As a carer and also in my job role I see the isolating effects of mental health. I was told once by a consultant that mental health is like orange juice and whisky and every strength of drink between the two. Every person is different who suffers from this illness, and the illness differs between each person.

As a carer one of the things I find really annoying is people who say `I suffer from mental health problems so I know how bad it is`. Then they tell you they are taking a prozac or similar tablet a day. Wow really how very lucky you are then. I know it sounds contradictory but I am not talking prozac (orange juice) level mental health I am talking heavy duty (whisky) mental health.

The medication needed to deal with extreme mental health is brutal, the side effects are severe, the outlook for recovery is slim, and social isolation is the norm. Every member of the family suffers, children also fear it will happen to them. I know people may suffer much worse but with many other illness at least people tend to understand it. Mental health is different it is either undermined, feared or laughed at.The budget for all health care is being reduced but mental health is being hit particularly hard.

I can only speak from my own experience but when my then husband was first sectioned he was 31, he was a computer consultant, we had three young children and a mortgage on an old property we were renovating. We had been getting told for months that he was just a bit hyper, he couldn`t sleep, had and had been to the doctor many times in the months before his section. He lost his career, his personality and eventually his family.

I knew nothing about mental health, I thought he would be better in six months, so did he, no-one told us otherwise. That was twenty five years ago things have improved but not a lot. My youngest son was 20 when this horrible illness came to invade his life. I know a lot about mental health now but then I would I`ve been dealing with it and its effects for a long time.
taken from my blog as a carer

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