"Drugs, "schizophrenia" and Electro-convulsive therapy!!!!!!"

About: North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I have just had an appointment with yet "another Psychiatrist" but this wasn`t just another appointment in a long history of arround 16 years of psychiatric "care", it was at long last a discussion to agree to me finally being discharged from the "care of the NHS psychiatric units in Warrington". This was a big day and i was aware of this fact.

You see despite the stories you hear in the media of escapees and people being let out early and committing serious offences there are very strict rules of where when and how you can be discharged from their "care" and i have had to fight long and hard to prove my ability as a citizen that i can function as well as the next person, productively and in an effective manner. I have had to creep to nurses and doctors who gave me ECT treatment when i ws 21 years old (i am now in my late 30’s) despite my cries of despair to not make them take me to the theatre and undergo what i regard as a barbaric and inhumane form of torture, NINE TIMES which in my opinion is enough to make you hate the NHS service for eternity which i will and i believe is only making matters worse.

At times I felt bullied, harassed, force fed, and treated literally like a dog by some nurses. I remember almost all of the times I felt mistreatment in the hospital. Stories that women were scared because they had had ECT treatment a number of years ago, one lady who was terrified.

Although this may all sound a bit like science fiction it isn`t. It is real. Also because you feel powerless, being so young i didn`t know what was going to happen to me so i tried to act as if nothing was wrong, just to get through the day. Although i would also liken it to my understanding of being in the army by the way I was taken to dormitaries and given a few blankets with a dirty curtain on a track around me, with bathrooms with 2 baths in and one shower with dirty skirting boards, and mouldy window sills and curtains.

I felt like we were treated like infants who had to sit well and be quiet before we were commanded to go to the front of the dining hall and take our medication. if I refused to take it I was told i would have to have an injection, which to me is blackmail and which i would give into as the first option seemed the better of the two.

Most of them were tall and overpowering and knew they could use their strength, and as i am only 5 feet tall i was overwhelmed, scared and surrounded by either those sort of nurses or patients that I would describe as drug induced, out of control or manically pacing.

In my opinion i became dependant on them in a wierd sort of way because they made me think they were correct and i tried to be one of them but they were very clique`.

Briefly my symptoms (depression) arose due to smoking cannibis and snorting speed once. I had a psychiatric disorder on and of for a number of years, so the advice is very simple DON`T DO IT you may not only lose your mind but you may hurt your family and friends. I have made all sorts of bad decisions because all i could think about was having a joint, now all i want to do is to make my family proud of me again and be the once bright girl who let nothing stop her from getting her dreams.

I am in my late 30’s now and feel i want to achieve things like buying a home getting a good career and starting a family, i was single for 9 years and remained celibate for those nine years as i am a strong catholic and dont believe in casual ralationships. About 7 months ago i met my childhood sweetheart and we are still together. He is a shining light in my life. I have just completed an ITQ level 1 course, have a volunteer job in the local hospice and live in a nice area, its taken many years of hard work but it seems things are finally going right for me.

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Response from Dennis Dewar, PALS Co-ordinator, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to make this posting. I'm really pleased for you that things are going so well. It is nice to hear that you are doing voluntary work in a local hospice, I know how rewarding this kind of work can be.

We have an involvement scheme here in 5 Boroughs Partnership. By working with service users and carers we have made many improvements to the services we provide, one example being the fact that we no longer have the old bathrooms with multiple baths and showers. We also now involve service users and carers in training staff.

If you would like to find out more about the scheme and how we can use your experiences to help us improve please call me on 01925 664450.

Good luck for the future.

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