Today, 6 February, is Time to Talk about mental health day. For reasons that I assure you are well-meaning and inspired by wholesome motives, I have decided to take part. As regular readers will know, I suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. I have quite broad experience of what this illness can do to one as well as a passable academic knowledge of it. I welcome questions on this subject.
Moreover, over the years a succession of lazy, poorly informed or generally hapless psychiatrists have given me a range of diagnoses, ranging across treatment-resistant depression, schizo-affective disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, emotionally unstable personality disorder and many more. I have diligently looked these up once the label has been attached (largely, I must admit, to tell the psychiatrists why they are wrong) so I hope I am not wrong in saying I have a slightly broad knowledge of, largely psychotic and depressive, mental health disorders I can attempt to answer questions on. I may be woefully out of date or generally poorly informed, but we are told the important thing is to have a dialogue about mental health. And whilst talking goes on I can look up answers to difficult questions in the background. However, talking is the thing, the idea being to engage people on the subject of mental health. I shall try to do this as best as I can.
If you wish to join me in taking part in Time to talk day you can leave a question or comment below in the comments section, my phone will alert me as soon as you do. Alternatively, you can contact me via my Facebook, Google+ or Twitter profiles and once again I will get notified as soon as someone sends me a message. I believe in order to spread the word ideally one will use the #TimeToTalk hashtag in one’s communications as this is, after all, Time to Talk Day.
If you wish for a private conversation my Skype name is doctorpinot and I’m on Google Chat/Hangouts as email@example.com.
I shall try to be available for as much of the day as possible, made all the easier by the fact that I am sleeping badly at the moment and am likely to be up at 4a.m., but I should point out to any US night-owl readers that I’m usually in bed by 11p.m. GMT so if you wish to talk after that answers may not follow until you have gone to bed!
I think it is an excellent thing to be informed about the world we live in and the different challenges people face in carving their niche within it. Consequently, I think mental health is an admirable subject for me to be expounding upon, given my acquaintance with the subject, and so I am most happy to take part in Time to Talk Day, despite me being deeply uninformed about the message the charity organising it wants me to push. Speak soon!