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 I may be woefully out of date or generally poorly informed, but we are told the important thing is to have a dialogue about mental health.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Well done for sticking your head above the parapet, David. I suppose one of the problems with the psychiatric profession is that they generally haven’t actually experienced what you go through on a regular basis. Perhaps you should join their ranks?
An interesting idea, Tom, but I think I would empathise too much with my clients and end up inviting them all to live at Elitistreview Towers in some kind of lunacy commune where I desperately try and solve everyone’s problems until I totally lost my marbles.
It is testament to the unpopularity of Elitistreview since I have been writing less (I have good excuses, really, honestly, true ones!) that no one wanted to speak to me about mental illness yesterday. About 18 months ago I had had over 100,000 unique visitors in the preceding year, I’ve lost 40,000 of them since then. It is nice that I have some regular readers who I don’t think will desert me unless I start writing really weird stuff, Tom. Thank you. And the other 60,000 too.