blog post 17 March 2017 on providing a safe house for my son

blog post 14 April 2018 in recognition of my Dad Willie Patterson; scriptwriter of Jeff Hawke; Daily Express & Titan Books

News

Tuesday 9 October 2018: swimming, jogging, novice Triathlon, wildwater

"A wee blog post about fitness. I'm swimming now up to 6 days a week, mostly Olympia Dundee but also other places when at events or visiting historic sites eg Glasgow and Edinburgh Commonwealth pools, Leith Victoria last Saturday, Perth leisure pool if in the area, Dunfermline Carnegie and Glenrothes. .."

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Friday, 24 August 2018: focusing on getting fit again

"In July I went on various outings, latterly to Stirling Castle on 23rd then Edinburgh Castle on 25th, taking public transport, bus and train, then walking up the hills, with the result that by 27 July I had a sore back, muscle strain going down into my left leg and hamstring. The titanium plate on right fibula (3 fractures March 2005 caused by max dose Venlafaxine 2002/4, bone loss) tends to strain muscles on other side when overdoing it. And I lost fitness after the stress of 2017 (PhD withrawal), the viral throat and thyroid cyst, caring for my son after his collapsed lung and operation in the November, and the careless discharge.

It was painful even when sleeping and I did wonder if it was my joint, couldn't jog as usual, and so I decided to get back to swimming in the Olympia, Dundee, on 6 August, taking out monthly membership through Leisureactive at £15/month for over 60's (Silver), which I had last year but stopped going when becoming unwell and caring duties increased. I occasionally took Ibuprofen for the pain so as to walk without tensing up, exacerbating the strain. A pulled left hamstring in September 2016 has also been acting up.

I take 2 buses to Dundee from Springfield and have been trying out different times in the Olympia training pool to see what suits best, aiming for 3 times a week, Mon-Frid, hoping to eventually swim more lengths as the muscle strain fully recovers. I can now jog a bit and have bought a new, smaller rucksack so as not to put so much strain on my back when walking distances or up hills. ..."

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Knitting on the move!

recent blog posts

6 October 2018: "it is (in) the wider interests of the mental health community in Scotland that you do not attend"

"Par for the course, being blocked, silenced, banished from mental health events because I won't just lie down and take it. I've 3 times resisted coercive psychiatric drug treatment and been forced to conform, tapering the drugs eventually under my own steam, proving mental illness to be a psychiatric construct. I've got the scars and injuries to show for it. Metal plate right fibula, after 3 fractures when walking down a stair in March 2005 at a job interview in Cupar Libary (got the job), bone loss due to max dose Venlafaxine at the menopause. An antidepressant drug that flattened me, caused suicidal impulse and led to me being prescribed the toxic drug Lithium. ..."

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5 October 2018: update on my complaint about Dr Dada locum psychiatrist NHS Fife who accused me of racism

"I think this process and outcome is a perfect demonstration of the misuse and abuse of power in psychiatry. They can write false allegations, bully and intimidate a patient behind closed doors and not be accountable for their actions."

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avoiding ECT when hospitalised in 1978 after first postpartum psychosis; then Krypton Factor 1980

"Remembering my first psychiatric hospitalisation, 13 weeks after the birth of my second son. A painful experience, induced with chemicals to bring about the birth when the day staff were on duty. Little pain relief, it was a cottage hospital, and like 'bite on a bullet' time. I was living with in-laws and this brought its own pressures. And ended up going voluntarily into Hartwoodhill Hospital, Lanarkshire, with my first puerperal (postpartum) psychosis. It was September 1978, I was 25 with a birthday at the end of the month.

The psychiatric acute ward environment wasn't what I'd expected and the regime required taking psychiatric drugs which I didn't want to do. But I had no choice and these were forcibly given until taken orally with no resistance. I'd been breastfeeding and had to be bound, to stop the milk coming. This was very painful, more so mentally than physically, for I enjoyed feeding my son and didn't want to stop doing it. But I had no choice for my baby was back home and I was hospitalised. Also the drugs meant I couldn't have fed him myself anyway. ..." Read complete Blog Post

memories of peer support in the psychiatric system circa 1984

"Looking back to my psychiatric hospitalisations in 1978, 1984 and 2002 it was peer support that got me through the traumatic experience of forced treatment and disempowerment. And continued on after discharge, helping me on the recovery journey and back to real life. The experiences of fellow travellers, mostly women, who knew what it felt like to be incarcerated and to be limited by the psychiatric drugs or mental illness label.

I remember in particular the 1984 episode, only one day out of the maternity hospital, after the birth of my third son, and being in another place mentally. It wasn't a negative experience for me, on the contrary, but for others it was alarming as I wasn't myself. The fact that I'd had a previous puerperal psychosis would have alerted the doctors and no doubt they were looking out for it. So, in very quick time, I found myself a voluntary mental patient in Hartwoodhill Hospital, Lanarkshire. Separated from my baby who I'd been breastfeeding.

I was in an acute psychiatric ward, female sleeping accommodation and mixed gender dining/living spaces. My clothes locked away in a cupboard and having to wear pyjamas, a few layers of them, for it was late November, winter time, 'Do they know it's Christmas?' by Band Aid on the radio. Strangers wanting to give me drugs, which I refused then being grabbed and jagged with them. Then when they thought me compliant gave me liquid Largactyl, found out later it was Chlorpromazine, and finally pills when I could be trusted. ..." Read complete Blog Post

old photos

from events I organised voluntarily under the banner of Peer Support Fife 2008-2012