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

Active Minds Presentation, Glasgow 18 July 2018: Safe Houses for Psychosis

Link to Safe Houses for Psychosis blog

recent blog posts

8 May 2018: creating space for survivor Mothers & Others in Scotland

Stratheden new £4.4million IPCU built after our whistleblowing about locked seclusion room abuses, perpetrated on my Son February 2012, money awarded by Scottish Government.

2 May 2018: Need for Effective Safeguards: Hunter Watson May 2018 #ECHR #MHAct @ScotParl

27 April 2018: the benefits of having a good Mother with a Schizophrenia diagnosis

History Beyond Trauma

History Beyond Trauma (blog page link): Whereof one cannot speak, therof one cannot stay silent, Francoise Davoine & Jean-Max Gaudilliere

"In the course of nearly thirty years of work with patients in psychiatric hospitals and private practice, Francoise Davoine and Jean-Max Gaudilliere have uncovered the ways in which transference and counter transference are affected by the experience of social catastrophe. Handed down from one generation to the next, the unspoken horrors of war, betrayal, dissociation, and disaster in the families of patient and analyst alike are not only revived in the therapeutic relationship but, when understood, actually provide the keys to the healing process. The authors present vivid examples of clinical work with severely traumatized patients, reaching inward to their own intimate family histories as shaped by the Second World War and outward toward an exceptionally broad range of cultural references to literature, philosophy, political theory, and anthropology. ..." Amazon

Another text I'll be using during my continued research into safe haven crisis houses and alternatives to psychiatric inpatient treatment for people experiencing psychosis, altered mind states, emotional distress.

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