Changing Minds

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I have slowed down, and my brain (and life) are better for it. I am actually letting myself feel the physical pain that I endure. It hurts, but it is real. It appreciates being felt. I am still limiting my caffeine intake and exercise in the sunshine each day. I am eating regularly and acknowledging feelings as they come up. It hasn’t been as overwhelming as I feared.

A production crew are shooting the next season of the excellent series Changing Minds in the district I live in. It will be shown on the ABC later this year. A beautiful mum I know was interviewed the other day by the crew. She was so brave as she turned her face to the winter sun and talked about her depression. How it felled her, and how she is making her comeback. I was in awe of her. The production crew impressed me with their sensitivity and empathy. The mental health sector needs more funding, and it needs it now.

I well remember when I searched for help for a loved one several years ago. I was frightened for them, that they may not make it. Time was of the essence. There was a procession of psychologists, doctors, scans, blood tests, and diagnosis’. Some believed this person had an adrenal issue, others believed it was hormonal. Still others believed it was depression. There were about ten different diagnosis before bipolar was diagnosed. I was left to sort through all the information as this person was too ill to do it themselves. Alternative health practitioners became involved in case it was dietary. You will try anything when you are so ill. The person became sicker. I turned to a church who offered counselling. I was asked whether this person’s family had ever been involved in the Masonic practice. I was bemused and asked  what this had to do with mental health. I was told that curses can be carried through bloodlines. I was aghast that no practical help was offered. It made this person become more insular, to everyone’s detriment.

Finally, a mental health service opened in our town. A place I was able to get to easily and which was free. As a support person, I was going down, and these people could see it. I was given excellent advice and was able to remain on an even keel whilst helping this loved one. I looked forward to my visits, and finding a workable way of life, for myself and this person. I rang to make an appointment late last year, only to find that this service had closed. The local mental health unit do their very best with limited resources. It is immensely frustrating and heart-rending for the staff. It took years for this person to reach a proper diagnosis. I am so thankful that they held on for it. They are stable, though their grip on life can be tenuous. I look forward to watching the next season of Changing Minds. I look forward to hearing from the dedicated staff, who do their level best in a system plagued with funding cuts and politics. I look forward to hearing the stories of the clients, who have been through hell and keep paddling. You all amaze and astound me with your iron will. There is something inside that makes you hold on; the promise of a beautiful future filled with restful sleep and wondrous times. Keep holding on.

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7 thoughts on “Changing Minds

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  1. The mentally ill seem to be the forgotten population when it comes to compassionate care. I’ve sat in large metropolitan hospital emergency rooms and watched while gang members with wounds from gang wars were rushed to surgery while Tom was allowed to hemorrhage on a metal folding chair. Often all of the patients in the ER would be seen before Tom was ever called for treatment. There’s no excuse why the mentally ill are treated the way they are or their caregivers.

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  2. Thank You for sharing this, Raphaela! Sharings like Yours are Very Useful. Please continue to do this.

    I had been through a Burn out.

    In India, perhaps fortunately, in cases of Mental Illness, people do not even go to the doctors till the situation becomes insupportable. In our country, doctors on the whole do not bother to tell people about the sicknesses. And considering that at least 70% are uneducated, telling them things would not even help!

    So people come back with pills, and say, ‘Look I got 3 red ones and 5 white ones,’ and things like that. And pull on.

    I Sincerely Hope and Pray Your pains lessen. Had been having very severe pains at the back of my head myself these last few days. It has abated now (without going to the doctors!).

    Hearty Regards, to Your Friend and to You.

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  3. That is a wonderful story you shared. I also admire those people who develop the will to make it. It is a long and hard way to go. But I also want to let you know that it was wonderful what you did. Probably right your action made them stand up because you gave them the feeling that someone cares and that they are important!

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