Mixing only with other people with MH issues

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Saly Brampton in the Independent on Sunday said that people with depression should not be stigmatised after the apparently deliberate crashing of the plane.

In so doing she mentioned that she as a MH user only wanted to spend her time only with other MH users.

Maybe someone with serious MH problems might want to go to a daycerntre with other people. But after 8 months in hospital I immediately rejoined my orchestra and my choir. At the same time I was attending daycentres.

I don't wish t generalise but I would have thought that people with MH problems would benefit from mixing with people with MH issues in activities and passtimes.which aren't specifically social.

I am sure that helped me get better.

 

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    HI Nick

    I totally agree with you, and great stuff for re-jopining your activities.  When I was hospitalised for bipolar I mixed of course only with other MH patients and I found thisd actually made me worse, I want to get out in the workd and show that us people with mental health issues can fuc ntion and contribute just klike anyone else.

    Again, many congratulationas and I wish you well

    xxxx

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    • Posted

      Sorry about all the typos in last post!  Hope you got my drift :-)

      xxx

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    • Posted

      In fact, both with the orchestra and the choir they knew that I had MH problems because I was doing both those activities before I became ill.

      I would say that the orchestra less reminded me of my illness because they were younger professionals and they had a more modern approach.

      I recently left the choir 6.5 years after I returned from hospital - the choirmaster immediately invited me to return. I would have changed from being a meek person to a person not averse to disagreeing with the choirmaster. I think that can be difficult for people to accept - the change, not in personality, but in termperament.

      I also suffer from bipolar and I was advised not to return to work as it was probably instances at work which had previously exacerbated my condition.

      Recently I have taken on voluntary activities, not full-time, but which are equivalent to the type of work that I would have been doing.

      Having said that the enforced non-activity has made me very bored. And the loneliness of not working is not to be underestimated.

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  • Posted

    I agree about spending time doing normal things out in the world. I derive great benefit from singing with my choir and doing something well. I think it's important to have a chance to do whatever you are good at and having a chance to succeed. I also found that feeling useful helped my recovery. I volunteered at a Charity shop as soon as I felt able to get out of the house, so that I could mix with sympathetic people. I do also help to run a local self-help group for people with MH issues (although everyone's welcome), and I know several people find our Drop-in sessions useful - knowing there is somewhere you can be yourself and you don't have to pretend.

    As to stigmatising those with depression, I thought about that danger too when I heard about the co-pilot who crashed the plane. I think the important point in that case was not that he had had depression, but that he was dishonest and hid his problems from his employers.

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    • Posted

      Of course, and flying a plane, like being a doctor, requires someone of the highest honesty. There needs to be trust between colleagues and with the airtraffic control - and obviously between crew and passenger.

      Another thought was before this article, that at about the time I was last admitted to hospital I had my driving licence revoked. I found a letter to this effect - so either my family or my psych had informed the DVLA.

      If that should be the case for a car how much more so for an airline pilot.

      In fact, about 15 years ago when I was driving and on medication I was driving on a major road in London with 3 passengers. I found myself dozing off and nearly driving off the road. One of the passengers noticed.

      At that point I decided to leave my car in the garage which I did for quite a long while.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nick

      It isn't automatic that you have your driving licence revoked if you are diagnosed with bipolar.  I was in a psychiatric unit with bad bipolar for 5 weeks once and even though I had to declare it to the DVLA, my licence wasn't revoked, it was just put on a 3 year review cycle, and when they'd finally got my meds sorted I went back to the normal 10 year renewal routine.  I feel perfectly safe driving with medicated bipolar.  I think its down at the end of the day to the recomendation of your psychiatrist.

      xxx

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    • Posted

      I didn't say it was automatic. The fact was that in my case it was to have it revoked and there was no mention of whenthis would be reviewed.

      In my own case I discovered going through my desk that my licence had been suspended. I can't remember much about my breakdown but presumably my doctor wrote to the DVLA that it should be suspended.

      I am suggesting that if doctors can ask directly to the DVLA (or the CAA or Lunfthansa that a pilots licence should be revoked. Nothing I have read suggests that this is an option.

      The dangers are far greater with an unwell pilot than a driver wtih, say, suicidal ideation.

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