I suffer from schizo-effective disorder which is a mixture of being bipolar and schizophrenia and affects 1 in 200 people. I was diagnosed as being bipolar in 1996 and the diagnosis was changed to schizo-effective disorder in 2003. I have been sectioned 4 times and have had 8 treatments of E.C.T. Also I have been physically assaulted in hospital for no apparent reason and have been to Wandsworth prison for attempted G.B.H. – I knocked somebody down and all charges were dropped. I was psychotic at the time and was later transferred to Gordons mental hospital where I escaped and was caught and then went into the Florence Nightingale hospital due to shortage of beds. I defended a section and won – it was tough
On and off I has been in hospital for 2 years so I have considerable experience of Mental Health. There are a number of changes that could be made. Firstly if one has to be admitted you should be given your own room. The reason for this is that there is an amount of petty theft and also people feel more comfortable with their own belongings. It also provides security from other people in hospital as different people in different mental states can be very frightening and I believe hinders mental recovery.
More funding must be given to the Intensive Psychiatric Teams who visit at home. This is much better than going to hospital. Hospital should only be a last resort.
Funding of mental hospitals and treatment must improve and should increase in capacity to deal with the increasing demands being made on the system. It may appear that more is being done to finance hospitals but what does happen is that if the NHS hospital is full a private one is used – this is very expensive.
The key point that I would like to make is that everything evolves around your BELEIF STRUCTURE. I shall explain. Somebody who suffers from my mental illness can have disturbed believes which become out of normal bounds. So what is normal? It is a very general description and depends on your unique personality and also how you function within society.