Re: The Guardian’s Report on Locked Mental Health Rehabilitation Wards – A Patient’s Experience

The Guardian has published an article about locked mental health rehabilitation wards that has a lot of interesting figures in and some perspectives on the purpose and morality of wards such as these existing. This article and the figures within need to be looked at with balance and with regards to whether each ward does… Continue reading Re: The Guardian’s Report on Locked Mental Health Rehabilitation Wards – A Patient’s Experience

Life in a Box

Life in a Box…
The very first ‘Doodle Chronicle’, shared 3 years ago today. My understanding of a lot of things and my perspective of how and why the box is there might have changed, but the box’s existence and effect has not.

How Does This All Work?

WARNING: DISCUSSION OF THE THOUGHT PROCESSES SURROUNDING SELF HARM AND SUICIDAL IDEATION – PLEASE TAKE CARE READING ON IF YOU MIGHT BE TRIGGERED OR UPSET BY THIS As I start typing this, it’s 2am, and I’ve only just finished a 3 hour conversation with the person working the ‘waking night’ shift at my placement, who… Continue reading How Does This All Work?

Missing Loved Ones’ Lives

I hate being poorly.  I hate not being there for the people I love.  I hate not being the one people feel they can turn to for support any more (even though they really can still).  I hate missing weddings and birthdays and celebrations.  I hate not hearing the news first hand, both good and… Continue reading Missing Loved Ones’ Lives

Awareness Without Provision…Still

Unfortunately my post from last year’s Suicide Awareness Day/Week is still sadly pertinent. Source: Awareness Without Provision  “This week is suicide prevention week and there’s a lot of discussion and debate about the support appropriate for those in suicidal crisis – how to prevent one killing oneself and, better, how to prevent reaching such a… Continue reading Awareness Without Provision…Still

Compassionate Other: The Muggle’s Patronus (Or How to Create Your Own Source of Compassion)

A brilliant nurse in my crisis team has recently been on a Compassion-Focussed Therapy training course and met with me the other day brimming with ideas. 

Self-compassion is something that feels entirely intangible and unachievable for me, so we’ve got our work cut out, but thankfully she’s willing to give it all a go with me regardless! I’ll share some of the different exercises as I embark upon them… first up is creating a ‘Compassionate other’. 

The notes I took from our session explain this as: Try to come up with a ‘compassionate other’ based upon the following…

  • this other will have the three core elements of compassion-focussed therapy: courage, wisdom and dedication
  • humans are fallible, so don’t use a real person, although you can think about which characteristics of real people you find comforting/safe/helpful and incorporate those 
  • could be a person, an animal or a mythical creature  [I like the thought of a protective mythical creature, like a dragon or a unicorn, personally]
  • use this compassionate other to counteract negative self talk

As drawing things helps me, we decided that maybe the best place to start was drawing this potential compassionate other to give me a visual prompt. Humans don’t feel at all safe to me, so I knew straight away mine wouldn’t be in the form of a human, and very quickly my mind jumped to mythical creatures and, more specifically, dragons. I thought of this dragon as being both gentle and strong, comforting and protective, and something that I could carry with me wherever I go…thus, the ‘Palm Dragon’ was born!

I think he’s rather sweet, but you can tell in his eyes that he can stick up for himself and for what he believes in, too. Now I just need to narrow down and foster his compassionate traits, and see if I can somehow implement him into coping mechanisms to counteract the never-ending, overwhelming negative self-talk and intense self-hatred.

I’m hoping this concept can also be fostered into something protective or safe-feeling that can be carried with me for other uses: my idea of a Muggle’s Patronus (for anyone who isn’t a Harry Potter fan, a Patronus is a “guardian or protector, which takes the form of an animal…one of the most powerful defensive charms…a pure, protective magical concentration of happiness and hope”.

I’ll fill you in when I get further along creating and cultivating my compassionate Palm Dragon. I’d love to hear of any of you have already or will now try to create one for yourselves, too!

Living in Limbo

It’s a funny time at the moment: I’m waiting to move in to a new placement which is described as: “a 24-hour CQC-registered accommodation service for adults who experience severe mental distress. Residents have multiple and complex needs and are entering the service from high-level support and secure settings or as an alternative to hospital… Continue reading Living in Limbo