Because We Are Bad is a harrowing account of a girl's struggle to make sense of the world and contend with distressing thoughts and perceptions that constantly tore into her mind and life. A complex silent battle being fought day and night for many years, while trying desperately to fit in without betraying her secrets and the world coming crashing down.
There seems to be limited data but it is clear that the rates of schizophrenia in the Caribbean countries are the same as that seen among white British. It had been argued that some individuals who are prone to develop psychiatric disorders are more likely to migrate but that has not been confirmed.
I don't like my labels. I didn't ask for them, and I would certainly rather I didn't have them. But I do. They don't define me, and they're not all I am, not by a long shot. But accepting them, rather than fighting them, has brought me just that bit closer to being able to manage them. So go ahead, label me, it helps. Just don't judge me.
I sometimes meet some of those that attend these seminars in my psychiatric clinic. I take it seriously because a lot of people think it's a bit of fun and it's not - what it is - is exploitation of people with low self worth and often extreme naivety coupled with the hope that it's the answer to their dreams.
There is nothing wrong with having "a dream", of course. The incentive of a final goal may help us focus and cope with some of the trials that life throws at us. But the narrative of life is often fractured and essentially unpredictable, so living with the only purpose of arriving in a particular predesigned place is a bad strategy.
"I believe", Mary told me at her house in Cork, "the biggest issue around this is human rights. The human right to decide what you want to do for yourself. " Regarding Electroshock in Ireland, Mary told me that the capacity to consent is not there because there are two words planted around it, 'unable' and 'unwilling'.
When I'm depressed it's really pronounced - I can go from ok to dangerously low to barely contained anger in a matter of hours. When I'm well, my mood tends to follow those around me - if I'm with people who are in good form, I'm in good form. If there's stress or angst around me, I take it on. As Therapist described it today, I'm a chameleon when it comes to mood.
The MHA should only be used as a last resort as a safeguard for any forms of harm as it deprives an individual from their liberty. If a patient is well enough to return home to their own freedom and independence, then they should have that option. I have strong views on this, having experienced it first hand.