My mother retires in a few weeks. She is leaving the chaos that is the Birmingham mental health system. For the last few years she has watched it disintegrate. She is left wondering what went wrong.
My mother claims that the permissive attitude of the younger doctors and nurses to the consumption of illegal drugs is partly to blame for the mess Birmingham’s mental health services are in. She sees patients taking them openly in the presence of staff members. This has always happened but at least they used to have the decency to hide what they were doing. They call it self medication. The problem is that it often renders their prescribed medication ineffectual. Also the staff do not know which comes first, which is the chicken and which is the egg, the mental illness or the drug addiction.
As someone who has had my lucidity snatched away from me, I do not not much patience with those who surrender their lucidity voluntarily. I would give anything to have mine back. To be devoid of muddle headed thinking, visions, dreams and voices. But is anyone permanently in that state, I wonder. Clouded visions, dispatches from another dimension have their uses. But being like this all the time renders you completely dysfunctional and can deprive you of the ability to make any kind of meaningful contribution to the world.
And that is tragic.
Addendum: According to Our Esteemed Leader:
‘An expert report for Downing Street suggested more than three-quarters of GPs admitted they had signed people off sick for reasons other than their physical health.’
Make of that what you will.
Oh, look, it’s the Ghost of Lord Kitchener: