It seems I have caught the eye of another television company and I am told the next few weeks will feature much filming, so that this scamp of a little boy can feature heavily in an edition of one of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programs.
Some of you may be disappointed to learn there will be no mention of adult babies, but there are other sides to my life and some of them are worth telling. I’ll be on the Beeb talking about my experiences with schizophrenia and how talking therapies have improved my life.
I’m a bit keen on talking therapies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis being the first I had. So keen, in fact, I gave a talk in the Houses of Parliament promoting them. I also gave a talk at the launch of the government’s mental health strategy a couple of years ago, which was supposed to be focused on increased provision of talking therapies for the mentally ill. I have some investment in this policy.
I’m a good example of how talking therapies can work and save money. Before I had CBT for psychosis back in 2009 I was in the loony bin about once a month, since having it I’ve been in hospital once. In-patient treatment is incredibly expensive, especially when people have one to one observation as I usually did. Sending me on a six month CBT course has saved staggering amounts in hospital costs. So even though talking therapies seem a bit soft and less serious than medication and hospital treatment, they are actually the bargain option, which is what a state-run health system should grab with both hands. My example shows that talking therapies are undoubtedly effective, even for people as floridly ill as I was. So lots of talking therapies for we nutcases, right?
Wrong! It seems the government has increased provision for things like CBT for anxiety and depression treatment, but we psychos are being marginalised. Therapies are not being offered when they should, they can take an age to be delivered, and often when they do get delivered they fall way below the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s guidelines in terms of minimum length of treatment.
If a schizo like me is fortunate enough to be offered CBT, they can wait months for it, then find they have a paltry four week course. Four weeks is not long enough to gain any benefits, NICE recommend a minimum of sixteen weeks for a course of CBT for someone with schizophrenia. That’s how long my current course of CBT will last, but only because I managed to get it extended by six weeks because it does take some time to deal with things as twisted as my anxieties in a comprehensive manner.
The aim is for me to explain how I was before CBT, what CBT involves and my experience of it and how effective it’s been in improving my life and reducing my reliance on medical services. Either a reporter, or possibly me *gulp*, will then take my example to the people who are not providing these services to schizophrenics and enquire why they are not. Obviously Toddler Davy’s example shows it’ll save a pile of cash as well as vastly improving people’s lives, you heartless bastards!
It goes without saying that all of this scares the pulsing poo out of me. I’m generally ok about being filmed, but they want me to describe what life was like before the CBT, point at the rats I see running around, say how burning my arms was the only way of getting a few seconds relief from the screaming voices I hear… ah… relax Davy… OK? Let’s continue… and even thinking about that sort of thing, let alone giving a detailed exposition of it all, seriously disturbs my equilibrium. Seriously.
If you read the link ‘what CBT involves‘ you’ll understand when I’m quite happy to leave dealing with the rats to Toast the teddy, that’s how automatic the new thoughts have become. But if I have to actively think about, look at directly and, Jesus willy-wiping Christ, point at a rat I become really disturbed and unhinged. Yes, they are that freaking scary. I really hope they don’t ask me to relate what, oh cripes, the voices say as interacting with them so directly will probably have my crying. Yes, they are that freaking scary.
The idea of interviewing a government bod about failures in care provision is superficially attractive. After all, I’ll be better dressed, better looking, wittier, more intelligent and vastly more offensive than any state functionary could conceivably manage. However, I’ll have to go to London, busy parts of London at busy times of day. I’ll have to get shuffled between people, offices, security measures and filming arcana measures for hours when I’ll be well dressed in a snappy suit but not dressed how I feel comfortable. Who knows what sort of access I’ll be able to manage with Toast; bags often get taken away when seeing government types. I may even be separated from daddy in these stressful circumstances as demands of space, filming and convenience require. This all sounds like hell to me.
However, CBT has done me incredible favours; I know it has for friends of mine as well. I would not like to think that people in the appalling situation I was in back in 2009 and before were being denied such life-transforming treatment for reasons apparently of inefficiency and ineptitude. As someone who believes in a cost-effective health service I also approve of wide adoption of things like CBT. Consequently, if appearing on television can open minds and educate people in the need for further adoption of talking therapies, and all it costs me is an increase in tranquiliser consumption and badly picked lips (both due to painful anxiety) then I have no hesitation in doing it.