Monday, 15 July 2013

Fuss and Frustration

Dean in the Underworld: Act I Scene 3

            The psychiatric hospital has morphed into the Underworld; that’s more fitting to the darkness that has engulfed Dean, a world full of shadows.

            Dean’s Avenger aspect of personality is filled with righteous indignation, with some justification. The NHS bureaucracy has reneged on its stated intent to replace his laptop apparently damaged by another patient on the ward when he was last sectioned. There’s a story here but we won’t pursue it for now; maybe some other time.

            As far as I am concerned, replacement of the laptop had not ever been in doubt, only the manner of payment. I had agreed that payment could be made to my bank account and, as requested by the NHS, Dean had provided written authorisation for this to be done. Apparently Dean’s Post Office account is only valid for receipt of his benefits, and no other payments. Why? I’m sure there’s a good reason other than a dysfunctional bureaucracy making life unnecessarily wearisome and frustrating.

            I wonder what is in it for the system in fuelling a paranoid state of mind. Are there any kickbacks from the drugs companies? Well yes, I do sometimes tend towards conspiracy theory. But it was only the other day that doctors were defending the obscenely lavish hospitality (with gifts?) they were afforded by pharmaceutical companies at a conference held in a plush hotel to market their drugs. And what about the lobbying power of the industry?

            The Avenger, in full indignant flow, is now naming all those who will be implicated in his lawsuit. The Mediator intervenes:

            Yo, I say to Avenger, take a breath; just chill. You know what, there are 5 strikes against you: you’re male, big and black, you’re tagged as paranoid and on SCT – supervised community treatment - (Compulsory Hospitalisation | Doctor | Patient.co.uk). How long do you think it will be before you are assessed as threatening the safety of others, and get your butt hauled back in here? 

            That communicates. Avenger retreats. Caregiver and student (or bodyguard) look a little disconcerted and uncomfortable. None of the players had expected that, they shift uneasily in their chairs. Its fine, mutters victim, I don’t need you to replace my laptop.

            Well, we’re not giving up as easily as that. It’s time to go to a higher power, Dr Bedlam himself. He is the Healer supposedly. I’ve never met him, but psychiatrists are a powerful bunch and some seem a bit shadowy to my mind.

            Dean needs his laptop because he intends to enrol on a course to brush up on maths and update his ICT skills. In “real life” Dean has a professional qualification. At age 13 he passed GCSE maths and received a MENSA commendation. How the duck he managed to get himself entangled with the mental health system in the first place, is simply beyond me; or maybe it’s not really if I stop to think about it.

            And the drama is not yet over for the day.

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