Time to Change mental health campaign organisation has created the event #TimeToTalk today (1st February 2018). I think that it is vitally important that I do write an entry focusing on the issues that this kind of campaign hashtag is trying to highlight.
Regular blog readers will know I’m quite open and frank about my difficulties associated with my condition. I am diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome but am in the process of getting that label changed to PDA. It is important to get the right diagnosis because under Asperger Syndrome I couldn’t challenge anyone for being discriminative due to the fact that I’m not typical of someone with AS (mainly because I feel that I was misdiagnosed). However, if I change my diagnosis to PDA (also part of the same spectrum) and I have any future hassle in regards to discrimination then I have much stronger valid argument. The description of PDA alone would provide my argument. I’m not saying that it would necessarily win a discrimination type case. I’m just improving my situation in which ever way I possibly can.
I do have depression too because of how PDA has affected my life. I do take anti depressants but they really don’t work well. I also am quite reluctant to accept the weight gain that comes with taking medication. I’m going the Gym and still not losing weight. It’s getting that difficult to get my jeans on that I’m considering just letting go of the dream of always being a size 8 and just accept that maybe I’m a size 12 figure now. I also have to remember that I’m a grown woman now. I could probably get away with a girls figure in my twenties, but in my thirties it just won’t stay a reality. I’ve not really gained much around the top half but my lower half has spread out quite a few inches. I was getting bigger around the top half before I started going the Gym and that seems to have gone back down again. I think that being pear shaped when you lack height is a very annoying combination. The biggest part which is the bottom half hip and stomach area are the places that really expand when you gain weight. I remember having 42 inch hips when I was on a few different medications in my early 20s. I have had 36 inch hips (size 10) at my smallest and this was a year after having my son. There was a quite unhealthy time not so long ago when I went down to 34 inch hips and I could fit into a size 8. That was quite recent before I started gaining all of this weight. However, I wasn’t on regular medication back then. The point I’m trying to make is that I had to make a choice whether I wanted to be as ‘normal’ as possible or a skinny figure. I didn’t want to have medication because I knew it caused weight gain and after being a size 16 at my biggest this is why I was extremely reluctant. I am glad that I made the choice to take medication because I feel less stressed and uptight all the time. I’m always going to have those constant anxiety feelings but it helps to take the edge of tit the majority of the time.
The system is completely counterproductive for those of us with mental health related issues. I seem to find that it’s not a matter of the system can’t do something, but the fact that it won’t. The rise of health and safety policies becoming dominant over our every day lives is the most unhelpful modern day obstacle. There are so many organisations and individuals that afraid of getting sued for ‘doing the wrong thing’, that it ends up with no one having the guts to ‘do the right thing’. The support that is offered to those in the system is actually making things worse and created a more divided society. The way the system actually works is based on dividing the community rather than bringing them together. This new system isn’t working for those that are really in need.
There are those that are totally against the likes of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister because they say that some of the things he might bring in could take us right back into the seventies era. I see that as something that is totally needed. The whole system needs stripping back and the attitudes of helping each other which started being phased out in the 90s when I was at school. I maybe bias as a former activist, but I feel that is exactly what we need to do. I hear the same comments from the older generation time and time again about the fact that the younger generation has no common sense anymore. These generations haven’t been allowed to develop their own common sense because of all the health and safety legislations which were brought in by the government. Those that made these legislations said they did so in order to make things better, however, there has been many cases which evidence that it has in fact made things ten times worse. There needs to be a change in attitudes in society and within the system. This is the only way that those with mental health issues will get helped rather than punished for being different. As I have previously stated, it isn’t that the system can’t but it is in fact that it doesn’t want to and uses all these health and safety legislations which have been brought in to justify it’s cruelty towards those with mental health related issues. Inhumane and discriminative things are justified by our current system. This needs to change. Thank you for reading my piece on #TimeToTalk….