Wednesday, 15 December 2010

TODAY!!! Demo Against Housing Benefit and Welfare Cuts

Demo Against Housing Benefit and Welfare Cuts: meeting TODAY @ 12.15pm at Trafalgar Square, then set off for Downing Street for 12.30pm. Back to Trafalgar Square for the Alternative Nativity "No Room at the Inn" around 3pm.
Here's what DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) say in regards to their demo:
http://disabledpeopleprotest.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/protest-tomorrow-outside-downing-st-why-you-should-come/

Visit the DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) blog clicking here: DPAC

December Newsletter.

Dear Friends,
We are meeting up for our December meeting next Monday the 20th as usual at The LARC Centre, 62 Fielgate Street, Whitechapel E1, 6.30-8.30.
This is the last meeting for this year, but we are already making plans for the New Year.
We are arranging an event to take place in early March, when hopefully the weather will be gentler and people less lethargic.
What we'd like to do is an open conference/mike to which anyone can rise up issues that need our, as society that cares for mental health, attention.
Of course musician, poets and volunteers of any sort are welcomed as always.

In the main time a Self Defence Coalition of Mental Health Disability Claimants has been created in South London, to provide advice and support in sights of the changes which will take place from April next year for people on Disability Benefit to turn into Employment Support Allowance. Get in touch if you need more details or you wish to get involved and I'll pass the contact details.

This is another link that has been circulating these past days: at a glance guides to Benefit Changes 2010 can be found at www.socialwelfaretraining.co.uk



I wish to thank those that came along to our meeting last month and celebrated FEEL 3rd Anniversary. It has been a little & cosy thing. A photo of us was taken by Sergio. Thank you Charly for bringing your camera.

Wishing you a warm and pleasant holiday season!!!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Mad Pride Debate 26/10/10


Some footage of the Mad Pride demonstration against welfare benefits, which took place at Speakers Corner , London, on the 26 of October. Please, note that audio is quite bad due to wind and poor equipment. You might watch it with sound off.
Images say it all.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azRHZY__JPA

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Peace Strike!!!


Who wants the WARS??? Who wants the CUTS???
Same old GREEDY circle, inn't!!!
A mega protest took place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday
the 20th November. More on PeaceStrike.org website.

WHITE FLAG REVOLUTION

“END THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN”

http://peacestrike.org/

Monday, 15 November 2010

Three Today!!!

FEEL turned three today!!!
It was exactly the 15th of November 2007 when a couple of us joined the group created with the aid of Myra Garrett by an initial idea of David Kessel.
We are an indipendent group that campaigns for better services specially in the forced asyliums offered in mental health wards, but we also denunce the reality of what lies behind the 3Ms (money making machine) that is Psychiatry. We believe that problems experienced by anyone that become unwell cannot be resolved by medication; in fact medication is what keeps people unwell, leaving them addicted to those toxic substances mostly for life, drives many to suicide and turn life into a real living hell.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Mad Pride Debate 26/10/10


We've got a little record of last month Mad Pride debate at Speakers Corner. Check for more
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=35749&id=100001235317515&l=750c90ee5b

November Newsletter.

Dear Friends,

We would like to remind you about FEEL monthly meeting taking place next Monday the 15th November at the LARC Centre 62, Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES (6.30-8.30pm). The 15th November 2007 was the first date when the first FEEL members, a small group of four, gathered together at the Idea Store Library, Whitechapel, before gaining a cozy space at the LARC Centre in 2008. There have been three years of great exchange and growth and we'd like to thank all of you that have participated and supported us over all or some of this time.
We aim to celebrate FEEL third anniversary together and you are invited to join us. Feel free to BYO or bring something to share, as we will all do.

There will certainly be lots to discuss about, seeing how things keep on worsening in the present sabotaged economy. Lately protests and demonstrations have been taking place nearly daily (another one later today https://sites.google.com/site/righttoworkconference/home/future-events-1/jointenantsprotestatparliament9nov and another one tomorrow http://www.nus.org.uk/cy/News/News/Mass-demonstration-to-hit-London-streets-this-Wednesday/) since is the most vulnerable ones that get affected due to cuts on spending from the Governament, loss of jobs and services. It is important that people stick together to reach out to possible solutions, while maintain good emotional balance.

FEEL would like to wish all the best to Sam Shakes, which is launching her new book that celebrates recovery and self help:"Then Life took Control: A Journal from Sickness to Wellbeing" . The book will be released on the 1st Decembre; the first three chapters can be read here www.thenlifetookcontrol.co.uk

This are the next dates for the forthcoming monthly meetings.
20th December 2010
17th January 2011
21st February 2011
21st March 2011

We hope you can join us.
Looking forward to see you all.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Mad Pride Demonstration.


MAD PRIDE PRESENTS…


A DAY OF ACTION TO OPPOSE WELFARE BENEFITS CUTS FOR PEOPLE LABELLED MENTALLY ILL

TUESDAY 26TH OCTOBER 2010

SPEAKERS CORNER, HYDE PARK, 1 PM

BANKERS – HANDS OFF OUR BENEFITS!

The economic downturn caused by the irresponsibility of bankers and big business has led to the new Conservative/ Liberal Democrat merger government to enact the biggest cuts in public services since the Second World War.

Instead of targeting bankers’ bonuses and rich people’s profits, they are hoping to make huge savings by attacking the welfare benefits of vulnerable people unable to work, including people with severe mental health problems. In particular, they would like the public to think that people with depression, anxiety disorders and other mental “illnesses” are malingerers and scroungers – when in fact all of us find it a terrible day to day struggle just to get by.

In George Osborne’s recent emergency budget, he pledged to chuck 360,000 people off of Disability Living Allowance by 2013 – which will plunge over a third of a million vulnerable people, most of whom will have mental health problems, into dire poverty.

This will put lives at risk. Already, 6000 people are recorded as having committed suicide a year in the UK, although the true figure is definitely far higher. The stress caused by the threat of welfare benefits cuts, as well as the impact of the material deprivation that will result, will undoubtedly lead to a huge increase in suicides amongst people with mental health problems – an outcome which we wish to prevent through campaigning and giving each other one-to-one support.

This is no time to cut benefits and services for people labelled mentally ill. Our numbers have swelled significantly over recent years because so many members of the armed forces have gone through two very long and desperately hard wars. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Iraq and Afghanistan, those conflicts have taken an exceptionally heavy toll on the mental health of so many of our brave troops.

More cuts to disabled people’s benefits are promised in George Osborne’s upcoming “shock and awe” spending review to take place on Wednesday 20th October. Added to cuts in housing benefits, the VAT rise, and a whole range of other austerity measures, the future looks grim for the poor and those less able to object or protest – whilst the bankers will get to keep their bonuses.

WE’RE NOT TAKING THIS LYING DOWN!

MAD PRIDE can now announce that, on 26th October 2010, there will be a NATIONWIDE 24 Hour MEDICATION STRIKE.

All UK mental health service users will default on their psychiatric medication for one day, in protest against the coming welfare benefits cuts. Further, all UK mental health service users will not engage with any mental health services whatsoever on that day, in a bid to demonstrate our collective power.

SPEAKERS CORNER – HYDE PARK – DEMONSTRATION

At 1 PM on Tuesday 26th October, UK mental health service users will publicly assemble to REENACT THE OPENING CHAPTER OF MICHEL FOUCAULT’S SEMINAL BOOK “DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH.”

A life-size effigy of a prominent Conservative/ Liberal Democrat merger politician will, at this demonstration, be publicly executed by method of hanging, drawing and quartering, after which the quivering remains of the body will be burnt. We expect this to provide an interesting photo opportunity for the media.

Also expect a variety of other visual and subliminal stunts on the day.

THE BANKERS AND THE POLITICIANS ARE THE REAL “BENEFITS CHEATS.”

BENEFITS THIEVES – IT’S NOT IF WE CATCH YOU, IT’S WHEN!


October Newsletter.

Dear Friends,
I hope to find you well and that you've had a good week leading to the 10/10/10, World Mental Health Day.
As usual there have been heaps of events and activities to celebrate it: impossible to attend them all! I was very pleased in taking part to the Largactyl Shuffle, a sponsored walk organised by CoolTan Arts. Mind organised several Time to get Moving events in several boroughs: I enjoyed joining the Dalston one.

CoolTan shuffle has been very educative with stops along the way between the Maudsley Hospital and the Tate Modern. Five bio-degradable, disposable sculptures made by CoolTan participants were placed along the route to highlight and celebrate the life and work of Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, sir Peter Mansfield, Octavia Hill and David Morris. Donations are still being collected to sponsor the work CoolTan Arts does.

Last September with "U BE DEAD" on TV and "Bedlam" at the theatre people were offered another example on how the PDocs, which are meant to be the pillars for the nutty ones, can fall into the similar ill path of their patients sometimes.
It's sad that too much money is still wasted in testing, advertising and promoting Pdrugs which are not really giving benefit to many, a part for the economic one gained by the few that shape the system.
Cuts to the Big Pharma wouldn't create such a big financial loss during this economic crisis, being one of the most profitable businesses in most developed countries. Instead cuts are taking place to services, welfare benefits and alternative ways that do offer a chance to recovery and live a dignified life to disabled people...very often those drugs ARE what disable people for life!

MAD PRIDE have been planning a demostration to take place on 26/10/10 at 1pm Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, London:A DAY OF ACTION TO OPPOSE WELFARE BENEFITS CUTS FOR PEOPLE LABELLED MENTALLY ILL.

In the main time FEEL is having the monthly meeting next Monday the 18th @ The LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES 6.30-8.30pm. We hope to see you there!

Monday, 13 September 2010

September Newsletter

Dear Friends,
Following HT IV many might still be thinking about brain shrinkage after listening to what Dr Moncrieff shared with us or hopefully are practising some of the remedy that have been mentioned during an amazing participation of an avid and enthusiastic public. Hopefully FEEL we'll be able to invite Dr Moncrieff again in the future, but for the time being we would like to share the notes of her talk with those that were unable to join us on 30/07. Please note that there could be inaccuracies in them, they're not verbatim. Many thanks to Michael and Charlotte for the collection.

Next November FEEL will turn 3. We would like to plan a new event that not only celebrates FEEL third birthday, but that aims to celebrate all survivors and the best ways used to manage/maintain mental health. For some this might be a therapy, a diet, a type of exercise, a faith, or perhaps dedication to poetry, music and the arts...you'll name it!
Seeing that the only evidence Psychiatry seems to consider is the use of drugs, which does very well in keeping people hooked to them for life on top of leaving the poor souls with their original problems, a "WAY OUT" should be introduced. Lets gather "scientific evidence" for them on one night of madness :)
Big Pharma is NOT welcome!

What certainly many agree on is that "Recovery begins with NON-Compliance" (Mad Hatters of Bath).

Please, join us at our monthly meeting next Monday on the 20/09 where we'll take suggestions for our Autumn celebration and some of the events to take place for Mental Health week in October. We will have a 15 min presentation from Nelsy Cristancho "General Conclusions to My Self Research Therapy Process". We'd also like to discuss the rumours of welfare cuts. Please see:http://www.pcs.org.uk/filemanager/root/site_assets/camapaigns/alternative/4015_NC_Pamphlet.pdf
Last but not least I would like to invite you to sign a petition. There are lots of people that still need to get educated about mental health and the police force still seems to hold brutal and ignorant elements amongst their staff, which are definitely not able to handle vulnerable people http://www.gopetition.co.uk/petition/38029.html

Here are the dates for the next FEEL meetings for this year, which will be as usual held on the third Monday of each month @ The LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES 6.30-8.30pm.

20th September
18th October
15th November
20th December

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Human Therapy not Drug Tiranny IV 30/07/10

Have a look at our records -photos and notes- taken at last Human Therapy not Drugs Tyranny IV event on 30th of July @ The Kingsley Hall.

Photos: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=20954&id=100001235317515&l=71d40a6feb

Please note that this are not verbatim.

HUMAN THERAPY not Drug Tyranny
Friday, 30th July 2010, Kingsley Hall, Bow

Speakers: Dr Joanna Moncrieff, Sarah Barratt, Nathalie Fonnesu

Opening music from Sarah Barratt

Poetry Readings:

David Kessel
1st reading - David Kessel 1999
2nd reading - Summer rain - 2000
3rd reading - Ruby Courage - 2010

Madeleine Kenley
1st poem - "Balance"
2nd poem - "Dreams"

Frank Bangay
1st poem - a prayer about survival.
2nd poem -a prayer called "Dear Lord"

Dr Joanna Moncrieff: "The Myth of the chemical cure"

Good evening. My name is Joanna Moncrieff. I work for the North East London Mental Health Trust, UCL and other psychiatric trusts. I am also part of the Critical Psychiatry Network.
I would like to summarise the main ideas in my book, The Myth of the Chemical Cure.
The way drugs are presented in psychiatry is a misrepresentation. Drugs are given more credit than they are worth. Drugs alter the body as well as the mind. We have to see what their effects are and what harm they can cause.
There are two models of drug action:

1) The conventional "disease centred" model
This is the view prevalent in mainstream psychiatry i.e to try to cure a physical abnormality such as a chemical imbalance in the brain. This view is rooted in general medicine e.g. insulin is used for diabetes but it does not cure it, it alters its state, and painkillers act on the physical processes that produce pain to make a normal, pain-free state. According to this disease-centred view, drugs are good. So we see an increase in drug use and benefits to the pharmaceuticals industry.

2) The "drug centred" model
This acknowledges that drugs can alter the mind and body. And that they can be harmful and change the brain. And that if you keep taking them their effects reduce and the body can counteract these and so on.
This is what I am interested in - the effects of drugs as drugs - the drug induced state can affect physical and mental processes.
For example, alcohol can be useful for people with social anxiety disorder. The drug helps the person becomes more sociable and this state can be useful for those people. But the alcohol itself does not rectify anything - it is the state of being drunk that loosens inhibitions. Alcohol causes physical damage. So you have to be sure that drugs are doing good before you use them.
Psychiatry presents drugs as disease specific when they are really just creating altered states. And they can sometimes even suppress a mental health problem.

History

During the early 20th century there were few psychiatric treatments available. Psychiatry glossed over treatment e.g recommended patients to get fresh air.
In the mid 20th century people got excited about therapies such as ECT. These procedures were - are - seen as having disease specific effects, even though no one knows how they work. Back then, lots of sedatives were being used e.g barbiturates for chemical restraint.
New anti-psychotics and anti-depressants came along. At first these were seen as having drug centred effects i.e. they worked by inducing states different to sedation e.g replacing schizophrenia with drug-induced Parkinsonian effects. And there was a lot of debate about this. But gradually the idea emerged that somehow that drugs were training the disease i.e. reversing an underlying abnormality. This change in thinking was reflected in the names of drugs e.g tranquillisers and neuroleptics were referred to as “anti-psychotics” and in the 60's anti-psychoactive drugs similar to stimulants were called "anti-depressants".
However, these changes happened not because a wealth of new evidence appeared but because psychiatrists wanted them to happen - so they could be on par with the rest of the other fields of medicine. Psychiatrists are insecure, as they have been throughout the 20th century. They want to present psychiatry as having nice specific treatments. And the pharmaceutical companies are happy with this “bandwagon” - presenting their drugs as disease-specific treatment can only benefit the industry.
For example, when the market for benzodiazepines collapsed in the 90s the pharmaceutical industry created a mass market with "depression", alleging that 1 in 4 adults suffered from depression. Take the SSRIs - these drugs are sold as "putting you right again" when there is no evidence that they have a specific "disease-centred" effect.
The idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is simply a hypothesis. There is no evidence that there is any biochemical abnormality in people diagnosed as depressed. Most experts say that the fact that people improve when you give them antidepressants is the strongest evidence that there is a chemical imbalance. But there are other ways of explaining this - antidepressants are psychoactive drugs that may suppress emotions, or simply sedate people.
There are some theories that seem to give us evidence of underlying causes e.g. that schizophrenia is called by too much dopamine and that we can try to stop it by bringing the brain back to normal. There is lots of "evidence" for this e.g dopamine response tests for psychosis associate high levels of dopamine with psychotic episodes. But there are other important considerations. For example, when somebody is having a psychotic episode they are highly stressed and stress, arousal and movement produces dopamine. So what people are really being given is behaviour-control drugs dressed up as treatments.
Most evidence for the efficacy of psychiatric drugs simulates placebo-controlled trials i.e the drug is no different from an chalk tablet. One class of drugs might look better than another in treatment - sedatives compared with anti-psychotics get mixed results but opiates and benzodiazepines are just as good as each other. Taking a drug-centred view, there is not much distinction in trials.
So, accepting that there is no evidence that drugs work in a disease-specific way, what can be done? Can drugs effectively be applied to real situations? With anti-psychotic drugs, no one has even asked these questions - might it even be more pleasant to withstand psychosis rather than take these unpleasant drugs? What effects do these drugs have?
The old anti-psychotics seemed to produce Parkinsonian effects – emotional flattening, impaired concentration and memory e.g people in trials were not even able to get a sandwich out of the machine at work. Others produce a different state e.g lethargy and indifference, increase in appetite and resulting diabetes. Using these drugs is going to be unpleasant and dampen down symptoms and OK, that might be useful. But it also might be useful to use other simple sedatives e.g. benzodiazepenes for psychosis.
There is evidence that these drugs shrink the brain. Yet there is bias towards using them in psychiatry in general. Psychiatrists say that schizophrenics’ brains are different but a large imaging study in the US showed that differences were down to the drugs – over 3 months, the brains of people on haloperidol shrank visibly. Other studies confirm this. Also we have tolerance and the body can fight this drug, there can be long term problems.
I have recently published papers about anti-psychotics being damaging to brains. The body produces tolerance – withdrawal takes place. Relapse can be mistaken for withdrawal – and relapse can even result from withdrawal.
If you assume drug treatment is beneficial, doctors are going to reach for the prescription pad. So the pharmaceutical industry can make a lot of money and advertising out of this.
Some people could argue that if you take a drug centred view, you are assuming that all extraneous substances are harmful and that the trials show otherwise. But all studies have problems. For example, trials looking at relapse prevention in schizophrenia start with people whose medication has already been successful!

New Speaker:
So if the psychiatric drugs are not good are there drugs that are? Anti-depressants seem to reduce relapse rates.

Dr MC: On relapse prevention, there are problems with all the studies because they have used subjects that got better because of the drugs. And if people feel they are getting better because of the drugs and then get off them, they will feel vulnerable.
There can be a problem with Lithium studies because if you start on Lithium you are more likely to have a relapse than if you had never started it. You cannot trust any of the trials because of this. Even if you use Lithium and it reduces the psychotic rate to 80%, this is still not high and this is neither a useful nor a realistic figure: after all, do you want to reduce the relapse a bit and put up with all of the side effects? Is it worth the trade off?
Research says people who take anti psychotics have a better prognosis. Please could you comment on this and how chemical cures have been sold to us and what politicians might gain from this?
As far as prognosis is concerned, what you’re told is based on the trials! Naturalistic studies show that people who don’t take anti-psychotics do better than those who do. There are many reasons for this, though.
The situation and politics in the 1970s are interesting – psychiatrists were attacked and had economic competition so they needed to find a “cure”. Care was also managed differently, especially in places like the US, where psycho analysis had become popular. The psychiatrists had to compete with the analysts. Neither psychiatry nor the pharmaceuticals industry would have been big enough to win alone. But together their lobby increased.
And governments have needed more and more to simplify the complex and problematic area of mental health and push it under the carpet.Governments have wanted to put this onto the medical world - doing that is an easy and simple solution to the problem. During Parliamentary debates, it is often the politicians more than the doctors who are pushing meds! Up until 1959 all admission to mental health hospitals had to go to a magistrate. But there was the desire to push all this onto the medical world and not have any legislation so this act was amended.

New Speaker:
I work with service users. Do you still prescribe meds to your patients? Where does acceptance of what you said lead us? Where do we go next?

Dr MC: I do still prescribe. I have inherited patients and try to reduce their loads. I also work in teams.
Where do we go? Interesting question – in a way it puts the ball back in your court; you have to tell us when meds are useful or not and we have to listen. We need to do an awful lot more research into these drugs. This could change the nature of psychiatry profoundly – reliance on drugs could become a lot more fragile – in fact, we could ask whether we need doctors/psychiatrists in this framework at all.

New Speaker:
It does not seem as if much more research needs to take place – there is already evidence that people are NOT responding. We are labelled for years as being ill but our mental challenges can often be cured by looking at the underlying cause. So what are the alternatives? They are out there for all of us and don’t cost much. I think that we can go without these drugs.

Dr MC: I absolutely agree. When we start people on these drugs we put them on a road to lifelong problems. The whole system is so geared around drugs it’s almost impossible to find somewhere for people in distress to go without being medicated. But it can be done. Some people can get through psychotic episodes without these drugs. But the will in this country does not seem to exist.
However, the Soteria Network are trying to set up a house in Bradford where people can get through psychotic episodes without drugs.
http://www.soterianetwork.org.uk
New Speaker:
I’ve been around the survivor scenes for decades and I agree. After several psychotic episodes myself I believe that they were caused by lack of sleep.

Dr MC: I agree that continued over-arousal makes people psychotic.

New Speaker:
This is the 2nd time I’ve heard about brain shrinkage. I’ve been on meds for years – is there any way I can find out how much my brain has shrunk?

(Laughter)

Dr MC: I should qualify this. There is no “right” brain size. But we should be trying to find out a bit more. These studies have compared two groups of people. The differences are not large and the differences are not permanent.

New Speaker:
I had to use services once. It’s preposterous how people’s relationships and sexual health is affected – the description of these drugs serves no purpose. They just contain people within their own homes, cause incontinence etc – the list goes on. Have you ever cured anyone with psychiatry? I think not. The disease model suits society because undesirable "non functional” people are removed from society. The holistic approach costs more and takes more time but people recover from ill health! Given the right conditions I could induce psychosis! Psychiatry is an arse – not you personally but I’m lost for words. Qi Gong, vegan diets and colonic irrigation works. But there’s no money in it. It’s all about money – Big Pharma is rich and wants to make money.

(Applause)

Dr MC: You’d think people should have a choice but they don’t. On sexual effects, a general dampening of desire is down to the drugs. Your emotional life is flattened out.
If we talk about the holistic approach people have been shown to recover from mental illness. There are many issues - such as stimulants - that can induce psychosis. People should have the choice to take up holistic therapies but it is not there.

Second Part

Nathalie Fonnesu
A Power Point presentation on Complementary therapies is shown.

Sarah Barratt – Craniosacral Therapist and Reflexologist

My talk is about receiving complementary therapy of different kinds
We are all survivors and all the walking wounded. What we experienced in our childhood will affect us for the rest of our lives. Despite this we keep a part of ourselves.
I am amazed that some of the people here are here despite what they have gone through.
If you go through a trauma you can be repeatedly overwhelmed. Sometimes you need grounding or relaxation. There are different levels of this. One example is sleep, which is essential. You can sleep naturally or may need someone to facilitate this, for example in the form of a complementary therapist.
Visiting a therapist can be is a significant thing for a person and for a person's overall wellbeing. The first time I saw an osteopath for my bad back I really had to think and reason about it. But it helped me a lot. Since then I have undergone a wide range of therapies.
Sometimes using a complementary therapy is about loving and caring for yourself. And I would say that the world needs more people who love themselves. Things can change if enough people love themselves - this is important.

Q & A (to Sarah Barratt & Nathalie Fonnesu)

If we all aim to be balanced are there times when we have to concentrate on several things. Are there times we should concentrate on just one or two?
Answer
Nat: We as humans are multitasking. However sometimes we cannot just push ourselves too much. Eating well is the number one priority to keep our bodies and minds functioning properly. You need to have a good, strong blood to flow and nourish every cell of your body.

Myra Garrett (to the audience)

We say that complementary therapies are not on the wards. Which of you think that we should have these on the wards? The mental health trust said that there is no evidence for this to be of use.

All agree!!!

New Speaker:
The Royal Homeopathic Association is having a big debate on this. We have to have a collection of information on this and one of the friends of St Helens raised money for this and it was the staff who queued up for this first. Please join in this so we can do something about this. With the big society idea is it not up to us to do something about this.

New Speaker:
I have Aspergers syndrome, depression, OCD and have to take lots of drugs for this and receive therapies. If I turned to complementary therapy what therapies would help?

Answer
Sarah: I would think that use Tai chi, reflexology and anyone is good. It is not about which one is good but which one works for you. You have to believe in this and will help you gradually. It is not something that can be proved but you have to get into it and then feel it.

New Speaker:
There is only one that you have not mentioned today. This is the one that is free: Sunshine! Exercise is important too.

Answer
Nat: There are plenty of more free remedies and therapies for any condition out there, yet it seems that drugs are the only solution available/offered to people. You can end up getting bad habits/dependence from other remedies too, which could be hard to get out of. I used to smoke for example and stopped without using patches; I believe in willpower. We live in a society that is so diverse and some professionals mistaken diversities for illnesses. There is the idea that the world is civilised, but differences are not taken into consideration.

New Speaker:
I had my own experience of depression and tried all sorts of things. The best thing I found was Prana Yoga - breathing exercises to purify the body and is good for lots of things and Diva Yog ( www.pypt.org ): this is a charity and promotes well being for free. Any form of ill health is disease and worked hard at relaxation.

Chair:
Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Have a safe journey back home.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Easing sleep.

Some people more than others get influenced by ambience: does your surroundings invites a good night of sleep?

http://www.naturaltherapypages.co.uk/article/creating_a_sleep_sanctuary

£4bn CUTS...taking from the wrong side

Welfare spending to be cut by £4bn, says George Osborne

Bedlam.

There are SIX more plays until the 1st of October of this new play, 'Bedlam', based on the 18th century Bethlem hospital. See the Shakespeare's Globe theatre website.

Cuts on DLA?

A new report has raised concerns that the coalition government could be planning moves to cut the amount it spends on disability living allowance (DLA).
This article might be a few months old, but decisions will be taken very soon.

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/index.php/2010/

Economic Crisis hitting the disadvantaged ones.

Greece, Spain, France...soon Britain???
Why don't the bankers, parliamentarians and politicians get a slice off their FAT salaries? Debt would get paid in a instant.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11204528

Grab it, bag it, bin it!!!

Grab it, bag it, bin it - a new approach to psychological problem solving. It pretty much seems to follow Eastern philosophies such as Feng Shui: dis-ease takes shape mentally and physically when energy is not allowed to run naturally and freely.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Letting go!

Impeccable words of wisdom as usual from Dr Chopra...

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/letting-go.html

‘Anthropology’


CoolTan Arts launches its poetry book ‘Anthropology’, produced by CoolTan Arts’ poets in our workshop, at the Liberty Festival on 4th September 2010.

This book is dedicated to David Morris, the disability campaigner and Senior Policy Advisor on Disability to the Mayor of London who passed away earlier this year.

CoolTan Arts has a stall at the lower terrace where the Anthropology book will be on sale and a chance to meet the poets.

Come to our poetry performance in the Comedy & Cabaret Zone and the Red Jesus Tent.


http://www.london.gov.uk/liberty/

http://cooltanarts.org.uk/

Friday, 20 August 2010

'Taking Over the Asylum'


Recently seen the 6 episodes DVD set of 'Taking Over the Asylum' which I highly recommend: good humour and some sad truths in those images.
Aye, a disc-jockey could do better than some of those Psyche-jockeys employed within those walls!

"WE ARE LOONIES AND WE ARE PROUD!!!" ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vuJIsY3-nY&NR=1

World Federation for Mental Health

WFMH is an international membership organization founded in 1948 to advance, among all peoples and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, and the promotion of mental health.


10.10.10. World Mental Health Day!

10.10.10. World Mental Health Day!
Is there more and more people eventually noticing about it as the years go by?

Leaving the drugs behind


A useful guide for those that wish and are ready to take full charge of their lives.

Free Yoga for all!

Free Yoga for all...there would be less (if any) Pdocs employed in an ideal world
http://www.pypt.org/index.html

Ramadan.

1/3 through Ramadan: how do people that celebrates it actually gets along the month? Important to look after the self: here some tips/reminders.

Liberty Festival 2010.


Running for its 5th (?)year on the 4th of September 2010, the Liberty Festival promises lots of entertainment, fun and will rise a good dose of awareness on everyone I am sure.
http://www.london.gov.uk/event-meeting/2010/sep/liberty-festival

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mid Summer.

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much to all of you that came along to FEEL event on 30th of July. Many thanks to Dr Moncrieff that shared her time and answered to the shower of questions. Thank you to all of you that gave a hand to set up the hall and clear it at the end, HUSH for feeding us, Sue Dean for chairing, David Baker for all the audio-visual settings, Michael and Charlotte for notetaking and to all of those that offered some suggestions on how to best cope in difficult times.

Please do get in touch if you have any other queries or you have some information you wish to share and didn't get a chance during the event. Some valuable advice was offered by suggesting Prana Yoga and Divya Yoga(?- need to double check this, sorry!) and getting free sunshine and exercise...time, time, never enough to bring up everything that it's out there or that we already know.

If anyone has collected any photo/video on the night you're welcome to share them with us. A little album will be created soon and some video will be shared too. Stay tuned!

Our next monthly meeting will be on Monday the 16th of August and we wish to have a social evening with the chance to chat and network a bit. Lets celebrate the Summer together. Join us at the LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 from 6.30- 8.30pm. You are welcomed to bring food and/or beverage to share and contribute in making an appetizing buffet. If unable to bring anything I am sure that there will be a bite for everyone. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Human Therapy IV

Thank You All, Dear Friends, for the buzzing and interesting night we've had all together!
Thank you Dr Moncrieff for sharing your time & knowledge with us.
Thank you Sue for chairing magnificently the event and together with the help of the guys from HUSH for feeding us.
Thank you to all of you that came along to The Kingsley Hall contributing in creating a solid and promising atmosphere, letting your Spirit shine high :)
Thank You from the East End Loonies!!!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Time Together Magazine

The Summer issue of Time Together magazine contains "A Celebration of Survivor History", a two page feature on the Pageant of Survivor History FEEL had last March 2010, featuring photographs and a review of two of the (many) star performers: Philip Morgan as UkawsawGronniosaw and Sophie Mirrell as herself - Plus the powerful presence of Eric Irwin as seen by Colin Hombrook.
This is just one of the many wonderful features in the magazine.
You will want to buy a copy - But you cannot - It is free! That's right!
One of the best mental health magazines around is free to download from http://www.together-uk.org/news-events/publications

Time To Change Film

Time To Change are looking for people based in London (within the M25) who have experienced mental health problems to appear in a short online film exploring mental health prejudice.

The Documentary:
The aim of the documentary is to expose the true extent of mental health prejudice, which will be achieved through a unique social experiment designed to challenge societies attitude and behavior towards people with mental health problems.

A person will be followed as they enter a life situation where mental health discrimination may arise for example, dating, searching for a flat share or job hunting.


Who are they looking for:
The ideal person will be someone who is happy and comfortable to talk openly about their experiences. Time to Change wish to find someone, ideally a man whose age will match the Time for Change campaign’s target audience of around 20 to 45 from any backgrounds: ethnicities, careers or lifestyles.
Time to Change will be there to provide support and guidance throughout the process.
The film will launch in September and hopefully who ever takes part will be availble during this time to help advertise the campaign.
Unfortunately, due to filming constraints only those who live in or around London will be considered.

Next Steps:
If you are interested in taking part and want to find out more please drop Emma a line with a few details about your self and a photograph to timetochange@partizan.comor call 0207 851 0216

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Hear, Hear, Hear!!!

The Mad Hatters of Bath invite you to a Mad Hatters Tea Party
Celebrating Mad Pride Day in Bath Abbey Churchyard

Wednesday 14th July 2-4pm

An opportunity to check your normality rating and join us for tea and cakes as we celebrate our right to be bonkers, with dancing, games and entertainment.

Dress to make your heart sing.

If you want to help with the event turn up about 1.30 to help set up, bring tea pots, cups, saucers, plates and cakes and any entertainment skills you have. Dress up in your favourite costume and come on down, it´s certainly the craziest party this year.

We are a pretty knowledgeable bunch of nutters so if you have any questions about how to cope in the land of insanity come along and we´ll see if we can share some tips.

Get in touch with us for more info:

Tel. 01225 33 7787 or 0779 4122 134

Email: bathmadhatters@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

July events


Dear Friends,

I wish to share some updates following our meeting last month.

Shirin Mustafa, new development worker for the SUIP-Service User Involvement Project, Community Options, joined us and introduced herself. Together with Charly Elliott reminded us of the "Your Say, Your Day" event taking place on Wednesday the 4th of August on the theme of "Relationships" and how mental health affects them. We were also reminded of the SUN meeting happening this Wednesday the 7th, 1.30-3.30: this is a network of service users groups that operates in the borough of Tower Hamlet. At present there are 23 active user groups: well done Tower Hamlets-ers!

Other business that was discussed was the upcoming seminar taking place on the 14th of July at the University of Birmingham http://www.ceimh.bham.ac.uk/documents/ceimh-flyer-july.pdf
If you are intending to go and are leaving from London, you might find out if seats are still available on the minibus organised by THACMHO (e-mail: thacmho@safh.org.uk or call Fabian: 07908 592 835).
The "Human Therapy IV" event is fast approaching. In the evening we'll have the kind participation of Doctor Moncrieff, followed by presentation and discussion about Complementary therapies and an Open Mike. Music and refreshments will keep us merry before the event start and during a little break. Please make sure you keep the date free and inform whomever might be interested in the subject: Friday 30th July 7-9pm.
Our next meeting is scheduled for the 19th of July at the usual LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES 6.30-8.30pm. We hope to see you there.
Best wishes!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Moodscope

'Dogged by depression or anxiety? Fed up with mood swings? Imagine being able to get on top of things again, with the help of your friends. Antidepressants and psychotherapy have their place, but Moodscope puts you in control.' You might try this as it is being offered free for a public beta trial. Register and fill in your questionnaire to see how you are doing. Check out the very nice blog too ;)

Pendulum

The Summer edition of the Pendulum comes on a new practical B5 format. Lots of precious infos as always

http://www.mdf.org.uk/

INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION

INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION: 7th - 30th June, Monday - Friday 10-4 (Free entry) As part of 3rd annual Gypsy, Roma & Traveller History Month, LIWC has created a fabulous exhibition of photographs, artefacts and a walk-in model caravan showing the history and culture of Irish Travellers. Only a few days left!!!

http://liwc.co.uk/

Monday, 21 June 2010

Survivors Research Network Seminar Series

Please book your places now for the seminar on `The Survivors History Movement and the History of Self Harm activism´, to discuss the value of history for those of us who have suffered severe mental distress, to take place from 4.00pm-6.00pm at the Centre for Excellence in Mental Health, Basement Watson Building, University of
Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT on Wednesday July 14th.

To book a place, contact Nicki Young:
Tel: 0121 415 8570, email: n.young.1@bham.ac.uk,
Post: CEIMH, Basement, Watson Building,
University of Birmingham B15 2TT

Friday, 11 June 2010

Human Experimentation.

Last May Paolo Fiora joined us at our monthly meeting to talk about Human Experimentation.
This is a pretty unknown subject to the wide public, but every so now and then you can read articles circulating in regards, like the one I recently came across with http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=5904
But aren't many mental patients the object of human experimentation too? While being administered "new drugs" that little knowledge, if any, justifies the long term effect on the physical body, left alone the effect on the mind, that people discovers after years on them.
If you wish you might get in contact with Paolo via mail paolo_bf@hotmail.com or by phone 07983 332934. http://www.freedomfchs.com/

Third Monday & Fourth event.‏

Dear Friends,

I hope to find you well.

Please, note that FEEL monthly meeting is taking place in ten days time, on the 21st of this month.
Join us at The LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate St E1 from 6.30pm, making sure that you arrive in time if you have any issue that you wish to be included to our agenda.

We are also very pleased to inform you that we have invited Dr Joanna Moncrieff to our next major event "HUMANE THERAPY NOT DRUG TYRANNY IV", which has been planned for Friday the 30th of July at 7-9pm at The Kingsley Hall, corner of Powis and Bruce Roads, London E3 3HUhttp://www.kingsleyhall.freeuk.com/khmap.htm.

Dr Moncrieff is a critic of psychiatric drug treatments and has published numerous articles in medical journals. She was a founding member and is the co-chair of the Critical Psychiatry Network www.critpsynet.freeuk.com

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8138893.stm


A page has been create for this event on Facebook as well http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/event.php?eid=117937014915786

Comments and views on how FEEL could improve are always welcome!

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The EPF (European Patient Forum) and 'The Value+ project'


In the past two years the EPF -European Patient Forum- has worked on 'The Value+ project' focused on EC-funded projects. The result of this initiative can be found in a collection of resources that can be downloaded free of charge as pdfs from the EPF website.
http://www.eu-patient.eu/

All resources can be found at
http://epf.funka.com/Initatives-Policy/Projects/ValuePlus/Resources/Value-Resources/

A Conversation with David Webb ’Thinking about Suicide’

The Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health, University of Birmingham presents A Conversation with David Webb ’Thinking about Suicide’ on the 22 June 2010 from 4.00-6.00 pm.

http://www.ceimh.bham.ac.uk/documents/david-webb-flyer.pdf

SURVIVORS RESEARCH NETWORK event on 16 June 2010.

SURVIVORS RESEARCH NETWORK -Birmingham Research -Seminar Series. COLLABORATION IN MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH: Challenges, constraints and contributions to knowledge. On June 16th 2010 from 4.00pm-6.00pm at CEIMH

http://www.ceimh.bham.ac.uk/documents/survivor-research-june2010.pdf

THINK event on 10 June 2010 2.30-6.30pm.

THINK event is taking place on Thursday the 10th of June 2.30-6.30 pm in York Hall, Bethnal Green. An activity packed day open to all. If you wish to improve health and social care services in Tower Hamlets this event will give you a chance to participate actively.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Natural Depression Treatments.

If you are feeling down for an extended period of time, it is important to seek professional help. If diagnosed by a medical doctor with depression, you may like to complement their recommended treatment with any of the natural healing alternatives available to you.


"DSM V" (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

Be aware: the new "DSM" (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is due in 3yrs time. It looks nobody will be left out, children included. Individuality more than ever is seen as a risk.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/10/AR2010021000009.html

http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

Feeling Spent?

Why is it that so many people highly suffer from the change of the season. Professionals state that Spring and Summer are the times of higher hospital admissions, specially for BAD sufferers, when most go manic. But if we were to watch the case by the chronobiology aspects rather than the psychiatric one people wouldn't end up recurring to tranquilizers or sleeping pills or to enormous amounts of coffee to stay awake during the day. In fact there is no need of having a label of mental disorder of any sort for suffering consequences due to lack of sleep.
All it takes might be simply making small changes in our lifestyle and respect and restore our internal body clocks.
http://http://http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-frank-lipman/feeling-spent-5-easy-ways_b_202627.html?ref=fb&src=sp

Delivering Race Equality survey.

Mind is carrying out a survey amongst people who identify as Black and Ethnic Minority. Please would you take the time to look at this web page and think about the issues? Even if the survey does not apply to you, you may know people who you could tell about the survey. As you will see, it is relevant to the future direction/s of government policy.

http://www.mind.org.uk/diverseminds/delivering_race_equality#DMEsurvey

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Anthony Robbins interview with Deepak Chopra

Two great masters of inspiration offer some ideas. Listen to the valuable advice they give:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miBnhm5DCrI&feature=player_embedded

"CIMAP! Cento Italiani Matti a Pechino"

CIMAP, also renamed 'Atomic! A Train of Mad Italians in China', is a documentary filmed in 2008. It tells the journey taken by 77 people affected by different types of mental illness and 130 operators and professionals that assisted them in this travel by train from Venice to Beijing. The aim: finding the dividing line that separets madness from normality. The film is being shown in some halls in Italy starting in Trento on 27/05 with the hope that it might get translated and pass the Italian borders soon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJeWYGB6WTM&feature=related

Be Mindful

Be Mindful is a campaign by the Mental Health Foundation about mindfulness meditation. Find out about the clinical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies, especially for depression, and listen to how mindfulness has helped people who practice it.
http://www.bemindful.co.uk/

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Bipolar disorder: the 'stalking beast'

Testing & researching on BAD (bipolar affective disorder): more about it has been discovered in the past 10yrs than the previous 50yrs. What will the next decade of research bring us with???

Read the Guardian article to find out how more participation could help researchers http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/03/bipolar-disorder-symptoms

How are patient movements doing in the UK today?

HSCNews is conducting a survey of patient-interest groups to determine the current state of the patient movement in the UK, and the hurdles faced by service users groups and individuals.
The closing date for this survey is Wednesday June 9th 2010. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/255W7LW
For more information on HSCNews see:
http://www.patient-view.com/news10.htm

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

ADHD linked to pesticides

Children exposed to pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study.
http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=5851

Ruby Wax "Losing it!"


A play starring Ruby Wax and Judith Owen.
Directed by Thea Sharrock
http://www.rubywaxlosingit.com/about

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive

Stephen Fry's documentary is a must see:
The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive
Episode 1: BBC4, Monday 17th May 2010, 7.30pm...a few hrs ago, sorry!
Episode 2: BBC4, Wednesday 19th May 2010, 7.30pm



You can also read 'The Secret Life of Manic Depression', introduced by Stephen Fry:
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/headroom/bipolar/bipolar.pdf

Out of Mind season

The Out of Mind season is supported by the Open University and Headroom.
Lots of food for thought.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/headroom/newsandevents/tvandradio.shtml

Sectioned: Wednesday, 21:00 on BBC Four

A documentary following people who have been sectioned as they go through the mental health system.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sg94v

Mental: A History of the Madhouse.

Mental: A History of the Madhouse was on air tonight. It'll be broadcasted again on Thursday, the 20th at 04:00 on BBC Four...4am?!?! :s
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sfpvf

Also a good review on the programme on http://draughtyoldfentales.blogspot.com/2010/05/mental.html

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Prevention and early detention strategies.

THEDS has been launched in Tower Hamlets to promote the mental health and well being of 16-25 year olds. Preventing is always better that curing :)
http://www.theds.org.uk/

SSRI, anyone?!?!

Find out how an increasing proportion of clinical research of SSRI drugs is privatised and directly influenced by pharmaceutical companies and diffuse distorted information...
Well, not only SSRI of course: think about the deadly swine flu for example!
http://www.healyprozac.com/

Which cure?

Alternative or orthodox methods? What works for you??? What is right, what is wrong? Do you wait for the Dr to cure you or can you find your best cure by yourself? Expect humor and entertainment in this next exhibition ;)
http://http//www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/events/quacks-and-cures-ii.aspx

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

FEEL's News.

Dear Friends,

I hope all is well with you.

FEEL's monthly meeting is back next Monday the 17th of May as usual: The LARC Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES (6.30-8.30pm).

The past meetings have become busier and busier.
We all agreed that the first ten minutes of the meeting will be dedicated to creating an agenda for the evening. I would encourage you to arrive in time if there is any pressing issue that you consider to be discussed urgently. May I also suggest that all socialising and exchanges might be left at the end of the meeting in order to start promtly in time, please.

Following the great success of "The Pageant of Survivors History" last March, the Survivors History Group and FEEL have now been invited by a SU group in Ealing to join them and repeat the event. Exact date and locations haven't been agreed yet, but please get in touch if you wish to contribute in any way. Will pass more information very soon.

Please, note that this blog is still under construction, however you are very welcome to share your views in regards.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon.

Best wishes.

Welcome to FEEL's blog!

Dear Friends,

We would like to welcome you to FEEL's blog!

The idea of having a blog generated following the discontent of some of our friends: the idea of opening a Facebook account in order to read about our updates didn't seem suitable for many.

Apparently Facebook still needs a bit of time before getting popular with everyone. I must admit that I have been a bit skeptical when I was firstly introduced to it, but in fact now it is a big favorite of mine.

I very hope that this blog will allow easier access to people, more participation and perhaps a bit of open comparison/confront if we do wish to work towards improvements within the mental health spectrum.

The Facebook group will still get updated whenever- time permitting -there are relevant information to share: I believe that it will also be easier for members to share their findings and information, posting them directly on the Wall.
Here is our Facebook link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=157817498939&v=wall

Looking forward to reading people' comments & ideas: we wish to hear your voice! We are working towards a mutual goal: join us in doing so.

Working together GREATER results can be achieved!!!

Cheers!!!