Tag Archive | counselling

Stones. The straw that broke the camel’s back

For reasons too numerous and too complex to go into today, I am back on the antidepressants; 40mg Fluoxetine. No messing around; straight into a decent dose of artificial mood-enhancer.

After 16 months of being drug-free, true to form the Black Dog has returned to lay me so low that I question the value of my very existence. This wasn’t a decision taken lightly either by me or my GP. I spent 45 minutes with her yesterday, 5 minutes discussing my recent encounter with kidney stones/renal colic and the rest of the time reasoning the advantages or otherwise of going back on medication for my extreme low mood.

When fully functional, I can argue black is white but I had no defence against her solid and sensible reasoning that good old Prozac will again buy me the time necessary to sort myself out. I am not great at looking after Number 1 and to say that I had a lecture in personal well-being and making sensible choices is an understatement. Everything she said was absolutely true. I can’t deny that but sadly I am not in the position to do what I need to do to recover from this dreadful illness once and for all.

For now, I have to deal with it with the help of chemical intervention (Fluoxetine) and more counselling/talking therapy until such time that I can wave goodbye to it forever. At 50 years young, I am fast running out of time and options but I am still determined to die happy.

What an achievement that will be.

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Stress, depression and the “Great” British Justice System

Some of my regular readers will know that I have been on Jury Service for the last 2 weeks. I am about to go into deliberation with my 11 fellow jurors on my latest case and, as I was also on a Jury last week, I have seen a little of how the Great British Justice System works (or doesn’t).

I believe that in essence and in theory we have a system which is fair and democratic. In practice however I have my concerns but I will save these for another day.

My main concern however is the lack of on-site support for jurors who have to listen to evidence which is often disturbing, distressing, graphic, shocking, and unpleasant and who are unable to discuss cases with fellow jurors, jurors-in-waiting or friends and family unless they want to be held in contempt of court with all the penalties that arise from that. Yes, there is a link between the court system and the Samaritans, and you can pick up a leaflet at the court (if you see it). But I don’t think this is adequate and from my experience over the last two weeks, more needs to be done to support those who need to offload their concerns.

I understand that there will be important issues such as confidentiality to consider, but last week, faced with a jury quite clearly in distress, many in tears and having had countless sleepless nights, I am convinced that something more needs to be done to recognise and deal with these concerns.

I will be raising it with the court in due course and I will let you know what they say.