We Mental Health Sufferers are a Resource Free Zone

I managed to get ill recently – this dreaded virus going around or something else who knows.

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In the UK it was impossible to get tested for Corvid 19 unless you’d just arrived from somewhere that had the virus or been in direct contact with someone else who had, but the fact that other people had just arrived from somewhere with the virus and you might have sat next to them on a train without anyone knowing doesn’t yet seem to have occurred to the powers that be.  So when they say there is only such and such a number of cases in the UK, actually what they mean is they haven’t got a clue.

I got better so does it matter?

Well, yes. To me it so does. It’s my body so I like to know what’s happening to it.  Self diagnosis is not something the medical profession encourages and certainly not self treatment for obvious reasons – but once there is a crisis then it seems our governments encourage self everything because there are no resources.   Suddenly it’s all DIY.

Or if there are resources decades of neoliberalism have decided who and where the resources shall be spent. And you can bet your bottom dollar or whichever currency you use that spending is not on public health. Or public anything.

This policy of telling everyone to go home and deal with it be may have come as a surprise to some, but not to us mental health sufferers because we recognize the scenario.

Corvid is an emergency and is being rightly treated as such. But there are other more slow burn emergencies being ignored. I believe mental health is one of them.

Anxiety and depression is its own virus. It’s not seen as contagious or a physical illness so it is not seen as a public health problem but a matter for the individual.   The WHO Action Plan on Mental Health terms mental health as non-communicable diseases and compared with Corvid I9 I suppose it is – but I don’t believe that because mental health is not a virus that means it is non communicable. If anxiety did not communicate itself there would be no such thing as panic buying. The stock market would not have crashed.

The unconscious registers things that the rest of our bodies are not aware of, and goes into fight or flight mode.  We get jammed into a hyperactive state frantically trying to pedal our bikes away from the worrying back wheel, to arrive nearer the more reassuring front wheel. Yet 5000 miles later we are unsurprisingly exhausted and nothing has changed.  This is the way millions of people live.

Its only when the power structures that hold up our economies are themselves threatened does something get termed an emergency and so resources are allocated.

We mental health sufferers are a resource free zone.

All over the world millions of people are not getting the attention they need,  not getting the diagnoses they need, or the medicines. That affects global work output and costs a global fortune. And there are many costs attached to poor health that are unrelated solely to finance. It’s a crisis waiting to happen.

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