BBC Ouch interview with Mark Brown of One in Four

Hello! I put the, “Posts Page” as a sticky for two reasons: one is because I want to add a new page to the top and doing so would knock another off, so, that one was least commented upon, and could be deleted, another was because I’m a rampant egotistic and it was the one that was easiest cut.  Anyway!

Here is an interview I did with BBC Ouch with my employer and long-haired Geordie Friend Mark Brown.

It was subbed, as articles are, and the original included references to not usually greeting people I interview with massive hugs and scaring the photography.  I have no phone credit so had to use my browser and saw the photos.  Bloody hell.  Anyway, I love Mark!

I forgot to post it because I’m rubbish like that, but I also interviewed Valerie Mason John, who’s a teacher of mindfulness.  I did some exercises and they photographed me shagging a pillow, practically.  I’d never had anything to do with mindfulness before, and it was interesting.  Do any of you have any experience of it?

18 Responses

  1. I had a discussion with my GP about the same thing: how useless I feel. His response was a bit of an education for me: `David, because you`re not working, it does not mean you are useless – life has meaning because it is life`. I guess this is some kind of Hippocratic-oath-type-perspective, but I urge you not to feel useless, because you are a very valuable person to a lot of people.

    If you want my definition of `useless` then I`d ask you to pay a visit to the City Of London, or the Coq d`Argent where all the useless bankster-tossers congregate. In fact, they`re worse than useless: their stupidity has got us into a major economic mess of unprecedented proportions.

    The last few days I have been ranting incessantly, conferring all kinds of infernal punishments on bloated capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs and so on.

    If your psych.doc is saying you`re `well`, I`d go along with Robert and question that observation – from your posting you do not sound very well at all. Perhaps you should print an excerpt from this blog and give it to him / her.

    I will conclude with a favourite saying of a good friend of mine: `Don`t let the bastards get you down`.

    Hugs to you and Robert 🙂

  2. I was fairly well when I saw him, a few days off medication.

  3. I have periods of relative `wellness` from time to time, but I take the view from my personal perspective of mental illness that it is something akin to being an alcoholic: you may not have had an alcoholic drink for x number of years, but you are still a *recovering* alcoholic (that is, it would be unwise to take another alcoholic drink lest you succumb to another period of insobriety). By the same token, if I show periods of wellness, that doesn`t mean that I may not have psychotic episodes in the future (oddly enough, my breakdowns hit me every five years!)

    I`ve had 5 major breakdown episodes (from ages 8 to 30 – I am now 40 with no sign of getting `better`), and they`ve been life-threatening. If your psych.doc wants to start taliking about `recovery` (a very fashionable concept in the NHS at the moment), then I would start asking about what a definition of a recovery entails and what kind of long-term support will I get).

    Of course, you`re still a young person with your whole life ahead of you, and I understand completely your wish to not be mentally ill (I`d give anything to get rid of the BPD). Still, don`t let them fob you off! 🙂

    Best Wishes
    David 🙂

  4. I’m sorry that the no-medication experiment didn’t work out. It’s a shame as things started off well.

    also want to personally track down and headbutt all the people who apparently want to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I think my psychiatrist thinks I’m one of them, which I found upsetting.

    Me too. Was going to blog about my feelings on this.. might try and get around to it after Glastonbury packing!

    I hope the internet break is helpful and things ease up xx

  5. Paxman watch out.

  6. You’re not useless. A lot of people enjoy your humour and find this blog makes life easier to deal with.

  7. You’re very cute in the pictures.

    One question. Why don’t you want to take your medication? Do you doubt that you’re really manic-depressive or that it’s really a life-destroying disease? It’s twenty years since diagnosis for me. Without lithium, I’d be dead or in prison, at the very least completely alone.

    I’m new to the blog, apparently it was an experiment?

    And LOL at manic-depressive posers. They should be forced to volunteer in a psych ward. It’s just so ignorant and insulting.

  8. He it’s Liam, we spoke on facebook last night. Hope you are feeling better today. As for the people who “want” bipolar, I reckon they need branding irons inserted into each of their orifices. I’d give up pretty much anything to get rid of this fucking illness that isn’t satisfied with fucking you over, it needs to poison everyone around you too.

    The interwebular break will probably do you good. My thighs have turned into some sort of laptop docking station as they’re that used to having my laptop there while i blog, watch youtube videos and sit and refresh twitter and facebook every 15 seconds. Sad, sad life… 😛

    Like I said, chin up! Focus on getting better and relapses are to be expected do don’t beat yourself up as much!



  9. I meant to start with “hi” and the last bit “don’t bear yourself up”… God you can tell I didn’t sleep last night.

  10. Alot of the problems that we mentals deal with are things everybody deals with, like how to get a decent job, make friends, etc. These things have a way of working themselves out. And even if it’s harder for us (which it is alot), it still works out. So hang in there, Seaneen. Good luck to you. I hope you come back to the blog soon.

  11. After I got diagnosed at 23, for years every time I saw a doctor I would say, ‘Maybe I’m not really MD. Maybe I’m just different, like a shaman or something.’ Even though all the evidence was there – going insane and a forced trip to the hospital, years of not sleeping at night, walking all night and having visions – no one wants to believe they could be so damaged, so unfixably different. So I read Szasz and argued and dealt with it and slipped and got back on the meds. But time has passed, and now I know two things, 1 real life is better than anything that happens only in my head, and 2 I’m never going back to the mental hospital, that was hell. So I take the meds and things are better, I don’t usually tell people and they don’t guess. I hope you’re not MD, but really if you got this far you probably are.

  12. Yes, mindfulness helped me a lot. It takes a lot of practice and is difficult at first, but has been more beneficial than anything else. It’s often used as part of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) which sounds flaky and new-age-ish but is actually very practical and incredibly life saving-ish.

  13. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

  14. Mindfulness: I went through a buddhism phase and mindfulness is a part of that. I’ve found it does help.

    Often when we’re depressed it is thoughts that circle around in our heads on a loop. Rumination. Mindfulness teaches you to focus on the moment and can stop the dreaded thoughts.

    I get depressive thoughts when I’m doing the washing up or having a bath; they’re both things where I’m left with my own thoughts and when I’m left with my own thoughts I tend towards the dark side.

    Mindfulness teaches that you should focus on the sensation of the tea towel drying the plate or the water in the bath; sensations. Live in the moment and focus on the tactile.

    I still find I don’t do that enough but when I do it does seem to work.

    One tip I heard about is to bring mindfulness to mind whenever you walk through a doorway. Again, I’m rubbish at putting this into practice. It’s worth looking into, though. It can stop you from brooding on particular thoughts.

    Give it a go. I found reading about Buddhism quite relaxing and useful. You seem to sometimes get a whirlwind of thoughts barraging you, so it may well be useful for you. Not that I wish to proselytise for a religion. Thoroughgoing secularist am I. But I treat Buddhism as a philosophy that comes in handy in some ways. I don’t believe in any of the supernatural bollocks that comes with it.

  15. Mindfulness is the main part of my therapy. I find it works really well but it’s (in my case) a slow process! Trying to be objective and non-judgemental of oneself whilst living ‘in the moment’ isn’t as easy as it sounds when you’re used to calling yourself a useless tw*t at every opportunity!

    It can be useful for controlling self-harming urges though. Being a cutter, I find that mindfulness can help me a lot if I catch the urge to cut in good time. Instead of slicing away, I can sometimes manage to be mindful of my feelings and analyse them objectively rather than reaching for the scalpel straight away. It doesn’t always work but I’m grateful for the times when it does. 🙂


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