Choice and control in wellbeing

Liz J Maitland

I was labelled from the age of 19 when i was attacked and sexually abused by a van-driver and no-one would believe me. They said I was schizophrenic and psychotic but I was the one who was in touch with reality.

I never had any symtoms at all, yet I was drugged up and forced into hospital against my will many times. It would have been much better for me if I had been believed and offered counselling. The professionals and my family's reactions made my state of mind and wellbeing far worse. I was in and out of hospital for the next 23 years.

All those years I took homeopathic remedies and I found these far more useful than the anti-psychotic torture medication. The stigma and discrimination against me from my family and friends was horrible. I tried to end my life on 3 occasions. I recovered when the psychiatrist realised that I really had no symptoms and he forced me off all the drugs that had destroyed my life because I had lived in a tranquillised fog for 23 years.

I have kept well now for 14 years. Centering Therapy, sitting still and doing nothing for 20 minutes a day, has helped as has having two Emotional Assistance RECOVERY Dogs. We started a charity for mental health, RECOVERY, in July 2004 and it is a great success in helping people find creative ways to recover their wellbeing.

We hope 2012 will be the year that the professionals decide that it is best for peoples' mental health to have choice and control in their life so that they stop the sectioning. EVERYONE should be free to choose their ways to wellbeing and be given all the support they need to do so. We feel personal budgets are a great success in helping people to have the one-to-one support they need to rebuild their lives and relationships.

I have chosen to write this of my own free will and because i would like us to live free from fear.