Having worked in mental health setting before, I know there are good days and bad days in the job. Monday wasn’t a good one for those still working within the mental health sector, nor those suffering with mental health conditions; with the Sun’s headline claiming 1200 people had been killed by ‘mental patients’ in the last ten years.
After so much improvement in the way the media reports mental illness in recent years, it felt like a huge step back to the bad old days of headlines like ‘Bonkers Bruno locked up’. In this world of sensationalist reporting, violence is the only prism through which mental illness is viewed.
This is not in any way, to downplay the terrible tragedy of a young life lost. Or indeed the urgent need to address failings in the system which so often play a part in incidents of this nature. And I’m not saying that murders involving people with mental illness should not be reported, of course they should. What I am saying is that they should be reported responsibly and in a way which does not reinforce the stereotype that equates mental illness with violence.
While of course there are cases where people with mental illness commit serious acts of violence, we must keep the real risk in perspective. Ninety-five per cent of murders are committed by people who do not have a mental illness. In the vast majority of those 5 per cent of cases, there are other factors at play such as alcohol or drug misuse.
When the coverage of an issue is as crude and sensationalist as it was on Monday, everyone with a mental health diagnosis suffers. It has been moving to see the reaction from people with mental illness themselves. Many have taken to social media to explain how this kind of reporting compounds the social isolation which mental illness can cause.
As a suffer with mental health problems put it: “Feeling exposed, vulnerable, persecuted, threatened and fearful, thinking that everyone knows you are evil, is a common part of the paranoid symptoms I and others experience. Having it shouted in the headlines that all this is really true, that you really are dangerous to others, and everyone knows, is a sick joke.”
The Sun may argue that they are only highlighting this issue because services are failing and something needs to be done. While I agree that mental health services badly need to improve, I would argue that coverage of this kind is not the place to start the argument.
We need to start with the enormous human suffering which can be caused by mental illness when decent treatment isn’t available. We should be talking about how people with serious mental illness are being let down by the NHS and social care system. We should be talking about the many thousands of lives lost every year to suicide.
I’d like to see the Sun run a headline highlighting the 30,000 people with mental health problems who are dying needlessly every year from preventable physical health problems. Or a front page splash about the excellent report produced this week by Victim Support and Mind which shows that people with mental illness are three times more likely to be the victims of crime.
Last year our Schizophrenia Commission highlighted the way in which we are systematically letting down the 300,000 people in England who have schizophrenia or psychosis and their families.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do so much more to improve the lives of people with severe mental illness. Schizophrenia and other conditions do not need to be diagnoses of despair and fear.
A constant focus on a small number of cases involving violence reinforce fear and despair. Instead we need to see a wider debate about the individual and societal costs of mental illness and what can be done about it. A debate prompted by compassion, not fear.
I have to agree.
As a child I was completely influenced by Tom and Jerry and now spend all of my spare time hitting cats in the face with frying pans while dogs chase me with baseball bats.
People of Britain, here are 7 things you should do during a heatwave:
1) Double up on deodorant.
2) Have at least one conversation on Global Warming.
3) Risk your life running after the ice cream van.
4) Get sun burnt - its traditional!
5) Tweet/Facebook a screenshot of your phones weather app, and instagram everything.
6) Wear sunglasses indoors.
7) Eventually just complain incessantly about the heat.
There is a concept in epidemiology (the study of epidemics and disease risk factors in populations) called “density of host interaction.” Basically, when you pack a large number of people (or animals) closely together, it increases the frequency and number of contact each has with any other, so that each individual is only one or very few contacts away from every other. So, if one person comes down with something, it has a potential for very rapid spread. Similarly, when technological systems become densely interconnected, such as we have now with the integration of telecommunications, the internet, computing, financial, business, military and infrastructure management systems, a serious failure of any one of them can create a cascade of failures which brings down the rest.
The civil order we take for granted, the rule of law, the loyalty of the army are all contingent on existing systems working as planned. If another world war were to break out, it could very quickly lead to a breakdown of civilization on the order of the Fall of Rome. The US has a six month strategic reserve of oil, so if supplies of imports should become disrupted, and that runs out, there will be less and less fuel for transportation, to operate farm machinery (and other petroleum inputs necessary for food production), plus the military will be claiming a larger and larger share of what is available. And people will begin to fight over it.
When civilian governments collapse, the military declares martial law and assumes control. The military then manages the society’s resources, and it does so in such a way that it keeps itself going. Its imperatives put it in direct competition with the civilian population, who, being powerless, tend to experience famine when push comes to shove. One sees this all over the undeveloped world, where local warlords have taken over and raid UN humanitarian relief trucks bound for starving villagers-only, in a worldwide breakdown, there will be no outside relief effort.
Also, as we see throughout history and in the underdeveloped world today, when economies are disrupted by war, populations tend to move toward where they think the food is, and they end up in refugee settlement camps. As they become weakened by hunger, they tend to become susceptible to infectious diseases, and once epidemics start, the spread very rapidly. People try to flee, spreading disease and death even further.
Consider how much social and economic disruption came about from just two jet liners crashing into the World Trade Center—the shock, the confusion, the scapegoating, and the economic recession that came after. Now multiply that 100,000 or a million times, and you begin to get a sense of what a nuclear exchange would be like. A well-placed series of electro-magnetic pulses over major banking centers could wipe out all bank records, all stock transactions, all records of who owns what and how much they need to pay in taxes. Even with backups shielded in deep vaults, there would still be serious gaps in the record—if indeed, there were still computers left to put them in. It would take months or even years to sort out. And, in the meantime, the chaos and uncertainty over trillions of dollars in assets would paralyze the economy, because nobody could be sure if they still had money in the bank or whether it was worth anything. The very young and the very old would be the first to go.
When you look at the range of species-threatening catastrophic events—volcanic eruption, climate change, large meteor impacts, or even nuclear reactor meltdowns, war is by far the much more frequent and therefore likely occurrence. And, as time goes on, the interdependence and vulnerability of human systems only increases. Unfortunately, war seems to be the only disaster that we are truly able to prevent, and yet we seem hardly capable of doing so. It would seem to be a design flaw in our species, if we can not overcome it.
This one is going to be extremely difficult to write, because I have a friend who is going through this situation right now - and what she has told me absolutely sickens me.
Everybody knows my view on the NHS, it may not be perfect but it’s a damn sight better than the alternative of: “Oh, I’m so sorry your loved one has a life threatening condition, but how are you going to pay us?”
But sometimes even I’ll have a damn good pop at it, and this is one of those cases.
Put yourself in the shoes of a young person, wishing to start a family with your long term partner. Only to find out you are unable to carry a child full term, but not being able to find out full reason. In this instance it could be the eggs, but hey if you want to check then you’ll have to go private, because it’s just not god damn procedure to find out for you.
So, you explore your options, surrogacy being one of them… Hopefully. However, you must wait until you’re 35, or pay out your arse to go private. You wait, then find out the problem lay with your eggs, and you can not have children of your own. Imagine all that time wasted, living with false hope; Because you can’t afford to pay to go private.
Here is the solution, be an absolute slag, sleep around and have your uterus scarred because of the countless Sexual Transmitted Diseases you have collected like pokemon cards, and they’ll do everything they can to help you have child, which inevitably will likely lead the same life as you, because we all know the daughter just loves to take after mummy.
As a decent, down to earth, tax paying human, guided by common sense, I can tell you that is fucking disgusting, and goes to show how these people who are supposed to run the NHS, so it has the service users needs looked after, are nothing more than suites with no common sense. I understand that these things cost money, but tell me this, in cases where it is essentially self inflicted (which this is):
why on earth should somebody who has always been monogamous, be treated worse than somebody who has been promiscuous?
Well, we can only assume he does. Akin recently stated that he has spoken to doctors who have told him that, in cases of “legitimate rape,” the female body has biological defenses to prevent pregnancy.
It is possible that he has somehow confused human vaginas with duck vaginas, which have evolved natural defenses against rape-happy male ducks.
I now ask you, ladies and gentlemen, how does one confuse a human vagina with a duck vagina? Hmm?
The answer is clear: Todd Akin fucks ducks. He is a duckfucker.
Maybe this isn’t true, but since Akin feels no need to check his facts re: human biology or his fucked-up use of the term “legitimate rape,” I’m not feeling too keen on checking mine re: his duckfucking or lack there-of.
So, it’s pretty simple. Don’t vote for this duckfucker right here.
You MUST be funny. If you’re not funny then just fuck off.
They are sick joke website. Save the light bulb jokes for when you go to visit your nan. Reading the jokes on these site should make you fearful that Interpol are going to come to your house and confiscate your hard-drive. Remember the three Rs of sick humour: racism, rape and ‘rse’oles.
(i) Jokes should be fairly short - roughly the size of an Chinese guy’s knob. No huge long stories please. Everyone there has A.D.D. from wanking too much (that’s how you get it, you know).
(ii) No big list jokes please. Your 50 Ways To Have Fun in An Elevator is my 50 Reasons To Go Round Your House And Rape Your Cat.
(iii) If you know 20 good dead baby jokes, don’t post them all in one go. And definitely don’t post them as individual jokes one after another so nobody else can get into the new jokes list, you selfish prick. Try posting one per day.
(i) Don’t just copy and paste things from other joke sites
(ii) Especially American joke sites, because they’re fucking rubbish.
(iii) If you post a Chuck Norris fact as a joke, then YOU ARE A CUNT.
(i) Everybody acknowledges that Americans are fat, whiny, boring shitbags with the sense of humour of a five-year old that’s been dropped on it’s head. We hope that all the Fat Americans eat all the Skinny Americans, and then the Fat Americans die of food poisoning.
(ii) That said, YOU DO NOT NEED TO KEEP POSTING THINGS ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU HATE AMERICANS! We get it.
(iii) Funny how the people who write anti-American rants (a) only started doing it when they saw how successful mickle’s rant was and (b) never have any popular jokes of their own.
If you’re going to do a joke about how foreigners can’t speak English, then check your own spelling and grammar first. If not, we’re all going to laugh at you and call you a fucking knob-end.
If you post a message as a joke and say “PLEASE VOTE THIS UP SO EVERYONE CAN READ IT”, you’re a bigger cunt than people who post Chuck Norris facts.
(i) Adding “Duplicate” to the end of a duplicated joke is acceptable. You probably don’t need to say “DUPLICATE YOU FUCKING DONKEY COCK SUCKER!!!” unless the author really does suck donkey cocks.
(ii) Don’t add things like “lol!” to the end of jokes you like, you big fucking gay.
No fat chicks.
While you were busy reading this, I was fucking your mum. Ha!
First of all before I begin my little rant towards Robertson, I’d first like to offer my condolences to the families of those killed at the recent shooting inside a Sikh Temples.
The world, as we know is a diverse place, some believe in a god, or even multiple gods, others don’t believe at all, and some aren’t sure. I believe we should respect everybody’s beliefs, even if we perceive them to be idiotic. I’m an atheist, the reason is solely because I view religion as being to open to interpretation and offering no real evidence to the existence of a higher being. But you want to believe in a god, that’s fine by me.
Pat Robertson however, is nothing more than an absolute wanker!
Pattison was quoted as saying:
“people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God,” and are responsible for the massacre, which was committed by a white supremacist. “They’re angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God,” Robertson continued. He recommended that people “talk about the love of God and hope it has some impact.”
I’m sorry, how many people have been killed because they’re not atheist before?
That’s right, no where near as many that have been killed because they aren’t a Christian, Muslim or some other religion.
Sure, the bloke who killed 7 innocent Sikhs may have been atheist, but it’s been found he didn’t kill because they were Sikhs, but instead because they wasn’t white. He was a racist, pure a simple. Myself, and many other atheists will be disgusted by his actions, as will many other religious people.
My message to you Pat, is before you open your mouth and slag off anybodies belief which it comes to the killing of anybody else because their belief system, take a look at how many Christians killed other people because they wasn’t Christian… You’ll find their has been a shit load more.
If you’re reading this, you have presumably done laughing gas before. And so you probably know that it makes you feel kinda funny for about 30 seconds before wearing off. And that’s pretty much it.
For some reason The Daily Mail have decided to make laughing gas the new they’re outraged about. They ran an amazing article on it today called: “The deadly rise of ‘hippy crack’: For celebrities, it’s the party drug du jour. Now inhaling laughing gas – is spreading to middle-class living rooms”. Snappy headline, much? Try saying that mouthful after a coupla ‘lloons of hippy crack.
You can read the whole, hilarious thing here, but laughing at stupid Daily Mailarticles is a full-time job, and I know you’re busy, so I’ve distilled it down to its most awful parts:
8. USE OF SLANG THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST
There are few things in this world more horrifying than when a Daily Mail journalist attempts to use slang. Over the course of the article, the term “hippy crack” is used three times, and “sweet air” once. Which is more times than either of them have ever been used by an actual genuine young person, ever.
7. FREQUENT USE OF THE WORD “DEADLY”
I know this is going to shock you, but it appears The Mail have distorted some facts to support their story. From the article:
"An overdose can be fatal…
The International Centre For Drug Policy charts deaths in the UK from volatile substance misuse, including the gas.
Their most recent report, from 2010, notes that ‘in 2008 there were two deaths (three in 2007) associated with the inhalation of nitrous oxide, which had been obtained for non-medical purposes’.”
If they’d stuck with the report (which can be read here) for another sentence or two, they would’ve seen this:
"[the deaths] were the result of asphyxiation where the nitrous oxide had been inhaled using a plastic bag over the head."
Though I’m not a pathologist, I would say that the cause of death in both of those cases is “being an idiot”, not “hippy crack”.
6. THE DESPERATE STRUGGLE TO FIND ANY DANGERS INVOLVED WITH INHALING LAUGHING GAS
I know this is going to shock you again, but it appears The Daily Mail have totally made up some facts to support their story.
According to the article, “hippy crack” is capable of causing “strokes, hallucinations, seizures, blackouts, incontinence, stress on the heart, chronic depression and even – in cases of prolonged use – depleted bone marrow”. Hallucinations, blackouts and incontinence (ie laughing until you pee) are, obviously, what you want to happen when you inhale laughing gas. They’re kinda the point.
According to a Google search I just did, there’s nothing to link laughing gas to either strokes, or “stress on the heart”. And if there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that three seconds of scan-read Google searching is always more correct than a fact printed in The Daily Mail.
The bone marrow thing is technically true. But is based on a study on dentists in the 1980s who were constantly exposed to nitrous oxide while working. So I guess so long as you avoid using it five days a week for eight hours a day, you should be good to continue getting the odd 30-second high at Reading Festival every year.
5. THE INTERVIEW WITH AN EX-LAUGHING GAS USER
Here’s a highlight from the interview with a middle-class youth named (wait for it) “Ruby Deevoy”.
"On one occasion I crawled into a tent and thought there were dozens of people in there, but it was empty. Then I would blink – my eyes were closed for no longer than that – but in my mind I’d been in a coma.”
Jesus, really? A coma? I had no idea taking laughing gas was that bad. Because that’s never happened to me or anyone else I know before.
"I also remember being mesmerised by the flaming torches on the [festival] site to the point where I very nearly walked face-first into them."
Holy fuck is that girl lucky that she didn’t burn to death.
4. USING DEMI MOORE AS ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
"Earlier this year, in the throes of a difficult separation from her husband, Ashton Kutcher, the actress reportedly binged on nitrous oxide to the extent that she suffered a seizure and had to be taken to hospital. She then checked into a rehabilitation clinic."
Of course Demi Moore collapsed after inhaling laughing gas. Fucking look at her! She’s Mr Burns in a cocktail dress. If she inhaled air too hard, she’d pass out.
3. THE THOUGHT OF MIDDLE AGED WOMEN HUFFING IT IN THEIR LIVING ROOMS
I really, really hope this isn’t made up:
"Such is the ease of availability that it has even infiltrated middle-class living rooms.
Jacqui continues: ‘I have two friends, both women my age, who use it on a regular basis for recreational purposes. One of them likes to do it just sitting at home, watching the TV. She says it relaxes her. Each to their own. It’s probably healthier than downing a bottle of wine every evening – I know plenty of women my age who do that.’ “
The mental image of my mum sucking on a balloon of laughing gas while watching Emmerdaleis fucking GOLD.
2. THIS PICTURE AND CAPTION
You know what else has been around since the 18th century? Pasteurised milk. And potatoes. And water. AND HAVE THESE CAUSED MAJOR ISSUES IN OUR SOCIETY?!
No, they have not. So I don’t see the connection, unless you’re just listing things that are old, or mentioning those other, wayyyyy more dangerous drugs as scare tactics.
1. LET’S LOOK AGAIN AT THOSE CHILLING FINAL WORDS
"And there is the rub: like our old foe alcohol, laughing gas is nothing new. As far back as the 18th century it was popular with the aristocracy.
But so were opium and cocaine, and we all know the destruction wrought by those drugs once they seeped into our society.”
Fuck me, that’s pretty scary. If only science had some way of finding out if laughing gas was as dangerous as opium or cocaine. I guess only time will tell…