Sunday, March 12, 2017

D.L.A. ending, P.I.P. being applied for.

Well, the P.I.P. form is almost complete. I would like to thank both the lady from the Citizen's Advice Bureau and Richard Crow for their help. I have been given a covering letter and Care Plan from the Long Term Care Team to accompany the claim - to whom I am deeply grateful.

However, this process is highly stressful. What do I need PIP for? Well, the biggest problem with schizophrenia is that it makes salaried work very difficult.

Whilst working in 1999, I had an episode, my G.P. gave me a sick note with "Mental instability" on it. Within a month I was made redundant. My next job lasted until 2001 whereupon I was again made redundant. This time I had my first admission into a Psychiatric Hospital - about three months in St George's. It is a bit of a quandary, isn't it?

Fortunately I have hit on a compromise - being a part-time volunteer for Contact:-
  • I.T Volunteer – tuition, support and acquisition of technical equipment.
  • Run a fortnightly “Hearing Voices Group” for people affected by this.
  • Act as a proof reader of Contact’s publications – newsletter etc.
  • When things are quiet, I improve my skills via books and a laptop running Linux. I am renowned for my intense study and note taking of programming text books. Whilst doing that, I sometimes have a background task – making the cups of tea or coffee or staffing the phones.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Brexit

Britain's advisory referendum was intended to tell Parliament the (voting) public's point of view on this question:-

"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"

As it turns out, there were a lot of lies distributed by both Leave and Remain.

In particular, I saw the now infamous Big Red Bus with this message in huge writing on the Bus:-

"We send the EU £350 million a week lets fund our NHS instead Vote Leave"

As it turns out, the above figure was a lie. I did not trust it and voted Remain.

However, I have discovered a few interesting things about the EU. They have a website about myths about the EU (European Union).

Immigration was cited as a key problem. Did some Googling and found a page about Free Movement of Persons across the EU and found this quote:- "For stays of over three months: the right of residence is subject to certain conditions. EU citizens and their family members — if not working — must have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay. Union citizens do not need residence permits, although Member States may require them to register with the authorities. Family members of Union citizens who are not nationals of a Member State must apply for a residence permit, valid for the duration of their stay or a five-year period."

So, what next? I am taking every opportunity to oppose Brexit.

I am a Snowflake - 16,141,241 of us voted to Remain. If you are an Exiter, take this statistic as opposition to your stance.

I think the main desire of Exit voters was to vote for change. Both the UK and EU must change. UK voters have endured stagnant wages, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and austerity measures.

The Letter

The Dreaded Letter has arrived - my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) is coming to an end and I will have to apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To Quote Jo Cox

In the light of Trump's coronation and the ongoing Brexit civil war, I'd like to quote Jo Cox, the MP assassinated by an Evil man.

"We Are Far More United Than The Things That Divide Us’

For more information, see this Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Huffington Post

I've been reading a lot of articles on the Internet today. The Huffington Post has an interesting article here about what might happen about Brexit and Trump next year.

Here is my favourite quote from it:-

The people who see that open societies, being nice to other people, not being racist, not fighting wars, is a better way to live, they generally end up losing these fights. They don’t fight dirty. They are terrible at appealing to the populace. They are less violent, so end up in prisons, camps, and graves. We need to beware not to become divided (see: Labour party), we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic, and counter the populist messages of passion and anger with our own similar messages. We need to understand and use social media.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nice surprise

Well, Ally, a friend in Contact is running a Creative Writing course in Contact on Wednesday's. So I've been attending it. I was asked to provide something as part of a Creative Writing contest. I gave an excerpt from this blog and I came in joint second place - with a £10 book token prize. All I have to do know is decide how to spend it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ruminations on schizophrenia


Schizophrenia has positive symptoms (strange name – they include delusions, confused speech and thoughts, all sorts of hallucinations) and negative symptoms (lack of emotion, lethargy). For more details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

Well, schizophrenics eventually stumble across coping strategies – things that can help make life with schizophrenia a bit more bearable. One of my strategies is sleep. However, that tends to eat into the day so just over a week ago I started getting out of bed early. Discovered that you can’t change sleeping habits just by deciding to do so – I decided to bribe myself to get out of bed by promising a cup of tea, porridge and a DVD – but it is an ongoing fight. Discovered that you need to choose your battles wisely – by all means, get up early on some weekdays – but for days where an early rise isn’t quite so important, have a modest lie-in.

Another coping strategies for me is music. I find it helps suppress me from hearing voices and from having “mind’s eye” visions. I have been having a disturbing vision where parts of my body turn completely black, a light blue hexagonal pattern covers those parts and then they disintegrate into nothingness. Is there any wonder why I sleep a lot and listen to music? People with vision are sought after in organisations however, if you tell them you have visions, they are not so keen. Another well known strategy is distraction. So I read computing books and test pre-release versions of lubuntu Linux. It keeps my brain active and healthy.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A letter to the EU president.

Dear President Juncker,

I am a 47 year old British citizen and one of the 48% who voted to Remain.

I also have schizophrenia, am living in the community, and have experienced the dreadful cuts to NHS mental health services over the past few years made by the Conservative government. I have had friends who self harmed and some who are no longer with use. I have a blog, http://schizopanic.blogspot.co.uk/ that I have used to  document my experiences.

Whilst I am unable to hold down a salaried position, I find that if I keep learning things, it helps keep the schizophrenia under control. I attend a drop in centre run by http://contactmorpeth.org.uk/, a charity set up to help people with mental health problems, their carers or relatives. I help out on occasion, doing what is necessary.

I feel that whilst not perfect, the EU is worth saving. I voted for the UK to remain – with the intent to vote for reform. Yes, it is nice having two places for the parliament to meet – Strasbourg and Brussels. But it is hopelessly inefficient and expensive. Surely give the advances made in Information Technology, you could have some people work in Strasbourg and some in Brussels and have the two parliaments linked by some kind of video link?

In the UK, It is hard to get good information about the EU. However, some of the EU’s policies have been unhelpful. It would be helpful if the EU developed a website which could be used by the population of Europe to see what the EU is doing. They should be able to see what is going right. They should be able to see what is going to plan and tell their MEP to vote/lobby for change.

Also, MEP elections get scant coverage in the UK’s news organisations. As a result, we end up with people like Nigel Farage, who’s behaviour in the European Parliament has been both unprofessional, appalling and hypocritical.

The EU Referendum in the UK was a fraud. The “Brexit” camp drove a big red bus around the country with the phrase “We send the EU £350 million a week let’s fund our NHS instead”. This was proven to be a fraudulent claim. Immigration was a factor, as well. A significant portion of our population feels that immigrants are unfairly affecting the job market – driving wages down. Also, the economics theories pursued by our government assume the private sector will invest in new jobs and this just doesn’t happen on the scale needed. We have a concept called “zero-hours contracts” where people have to sign up with an employer and only work if the employer needs the staff. This is a disgrace in modern Europe.

Refugees are a challenge. When they arrive in a country, they need housing, help and feeding. Their children need teaching. Simply greeting refugees into Europe is not good enough. Potentially, new towns will have to be developed to accommodate them, plans made to make this work and given a sensible budget to make things work.

Despite the tempting claims made by Brexit, a full 48% voted to say within the EU. This means that nearly half the people who voted wanted to stay in Europe, despite the flaws in Europe.

I am writing to beg of you and your fellow European counter-parts, please don’t write us off. Please, find a way to let the half of the UK who want to remain EU citizens to do so. We share your beliefs and values and we want to be an active, positive, contributing part of the EU. Give us a life line, an option, anything. Please.

Best wishes,

Ian Bruntlett