Sunday, 28 October 2012

I am not a loner

Way back in the dim and distant past, as it is now, when I was in my final year at Secondary School, a report written by my Career's Teacher said I was a "Loner" and rather "Fussy". A friend of my mum's said I was a loner in discussion with my mum in the mid-1990's. I accepted this. I repeatedly stated myself that I was a natural loner - in discussion with other people and on my website. I thought it was gospel and set in stone. Now I realise this wasn't the case and that I and others who thought it about me were so wrong. This belief persisted until about five years ago but now I no longer am bothered if people still believe it.

I now realise that I am not and never was a loner. If I did appear to be one, it was just that I was very careful who I socialised and mixed with, as I am today, and who I trusted, as I do today. I always go by my instincts, and if a person or situation doesn't feel right or if I don't like the look of either, I avoid them.

I take the view that every single stranger I meet could be potential shithouse until I assess them. I like to work people out and weigh them up. You might ask how I weigh people up? I am rubbish at reading other people and their body language. This has got me into trouble throughout my life but I wouldn't say I am totally clueless because I understand the basics of it even though it does not come naturally or easily to me. However, whilst I am not very good at naturally reading people, I feel I am very good at assessing individuals. I go by gut feeling and vibes which I get about a person or situation. I might not be able to tell you why I dislike a person or a situation, or why someone is an individual to avoid. They might not have ever done anything to me, but I am very rarely wrong.

Why is it that some NT's who can read people like books are often blinded to the faults of others, tricked by or taken in by people and I rarely am, if ever? I don't follow crowds or am misled by people or causes. I don't befriend or move into the circles of shithouses, arseholes, dickheads, thieves, thugs, criminals, Heroin Addicts, hooligans, loudmouths and generally unsavoury characters. I don't want to know that kind of person let alone have them in social circle. Anyone I befriend is a law-abiding, civilised person who treats others how they would want to be treated. Perhaps I have this ability or quality to compensate for my defects in areas that come natural to NT's?

There aren't a lot of people in life I trust 100%. I don't let just anybody come into the inner sanctum of my life and anything or anyone that disrupts or threatens to disrupt the stability of my existence is ejected without a bat of an eyelid. I do trust an handful of people, such as close family members and a handful of close friends to that level. The rest get to know what I want them to know. There are people I trust in varying degrees. Some I will tell a lot of things to but not everything. There are another group of people I would give some information to, and there are others I would not trust as far as I could throw a 80-stone person.

I never put personal details on Facebook or give any information out concerning my private life. You are asking for trouble if you do that. In 2010 one of my Facebook contacts announced to all and sundry that she was going abroad on holiday. I emailed her privately and told her to take it off because someone could break into her house. She said she would be fine. What happened? The week after she went, she got burgled. People have announced on Facebook that they are throwing parties and all sorts of strangers have turned up. I wouldn't let anyone who I didn't know into my home.

That said, regarding people I am close to, I try to be totally loyal to them and would almost die for them, let alone help in any situation in life that they might find themselves having difficulty with. I do try to help a lot of people out, unless I dislike them, but more so those I am close to, who I try to stick by times good and bad. Whereas I can be totally uncaring about anybody I dislike, if you gain my trust you gain everything you can it 100% and everything with myself.

I am fine in social groups or situations with 10 to 15 individuals around me but I get mentally and sometimes emotionally overwhelmed and overloaded, or even confused if a huge amount of people are around or if a lot of noise is going off at the same time. That is one aspect of my Asperger's I hate, but there is nothing I can do about it.

So never think that someone is a loner because they are alone constantly or a billy-no-mates or unpopular if they are NOT an objectionable or unpleasant person. I know I am not a loner.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Nobody has Paedophile, Rapist or Serial Killer branded on their forehead

This month the truth has finally emerged about the late Jimmy Savile, the former Radio One DJ, who worked for the station for over 20 years until 1989, who hosted Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It, between 1974 and 1994, where childen wrote up and asked if he would fix it so they could fulfill an ambition of theirs, be it going up into the sky in an hot air balloon, or Roller Skating or meeting a famous person.

A friend of mine from the 1980's and 1990's wrote to Savile asking if he could have football lessons with Kenny Dalglish, the former player and manager. I can't remember what year it was, but it was around the time when Liverpool FC were winning the FA Cup, League title, League Cup, Eurovision Song Contest, Grand National and the Boat Race, year in year out. He never got a reply. As the allegations finally were disclosed earlier this month he said "After all those years of disappointment, I am pleased Jim didn't fix it for me!!!".

The revelations, that Savile was almost certainly a predatory paedophile, with 300 people saying that he sexually assaulted or abused them, across the UK, over a 40 year period, beginning around 1958, show three things. That nobody has paedophile branded on their forehead and that you never say you really know someone and that you can't go on appearances. The public were taken in by Savile's image of being a "Man of the people", as he was a working-class lad from Leeds made good, a former wrestler and coal miner who worked his way to fame and they were taken in by his charity work, at St James's Hospital in Leeds, Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injuries Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where he had a room, and Guys Hospital in London. There he had easy access to patients who he could abuse, the mentally ill were victims as well as children.

I personally never suspected him of being a paedophile but I always felt that, as well as being eccentric and odd, he was hiding something. That you never really knew the real him. That he was wearing a mask. Now we know what it was, and didn't it work? Prime Ministers, Royalty, and other celebrities were all taken him and his public image. Not many members of the public suspected he was a paedophile apart from the victims.

What does a paedophile or an abuser look like? Nobody has paedophile or child molester stamped or branded on their forehead. Neither does a rapist or a serial killer. A paedophile looks like anybody else. Society has to got to get rid of this stereotype that a paedophile is an homosexual or a weirdo, loner, a drifter, a misfit, or oddball, who is unemployable or doesn't work, has no friends, who is introverted or has problems interacting with others, who lives in a rundown grotty flat, is unable to form relationships with people, or that a paedophile is some dirty, leering old man with a comb over or a wig wearing a Mac. Yes Savile never married. Yes he never had children. Yes he was eccentric or an oddball but so what? He was popular, he was rich, he was famous, he was successful.

A paedophile can be a Priest, as has been seen with Catholic Church's priests sexual abuse of young boys for many years on end, until the silence was broken in the last few years and the truth came to light. A paedophile can be an homosexual, hetrosexual, black, white, Asian, a Doctor, or a Judge, or a Laywer, or an Accountant, or a Teacher, or an HGV driver, or a binman or someone on the dole.. or a former Top of the Pops presenter.

A paedophile can never marry. A paedophile might be the guy who looks like a member of the perfect model of how a family should be. Mr married, the man who has two or three children, the man with a good job and a company car, or a mortgage. He might not abuse his own children but does other peoples. This stereotype that misfits are criminals or abuse young children almost certainly led to the disgraceful and wrongful conviction of Stefan Kiszko in 1976, of Leslie Molseed. The actual killer was a married man with children who was a comic book dealer. This belief also created the suspicion that Colin Stagg murdered Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in 1992, which persisted for many years, until Robert Napper was finally convicted of her murder.

Though it is rarer, a paedophile can be a woman as well.

It is too late to prosecute Savile now, of course, dead people can't be tried or can't speak, so in the legal world you can never say he did this, and to be fair, some opportunists will have come out, hoping to make some money or for a quick payout, but for me, too many have said it and they have come from too far and wide across the UK for ALL of this to be lies. What convinced me of Savile's guilt what his defence of Gary Glitter after the conviction. Who on earth defends Gary Glitter nowadays?

To stop distress which might occur to other people who have family or friends who are buried in the same cemetery as Savile, I think it would be for the best if he was dug up, cremated and his ashes scattered down a toilet somewhere. I believe though that it is never too late for someone to face the consequences of their crimes. If anybody was involved in what he did, then they should be prosecuted, no matter how rich, no matter how famous, no matter how powerful or no matter how long ago it was. That also applies to anybody who covered up for him or turned a blind eye and knew what he was doing ..... be it 10 years ago or 40 years ago.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Being Detached can cut you off and help you

In many situations in life, I believe it is for the best if you don't get too attached, and hold back to an extent. That applies to practically any situation you might find yourself in. I don't generally trust people, and am naturally suspicious and wary of individuals I don't know. That can fade or reduce if I either like them or if I get to know them well, but I have to get to know a person first, so I can assess them and weigh them up and make a considered judgement.

By being detached to an extent, for me, at least, it ensures that you are not blind to people's faults. Whether that person is your partner, family, close friends, acquaintances or someone who is in the public eye. There are people I can't stand the sight of and I hope I never see again if I live to be 120 years of age, and on the other hand, people I care for very much or feel totally at ease in their company, but with regards to both categories, I am not blinded to their faults.

I have seen situations where mother's, in particular, have grown too attached to their son or girlfriends partner, praising them to the hilt, glorifying them and their qualities and then have been very disappointed or upset or wounded if the relationship has broken down or if the pair have split up. When that has happened, in a few incidences, the mother has then started criticising the person who their son or daughter split with, or even has said that they never really liked them in the first place!!! I think it is better to expect that anything can happen, because lets face it, there is nothing certain in this life, apart from the fact that you are going to be die. I have seen marriages where two people have married, and everybody has said they were meant for each other and it was meant to be and similar words to that effect, and they have split up after 3 or 4 years. So again, it is better in such situations to hold back, reserve judgement and view the event in a more detached manner.

When you are in a relationship with someone, be it a gay or straight relationship, of course you should love them, and be caring, dedicated and attentive to the person you are in the relationship with, or persons, if you lead a double life, along with their needs. If the relationship is not working you get out. I don't believe in cheating. If it is worth cheating it is worth splitting up. However, I think it is not healthy to give your 100% because if the relationship ever does split or break up, then the hurt or pain of the break up might be less, or at least not as severe as it would otherwise be.

In an employment situation, not being too attached to a person or persons can be important. Such positions include being a football manager. If a player has come to the end of his career, be it through loss of form, or injury, or lack of fitness, or you have found a better player for that position, or a young trainee isn't good enough, and you have to break the news to him that you are letting him go for that reason, then you have to have some degree of detachment. If you get too attached to the player or players, then that job is going to be very difficult for you to do.

Being too attached is no good if you are a manager or a boss in a job. It is also no good if you are a Doctor, and have to tell someone they have a terminal illness. That must be an horrid thing to do in most circumstances. I would hate having to do to it but you have to have an element of detachment. Same as being a nurse. Just think of all the difficult or upsetting situations you are going to encounter with people are ill, but you must have a degree of detachment and self-control to be in order to carry out your duties. You have to leave your work at work and not bring it home with you.

I feel that being slightly detached is important if you are interviewing criminals or murderers. When you are dealing with people who have committted horrific, dreadful, inhuman crimes, like some serial killers or torturers, or paedophiles, then a lot of people's instincts would be to bash them, or strange the person they are interviewing or lose their temper at least. As awful as the crimes which are being described to you are, in that situation, you cannot be too attached. Same as being a barrister in court, defending an evil criminal or murderer.

Despite what I have said, I don't mean being void or without human feelings whatsoever. Of course you must keep them. I think it is important to be sympathetic and compassionate for other people and situations, particularly towards human suffering, or those with disabilities, illnesses, conditiosn or the less fortunate or towards someone who is going through difficult times. It could be just that holding back to a small extent might help you to manage better some situations in life. I find that if you view issues or subjects or life from the approach I have suggested, or at least try to be objective, then you make more rational judgements and are ruled by your head and less by your heart.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

World Mental Health Day Part 2

How do you challenge people's myths about mental illness? Education is one way, and personal experience is another. Challenging the many myths about mental illness can be a good way to get people thinking and talking...

Here are many of the myths commonly stated about mental illness, and underneath, the reality of that myth.

Myth: Some people with mental illness never recover. Reality: Some people with mental illness can and do recover. Others cannot. It depends on the severity of the illness.

Myth: People with mental illnesses are either dangerous, violent and unpredictable. Reality: People with mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence. Of course some are violent, but then so are members of the non-mentally ill people. They aren't any more violent than any other group of people.

Myth: It's best to leave people alone if they develop a mental health problem. Reality: Most people with mental health problems want to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues, it can be a great help in their recovery.

Myth: People aren't discriminated against because of mental health problems. Reality: Nine out of ten people with mental health problems widespread experience stigma and discrimination.

Myth: Mental Health problems are the same as General Learning Disabilities. Reality: They are two seperate conditions. General Learning Disabilities are pervasive and affect one's ability to learn, comprehend and take in new information. The majority of people with Mental Health problems don't suffer such problems. Some people with Mental Health problems are capable of going to University or higher education with the right support, though that said, some people with General Learning Disabilities can, and do, suffer from mental health problems.

Myth: Mental Health problems never occur in children. Reality: Conditions such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar usually develops and starts at some point between the ages of 16 and the mid 20's, but depression, anxiety and OCD can occur in children at ages under 16. About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time. So never say to a young person "Depression? Depression? at your age? Depression? You shouldn't know what it means.. you should be out there, having the time of your life". As if it discriminates with age either.

Myth: People with Schizophrenia have split personalities or two personalities. Reality: People with Schizophrenia frequently experience delusions of grandeur or persecution, auditory or visual hallucinations, thought disorder, and loss of interest in life. The split is a split from reality.

Other information about mental health shows that: 1) Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women. 2) Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population. 3) Mental health problems cost the country an estimated £77billion a year in healthcare, benefits and lost productivity. 4) Fewer than four in ten employers would consider employing someone with a history of mental health problems, compared to more than six in ten for candidates with physical disability. 5) Only about 20% of people with severe mental health problems and around 50% of those with less serious problems are in paid employment, yet 80% want to work. 6) People with serious mental health problems die on average 10 years younger than other people. This is because of the greater risk of physical health problems and poorer access to healthcare. 7) Most people say they would not want anyone to know if they developed a mental illness.

There could well be a correlation between levels of mental illness and physical ill health, regarding how affluent an area is. Levels of mental health could be lower, for example, in areas such as Kensington and Chelsea, (Where the life expectancy is the highest in the UK), Alderley Edge, or Harpenden, than in areas which have high unemployment, deprivation and poverty, and associated social problems of drug addiction and crime.

On a personal level, I have suffered from anxiety, and it has plagued me all my life, but it depends on where I am if I suffer from it. In some situations I suffer from it. In others I don't. One of my Secondary School reports stated that I was "Very nervous". Another said I had "No confidence". I am not a confident person in social situations but I am if I feel strongly on a subject or issue or if I know about something. wouldn't, alternatively, get anxious if speaking to an audience about my condition. I take the view that it is structured. I am talking about what I want to. There aren't going to be random comments or remarks thrown up by others, and in situations like that it is like "I am here... you are there. You have got your space and I have got mine".

I get anxious when a lot of people are around me at once, or if I am in a social situation like that, as well as mentally overloaded and confused. Other situations which bring on anxiety are when I go to new places, beforehand. However, once I am settled in, I usually am fine, if I feel comfortable.

I don't make friends with people easily but the friendships I do develop tend to be close and long-lasting. That said, anything or anyone that threatens to disrupt the stability and equilibrium of my life is out and I won't bat an eyelid in doing so.

My anxiety is also demonstrated when I walk up and down repeatedly, talk or mutter to myself, rubbmy hair or shake my legs or tap my feet or fiddle with my belt or talk a great deal very quickly. I have chewed pens and pencils since I was 4 years old. I also get anxious if I am meeting someone and they turn up late without contacting me to tell me why they are going to be late or to let me know beforehand that they are going to be late. I get anxious and agitated when I am late for something, because I feel like I am letting the person down who I have arranged to meet, particularly if there is no way of contacting them.

Mental Health has also affected one or two of my family members in the past. Nobody to my knowledge has suffered from a Psychotic mental illness in my family but my Grandmother's (on my mum's side) Great-Grandfather, William Burrows, died of a heart attack whilst in Wadsley Lunatic Asylum on 27th May 1910, aged 76. Problems with nerves occurred with my dad's dad, who died in January 1992, and one or two members of my dad's side of the family.

It was suggested that I could be Schizophrenic when I was awaiting my diagnosis. I should have said that I am not Schizophrenic because I hear voices telling me I am not.

So, tomorrow, if you get the time or chance, think of people suffering from mental health problems, and if you have the time, maybe sit down and learn about them. Maybe if you do have prejudices against mental illness or people suffering from it, you could read about it in greater detail. As stated, one day they could affect the life of a close family member, your children, your parents, a close friend, or yourself.

World Mental Health Day Part 1

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 10th October 2012, is World Mental Health Day. Like myself, Asperger's Syndrome and Autism, Cancer or many other kinds of illnesses and death itself, mental illness is no respecter of skin colour, ethnic origin, wealth, social background, educational or life achievements or area where one lives. It does not discriminate, though I would say there are numerous causes of it. Your DNA and genes or at least a genetic predisposition is one deciding factor. What has happened to you in life such as a traumatic event can be another factor, or it can be environmental, or it can be caused by heavy alcohol consumption, as alcohol is a depressant on the nervous system, or heavy smoking of Cannabis, as that can cause Psychosis, or several other factors and issues.

Many people believe that people with Mental Health problems are dangerous or violent. This prejudicial belief or fear has been reinforced, and aided and abetted by headlines in the national media such as "BONKERS BRUNO LOCKED UP", "KNIFE WIELDING SCHIZO JAILED FOR MURDER" or "CRAZED SCHIZO KILLS 3". However, why don't they also publish, when it happens, "KNIFE WIELDING PSYCHOPATH JAILED FOR MURDER" or simply, "KNIFE WIELDING ORDINARY PERSON LOCKED UP"?. Perhaps because it is less overly dramatic and is less likely to sell newspapers.

Despite these myths, research indicates that those being treated for mental health problems are no more violent or dangerous than the general population. If anything, they are more likely to be the victims of violence, especially self-harm. Everybody who suffers from mental health problems is an individual, just like you and I, and you will get people who are violent who do suffer from mental health problems, but the violence might arise because of a personality disorder, or simply their nature or temperament. In some cases, such behaviour could have been seen before the person fell ill. In fact, alcohol or drug consumption are bigger contributing factors to general violence than mental illness.

Mental illness is not rare. About one in every hundred people will develop schizophrenia at some time in their lives and about one in fifty people will develop bipolar disorder. Overall, one in four people will experience some form of mental health problem at some time in their lives, which represents a quarter of the British population, or about 15 million people.

What does the term "Mental illness" mean? For me, the definition is a variety or wide spectrum of illness or conditions. It can be defined as being illnesses which I have already stated such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia, but also depression, either acute or chronic, or reactionary, because of a sad or traumatic event in one's life. Psychosis is a form of mental illness, where the patient is out of touch with reality with their thoughts or beliefs, but doesn't know or realise or understand that they are out of touch with reality.

Under illnesses defined as psychotic, there is Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Paranoid Psychosis, and a condition called Schizoaffective disorder, which is a combination of Schizophrenia and Bipolar but there is not enough symptoms of either for it to be classed as that. Mental health problems aren't solely about being out of touch with reality. You can suffer from neurosis, where the individual knows what s/he is doing is wrong or irrational, but can't stop it. This type of behaviour occurs with people who have OCD, as well as Anxiety or Depression.