Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Don't call me crazy: Part 3

The final episode of Don't call me crazy was on last night
I'm sorry that it's over now as I feel I've become so involved with the characters and I wonder how they are doing
I think this episode was the best of the 3
I'm not quite sure why
Maybe because the kids were getting used to having the cameras around
Maybe because it focused more on the kids characters and personalities rather than highlighting dramatic incidents
What ever the reason was I think it gave a good insight in to what goes on in the minds of people with mental health issues

This week the show concentrated mostly on the boys but also followed up Beth's story
First we met Matty
Matty was 17
He hears voices
One in particular which tells him that someone is going to kill him on his 18th birthday which was fast approaching
He was convinced he was going to die and was pre empting this by trying to take his own life before it happeneD
Can you imagine that?
Really believing that someone was going to kill you
He must have been terrified out of his mind
It doesn't bear thinking about
We saw his room where he had written down all the things he heard in his head
These voices seemed to plague him and we saw him sitting in the corridor banging his head and telling them to shut up

As his birthday grew closer and closer Matty became increasingly anxious
Also he wasn't sure where he was going to be as the unit were trying to get him transferred to an adult unit
In the end he was moved and turned 18 there
That will be a big adjustment moving from the adolescent services to the adult one and I hope he gets the support that he needs

Then we met George
George was described as being as talented rugby player who had won a sports scholarship to a prestigious boarding school in Cumbria
But since moving from his home in Essex he had fallen in to a deep depression and had tried to kill himself
He spoke very openly about his illness and was a very likeable chap
He clicked with Beth straight and you could tell they liked each other as they seemed to spent a lot of time hitting and throwing things at each other
He seemed very mature for his age and made the difficult decision not to return to boarding school as he felt that he would have more support at home

I thought it was so brave of the two boys to speak out
Especially George as he would have been in very male environment being a rugby player at boarding school
Men aren't seen as emotional creatures and are often told to 'suck it up' and 'be a man'
It easy to forget that they suffer with mental health issues just as much as girls and are more likely to commit suicide
I know in this country there is a huge problem with young male suicide
I think this particular episode will really help young men out there who are struggling
I hope it does anyway

Maybe these young people are signs that mental illness doesn't have as much of a stigma as it once had
I know it's still there but it is programmes like this and young people speaking out and giving mental illness a face that will really change the way people think about these issues
It shows that it can happen to anyone
And it doesn't mean you are crazy
It doesn't mean you are violent
It means you need some help and we need to come to a place where we feel comfortable asking for that help without fear of judgement or ridicule or being locked up

This episode also followed Beth as she prepared to leave the unit
After 6 long months of ups and down
Highs and lows
Being sectioned
And lots of tears, she was finally told that she was well enough to go home
She did have a little slip in her final days and self harmed but I think that was understandable
She must have been feeling anxious about leaving
I know any time I was leaving was always a shaky time
I wanted to leave but I was also terrified
Beth let the camera film her being weighed and we were told her weight
I thought this was amazingly brave of her
I think for us being weighed is an incredibly intimate thing
It's like bearing your soul
It was definitely a sign of her getting well
One thing that did worry me though was her  reaction when her sleeping meds were stopped
She became very upset and I wondered why
I think it concerned me because I get the same way when ever my meds are adjusted
And I for me that is partly due to my addiction
It didn't specifically say why she was so upset but I hope that she wasn't becoming dependent on them
At last her final day came
She was elated to be going home at long last but I could tell she was nervous
It's a huge adjustment leaving treatment
Going from having 24 hour support to being on your own is difficult
And the chance of relapse can be high
But it said that Beth was doing well even if she was struggling to maintain her weight
She was also told that she could return to her beloved dancing
I was glad of this
I didn't think it made any sense to take away the one thing that brought her joy

In this episode I think it gave the most realistic picture of what life is like in a place like this
It showed the kids messing around and laughing a lot
And there are a lot of laughs
There are many tears too but a lot of laughs
After all they are kids and kids want to have fun and get up to mischief
I liked that they concentrated to their personalities
It showed that we are much more than our illness
Underneath the labels and diagnosis, we are just regular people
We just happen to have mental health issues
Some people have diabetes or CF or a bad heart
Some people have the problem in their minds
It's no different
So why are we so afraid of mental illness?
Maybe it's because we only hear the horror stories of when someone is violent
But these are rare cases
Most of the time you wouldn't know that someone had a mental health issue
You would only know if they told you
We do not stand out
We do not act crazy
We are human too

Did you see this episode?
What did you think?


  1. Y'know, on the topic of men and mental health issues... I think it's a subject that's being breached. We currently have a campaign running in Aus by BeyondBlue, the foundation for depression, called 'Man Therapy', which encourages men to reach out in their own way (the TV ads are quite funny, actually). I also saw on the news last night that a famous footballer has come out saying he's battling personal demons including depression, a long history of sexual abuse, and having witnessed a murder and not being able to say anything. Mental illness can impact anyone, and I hope things like this encourage other men to reach out for help.

    Thank you for posting these reviews Ruby. One day I'll get around to watching them all!

    Much love <3 xx

  2. It's true Ruby you are not your illness... as I am not my past...

    We can both overcome this, I have faith in both of us. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am that you and Katie commented on my blog... I have done a 180 degree change since then. Thank you so much...

  3. Can't wait to watch it! I'm sad there are only 3 episodes. I thought the show was really well done and it gave a lot of insight into mental illness.
    I think people are afraid of any kind of illness in general. When someone tells us they have cancer, we scrunch ourselves up a little because we feel bad and also because we're scared for them. And somehow, a little for ourselves.

  4. Can you write a letter to the show telling them what a difference they made for you and how much you care for all the characters. Maybe they would organize a meet and greet, you just never know!!!!

  5. I think the men's issue is starting to be breached, the BBC also did a documentary this week about young footballers and suicide which was really interesting you should take a look xx

  6. I hate that part about reality shows :(

    Hmmm I wonder if someone will give George a copy of 'All Blacks Don't Cry', Kirwan was in a similar environment with his depression.

    Love love love you <3


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