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Mental health

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Mental health

Post  Hieronymus on 2017-09-22, 12:22 am

I thought this was a powerful and moving article in the Chronicle tonight, written by Carrie the wife of Clarke Carlisle. Reading this I got quite emotional at the insight into the heart rending pain and anguish felt by the loved ones of those experiencing a mental health crisis. I hope and pray Carrie and Clarke, and all affected by depression and mental illness, get the support and professional help they need to heal and find the peace they seek, and deserve.


Clarke Carlisle's wife speaks for the first time about former footballer's disappearance

Clarke Carlisle's Geordie wife Carrie on how a terrible week has given her a new insight into the depression Clarke and so many others suffer with
By Carrie Carlisle
20:00, 21 SEP 2017
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Clarke Carlisle with his wife Carrie Carlisle (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

One week ago former professional footballer Clarke Carlisle, who has a history of mental illness, was reported missing in Manchester. He was found later that day in Liverpool and admitted to hospital. Here, his wife Carrie, a Geordie who writes a weekly column for our print title The Journal, tells in her own words about her terrible week.

It’s hard to speak my heart. When it is all pain. All loss.
I’ve lived my whole life, blissfully unaware, ignorant to the concept of authentic suffering.
Until this week.
And it is only now, now that I am feeling my way around the edge of this total darkness, that I’m beginning to understand what it is to dwell in despair.
Yet, still. I cannot fathom how people do it. How they get out of bed. Slip on a mask. Pretend to function. Until they are allowed to crawl back to the nothingness of sleep once more.
I could never fully comprehend why people call themselves sufferers of mental illness. Until now.
It’s all so clear. Blind terror. Fear that is fathomless in its depth. Relentless anguish that knows no respite.
Yet still, throughout all of this, I am aware that I cannot ever truly grasp it.
This is the true horror. Realising that no matter how bone-achingly terrible I have felt this week, I know one day, these feelings will pass. Because, despite the appalling emotions I have run the gauntlet of these past days, I am mentally well. My brain chemistry balanced. Whether by the grace of god, or just the luck of the draw. My mind remains sound.
I still count my blessings. My husband is alive. My unborn baby is alive. Both of these facts are my solace. The life raft I cling to when I find myself in the aphotic zone.
The sheer emptiness of my house is overwhelming. I am deafened by its silence. Everything feels wrong and displaced.
Our furniture and belongings, like props on the set of a play. Abandoned by its cast mid-scene.
I have come to understand that the very definition of faith is believing before I see. And, until I do see better days, somewhere deep down, my faith will keep hope alive.
In the meantime, I sit with these terrible feelings. As far inside the pain as I can go. Like an emotional tourist, knowing it’s somewhere I’m destined to leave soon. Even though the memories of it will stay with me forever.
It all feels so alien to me, this gnawing agony.
I know nothing. Which is to say, that for the first time ever, I can properly glimpse the everything that brings countless people to their knees.
How do we endure it? The realisation that, as we walk this Earth, so many others stagger, battered by the sheer weight of their cerebral affliction. How do they survive it?
Marriage is to put a heart into someone’s hands and hope they are careful with it. Mental healthcare is far more risky. To do the same, but with a mind.
And when that care is not adequate, the results are the reality my family now finds itself in.
At night I am sleepless during the ungodliest of hours.
Fortunately aware, that no matter how dark it is right now, soon it will be daylight.
But, for the first time, I truly appreciate that there are those for whom this daylight never reaches.
It’s hard to know what is next. When one foot in front of the other is all there is, for any of us.
But it is vital, that as we make these small steps. That we stop, take a moment, stretch out our hand into the abyss and take as many people, back to the light with us, as we can.

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Re: Mental health

Post  canary-dave on 2017-09-22, 4:11 am

Thanks for sharing that H, it is both frightening and enlightening in equal measures. It would appear that she is suffering at least as much, if not more than her husband, she must want to lock him up to keep him safe.

Brave and courageous lady. He's lucky to have her!

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Re: Mental health

Post  cyprussyd on 2017-09-22, 9:12 am

Mental health, the illness that many think they understand but few do, the forgotten illness and still the one many don't talk about, it still carries a stigma. In my youth and probably yours it was the looney who sometimes ended up in the looney bin, Winterton of the County where I live, both now closed.

Many still associate mental health problems with danger, he/she  must be a nutter, he/she is mad and for that reason and the fact many still see the illness as a sign of weakness the sufferer often suffers alone.

Mental health is an illness that dictates how the sufferer and those close live their lives, normal social events are missed because the sufferer wants to go  but simply cant, the ordeal is a step to far and that places a very large cloud of guilt over the sufferer, "I have let you down again" and no amount of reassurance can lift that cloud.

Carrie does not suffer from mental health issues herself but because she loves her husband she faces those issues every single day of her life and I can tel you many of her family will ask, "Why" because try as they may they simply don't understand. Many in the end simply walk away leaving the dark world you live in smaller and you become more and more reclusive.

Many with a mental health issue live solitary lives because of people who don't understand,"If I don't let them in they can't hurt me".

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Re: Mental health

Post  vinkel on 2017-09-22, 10:03 am

Being a regular visitor to a care home i have seen first hand the variety of problems around. And in this particular home i am indebted to the professionalism and dedication of the carers. Really wonderful people.

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Re: Mental health

Post  Silvers on 2017-09-22, 6:15 pm

Yes, there area lot of people suffering from dark times ....

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Re: Mental health

Post  sunderpitt on 2017-09-22, 6:47 pm

There is always a lot of press about the provision of mental health services and lots of promises of facilities but very little actually happens. IIRC some high court judge went ballistic about the lack of provision. Some police officers despair cos they end up picking up the slack.
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Re: Mental health

Post  Nostalgic on 2017-09-22, 8:51 pm

sunderpitt wrote:There is always a lot of press about the provision of mental health services and lots of promises of facilities but very little actually happens. IIRC some high court judge went ballistic about the lack of provision. Some police officers despair cos they end up picking up the slack.
Another legacy traceable to the The Iron Lady who closed many of the specialised hospitals and placed suffering people into "halfway houses" to be supervised by an already stretched locally authority.

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Re: Mental health

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