'Recovery Heroes' Ch15 Gordon McManus

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Information about 'Recovery Heroes' Ch15 Gordon McManus
Health & Medicine

Published on September 21, 2014

Author: SUnarratives

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Summary of Gordon's chapter in this compendium, in which he discusses communism in the UK, Brixton, developing psychosis, and other writers.

Mental Health Recovery Heroes Past and Present (2011) Edited by Sophie Davies et al Chapter 15, Gordon McManus Gordon aimed to be a communist revolutionary, however he developed psychosis and had four hospital admissions, his ‘lost years’. He recovered through writing and playing chess, assisted by CBT. His definition of recovery is to cope with your illness and to have a meaningful life (and elsewhere he mentions having a new identity). This summarises the difficulties of people with major mental health needs. He went to Essex in 1974 to study Linguistics and Sociology, and was an active communist. In 1991 he became psychotic and thought the Soviets were communicating with him using a new mental science. (cf Stuart Baker Brown). In 2001 he decided to rebuild his life through writing and chess. He was under the medical model from 1994 to 2006. His recovery begins in 2007. He still experiences voices which wake him early in the morning after a shortened sleep, even though he is on meds. Recovery is not a cure. Gordon aims to cope with his illness and have a meaningful life, and to achieve the goal of a full recovery with no symptoms. Social recovery is very important. Recovery is a slow process, is a struggle, and involves developing character. (cf Galatians; suffering leads to perseverance, perseverance to character, and character to hope.) He lived for a long time believing the Soviets were controlling him and then he was categorised as mentally ill. It was hard writing about his experiences of mental illness (cf MM and me). One delusion was a form of Mugabe telling him not to use books and telephones. His friends at The Studio in Brixton now know he suffers from schizophrenia, hence giving some meaning to his life. Before 2001, Gordon feels he had ***‘lost his intellectual function’ (cf my mental meltdown). His sister gave him a computer which

became a catalyst for change (cf me). For all of 2005 he researched globalisation on the internet, and in 2006 his psychiatrist decided drugs alone weren’t enough and referred Gordon for CBT. For many years he did not share his experiences with his family, until 2001 when he did, and found support was there. He recognises he is still a paranoid schizophrenic. He makes the distinction between recovery and recovered. Now he can help his nephew with schoolwork. Jerome says of Gordon that he was very impressed by the way Gordon took and digested articles by Patricia Deegan and Rachel Perkins, and that every individual’s recovery is different. Jerome says that Gordon’s definition of recovery is the most succinct and apt he has found (I agree). To work in a recovery focussed way may require a paradigm shift in mental health care.

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