Mindful F*ck Off Therapy for #MadCovid

What a year it's been and what a mortifying number of unfinished blog posts are heaped up in my drafts box. Who knows, I may one day finish something of substance before I shuffle off the earth in a covidious heap.  Until then, and just for fun, here's a 2-minute Mindful F*ck Off Therapy session that I made for my pals at  MadCovid ,  a community of friends working together on mental health service user/survivor led projects during COVID19. If by chance you are miraculously healed by the power of my Peer-Guided F*ck Offs and want to show your appreciation, you are welcome to stick ten-bob in the MadCovid Hardship Solidarity Fund to help folks who are facing particular struggles during the current crisis.  If you're struggling financially right now and identify broadly as someone who is mad, or has mental illness, or neurodivergent conditions, you are welcome to make an application to the fund .  The @MadCovid team would also love you to join in and get friendship and suppo

Still well-dressed but somewhat depressed

I've recently set up a protected twitter account to keep my personal chatter, photos and videos separate from my public tweets as @RoseAnnieFlo on Mad Twitter. This post is an edited version of the twitter thread in which I explained the reasons why. Nothing particularly big or bad has happened recently to prompt the change. I have been feeling increasingly stressed by twitter-related tension for months now and I just burned out and reached a theatrical-sobbing-at-small-things stage over the last week. But I feel a bit better already for making the decision to shift my personal tweeting over to a more private account. Mad Twitter (as mental health twitter is affectionately known) has overall been a fab experience for me. I joined in 2015/16 feeling isolated and confused by my experiences as a patient of a community mental health team where polarised ideas about mental health were not just debates out in cyber space, but had been a regular source of real-life conflict and

Password-protected posts

I have at least half a dozen or so unfinished posts in my drafts folder that I've been afraid to publish for fear that some of the more sensitive and personal content around health and mental health may be mined by academic researchers looking to 'give voice' to my experiences without my consent. It feels such a very unfair situation; there are so many issues around mental health that I'm desperate to talk about, and on which I want to hear from people in similar circumstances to mine. I'd like to be able to start a conversation in the here and now as I would if I were talking to friends in the pub, but with people who, often for health-related reasons, aren't able to meet up in 'real' life to discuss all these issues face-to-face. But I'm hesitant because I really don't want to have my words seized upon and analysed, twisted and interpreted and set down in a permanent scientific record by someone who doesn't know me, has never met me, not

Letters from the Psych Clinic - Patients Strike Back

Hello from Animated and Excitable Towers! Well, that was a long Christmas break! I regret that I am shamefully behind with my plans to rage-blog all that is wrong in the world of mental health research. I've not forgotten; I've only become more enraged with the passing of time and the publication of even more shite research!  I hope to have the next #ResearchersAreRubbish installment up before the weekend is out. In the meantime, this is just a quick post to document the most delicious thread of the week on Mad Twitter. Everyone is writing imaginary missives to their GP, in the style of a psychiatrist's review letter, and it all started when Bibi (@GoodNewsFromBad) was dismayed by what she found in her psych notes... That's a new one. Psychiatrist notes say 'has no hair'. Do people often get statements saying 'has hair'??? — Bibi (@GoodNewsFromBad) April 3, 2019 Here's my letter to my GP about one of the first and most memorable psychiatris

Why I no longer participate in your academic research projects

I no longer participate in your academic research projects, if I can help it, and I am starting to blog about some of the many reasons why.  I haven't always been so jaded. I used to have a lot of sympathy for academics and clinicians looking to social media platforms for help to complete their projects, especially for students and early career researchers because, well, why not? Everyone needs to start somewhere; it's nice to encourage people and sometimes your research projects have seemed quite relevant and interesting. But I can't do it anymore. I can't bear to complete even one more clunky questionnaire. I don't want to be patronised by one more pompous professor. I don't want to be given one more 'opportunity' to have my say or to share my story, only later to suffer the indignity of seeing your own improbable ideas 'emerge' from my data.  It's over. I'm done. I have no more stories left to tell you, except this one. And I'm

What depression feels like

🔒 This password-protected post may not be used or reproduced for teaching, research or publication. A few weeks ago, I was following a conversation on twitter about whether depression is an illness, and I remember thinking that, while it's certainly true for me that depression seems like an illness, I couldn't clearly remember what it actually felt like to be very depressed. I could still remember what I looked like in the mirror at my grey-faced worst, and I could recall some of the things I could and couldn't do when I was depressed, but I found it hard to bring to mind what it felt like, physically or emotionally. But, this week, a dark cloud that had been hovering for months has descended and I'm writing this now, at three in the afternoon on a Sunday, tapping the words onto a screen, with my head under the covers and tears running down my face. For reasons I don't want to go into here, I have deleted a whole trail of my posting history from social media

Current Warning Signs: Animated and Excitable in Interpersonal Style

Welcome to Animated and Excitable!   I'm known as @Rose_Annie_Flo on Twitter but I've started this blog because  140 characters apparently just isn't enough for all the things I need to say. I am a 40-something woman officially diagnosed with an "animated and excitable personal style" and I'm going to be blogging about my ridiculous-to-sublime journey through the mental health services. Before anyone gives me the side-eye: when I said "officially diagnosed", I was not exactly kidding... My Current Mental State is also sadly afflicted: And don't say you haven't been warned... this blog is officially a high-risk read*. I was offered Venlafaxine as a cure for "emotional lability" but I decided instead, after three years of feeling progressively silenced by the mental health service, that it was about bloody time I started feeling animated and excitable about life again. (And in any case, I'd a