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Explaining Problems

I spoke to the Clinician again, complete waste of time of course. She's not going to change her mind and I can't say I'm surprised. So either I speak to the Patient Advisory Liaison Service which will be no more effective in persuading her to change her mind, but it's what she's duty bound to recommend, or I go back to the GP and ask for a second test. 

How that will happen I don't know. She is a member of the only local service (other than private services that of course won't be cheap - nor anything close) and previously said that a second opinion was out of the question because she had discussed it with her colleagues and they'd all decided. Naturally.

So I will have to go back to the GP, which I will be doing in two weeks. I'm not remotely confident, they don't understand these issues at all. The fundamental problem with these sorts of issues (let's call them mental health problems, it's so much easier) is that they are very personal. An individual grows up with his mind the way it is, particularly in the case of issues such as Aspergers and the like. However your brain is wired, it forms the way your experience of life is shaped. That means you don't know any different and you don't know, necessarily, whether what you experience is problematic because you have no basis for comparison. So you go through life struggling - a bit like a blind person bumping into things they can't see. 

It's only as an adult, or t least with the wisdom of years, that you start to think "hang on, other people aren't experiencing things the way I do. No one else seems to find life such a struggle intrinsically". (That is, there are people who do struggle, obviously, way more than I, but those struggles are born of specific conditions, usually imposed - benefit sanction for instance.) So you start to examine and learn what might be the cause, even if your studies are not informed by proper knowledge of the field.

However translating those experiences into a clear soundbite for a GP or a clinician, or even a Work Programme god botherer, is difficult - particularly when you have to penetrate the prejudices of such people. So you find yourself banging your head against people who have been conditioned, particularly in respect of the unemployed, to downplay these problems. Nevertheless the reality remains and the individual struggles.

Until mental health provision can adequately deal with these difficulties it cannot even begin to provide help. When you further impose cultural values (ie "get a job, that will cure you") and do not actively hear what the patient is trying to tell you. Or when you have a diagnostic process that can't deal with adults and doesn't make an effort to tease the full scope of the patent's difficulties you aren't going to get anywhere. I don't think the testing process did either of those things: a picture book of flying frogs maybe a recognised tool (I’m not suggesting the clinician was a quack), but it's no good for adults for example, especially when there is no provision on  hand for dealing with adults who cannot provide an objective life experience to be cross referenced. My life experience is my own, it's in my head; it's not separate from me.


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