AutumnWatch is starting this Monday, October 23rd... we've set the pvr to record that, should be a good series- going to be back in the Cotswolds again, at Sherborne Park Estate.
Also, there was a very good documentary on BBC Two about how Chris Packham has struggled with asperger's all of his life, and how it has helped with his interest in wildlife. He's had to overcome some aspects of it so that he could do his first job as a presenter on the Really Wild Show- and when he talked about the kestrel he had as a boy it was very moving.
I would not normally share such private moments like these but anyhow one of my grandsons who is only six was diagnosed with high functioning Asperger’s syndrome asked this question recently – granddad how old are you, one hundred and three I jokingly replied. That means you will soon be dead then, but do not be sad even the stars are dead but they sparkle and shine for ‘all to see,’ holding his little arms out wide to further empathise his statement. (Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s.
You see he is unable to choose his words like you and I but instead is frank honest and to the point, a trait I personally find so very refreshing in this day and age, he also becomes extremely upset over what you and I would consider trivial matters too but again I also find this a good thing which means in his particular case is blessed with love and empathy, ‘a very unusual trait’ with those whom have Asperger’s. But I do also have a great nephew who does not like to leave the safety of his room but again I find his conversations meaningful, intelligent, and enjoy his company very much indeed.
Life and soul of the party you bet your life my grandson is dancing and inviting everyone else to join in, embarrassing dear reader not at all but instead makes one feel so very proud when I and my wife are congratulated with having two well behaved loving grandsons who look after each other.
I also had an aunt who was diagnosed with having depression sanctioned and given ETC and kept in for long periods of time on the advice from one particular psychiatrist. Unfortunately though it was later realised she was wrongly diagnosed with this particular mental health issue which turned out to be OCD, this is completely different of course. And what was the main reason she was wrongly diagnosed dear reader, well I would laugh with very great gusto if it was not so tragic. Anyhow to cut a very long story short I have decided to include these episodes in full anecdotal details into my memoirs.
And so to sum up it is of my opinion mental health should not be the taboo subject it still is but treated no different than any other health matter, which was my main reason for choosing to post this and why it takes pride of place in my memoirs, a full chapter no less.
Thank you Rowanberry it is very kind of you to say so, but I suppose it is just part my nature as it was my mother’s too, who was a great help to her sister throughout her life.
Incidentally despite my aunt illness she went on to have a very happy marriage with two loving sons whom made a great success of their lives both as family men and highly respected in their chosen careers, one as an architect and the other as an engineer.
Funnily enough my wife and I had an interesting encounter at the supermarket today regarding medical matters, good morning said the cashier a studious looking young man, please excuse me if I am serving you too fast he said as I have a bladder problem, what would you say my particular problem is, he thinking I was a doctor.
Of course this type of conversation to the average man or women in the street would sound extremely odd especially when they do not know one another, but not to me. In fact these types of encounters are not all that unusual to Alan in fact I have been mistaken for a member of the rotary club, and even a senior member of the armed forces. But as we all know ones appearance and the way one carries oneself is often deceiving.
Anyhow probably cystitis I replied, what is that he said, it is an infection of the urinary tract I replied. But the doctor has already prescribed antibiotics and I still have the problem he replied, ah yes but was it a generic prescription I replied.
Anyhow the point being this young man although being very intelligent and a student was probably suffering from Asperger’s or at least something very similar. Anyhow I gave him a smile and wished him well very much hoping to see him again next week.
I think you're right Alan that people need to talk about mental health issues although I'm bewildered by your supermarket tale concluding that the the cashier has asperger's!
I was a mental health nurse (RMN) for 39 years although for most of that time I worked in community settings. Asperger's / autistic spectrum disorders are not "mental illnesses" so do not come under the remit of mainstream psychiatric services consequently I've had little professional experience in that area which is usually the remit of Learning Disabilities Teams.
I watched the Chris Packham documentary with interest. A clever, interesting man coping with a socially difficult condition although, I have to confess, even with this insight into the man, I don't find him any more likeable!
The "treatment" he witnessed in USA was interesting but strikes me as potentially as damaging and as random in effect as ECT. Believe it or not, in the days when there were few effective alternative drug treatments, ECT did actually work well for some people although I'm pleased to say it is rarely if ever used now.
Unfortunately, although retired, it's impossible to escape involvement with mental health services. Eight years ago my wife experienced an acute psychotic episode which culminated in her being "sectioned" and detained in a psychiatric unit for two months. I'm pleased to say that, with the help of medication and ongoing care from community mental health services, she is much better although paranoia and depression remain part of our daily life. Perhaps as they say, it's all part of life's rich tapestry.
Hi Alf very nice to speak with you again, my evaluation (if one can call it that) was not ‘only based’ on the way he spoke (very frank and to the point) but also his facial expressions and body movements an experience seen many times in my family in which my son is a psychiatrist the father of my grandson (who does indeed have Asperger’s. But it could have equally been high functioning autism I know not as my skills do not reached that far of course even though both my parents were doctor’s father being a surgeon.
I am pleased to hear it is not classed as a mental health condition though but nevertheless the behavioural episodes shown by my family members with Asperger’s is quite a dramatic thing to witness, even though I am now use to seeing it.
I also know what you mean about Chis Packham’s likability especially in relation to his views on cancer, but then again those whom suffer with Asperger’s do see the world as very black and white as I indeed do but not quite to the same degree I am very pleased to say, even though I do tend to treat things as blasé at times mixed with an odd sense of humour I must admit. But equally no hostility is ever intended on my part it just may seem that way in the spoken word or in forums.
However I am now becoming much too serous for Alan a thing I try very hard to avoid, but just to say my dear wife had breast cancer but happy to say she has now been pronounced clear after many treatments. I also lost a very dear friend to cancer a couple of years ago and again this year, but according to Chris Packam all research should be abandoned which on the face of it does seem a ‘very strange thing to say’. But then again he does also think there are far too many people in the world too which is a fair valuation I suppose but not when one is on the receiving end if you understand my meaning.
But so very sorry to hear about your wife Alf, what a very worry time it must be, I sincerely hope things improve for both of you.
Has Autumnwatch been good? I have missed the lot so far.
They've been catching up with the jays, owls, peregrines and others that fledged back in the spring... lots of videos of stags, and some about foxes regularly visiting a garden in Bournemouth, (or was it Brighton?)
I always enjoy it- we watch it in bits on catch-up, and will probably see another half-hour tonight before bedtime.