Extra Extra

Man with mental health problems does bugger all wrong


In what will shock the wider reading audience, it was revealed today that there was a man with mental health issues who did not kill or hurt any one today.

It appears that this is not an isolated case as it is strongly rumoured that one in four people in the U.K. has some kind of mental health problem or will have in their life time.

Could it be that the press has an agenda that is being spurred on by some kind of right wing policy that is designed to sway the public against the vocal minority who caused a massive scene recently over the ASDA Halloween costume fiasco? Could it be that there is some kind of pressure being placed on the media to demonise the mentally interesting so as to discredit the anti-stigma process?

It’s one thing for The Sun or The Daily Mail to unleash their bile on a section of society that has little chance to defend themselves and has no trouble in promoting negative stereotypes, but when the story is on the BBC News website I find it almost amazing and am left in disbelief that this can happen. Where are the ethical editorial standards in effect? Why was this story allowed to be posted in the first place?

For an organisation that preaches inclusivity for all and accessibility for all, this is just one more slap in the face from the BBC who will no doubt just take down the story and pretend like it didn’t really happen. We’ll it did, and I have the proof.

Until Next Time…


This is the headline in question from the BBC Mobile website last night:

Screen Capture of headline about Mental Health Patients Hilling 110 people in 9 years

From the BBC London Sub Webpage October 7th 2013

Safety Net

I volunteer with Rethink. I have for the past few months been working with the local users forum to put together their quarterly newsletter, and I have loved the writing aspects to it and have loved being able to get stuck in and research different aspects of Mental Health from a local point of view and having an organisation to hang a banner for my writing from.  I haven’t had to rely on my own point of view to hide behind, I have learnt so much about writing for an audience that isn’t generally my own. Continue reading

Benefits Change Everything

Yesterday was a big day for people who claim ESA (Employment Support Allowance). There was big debate in the House Of Commons about upcoming changes to the way the people who are claiming the benefit are tested. For more information about the changes read the (as always) excellent Diary Of A Benefit Scrounger . Sue Marsh lays out the changes and explains why the changes are going to be so devastatingly bad for disabled people.

Last year I made a promise that I was going to become more active in a more political way. At that time I was in a pretty good place and my benefit claim had been settled and I was ready to take the fight head on. I wanted to try and make a difference. I didn’t exactly achieve my goal but I was more active last year that I had been before.

Fast forward to the start of the Autumn last year and disabled politics took over the headlines again and things started to ramp up again. I started takiing more interest and I retweeted tweets and I read and commented on blog posts. Looking back it was a fairly lame attempt at getting involved. I knew the issues and I gave them a passing glance. As the year came to a close my health was taking a turn for the worse and I started to close down again. Weeks went by when I didn’t even open my Twitter clients and when I did I would usually just skip over the majority of tweets that had accumalated between my visits and maybe keep up for an hour or two and then I’d leave again for however long it was until I got curious again.

Now the debate rages again. Changes are afoot and I find myself getting those same pangs in my gut that I got when the talk of changing from Incapacity Benefit to ESA. It’s a messed up situation. DLA is being scrapped in favour of Personal Indipendance Payments and Work Capability Assessments are being reviewed and things are starting to worry me again.

Money is tight at the moment for everyone. At home here it’s crazy, I don’t think we (as a family) have been this broke. I don’t say this for pity or anything like that. This is just a plain fact. Circumstances are such here that Linda’s benefit is lumped with my benefit and she has just been sent the forms to fill out for a reassessment by ATOS. I am unsure what they are going to reassess her for as she has been told that she is no longer eligeble for benefits as she had claimed for over a year, hence why I am claiming for her on my claim. It’s a screwed up situation and to be honest it has added to my stress levels.

I read around on Wednesday about the upcoming debate yesterday and I got lost in my head about what “could be” and “what will be” and it scared the living crap out of me. I lost my internal shit and realised that I really was spiralling back into that place that put my Mental Health in a shocking state when I was being changed over. I have had to step back. I am making the choice not to get into the state I got into last time. I feel I am moving forward in making steps to get me out of the mire that has built up around me and my family for the past 8 or so years. I can’t afford anything to derail this plan.

To those brave campaigners, you have my full support but for now, it has to be silent support.

Until Next Time…

Wants And Needs 2012 – Revisited

At the start of the year I posted a list of “resolutions” that I hoped to achieve through 2012. I thought I would take a few minutes to get back to the point and see how well I did.

You can read the original post here

  • Writing More – Well, my output didn’t increase massively. I did however stretch my reach a little away from my own blogs. I contributed a couple of times to the most excellent This Week In Mentalists strand over at the The World Of Mentalists. I also joined the team over at Scribes of Metal a new Rock and Heavy Metal News and Reviews site. I have given a couple of reviews for albums this year (the new Rob Zombie Remix album and the Led Zeppelin Reunion album Celebration Day I hope to do more with both sites in the following year.
  • Reading More – I have certainly read more in the past year than I have in any year since I left college. Having said that I can’t quite recall if I have read more than 12 books. I do know I have had more than a few very late nights where I have gotten caught up in a book and not been able to put it down. The most memorable would have to be “The Heroin Diaries” by Nikki Sixx. It is a collection of diary entries from one year leading up to his choice to get himself clean. The honesty in that one book alone had a profound effect on me. He was able to show an honesty and a trust in his readership to take his story and run with it and make their lives better and more productive. I am currently half way through his follow up memoir “This Is Gonna Hurt”. Sixx once clean needed a new outlet for his creativity and he used Photography. Again another massive inspiration for me. Briefly, Brendan o’ Carroll (he of Mrs Browns Boys Fame) has had me in stitches at ungodly hours of the morning with his first two novels about Mrs Brown. They were such easy reads that I really wish that they were twice the length so I could have had more to read. I have one more to read in the series and I am saving it for a time when I am a bit down.
  • Website Theme – The website design that is in effect at the moment is the design that I set out to create. I didn’t 98% of the work myself. The other 2% came from my Brother and the guy who designed the base theme. Yes I know I wanted to create a whole theme, but I found a theme I thought looked pretty good out of the box, but I wanted a more personal stamp on it. So, I went down the route of a Child Theme. It’s the best of both worlds and I now have something to work on when I want to move forward.
  • Other Sites – My other website phurwood.co.uk is no more. I don’t know why but I went out and purchased the domain paulhurwood.com. It was a spur of the moment thing and it sat there for quite a while whilst I decided what I wanted to do with the domain. I don’t do much of anything really so it was doomed to another blog. In reality it has taken the content from every site I have ever had through the ages (with the exception of this and Spnak in it’s photographic guise). It is now a website that I plan on focusing more of my time on in 2013.
  • Other Health – I mentioned before about taking better care of myself, health wise. Well that pretty much didn’t happen. I am now eating a lot less than I was this time last year (and it wasn’t much back then). I seem to have developed an aversion to certain random foods. My sense of taste is buggering everything up. Food tastes off or not quite right. If I do manage to eat a regular meal it is a 50/50 chance that it won’t make a reappearance. My GP has no idea what could be causing the problem. The diabetes is still out of control, but I have had my injection medication changed to a once a day kind so I should be able to get the doses I need to help bring it under control.

So that’s how the last year has gone in relation to what I set out to achieve. I am not sure that there will be another resolution based post on IJAR this year. All I do know it that in 2013 I HAVE to focus on getting better and getting my life back to some kind of order. 2012 had a lot of bad points that knocked me back far to much. I am only now just getting back to a semblance of normality after the whole Insomnia and Voices issues. hope you all have a great 2013. Be safe and look out for one another

I hope you all have a great 2013. Be safe and look out for one another.

Until Next Time…

Boys and Girls Come Out To Play

Over the past week or so there have been a couple of blog posts regarding Men and Feminism. The ball was kicked off by Zarathustra from The Not So Big Society in his article “Should Men Embrace Feminism” and then a couple of days later Mark Brown from One In Four continued his great Q&A session series at This World of Mentalists “5 – Feminism and Men”.

(Jesus how many links can I fit in one small paragraph.. no more .. I hope)

Anywho, this got me to thinking about my attitudes towards the subject. I tried to think how my actions over my life might have formed my almost mid life choices and opinions on the Women and Feminism. It got to the point where I realised that, I have never and could never see myself classing myself as a Feminist.

I was bought up by a very strong woman. I was bought up to have respect for others, not just for my elders and “betters” but for others. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t just go around throwing respect at every Tom, Dick and Harriet. For the most part, if you show me respect then you are going to get it back from me.

As I grew up and started to develop my own views on things through my teenage years I learnt what it was to have to earn respect and to expect to have the same in return, but not once did the other persons gender come into the equation. Everyone got that first “Fair Shake of The Stick.” I had my fingers burnt over the years by people who saw this basic view of life and thought they could take advantage and it’s only in my later years that I can look back and see that, at times, I was taken advantage of big time. My friendships were often based an very lopsided footings. My being the fat spotty kid I took friendships where ever I could get them and that led to some toxic relationships. I have, thankfully, moved on from that mindset these days and realise that “I” am the one who sets out what I want from a personal relationship with someone else.

Through all of this self discovery and realisations of who I am and the articles I have read By Zarathustra and Mark Brown I now know how to describe my philosophy regarding the opposite sex (and I believe this equates to both Men and Women EQUALLY)…

Just Don’t Be A Dick.

See it’s that simple. Treat the person your facing how you would want to be treated. You have probably heard the saying “Do Unto Other As You Would Have Others Do Unto You” (Wiki on The Golden Rule – An interesting read).

I purposely haven’t gone into the side of Feminism/and the Male equivalent that seems to me to be akin to a Fundamentalist Religion. That, to me, is just like politics and that is a place I have no skill or desire to get into.

Until Next Time…


Goodbye 2005

It’s New Years Eve and I am sat here going over what has happened in the past year. Some of what has happened has appeared in the pages of this very blog, the majority hasn’t. My breakdown was skipped over in a couple of posts and rightly so, I think. You don’t come here to see and read about my inability to hold a normal life together. You want to be entertained.

I am however proud of myself that I have gotten to the end of another year. There were certain points during 2005 when t all seemed too much and dropping out of life seemed like a good way to go. But, with the strength and love of my family I am still here and getting stronger all the time.

So a quick squizz back at what really happened.

I woke up New Years Day with a hangover and I only had one more drink after that day.

I was asked to leave work and not come back until they were comfortable with my mental health… I was off for close to three months and swore that that would be the last time I would have to be put in the position of being asked to leave the building for the safety of those around me… next time I go postal and be damned with it.

We went back to the States to visit family and have a slight break from normality. We took Mum with us to let her experience the great American dream for herself. She like me didn’t want to return. Seeing my Mum’s reaction to life in America even for just the short time we were there was an eye opener for me. All her life she has been stuck with a caregiver role and now she got a chance to live for herself even for a week, it did her good. We all look forward to our next trip which hopefully won’t be too long in coming. I know my mum is reading this and all I have to say is BOB EBANSSSSSSSSSS)

We said goodbye to our landlord and close friend Robin this year. Goodbye mate and keep on rocking.

We said hello to an old friend returning to our lives.. DOCTOR WHO is back and he gets better with every episode.. mind you I still don’t get why Christopher Ecclestone left after only one series but judging by the recent Christmas episode David Tennant is going to be a classic Who. I will have my sonic screwdriver in hand in the spring when the new series starts.

I went back and started writing my memoirs of a theatre bod. It was an eye opener to see how much people enjoyed those posts and when I get the time I plan on writing more of them.

Live8 happened and was a blast to watch at the time, but for some reason there were only two or three real stand out moments for me. Things that I would look back on the recorded version and watch over and over again. U2 and Paul McCartney doing Sgt Peppers, Madonnas full song and dance routine, The Who and PINK FLOYD reuniting . Considering that this show was on for over 10 hours there should have been more than 4 stand out moments.

Well that’s my BRIEF and NOT comprehensive look back at my year. I am sure there was more to it, but at the moment I don’t remember.. so they couldn’t have been too stand out.

Check back tomorrow ( I mean it for my look to the new year)

Until Next Time…