The Deserving Mad?

“As in the past, modern governments differentiate between the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ poor. The ‘deserving’ are those in need who are unable to work because they are too old, disabled, or too sick. The ‘undeserving’ are people who don’t want to work and often it is assumed that all able-bodied unemployed people fit into that category. 

 It was necessary to ensure that  ‘welfare’ kept the unemployed in a poorer and more miserable state than the lowliest worker in order to ensure that there remained an incentive to work at even the worst of jobs.With regard to the other class, the unemployable, the wastrel and the loafer, the sternest measures are necessary.”

In lots of  ways little has changed in attitude. Many still think that anyone fit in body is simply lazy or maybe an addict of some kind and deserves to suffer. The current UK Conservative government have made it much harder to claim disability and the numbers of homeless are rising rapidly. I read in a newspaper several years ago from one Conservative MP who said the unemployed needed to be starved to encourage them to work. Another person said that if Stephen Hawking( almost completely paralysed and in a wheelchair) can work then anyone could!  Hmm I dont think he could work in a warehouse or picking fruit though.

This is very relevant to mental health. The Tories thought that there were far to many mad people claiming benefits in the UK and therefore decided to cut disability payments, make it much harder for new claimants and try to push lots of extremely mentally ill people back into work even though many have actually committed suicide as a result.  Of course they did nothing to encourage companies to hire them.  There is a supposed cure for anxiety and depression and that is CBT which is pushed all the time. Apparently it has a high success rate but does not look as good under closer scrutiny. Somebody I know wrote this the other day which I totally agree with . “The worst of it is how the media and government jump on the whole CBT thing to get people off of benefits. You don’t deserve to have benefits when there is a cure and if you are ill in that way it becomes your own fault because you haven’t tried hard enough. “

In reality 1/4 of people cant handle CBT as its too hard so drop out. After all you are supposed to just make a hierarchy list of all your worst and most avoided fears and then just do them which can go disastrously wrong if not done slowly and correctly. Often the treatment is shortened from about 12 -20 sessions to just 6 to save money and sometimes NHS therapist are simply not very good. “I have seen GP surgeries offer CBT, when I talked to the Clinic Nurse/ “CBT Therapist”, she had only been on a one-week course, so could describe herself as “CBT Trained”  A one week course is hardly the same as a trained therapist. I have probably learned more from online books. Perhaps I should set up a therapy business and it also stops me being unemployed! Hooray!

Patients with sometimes acute mental illness are forced into something they cant handle and blamed for not trying hard enough when it fails. Then the government can claim they deserve to have their benefits taken away. What wankers!

And then does CBT even have great success in the long term?

“In the short-term, 40 per cent of those who complete a course of CBT, typically five to 20 sessions of up to an hour, are said to have recovered.

But ‘extensive evidence’ shows that two years on, depressed or anxious people who had CBT were no more likely to have recovered than those who had no treatment, said Mr James.”

So it might be all for nothing anyway.



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