Search This Blog

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Petition Contribution They Tried to Quash


The following contribution has been accepted for publication by the Scottish Parliament, to be appended, among many others to the outstandingly successful petition  PEO1651 by Marion Brown concerning recovery and withdrawal from the terrible physical side effects of toxic psych  meds.
         Since publishing an earlier version of this contribution on my Mental Health Discussions Page I have been put under unfair pressures to withdraw it, by a person or persons belittling my previous contributions to the area,
         To such people. my answer is: Tell the truth and all good Scots will listen, and who gives a fig about the bad ones?

         I suspect that the unfair pressures put on me during two telephone calls to my home were caused by 'ripples from above' e,g, from the psychology/psychotherapy professions and members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Instructing somebody to remove a formal contribution to the Scottish Parliament seems to me to be completely out of hand.

Thomas Leonard submission of 28 January 2018
During early 2015, I was advised by a leading neuropsychiatrist, working in a professional capacity to the effect that all psychiatric diagnoses are arbitrary and many are misleading
James Carter and I have been involved in a mental health campaign in Scotland since 2012 regarding the harmful side effects of toxic psych meds, and a mass of information is collated on our websites and my blog. I am also the moderator of the Facebook Group Mental Health Discussions Edinburgh, which boasts over 1350 members and about 250 posts per month,
While I am a psychiatric survivor I am also an active Bayesian statistician. Given the huge amount of information available to me, I subjectively estimate that at least 20% of our population have experienced a harmful side effect from a toxic psych med. Moreover, if a person keeps taking a toxic psych med indefinitely, the person will be very likely to eventually experience a debilitating side effect, I refer to anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilisers, and foul medications such as ritalin and adderall which are used to destroy the iives of our young and elderly alike, 
I make this assessment as a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a founding fellow of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis and a recently published author, who stopped taking toxic psych meds in October 2011, following a total of 16 years on them (e.g imaprimine, lithium, klonopin, Epilim, Haleperidol and amisulphide). I was originally misdiagnosed as bipolar, and I was 67 before I was rediagnosed with A.D.D, The side and withdrawal effects have been devastating to my physical health but my cognition and productivity is now better than ever as I approach the age of 70..I anticipate that my life expectancy has been reduced by the ghastly toxic psych meds by about 15 years.

Monday, 5 February 2018

KEATS IN THE BOTANIC COTTAGE; A Short Story by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard



by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard

Auburn-haired Katrina turned on the hot water urn in the farmhouse-style kitchen at the top of the exotic Royal Botanical Gardens in fair Embro, and grey-haired Tonya arranged her brownies, still warm, onto two large white plates.
Katrina opened a cardboard box containing twenty copies of The Odes of Keats. “Isn't this cosy? It will be interesting to see how many locals turn up.”
Tonya took a peek at Ode on a Grecian Urn. “Only five in the Scottish Poetry Library on Tuesday morning, I'm afraid. They were members of the Dumbiedykes knitting group and they all came armed with their needles.”
A swarthy, middle aged man, shabbily dressed and with the air of an ex-heavyweight boxer appeared in the sunlit doorway. “Is this the Open Door poetry group? I'm Seth from down by the Water of Leith, and I enjoy the occasional ditty.”
“Haven't I seen you wandering around the Royal Circus?” inquired Tonya.
Seth chuckled. “I've certainly seen you hanging out in the Opium coffee shop. They don't call me the Stalker of Stockbridge for nothing.”
What a warped sense of humour, deliberated Katrina. But I do hope that he's joking!
A group of eight further elderly ladies trooped into the Botanic Cottage kitchen, followed by an energetic young man in a cap and carrying a red and black patterned flag. “I'm Callum,” he announced, with a token wave of his flag, “and I'm here from Industrial Workers of the World.”
The newcomers ensconced themselves, with Seth, around the large, square, wooden table, and Katrina and Tonya dutifully served the coffee and an occasional tea. The Botanic Cottage events manager, a charmingly camp man called Tarquin, popped through a side door and handed around the treats. Seth gave him a look of disdain, and swallowed a throat lozenge instead. A lady with a gold tooth and horn-rimmed glasses smiled, and Seth gave her the glad eye.
“Welcome to Open Door,” announced Katrina. “Let's start of by turning to page 7 and reading Ode to a Nightingale, a stanza at a time. As an experiment, we'll pause for discussion between each stanza. Would you like to get the ball rolling, Tarquin, and then we can keep on rolling clockwise around the table.”
Tarquin blinked, and blinked again. “A delightful turn of phrase, Katrina. Well, here she blows:
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:

'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

But being too happy in thine happiness,

That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot

Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.”

Wot's a Dryad?” asked a huge ogre of a gentleman with a frizzy beard, who'd just stumbled in.

A Dryad is a nymph of oak trees, though not of trees in general,” replied a determined-looking pensioner wearing a Hibs scarf, who was studying for her Masters In Creative Writing at Napier.
Seth sniggered at that. “That's funny. I met one by an elm tree in the Hermitage of Braid only last week.”
Anyroads,” opined a retired librarian from Pilton, with a nervous glance at Seth's enigmatic countenance, “this stanza is a work of art. It puts Andrew Motion and many of the repetitive poets of the modern era to shame.”
Wot's Lethe-wards?” slavered the ogre with the frizzy beard, slurping his coffee.
Really!” exclaimed a prosperous lady in a mongoose coat. “Everybody knows that the Lethe is a river in Hades, and nothing to do with our rotten Leith.”
And if you drink from it you'll forget where the Hell you came from,” enjoined Katrina, with an unusual grimace. “Let's move on to the next stanza. Gwendylene?”
Thank you,” said the once leading Midlothian poet Gwendylene McClarsach, clearing her nostrils. “I memorised this verse off by heart when I was studying for my standards at Beeslack High:

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South!
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim.
I spend my summers in Provence,” said a grim-faced lady with a high class English accent. “Menton is absolutely spiffingly exquisite.”
I prefer Catalonia,” said Callum, reaching for his flag. “It's where the anarchists put paid to the fascists before they were annihilated by the Stalinists. What's more----.”
I do love the line 'with beaded bubbles winking at the brim',” interrupted a lively lady, who was visiting from Carstairs for the day, “though I believe that it originates in the eleventh century poem Fine Wines of Donegal by the Irish monk Flann Mainistreach.”
I can vouch for that,” agreed Tarquin, with an ingratiating smile. “It's in all probability a complete coincidence, of course.”
Horse's feathers!” snarled the guy with the frizzy beard.
Katrina coughed, with the mildest of splutters. “Next stanza please, Violet!”
Violet, a prim lady in a business suit, sniffed, and began without further ado:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Seth took a gulp of his coffee. “Now it's getting morbid,” he choked. “I'm getting pissed off with this Keats.”
I agree,” said a tall, gaunt lady in a leather coat, as if she was about to swish an imaginary dominatrix whip. “Keats is boring and outmoded. Can we read something by Douglas Dunn instead?”
Keats was lucky to die young,” declared Tarquin, adjusting his crimson cravat. “If poets grow old, like Auden grew old, then they invariably die bored to tears.”
Away, away!” chanted Callum. “For I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards.”
Would you fancy a walk through the Chinese gardens afterwards, darling?” whispered Seth.
Maybe as far as the pagoda,” replied Tonya, with a giggle.

Thursday, 1 February 2018


I injured my leg during a couple of falls on 30th November 2017 and have spent eight days and then two days in Edinburgh Hospitals since, Despite some excellent remedial treatment, the NHS consultants have consistently declined to diagnose my condition, or to suggest further exercises or treatments. Three of them, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary have indeed either been rude or flippant, and seem to be expressing an attitude like 'you're old. Go away!
Then, last Wednesday, an outstanding private physiotherapist in Stockbridge diagnosed me as suffering from, a still very painful, damaged upper tendon, together with problems with my lymphodema This condition had been entirely missed by the entire NHS, including my overworked GP who dismissed my pain as due to relatively insignificant damage to soft tissue in the knee. Today I learnt from another private physiotherapist with 20 years experience in the NHS, that i may need my Zimmerframe for life.
After much bureaucratic confusion, the NHS have finally granted me a specialist outpatient appointment for the elderly in a clinic in Leith in LATE FEBRUARY. My GP has now given herself credit for my private diagnosis,
I am appalled to think that this sort of thing may be happening more generally when the NHS decide whether or not to treat elderly people. This could have a substantial effect on the mental and physical health of the millions of elderly people who are unable to afford expensive private treatment at roughly £60 an hour,
LikeShow more reactions
Bob Taylor Thank you Thomas this is very important and impressive.
Fiona French I have suffered a catastrophic reaction to benzodiazepine withdrawal. Now housebound. Poor mobility. Brain does not function normally. 3.5 years in bed. No tests or investigations of note. A few physio sessions but too sick to do exercises. Age 63. On the scrapheap. Lovely private physio took me to swimming pool. Hydrotherapy never materialised on NHS.
Thomas LeonardGroup Admin i'm really sad about this Fiona. The NHS don't like diagnosing things as side or withdrawal effects (e,g, the purple bruise over my spleen, the subsequent immense swelling in my abdomen, and the tardive dyskinesia. I too was placed on the scrapheap at age 63, in 2011, but managed to rouse myself from my several months of sleep stupor and to refuse to take any more toxic psych meds,
Fiona French Thanks, Thomas. I was so sick, bedridden 3.5 years I did not know how desperately sick I really was. Now my brain is functioning better I see much more clearly. Discussion of petition PE01651 18 January very illuminating. Minister for Mental Health and Govt Adviser Dr John Mitchell were dismal. I was on STV news at night. We keep pushing this forward.
Thomas LeonardGroup Admin Well done, Fiona!! Good luck on the progress of the petition, Have they got wind of the 20% yet?
Christine Cooper Yes Thomas, I agree, have seen it first hand with my own elderly parents, left to deal with their chronic health conditions, always getting the run around. Are the gp's even trained to think for themselves anymore? They will try and encourage antidepressant use for physical complaints if you become too bothersome and ask for investigations!
Thomas LeonardGroup Admin wow! Some GPs seem to work to a strange secret agenda, Christine, while still trying to project an image to their patients that they are as wise as King Solomon They are greatly constrained by the resources that the NHS provides for them, particularly as many of the best experts in the NHS have moved into the private sector, partly because of the administrative duties imposed upon them.
Wanda Hoff My mother recently had a small stroke. He has some deficit on her left side, but they will not schedule her for physical therapy. She is 83.
Thomas LeonardGroup Admin it sounds as if it's no better in Wisconsin, Wanda Hoff, even though the healthcare is private there.