frightened: (karate)
So Troy Davis is dead, despite significant doubt as to the safety of his conviction. Turns out human rights and good sense can't stand against racism and the death penalty.

All throughout this case I have been wondering: what are they scared of? Why are they so desperate to have him killed? Pig-headedness is one thing; pig-headedness that gets someone dead is another. When you're blocking emails from Amnesty International, does it not cross your mind that you might be the bad guys here? Two of the five people who were supposed to be witnessing his execution received last-minute phone calls telling them they couldn't. Was Georgia ashamed? It should be.

I remember in July 2008, when the Georgia Parole Board and the Georgia Supreme Court refused to grant clemency or a stay of execution even though his case was currently before the US Supreme Court and he hadn't had a hearing yet. What drives that kind of decision? I want to say "sheer cruelty", but I'm trying to understand. Fear of the irregularities of the case coming out? We already know. Troy Davis was named as a suspect by the other major suspect, the one witnesses have subsequently named as the real killer, and since that rather dodgy accusation, they just haven't bothered to investigate further. Several of the witnesses who changed their testimony say their original words were as a result of police coercion, and that they signed statements that they couldn't read. We know.

Maybe it was burnout. I get burnout; maybe they did to. Yeah, everybody says they didn't do it. Yeah, every cause gets protesters. Blah blah blah. Show must go on. Well, if you're getting that way about a process that is allowed to kill people, then it's time to stop using it, because you cannot be trusted to act with basic humanity. I think it was the Plaid Adder who said that the decision to end a life should not be easy. It should upset you. You should burn out and you should stop doing it.

And yes, let's use the L word, because I think it applies. A black man was accused of a crime against a white person - a high-status white person - and that accusation was enough. There was no real attempt to determine who was guilty, and attempts to get the case reopened were treated as so much annoyance. In 2008, 42% of death row inmates were black men. This was a lynching.

One of the people Democracy Now interviewed put it best: in America, you have no actual right not to be executed if you are innocent. If you have been convicted, if you have had due process, then even if you have conclusive proof it was not you, DNA or something, then legally, they can still execute you. Once the killing machine gets going it really doesn't like to be stopped. As of 2010, America has dropped from the third to the fifth most execution-happy country - oh, well done, what a great achievement - and still should be ashamed of itself for the company it keeps in that list.
frightened: (bike)
So yeah. Argument from analogy is for people too stupid to comprehend abstract thought. Which, at last count, was almost every mental health professional I've ever met, so hey. Allow me to explain why cognitive approaches do not work for me and, by extension, why I dumped my counsellor.

I'm riding a unicycle. While doing a headstand. I'm pedalling with my hands and juggling chainsaws with my feet. On a tightrope. For years.

Me: Can I get a safety line?
Them: Why are you thinking so negatively? Don't you want to balance? You won't need a safety line if you try harder!
Me: Fuckin' Cirque du Soleil get a safety line grumble grumble. Whatever. I'm getting kind of tired. How far is it to the next platform? Can I have a rest when I get there?
Them: We can offer you a taster session on Standing Upright For Beginners!
The Point: Screw this, I'm outta here, flying right over your heads.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
I hope Chris Grayling gets a lifelong, invisible, highly-unpredictable, stigmatised, potentially-fatal, FUCKING MISERABLE illness. I genuinely do. Give Major Depression a whirl, you arsehole.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Via [personal profile] palmer1984, excellent article by Zoe Williams on the reality of benefit fraud.

Fuck the Tories and fuck their fucking Lib Dem lackeys.
frightened: (karate)
And when I'm done rolling on the floor laughing, I'll probably be offended and upset and whatnot. But for now, I'm Lorna the ROFLator.

So, today I discovered that my counsellor, the person I go to to try and come to terms with the chronic mental illness that might kill me, has a problem with mental illness. Actually, I'd say my soon-to-be-ex-counsellor is part of the problem with mental illness.

I'd been suspecting that his view of depression and mine were not the same, given his use of weasel words like "problem" and "issues", and his obvious discomfort when I used words like "crazy" and "brain disease". Today I managed to get his view out of him, with a bit of poking and acting more innocent and ignorant than I in fact was.

Apparently I am not crazy, because I'm not *strange wobbly arms-and-torso gesture*. (He has in the past said that I don't "act crazy", which makes me worry, if the people in his life stare at the floor and cry uncontrollably and that's somehow normal.)

I claimed ignorance.

He explained that crazy is schizophrenia, which is serious.

I pointed out that someone with depression is more likely to kill themselves than someone with schizophrenia.*

He said - wait for it, because this is a good one - that schizophrenics kill other people. Read more... )
frightened: (sigh)
Because I'm sick of saying this and having people look at me like I'm paranoid and/or stupid:

You have no legal right to choose your psychiatrist1

Unfortunately there is no legal right to a second opinion2

My counsellor is very... consumer capitalist. He absolutely cannot grasp the idea that, as a patient, I get what I'm given. And when I say no, while there may be guidelines that doctors may or may not bother to follow, I have no legal right whatsoever to do the things you're suggesting, he looks at me like he's never heard of this before. Then he says he's going to look into that (because my word cannot be trusted, clearly).

Putting someone in a position where they're forced to explain, again and again, just how powerless and screwed they are, is (*drumroll*)... DEPRESSING. Don't do it. Don't dangle false hope. Don't tell me "you're sure" it's not that bad when you don't, in fact, know.

I am very, very pleased that these depressing facts became less relevant when sheer chance granted me a humane psychiatrist. But sheer chance is all it was, and if it hadn't, there wouldn't be a great deal I could do about it.

1 Rethink, 'My doctor is not listening',, last accessed 27/09/2010.

2 Rethink, 'What is a second opinion?',, last accessed 27/09/2010.


frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)

August 2012



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