I’ve been attending some form of psychiatric services nearly every month since about 2009, for the last three years it’s been to receive a depot antipsychotic injection and for the seven odd years before that there were consultations with psychologists and family therapists which at one point had my wife attending as well for ten appointments. I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia which is a dreadful and debilitating illness but what is less known about it is that nearly 70% of people who get ill do reasonably well and about a third recover completely.
I passed a higher national diploma and a science degree in information technology in the 90s, I also passed a PGCE in post compulsory education and training (PCET) in 2003 when I was 35 years old and that was at master’s level. I taught for about seven years, three years in London and four years in Asia and I volunteered at the Science Museum for three years, actually also to say here that I had about ten years of routine occupations before I went to university… So what! you’re thinking, right? :)
Actually, what I should say is that as someone who had a PGCE and was only one level below senior lecturer when I resigned in 2005 at the age of 37 fully intending to work again according to some research I did I would have been equivalent to a clinical medical officer, a police Sargent and a nurse team manager and one level above a social worker, that was according to Price Waterhouse Coopers who looked at pay and role comparisons.
Culture shock, I think… I had an overwhelming desire to remonstrate verbally that the people generally had little in the way of education yet lived in 600 grand houses and I kept applying for work and getting nowhere, I couldn’t borrow money even for bankrupts and I didn’t have a house or a car and lived on welfare yet I was still qualified in the top 10% of the population but unfortunately also had a mental illness that kept being treated all these years, but I can honestly say I would have much preferred to have gotten over it and gotten back to being a productive member of society again.