Dementia: A Pilgrimage To Paddington

Image result for paddington station picture

After a great deal of thought, I have decided not to take Maureen with me on my ‘Pilgrimage to Paddington’ a week on Friday.  This has been a hard decision to take as  I wanted my wife to meet two people who have had a significant impact on my life.  Tom Schuller was my supervisor when I completed my dissertation for Master’s Degree at Warwick University and has recently developed ‘The Paula Principle’:

Irving Kirsch’s research was fundamental in helping me to understand that antidepressants were not the solution to my periods of depression:

When Irving’s train pulls in at Paddington Tom is likely to be nearby but Maureen will be in Ashgrove Care Home.  It has eventually been a ‘no brainer’ to leave her in Cleethorpes while I meet my two distinguished colleagues.  It would have been lovely to have had her by my side but the risks associated with a trip to London are insurmountable at this stage of her condition.  We have also made a similar judgement about organising 30 hours of continuous care in our own home with people who have never previously supported Maureen.  We are optimistic that 4 nights in Ashgrove is the kindest way forward and that her colleagues on the ‘Escape Committee’ will welcome her back with open arms.  It will also give me a much-needed opportunity to recharge my batteries.

This morning my pilgrimage is to CleeMedical Centre:

Map of Clee Medical Centre Grimsby Picture

There would have been little point understanding that ‘antidepressants are no better than a placebo for mild to moderate depression’ (Kirsch) unless CMC had a progressive approach to treating depression. Doctors monitored me after I stopped taking mirtazapine, even though a psychiatrist during a spell in a Psychiatric Unit  had advised I had a ‘chemical imbalance’ and needed medication for the rest of my life.  I was also referred to the Practice Counsellor and Paul Martin has helped me to think my way out of depression. My noon meeting with him today is part of a package of measures to keep me mentally well at a time when it would be understandable for depression, once again, to feature in my life.

There are mixed feelings about the visit of our Key Worker and a colleague this afternoon as it represents another milestone in the progression of Maureen’s condition. They will be progressing a DoLS application to deal with her safety in the community.   Initially, I had seen this as a retrograde step but now I understand depriving Maureen of her liberty is necessary to protect her Best Interests and enable her to remain in her own home. This afternoon’s meeting will also be an opportunity to review our Support Packages to ensure that they are meeting our needs.

Footnote: The whole idea that ‘chemical imbalance’ is causing depression has been called into question by Kirsch’s research.


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