English Fruitcake : You, me & IT
Mental musings in the UK
Chatting to fellow home workers, & listening to the news this week has finally given me the shove I need. It’s time to get organised & finally write English Fruitcake – a book I have been meaning to write for ages. Between jobs, websites, blogs & self soothing, I have just never managed to get time. Still, miracles do happen, & although mine are running late, I am hoping one is about to pull in & bring the gift of time.
People work from home for many reasons. Video editors, writers, accountants, typists & call centre agents & many other careers or jobs can be worked from home. Granted, some people do it to save money on overheads or commuting, others earn money around caring for other people & what’s not to love about having your dog, cat or bunny nearby? This sector does, however, attract other workers – People who have no other option.
Depression, agoraphobia, fibromyalgia, PTSD & anxiety are a few of many more conditions that make it difficult for afflicted people to earn a living. Globalisation & migration are today’s reality, but in many ways, our infrastructure & services are sadly lagging behind & unable to cope with the current needs of society today.
Mental health issues have been confined to Dickens’ pea soup fog era for too long. From the asylums in Victorian times through to the suspicion on the face of the advisor at the Jobcentre today, we are just not that good at relating to people who have health problems that include a mental health component.
It’s tricky to decide where the difficulty starts. The problems that come with dealing with fruitcakes have changed shape over the years. Most of us now know that someone who dribbles & talks gibberish is not necessarily a mass murderer, & Prof. Hawkins has shown us that people who struggle to communicate do not always lack intelligence. Most mental health issues are less obvious than these cases, & may or may not be linked to physical health problems. It is extremely likely that either you or someone you know well is coping with unseen health challenges.
That’s where English Fruitcake comes in. Mental health is about to come out of the closet. The longer we live, the more likely it is that either ourselves or someone close to us will be affected by dementia (stroke, accident or Alzheimer’s). Migrants from war-torn or high crime countries bring their minds & emotions along with them. Eating disorders are on the increase, & many people suffer behind closed doors, alone & forgotten.
Our government cannot fix it all for us. Well or unwell, we need to grow our awareness of mental health, & change our environment so that people can fit into it.
UK Fruitcake didn’t sound right, but if I am able to write it, in the interests of fairness for our nutty neighbours, I could call the sequel Scottish Caught-Short, followed by Welsh-Wotnots (translated into Welsh, of course) Perhaps the Irish will laugh their way through all three, revenge at last for all those Murphy jokes……
On a serious note, please let me know if you have anything you would like to share before I get started on this book. My loose plan so far covers
- Clarify this is not a medical book
- MH issues on the increase, explore reasons
- Mental health of migrants from war-torn countries will hopefully spread awareness & benefit all who are unwell
- Work with your GP – Eg: Explain why your agoraphobia is not always resolved by booking an early apt if housebound
- Effects of MH – Isolation, barriers to accessing services, no glasses, can’t see dentist
- Taking back power – Dealing with sudden noises, medication changes, leveraging internet
- Art therapy – Explain, examples, interviews & real stories
- Express yourself
- How to let people know your problem when you cannot speak for yourself
- Identify people who might be suffering (teens, elders)
- Understanding MH issues & how to deal with sufferers
- Information sheet – Where to find help
Wondering whether this would work best as a tabloid newsprint (for the not internet savvy), or as a paperback? (In addition to an ebook)
As always, shout me your thoughts, here or PM – Would love to hear them.
Credits: Photo used is CC & requires this to be provided as a source