Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Day 4: Teaching myself - alcoholism and mental health

The was an old guy in our village when I was growing up. I don't know what his real name was, but we were kids - we called him PishPot.  That's a Scots term for a bucket you wee in.

Kids are great, aren't they.

He must have been over 50, so not so old. He had a small house which he'd lived in forever.  He'd lived there with his wife.  

I remember at first that he was just another old guy in the village.  I vaguely remember being told that he and his wife were saving to immigrate to Australia where their children had already gone. They wore cheap clothes because they were saving.

And his wife died before they had enough.

I remember how after that he used to stand by road crossings holding a hand bag. That was the odd thing for us, not that he stood as the lights turned red, then green, then red round and round. It was that he had a handbag.

I asked my parents what was wrong with him, but they 'shooshed' me.  I saw him get beat up once on a Friday night - don't know why.

It's about that time that we started calling him PishPot.

Right up to the time I left to go to university he was still there. Slowly degenerating, drinking. Always drinking.

The temptation now would be for me to say "that could have been me." Actually, it could be any of us.

The stats:

  • 1 in 4 of us all experience mental health problems at some point in our lives.
  • 9 in 10 (!!!!) of those experience discrimination and abuse. And it's not just from kids and strangers. It comes from health workers, friends, family members
  • 49% of those with mental health issues also have issues with alcohol.

This is a great site to check this out one: