The Conservatives Will Probably Kill Me (TW)

By Char Shields - November 16, 2019

Here's a story with a face. Not some propaganda post or a million pound smear campaign. This is real life. A real person. This is my story.

As pretty much all of you know, I suffer from mental health problems. I have done since I was a teenager and these problems have got worse over the last few years. Here are a few facts about my current situation:

  • I've been under the care of a recovery team, after being referred to the crisis team due to suicidal ideation, since 2017. I still haven't received any therapy.
  • I'm currently not on any prescribed medication as the last made me really sick. The service doesn't have enough psychiatrists due to budget cuts, so I am uncertain on when I'll next get a medication review. It could be another month. 
  • As well as the recovery team, I'm also under an eating disorder specialist team. I'm currently on a year-long waiting list for therapy and haven't heard from them since July. 

Who's fault is this? It's not the NHS's fault. It's not Labours fault.

It's the Conservative's fault.

When I was 14 years old, I was diagnosed with depressive disorder. I was also suffering from severe suicidal ideation, anxiety and what was suspected to be anorexia nervosa. This was also the time I started self-harming. On many occasions, I was told that I wasn't "bad enough" to receive help. When I was given help, I was simply given a counsellor which wasn't helpful for my situation or illness. I didn't know this then and I also didn't know that there were other types of therapy available. During this time, the Tories were running a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. They made cuts to the NHS and the Lib Dems allowed them.

After narrowly making it through school, I dropped out of college at the age of 16 because I couldn't go to class without having a panic attack. The college didn't try to make me stay or offer any support at the time. I was again told by the NHS mental health services that I wasn't "bad enough" for them to help. My conditions stayed the same but I did return to college and somehow finished my A-Levels (with the help of lecturers who were determined for me to succeed and a learning mentor who offered support when I stormed in with a bright-red, tear-stained face). During these two years, I couldn't sleep at night because I was experiencing hallucinations. A GP prescribed me anti-depressants but after I had an allergic reaction, he refused to put me on anything else.

In 2016, I moved to Bristol to study Journalism at university. I struggled with my mental health and with maintaining friendships. When I went to a GP for help, he told me that I wasn't even depressed. It was clear he had no idea about mental health and when I told him I was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed anti-depressants in the past, he didn't believe me. Still, he prescribed me with the medication I mentioned (even though I told him that it didn't work) and sent me on my way. It was almost a year before I saw a GP again.

At the end of 2017, I was feeling extremely suicidal and was referred to the crisis team. I didn't get out of bed for five weeks straight, except to buy binge food. I slept all day and stayed awake all night wishing that my life would end. This was the darkest period of my life but I refused to be hospitalised. Since then, things have got somewhat better thanks to the efforts of my recovery team.

I try to be as open as possible about my mental illnesses. However, I'm still not in a place where I can be open about my crisis in late 2017/early 2018. Even though I'm showing signs of relapsing back to that exact crisis, there's nothing that can be done until something drastic happens.

Again, this is my real story. I haven't tried to glamourise it or even write it nicely: I've just stated the facts. The Tory cuts have directly affected my mental health and my ability to get the help I need. Because of these cuts, I didn't get help until I was at my very worst.

But I'm lucky. For a lot of people, it's too late.

The UK is currently facing a mental health crisis and the rate of suicides reached its highest level in 2018. To say this is anyone's fault but the Tories' is an outrage.

Pain and suffering is so clear to see. The damage that has been done over the last decade is laid out right in front of us. But yet... BUT YET YOU'LL STILL VOTE FOR THEM?

It's so frustrating seeing friends and relatives sharing Tory propaganda on Facebook and actually believing they want to help the NHS. THEY GOT US IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. If they want to fund the NHS, then why didn't they do that whilst they were in power?

Their whole campaign is running of false promises, lies about Corbyn and turning the poor against the poor. But if you just took a second to look past it and think outside the box, you would see the truth: "Search and you can find imbalance. Seek, you can destroy imbalance," (Step Up by Enter Shikari). If you just stopped being so stubborn and gave a Corbyn-led government the chance to make things better, we could really make a difference. Under another Tory government, the best case scenario is that things will stay the same for you and get worse for those who are struggling. Worst case scenario is we lose the NHS (among many other things) altogether. It really is your choice.

But I cannot survive another Tory government. I would be dead right now if it wasn't for the NHS. And if you really cared about mental health then you would refuse to vote Tory in the next election. If you do vote for them, then you lose any right to say you care. You don't.

That being said, I know that if we stopped letting the billionaires turn us all against each other, we could be capable of so much more. Okay, so you're not sure if Corbyn will be able to fix everything that has gone wrong. But wouldn't you rather give him the chance to make this country a better place than to give it back into the hands of the Tories, who have done nothing but destroy us? Corbyn isn't trying to turn us against each other, and he still stands tall despite all the hatred towards him caused by the right-wing, billionaire-owned media. There is no one else I would feel confident enough to put my trust in to lead this country.

Fuck the Tories, I've had enough. Stop giving them the power. They have blood on their hands from their years in government and it's about time they get replaced. So, instead of hating your neighbour. Instead of hating your goddamn children: vote Labour on 12th December.

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