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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team

ebichu64

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About ebichu64

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    Salisbury Hill
  • Birthday November 25

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Nature and Wildlife - especially Hedgehogs, Tapirs and my Garden (sadly I have no tapirs visiting my garden, but I do have hedgehogs). Music, SF and Fantasy, Art, Writing (on hold at present).
  1. Thanks to you both. I've already done PALS. I have a contact there from my shoulder injury. However, they're in upheaval because they were restructured the same time the PCT was replaced with the CCG. They've moved offices and they're not even called PALS any more. I can't remember what the new name is. Paying for a diagnosis really is the last resort, so don't worry. As I said I've written to my GP asking him to challenge it, and my contact at NAS is helping me fight it too. She's furious because she'd had a number of meetings with the Doctor who is the metal health lead for the area and the one who refused funding, and they've ignored everything she said. Taking the legal route may only mean a £25 letter. Apparently this firm of solicitors has had success before. I'm really feeling wiped out today - probably shouldn't have stayed up to watch Starship Troopers last night.... I'd never seen it but it was entertaining in a slightly (and manageable) gory way. Helps if you know beforehand it's meant to be satire though. I'm going to switch off the PC now and have a nap. :-)
  2. Am I allowed to post this here? This is a video I made of the birds and animals in my tiny city wildlife garden. It's my safe place, I love it and I wanted to share it because I feel peaceful and happy there. I hope it does the same for you.
  3. Rudy Simone in UK

    I saw in Manchester too. She was supposed to be signing books but there was a mix-up and they weren't delivered, so then she was going to sign flyers instead. At the end of her talk she was doing her Auntie Aspie routine and taking questions from the audience. Because a lot of questions were anticipated the organisers asked people to write them down on cards. I think this was while Rudy was off getting into character and I'm not sure anyone told her about the change of plan. She seemed surprised when she came back and after a few cards she asked to go back to having the mic handed round. She had been speaking for nearly two hours by the end, and I wasn't that surprised when she cancelled the signing and just asked for her Facebook Friends to come up and say hallo. She said she felt brainfried. I was disappointed too but that's the nature of Asperger Syndrome. She needed time and space to recharge and it would have been a mistake to ignore that no matter how much I wanted to thank her.
  4. My GP forwarded me an email yesterday. Don't worry, I have an action plan ready and I'm just waiting for a bit of advice from the NAS before I go ahead, but I wanted to share this with you. They have pulled the same stunt on at least 3 other people in my area recently and I'm pretty sure what they are doing is illegal. I haven't said which CCG it is for that reason. "we reviewed a request at funding panel for diagnosis of Asperger's. The patient had seen a psychotherapist and there were some suggestions that might have aspergers. We didnt approve funding as we werent sure what the risks would be to not diagnosing. (ie work, family etc) I have found most patients are happy to complete this screening tool and then happy with this as a provisional diagnosis. There is very few occasions when a formal dignosis is required." Corrections: "there were some suggestions that she might have aspergers" "There is very few occasions" "Aspergers" spelled two different ways no apostrophe in "didn't" "diagnosis" misspelled Fantastic! I thought it was just doctors' handwriting that was bad!] The "screening tool" they attached was an insult. It was from another health authority, so they hadn't bothered to devise their own or even change the logo at the top of the page, and it was a word document, so not hard to do. It was actually less detailed than the questionnaire my GP gave me at the start of this, which rated me borderline but which I realised afterwards was aimed at men with Asperger Syndrome. As I said, I'm waiting to hear from NAS before I take the legal route, but if that fails I'm spending £500 of the redundancy I'll be getting in July to get a private diagnosis. There's a Clinical Psychologist who lives in the next postcode that offers a diagnosis service for Adults Aspergers. Angry but at least I have something real to focus my anger on now. Good Day or Bad Day? I'll tell you once I've counted the cars.
  5. I feel like my body is shutting down

    Relocating isn't an option for us and the company will only pay travel expenses as the distance is less than 40 miles. (Bracknell to Exeter is 170 miles) It's a difficult journey by public transport, over 3 hours each way with 3 changes. I've got the facts and figures on the PC upstairs if you want me to dig them out. My partner's job is here and our home is here. Plus I don't want to live in Bradford, especially not for a job that makes me ill and is only a low admin salary. No offence meant to Bradford btw. I just prefer Manchester.
  6. I've been off sick from work since February with anxiety and stress. I'm on meds for that and insomnia. I believe I have Asperger Syndrome and am fighting through the red tape to get a diagnosis. I'll be 50 next year, While I've been off sick my job, and those of all of my colleagues, are being relocated. It would mean six hours a day to commute by public transport - I don't drive - so the options are to find another job within the company or take redundancy. Half of me feels I need to get a job and the other half wants to stay at home where I feel safe. I had a telephone interview this morning for a job. The person I was speaking to was in an open plan office and so there was a lot of background talking that I couldn't tune out. I'd asked for a quiet room for interview on my application. Anyway, I think I messed up the interview and I won't be called back for the second round. So many conflicting emotions, Guilt, depression, anger, relief, fear. Guilt because I should be working. Depression and anger because I screwed up. Relief because I messed up Fear in case I get the job. I can't bear the thought of leaving my garden, my safe place. I don't know how I'm meant to feel. I don't want to think about it and I don't want to talk about "how it went" to anyone. I've been sitting like a lump on the sofa for the two hours since the interview and this is the first thing I've been able to do.
  7. Sorry it's been so long between posts. Sometimes i feel I want to write about stuff but then I bury myself in knitting, gardening, online games, and I feel quite content with just me and the cat and not trying to contact anyone else until my partner gets home. I'm still on medication and they still make me queasy, but now I know I only feel sick and I'm not actually going to be sick. I thought I was over the panic attacks, apart from getting the shakes when my partner's alarm does off but he needs it to get to work and earplugs help a bit. Then this morning I got a letter from work inviting me to a grievance meeting on Friday and even though I was expecting it my stomach started churning. (Pause to put earplugs in - next door are having a new boiler fitted so there's drilling) Anyway, I can cancel or reschedule the meeting if I can't manage it and the two people it's with are both people I quite like. I'm just being impatient and anticipating all the problems before they happen. Anyway, that's the news but my real reason for posting was a couple of things that I think are interesting and I wondered if anyone had experienced anything similar about themselves. The first was from an ex-boss who is also a friend. I emailed her about an incident I remembered to get her perspective on it. She didn't remember it, but she told me about my first day at work. My POV. It was the 14th November, right after Rememberance Sunday, I always watch it and I get quite emotional because of my Grandad, who was in the WW1 trenches, So it was on my mind and I mentioned it. She said not to talk about it too much because one of the other girls had just lost her father. So I was being conscious of her feelings, and concentrating on learning the new job etc etc. I remember thinking my new boss was really nice because she kept telling me not to answer the phone until I was ready, and was used to people just expecting me to do the job. I struggle sometimes but I've been doing admin since 1983 and all offices work the same way, so I can predict most of it, Her POV. She was talking to me and asking questions that first day and I was replying with single random words that didn't make sense. She expected people to be nervous on their first day in a new job but she thought I was terrified, and that's why she stopped me from answering the phone. I had no sense that I was doing this, I was only concentrating so hard on "dong it right", that I was probably saying exactly what I was thinking - words that made sense to me because they were in context in my head, but made no sense to just listening to them. The second one is from a male friend who has suffered from depression for a long time. He mentioned covering it up with comedy and "wearing a mask". I understood straight away. I was bullied and teased and laughed at all the way through school, and when I got to college, and the bullying stopped long enough for me to relax a bit, I started to learn how to be funny, so I could control when people laughed at me and why. I've got quite good at it, and I've even been called "cool" once or twice. So I told him about that, and here's the important part, then I remembered that there was a short time when I was at college, that I used to say "hallo" to people by hitting them or biting them. I think this might have been because the kids at school had been so awful to me I hadn't had any opportunity to learn what the rules of being nice were, and I was copying what I had experienced as normal behaviour. Or feeling threatened and going on the offensive before they had a chance to be nasty to me. I don't think it lasted very long. I bit one of my friend's boyfriends when I met him for the first time and I have some guilt associated with that memory so she probably told me it was wrong.. So I was wondering if anyone else here had any similar experiences and if you had figured out why you did what you did.
  8. how do I cope until Wednesday?

    Hi again Yes, he walked in at about 4.30 on Wednesday. We made dinner and had a nice quiet evening together. It's been a bit up and down since then. Thursday I had another GP appointment. I needed a new note for work and he looked at my panic attack diary and has given me some medication - Citalopram, They knock me out for about 6 hours and make me feel queasy, and he says they won't start working for about a week. I had a letter to post but I couldn't face the post office on the main road, so I went to another post box, but that looked so vandalised I didn't trust it was being used any more. So I came home and thought I'd try again on Friday. My partner phoned my boss Friday morning, which triggered another attack because she wanted to speak to me again.- "She's not in hospital so she can speak on the phone". I can't bear the thought of speaking to her because all she'll do is try and put pressure on me. That knocked me back for the whole day. I spent it on the sofa with the laptop searching for garden ornaments - I have a single Roman foot and I wanted a hand to have reaching out of the raised bed. I'm going to have to get some dental alginate and stone powder and make it myself. I nearly bought an apple until I noticed it had a oak leaf instead of an apple leaf! Saturday we walked to the post office together and went to a garden centre in the afternoon. That went okay. Sunday we went into town to see the choir I belong to sing. It was a competition and I was meant to be singing a solo, but of course that all went to the wall when I got ill. It was my first time going somewhere with a lot of people and I was okay. The choir was great. I'll check my email later to see where they came. I was a little bit anxious going home because we took the same route coming home from work. I just had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't every time I saw a familiar landmark. This morning I had a hospital appointment (ultrasound on my thyroid), and so I needed my alarm but it triggered another panic attack. I was shivering for about 5-10 minutes and it keeps coming back. It's 21 degrees in here but I still feel cold. I'm starting to get a sense of what causes my attacks. It's sudden high-pitched or harsh sounds.Tomorrow I don't need to get up for anything in particular so I'll try wearing ear plugs and just get up when he does. I'm going to wrap up and refill the bird table now. We had a pair of Coaltits visit the garden this morning and the Robin and Mr and Mrs Blackbird want more meal worms.
  9. how do I cope until Wednesday?

    positive_about. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page there's a tiny link "To the Mines of Alderley Edge" There's a section there on the geology. That part of it isn't quite in my line of interest but I understand it is fascinating. I spent most of yesterday planning my garden while I waited for the first batch of ferns to arrive. I already have comfrey and creeping jenny in the wild patch. I want anise hyssop - a lovely aniseed scented herb that is number one for bees, and I have a list of other perennial wild flowers to plant there too. 3 hardy geraniums will go there as well. I already have loads but they're all pink, and these three are blue, white and black. I love black flowers too. They look so alien. Geraniums spread, the slugs won't eat them and they form nice domes for the hedgehog to forage underneath, The ferns got here about 3.45 so I had time to plant them before it got dark. Now I want more ferns as well. These are evergreen and I'll probably stick to that type, but I want some Japanese painted ferns to plant in between. They'll disappear in the winter but they have beautiful silvery leaves and in summer they'll brighten up my shady garden and look really dramatic. I want borage for the herb garden I wouldn't mind some bergamont as well, Creeping thyme for more ground cover in the wild patch - it's another great bee plant. We have a trellis up the side of the shed that is primarily a ladder for the squirrels to get to their feeder, but the shed is ugly and so my partner would like something to grow up that. I found the perfect plant with the right growing rate and the right conditions to grow in a pot, and it's jasmine, so t'll probably play havoc with his rhinitis. I'll warn him and if he still wants to go ahead, so be it. I woke up at 5am and had another panic attack. Tried taking some kalms but instead of calming down they knocked me out and I woke up at 10.30 feeling ill. So once I was steady enough not to fall downstairs I went back out in the garden to check on the plants. I ended up digging up a geranium that was getting tangled in the cotoneaster (co-to-ne-aster - for years I thought it was pronounced "cotton Easter!"), then I transplanted some colombines and a cowslip to better places. Mr and Mrs Blackbird and the sparrows stayed in the garden with me while I was working... there are times when I worry that my life is becoming like a Disney film... It's about 1pm in Spain, so my partner will be flying back in an hour. He'll get back to Lverpool about 3 UK time, and then it's an hour to home. I can't wait to see him, and my wool just arrived, so I can finish off my knitting while I wait. That DVD from my GP still isn't here. I'll tackle him about that tomorrow.
  10. My life is plagued with noisy computers! At least that's what I used to think. Now I realise that I unconsciously tune into background noise, despite being slightly deaf from heavy metal concerts in my youth. Distant car alarms suddenly sound a lot closer. If there are several conversations going on at the same time e.g. in a noisy pub, I lose track of the conversation I'm in and end up dropping out of it. I avoid places like that now. Cinema and theatres aren't so bad because everyone is focussed on the same thing. (I hate people talking in the cinema though. I paid to watch a movie, not listen to their mindless drivel) Engine noise doesn't bother me. I love motorbikes and I used to watch drag racing too. There the engines are so loud you can scream as they go by and not be able to hear yourself - great fun! I do find the constant high pitched whine of F1 cars annoying, and my partner is a fan, so sometimes I can watch with him and sometimes I have to leave him to it. Just as an aside about motorbikes. My neighbour and my partner both have Triumph Bonnevilles. My neighbour has the megaphone exhausts on his, My partner doesn't. I can hear my neighbour's bike coming from 3 streets away and I call my partner's the stealth bike. Or the Ninja. (It's real name as far as I'm concerned is Jazz Hands but that's another story). ;-)
  11. how do I cope until Wednesday?

    I just got off the phone from my partner. I really miss him but it was good to hear his voice and I have a photo of him smiling at me on my phone that I can look at. He's trying to find a cup of tea so he can sleep. He has a 7am start tomorrow (6am our time) but at least they are listening to him so it isn't a wasted trip, which is one thing that was bothering him. To positive_about. It's not so much the village/town but the hill - The Edge - that I like. The town is a little bit trendy, but it has supermarkets, Oxfam shop and a Costa Coffee like most places. You drive through it and then follow the signs for "over Alderley" that take you up Macclesfield Road. There are some huge imposing and impressive houses on the way up the hill. This is the old part of Alderley Edge, before it was fashionable and was just expensive. I remember thinking how much nicer it was not to be struggling up the hill on foot like normal because I had the chance to look at them properly. There was one that had a little clock tower like a church. There are three entrances to the Edge (that I know of now). The first one is the usual place we've got on to the hill before. That brings you out at Stormy Point which has amazing views. We would have gone there on the way to the Wizard's well but we didn't make it that far. We drove straight past it because it's just a gate with a National Trust sign, and we stopped at the second. This was right at the middle point of the hill. Easier to spot as it was a bigger gate and a map with a lot of cars parked up. Now I know better I'd suggest carrying on bit further to the pub, The Wizard Inn. The tea room is there too with a proper car park and I think the information centre is there too I first learned about The Edge when my class read The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner at school. All the places mentioned in the book are there although some of them are follies - like the druid's circle - and some of them were created. apparently, by Alan Garner's great great grandfather! Alan Garner made up some things - birds do sing on the Edge - but he was right about others - it is very easy to lose your way, There's a really good website about it here. http://www.alderleyedge.org/index.htm The first time I visited was in 1986. We took the train to Crewe and changed there. I got my first look at Jodrell Bank on the way and fell in love with that too. It's only a few miles away. As I said, I love Alderley Edge, but I'd prefer it with less people about so I can concentrate on where my feet are going. To Lyndalou I've got the no cold callers sign up. We did that after getting the flowers last week freaked me out. I know what you mean about the lights too. My partner goes to visit his family every 8 weeks or so, and I usually have to keep the hall light on. I managed to switch it off for the the first time last time but I don't think I'll manage it tonight somehow. I've cut back on caffeine too - I do love my diet coke - but need to do that slowly. I ended up feeling sick and with a bad headache last week. I've done the teeshirt thing too, but with his pillow! I can't think of anything new I want to start, but the good news is that I have a box of ferns to plant in the garden and they might come tomorrow or Thursday. I'm going to try and get out in the garden tomorrow whatever, refill the bird tables and do some weeding. I'm doing lots of garden planning as well. We had it all redone last week and I'm going to buy plants to attract bees and butterflies. It's a proper wildlife garden and now it's warming up it's so busy with all the birds, squirrels and hedgehog. It is one place where I can relax but I hope it's not too cold. It's about 20 degrees in here and I'm wearing thermal socks but my feet are still like two block of ice.
  12. how do I cope until Wednesday?

    Thanks We can keep in touch. He has a company mobile and his boss is okay with them picking up the bill as he'll be phoning home too. It's just the thought that the evening will come and I know he won't be coming home. Or tomorrow night. He really hates flying as well. I do read but I don't feel much like it right now. It doesn't really occupy my mind enough. Housework is pretty much all done. Knitting helps, (repetitive and creative) but I've had to stop for a few days because 1) I ran out of wool and had to order some more and 2) it makes my fingers really sore. (I hate my fingerprick tests for the same reason) What I really want is for the postman - one person I will open the door to! - to bring me some plants for the back garden, but I doubt they'll arrive until later in the week. His flight took off a little while ago. I think I need to go and cry for a bit.
  13. Hi again I've been in denial about this for the last few days but my partner was just picked up by his boss and I'm terrified. They're driving to Liverpool and catching a plane to Barcelona. He won't be back until Wednesday evening. His boss knows I'm ill but he's needed for these meetings, so he has to go. I've been off work for two weeks with anxiety. Things that trigger panic attacks are: waking up and the reality of my situation hits me Ringing phones People ringing the doorbell Certain TV programmes Getting flowers from work Just having quiet time and starting to think too much A long queue in a post office I'd not been to before and waiting outside with people walking past me Children running I have to describe this one: Yesterday we went to Alderley Edge in Cheshire which I love. There were families and dogs there. We'd been there for about 15 minutes - I'd taken a photo of an interesting tree stump and we'd walked up to the Beacon. As we started towards - I think - the Wizard's Well I started to realise how muddy, slippery and steep the paths were. We kept trying to find an easier way around and then the whole forest seemed to spin and I had to stop because I was so dizzy. I was able to go on for a bit and then we sat down on a log for about 10 minutes while I calmed down again and listened to the birds. We carried on down the path a bit further, passed two families with kids and dogs and I couldn't go on. It was just after midday but I was frightened of getting lost and stuck there after dark, or coming out so far from the motorbike I'd have to struggle uphill in my motorbike gear and be so tired that I fell off the back on our way home. There were too many people, kids and too many dogs, and too many trees that looked the same. I got disorientated, lost all sense of direction. My hands were freezing - my partner said they were icy to the touch - but inside my jacket I was soaked with sweat. We left the path to go back to the bike and I could barely walk upright. I thought I was going to faint and I had to keep hold of his hand. It felt like he was dragging me though he wasn't. When we got the path I was stomping and walking like a robot. When we paused so my partner could choose the path I just stood still staring blankly into space. It turned out we had gone a bit wrong and went we got out of the wood we were a bit further down the road from where we parked, at the pub, There's a tea room there so we stopped for some chocolate and then walked back to the bike, which was less that quarter of a mile away. Once we were back on the bike going home I was fine again. I'm diabetic and I have gone hypo before. I get confused and irritable, but this didn't feel quite the same, even though chocolate helped fix it. This was real fear, but at the same time there was a little person in the back of my head telling me I was being irrational. When we got out and I asked my partner how far away the bike was and he said not far, I needed to know exactly how far "not far" was. 100 metres, half a mile, a mile? I sounded childish even to myself. My partner said I have got worse since my panic attack week before last which was caused by people moving too fast and too close to me. Last Thursday morning I woke up, had the panic attack but instead of gasping I froze. When I could move I started pulling my hair out. Last night I went to bed with chest pains because I knew he'd be gone this morning. I've got the phone on mute, the answer phone on, the door locked and I'm not going out any further than the back garden. The only people I've told are an online friend in Australia who's raising her autistic grandson and you. I don't want to stay with anyone because there's no-one I trust nearby. Even if there was it would mean going outside and using public transport, and I don't want anyone in the house with me because they would be invading my space and I'd feel compelled to be the perfect hostess and try and act "appropriately". I've seen the doctor and he won't give me any medication to stop the panic attacks. Instead last week he said he'd send me a DVD with relaxation techniques but that's not here - in fact, my Australian friend sent me a DVD and that arrived first! I'm relying on Kalms but last Tuesday after one panic I took some too close together. They knocked me out for 3 hours and I woke up feeling sick and with a headache. The earliest I could get an appointment with him is Thursday and that's after my partner gets back. What I'm asking is, is there anyone out there that knows this and can you help? How did you cope? I'm really scared I'm going to die without him there.
  14. I know I've not posted anything for a few days. I've not been in a condition to do much. I keep having panic attacks. My doctor won't prescribe me anything but instead is sending me a relaxation CD which hasn't arrived yet. My partner, "S" has to fly off to Spain with work for 3 days on Monday so I am very frightened of being left alone for that long, but equally I don't want anyone else in the house with me. Right now I have the answer-phone on and the phone switched off, a notice up to stop cold callers, and the TV on mute with subtitles on. I've been too frightened leave the house since Monday but I've agreed to go out with S at the weekend. If the weather holds he's suggested taking the motorbike up to Alderly Edge, so I'm really hoping it stays dry. Anyway, in between the panic attacks and knitting - which seems to help me cope with the panic- I've been thinking about the interesting stuff, mostly the characteristics of Aspergers and how they match or don't match my view of myself. It's going to be a long wait for my diagnosis, so I need to try and make sense of things in the meantime. It occurred to me that this is a place where I I can talk about random stuff and ramble a bit, and I'm interested to hear what other people think about "stuff" as well. So here goes. I've read in several places that women with apsergers have an almost androgneous image of themselves. This confused me at first because I've never felt like a man, never wanted to be a man and never even thought of myself as a tomboy. When I was growing up, a traditional tomboy meant climbing trees and dungerees (that rhymes!), liking sport, getting muddy. I was never any of those things but I played with my brothers because there was no-one else, I've always got on better with men than women who I feel are competitive and bitchy, I don't act or dress in a girly way and I don't do girly things - shopping with friends, ladies that lunch etc. I think of myself more as an intelligent animal. I've always liked and been interested in animals and I feel that I'm more in tune with them than with most people. The local hedgehog never rolls into a ball if I get close to him and sometimes will even trundle about if I step back a pace or two. The blackbird will land and stay in the garden with me just a couple of yards away. I know not to look directly at birds as it's a predator threat. I meow at cats and they answer. Dogs like me even though I'm less keen on them. I knew when a donkey was getting sick before anyone else. I've flown birds of prey a few times and love it, even though it brings home just how bird-brained birds are! I just seem to have an instinctive understanding of animals and how to behave around them. Conversely, while I like animals I'm not so sentimental about them that I don't mind eating some of them too! I think some of this was growing up near a farm, feeding cows and calfs over the garden fence and knowing they might be Sunday dinner. Being omnivore is natural in the same way that a cat is carnivore and a sheep is herbivore. Another example - I ate horse in France years ago so I'm less concerned about that than the mis-labeling, fraud and deceit - especially when it was revealed yesterday that some horse meat was sold as halal beef. That's just wrong. It amazes me how people react to animals, especially wildlife. Two of my work colleagues don't like animals because they're dirty. Of course they're dirty, they're animals! I don't blame grey squirrels for the demise of red squirrels because they didn't swim the Atlantic in their own, ships were responsible for bringing hem here. I don't blame the mink for killing our wildlife, fur farmers brought them here and animal activists released them. People blame animals for their own mistakes. A good recent example is the "Fox bites baby" case in South London. While I sympathise with the poor baby we didn't hear how or why the fox was in the house. If it was summer then it could wandered in through an open door that someone had left open if the weather was hot. I think that's what happened the last time a child was attacked a few years ago. But in winter? My guess is that it's developed the habit of coming in and slipped in unnoticed, so that means someone has encouraged it. Everyone is so quick to punish the fox for its natural opportunist behaviour. The BBC Breakfast team were discussing how to get rid of the foxes. Poisoning them would have put pets at risk - they completely forgot to mention other wildlife - like hedgehogs that are so much trouble they are classed as endangered - and of course children. You can't shoot foxes in a city crowded with people and trapping them is too expensive. Then they spoke to the lovely Chris Packham (Springwatch and The Really Wild Show) who reminded us that foxes go where the food is and if people weren't such dirty digusting animals to start with, dropping litter everywhere for them to snack on, that would naturally control the population. I could have kissed him! (One of the reasons I was happy to leave London was the filth. I notice the bad smell every time I go back, almost as soon as I leave the train.) Of course he was absolutely right, but I have seen the flip side - ironically the last time I went to visit my mum in London. The council has had a major crackdown on litter, and with their food taken away so suddenly the local foxes have hunted and killed several pet cats. :-( The fox population will reduce in time but I can see more casualties between now and then. I suppose the solution is to keep cats in at night. The other mistake is people thinking they can almost make pets of wild animals. I feed the hedgehog to make sure he has enough fat to see him through the winter, and the squirrels to tempt them away from the bird table, but the squirrel feeder is well away from the house and I would never pick up the hedgehog. I remember a really sad story about a family that had raised a badger cub. He lived in their back garden for years but when they moved away he attacked the new family because they suddenly appeared in his territory and he had no fear of people. He was put down. Wild animals need to stay wild. Security. On the BBC report they showed a photo of a fox standing on a kitchen worktop in front of a sash window. The sash window was open at the bottom. You know, those windows open at the top and then the fox wouldn't be able to get in. I'd better stop here. I'm having trouble thinking of any more and so I really would be rambling. So anyway, I'm a thinking animal. Now if only I could find a pack to run with I'd be sorted - lol!
  15. Thanks for all the advice and support. I tried to watch a bit of TV yesterday, but the only thing that looked halfway decent was on one of the music channels - 21st Century Girl Groups. Not my usual kind of music at all but I thought, what the hey. In retrospect I can see where I went wrong. I can put up with Girls Aloud, the video by the Saturdays was interesting because they they were all dressed as superhero types. Little Mix? No. The last time I watched them singing about "changing your life" was on Children in Need and I thought it was an odd message for a collection of Bratz dolls to deliver then. I got bored then started to have another panic attack. So I switched it off, and went out back to refill the bird and squirrel feeders and put out more food for the hedgehog. (We have a wildlife garden). I had two more panic attacks last night and another this morning. No idea why except that I'm thinking too much. There's an alarm going off somewhere now. It keeps changing volume which makes me think it's a long way off but my "spidey sense" is making it seem much louder
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