CTO, by Henry Bladon

Bladon 3

You can live free in the community
(as long as we always know where you live).

You must take medication
(which you don’t want because it makes you feel bad)

We will call these drugs ‘treatment’
(which is stretching the truth).

We will respect your opinion
(but over-ride it if we so choose).

You may claim you are well
(but we will decide).

You must remember your appointments
(even though your brain is fuzzy).

If you do not comply, we reserve the right to deprive you of your liberty against your will even though you have agreed to these conditions under duress and may take a different view of your life.
(That’s just how the system works, I’m afraid.)

 

Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) are a statutory instrument of control in psychiatric practice. Commonly used worldwide, they were introduced in the UK in 2008. They require a person to live at a stated address and to accept such treatments (generally psychotropic drugs) as are deemed necessary.

Artwork is Nobody’s City by Dutch artist Marcel Herms (Netherlands) marcelherms.nl

Henry Bladon is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy and a PhD in literature and creative writing. His work can be seen in Fewer than 500, Pure Slush, Truth Serum Press, Flash Frontier, and O:JA&L, among other places.

Three poems by Henry Bladon

Bladon 2

 

the demon on my back

the demon on my back
calls it a hug.

he says:
you don’t know me yet,
but you will.

we will be friends,
you and me.

 

(Image is Untitled, by Dutch artist, Marcel Herms.
marcelherms.nl)

Homeboy - Bladon

 

Serotonin

Flood in, flood in, create the happy tide.
You expect me to believe.
But listen to this:
Over two hundred neurotransmitters
carrying messages, feelings and memories
yet nothing to measure them by.

Now try and tell me you know why
when all you have is theory

 

The ‘serotonin theory’ suggests that depression is caused by a lack of the neurochemical substance serotonin. Although widely quoted as fact, it remains a hypothesis, and one for which there is no direct evidence.

(Image is Homeboy, by Dutch artist, Marcel Herms. marcelherms.nl)

 

Psychobabble and Snake Oil (An ABBA Poem)

The medics think this is magical stuff
the secret of curing the brain
try one, try another and try again
because sometimes one’s not enough.

Psychotherapists talk and promise much
but don’t know which way to take
their words are deep but their promises fake
their ideas just straws they clutch.

..

Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry and teaches creative writing for therapeutic purposes. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. He frequently writes commentary about mental health issues and his literary work can be seen in O:JA&L, Tuck Magazine, Mercurial Stories, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places.