When Ewen first showed signs of serious illness, he successfully hid his symptoms from the professionals who were trying to help him and he did not get the help he desperately needed. As his parents, we were largely thwarted in our attempts to help with our observations of his condition due to ‘Patient Confidentiality’ considerations. Early intervention is considered important in improving the chances of a good outcome in the treatment of psychotic illnesses such as Schizophrenia. Since Ewen’s death we have been pressing for more reliance on evidence from close family or friends to assist in early diagnosis.
Ewen suffered from bouts of depression and self doubt over many years before he became more seriously ill. We had tried to encourage him and help him overcome his problems, while also urging him to seek professional help. Because he had no real diagnosis, we did not know where to look for information other than leaflets picked up in surgeries or waiting rooms. However, Internet sources of information on Schizophrenia, and resources for helping sufferers appear to have improved over the last few years. Below we’ve listed a few which we hope may prove helpful.
NSF Scotland: http://www.nsfscot.org.uk/
Highland Users Group (HUG): http://www.hug.uk.net/
Birchwood Highland: http://www.birchwoodhighland.org.uk/
Befrienders Highland: http://www.befriendershighland.org.uk/
The Royal College of Psychiatrists: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/