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“I have been conditioned to sit and wait” – my experience of life in lock-down

Hi, my name is John* and I am 39 years young. I spent nine years in psychiatric hospitals all around the country. I was diagnosed as being bipolar and started medication straight away.

Image from Unsplash

My hobbies include cycling, cribbage, chess, computers, Facebook, online games and eBay. I buy and sell online to earn some extra cash and I seem to do a lot of shopping online as well.

I am working on developing a secure recovery college which will operate within a medium secure unit. The idea is to deliver content that will aid patients when they receive-enter the community.

At the moment we are talking on telephone conference calls and brainstorming ideas which we will implement once this madness has subsided.

For me, the biggest impact from the Coronavirus lock-down is the fact that 95% of my income has been lost. I am self-employed and have only meagre savings.

the biggest impact from the Coronavirus lock-down is the fact that 95% of my income has been lost.

Like most people in my boots I have had to apply for Universal Credit and am waiting for HMRC to contact me regarding the furlough payment which I understand is going to be 80% of my average earnings over the last three years.

Other than that it is a case of being creative indoors and finding ways to occupy the time. I shop once a week for groceries and visit the local 7-11 most days for milk and bread which doubles up as exercise. Beyond that I spend a lot of time online as I mentioned earlier.

Being cooped up is something I’m used to because that is the reality of being a patient in a mental hospital.

Image from Unsplash

Being cooped up is something I’m used to because that is the reality of being a patient in a mental hospital. I have been conditioned to sit and wait, to follow instructions, to receive my quota of freedom when the authorities deem it to be appropriate.

All of these things have been echoed over the last three weeks. I suppose I’m lucky in that regard as otherwise I would be climbing the walls.

– *Anonymous (please note that ‘John’ is a fictitious character who represents  a real person and their experiences)