Mad Covid Diaries

Welcome to #MadCovidDiaries

Mad Covid Diaries aims to document the lived experiences of those who were mad before the entire world went Covid crazy for historical purposes and to influence change right now.

You can contribute in a number of ways by:-

1. Using the #MadCovidDiaries to record your daily reflections whenever you like

2. Volunteering to submit a weekly diary in any medium you like – for example video or audio diaries, blogs and more creative methods for example art and photography.

3. Doing a one off diary whenever you feel like it.

4. Having a weekly conversation with a member of the #MadCovidDiaries team. This could be audio or video recorded or could be written up.

5. Any other way – please get in touch to discuss!

If you would like to know more or contribute to this project, please get in touch at madcovid@gmail.com or @MadCovid on instagram and twitter. You can take part anonymously if you wish.

Bethan talks about #MadCovidDiaries – what it is, why it started and how you can take part!

Meet the #MadCovidDiaries diarists Here!

Check out our most recent #MadCovidDiaries below!

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020 – We are already aware!

This is a reblog from Charlie Richards’ blog Recolourising Life This last Sunday (24/05) marks the end of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. I have quite mixed views about MHAW for various reasons, but my opinion can best be summarised as: We need to be encouraging action, not awareness. We are already aware. When I say we areContinue reading “#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020 – We are already aware!”

My therapist held this power over me and yet could affirm that the experience I was having was not diseased or pathological, and was in fact positive, was remarkable and deeply validating and healing for me.

David Mordecai’s #MadCovidDiaries diary – 27.05.2020 One of memories that clearly marks how my life changed thanks to mental illness was being admitted to the overnight unit at the health centre of my university and having the staff person there write a giant ‘psi’ on her pad, which she then showed to the friend whoContinue reading “My therapist held this power over me and yet could affirm that the experience I was having was not diseased or pathological, and was in fact positive, was remarkable and deeply validating and healing for me.”

Brave New World? #9

Tony’s Photographic #MadCovidDiary 29.5.2020 Tony adds his 9th instalment of photos to the collection ‘Brave New World?’. He takes photos on his daily short walks under lockdown in the UK. You can read more about his work here. LEAVES ON THE LINE Golden leaves Swirl past the window Sighing on air F             A       LContinue reading “Brave New World? #9”

No one can fix this mess… Maybe it’s reasonable to cry… Maybe being one of many helpline callers tonight is a sign that this crisis is a big one.

TW: Self Harm Heather‘s #MadCovidDiaries 27.5.2020  I’ve been crying for an hour by the time I make the call. People say crying is therapeutic, like a flash storm – it’s a sudden spurt of emotion that clears all the cobwebs away. I’ve been sat, fully dressed in the empty bath tub alone for an hourContinue reading “No one can fix this mess… Maybe it’s reasonable to cry… Maybe being one of many helpline callers tonight is a sign that this crisis is a big one.”

This whole experience is really taking a mental and physical toll on my body. Each day to me actually represents three or four days of pre-covid time.

Sunitha’s #MadCovidDiaries 25.5.2020  Yesterday, my mum reiterated her desire to come drive to see me even if it was just from afar. A couple of weeks ago, I was seriously considering self isolating in preparation for relaxing of lockdown rules and asking my parents to do the same. Unfortunately, trying to convince my mum thatContinue reading “This whole experience is really taking a mental and physical toll on my body. Each day to me actually represents three or four days of pre-covid time.”

I’m amazed at the brass neck on Johnson. It’s like being in some George Orwell novel.

Jo’s #MadCovidDiaries 25.5.2020 TW: Swearing. Jo’s tenth vlog is out now!  Jo is not happy about Dominic Cummings’ antics in Durham when he should have been adhering to the lockdown and then using Autism as a defence. She’s also not happy with the way Boris Johnson has stood by him. On a positive note, she’sContinue reading “I’m amazed at the brass neck on Johnson. It’s like being in some George Orwell novel.”

I’m off to get ready for a virtual Zoom cocktail party tonight! I’m loving the possibilities for remote connection that are springing up. I never want those to go away.

Human Bean‘s #MadCovidDiaries – Week 9: May 18th to May 24th Hi all. I’ve been generally feeling more positive this week. I made the tough decision to keep my four year old off preschool for the rest of the school year (I also have a two year old at home).  I feel lucky to haveContinue reading “I’m off to get ready for a virtual Zoom cocktail party tonight! I’m loving the possibilities for remote connection that are springing up. I never want those to go away.”

Nature

Steve’s Photographic #MadCovidDiary 26.5.2020 Steve shares some more of his amazing collection of photographs on the topic ‘Nature’! He’s happy to receive suggestions about photo topics – he has a big collection of photographs he’d like to share with everyone.  Thank you Steve :  ) This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0Continue reading “Nature”

Self harm is something many living with mental illness have experienced, and yet it remains something people are squeamish about, that they reject, that they shame us for.

Hope’s #MadCovidDiaries Tuesday 21.5.2020 TW: Self Harm Because it’s been the heinously platitudinous Mental Health Awareness Week this week, and inspired by @mugamnesty’s recent blog on psychosis, I’ve decided to write this diary about self harm. Self harm is something many living with mental illness have experienced, and yet it remains something people are squeamishContinue reading “Self harm is something many living with mental illness have experienced, and yet it remains something people are squeamish about, that they reject, that they shame us for.”

Secret Meetings: I’m on the margins staring at the academy’s ivory towers and there’s no door let alone window in sight.

TW: Swearing Bethan‘s #MadCovidDiaries 22.5.2020  Being left out is a big thing for me.  I’ve felt like an outsider many times in my life, starting quite early when I moved schools when I was 6 – from England to Wales.  I was kept down a year, was in a Welsh school when I couldn’t speakContinue reading “Secret Meetings: I’m on the margins staring at the academy’s ivory towers and there’s no door let alone window in sight.”

COVID is casting the choices between health and wealth in the starkest possible terms.

David Mordecai’s #MadCovidDiaries diary – 19.05.2020 I am in Toronto, Canada, and our political leadership would like us to believe that we are far enough along in our response to COVID to end our shutdown. My garden business was allowed to resume operations on May 4th. That’s shifted a lot in my life and isContinue reading “COVID is casting the choices between health and wealth in the starkest possible terms.”

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020: I find the whole thing extremely hollow

Jo’s #MadCovidDiaries 18.5.2020 TW: Swearing. Jo’s ninth vlog is out now!  Jo critiques mental health awareness week and doesn’t hold back! She speaks about celebrities and organisations who use it to promote themselves and workplaces who place the onus for dealing with mental health on the individual rather than making workplaces healthier. As Jo say’sContinue reading “#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020: I find the whole thing extremely hollow”

Psychosis is a real illness hidden away by decades of stigma and misinformation – and buried further underground amongst the empty promises and platitudes of Mental Health Awareness Week.

TW: Psychosis @mugamnesty’s #MadCovidDiaries 19.5.2020 The Mechanisms of Psychosis Given that psychosis is one of the most ignored and maligned aspects of mental health knowledge amongst the general public, I’d like to offer you my take on the matter – by explaining exactly how psychosis took hold of my mind and turned the world upsideContinue reading “Psychosis is a real illness hidden away by decades of stigma and misinformation – and buried further underground amongst the empty promises and platitudes of Mental Health Awareness Week.”

Waiting lists are months long and racial disparities are ignored. Mental health awareness week is just not enough.

Sunitha’s #MadCovidDiaries 18.5.2020  I don’t really know where to start. After a very challenging week, the weekend for me has been a lot of me trying to contain my anger and having these beautiful moments of hope. In some ways, I’m starting the cycle again of settling into this new normal but it really overwhelmsContinue reading “Waiting lists are months long and racial disparities are ignored. Mental health awareness week is just not enough.”

If you want to do us a kindness, find another way to plug the gaps. Vote for policies that prioritise the NHS and local government funding and challenge the austerity agenda.

Charlotte‘s #MadCovidDiaries 18.5.2020 Lockdown Mental Health Awareness Week So Mental Health Awareness Week has rolled around again. I’m afraid I’m one of those jaded people with severe mental illness who feels that these days and weeks ring somewhat hollow, raising “awareness” without improving services or doing much to impact on the lives of people withContinue reading “If you want to do us a kindness, find another way to plug the gaps. Vote for policies that prioritise the NHS and local government funding and challenge the austerity agenda.”

I had an email from the preschool saying my daughter could go back from June 1st. I can’t decide. There are so many strong reasons for and against.

Human Bean‘s #MadCovidDiaries – Week 8: May 11th to May 17th TW: alcohol, panic attacks, PTSD, shame It’s been a week of two halves. During the first half I felt quite positive; I had a new found direction in self help from the springboard of therapy ending. Things at home were good, as my partnerContinue reading “I had an email from the preschool saying my daughter could go back from June 1st. I can’t decide. There are so many strong reasons for and against.”

“I’ll just give you a call once a week to make sure you’re alive”: Changes to how mental health services are delivered during COVID19: Part 1.

To date, we’ve done 16 interviews with people using mental health services across the UK. This is the third in a series of blogs highlighting key issues that they’re facing as a result of COVID19. Some of the people we interviewed gave consent to publish their interview in full, which are being uploaded here, andContinue reading ““I’ll just give you a call once a week to make sure you’re alive”: Changes to how mental health services are delivered during COVID19: Part 1.”

The healing power of therapy comes from a secure and trusting relationship between therapist and client, Covid-19 induced separation is the antithesis to this.

Psychotherapy and lock-down, by Anonymous 13.5.2020 “Being forced to relocate one’s practice, having phone sessions, and responding to personal questions are all indications of the changed treatment frame, conscious manifestations of the boundary alterations that take place, and a reminder that psychotherapy can never be business as usual after a shared trauma of this magnitude.”Continue reading “The healing power of therapy comes from a secure and trusting relationship between therapist and client, Covid-19 induced separation is the antithesis to this.”

Watching the @MadCovid and #MadCovidDiaries community grow has been an absolute privilege and life raft for me.

Bethan’s #MadCovidDiaries 15.5.2020  Being behind the scenes helping the cogs turn has been my kind of thing for a long while. I guess that’s what I’ve been doing with #MadCovidDiaries until now.  Hi world, I’m Bethan, the diary uploader, editor, picture selector, email replier etc etc!  Watching the @MadCovid and #MadCovidDiaries community grow has beenContinue reading “Watching the @MadCovid and #MadCovidDiaries community grow has been an absolute privilege and life raft for me.”

Living a Raisin-Free Life

@mugamnesty’s #MadCovidDiaries 12.5.2020 Like the majority of people reading this, I’ve seen a fair number of psychiatrists over the years. With the exception of a few individuals, the care I received from NHS mental health services frequently left a lot to be desired. I am immensely grateful to my family and close friends, who helpedContinue reading “Living a Raisin-Free Life”

The cogs in my head have been in overdrive; what life do I want after this crisis is over. Where does my energy go? What do I care about?

Sunitha’s #MadCovidDiaries 10.5.2020  I’m feeling angry today, terrified, anxious. What did I expect after watching the waffling from our Prime Minster? I called my mum and I got really emotional, especially when her response was very much well we can’t be in lockdown forever. Last week I told her she couldn’t come to see me,Continue reading “The cogs in my head have been in overdrive; what life do I want after this crisis is over. Where does my energy go? What do I care about?”

COVID19: When it’s someone you know it becomes personal.

Jo’s #MadCovidDiaries 11.5.2020 TW: COVID death, swearing. Jo’s eighth vlog is out now!  Jo’s out in the park on her daily permitted exercise. She talks about how angry and sad she’s feeling after hearing of the death of one of her work colleagues, particularly after Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday the 10th of May. SheContinue reading “COVID19: When it’s someone you know it becomes personal.”

I’m celebrating a year sober this coming week. Happy one year to me!

Human Bean‘s #MadCovidDiaries – Week 7: May 4th to May 10th  TW: Alcohol / Sobriety Did I miss a week? How did I miss a week?  It has been a difficult fortnight for me. I felt extremely low. So tired, no energy or motivation to do anything. Hopeless. Worried. It was also the fortnight leadingContinue reading “I’m celebrating a year sober this coming week. Happy one year to me!”

My stress bucket has felt like an ember, turning into a smouldering fire and yesterday finally turning into an explosion.

@outdoorperscrip‘s #MadCovidDiaries 6.5.2020 The explosion of the stress bucket So yesterday things sort of unravelled. In mental health services they often like to talk about the stress bucket, how it fills up and you need to find ways of making holes in it to let the water out to stop it from overflowing. Recently my stressContinue reading “My stress bucket has felt like an ember, turning into a smouldering fire and yesterday finally turning into an explosion.”

My OCD: Seeing Red

Hope’s #MadCovidDiaries – 6.5.2020 TW: OCD, sexual abuse, STDs, self-harm, hallucinations, disordered thinking After the recent discourse surrounding OCD and the pandemic— which, in short, seems to be suggesting it is helpful or desirable— I decided that this week I would write about my experience of OCD and why this discourse is harmful. Many membersContinue reading “My OCD: Seeing Red”

#StayAlert: The pushing back of responsibility onto the individual echoes neoliberal health and welfare policies.

Charlotte‘s #MadCovidDiaries 10.5.2020 Don’t you hate it when a partner, friend or (worse) a manager says to you, “Listen, we need to talk later. I’ll tell you what it’s about then.” Argh! Terror! What can they possibly want to say that’s so important they can’t just say now? It must be something awful! Is heContinue reading “#StayAlert: The pushing back of responsibility onto the individual echoes neoliberal health and welfare policies.”

Waiting on the Cliff Edge: The crisis of quarantine for the mentally ill.

Retropxssy‘s #MadCovidDiaries TW: Suicide, Anorexia, COVID deaths I feel as though I have been left to die. I am one of the 1 in 4 people in the world affected by a  mental health problem. ‘Normally’, despite diagnoses of complex trauma, anorexia, anxiety and depression, I’m pretty high functioning. A lot of the time, aContinue reading “Waiting on the Cliff Edge: The crisis of quarantine for the mentally ill.”

BAME key workers from working class backgrounds are falling ill and dying in disproportion to the rest of the population.

By way of introduction  My name is Lol Benson, I am scouse and a middle aged white man who works at Manchester Uni as a senior lecturer in healthcare management. I first developed depression in 2010, triggered by the bereavement of my mum Kathy Benson and then over the following three years I began toContinue reading “BAME key workers from working class backgrounds are falling ill and dying in disproportion to the rest of the population.”

Quarantine eliminates hours of checking from my daily life. I don’t have to pack a bag, lock any doors, or turn off electrical appliances.

TW: Suicide, Eating Disorder, OCD. @mugamnesty’s #MadCovidDiaries 2.5.2020 Approaching work – just around the corner. Beloved violin, on my back, it’s there, check, got it. Backpack, yes, got it. Was there a third item? Why would I bring a third item to work? Can I see myself with a third item? If a colleague sawContinue reading “Quarantine eliminates hours of checking from my daily life. I don’t have to pack a bag, lock any doors, or turn off electrical appliances.”

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