Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Socially Accepted?

A college competitive dance team chose to dress in straight jackets, frizz their hair and blacken their eyes for their dance costumes.  These sort of things are accepted as entertainment.  But they actually promote the stigmas that plague the mentally ill. What if someone you love was medicated and put in a straight jacket, you wouldn't find anything entertaining or funny about it.
Continuing to allow such practices promote the idea that mentally ill individuals are violent and "crazy".  Don't accept this as entertainment!  Look at it for what it is ... a gross portrayal of the mentally ill.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When You Lose Your Right to Make Decisions for Yourself

Just recently I was told I had to go the the er and have a psych evaluation.  If I didn't go then their would be "lights and sirens" they said.  Granted I was showing symptoms of psychiatric distress but I felt I could handle this at home and that was my wish.  To avoid any drama I agreed to the evaluation.  There I sat in the er for hours with a person assigned to watch me.  I was made to change into a johnny and told to stay in my little cubical.  After many hours the DMH worker arrived to evaluate me.  I told him I didn't want to or need to go to the hospital but he smiled and continued the evaluation.  I told him I wasn't a danger to myself or others the prerequisite for an involuntary admission.

When the evaluation was done he left to discuss my case with those he worked with.  I had a past and to be honest my psychiatric history was shaky.  But I knew this time I didn't hospitalization.  He returned and said they were going to admit me and begin the process of f inding a bed.  Their reasoning was when I acted like this in the past I was sent to the hospital.  He confessed to me that if there were any other alternatives to hospitalization I could have been sent there but there wasn't.  Why aren't there more alternatives available to avoid hospitalization?  The system has yet to catch up to the need I suppose.  So the section was enacted and the long wait for a bed started.

After many hours in my little cubical I was so frustrated and hopeless at that point my symptoms worsened.  Not because it was the natural order it was because of the stress I was feeling.  So it made matters worse for me.  Had I been able to stay home or sent to a respite the growing anxiety in me would have been lessened.  So I continued to wait in the er until the wee hours of the morning when I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital more than an hour away from my home.

The next day at the hospital I filed a three day which said either in three days they make a good case for me to stay in the hospital or I would leave.  Well a lot of good that did.  When the three days were just about up they said they didn't want me to go and that they would go to court and evoke their right.  The worst part was that it would take over a week to have my case heard and I would have to remain in the hospital.  So I had no choice but to rescind my three day and hope for the best.

It is hard to lose your right to make your own decisions.  So are they siding on the side of safety or are they caught within a system that needs changes?

What are your thoughts and experiences?  You don't have to be a member to reply to my posts. Are we stuck in a system that has misconceptions about those with a mental illness?  What are the stigmas?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Changing Your View of Depression

Freud pointed out that during bouts of depression the outer life may look empty, but at the same time inner work may be taking place at full speed.  Even this painful process can be honored as a necessary and valuable source of healing.  It is a time when we learn our limits -  " it may not be a conscious effort only; it may come upon us a s a captivating mood of depression, at least momentarily wiping out our happiness, and sending us off into fundamental appraisals of our knowledge, our assumptions, and the very pourpose of our existence". Thomas Moore Care of the Soul

... it is just something to ponder

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking Control

After years of relapses and timely hospital stays I have finally found a key to my recovery.  Yes, you can recover from a mental illness!  It is something that you will learn to manage and meet with on a daily basis but the first step is taking personal responsibility for your illness.  By this I mean taking hold of the reins and not letting your life be lead by your illness, you have choices.  You can blindly follow or you can lead.  Once I accepted that it was up to me not others to make the changes in my life things started to happen.  Now you can find me re-cultivating my artistic side and most importantly my Spiritual Life.  On most days I volunteer at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Cape Cod.  I have opened my life up to change and change is happening.

Don't define yourself or anyone else by their mental illness your only stigmatizing yourself and them.  People with a mental illness are perfectly capable of living a full and productive life.  For me I had let my illness take so much control over my life I nearly lost everything and that will happen no more.  I am in the drivers seat.  I now have an action plan to deal with daily life and how to respond to re-occurring psychiatric symptoms. I am not afraid of life anymore as a matter of fact I rejoice in it even though I have and had many challenges.

If you have a mental illness yourself or are loving someone who has an illness there is hope out there and slowly the conceptions of mental illness are changing but it takes time and effort.  I challenge you to join me in this fight for life and for control of a difficult illness.  You don't have to join this blog to comment on my posts, stop in once and awhile.

If you would like to see how I deal with my illness on a very personal and spiritual level check out my new blog at: read the welcome post and you will find how a psych hospital and a psychiatrist opened the door within me.

Please join me in this fight of acceptance in change.  Remember the change begins with each and every one!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back At It

Surprise followed a curvy path back to the campaign. I no longer offer the pin at this time. I am looking to redesign it. More posts will follow.