Daily Archives: May 15, 2015

Day 210

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Originally posted on kidsaregifts:

As I continue to read more about the condition that is Severe Depression, I am astonished at how ignorant I have been so far. I thought I knew better because I have suffered from a milder form of it in the past but I don’t. In fact many sources say that it is incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it at its extreme.

Here are a few phrases used to describe it: excruciating near-paralysis; anarchic disconnections in the brain (causing confusion, forgetfulness and disturbed sleep cycle); failure of self-esteem; positive and active anguish; murky distractedness; painful empty nothingness; anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure); fits of anxiety; feeling of inescapable suffocation or drowning; feeling dead inside; incipient dread hidden in the dungeons of ones spirit, smothering misery and exhaustion; a wraithlike observer who not sharing the disease of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion…

View original 107 more words

Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!


Filed under: Daily Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, bipolar disorder, blog, blogging, building structure, change, DBT, death, dialectical behavior therapy, distraction techniques, dogs, effectiveness, Family, fun, Goals, God, group therapy

Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!


Filed under: Daily Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, bipolar disorder, blog, blogging, building structure, change, DBT, death, dialectical behavior therapy, distraction techniques, dogs, effectiveness, Family, fun, Goals, God, group therapy

Lucidly Depressed

Is lucidly depressed an oxymoron? Hmm. It seems to fit. I’ve come crashing down from the manic episode sparked by stopping Latarda, went into exhausted crash and burn space, and now I am back to that grubby little corner I know all too well. The one where the sun is shining, I see only darkness. Birds are chirping, I want them to STFU. I’m too cold, too hot, too bored, my brain won’t stop spinning, I hate you, I love you, I just wanna be loved…Yeah, THAT place. Which apparently makes me borderline or some shit because bipolar people only have the two extremes, there is no room for mixed episodes or a torrent of emotions and moods to strike all at once. Nope. Must be bad personality and we can “mindfully” cure ourselves of it by doing jumping jacks while wearing a chicken costume and eating caramel dipped cucumbers.

Much as I despise this place…This is like returning home from a visit to skid row where you roomed with the dirty needle and biohazard containers. Nothing has improved at home but it sure as hell makes you appreciate its shittiness because, you just found out the hard way, it can get worse, and more insulting, it got worse by merely doing the thing the doctor said would make it all better. Home miserable home.

So, yeah, still depressed and run down and anxious but…I no longer want to stab things, including myself. I can walk again without blindly banging into walls and furniture (I have big and small bruises all over my body from last week’s Latarda zombie shuffle, none of which I remember acquiring.) I am coherent. I don’t think I should kill myself now. Fairly sure people are NOT out to get me. Bugs are NOT crawling in my veins. LUCID.

Political correct idiocy aside, I think my dubbing it Latarda is very appropriate. It retarded (hindered) my lucidity. And now I think I can return to the Before Latarda days and believe there’s still hope, everything is not futile, I am not braindead, my kid is not lucifer.

Lucidity is nice. Unfortunately, I just went through nine days of hell for no benefit, and got stuck with one more dent in my self esteem armor because one more med failed. And the doctors will make appropriate noises about “everyone is different, it’s more art than science to find the right combination.” But by the fifth or so medication failure, their words lose sincerity.Their expressions become critical, questioning, and ya wonder, is the term “non compliant” going into my file because I’ve opted out of meds that make me sleep 20 hours or convince me I should kill myself. I’m not right back where I started. No, it’s worse now. Because in a small area like this, if Dr B has a hundred patients and 97 of them are flourishing on Latuda…No complaint I have is going to be viewed as valid. The masses are asses and majority rules. Especially in Podunk, Midwest.

BUT…I will dwell on all that another time. Right now I am sitting at the shop, alone. R was beckoned to babysit the 8 month old grandson but the parents FORBADE their kid being in the shop. Because yes, it’s a vile disgusting bowl of filth which is why not one customer has ever lodged a complaint. The kid sits in a carrier or playpen. Oh, right, dust in the air. Snowflakes must be protected from eeevil dusty musties. I just don’t get some people.
I don’t wanna be here. Unfortunately, I kinda made my own bed and have to lay in it. I’ve avoided driving to my dad’s corner of podunk for so long, it’s added up to two years since the car’s oil has been changed. My loving dad buys the supplies, R insists I must come over for him to change it out, and I in turn get to drop everything and attend to whatever bidding R wants me to do.
Last week, I’d have been furious.
But the car needs the oil changed, I hate going to dad’s podunk cos it costs me gas money and if R doing it keeps me from having to go that far outside my bubble…Meh. Bed. Nails. Laying on it because I designed it myself, unintentionally.

Pruning will have to wait until circumstances change. Besides, R and his wife are about the only friends I have, I don’t want to make me world even smaller. Least this way I can be distracted from the depression by being pissed off by R’s insensitivity. (He’s convinced I did something to spark the Latuda side effects because doctors simply wouldn’t give you a drug that made you go that nuts.)

Once I am done here, I’m gonna go get my Spook from mom”s (praying they remembered to pick her up.) R asked us over tonight but I said “meh”. It offended him. And he knows my thoughts on crowds (ie, more than three people) so his “family weekend” thing with ten people there, much as I “like” everyone…It’s not happening at this juncture in time. The anxiety is still too raw and will be for awhile until all the Latarda is out of my system. (Why do I get the feeling a hundred years from now my corpse will be dug up and still test positive for that ass trash toxin?) Not to mention how mean he’s been to me, like this whole thing is my fault and I was useless just to inconvenience him. Rather be alone.
Though he always suckers me in with a Mangorita.
Yeah,yeah, stop being shallow and prune, prune, prune. When I feel solid for more than a six hour stretch, I’ll work on that. For now…I honestly just feel like I survived a near death experience and want to relish my survival and regain my fighting strength.Besides, my kid is still grounded and I must be consistent. Bam, I have my socially acceptable excuse. Which he will negate and yet oddly when it was his kids, their punishment was not disrupted by a tornado. House no longer standing? Put your nose against the rubble and stand there…

Mr. Rboto. The robot, not Kilroy who made the robot human.

I am feeling fiery again rather than just venomous. It is good. There will come a huge crash as the cycle dictates but for this moment…

Life is shit but I’m gonna stick around just to see if maybe it gets better.
Lucidly depressed.


One of The Best Bipolar Health Blogs of 2015 as chosen by Healthline.comBest

bipolar-best bipolar-best

Bipolar 1 Blog has been chosen for the “Best Bipolar Health Blogs” for 2015 at Healthline.com.

Who knew this was even a possibility when I started this blog in August of 2014! But I am so happy to be a part of this list. There are some pretty awesome blogs on it, so of course to be included is an honor! Simply put, what I have been doing is being recognized, I hope that means I am making a difference and it definitely means I will continue. Onwards and upwards my friends!

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-bipolar-blogs#12


Rehearsal Day

The big dance recital is tomorrow, so tonight is the rehearsal at the site of the recital.  It is always a trial.  You go and wait around forever for your time to practice, and each class had three dances to practice.  SO it can be one more ordeal.  But we will see how it goes.

My oldest is taking a summer class in film where she gets to watch movies and take quizzes on them.  Lucky for her they’re all based on comic books that she likes to read.  She’s finding out it isn’t the easy A she thought it would be–but I think she’ll pull through with one eventually.  I hope so anyway.

The middle child is taking Driver’s Education this month and learning a lot.  She already has her license, but she’s taking it for the insurance discount. She doesn’t have her car yet–we’re going to work on that likely next weekend..SO we will see how that works out as well.


Pharmacopia, Psychotropia Aftermath: Latuda

Oh, yes, I am going to beat that dead horse Latarda (Latuda) some more. Because I sincerely think, in light of a conversation I had last night, that it made me go insane and I wasn’t even really aware of it. Allow me to throw in the standard disclaimer*** If it works for you, great, this is just one person’s account, and also, don’t stop meds without talking to your doctor first (especially psych meds, they have awful withdrawal effects.)

So…I took 20mg Latuda for nine days. My last dose was Monday. Then I said no more. I’ve been programmed over the years to at least tough it out 4 weeks with any new med because, contrary to the party line, you don’t get “fixed” with a dose or two of anti depressants and such. It’s not an aspirin you take and your headache goes away. It’s more a process where the amount in your system has to build up and remain at that level. BUT when something has so many side effects and affects your general personality in such a negative way after only a few days…It’s not going to get better, especially when one of those side effects is intense anger and suicidal thoughts.

And from reading other blogs, I am not in the minority. For the way the doctors are treating Latuda like the IT drug for bipolar depression, too many people are experiencing negative results and it’s being dismissed. Half of this stuff I’d never known about based on what the doctor or drug webpage told me. It was all in my pharmacy insert. (And when you see a possible side effect is nipple discharge and hormonal changes, you gotta wonder why the doctor wouldn’t take that into account, especially in patients with a history of hormonal balance issues.) Sure, maybe it happened to ten people out of a thousand person study. Rare, but not insignificant if it happens to you and no one bothered to warn you the possibility existed. I can’t even take birth control or do hormone replacement therapy for menopause because of my hormonal issues. To be placed on a drug that could affect that aspect disturbs me. There is little about Latuda that doesn’t disturb me.

First off…It is an anti-psychotic. Which immediately gets people (even patients) thinking, Oh, so I’m psychotic…NO. Latuda is one of the new cross labeled “wonderdrugs” that showed positive results in bipolar patients so they got approval to market it as a drug for that disorder, as well as anything resulting into psychosis. This has been going on for years. Risperdal,Seroquel, Abilify,Geodone…The doctors rarely bother to tell patients this, and most patients are so desperate to get well and so programmed to defer to the doctor, they’re misinformed and unprepared. The doctors will warn of you three or four  common side effects they’ve encountered with their patient base and a lot of people will toss the pharmacy insert and it just leads to a lot of unnecessary suffering. Since it is an anti psychotic, I wonder if its success with “bipolar” has stemmed from it working for bipolar patients “with” psychotic features. Because I have yet to talk to a bipolar one or two patient it’s worked for, and the one thing we all have in common is…no diagnosis for psychotic behaviors. These are powerful meds and they are just dishing them out like Tic Tacs.

My personal experience with Latuda was one filled with both trepidation and hope. Trepidation  because no matter how many times I tell the multitude of doctors that I do not respond well to atypical anti psychotics, they always insist I try it. It never ends well, even when I am hoping, “This will be the one and all meds will work in concert and I can have my damned life back.” And when instead of  making me somnolent the Latuda kept me awake, I thought, yeah, I can live with this, just gotta take it during the day. Within three days, my anxiety had quadrupled, I was hateful, having very dark self  harm thoughts, and popping off over the tiniest things then cowering on the verge of tears because I had no idea what set me off that way. Not to mention, my brain wasn’t functioning properly. It was seeing things it’d seen a thousand times before and yet completely blanking out on how to proceed/cope/assemble. It made me stupider. To call it unpleasant is an understatement. As it turns out, according to my pharmacy, I’ve had an adverse reaction to it and it must be stopped immediately, not even tapering because of the suicidal thoughts.  She said let the doctor know but do NOT take even one more dose.

It’s fucking sad when the pharmacist knows more than the doctor pushing the pills. Is it lack of knowledge for them or are they just rolling around in bed with big pharma thus apathetic? And to add insult to my injury, I told him I didn’t want atypical anti psychotics. I suggested maybe Effexor or Cymbalta in a low dose because I’d had good luck with them. But I deferred to his judgment because he assured me Latuda was the “only” way to go if I wanted to get well.

I am not an opponent of cross labeling, at all. I like that Cymbalta can help pain as well as depression. Lamictal is an anti seizure med that has proven to be my wonder drug for the bipolar mood swings. I just think there needs to be more oversight and more research and trials before they start pushing anti psychotics as anti depressants. Being depressed and being psychotic are very different things.

I was still kicking myself  last night for not being tough enough to ride it out a month with the Latuda. It could have gotten better, right? But the pharmacist quelled my fears of being a quitter. It just didn’t work for ME. It wasn’t until R called and started prattling on about “I need you to get into my email then go on Ebay and get this part number…” And he just kept prattling, I half assed listened, and when he paused to take a breath, I said, “It’s done, receipt is in your email.” He acted astonished, like I had walked on water. I didn’t get it. He said, “You did all that and managed to have an intelligent conversation at the same time? You could NOT have done that a week ago, you were a mess and getting worse.”

I was? I mean, I knew I was outside my normal dysfunction but I had no idea it was that visible to others. I guess when I got frustrated because I couldn’t remember how to install a toilet seat lid I should have known…The Latuda was dumbing me down. Acting on the wrong chemicals, rendering my brain useless. And that R saw how bad it was while I was so sure I was keeping the crazy contained for the most part…It’s terrifying. That’s what gets your kid taken away, or lands you in a locked ward or jail. Being that out of it. Now I’m panicking because I can’t even remember what all I did last week that I may have fucked up because I wasn’t in my right mind.

I have only ever had such a catastrophic reaction to meds two other times. One was an MAOI called Nardil and when they give you that restrictive diet list, it’s NOT a suggestion. I inadvertently ingested food with cheese in it and became the walking drooling dead. My family took me to the local hospital and they sent me home with exhaustion. It was three days before anyone thought to contact my shrink and I was immediately rushed to his practicing hospital where I spent a week of my life…Oblivious and out of it…Because delayed treatment caused a series of mini strokes that damaged my brain. The doctor didn’t even know if I would come out of it.Yes, cheese.

The other one was depo provera, which is counterindicated for those with a history of depression and yet after I had my daughter, the doctor didn’t care. He just wanted to make sure the crazy lady didn’t get pregnant again. I went insane for the most part. Like being pregnant with bipolar and post partum all at once and caring for a newborn with a useless sperm donor. Two years it took for my levels to return to normal. NEVER again.

And now Latuda. I’ve had reactions to meds before- sleeping constantly, never sleeping, paranoia, audio hallucinations, sensation of bugs on my skin, anxiety increase, weight gain…I have never had one send me so far over the edge intellectually. This is bad juju, even if it’s meant for good.

adjective: psychotropic
  1. 1.
    relating to or denoting drugs that affect a person’s mental state

It sounds almost Draconion or illicit, doesn’t it? And if taken at its bare minimal definition, it is daunting enough to sound like something you definitely do not want to do. Yet people do illegal drugs all the time with psychotropic effects and that’s for fun. We put ourselves through this to get better. Over and over and over again, we keep trying. We wander pharmacopia searching for that which will twist our wiring the proper way. Not to get high or “be happy”. Just to land on the level playing field most start out on with their brains sending the right messages.

So next time someone scoffs and says, “You just want a pill to make everything go away…”

Let them read this page. I was desperate enough to take a pill that made me worse. And I will keep trying to find the one that works. I can’t make myself happy until my brain stops telling me it’s miserable.

But hey, if you want to flog diabetics the same way and convince them they can “talk” their blood sugar levels into the right zone without the use of meds…Bring it.

No? I’m ridiculous saying such an idiotic thing?

Point made.

 


herewith, another linkdump

And indeed I am here with another long and winding linkdump. My pick for this week, is the one about Anais Nin.

(scheduled post)

Opinion

“So imagine that you’ve been seeing a man for a few months, and things are going great.  You like him, you like his friends, you like his moves in the bedroom. You wonder if he could be husband material.  Then he sits you down and tells you that he has bipolar disorder. You find yourself unsure about whether or not your courtship should continue.
But don’t leave him.”
What you need to know about dating someone with bipolar disorder, written by Madame Noire, who is bipolar herself, I liked this post a lot. Good and grounded.

“Erin Callinan describes her mental illness with one word that suggests the smell of manure.”
‘Don’t give Up’ mantra for those who love someone with mental illness.

“From that moment on, my memory is blank. I’m told that as I made for the shoulder, passersby stopped their cars and ran me down. Three years after my breakdown, I got the recordings of the 911 calls placed by those good Samaritans, hoping to piece together what happened. You can hear frantic people shouting for help for “a naked woman running along the highway.” In one, I can hear myself screaming at someone to throw me in the water. “Kill me!” I screamed, over and over. “Kill me now!” Listening to the tapes for the first time was scary. I wept, thinking about what could have happened to me.”
They Found Me Running Naked Along the Highway – Four months after giving birth to her second child, Heather Coleman suffered a harrowing postpartum psychotic break.

“Aside from the bipolar disorder, I have anxiety and mild paranoia. I also have weak ankles. lol”
Thriving with Bipolar Disorder– Meet Lauren in Pennsylvania!

Helping a friend with a mental illness.

“Until a few years ago I never dreamed that a supportive community existed on the net. I used social media in a light-hearted way, keeping in touch with friends on Facebook and I chatted about books and TV on Twitter. But in 2011 after having a devastating bipolar episode, I began blogging as a way to process my feelings. I created a new Twitter account to promote the blog but over time it became an important connection to the mental health community for me.”
The bittersweet world of mental health online

Myths about therapy

“Believe it or not, my father’s suicide is not the point of penning this article. I share glimpses from my personal journey ONLY as a jumping off point into the REAL issue: The stigma behind ALL components of mental illnesses.”
Burying the stigma of mental illness

Will bipolar and schizophrenia sufferers trust generic Abilify?

Keven Moore: Bipolar disorder in the workplace presents challenges, but they can be overcome.

Celebs

20 black celebrities who suffer from bipolar disorder.

Kim Kardashian becomes a mental health advocate (be still my beating arse heart)

“I didn’t have a clue who Randy Gregory was at that moment, but I knew I sympathized with him. Blaring off the online front page for all the world to tut-tut over was his name and that dreaded word “bipolar.” Once again, the media’s temptation to focus on the shock value behind mental illness triumphed over better, more compassionate judgment.”
Cowboys story shows mental illness stigma still thrives.

Arts & Culture

Anais Nin– a case study of personality disorder and creativity.

“Wiig plays Alice Klieg, a bi-polar lottery winner who decides to eschew charity or any practical uses of her $86 million winnings and instead embrace fame full-force by launching a talk show hosted by and about only herself. The show, Welcome to Me, is all about her – from her “dream” opening in which she glides on stage in a swan boat to recreations of dramatic events from her past, such as when somebody at summer camp tampered with her makeup bag. Chaos ensues when her larger-than-life personality and obsession with being famous begins to alienate her friends and family.”
Kristen Wiig explores bipolar absurdity in ‘Welcome to Me’ Must have been quite some tampering to earn the adjective ‘dramatic’.

In this world there is no black or white, just a grey area – that is the slogan of Tom Gray’s new book ‘King of the World’. (A Yorkshire boy, FYI Sheila and Billy particularly)

ART, PSYCHIATRY – Pierre Leichner: “They Say She is Bipolar and He’s Got OCD”

Info, News & Research

“We have 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prison population,” Franken said. “That’s in large part because we have criminalized mental illness.”
Counties Examine Police Training in Encounters with Mentally Ill – Local initiatives aim to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails. Nice one, America!

“The behavioral data revealed that when the participants were feeling normal (not depressed), those with bipolar disorder were much worse at regulating both happy and sad emotions than those with depression. But when they were feeling depressed, the bipolar patients were actually better at regulating happy emotions. Both groups performed about the same when trying to regulate sad emotions while depressed.”
People with bipolar & unipolar depression feel sadness differentlythe other interesting aspect is the differences in brain activity in each case.

Quick decision making is not the greatest asset of both bipolar and depressed peopleno kidding (well, for me anyway). In fact, where possible I ask for time to think about a decision, and “sleep on it” if possible. An immediate decision by me is frequently the wrong one.

Lower life expectancy in people with bipolarnothing new there, but it gives a breakdown of the changes in disparity over time.

Potential to improve bipolar meds. (Tel Aviv)

Cognitive Performance and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration: A Study of Patients with Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Controls.

7 videos about bipolar disorder.

On Jan. 1, 22-year-old Matthew Ajibade, a local artist who had bipolar disorder, was found dead in a restraining chair at the jail, where he had been handcuffed and shot with a Taser. The cause of death has never been released. Neither has the autopsy report, but the circumstances that occurred before he died are extremely troubling.

South Africa

Is Bipolar on the rise? Medical schemes suspect it’s being diagnosed to access prescribed minimum benefits. I remember a counselling psychologist a few years ago, telling me that a bipolar diagnosis guaranteed that medical insurance would cover all psych treatment. Ironically she was the one who delayed my diagnosis for a good while, because “we don’t want to pathologise it”.

“The term lived experience is used to describe the first-hand accounts and impressions of living as a member of a minority or oppressed group.”
Our Lived Experience is a stigma busting blog, run by your friend and mine, Yvette/supermom. If I can get my ass into gear, I’m hoping to contribute.

Durban – An awaiting trial prisoner at Westville Prison with a “healing” touch, claimed in court that when he prayed for the release of other inmates, their freedom became a reality.
Bipolar sufferer a threat to society.

PS

Mental Health Awareness Week – Setting the Bar Low. Again.

Like many of my fellow Bipolaratti and friends with other assorted serious mental and/or chronic illnesses, I’m wary as fuck of mindfulness. Hell, I wrote a piece with that exact subject line last month. So unsurprisingly, I am less than impressed that it’s the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

I only really took notice of this annual event last year, which was themed on anxiety. Great! Anxiety is, as far as I can tell, a commonality for anyone with a serious mental illness. It’s hard to be anything but when your brain is trying to kill you, and you cannot even trust the good times to be genuine. And while I felt the scope was too shallow to actually express to people outside the realm of mental illness the depths of how crippling anxiety can be, I thought it decent primer. It’s something that pretty much everyone will go through at some point or another, after all.

Now, stepping back — I know that those of us with serious mental illnesses are the minority of the 25% of people who have mental illnesses in a year. We are the 1+1+1 (etc)% (or upwards of 5%, some think). I am aware that reaching out shallowly and broadly with topics like mindfulness can potentially help a larger chunk of people better their lives. However, I would argue that most of those people have temporary problems anyways. That doesn’t make them any less severe — anyone’s bad is a valid bad, even if it’s less bad than someone elses’. They are as deserving of help and support as anyone else. Unfortunately, because of that, those of us who are constantly dealing with illness are chided for not ‘trying hard enough’. After all, if it worked for Person X, why doesn’t it for you? And we all know that sort of evangelist, whether it be mental illness, or weight loss, or whatever — I did it, so you can too. Oh goodie, let me tell my brain that Jane Doe fixed her short-term depression with positive thinking — that’ll suddenly make it fall in line. OH WAIT. *cough*

Does that make me sound bitter? Probably, but I don’t really care. As cheerful and positive as I try to be for my own sanity, I don’t believe I owe the world the Happy Cripple act. And it’s also exhausting when people put a sticking plaster over the whole of mental illness because it increases stigma. I know — the point is to reduce stigma and ‘get people talking’. But when the reach is so shallow (or so one-sided as to only focus on extreme cases), it neglects the bulk of us that fall between. Yes, I know I said above that those of us with serious mental illnesses make up the minority, but what about those with the ‘minor’ problems that make up most of the annual 25%? When we’re told over and over again that something like mindfulness and/or CBT is a magic bullet and it doesn’t work, that brings on feelings of guilt, and probably further depression too. There’s the risk of doctors (who may or may not be neurotypical) branding a person non-compliant because these things do not work for them, which then makes it even harder to get needed help.

Anyways, if mindfulness is useful for you, two thumbs up. If you want to share it around, by all means — just understand that some of us have been trying to magically cure ourselves with it for a long time and it doesn’t work in all cases.

As usual, I’d love to hear what you guys think, and I hope everyone is doing well!

<3

Ruminations On Shame

Today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist to discuss what to do about my medication while I am in appeal with the SSA about my disability benefits. My mom met me there since she has taken financial responsibility for medication that I could not afford ( thank you so much, Mom). Of all of […]