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Things To Consider If You’re About To Ask Me This Question

I was going to make this an entirely cereal post, like super cereal, but I just can’t have a serious face when talking (writing) about this. I can’t.

I’m always open to have people email me. In fact, I love getting emails from random people I don’t know. It really makes my day. I love moderating forums and getting PM’s there. I also love moderating forums because I get to see what people are writing before anyone else gets to see what people are writing, and that gives me a power rush and I don’t get too many of those. You know, because all I care about is power. Obviously.

power20struggle

But there is one question, one tiny, itty bitty, off kilter question that pops up in PM’s, emails, moderation queues, posts, whatever. I see it sometimes in blog posts and or random musings too. A lot of the time from teenagers or people my age.

“Do I Sound Schizophrenic?”

Or the variations wherein:

“Am I schizophrenic? Do I have schizophrenia? What Am I going to do, I think I’m schizophrenic!”

First of all, fucks sake, I’m not a doctor! Don’t get all pissy because my response isn’t “my professional opinion is, you’re a psycho bitch; here, take this pill”. I appreciate the acknowledgement of my 1) certain experiences (although I have never personally said I “have schizophrenia”) and 2) psychological “studies”, and I’m totally happy people feel comfortable sharing their experiences with me. Always do that. This isn’t my call to tell people to quit that. This is my very, very long over due ∑ of why this is happening. I could n/i=1f(xi)xi this, but that would take too long.

I once saw a post somewhere far away from here about a kid who had a knee surgery and he was feeling kind of off afterwards and thought the surgery gave him schizophrenia. I don’t . . . I mean, if you want to get technical, loose association? Dude, I don’t know. I can’t even connect the dots on that one. I’m probably not meant to.

People, come on, connect the dots...NOT THOSE DOTS!

Firstly, I don’t even use the word schizophrenia–unless, obviously, I’m forced: on a test, to explain something to a mass of people who prefer for me to use that terminology, and sometimes I used it because I feel like people (in the MH community) are more comfortable with the terminology because it feels more like a validation of its existence. I’m met with flack sometimes if I don’t use it, because people claim I’m “denying” the experience. I’m not. But whatever.

There are a lot of stereotypes associated with the word also. And with that comes a standard of behavior people expect others who fall under that category to have. And I just explained in my last post how damaging assumptions can be. Explaining the depth of that would be the  n/i=1f(xi)xi part. Researchers quantify behavior all the time, and think it’s legitimate, I can quantify my blog post if I want. Deal with it. 

Anyway, I don’t need to explain why I don’t often use mental disorder terminology. I used it in a cover letter once. Had it in my blog description for a bit. Hmm. Used it in class when forced. That’s about it.

Back to the issue at hand. These fucking questions.

If you’re contacting me because you took an online test that said you have a high probability of “having schizophrenia”, I’ll just tell you right now nothing you read was legitimate. If you click YES or “MODERATELY” to ONE question about 1) vague paranoia 2) sense of unreality 3) having “magical thinking” i.e, a sign on a street is meant for you, 4) anything considered “abnormal”, then the end result WILL tell you there’s a probability you “have schizophrenia”. It’s an algorithm that’s meant to fuck with your head.

I’ve taken the MMPI 2, too. Jesus Christ. According to that, I’m a hot mess.

Real assessments, or internet assessments, don’t take them seriously. If you’re having to judge your own “magical thinking” . . . I mean, come on. If you’re really gone away from this world, you think you would notice? Especially if you haven’t had any previous experience with it?

Even other people judging “magical thinking”: those people have their own stereotypes and their own reservations, so their judgement won’t be based off the DSM 5 like they say. Their judgement is based off their personal opinion.

If you’re contacting me because weird shit has been going on, cool, let’s talk about the weird shit. I love weird shit.

If you’re contacting me because you get really nervous in crowds and feel like people are talking about you . . . well, welcome to 90% of the population. Glad you could join us.

man_bowing_-_thank_you

If you’re contacting me because “you feel like you’re going crazy” and wanted to know “if it was schizophrenia”, I don’t know what “going crazy” means, you’re going to need to explain and even then I can’t give you the answer you’re looking for. I’m just another human living through the human experience. 

Professionals say it’s common for people with anxiety to feel like they’re developing this thing they call schizophrenia. I’m not going to chalk it up to anxiety. I’m going to chalk it up to a few things, actually:

  1. People are dealing with a sense of loss of control.
  2. What’s the one thing everyone is fearful of developing mental health wise because of what they’ve heard/learned/seen?
  3. They don’t have an explanation for why things are going the way they are, so let’s assume the “worst”.
  4. Were that type of development to occur, it would be taken more “seriously” in the mental health community than things like anxiety and depression. That’s the honest truth.
  5. People have spent a lot of time mulling these types of things over. As a result, it’s only makes things more intense. The more intense things are, the more convinced they are.

This list could go on for ages.

The bottom line is people aren’t feeling right. I’m not going to put a label to that because everyone is different, so don’t ask me to. You want a label? Want meds? Want general misunderstanding? Head to your local psychiatrist, not your local nutjob.*

And maybe you are a psycho bitch, but that doesn’t have anything to do with this thing called schizophrenia. It also doesn’t have anything to do with me. So, you know, if you are psycho, don’t come over here and kill my vibe.

*DISCLAIMER: Not all psychiatrists are bad, I’m not a nutjob, and the only thing that really kills my vibe is this horrible hair color I have right now.

M.D Stands For Mediocre Degree

I like ranting. Here’s a rant.

Took my father to his doctor’s appointment, had to prevent a physical fight between them, walked out with nothing to gain and nothing to lose.

It started when the doctor asked him “what medications are you on? You say you’re taking four, but there’s five listed here, so which one aren’t you on?”

Obviously, my father can’t remember, he has short term memory loss. He asked the doctor to simply list all of the medications, and we’d tell him which one was the one he wasn’t on anymore.

The doctor said the first medication. Asked him if he was on it. My father asked him again to just list all of the medications. The doctor said the second medication. Asked him if he was on it.

when-your-mom-says-yaass-full

The tension in the room expanded, so much it was squishing me against the fucking wall. My eyes were popping out of my head, that’s how powerful the tension was. Finally the doctor got up, got a printed copy, and we told him which medication he wasn’t on.

 

Then he assumed my father was still drinking daily. My father hasn’t had a drink in almost a year now. He told him drinking didn’t help his high blood pressure. He told him smoking didn’t either–all these things someone with an addiction knows. My father told him he knew that. The doctor kept pressing his advice. He also kept saying “I’m just paid to give advice man, you can listen to it or not”.

At one point, to scare my father, he said “You’re more likely at this point to die from a stroke than a heart attack.”

He said “We have two options. Either we add another medication to see if we can help your blood pressure, or we start to work on life changes”.

My father said “no medication”.

The doctor said “well, then let’s start by quitting the sauce”. (i.e, drinking).

tumblr_nqotywz9ya1tj1uzko1_1280

Because that’s something someone wants to hear when they are obviously agitated, frustrated with their health problems, and not feeling like they’re getting the help they want. This shit continued. At one point I had to step in, because they were getting heated. The doctor wasn’t listening to my father and my father wouldn’t listen to him. At one point the doctor went to listen to his lungs and my father basically blew air hard in his face and got ready to hit him. I asked what was fueling his defensiveness, that something was going on (even though I already knew what) and my father gestured to the doctor angrily. He said he didn’t like his attitude and the way he was “stepping” to him.

I said “You’re feeling attacked.”

He said, “No, it’s not that, I’m not being listened to”.

The doctor said “well I am feeling attacked and I’m going to say I don’t want to see you anymore.”

That was the end of the appointment.

good-riddance

I have blamed my father for a lot of his doctor appointments going awry. And I am positive had I not just participated in Motivational Interviewing, I would have blamed him for this too.

Oh I was angry. I was so pissed off. So I removed myself and I thought for a moment and I went over it and on the way home my father and I had a very good conversation without one argument–that’s the first time, by the way. I didn’t blame him, I didn’t judge him, and I didn’t blame the doctor or judge the doctor either.

I used to think my father just hated doctors because he didn’t believe he had health problems. I thought he hated doctors because they were in an authority position. It’s odd I never thought to have a conversation around what he really felt towards them. He said he felt the guy was 1) telling him things he already knew 2) preaching too much 3) saying “it’s how I say it is (or how the medical team says it is), or it’s nothing at all” 4) not listening.

What made me realize I have been judging him for quite some time now was when I said “you weren’t getting the kind of help you really wanted” and he said “No. And I want help, I know I need to see a doctor, I know I need to get this under control. But I need someone who is going to listen and take time to understand”.

And that said a lot to me. Because I thought he was always in denial. He’s not in denial. That’s what I get for thinking instead of conversating.

It wasn’t really a matter of either person being in the wrong. But it would have made a difference had the doctor took a moment, stepped away from his “role” for a moment, and said, “I’m sensing a lot of discomfort/hostility/agitation/e.t.c; tell me about it.”

When we got home, my father said the same thing. He said “all he had to say was ‘hey man, let’s take a moment here because you’re really agitated, what’s going on?”.

My father got his G.E.D when he was in his thirties. He’s went to jail for a year on a robbery charge he didn’t do. He was stabbed 6 times in the back by a group of people, he’s done every drug except heroin, the mother of his first child (NOT ME) refused to let him see the child so he slit his wrists, he’s had a heart attack, multiple, multiple seizures, he was raised with 6 brothers and 1 sister, one of his brothers got murdered, he didn’t meet his father until he was 21 and his father passed from alcoholism at 56, his childhood wasn’t much of a childhood (abuse disguised as “discipline”) and I was raised how he was raised.

He has no college degrees, struggles reading and spelling, couldn’t do math to save his life, and isn’t very connected to the modern era. But it took him five seconds to realize all that doctor needed to do was take a moment, reflect some feelings, and connect on a human level.

I stand by the argument I’ve always had: having a medical degree, or college degree, means nothing. It’s how you use it.

quote-my-master-of-arts-degree-means-nothing-at-all-to-these-monkeys-and-i-have-come-to-share-charles-portis-36-52-06

 

 

 

 

Maybe

I like talking to therapists, psychologists, and LCSW’s for non-therapeutic services. Only if they have a certified degree. I’ve mostly spoken to a few online, through initial emails or messaging.

I like talking to them without telling them what I really believe about mental health, and instead seeing what they believe, evident in the responses I get from them.

I told one about a lot of things. I told her about some hallucinations, about what I’ve heard from voices, about being controlled, about . . . basically, everything I’ve ever talked about at one point on this blog. I told her much of this isn’t daily, but frequent enough for me to notice, and that all of these things have been with me for many, many years. I said I never went after diagnosis because I never felt entirely incapacitated by it all. (Not the whole truth, but close enough). I told her, in regards to anything I’ve seen, heard, or thought, that after I calm down–be that hours, weeks, whatever–I can tend to rationalize those things were a little out of this world or not real. I never said I don’t believe a lot of what happens, but I never said I do believe it either. There’s a limbo here.

There were some other things I can’t remember about checks and balances or something. I asked, in her opinion, if she felt the system I had developed–good or bad–could keep me grounded.

I love her response, because to me it encompasses the polite, therapeutic approach of this era. (sarcasm)

Among other polite things, she said, I’ve probably become accustomed to these things and therefore can’t realize how incapacitating they really are. 

She said things may never worsen, but that I shouldn’t take that chance. Therapy and medication would be a good safety net for me, she said.

She said seeking mental health treatment would be good, because THEY would determine what’s wrong with me and develop a plan for treatment.

Yes, let more people control my life, please God. I’m helpless.

helpless

I know a lot of people get suddenly hit with these things people like to call mental disorders, and I know a lot of people don’t. I’m sure there are people like me who have been like this since before they could remember. And Thank God for that prolonged experience.

Thank God for that because had I not been this well-versed in myself, hearing that I’m blind to how incapacitated I am would make me think I was actually losing my mind.

If I’ve become accustomed to things and they haven’t rendered me helpless . . . why exactly do I need to be told something is wrong with me and get treatment for it? What is there to treat? I’m so confused.

That’s not to say things don’t suck. Things suck. My mental health is not at all where I would like it to be. I’ve got really shitty coping mechanisms that have been whittled down to nothing from stress and anxiety. I lose myself pretty bad sometimes, but not all the time, and I’m not thrilled about waking up every morning.

So the fuck what? I am waking up every morning. I do manage to have a job. I have no idea how I’ve managed that, but I have. Things suck, but I’m accustomed to that, right?

Is it bad to be accustomed to these things? I don’t know?

Would it be better NOT to be accustomed to these things? Seems like that would have more severe consequences.

Perhaps accustomed is the problem and I’m missing the point. Maybe being accustomed to things isn’t the same thing as being okay with or good at managing them? Is that maybe what was trying to be said to me? If so, that also makes a lot of sense and is something I should consider.

Maybe we should always read between the lines of what’s being said to us by professionals. Maybe some of these professionals are actually saying something profound, but by taking their words at face value (As I did above) we’re rendering them unhelpful to us.

Or maybe it’s better to turn their words into something that makes more sense?

Or maybe fuck them all?

I don’t know.

 

 

It’s So Nice

Panicking is nice.

What’s so nice about it? Well, your heart starts racing and you feel it beating in the base of your throat which is getting tighter by the second. You get that weird lump stuck between back of your throat and the top of your mouth and no matter how much nice, slow deep breaths you take, your heart rate just doesn’t want to cooperate.

And then you get dizzy and things don’t feel real and you’re pacing up and down the floor because walking helps lower blood pressure, why won’t it help stop your panicking?

Then you drink some water because for some reason water is the first thing you go to. It might stop the dizziness or the dryness in your throat or your constant fidgets. So you focus on the floor or your feet or your weird little sausage fingers and hope the thoughts don’t come: because once the whirlwind of thoughts comes, you’re through.

The whirlwind of thoughts come. You’re through. Then the tingling in the tips of the fingers start, the hyperventilation increases, the tightness in the throat and what was once a 120 heart rate jumps easily up to 160. Then you’re really pacing. Then: you’redyingyou’redyingyou’redyingwhatareyougoingtodotheresnothingyoucandowhatareyougoingtodopanicpanicpanicthisisallyoucandoyou’rescrewednothingisgoingtoworkyou’rehorriblethisishorribleyou’redyingyou’redyingyou’redying . . . 

And your arms tingle and you can’t feel your legs and you’re light-headed and floating and things go black and then:

soldiers_passing_out_640_05

I’ve run up and down the block before, I’ve walked up and down the block before; once I was out in torn up Pj’s and a mess of hair that I hadn’t combed in two weeks, or three, I don’t know, walking up and down the parking lot talking to myself, panicking, watching people in their cars stare as they passed me. That was fun. That day was a mix of panic, confusion, frustration, and I don’t know what else.

Tonight is a panic night–or what I like to call a “warning night”.

Warning Night: a night full of mild panic that signals two things for me: 1) I’m repressing something (feeling, thought, emotion) heavy, and 2) if I don’t talk about it, I expect to head back to the E.R very soon.

Three years ago I had panic attacks every other day, on the dot. Either they would happen at night and wake me up from a sleep, or they would happen towards the evening, hence why I was often running or walking in the street and the parking lot. The night ones were the worst because I couldn’t sense it coming. I would wake up, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t feel my arms, couldn’t walk, and had to use the night air to chill me out. I paced once for three and a half hours, in the middle of the night. By the time I came back in  I was so exhausted but so terrified to go back to sleep, that I stayed awake until 6 a.m when I finally passed out . . . for two hours.

One night I woke up four times in the same attack. That was shit. Honestly, if I had to choose between filling my morning with a slur of angry voices and filling my morning with passing out from a panic attack, I’d choose the fucking angry voices! And I do! They’re easier to deal with for me!

I mean, granted, I don’t have to deal with voices on a daily basis like some of you, so maybe I’m overstepping my boundaries here, but fucking shit, panic attacks suck.

My first panic attack happened a long while ago during an episode of House. Fucking HOUSE. It wasn’t even a gory episode. I miss that show. Haven’t watched a full episode since then. Then they cancelled it a year later. Thanks Obama.

I would say “Thanks Trump” , but fuck Trump, he’s not good enough to be able to have a good, clean laugh about. He wasn’t in office then anyway.

Fidget, Fidget, Fidget; breathe, breathe, breathe. Focus.

I have homework. I forgot.

THANKS OBAMA.

I like Obama. We all miss you, Obama. Come back to us. Trump is going to plant micochips in our fucking temples to dull our thoughts and tracking chips in our fucking wrists, Obama, help us!

22258976-mmmain

TOTALLY

If my house gets bombed in the next 24 hours, you’ll all know why. They’ll tell you you’re paranoid and delusional, but the proof is in the pudding: and by pudding, I mean the fucking rubble of my house and my bloody, dismembered body. 

I’m going to go finish panicking and pull some homework out of my ass for the one class I have left.

The Culture of Mental Health

Exciting stuff coming up. I’m working on five–four? I forget– different articles for five-four different websites. I’ll send links when they’re finished and posted. Trying to find a topic separate from those topics to post here is not an easy feat. But, today’s topic has been mulling around in my head for a while.

We’ve talked about the culture of fear before, I think it’s time to talk about the culture of mental health. Yes, that exists. It exists because I name it. And we all know as soon as a human names something, it automatically exists beyond a reasonable doubt.

Stigma is a problem. Will anyone deny that? “Let those free of sin cast the first stone”.  Of course no one will deny that. What fuels stigma? Well, there are a bunch of different perspectives. Asking someone in the mental health community that is essentially allowing yourself to tunnel down the rabbit-hole without a flashlight. I’ve done that before. It’s not fun. Things attack you from the dark.

I’ve heard several arguments about stigma. They are as follows:

  1. Others don’t understand. They don’t have the knowledge, so they judge.
  2. People use mental illnesses as adjectives too often, so people don’t take it seriously. #stopthestigma #you’renotOCD #suicideisn’tfunny #medicationpride4efcda6185e98de15c8def9e6bf39a55
  3. Mental Illness isn’t given the same respect physical illness is. Not even doctors take it seriously.
  4. The media portrays us as monsters and murderers. That’s fueling people’s opinions about us! We need to boycott movies like “SPLIT “and that one show everyone is talking about that apparently showed a suicide.
  5. People see mental illness as weakness, so we get treated differently. It’s not fair, really. We’re not weak, we’re sick, it’s an illness.

A breath of fresh air. Breathe it in. Take it in for a moment, all these arguments, and let them fester in your head for a bit, flow through your blood, influence your thoughts, control your mind, plant a chip in your brain, and signal the government to bomb your house with a drone.

drone-usaf

I think everyone has a valid point from their perspective. Everyone experiences the effects of stigma differently, and those experiences will influence (in a mind-controlling evil government way, of course) how someone will define stigma and its causes. I also think stigma is a major contributor to what I’ve called the “Culture Of Mental Health”.

Because stigma happens on both ends. Outsiders might not understand, they might think suicide is funny, or use OCD as an adjective every five seconds and the media may very well assume the word schizophrenia is synonymous to “murdering-murderer” to get some good views, but those of us in the community stigmatize ourselves as well.

I’ll be careful with this. Because I don’t want it taken out of context and I want people to feel attacked.

I’m not blaming us or our experience. But we end up agreeing–or at the very least sending a message–that we’re separated from everyone. We’re sick. We’re abnormal. We’re ill. What that belief does is inadvertently tell others we’ll never be like them, we won’t relate to them and they won’t relate to us. What that does is stigmatize what it really means to go through a mental health experience. It sends a message that control over ourselves is something we don’t have. It gives people the idea that saying something like “that’s your disorder talking” or “you have a chemical imbalance, that’s why you do that” is okay, and takes away our own personal responsibility and sense of independence.

For some, maybe it’s easier to blame these things we call disorders.

As someone who has struggled and still struggles with a long list of mental health thingamabobs, I know what we experience is very real and hard. I’m not saying it’s not. I’m saying we’re looking at it wrong.

I’m saying a brochure about “bipolar disorder” isn’t going to convince your family or your friends or your community that you’re a human who struggles. It’s going to convince them you’re sick, possibly unmanageable, unpredictable, chemically imbalanced, and out of control. They won’t challenge you to achieve what you want in life because maybe what you want in life is out of reach because you’re ill now. If that’s how you would like people to see you, keep up the hashtags, the endless lists of information about every disorder known to man–how many are there now? Is being human a disorder yet? It will be soon enough.

'Two black eyes. Solitary. Lethargic. Definitely in the DSM-V.'

This is the culture of mental health. What happens then is a stigma inside the mental health community. People start comparing “sicknesses”. Suddenly there’s a level of “sick” you have to be to get taken seriously medically and with other peers. Suddenly you need a label.

 

I say this after the stars in the sky morphed into eyes and sent me a message through the trees I’m still trying to decipher. I had to take pictures of the damn trees, the way they were contorted, because I couldn’t memorize the letters. Imagine me running around about one in the morning doing that. I say this after I’ve spent today in my weekly routine of weighing the pros and cons of living. The pros always outweigh the cons and I always go to sleep and wake up the next day. Next week I’ll weigh it again. And again. And again.

I also say this after being rather unpredictable myself. One day I’m smiles, the next day I’m in the hospital or the ER with veins full of Ativan–at this point my tolerance for it is so high the maximum dosage does nothing to me. One moment I’m fed up and overwhelmed and ready to call it quits, the next moment I’m excited about the future. Sometimes I feel trapped in this cycle because I do take my commitments very seriously and they end up being one reason I don’t give up, break, and lose my mind. That sounds like a good thing, and it probably is. It also keeps me stuck in a painful limbo because there’s no release.

Pros and Cons. They’re about equal in that.

I’d rather be summed up by my qualities and characteristics of my being, by what I accomplish and what I don’t accomplish, by how I handle my struggle, than be summed up in a bunch of terminology in a brochure that thinks it can explain all aspects of me and my struggle the way it explains everyone else’s aspects and struggles. Humanity doesn’t work like that. We’re not robots.

Stigma isn’t something that can be solved by shoving psychology textbooks down the mouths of the public. Stigma is something that’s perpetuated by both sides, unknowingly and knowingly sometimes, and is something that can be lessened the more we–the mental health community–see ourselves as human beings, treat ourselves as human beings, integrate ourselves back into society and demand we be treated as human beings.

But we can’t demand we be treated as human beings while simultaneously summing ourselves up to words in a textbook. Food for thought, once more.

Trauma Talk

Happy 4/20. Anyone celebrating? Dabbin’ it up? Tokin’? Post stories below.

On a more serious note . . .

I’d like to connect with all of you out there who have had some sort of trauma in your life, any kind. If anyone is willing to share their story (email or comment, I don’t care), I’d be really interested in hearing when you first really, really realized you were being/ had been mistreated or abused and how important that was in your journey onward.

photo-1456081101716-74e616ab23d8From what I’ve experienced in the last few days is that it’s like having new eyes. It’s like bringing a half circle to a close.

Many of you are aware I’ve been writing for what seems like centuries. Many of you are aware I write more often than I speak. Many of you are not aware that when someone else reads my writing in front of me, I cringe a little. Many of you are not aware that when they read it out loud, I have to physically cover my ears and leave the room.

I always thought this was an anxiety thing. I’ve been anxious since I could form a conscious memory (about 5 years old), so everything is anxiety, right?

Oh how fucking wrong can I get?

Speaking to a stranger on the internet last night, I came to a very sudden realization that my writing is tied to freedom: freedom of ideas, of opinions.

When I was a child, I was inexplicably taught (verbally, physically, emotionally) that children–or at least, me–should be seen and never heard. I wasn’t allowed to voice an opinion. When I did, I was met with “you just think you know everything and you know nothing”. I was met with “I didn’t ask you.” I was ignored, I was talked/shouted over, I was bullied verbally and physically into silence. I still am met with that.

amySo when I’m in groups or class or even one-on-one with someone, I’m also met with that familiar anxiety “Symptom” of a blank mind. I was told when I was a child this was because I have an over-active amygdala. I was told that was due to high serotonin levels. So they gave me medications to lower the serotonin. That was before the study showed LOW levels of serotonin also contributed to anxiety. Pointless.

Anyway, I can confidently say now this is not the main cause of my blank mind.

Because even when I’m not anxious, my mind goes blank. Even among people I’m generally comfortable with, my mind goes blank. Why?

Well, it’s been taught not to begin a thought because that thought will only get shot down. I’m wrong all the time. No one will care what I have to say, so it’s not worth saying. Everyone else’s thoughts are greater than mine. Only speak when you’re spoken to. If someone “doesn’t ask you” about yourself, your life, your opinion, your anything, don’t talk about it because they don’t want to hear it.

I don’t consciously think those thoughts, I never have. But somewhere in this brain of mind it’s being thought the moment I’m put in a situation where analysis and opinion are encouraged. People can say “Feel free” to give input all they want: it’s not going to make me feel free because I haven’t been free–I haven’t been free because I didn’t recognize what I was taught, how I was treated, wasn’t what everyone else is taught or how they were treated.

I am 21 years old and I have never seen conflict resolved without violence, not until I started working at the respite house. Conflict, in my head, was always resolved through violence, arguments, and then never revisited again–apologies? What are those? Consensus? What does that even mean

I subconsciously thought that was how things were supposed to be.

This has been a hard revelation for me. It’s been hard because it brings up a lot of things from the past and it makes me see many things in the present that are still the same. It’s been hard because I now realize how deep seeded this is and how much effort I will have to put in, not to mention courage, to step away from this kind of subconscious oppression of myself.

It won’t happen over night. I’m not going to be able to step into my next class or team meeting or training or practice group or conference and integrate into the crowd just because I’ve had a fucking revelation.

Does anyone else with a troubled childhood/ abusive childhood find themselves oppressing themselves without knowing it, just because it’s what you were used to? I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.

Back to the point. When people read my writing out loud, what they’re reading are the only free thoughts I’m allowed to have. Silent ones, but free nonetheless. When I hear them out-loud, I must be subconsciously expecting what happened in the past to happen in the present. I will walk away, snatch the words from them, make noise to overpower their voice, whatever I have to do not to hear my own thoughts out loud. This goes for fiction writing, non-fiction writing, any kind of writing.

I’m silencing myself

That’s a hard thing to swallow. I’m not sure where I’m going to go from here. Within the last two days I’ve basically taken my entire life, cracked it open with a hammer, dumped all the contents out into a pile, and kicked them across the room.

If anyone out there has had a similar experience or major revelations regarding the traumas of their past, my email is list on this page. Please send one. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. Any stories, one-liners, comments, whatever, I just need to know this is the beginning of something that will better my life in the long run, and I need to know it’s a process we all have to go through at some point.

 

Care For Some Drugs For Your Drugs?

The FDA had approved Fanapt and Saphris four or five years before I did a post on them two years ago. Let’s recap. Please. Let’s.

You should sense some tension in that first sentence. If you don’t, then I’ll just tell you: there’s tension in that first sentence. 

Fanapt: 

Treatment target: people labeled with schizophrenia.

Two clinical studies got this drug FDA approved. One was a six-week study, one was a four-week study.

In the six-week study (42 days) there were 706 people. Let’s keep in mind that the minimum amount of days for a clinical trial to be considered relevant is 30. Three long term efficacy trials were conducted at once (source). Each individual trial lasted ten weeks. That’s “long term”. I wonder how long those of you who have been put on Fanapt have been on it at this point. If my sarcasm hasn’t been evident yet, look harder.

Fanapt was concluded to have the same long term efficacy of HALOPERIDOL.

Fanapt is an atypical anti-psychotic, meant to have a lower risk of EPS and Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). Whether or not that’s true is up for debate. Haloperidol is a first generation anti-psychotic. It’s infamous for EPS and TD. Why? It’s been around longer.

Both are the same level of “effective” (whatever that means). How much between first-generation and second-generation has changed, then? 

The four week study had 604 guinea pigs. This study was 28 days. They must have done it in February. A loop-hole? “We can’t control the days in the month, this should be an acceptation to the rule, waa, waa, waa, cry, cry, whine, whine until we get our way”. That’s what they do. Remember Alex Gorskey?

Fanapt had similar efficacy to the control antipsychotic used in the study.

surprise-006

Let’s move on.

Saphris (source):

Treatment target: People labeled with schizophrenia, in a manic episode, or a mixed bipolar 1 episode.

Oh this is rich.

This study agrees the effects are minimal, if they exist at all in terms of Saphris.

Three short-term studies got this approved for schizophrenia. Each 6 weeks. Listen . . . my laughter is making it impossible to type. Okay, okay listen to this:

  • Controls: Haloperidol (the 2nd chemical lobotomy), Olanzapine (Zyprexa; Atypical), risperidone (Risperdal; Atypical).

1st trial:

  • Placebo-Controlled.
  • 174 lab rats
  •  Conclusion: Saphris was superior to the placebo (i.e, sugar pill). I think this deserves a standing ovation. Or should we wait until the end? Let’s wait until the end.

2nd trial:  

  • 448 enslaved
  • 5mg dosage twice a day was apparently superior to the placebo (let’s clap for this, fantasticgood job, amazing), but 10mg twice daily did not surpass the placebo. Something is weird about that.

3rd Trial:

  • The drug could not in any way be distinguished from the placebo. One of the active-controls (probably ‘the chemical lobotomy’ again) was superior in every way. Whatever superior even means to these people.

Let’s breathe and, as promised, stand and clap and whistle if you can. Why am I bringing all of this up? Why am I digging up old news like it was your childhood kitty cat who’s been buried under the rosebush by the fence? Well, let’s think about it.

They put so much effort into pushing out antipsychotic after antipsychotic (i.e, Invega) and recycling the same drug labeled with a new name (Haldol vs Fanapt/Saphris) that they have to start creating drugs to fix their first mistakes: the lifetime effects of TD. 

The FDA, this month, right now, approved the first drug for TD. It’s called : Ingrezza (valbenazine). I found this out, of all places, from NAMI’s twitter.

deep-breath

*Deep Breath*

Let’s do this one more time, shall we?

Ingrezza:

  • Side effects: So far, one: Somnolence (drowsiness). Let’s give it a few years.
  • 234 unfortunate souls with TD and “underlying schizophrenia”, whatever that means.
  • Six-weeks.
  • The group which took Ingrezza showed a “statistically significant change” in their TD symptoms versus the Placebo which is all they have to compare this to at this point.

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: it’s pretty much the motto of this website at this point; I’m not anti-medication. I’m not anti-psychiatry. I’m anti-stupidity. And this is stupid. It’s stupid because we all know very well when a drug is made to treat something, that drug–when coming off it–will exacerbate the something. That leaves you trapped, regardless of the side effects. And when you’re trapped, you feel helpless. And when you feel helpless, you’re reminded how sick you are even if you’re not sick. When you believe you’re sick, you limit yourself. When you limit yourself, these companies make billions and you make an indent in your couch.

You should be used to my bluntness by now. I shave it down for no one, and I never will.

If this drug does what it says it does, and it can “cure” the people who have been damaged by drugs like Haldol, wonderful. I’m going to count on that not being the case. I will count on it making a good 200 billion dollars though.

I’m looking for the logic here. So much effort into the production of antipsychotics, so little effort into the dynamics of the mental health system. I’m willing to take a huge, very educated guess and say that many people on anti-psychotics could, with proper support and belief and understanding of themselves, live without anti-psychotics as a daily ritual. Sometimes I don’t know how I do it, but I do. The more people who are able to do so, who are supported and not oppressed, the less TD there will be, the less need there will be for new TD drugs.

Neurocrine Biosciences, if you’d like a cure for TD, there you go. Need more information? Hit me up at 1-800-DELUDAMOL. I’m sure you’re familiar with the number.

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Deludin’ For 70 Years