Mental Illness Archive

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  • My experience in the mental hospital

    Trigger warning: Involuntary restraint, abuse from hospital staff.

    I was passing by an elderly man in a wheelchair, and he grabbed at my arm. I shook my arm free and pulled away from him. All of a sudden, two nurses and a tech were yelling at me, telling me to go to my room or sit down. Admittedly, after they said that, I became quite defiant, but not a danger or threat to myself or others.

    The Mental Hospital at Thirteen

    Trigger warning: Mention of constrainment and incarceration, suicidal thoughts, misdiagnosis

    My general care practitioner put me on a low dose of Zoloft. She said that it would take a couple of weeks, that I would start to notice feeling a bit better, just slowly notice that I felt good.

    I got better.

    Quickly.

    I went to see her again a week later, and I was bouncing, happy, excited. I expected a much different reaction than the one I got.

    Self advocate

    I’ve stumped my therapist and psychiatrist, they cannot seem to find a cause or a cure to stop this behavior. It’s embarrassing in public, but I cannot stop. When I go to see my psychiatrist, I cannot stand up and say, “hey this is not working for me, this is not helping,” it’s always me agreeing on everything they say just to get out of there. Even with my therapist I still keep most things to myself.

    Damage

    I want to put my best foot forward, but I only have two feet with the same mind. Can’t move forward, can’t go back, can’t stop what’s going to happen and cannot change what already has happened. And my past actions have made huge holes in my life, and my thoughts and emotions have minds of their own and take control, leaving me with a vague feeling that something happened, I did or said something and I cannot put my finger on the insanity that is driving my life.

    My Experience with Wicca and Pagan Spirituality

    When they asked us in rehab that March of 2013 what our spirituality consisted of, I said that is was “Somewhere between yoga and fireflies.” I was getting very into yoga. I felt that the states of greater transcendence I reached while practicing to be closest to the spiritual as I, a die-hard atheist, could get. I felt that the grandeur of nature and expanse of the universe was a higher power, but I couldn’t get behind the idea that the universe would have anything to do with me or want to help me. I felt insignificant in the galaxy, a mote of dust, a sheep, as AA professed.

    Are you on SSDI and coming into inheritance? Special Needs Trust: a must read

    If your parent or parents pass away and they own assets, possibly a home or investments, all this makes up an estate and goes into their wills. If your folks leave you assets and you don’t have a Special Needs Trust in place, you will be forced to spend down all your inheritance so that you can re-qualify for your S.S.D.I. monthly benefits.

    Painting from the Psych Ward

    I painted the beginning of this painting while inpatient at Aurora Las Encinas during arts and craft time. It is my first abstract piece. I was surprised to discover how creative I felt there, digging among old board games like Monopoly for collage material and working in child tempuras instead of my usual oils. I kept the piece of overworked construction paper through my stay, oddly proud of my first artistic effort in a year of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. When I got out of the psych ward, I mod podged it to a canvas and added a border and purple feathers. I call it Inpatient, Forgive.

    Art with Mental Health Detritus

    I enjoy using pill bottles and Saphis casings as frames for my mixed media oil paintings. Stockpiling and creating from the detritus of my illness makes me feel as if I am doing something positive and healing. In so openly declaring my illness in visual art, owning it, I feel I am working towards destigmatization. These three paintings were created in the same series of recent work.

    Full Disclosure: HIV, Bipolar and Insomnia….Not Easy but Necessary

    I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Stephen Puibello. In his first post with us, he talks about disclosing HIV, insomnia and bipolar status in romantic relationships. Thanks for sharing with us, Stephen!

    Full disclosure; HIV, bipolar and insomnia, and why full disclosure is important, not just for the safety of transmission for the man you are with, but for your own anxieties around being a dual diagnosed HIV and bipolar, mental health consumer, as insomnia for me is extremely problematic. It has ruined two relationships as both partners didn’t understand the severity, all they noticed was I wasn’t in bed when they woke up, I know not the right men for me. Not easy, but necessary if you are to find Mr. right, he’s out there.

    Call for submissions

    This is a call for submissions for a proposed anthology entitled Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health. We are particularly invested in making sure that we have a genuinely diverse array of writers and artists contributing; we want to include the voices of people of color, of youth and elders alike, of trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people; people living with dis/abilities, low-income people, people whose intersectional identities are underrepresented in media.