therapists Archive

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.

Persistent Past in a Present Future

My therapist has a thing for drawing me charts that she hopes I bring home and post on my wall (I do). It ends up straining both my eyes and my mind. We tend to get into complicated conversations that involve chaos theory and the nature of humans. My most recent chart (a flow chart of such) describes how the past connects us to depression, the future to anxiety, and the present to calm and balance. But I have questions. As I usually do.

Too Big to Fail

You probably know my name, my face, and my story. You may at some point looked up to me. That’s fine. I sought out a role as a leader in the community for a reason. I thought I could help, and people tell me I have succeeded. Researchers tell me their studies keep coming back with the same result; study participants keep saying the group that I somehow ended up leading saved their lives.

How The American Mental Health Care System Failed Me (And Everyone I Know)

I arrived at the hospital at 8pm. They tell me at 11pm that the psychiatrist is actually not here. So I will have to spend the night, and I would be seen in the morning. This was especially frustrating considering I was used to this. I have been generally ignored by physicians in emergency rooms most of my life. Especially as a mentally ill, disabled person. We are pushed to the back burner. Even in an ER that currently had three patients who were there for bone injuries.

Death and the aftermath

My wife died four months ago. We had fought the night before, ending with her saying she was taking a bunch of pills. I thought she was joking. I woke up next to a corpse. I woke up with a black eye I didn’t remember getting and spent five minutes trying to clean the vomit from around her mouth until I realized she was dead. Time stands still, memories fail. I called 911 and the person on the line tried to get me to move her from the bed to the floor. I tried, moving a women my same height to the floor, dancing with rigor mortis. A rush of urine. It was then, holding that corpse, that it first hit me.

Are You Afraid of Me?

Do I scare you? Does the way I talk worry you?

I’m not talking about intimidation. I’m tall, and I’ve always been told I’m stronger than I realize – usually just after hurting someone without realizing it, but that’s not what I mean.

What Every Trans Person Should Ask Their Mental Health Provider

For me, deciding to see a therapist about my gender dysphoria was a huge step. It was the first time I had told another human being face to face that I thought I was transgender. I was lucky; the psychologist in the area who is known for taking trans clients was full up and couldn’t take me. She recommended a colleague whom I had never heard of. I gave her a chance, and she turned out to be phenomenal. She was non-judgmental, listened well, asked insightful questions, and in the end became someone whose insights and ideas I trusted.

Fighting for Responsibility of Ourselves

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Kaity Marie Baldwin. In her first post with us, she talks about taking responsibility for one’s own mental health. Thanks for sharing with us, Kaity!

It took me a long time to realize how lucky I was: a psychiatrist, a therapist, medication. All of these arranged in my life to provide the support I so desperately needed but wished I didn’t. Who wants to see a psychiatrist for the rest of their lives? Who wants to need therapy sessions? Support can sometimes be a reminder of why you need it, and it makes you feel so helpless.

Bad Psychiatry Still Haunts Us

In 1988, when I had just turned 14, I made the life changing mistake of trying to figure out what I was using the materials I had on hand. In this case, it was a copy of the book written by Dr. David Reuben in 1968, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask).” The book came from my mother’s top shelf on adult topics, and for a kids just hitting puberty and dying slowly with the changes, I needed answers. Namely, why did puberty feel so wrong, why did I feel a need to be female, and why did I pray every night to wake up right.