In my area we've been working hard to spotlight the talents, productivity and creativity of those who are also mentally ill mostly bipolar. We had some momentum going and had state politicians listening. Then it has to happen again...an unstable mentally ill soldier wounds and kills other before taking his own life. How do we stand up against this. A shoe of nice things we've done, is not going to erase the fear and distrust that the term mental illness raise. I've seen it, I've seen it happen to others over and over. How can we contribute if people are afraid of what we'll do. And deep down, I have to wonder, what stress, anxiety, pressure, rage, urgency would push me to anywhere near that point...because even with years of meds, therapy and stability, I cannot say for sure that it isn't in me somewhere down deep. How frightening. No wonder no one wants to hire us.View Thread
Yes. There was a NAMI writing contest and I entered. It was published in my local newsletter than several others asked to use it. I've tried hard within my life and career to express stigma. This poem seemed to hit home with many, so I shared it here. I haven't posted in a while, are poems allowed? DavidView Thread
Your wellness is not judge by the number of meds or supplements you take but in how well you function. Stopping meds against your doctor's advice is a sure ticket to larger and more unmanageable events in your future. No meds should be quit cold turkey and while every doctor should strive to give the fewest meds possible, bipolar, by its nature, robs you of self-awareness, so that you very well might not be capable of making this decision. Catching a full-blown bipolar episode before it destroys your life is an important skill learned mostly by failure. I hop that other prevail and you get the care you need.View Thread
I developed upper body tremors that were preventing me from eating and even sipping coffee in public. Luckily,my drug of choice has always been lithium with a 5 day half life. As I had advanced permission from my long-term doctor, I decided to try cutting my dose in half and within 5 days the tremors were gone. In a few weeks at my regular appointment, my doctor approved but sent me for a blood test. Lithium side effects a reversible, while those from anti-psychotics are not. You may wish to look into implanted nerve stimulation.View Thread
So I went to the Smithsonian and sought out the lunch counter taken from the Woolworth's in Birmingham some fifty years ago. Slipping under the velvet rope I pick the pink leatherette stool on the end and wait to be served.
All these weirdos the stench of outcasts stlll lingering in the air catsup hemorrhaged like blood thickened by the musk of history, me, the last of them here right in their spectral midst. I had never known nor ever even imagined for a heartbeat that it would come down to a person like me.
The curator is called and comes clicking swiftly perplexed. "You are in a restricted area. What do you want?" she says in a stage whisper. "To be servedâ€¦like the others", I say. "But you 're not even blackâ€¦" she pleads quietly. "No, and I am not Irish or Muslin or paraplegicâ€¦they all would be served." "Who are you? What do you want?" " Just a stuffed tomato with chicken salad â€¦and perhaps an ice tea, no lemon." " Who are you?" she asked again, cocking her head like a chicken looking for defects unseen to her naked eyes. "I'm a mentally ill American. "
Her eyes widen and she speaks quickly into her phone calling for back-ups. "I have legal rights. You cannot discriminate", by then, suited men pick me effortlessly off the sacred pink artifact and carry me away. I glance back at the ghosts, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and sipping cokes clinking glasses togetherâ€¦the Jews, Gays and Latinos.
My time has not yet come. The last outcast in America, not welcome at the great lunch counter of this free and accepting land. View Thread
A great number of laws dealing with mental illness and gun possesion have existed since 1968. To find them listed by state go to: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/possession-of-a-firearm-by-the-mentally-ill.aspx Recent events are causing juristictions to take a harder look at consistently enforcing these laws, but few effect those who are not an instable element in our society. Most call for those adjudicated with mental illness to not possess guns - generally means someone committed involuntarily, guilty of domestic violence and felony, addicted to drugs or alcohol or generally someone seriously unstable who is fighting treatment. I support the enforcement of these laws and feel that mass killings but those with untreated illnesses negatively impact those who maintain stability and treatment for their conditions in a responsible, mature fashion. DavidView Thread
By way of explanation, I teach poetry, cartooning and creative writing - subjects in which I generally ask students to dive into their individual creative cores. It is just the large number of students diagnosed with bipolar in their mid teens that as a group hold ideas I'm finding hard to handle in their work and conduct. Thank you again. DavidView Thread
Thank you so much, Doctor Goldberg. I will convey your answer to my students. If I can bother you for one more thing, these same students have also developed a belief that lithium is a dangerous or very heavy medication. Having taken it successfully since 1983, I know better but somehow the psychiatrists in my area must be providing this informtion to their young patients or the parents. When it has come up I've asked if anyone has asked their doctor to try lithium, but they all tell me it is bascically poison. Any suggestions? These are community college kids who need to find some solid ground for their lives and I'm trying to help them. Thank you. DavidView Thread