GO ON AND SAVE YOURSELF

I won’t follow along with an ideal or concept unless I’ve asked questions and received answers that satisfy my curiosity. If this doesn’t happen or I find reason to disagree with the masses I find myself being scolded, judged, or told to “go along to get along”.

Guess what? I’ll be 45 in January ( I know I don’t look it at all! ) and I’ll be damned if at this stage of my life I’ll be bullied or told to be quiet anymore. I’m done being quiet, silent, playing nice, sugar coating events and feelings and being a doormat.

So this is my opinion take it or leave it.

Some group somewhere decided what was “right” and what was “wrong” when it comes to words used describing “Mental Health”.

  • Saying a person is mentally ill is no longer correct.
  • You should say they have a mental health condition.
  • Crazy, insane, bonkers, etc. is unacceptable. (Not sure when it ever was?)
  • Instead people should say they’re diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder/Schizophrenia/Depression
  • They suffer from Bipolar Disorder/Anxiety/Schizophrenia is also wrong to say.
  • The correct phrasing is “they live with a mental health condition/illness. (what about the first one where mentally ill is no longer correct?)
  • They committed suicide is also wrong.
  • They died by suicide is the right way to phrase it. (what about those that try? Do we say they failed to die by suicide or they survived a suicide attempt making them survivors & that has never sat well with me considering I have failed five times myself because I was too drunk.

All of this is ridiculous. The money spent on this research could’ve been put towards better treatment options.

RECOVERY, RECOVERY, RECOVERY, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD THAT DOESN’T EXIST IN MY WORLD I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF DAVE NAVARRO FLYING ME OUT TO L.A. FOR DINNER THAN I DO AT RECOVERY. (so for invoking your name Dave)

  1. Recovery implies that mental illness is a choice. Serious mental illness like Bipolar or Schizophrenia are considered lifelong chronic health conditions. Both take a toll on the body and brain, there is no cure.
  2. Recovery suggests a need to return to “normal” state. Which makes me feel more alone and worse about myself. I know I’m not the only one. It also contributes to Stigma.
  3. The concept of recovery by society is detrimental to the person living with the illness/situation. Questions are asked; If people recover, why aren’t you? It must be something you’re doing wrong. Maybe your medications are “preventing” your “recovery” or your choice not to take medications is.
  4. Recovery is an unrealistic standard for any chronic illness whether it’s an autoimmune disease like Celiac (which I have), cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease (got that too), or Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and some Somatoform Disorders. The best you can do is try to manage them. If you experience psychosis or are not capable of rational decisions/choices why are people expecting you to choose recovery?
  5. Behavioral Health isn’t the same as Mental Illness. Behavioral Health focuses on diet, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep habits. This is fine for a person who might feel a little sluggish or down at times but not for anyone diagnosed with a serious mental illness. There is a huge difference. Changing what I eat will not stop me from seeing myself hanging from a forest of trees at the library. Exercising when there are many days my bones feel like they’re broken won’t stop me from sitting on my kitchen floor with butcher knife pressed into my stomach with no knowledge of how I got there. I also couldn’t hear my Dad calling my name or feel him shaking me. I was in another place and it was scary for both of us.

I suffer, I don’t feel like there is recovery for some of us due to many complicated circumstances but there is remission sometimes. I look forward to those small windows of some kind of happiness or as close to it as I can get. I’ll call myself whatever the hell I want to. I’m the one who has had to live this way for 32 years with so many suspecting or misdiagnosing, poking and prodding, degrading and judging, I’ve earned that right. And maybe I am a survivor or I just like to fight sometimes either way this is it I AM A BIPOLAR ALCOHOLIC IN REMISSION 9 1/2 YEARS ATHEIST WITH CONVERSION DISORDER, SOCIAL PHOBIA AND SEVERE ANXIETY. I HAVE TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE 5 TIMES BUT DID SO WHILE EXTREMELY INTOXICATED SO I’VE HAD MY WRISTS STITCHED, DRANK CHARCOAL, STOMACH PUMPED, ANKLE WRAPPED FROM MY ATTEMPT AT FLIGHT, SOME OF THESE MORE THAN ONCE. AS I GOT OLDER AND SOBER I STOPPED TRYING. I STILL THINK ABOUT IT BUT NOW IT’S ONLY A THOUGHT BECAUSE I’M TOO AFRAID OF NOT KNOWING WHERE I’LL GO WHEN I DIE AND THAT’S THE TRUTH.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS ME AND DOESN’T JUDGE ME HERE.

It’s once you enter more of the real world that it’s harder.

TO TELL THE TRUTH WILL BE THE HARDEST THING YOU DO

My parents always lived paycheck to paycheck but did their best to make sure their children were loved and taken care of. When my twin sister and I were babies we were in cribs that had wheels. The wheels supposedly locked in place but my mom came in to check on us one night and my crib somehow was across the room and not where it was supposed to be. My mom was frightened and couldn’t understand how it had happened. She put it to the back of her mind. Except it kept happening. My parents finally realized I could pull myself up and I was rocking back and forth. I would continue this soothing behavior for the rest of my life. Whether it was side to side or back and forth I’ve done it since I could talk. What does that say?

I also bounced one leg like a jackhammer without even realizing I was doing it. Teachers would call me out publicly for doing so. Rocking side to side while standing in the lunch line in Elementary School didn’t help either. It’s surprising how many teachers feed into the bullying of someone who is different.

Anxiety started at such an early age I didn’t know what it was. I thought maybe I was dying, adopted, an alien, robot, a mistake, I never thought I belonged, I always knew I was different. People around me at some point or another made sure I knew it too. Little jabs and comments from relatives they thought I didn’t hear or understand. The kids at school, teachers, and now even Doctors.

I always had trouble being away from my Mom for any length of time. In my early teens I did cut myself occasionally to distract my brain. I’d have to deal with the actual physical pain instead of the mental pain for at least awhile. But I knew I couldn’t do it often because my Mom was the nosiest woman on the Planet and noticed everything. I think she really did have eyes in the back of her head.

Besides the rocking that started so early I also had nosebleeds that started at the same time. I’ve told the story before where a babysitter wasn’t told about my nosebleeds or how I could move my crib. When she looked in our room all she saw was blood all over the walls and my crib way across the other side of the room. Not a good night for her.

The nosebleeds continued until I turned 12 when a Doctor decided to take out my tonsils and adenoids. By that time I had my nose cauterized 3 times. If you’ve never had it done let me paint you a picture. In the movies when someone is stranded without medical attention and a wound won’t stop bleeding and they’re afraid of infection someone will heat a piece of metal/iron until it glows red. At that time they press it to seal the wound. In modern times they use a chemical version that’s shoved up your nose. It still hurts like hell. Again, no one bothered to find out why I was having nosebleeds almost everyday. No one bothered to find out why I was rocking either.

I talk about these things now because the brain is more complex than anyone will ever know in our lifetime. We can’t know why a person makes the choices they do because we don’t live in their head. We haven’t been through what they have. Not everyone can pray away their pain, talk away their hopelessness, when they don’t even know why they feel it in the first place.

Most of the time I asked myself “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you be happy like everyone else? If your own twin can do it so can you. Are you stupid? A mistake? What’s wrong with me?” Having a twin who is living a “normal” life is excruciating to watch and feel. It isn’t resentment. It’s regret.

While I was drunk one night I found out a person I cared about had said and done some upsetting things. He had called me names which I should’ve expected, he told everyone he was only with me to get close to my best friend W, he wouldn’t normally sleep with a “fat bitch” like me, and to top it off I walked in on him kissing W. I grabbed a knife from the sink and started slicing. I was pissed, hurt, and somehow thought it would show them something. What I don’t know. It took awhile for W to find me and take me to the Hospital. My parents weren’t called that time because W was there to back up my lie.

I slit my wrists one more time, overdosed twice, and jumped off the roof of a building (I was too drunk to realize how close to the ground I was). Anyone who fails that many times really needs to give up and accept there’s a reason why you are not succeeding.

I’ve been reading new research. It shows a link between women who had a virus while pregnant that passed to their baby’s brain. A neurologist told me my mother must of had a virus while pregnant because it showed where I had an infection in my brain at one time that caused continuous swelling. This is also linked to mental illness.

The Danish finished research recently where they found that between the years 1945-1995 92,000 Danes were diagnosed with a mood disorder, 36,000 of them had a severe infection or developed an autoimmune disease at some point before being diagnosed with a mood disorder.

The research is strong between inflammation and mental illness. I can’t overlook it considering I have Celiac Disease, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoporosis, Spinal Stenosis, Arthritis, and various other problems. There’s also a genetic factor and ethnic factor. It mostly happens with people from Celtic descent. This would be my Mom’s entire family. My Nanny’s side and Poppy’s side both. My mother’s maiden name translates to “dark stranger” from when the Norse invaded Ireland and settled there. Eventually the Norse name became my mom’s maiden name which matches the information we have about where my Grandfather came from in Ireland.

I think I’m off track. It’s almost 4:00 p.m. and my thought process goes downhill starting at 3:00 p.m. so I only have a little bit of time left.

What I wanted to really say is it’s nice to try to reach out to people who need help. If you do it the right way. Blaming someone who is already gone is pointless. When a person is spiraling downward in their own head you can’t get through, believe me I know this first hand. If Psychosis is involved and the person is hearing a voice telling them how useless they are, they’re a piece of shit, their kids would be better off without them so would their entire family, they hurt everyone around them they should just disappear, it’s almost impossible to make that person listen or to expect that person to call you and talk.

There’s nothing rational about suicide so expecting the person to act rational and call someone for help isn’t rational. That’s why it hurts everyone involved as much as it does. Even when the person survives an attempt their life is no longer their own. Trust is gone, relationships damaged beyond repair, no one knows what to say or do so they pretend you are no longer there as if you actually did die. That’s my experience from my life because I’ve lived it. I didn’t read about it in a book or watch 13 Reasons Why I live it and I’m still living it. But the key word in all that I’ve said is “live”.

I AM UNIQUE, QUIRKY, LOYAL, SENSITIVE AND MENTALLY ILL

I know if I don’t take some type of medication I will at some point find another way to ease my anxiety, pain, racing thoughts, fatigue, delusional thinking, compulsive behavior, and suicidal thoughts. The last one won’t be a thought anymore if I start drinking again.

I’m only getting the benefit of a small amount of my medications and I know this. Even when I was getting the full benefit I still wasn’t close to “normal”. Chances are I never will be.

I get frustrated at people who advocate for Breathing Therapy and Exercise as a cure/tool for depression but it WILL NOT WORK FOR ME.

I get pissed when I listen to Dr. Drew try to talk about a subject he obviously knows nothing about, treating mental illness with addiction. Everything he said to me was wrong. Most research and scientists have found that the undiagnosed underlying mental illness causes a person to seek relief from alcohol and drugs. The majority of mental health professionals do not know how to treat both and the person gets bounced back and forth or isn’t treated at all.

Then I read a blogger who doesn’t believe in Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder. I read the Blog expecting to see evidence, statistics, quotes from researchers, but it’s just their opinion. That’s fine everyone is allowed to have an opinion. The problem is when you have thousands of followers and your a supposed Bipolar Guru.

I also don’t appreciate someone repeatedly trying to tell me I’m wrong and why when I’ve already conceded. I dislike confrontation of any kind so I’ll eventually tell you what you want to hear to avoid conflict that will trigger stuttering and tremors. It isn’t worth it. I don’t know you and I have enough problems with my own family thinking I don’t try hard enough to get better and that I’m just lazy.

I think I’ll have my medical file tattooed on me to make it easier. When I mentioned “Life saving measures were taken” when I went into Kidney Failure both my Dad and twin sister didn’t believe me. Do they think you lose 100% of one kidney and 39% of the other because you have a cold? Or I had to stay in the hospital for over a week because they liked my company? I’m tired of having to prove that I’m sick it’s ridiculous.

They think because I lied when I was drinking that I’m a liar. That’s fair and I don’t blame them up to a point. I’m over 9 years sober and they now know why I was drinking and what I went through when I drank. I have not lied since I’ve been sober (except if someone asks me if they look like they’ve gained weight you can’t win with that one)

I’m not a bad person, I’m a little odd at times. My sense of humor is strange and I find things fascinating that most people don’t. I love to research a topic but I become obsessed sometimes if I can’t figure something out. Sometimes I’m quick to anger but I’m also the first to admit I’m wrong and I’ll feel guilty and cry for days until I make things right.

If I love you you’re lucky because you’ll get the shirt off my back and I’ll take a bullet for you (just ask W. about that one) my mom was the same way she protected those she loved.

That’s it for today. I’ve been binge eating for some weird reason. Not really weird it’s because CVS changed the Generic version of one of my medications. Instead of drinking I’m eating Gluten Free Frozen Yogurt, Gluten Free Cupcakes, Boar’s Head Dill Pickle Spears (I drink the juice too for my gallbladder), Rice Chex w/ Cinnamon & Sugar, Jax Cheese Puffs, I think there was more but I can’t remember lol

MY UNCLE’S CHOICE OF TREATMENT

My Uncle Jimmy was diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic at an early age. He heard voices and had hallucinations. He was sent to the State Mental Hospital that we had at the time. My Grandmother worked there and the place was eventually shut down for their abuse of patients. There is a Cemetery on the grounds with hundreds of unmarked graves of the bodies they found while doing construction years later.

I believe my Uncle Jimmy was probably treated in a horrific way while he was there. Of course no one wanted to talk about it. The high dosages of medications they had him on left him with a constant tremor in his hands and he had problems with his grinding his teeth. He always had white spit in the corners of his mouth.

My Grandmother gave him over to the State when he was young. She did this with a few of her children. My Uncle Jimmy wasn’t violent he just didn’t have a filter that society expects a person to have. He loved to smoke and drink coffee. He hated the medications that made him like a zombie. He could either stay at a State run facility where they had control over him 24 hours a day or he could be homeless and deal with his illness in the way he preferred. Heroin. He chose to be homeless and to use Heroin.

I don’t condone his decision but I understand it. I had seen him at the State run facilities and it wasn’t a way anyone should have to live. He was in all honesty happier while on the streets. He did share needles with other addicts, a majority of them also mentally ill. He contracted HIV and lived with the virus for many years. At some point he stopped his drug use. I’m not sure if it had to do with his age or his health. He did advance to AIDS about 2 years ago and passed away from pneumonia.

I never saw my Uncle Jimmy not smiling. My mom loved him and tried to take care of him as best she could right up until she herself passed away. She always knew the gas station to find him at and would bring him hot wieners. He was her baby brother and mourned her death pretty hard. I miss his corny jokes and hearing him call my mom “Anna Banana”.

Like I’ve said before no mental illness or addiction is the same for everyone. At least not in my family. We laugh the loudest and cry the hardest. We always have.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOU ARE MENTALLY ILL?

You would think after a lifetime of knowing that something isn’t quite right with the way you react to the world, the way you behave around people, how you handle emotions, that finally being diagnosed with a mental illness or two would help. It doesn’t.

I just remember sitting there with a buzzing sound in my ears. I knew it was a strong possibility but I ignored it. I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want to be like my family members that everyone avoided and complained about. Even I was guilty of it.

The only thing that changed was I stopped drinking. Did I feel better inside? No. Not even after several years of medication trials, different therapies, and a round of ECT. It progresses. There are a 101 reasons why but it doesn’t matter. Even manic episodes leave more irritable and angry than anything. I become fueled with frustration and just want to run. But there is nowhere to go that I don’t take myself with me.

None of my Doctors have ever discussed the immense grief I still feel over my mother. It will be 9 years in February since she passed away and it still feels like yesterday. There are days I find myself on the bathroom floor sobbing into a towel and calling her name. I still have dreams of watching her die in front of me. I couldn’t look away. In retrospect they were doing CPR on a woman who was already dead. It was for our benefit. I wish they hadn’t. I wouldn’t have had to see the bloody foam coming out of her mouth and her lifeless eyes. The foam continued for hours after. My sister was spared seeing any of this.

I recently sent a text to my sister that was pretty mean. I always say I’m sorry after. I want more from her than she’s capable of giving. She has a family of her own and her own problems. I can’t expect her to deal with me too. I’m not her responsibility. I’m no one’s but my own. That’s a lonely feeling. All I have is my Dad who loves me unconditionally. I’m petrified of what will happen when he’s gone. Even with him here I feel alone.

I am confused a lot of the time. I have trouble making decisions. If left to my own devices I would sit in this house never leaving, never bathing, just sitting. The outside world grows less appealing everyday. I have less energy as the days go by. I lose more weight and lose interest in everything around me. I feel lost and don’t want to be found. I am at the bottom of the hole but this time I don’t care if I get out. The only thing I look forward to is my next kidney surgery and the anesthesia. I usually see my mom when I’m under. It’s becoming harder and harder for them to bring me out of the anesthesia. I know they’ve discussed this with my Psychiatrist. They think it has something to do with the Conversion Disorder. They’re afraid my brain won’t allow me to wake up during one of the surgeries but there is no other choice. I could care less either way.

This is how I feel most of the time. There are some okay days. Days where everything makes sense. There are just too few of them now. But I’ll keep going because it’s what my mom would’ve wanted. That has to be enough for now.

THE PROBLEM WITH “FALL TO PIECES” (Calling Bullshit as I See It )

I love the song “Fall to Pieces” by Velvet Revolver but it’s unpleasant for me to watch to watch the video for the song. When I see an emaciated Scott Weiland “pretending” to struggle with his demons while listening to the lyrics it’s infuriating. At one point you see two girls in a bathroom at a show and Scott Weiland alone in a room with what appears to be filled with alcohol and drug paraphernalia. There’s a rush to see which room has a suspected overdose. Duff Mckagan reaches Weiland’s room and finds him on the floor, he picks him up and drags him up some stairs to a room. They argue, Duff pushes Weiland against the wall, they both slide down it while Duff holds Scott in his arms understanding the pain he’s in. Too bad that didn’t happen in real life.

Scott Weiland has admitted on several occasions that he has either a “mood disorder” or “Bipolar Disorder” that he wouldn’t take medication for. Drugs didn’t kill Scott Weiland, Mental Illness did.

He used drugs and alcohol in the place of medication, it’s one of the reasons he couldn’t maintain Sobriety. The pressure to remain “creative” and tour doesn’t help. Everyone else in Velvet Revolver had addiction problems also, some of them did a backslide during the time Scott Weiland was in the group. Scott did manage around 2 years of some sobriety until his brother died. Then everything was downhill from there.

You can’t look at the video and tell me you see a healthy person physically or mentally. The members of his band after Velvet Revolver knew he was off the rails and their guitarist had died from overdose 8 months before Scott Weiland’s death.

Maybe if Doctors or anyone had tried harder to deal with the Psychiatric aspect of his problem he might still be here along with many others. The first thing anyone sees is an ADDICT and not the cause of the addiction.

MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA 2017 CONFERENCE WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 2017

This year the focus of the conference is different and long overdue. Their main agenda is Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

The frequent stories of musicians and artists who battle mental illness and addiction will be part of it. Also is there a connection between creative minds and serious mental health concerns?

Can you still create the same music or art while sober or in treatment for mental illness?

How the Entertainment Industry is playing a bigger role in helping fans with their own issues by taking away some of the stigma and being honest about their own struggles.

The biggest problems are still the Managers, Family, Labels or anyone depending the artist for money. Putting a person at risk of death so you can make a buck or live in a big house is something that disgusts me. Unfortunately I’ve seen it up close many times. I’m not sure it will end anytime soon.e51a54c1c8a5858454ba1426ad47e928

 

NATURE VS. NURTURE (Fact or Fiction)

I left off with a mention of a Neuroscientist involved in a research project at UC Irvine. The project involved reviewing anatomical patterns in the brain that had a connection with psychopathic tendencies.

The Neuroscientist, James Fallon, put together the scans of murderers, schizophrenics, depressives, and people with other brain disorders. He added scans of his family and his own brain because Alzheimer’s ran his family and he was curious about the subject.

One day while looking at a large stack of scans, one stood out more than the others. This scan had clear characteristics of someone with Psychopathic tendencies. He could tell by the color of the label that it was someone from his family he just didn’t know who.

Fallon broke precedent and looked up who the scan belonged to. He was surprised to learn it was his.

Most people probably would’ve hid the information, as a man of science Fallon needed to know more. He had a series of genetic tests done that can indicate a risk for Psychopathic behavior. A variant of the MAO-A gene is linked with aggressive behavior. All of his genetic tests confirmed what the brain scan did.

When I read this all I could think is “How is this possible?”. How is it that a happily married family man could have all the markers of a Psychopath but not be one?

SOME PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS

  • Competitive
  • Intentionally angering people to see a reaction
  • Psychologically aggressive
  • Physically aggressive
  • Narcissism
  • Antisocial Behavior

 

NATURE VS. NURTURE

There are actually more people like this than you know. A person who has some difficulty feeling true empathy for others, but can still keep their behavior socially acceptable.

Fallon had always known that he sometimes manipulated other people to get what he wanted. He was also motivated by power. His family’s ancestry had 7 alleged murderers including Lizzie Borden.

Before he was born his mother had several miscarriages. He was given a large amount of his parents attention and love.

Here is where it gets complicated. I’ll try not to put you to sleep.

Serotonin Transporter Protein = affects the development of the prefrontal cortex in complex ways. It can make the region more receptive to Environmental Influences.

A positive and loving childhood was a major factor in who James Fallon became.

FREE WILL

There is one more ingredient according to Fallon. That’s free will. Fallon is trying to be more conscious of other people’s feelings but also admits some of this has to do with his pride and proving to other people that he can.

CONCLUSION

It’s difficult to ignore the numbers. The statistics don’t lie. When you see 42% of convicted serial killers suffered from physical abuse as a child and 74% suffered psychological abuse it’s hard to ignore. If you add those numbers to the possibility of their brains having Psychopathic characteristics to begin with than what happens?

I am in NO WAY DEFENDING ANYONE. I am only interested in the brain side of things. The question of what if they had different childhoods? Would they have been the same. There are some serial killers where there is no physical or psychological abuse to be found. 28077_452145291513946_566614836_n

I’m not naïve. Sometimes people are just evil for the sake of being evil. I do know that I had two loving parents who were always there for me if I needed them. Our house, despite the turmoil, was still a loving house. We would fight each other but if anyone else said a bad word it wasn’t going to be pretty. No matter how much I complain about my sister or my dad I wouldn’t be alive without them. My brother taught me some of life’s most important lessons. He also gave me great taste in music. My mother gave me a heart that is too big and her hands. My father gave me his love of animals and his sarcasm or wit. Not necessarily a good thing. The wit part. But I wouldn’t change a thing.