It has been apparent that even I don’t like what everybody is saying about me. Whether you read this blog or not, it’s not a good idea to make up things about these writings and misinterpret or blame mental illness. Let’s make one thing clear: there are people around me that ultimately have some myths and facts that need to be either busted or straightened out. The busted myths are obvious ones, and some may not be so obvious. Some of these statements are derived from even my personal experiences, but first, let’s hear something about my own hospitalization experience.
If anyone has a mental illness, and this is important, it doesn’t mean that they must be hospitalized so that all the stuff can be put in place. Not all mental health patients need certain strong medications or guardians to keep it at bay. The real problems with illnesses such as substance abuse and schizoeffective disorders are the symptoms no doubt, but the biggest problem is this: misunderstandings by family, parents, etc. There have been multiple breakups and rejections by friends and some boyfriends because of this stuff. Currently, I’m working on trying to bust the myths and state the real facts about such illnesses, and sometimes it can work. I’ve already contacted my whole treatment team at MHCD (Mental Health Center of Denver), which takes Medicaid. I’m happy to report that even when the nurse was on the phone with me, she said I did not need hospitalization. This is also highly regulated by the laws in different states. There are a few criteria needed for hospitalization of a mentally ill person, and I will show those things as well.
First of all, myths and facts about mental health issues:
1. This is the big one: Mentally ill people are/have demons possessing them. This was a common thing to think in the Middle Ages, but I’m sorry, we all have “demons”. The thing is, I’m not a demon. The ones who may act this way are few, and the demons may lead to destruction of a person or themselves, which is statistically 5%. About 95% of mental health patients have no such desires. Remember the Columbine and Aurora Theater shootings? Mass shootings are usually ceremonial and are performed by the truly “possessed.” What possessed James Holmes and the boys at Columbine, both in my backyard, to do such evil things? Well, it was probably the mental issues that went untreated. The families probably held this long ingrained belief that mentally ill people are possessed or are demons. That is not true. For more on the stereotypes about mental patients, I have a few good books to read. One of them, which happens to explain even ancient Greek medical treatments for all things, is “Snake Pits, Talking Cures, and Magic Bullets: A History of Mental Illness.” I swear it’s available on all places where books are sold, but there’s an endless array of history books specifically on mental illness. Let’s take a look at some other stuff.
2. All Mental health patients are “mad.” Not all of them are mad. Madness is different than sadness. I’m not mad at anyone all the time.
3. Mentally ill women cannot have or take care of children because of their symptoms and medications. This is about 20% true. There are many mothers out there with mental health issues but they take good care of babies. The key here is to keep one’s eye out for PPD, Post-partum depression. If I have babies, I’d like the father, if he supports my health enough, to take a look at things post-partum, and any symptoms, which include extended periods of the “baby blues” should be reported to a doctor. I would never, however, kill a baby due to PPD symptoms. There are some women who are driven nuts, though. Remember Andrea Yeates?
4. Mentally ill people are all aggressive. Again, not true. There are some people who are aggressive due to mental illness, but that number of people is like 30% about. Most of us are just plain clueless, sad, etc. IF mental illness affected the wrong person, you would indeed get an aggressive person, but there are some really sweet people I know with mental illness that I’ve even become friends with and we support each other.
5. Mental health patients must stay away from me/society. Wrong. It’s the same thing as saying that disabled people are unacceptable to society and must be hidden away. If Blake or myself had been born in the nineteenth century, the female in this case, myself, would have been advised to go to a place like a sheltered care facility called Mary Bryant Home for the Blind. Females with disabilities who lived in poor families were often hidden from the world. Males, both rich and poor, were either accepted more often or sometimes put in group facilities. Now, I’m not suggesting that any and all males had the same fate. Thankfully, both Blake and myself could adapt well to blindness and were born in good times, but in the nineteenth century and early 1950s and about that time only, you could see more mary Bryant style homes for all disabled individuals, and residential schools were common for blind children. Thankfully, the increase in blind children meant the schools were going to be overcrowded. For more on the abuses in schools for the blind, I’d read Walking Alone and Marching Together which is published by the NFB. There is some juicy stuff about Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and some schools in Alabama as well. I would not be surprised if molestation did occur in other schools, which these articles points at old incidents, but now, I’m sure they’ve cleaned up all the schools. However, most schools for the blind, with the profound exception of ones near NFB centers like the one here in Colorado, are closing down. Most of these schools have biased manuals of education, and I would like to show you Florida’s as an example. However, the Kentucky students in their school for the blind participated in something most kids wouldn’t be able to. They helped put together a Braille kit for an Artistry Stove by General Electric. The Artistry kits are now going to be available upon request, and that’s what I’d like to buy for my own house. This way, the totally blind cooks in my home will be able to cook and … I’ve never seen these stoves, but I’d like to see how wonderful the KSB students have undertaken the task of helping put in some feedback about what a real blind person would want in cooking appliances. They’d helped during production stages of this kit and the design of the stove, so yeah, schools for the blind have now become healthy experimental grounds for companies to improve technology for all.
But no, mental patients cannot stay out of the community. Again, Snake Pits, Magic Bullets, Talking Cures. The same book I recommended before has a whole thing about institutions and hospitals and bad and good therapies. For instance, the history points to lobotomy as what was a treatment at one time. Lobotomies, however, made so many patients vegetables. One famous lobotomized patient was Rosemary Kennedy. The Kennedies were Irish, but they were just too proud to see the real problems with Rosemary. She did special Olympics, but died forgotten in her eighties. She had been lobotomized due to emotional stuff and the misguidance of the Kennedy parents, and yes, they were embarrassed. Such feelings can lead to these devastating consequences for kids. Adults with mental illness or emotional issues can never be lobotomized. The frontal brain lobes and all parts elsewhere have to keep the body under control, period. Shock therapy and restraints were common in the institutions, but worse, too many women were brutally treated. Also, the dignity and worth of these human beings was questioned. Thus led to the influx of mental health patients out of institutions and into community care. Here are some facts about mental health and community care:
1. Everybody’s mental health is different. Not all mentally ill people have a genetic inheritance of their disorders. Listening, doctors? I don’t know about my family, but the way the illnesses developed in my family was completely switched on by events that happened. I won’t go into it. But PTSD is not genetic. Schizophrenia can be, but not always. Everybody’s like a special snowflake that falls, everybody’s unique, so yeah. That’s one.
2. Mental health medications, if given by a doctor, are effective in treating the disease.
3. All regimens of medications should be done throughout the person’s treatment and whenever the doctor says.
4. Not all mental patients want to commit suicide. Maybe I should address the myth that mental health patients want to kill or kill themselves. Most of my thing is this: I don’t want to self destruct, but my situation is unique in that I can’t move forward with life itself due to the car not starting, etc. Whatever it is, if it doesn’t go, where’s the life in it?
5. If treated, a mentally ill person can live a full and productive life. Yes, with the proper environment, therapy, and medications, and yes, with good opportunities, case management, and the like, we as all disabled individuals can live a full and uncompromised life. The keywords here are opportunity, case management, and good perceptions and training. Dealing with blindness is one thing, but it is still a barrier. What the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation fails to see is that blindness has some rules of the road, so to speak. Mental health issues have the same sort of thing, but different rules. For instance, Colorado Community needs for patients with mental illness are really great. There are times I’d want to simply talk to someone and listen as they talk back and get some ideas. Mobile crisis is helpful at the center I go to. Community care should however be more often.
Here’s what I’d like to see happen for even myself:
1. I would like therapy once per week, but I know it can’t happen to me due to the crowd in the clinic.
2. I don’t know about this, but one person for everybody in all agencies would be great. According to a therapist I have spoken with, one case manager for all the branches of the tree would be better and recommended, but is it available in the county in which I reside? We don’t know, and I don’t know if that is something I qualify for.
3. I have medications, and I need a medication that does not cause side effects for fetuses or weight gain or worsening hormone levels of lactin. My family has bone density issues caused by menopause. It happens to all the generations as far back as my great-grandma who died when I was eleven from complications of such things. Ossteoporosis is a problem for the women in my family, and we need bone density tests a lot after fifty. Mom, are you listening?
4. I want exercise without getting lost, inaccessible equipment, and a trainer that is knowledgeable about both blindness and physical disability as well as some mental stuff as well. I would not like to pay the trainer with my pocket money so if there’s anyone who wants to Go Fund Me for a trainer, great. I don’t care how ugly or good looking he/she is, it would motivate me more.
5. I want seven day a week human contact and I want to see the people who mean a lot to me, including my boyfriend and friends. This means I may have to be closer to the boyfriend’s family or if that fails, we don’t know, but I am getting sick of relationships failing due to distanced attitudes about me or the other person or the family objects.
Now, mental health problems are stigmatized, and I’m sorry, not all of the stigmatizations are true. If I was possessed, there would be a real exorcism, which would be weird. I’m not one to tell someone I saw a beast rise from the sea. John the Revelator might have seen a dragon or the crippled people walking, but yeah, the dumb singing the blues would be enough to think God is here. I sang many gospel songs about people with crazy gifts that would enable them to see things, perceive God doing or saying things, etc. In the Bible, Mary is visited by one of God’s archangels, and she is told she will bear a son. She does.
Now, I always said to Blake that I’m not weird like some of these evangelical or Pentecostal peoples. One can mistake the visions for mental health issues. Well, if you have a detailed description of St. Michael, are you mad? Ill? Joan of Arc might have been schizophrenic today, but guess what? She changed the course of history. So it’s not all bad. However, as a patient myself, I have no need to think this, but the Second Coming may come from a poor background, all that. HE must be from a really obscure bloodline. Jesus’s blodline was full of weird people, including a prostitute. Well, today’s “prostitute” does things differently. Jesus, however, was the only perfect being in this world. Don’t tell me Muhammad would do anything right. His direct line, according to Islamic studies, was all in wedlock. What does this say? Only the noble and right people in Islam get what they want or get recognized. But Jesus says, clearly, I came to call the sinners, not the righteous. I want to say this: whoever thought Jesus was mentally insane had to have been nuts themselves. Pilate, the Roman governor, was absolutely right in thinking that this was someone special, but throwing him on a wooden beam was bad, but then again, it was what had to happen. Here’s something else: Claudia Pilate, Pontius’s wife, said in Roman language, “He’s a blessing from the “Gods.” She had no education on the Jewish and Christian gods or God, so she couldn’t say for sure who Jesus was. Claudia would one day learn further who he was.
Most charismatic cult leaders, like those in Isis or Al Qaeda and others, have mental issues. Jesus was considered a “cult leader” for a long time by the Romans, but because his teachings had nothing to do with mass suicide, it’s obvious he’s ok. He had to die for our sins, period. Anyway, as a mental patient, hospitalization is not fun. I had a lady roommate who said she was being followed, and I could only be there for three days. But face it, the ones who really need hospitalizations are people like Lyle and Warren Jeffs, the weirdo who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart known as Bryan David Mitchell, the weirdo Jim Jones, and another bigger problem, James Holmes and yes, if the Columbine boys were alive, those guys would be criminally insane for killing Cassie Bernall, who believed in God. Anyway, boy I’m tired of writing, so yeah, going to bed.