Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm everywhere you go

I'm getting a number of hits because I made a comment on another blog where people, often medical professionals, were stating that something done to help protect privacy is to protect professional from "pscyhotic" people.

In my own opinion I shouldn't have commented. I even wrote to the author to apologize, although nobody has actually responded, and what I said was appropriate. I just believe that it is much better for me to post over here than to participate in what tends to become useless arguing.

But, this is MY place and I get to say what I feel here. So, here's the thing: when people assume that psychotic people are not in their daily lives, that's a fairly grave error. True, it's been a long time since I was truly having psychotic symptoms (November). But for the 6 years prior to that it was frequent. And the only reason now is that I'm on a high-dose of anti-psychotic medication (Seroquel). Plus I'm on 2 mood stabilizers. In other words, I'm doing great but I'm a house of cards that could tumble easily. I don't foresee it soon, but last year's big episode I didn't really see until the beginning was well upon me. In fact, I'm terrified right now because last year I got sick partly because I was so hot and not drinking enough at work and I got run down and kept pushing myself and soon enough I was manic. There's a major difference, I have not had caffeine since the day I realized I was manic last year and I was causing the mania through caffeine consumption, to some extent. And I'm being cautious. And I'm on Seroquel which has been my miracle drug.

Back to the point though: people seem to have this idea that they can intuit mentally ill people, or that we wear a uniform or something. We do not. We can be just as well-educated as anyone else, we can do any job out there, and we can fit in.

I am so tired of being lumped into some "psychotic" category for the world's disposal of me. Psychotic is something I am sometimes, but I am so many other things. And frankly if you're willing to be a medical professional and make statements putting down people with an illness, I'm a lot happier that I live with psychosis than I would be to be you.

It's time people recognize that mental illness spans a range of things. Some people are totally overwhelmed and rely on social systems for assistance. Some fall through the cracks. And others operate on a scale of as much variation in function as most humans.

Personally, what I know about my own illness is that I have the symptoms to make me way sicker and more limited than I am. But for whatever reason, despite having some serious times I've not worked, I've managed to get the education to do what I do and then to have a reasonably successful career. I wouldn't have chosen this if I knew what my future held, but I did and I live the life I anticipated. Sort of.

My major point is that I am there. All the time. You might notice things that are "strange" about me, and in my case I talk about taking meds because it helps explain some things, and you'd surely note my pupils are huge, but basically I'm totally invisible.

And for the record, I have never threatened or harassed anyone.

1 comment:

otgirl said...

Hi, I always appreciate hearing your comments on my blog so I decided it was high time I caught up on yours. What a great post to come in on. I think you're right that people think they can "intuit" folks with mental illness. I think we are more comfortable when we can at least pigeonhole the things we don't understand. For me, the real challenge as a therapist (and as a human really), is to be willing to just sit with the incomprehensible and the things I am afraid of and the things I don't understand, not try to solve them or dismiss them as "category X,Y,or Z".