Disability as a Creative Practice
I wanted to explore how time and sequence work when memory is disrupted, in my case due to traumatic brain injury. I needed to document and reclaim my own sensorium.
25 Years Later: Honoring a Stress Breakdown
This was no illness. And I knew my biochemistry was not the primary issue. I chose to call it a severe stress breakdown.
What’s Missing from NAMI and Pro-Psychiatry: Lived Experience
Since many psych patients become forced consumers, their advocates have a duty to be educated and concerned with adverse reactions.
Overcoming Social Barriers as a Writer with a Disability
Finally, I realized that my schizophrenia was not a disorder, but a very complex problem that I could solve by myself.
Living Together – With More Resilience and Less Medication
My own experiences have shown that specific exercises can help me to recognize the early symptoms of psychosis even earlier and more subtly, and reduce their intensity — even the delusions!
Hindsight is 20/20
During my 2003 episode I received a series of ten shocks and at first they seemed to “magically” cure me. However, it only took a month for me to go back to feeling depressed and suicidal — again.
I Can Barely Breathe
The psychiatrists broke my body and my brain and now they are washing their hands of me. When I think about what has been done to me and what has been taken from me, I can barely breathe.
The Power of Light and Dark
It is possible to prevent and alleviate both depression and mania by managing the timing and intensity of exposure to light (and dark). I wasn’t sure these measures would work for me, but they did.
From ‘Madness’ to Self-Mastery: Overcoming a Life of Disconnection
You are trained to trust a system, to trust a professional… But I was always following my intuitive self telling me that there was a way out of the madness and the labels.
The Bipolar Rollercoaster: Looking Beyond the Labels
Removing assumptions evoked by my family member’s diagnoses has transformed my understanding of their experience and increased my ability to arrive at solutions applicable to their expressed needs.
What Psychiatry Has Done for Me
The stigma and discrimination I have had to endure due to my ‘diagnosis’ crushed my spirit and the dreams I had for my life. But the most devastating part of all is how it altered my relationship with my two sons.
Still Looking For Answers
What is happening in my body? And has being on medication caused long-term side effects or damage? I’ll forever be searching for answers; I want to feel “normal” again and live a life of enjoyment vs fear and anxiety.
Negatively Charged: ECT and the Truth I Could Never Forget
I live with the changes every day, even now, four years later. It often feels as though the shocks have rendered me one-handed, only ever capable of dealing with one thing at a time.
Inadequately Trained Therapists Pose a Risk to Childhood Trauma Survivors
Mental health professionals must be trained in the dynamics of addiction and abuse if they are to help survivors of childhood trauma.
A Troubled Teen With a Pocket Full of Lithium and Nowhere to Go
Despite the full awareness of Congress and hundreds of deaths in these facilities, little has been done to enact standards in private pay facilities that house troubled teens.
Healing From Transgenerational Trauma: My Mum, My Daughter, & Me
Emotional trauma is the type of wound that, if not processed and integrated, can become a void that expands to swallow not just the traumatized person but also their children and grandchildren.
Dear Psychiatry: We are done with your juvenile black-and-white bullying tactics that argue that because you cannot neatly contain Us in a box of your design that We are somehow the problem.
Mania or Marijuana?
Is marijuana to blame for my mental health issues? Strange things started happening in my mind once I started using the medical-grade weed.
A Moment to Reflect
Within my heart, something feels like it’s been stolen. But they tell me it’s all in my brain, a tripped-up neurocircuitry, a misguided chemical.
“Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Fine”
I was prescribed a “baby dose” of diazepam for pain management. Over the following months, everything got progressively worse.
This is the story of a life in turmoil, my failings and those of the systems meant to help such persons.
Madness to Miracles
I lost 20 years of my life and everyone and everything I held dear, including myself, due to psychiatric medicine. Why did doctors not see how drastically I changed and how rapid and brutal my descent was?
I Had No Idea That Gabapentin Could Do This…
I am now a few months off of Gabapentin, and my withdrawal problems have not passed. I still deal daily with internal tremors throughout my head and back.
Mad Parenting: On Becoming an Unlikely Family Man
I’ve often been told I shouldn’t have kids because I’m “bipolar.” But since my twins’ birth, I’ve been way more stable than I thought I would be, and I’ve found what I’ve always been looking for.
If We Knew What We Know Now
I never questioned the adults around me or wondered if the medications were necessary. Of course they were necessary. A doctor said so.