Saturday, December 4, 2021

Comments by Julie Birns

Showing 8 of 8 comments.

  • Dear erin321,

    I am so inspired and awed by individuals such as yourself who instinctively know the truth underlying the symptoms and the “treatment.” Thank you for sticking by your husband as he untangled this truth for himself. And it is wonderful that he now “owns his mind again and is living life again!”

    I also so appreciate your question about my “aha moment.” As I shared in my writing, I still am trying to understand my story, so I welcome the opportunity to reflect and will share things as I currently understand them.

    I think the first time I felt unsettled by the “treatment” was during an inpatient hospitalization. As I recall, my doctor told me that the only option available for me was ECT and I had to decide “now.” By this time, I had lost the ability to trust myself, but I clearly remember feeling very uncertain about this treatment and especially about the apparent imperativeness of making the decision immediately. I consulted my outpatient doctor who encouraged me to move forward with it and not trusting myself, desperate for some relief, and not knowing another way, I said, “yes” to the ECT. I experienced numerous side effects and minimal benefit. After this, my trust in the “treatment” greatly diminished. And as I reflect, it also was after this that my trust in myself began to revive.

    I began speaking my truth as I understood it in each moment. And, with one exception that I recall, each time I was silenced or, worse, forced into additional involuntary “treatment.” While this was incredibly painful, it fueled my inner fire that I believe made it possible for me to finally break the cycle and reclaim my life.

    Thank you again for sharing your story and asking more about mine.

    With love and appreciation,

  • Dear kindredspirit,
    I have such mixed emotion when I hear that your story is similar to mine. I hope the tears my story elicited are ones that cleanse the heart. And if you have not already shared your story, I hope you will consider doing so one day. As I shared in response to another comment above, it has been very healing for me.
    With love,

  • Hi Madmom,
    I’m grateful that you found my story uplifting and I definitely hear the struggles you share about engaging with your daughter’s current providers. When reading your post, I felt drawn to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope they are meaningful: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
    Best wishes to you and your daughter on your journey,

  • Hi Truth,
    Thank you for your honest comment about my story and for sharing about your own experiences. I was diagnosed with many things, including Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD. But the “treatment” appeared to be more symptom management and suppression, which as you suggest, may have resulted from the treatment itself. I empathize with the feeling that the treatments have damaged your brain in a way that feels like recovery is impossible. And I appreciated Richard’s question about what is meant by recovery. My brain and cognitive function are not the same as they were and may or may not return to their previous level of functioning. And this can be very challenging at times. But I also recognize that this has forced me to move out of my head, which was in some ways a safe and comfortable place to be at times, and into my heart which I believe is where the power lies. As Richard encouraged, please keep sharing and writing. We need to hear your story. I know sharing mine has been very healing.
    Much love to you,

  • Hi Stephen,
    I often find it ironic how “patients” are regularly encouraged to move away from rigid, black and white thinking, and yet the system imposes strict black and white rules that, if broken, can result in loss of employment. It is wonderful that you instinctively know that human contact, especially in difficult times, is so important. And I am sure that even without being able to provide hugs or human contact, the energy of your compassion and love is palpable.
    Thank you for writing,

  • Hi Sam,
    What a blessing you are for your wife. She is lucky to have your support, understanding, and love. Thank you for reading and for sharing.
    All the best to both of you,