Showing 54 of 54 comments.
Thank you so much for all these responses.
Diaphanous, all I really want to say in response is that my words are not worth any upset. You should take care of yourself first. We have different stories, like you mentioned, and that’s ok. The words I’ve offered in this article are my words, my truth, and they certainly are not meant to serve to invalidate or erradicate anyone else’s truths. And they can be interpreted any way in your mind as they can in someone else’s mind. But, your truth is your power, I believe that for you and for me. That’s why I wrote this story, to share my own truth and what helped me survive what I went through, that’s all. I send a lot of strength your way, and sleep! Oy. I’m sorry you’re not sleeping, that is never good and torturous.
Daiphanous, thank you for this thoughtful reply. I just wonder if there is a difference between some psychiatric diagnosis’ being blanket ‘medical’ diagnosis’ for diversity and suffering that is directly in reaction to what the world does to not admit or allow about being a diverse human?
I understand and totally agree that disabilities make you very keenly aware of the injustices of the world, and often more outspoken about them. I’m not sure my point was to dispute that but to point it out? I also want to say, I’m not sure “recovery” as it is understood in a psychiatric sense would be what this story is about, even if I used the word myself. I’m sure if I was honest about how I experience the world (emotions, perceptions, experiences) I would immediately be re-misdiagnosed. I am in any psychiatric sense still ill. Still hearing voices here, still struggling in ways that if I expressed to a medical professional, I would be absolutely still considered Bipolar. So, mis-diagnosis (although several commentors on my articles have used this to frame my experiences) isn’t actually accurate. The only thing I feel recovered from is the stigma (self and like you said by educating others) of my original and persistent diversity (as I understand it) of mind which still could very easily fit into the DSM if I wanted it to.
Richard, These are absolutely great. What wonderful songs, thank you so much for sharing the links and your awesome work!
It would be so, so wonderful if whoever comments here, contributes a link to a song they feel is liberating from the “song of psychiatry”. Mad in America is considering highlighting songs like this weekly, so it would be wonderful to mine everyones music stores! Original works included, Like these from Richard. Thank you so much! Do you have a website for your work?
Many thanks and solidarity,
So beautiful, thank you. I have been enjoying this composer a lot lately. A flower in return for you 🙂
“A flower unfolds. You do not rip and rip and rip its petals off because YOU want to see what it is made of.”
Thank you for those words. Beautiful and so true.
I’m sure that info has got to be out there, I’ll see if I can dig it up.
Wonderful! Thank you for sharing! Spoken word can be submitted, too!
Wow, I love this so much, thank you for sharing your story here. Solidarity as a writer and artist. Much love. Karin
I was checking a new comment here and saw this one from you Daiphanous. I love so much how you articulate this. And I recognize this dynamic and actually ask for your help and expansion on it. I think the question I have for myself is: I see this in me to some extent, especially with loved ones at the threshold of psychiatry, this beautiful “offer” of information and experience turning into something that feels like coercion. And I wonder what you could offer me as far as a perspective, or practice, that in some way honors/circumvents my own trauma and the harm done to me from an enforced illness and the gargantuan effort to see myself as not ill and just different (which I think we might fairly say is the source of the transformation of an offer into a coercion — and of course stems from fear of similar trauma being levied on them). I respect your words deeply and would appreciate your insight.
Thanks so much Rosalee. Your comment rings so true in so many cases. I’m glad you caught up with the article!
Thanks so much Kevin. Glad you get something from my writing – and yes Meade is a very interesting writer!
Thanks for these kind words! I think artist get a double dose, because capitalism is extremely unkind to them in as much as their skill and passion is so undervalued, discredited even as the world depends on them pretty heavily, and then on top of that, psychiatry piles it on. So definitely agree with you on that.
So glad this resonated with you!
Thank you so much for bringing all this to the conversation. It is a really important point, and one I wish to write about in the future. I hope that my writing doesn’t fall under the category of a psych survivor denying or stigmatizing illness or disability. Not my intent at all. Illness itself is a natural state of human existence, too. Illness should not be stigmatized, period. Needing crisis care is absolutely real. I sometimes think the only reason I did not get a schizophrenia diagnosis was because I was a young white girl from an upper middle class family, it is so much more often given to men and people of color as far as the research I’ve seen. I was a voice hearer (still am at times), experienced paranoia and extreme altered states and catatonia periodically, so, I could have very easily been categorized that. My only intent in my writing is to offer the right to heal, which is so often taken from us.
Thanks so much dreampainter!
This is an excellent article. Thank you.
Hey Someone Else, I do hope you get it finished. I see your point about the time given for the call, but this was specifically for work that likely had already been made over the last year. Looking forward to seeing the work, and I wouldn’t worry too much about the photography, online display of artwork does not require as much of a professional hand to get it to look good. So give it a go. I think it will work out nice.
Thanks for this comment. I agree with what you’re saying. I have met stereotypes and myths of artists with much suspicion my entire life – especially the poor, moody, and traumatized artist. Artists are just people with a different way of expressing themselves. I’m glad art serves you the way it does.
Thanks so much Miranda! Such powerful work Phoebe!
Your pointillism work sounds really cool! Shoot me an email maybe we can work something out. And thanks for your comments! Keep creating!
Pheobe, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you were able to move on from an art teacher who obviously did not understand its power. And your last sentence there is so true, much love and keep creating!
Well, you’ve read my other work on here, I approach it from a position of “reforming” (admittedly a word that could be interchanged with others like transform, etc) psychiatry by trying to move people through art and writing to change how we as individuals and a society relate to our own and each others suffering – changing minds through telling my story. I am just an artist and a writer, and that is just about all my work can do (not that this is a small thing!). And of course, the change is not always guaranteed. But, must try and do what I can.
RippleOn, thank you so much for this. When I saw the comment, they were words I needed to hear. I also checked out your project online. I was really touched and inspired by what you are doing. Thank you for the work you are doing in honor of your son. Much love and strength to you.
Thanks so much everyone, for the kind words and encouragement!
Perhaps offering the field of psychiatry a definition of what it is they are actually doing, what they are tasked with – which is to address emotional suffering. This, like you say, only became a medical rather than a community, spiritual or situational issue recently and has done mostly harm in the implementing of it. When I think of the possibilities here that we are missing by grasping onto this erroneous idea, it truly makes me sad, but also hopeful that one day we will let it go and return to seeing people’s pain as human reactions to life’s many hardships.
Thanks for sharing your story. And thank you so much for the question. The more I share my story, the more I get this particular question about fending off more episodes. I think something you said is important, and was really important for me: that I’ve made major life and even psychological changes (like quitting pot years ago, alcohol, and eating better, different supplements – like NAC – which actually seems to help a lot, and really digging into resolving my trauma around family and hospitalizations.) I feel like this strengthened me and made episodes less likely. But, it all is a mystery in some ways. I too, had altered states etc before medication, but I truly believe these are natural responses of the brain to trauma in some cases. I guess as the trauma resolved and the exacerbating chemicals (pot, psychiatric drugs, etc,) were removed from the equation, it was a much safer environment for me to get off everything. I’m still on a tiny bit, tapering off Vraylar now. It’ll take me a bit. But, it’s been one of the more difficult – even if it is such a small dose. My voices and everything really started relegating themselves to dreams/falling asleep a while back, the suicidality was mostly due to the Latuda and just…what it’s like to be a psychiatric patient for 20 years, and my “manias” were never (except for maybe once) really textbook. I wish you so much luck, look, the thing is trust yourself, build in some safety nets and give it a go. you won’t know until you try. But I totally get the fear around it, so much. Sending strength and solidarity.
So true my friend. I have a hard time explaining this to most people. But I always try!
So glad to hear your story. And that you are like you say, “more than a survivor.” Thank you so much for sharing. Much love.
Yes, I agree on many fronts. And I can’t pretend I don’t have first hand experience with the truth of this.
It seems society has never really figured out how to truly honor artists, from childhood on up into adulthood.
Thanks for the kind words.
Thanks so much Sam! And what you say is absolutely true.
Aw. Thank you so much for all these kind words!! I’m so glad my work resonates with you so deeply.
I’ve never heard of Bateson’s theory. I’ll have to look it up!
Fellow artist! hello! I’m so glad you like it.
Yes, in so many cases, so true.
Thank you so much for these thoughts. Lots to think about here, really good questions.
Thank you for those words Sarah. I am really happy the conversation has turned toward compassion and forgiveness. It is important for us, those who have been harmed, to free ourselves also from the anger. I am on a constant journey with this.
I have studied buddhism for about 10 years and found Buddhism doesn’t much talk about forgiveness, only…compassion. For me, although I struggle with anger sometimes, going forward with a goal of extending compassion, even to those who have harmed me, has saved me from a lot of pain.
I’ve always liked this prayer, “they know not what they do.”
It can be quite a mess when a psychiatrist/therapist has not done the work themselves. You’re assessments are spot on in many ways.
I wish you all the best on your and your loved one’s journey.
I’m sorry you went through all that. Truly, it is a fundamentally abusive paradigm. Hopefully by telling our stories, we can change that.
Thank you so much for these words.
Thank you! I’m so glad it resonated with you!
Thanks so much Eric. The alchemy of transforming suffering into wisdom is so powerful.
Thanks so much for these comments Roselee and Steve. Both of you are dead on in my book.
Thank you Carlene! So true.
Oh yeah, definitely. Some of the most important words uttered to me during my recovery from all this were “You’re not crazy, Karin, you’re an artist!”
So well said. Thank you!
Thank you so much for the kind words. Yes, for me allowing is another way of holding, helping to carry someone’s grief. Best of wishes to you as well.