Blog for today: Personal Psychiatric Directive
Good day dear readers! It is early in the morning, but I thought I would get an early start on today’s blog. I went to a class the other day and learned some very interesting things about mental health through the Schizophrenia Society. One of the things I learned was that there are some really smart things you can do while you are well to avoid and speed up recovery from a relapse. For those of you who may have Schizophrenia, you might be aware that sadly quite often your illness will get worse over time, meaning you will one day be sick again and your whole life could fall apart. For me what happened the last time I was ill was that I simply scaled back the dose of one of my medications thinking it was making me too tired and over time I began to go into a manic and delusional state. It is incredible to think of what happens to my brain when I am not being properly treated for my illness. It had been such a long time then since I had been sick I didn’t think I would get sick again. I slacked off in my medication taking, I reduced one of them and I wasn’t seeing a Psychiatrist on a regular basis who could evaluate me and most likely could have avoided the terrible relapse I had that ended me up in the hospital for 5 agonizing months.
What we talked about in the class I went to was something called a personal directive. You actually have to sit down with a lawyer, which may cost some money or may be covered by legal aid or a local charity that helps those with mental illnesses. Basically you sit down and map out what you want to happen if you ‘lose your mind’ for lack of a better term and end up in hospital. You can write down what Doctor you want, what hospital you want to be sent to, whether or not you want to consent to shock treatments (ECT) and even what type of diet you want (vegetarian, vegan, etc.). This to me seems like a great idea and I want to get one as soon as I can because I really had a bad experience with an egotistical ass of a Doctor last time who took me off all of my medications to spite me and treated me like garbage. He even left orders that if I did anything at all out of the ordinary I was to be put into the solitary room and I was put in there so many times I don’t know if the emotional scars will ever heal from that.
Another really good idea I got from this group came from a participant, he had the idea of keeping a bag handy with things he wanted to take to the hospital or be able to get someone else to take to the hospital for him if he ended up there. On my last stay, I literally had to wear the same shirt and pants for five months and had no books I enjoyed or a radio or anything. I had to save up for a little walkman out of what I like to call ‘convict’s wages’. I would do manual labor in the hospital and I would be paid $1.50 an hour for it while the people who supervised me were getting upwards of $25 an hour. The injustices were many, but thankfully I have hopefully learned from that.
As a bit of a side note, I was watching an information program about spousal abuse and I saw something I would like to do if the situation came up. This one person had a neighbor who he could hear each night was being abused by her spouse and one day he went to her and told her she could keep a ‘getaway’ bag at his house if she ever wanted to leave. At first she declined and denied there was abuse going on, but later she brought over a bag and needed it not too long after. This is the sort of thing that I think is really valuable because (1) it shows compassion and (2) it reminds me that mental illness is not the only problem people have in this world.
Last night I met up with an old friend from my high school days and went to visit another person who we grew up with who is living in a nursing home with Multiple Sclerosis. The first friend is on medications now too, having been diagnosed with Lupus. It really makes me feel kind of lucky, reminds me of how blessed I am in so many ways because though I do have physical problems, they are manageable and I am actually in really good health. It also makes me feel better about my one problem, my bipolar disorder
Aside from that Dear Readers, I think I will leave things alone from here. I am looking forward to my day because I am meeting my ex-girlfriend’s mom for lunch. I met my ex-gf some 20 years ago and though we only went out for a short time a very long time ago, we still are close friends, even best friends and just about her whole family calls me a family member. I talk to my ex on the phone nearly every day and I do things with her sister and mom and of course have her niece on Facebook. I feel like a bit of a cad about it but years ago I actually was sort of dating her niece ( this was a full grown woman I should note, she was the child of my ex-gf’s much older sister). I really liked her a lot, she is married now too though but we keep in touch. Not long ago, though it was actually a joke, a Facebook friend posted that she was in love and wanted advice, and I think I came up with a pretty good gem. First of all, without putting pressure on them, or going overboard, make them your best friend and then let the relationship grow from there if it wants to. Anyhow, I should run. As always, I am open for emails from any and all of you who like to read this, firstname.lastname@example.org