I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently had a Psychosis and that my stay in a mental health ward was a real eye opener.
When I lived in Canada, I suffered a couple of Psychosis too and stayed in one of the top hospitals there, The Centennial Centre, and another smaller ward too south of Alberta.
After my stays in Canada, I had a lot of thoughts about mental health but I didn’t want to talk about it until I was sure of my thinking, this latest stay has confirmed a lot for me: most professionals have no clue how to deal with mental health issues.
All they seem to do is give you medications to control whatever mental health issue you have experienced, wait til the meds work (this can take weeks, and months even) and send you on your way. To see you again next time you loose the plot, and so the cycle starts again, different meds, different dosage and off you go.
Am I really the only person who sees the problem here?
Every single patient I have come to know has one big issue: inability to deal with something they have experienced in their past.
Usually it’s abuse related, but it could be anything their brain and heart haven’t been able to come to terms with. There lies the disconnection, you can rationalise your thinking as much as you want, if your heart doesn’t follow suit, it ain’t going to happen, And so they go through life feeling more and more tortured, mostly trying to repress this ache they feel, self medicating with alcohol and/or drugs until eventually, the brain can’t take it no more and something snaps.
This, to me, is what mental illness is about.
I have so far only heard of a handful of people who genuinely can’t find any reasons why they are depressed, I guess that’s called clinical depression.
So my rocket science answer? Talk, get it out, process what has happened that makes you feel so messed up, find a way to deal with it. STOP TRYING TO REPRESS IT, it won’t work. It cannot work. You need to get rid of the shame, guilt, fear and anger that tie you down. Trust me. Meds are good to calm you down a bit, enough so you can start processing safely but they are not the answer.
During my stays, the only good counselling I had was talking to other patients about their experiences that got them there. Slowly but surely I started to realise that is the best councelling in the world, talking with people who have experienced similar situations, found how they coped, or didn’t as the case maybe. Realising you are not alone is the first positive feeling coming from this, and then giving each other a different perspective on the problem another. A problem shared is a problem halved, the more you share the smaller it becomes.
I get so angry with the medical profession because they just don’t seem to understand the basic.
When I left the hospital last Friday, I had a chat with my primary care nurse, a great woman who gave me all the support I asked for. I told her I found it amazing that in my two weeks there not one professional talked to me about my psychosis itself. She said it was because they didn’t really understand it. I got very confused what they were doing working in a Mental Health ward without knowing exactly everything there was to know about mental illness.
And then I thought back to my stay in Ponoka, same thing. No-one there talked to me about Psychosis, even worse there, after an hour of chatting with me the day after I was admitted, the Psychiatrist doctor decided I had Bipolar. AN HOUR would you believe?? And straight after I had been admitted and pumped up with medication. How many diplomas do you need to fuck it up do you reckon?
Misdiagnosis is king in Mental Health. People finally relieved there is really “something wrong” with them go home “happily” thinking “well there you go, now I know what’s wrong with me, I shall just take those meds and everything should be alright”. No they won’t, they will never be alright until you process what has got you there in the first place.
My first Psychosis happened shortly after I stopped self medicating with dope and alcohol. Once my brain became alive again, I got floaded by thoughts and emotions I had repressed for over 20 years.
I’ll tell you what was wrong with me. I had a negative experience sexually when I was young and I let the shame, guilt, anger build inside of me, as it was, had to be, a secret.
For many years this repression affected my relationships. I could never ever find happiness with anyone and I thought it was because of this. Sometimes I would tell my partners and it kinda gave me Carte Blanche to not get intimate with them. I would only get intimate after drinking, when my barriers fell down and I could relax enough to have sex. And eventually that died down because sex, as fun as it may be, doesn’t give you the emotional connection needed to make love. And so relationships messed up eventually.
During my first psychosis, I actually opened up about that negative experience. Directly to the person concerned. And do you know what? He felt as shit as I did about it. And I was then able to forget about it and put it down to experience. Sometimes you make mistakes in life and you need to learn from them. No Regrets now. Such a liberating feeling.
The “Psychosis”, which looking back, lasted a few weeks, enabled me to open up without a care in the world to all sorts of people about stuff that had been bothering me most of my adult life.
My mother’s adoration for her (dead) brother, who I knew had abused his daughters, she got to hear how I felt about this man. Since then, not one word about him. Phew!
My dad “abandoning” us when my mum and dad split up. Him and I are so close now.
I still have two major issues I need to deal with, one concerns my mum and the other, God. God incidently was the subject of my last psychosis.
I got angry with him. How dare he give up on us so easily. How dare he punish Adam and Eve so dramatically that we are now left with such a shit world that nature and animals are starting to suffer, how dare he let people abuse people, even more so defenseless beings and nature?
I have found my connection to God and I won’t bother trying to explain it to anyone. If anyone is curious, I will just say, “Can you explain love? but you know it exists right? well the connection to God is just like that, you can’t explain it, yet you know it exists”. I have also decided that there is no point looking for God, just as there isn’t looking for love, he’ll find you. or not as the case may be. Funnily enough, you have heard it say many a time that God is love.
I also get angry about this Jeebus story, but that’ll be a post for another time.
Oh and I like to call him God because it reads Dog in reverse, and I love Dogs, without a shadow of a doubt, yet I can’t explain why.
This was what my Psychosis was about: on the morning I woke up, I was angry at God and I wanted to prove to him that he made a mistake, people are worth caring about, people are worth saving. Apart from abusers. They can go to hell. I don’t care what excuses they have to be taking out their frustrations on other beings in such ways. We all know the difference between right and wrong. Whatever your beliefs are.