If you are considering suicide, odds are, there is an underlying issue that needs to be treated in order for you to feel okay [ ... ]
My spouse is from Louisiana, which is a disaster area right now, flooded from days of steady, record-setting rain. I lived there [ ... ]
As an individual who was diagnosed with bipolar disease in 1979, I’ve seen many sides of the mental health field in those past several decades. My forte? Mania, not so much depression. When manic, I lose all sense of what’s right and proper and safe. I’ve been hospitalized many, many times because of mania and have experienced all the local psychiatric hospitals and have also done stays at Western State Hospital. During this time, I’ve felt hopeless, scared, out of control and negative about myself.
I’ve been treated with many different psych meds and have dealt with many professional providers. For much of that time, there’s been no treatment that would stop the episodes. My family and I were all desperate for something that would work.
Because of the manic episodes, I lost my home and my job of 35 years. I felt at the mercy of this disease.
It's almost Mental Health Month, and I want to talk about Cody Lee Miller. Unfortunately, most people probably know him as #ManInTree. The internet lit up with #ManInTree hashtags three weeks ago after Mr. Miller's 25 hour occupation of a towering sequoia tree in downtown Seattle.
Last week, Mr. Miller was arraigned in court. His bail is $50,000. His crime is reportedly $80,000 in damages to the tree and throwing apples at passersby.
His story, and interviews with his mother, highlight the shortcomings of our mental health system: not enough early recognition and intervention for mental health conditions in teens and young adults, not enough support for families before a crisis occurs, and overreliance on incarceration instead of treatment.
Every day, people living with mental illness end up in jail. Nationally, two million people with mental illness are booked into jails every year. Most of these people are not violent criminals. With proper mental health treatment, they likely never would have been booked.
When I think about my ongoing battle with mental illness I feel exhausted. It's exhausting every day to try and "feel better." To feel "normal." By the end of the day I'm so tired all I want is to sleep. I'm tired from the trying. I'm tired from analyzing every little mistake as it quickly snowballs into being the reason I lose my family or my job or my friends or my boyfriend. I'm tired of worrying all the time. I'm tired of not being able to respond back to text messages or phone calls from friends because I'm I don't want them to know. I don't know what to say. I'm tired of not feeling good enough; a good enough friend, girlfriend, dog owner, teacher. The list goes on and on.