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Mentally Ill In America

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posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 03:55 AM
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Just wanted to share my experience of what it's like to be mentally ill in America. I came down with paranoid schizophrenia when I was 17. I dropped out of school because of it. At the time doctors didn't know what was wrong with me. When I was 20 I snapped and started having severe hallucinations. Up until that point I only had severe delusions. My mom had me put in the hospital where I spent a month drugged to max while the doctors tried to get the psychosis under control. I was so far gone the doctors told my mom I might have to be institutionalized for life. After getting out of the hospital I stayed on my meds for a year and did well. I had a relapse because I didn't think I needed meds anymore so I went through the whole ordeal all over again. The illness had done a lot of damage. I had to relearn how to communicate with people all over again. Things that come natural to normal people I had to relearn. I had to relearn how to have conversations with appropriate emotional responses and stuff like that.

After spending a couple of years trying to get my illness under control I decided I wanted to work. My step father got me a job working with him at Crystler. My attendance was excellent and I never had any problems over the 4 years that I worked there. One day I told a co worker I had paranoid schizophrenia. Within 2 hours I was hauled into the supervisors office with my union rep. They demanded to know what medications I took. I told them it doesn't effect my work and it's none of there business. Over the course of the next six months I was hauled into the office and written up 12 times. Every time I was told by my union rep to sign the disciplinary and say I agree with the companies statement. I was told I'm not getting any time off so I'm coming out cherry in his words. I was being written up for stuff that wasn't even my fault. One day I was called into the office and fired. I was told I had too many write ups. My union rep told me to apply for unemployment that he was having my termination turned into a lay off. After applying for unemployment and receiving a check I got a letter from the unemployment agency telling I was fired and I received unemployment under false pretenses. They wanted their money back plus ten times the amount I received. I called my union rep and he told me the company was willing to give me unemployment as long as I signed away my rights to come back. I called the head of the union and they never called me back. Being faced with a massive bill from unemployment I signed away my rights.

While laid off I looked for another job and found one within six months. I worked at the company for a year until they shut down and laid everyone off.

I found a 3rd job and the same thing except they closed down after 6 months.

In between jobs I had no medical insurance. My psychiatrist is a MD at a hospital and he had a pharmacy in his office. He gave me free samples of my medication when I was out of work. My medication costs $1000 a month and his office visits were $150. My mom paid for the office visits. On top of all the medical stuff I had a truck payment and apartment rent.

I found a fourth job but after a few months I figured I couldn't keep working there it wasn't paying enough to survive. I went to the local unemployment office and found I qualified for federal funding to go school. I jumped through all the hoops and had a $8000 grant in my hands all except one thing. I never filled out my draft card and need to do so to get the grant. My mother said she through it out when I was sick. So I went to fill one out and it was too late. I could only do so until I was 26 after that I was of luck. When I was a teenager my goal was to go into the marines when I graduated.

After loosing the grant I figured life goes on although I was pretty upset about it. I found a new job making good money again and I though all was well. Except my illness came back to haunt me. I was under a lot of stress and I started having hallucinations again. I quit going to work because I didn't want my illness to show. I couldn't get out bed. The owner of the company called me and asked where I'd been? I told him I found another job and he wished me well. I got pretty depressed knowing I had lost the job.

6 months went by and I lost my apartment and truck. My doctor continued to work with me and give me free samples. I needed insurance and help so I applied for foodstamps and medicaid. My doctor suggested I apply for disability. It took 8 years but I got it. I'm not happy about being on disability but I need a stable income and a way to get my medication. Schizophrenics have a high disposition to becoming homeless or ending up in jail. My fear is with my mother becoming older and if something happened to her I'd have no one to fall back on. I need a way to take care of myself.

I really want to work. I have a friend that can get me a job right now making $14 an hour except it has no health insurance. I have no idea how I can make it and if I fail I could end up in a worse position. Basically I have no clue how I'm going to survive on my own with ss disability income. It pays peanuts and they say I don't qualify for foodstamps because I make too much money. Also there have been changes to medicaid and medicare. It will no longer pay for my doctor so as of now I'm paying cash. I could go to one of their recommended doctors and have no co pay but I've had my current doctor for 15 years. I don't now if another doctor would support my case for disability or how he/she would view me.

There is no support system in this country for someone like me. I'm not talking about entitlement programs I'm talking about case workers or someone that could help me succeed. I don't want to live as a second class citizen. I would like to achieve the American dream but I feel it's not possible.


edit on Tue Aug 18 2015 by DontTreadOnMe because: spelling in title




posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:04 AM
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Just want to say I feel ya, I am schizo-affective and it can be hell keeping it together.


+17 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:06 AM
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a reply to: wantsome

Have you gone to the Social Security office and talked to a case worker about help? A social worker should be able to find workarounds for at least the doctor / medicine problems.

If your county has a mental health center, they are usually sliding scale.

As for the rest... I wish I had answers to help. Sadly I don't. Sadly I think a lot of the problem comes from mass lack of understanding of all the discussed issues here. Most people don't understand the realities of being mentally ill. They think it's simply mind over matter and that mental illness is just a lazy persons excuse and a character flaw.

Also it doesn't help that media has led people to believe in the lie that the system is easily exploited... The meme of a person on public assistance living in a mansion, driving a high end SUV and talking on a free top end smart phone persists. When, in truth, the actual amount of help offered is not much. SSI is just $730.00 a month.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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a reply to: wantsome

Get knocked down nine times stand up ten . Be strong .Mental illness is a bitch .
edit on 16-8-2015 by hutch622 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-8-2015 by hutch622 because: (no reason given)


+6 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:25 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story.

Mental illness (which is physical illness) is so difficult to live with in today's world where there is little to no support system.

You have endured a lot, and you are much stronger than you may even think. Just by reading your story, I know that you are a stronger person than I am, and I don't have a mental illness to contend with.

You should feel good about the strength of your character and perseverance.

I wish you all the best.Stay strong.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:43 AM
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a reply to: wantsome

You might want to go over your past postings to keep the story straight.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:50 AM
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originally posted by: thesaneone
a reply to: wantsome

You might want to go over your past postings to keep the story straight.
Why? Do I need to get my medical records out to make sure I have the exact dates? A lot of it is a guesstimate but close enough.
edit on 16-8-2015 by wantsome because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:53 AM
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a reply to: wantsome

Because it changes some every time you tell it.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 04:55 AM
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originally posted by: wantsome

originally posted by: thesaneone
a reply to: wantsome

You might want to go over your past postings to keep the story straight.
Why? Do I need to get my medical records out to make sure I have the exact dates? A lot of it is a guesstimate but close enough.
I don't believe I've shared my work history before.
edit on 16-8-2015 by wantsome because: (no reason given)


+9 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 05:01 AM
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originally posted by: wantsome

originally posted by: thesaneone
a reply to: wantsome

You might want to go over your past postings to keep the story straight.
Why? Do I need to get my medical records out to make sure I have the exact dates? A lot of it is a guesstimate but close enough.


I agree. Very accurate. I have read your postings in the past. They add up just fine. I don't understand what criticism the other member has about that, but I do not see it. Your posts add up to a true enough description.

Talk about hit a man when he is down! Whattt?

I hope you can keep finding your way forward. Sounds like you have done pretty wll considering up to now. I was very moved by what you wrote.

I'm bi polar in the UK. It is no different here really. It disgusts me and quite puts me off humanity that people with mental health issues are treated so badly.

Your best friend is assertion. Another friend is independence. Here I have made up my own alternative life. It is actually much nicer than many of the people who live around me. I can be myself, gentle, creative, open minded and non judgemental and non conformist.

Don't rely on the State for your identity. They don't have a high estimation of anybody or anything.

Take good care dear Wantsome.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 05:07 AM
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originally posted by: Revolution9

originally posted by: wantsome

originally posted by: thesaneone
a reply to: wantsome

You might want to go over your past postings to keep the story straight.
Why? Do I need to get my medical records out to make sure I have the exact dates? A lot of it is a guesstimate but close enough.


I agree. Very accurate. I have read your postings in the past. They add up just fine. I don't understand what criticism the other member has about that, but I do not see it. Your posts add up to a true enough description.

Talk about hit a man when he is down! Whattt?

I hope you can keep finding your way forward. Sounds like you have done pretty wll considering up to now. I was very moved by what you wrote.

I'm bi polar in the UK. It is no different here really. It disgusts me and quite puts me off humanity that people with mental health issues are treated so badly.

Your best friend is assertion. Another friend is independence. Here I have made up my own alternative life. It is actually much nicer than many of the people who live around me. I can be myself, gentle, creative, open minded and non judgemental and non conformist.

Don't rely on the State for your identity. They don't have a high estimation of anybody or anything.

Take good care dear Wantsome.
Thank you. I went back and read some of my old posts to see if there were any discrepancies which there aren't. I did lie about the which company it was to conceal it. I didn't want to write the exact one. Just in case I didn't want anyone to recognize which company in case someone I knew came across the post.


+5 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 06:10 AM
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originally posted by: wantsome
Why? Do I need to get my medical records out to make sure I have the exact dates?

No, best to just ignore the haters...

Listen to Galadriel.

She spoke the truth.

Love is the reason we are here.

You've really inspired some of us today.

Thanks.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 07:30 AM
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a reply to: wantsome
I wish I had answers for you, but I don't. I can't even truly imagine going through what you have. But I do want to say, because you and Heff have been willing to put yourselves out there, and educate others about what you've been through, as well as problems within the system, and social stigmas, I have a different view of these issues than I had before I came to ATS. For that, I'm thankful to both of you.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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Society need to have some one some thing to blame for the ill of this world, the two groups they have chosen are "problem youth" and the "mentally ill". Sad to say but paranoid schizophrenia is top of the "baddie" list as its the least understood by the public and is always shown in films as the uncontrolled killer. The important thing is you are fighting for a better life and care, be strong


+8 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 08:05 AM
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Any kind of severe illness or injury in the US is pretty much a sentence to be poor for life unless you happen to have family or friends that can help out. There is no real "system", only for-profit medical establishments that like to pretend their doing a world of good but overlook the financial and practical concerns of patients. Hey, we removed your gallstones - too bad you don't have a place to live anymore!

2 times in my life I could have been homeless were it not for family. Once you're disabled anyone without help is absolutely screwed, I don't see how they can make it while having to wait years without income to get SSDI - and only after getting a lawyer who takes a third of your first check simply for filling out a couple of forms. It's a racket.

To top it off it seems the people who are only taking advantage of the system are the ones to get help the fastest. Being approved for SSDI first go-round while claiming to be depressed while others with crippling physical injuries are denied 2 and even 3 times? It's as frustrating as anything I've encountered in this life. OP you were fortunate to be able to find as many jobs as you have. Ive been through the job search thing only to be laid off within a year too - what ever happened to job stability? Things change at such a rapid pace these days it can get beyond human capacity to keep up. While technology can be a good thing it is the driver of the economy that forces change on us all. The older you get the harder it is to keep up.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: wantsome

Sounds like you are doing just as well as 60 percent of the population financially.

Don't be so hard on yourself.

Mental illness or not, most folks are not making it.

And have no shot at the American dream.

"they call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it"- George Carlin

Sad but true story.....



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: wantsome

I think you should get a mad dog lawyer and sue both the UAW and Chrysler. They discriminated and rail roaded you out of your job. They will settle out of court anyway....



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: olaru12

I worked for Adelphia and I was railroaded by a woman manager who was offended by the fact I was a combat soldier.
I had a 1/6 scale model of an M60 machine gun I used to carry on my computer and she said when she saw it:"Get that GUN out of this office".
She hired a new supervisor to retrain me for a day position and after two weeks she wouldn't define what issues I was having until I was fired for them.She said when I left "We were looking at the whole package".
The supervisor had just gotten out of the Airforce and hadn't seen someone rail roaded and how it works before.
Poor guy was actually sputtering saying "I Don't treat people like that!"
I reminded him we were now civilians and THAT is what they do.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 06:56 PM
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Wow I'm sorry that must be hard I suffer from some stuff to



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: wantsome
Capitalism lost its moral compass, it has been broken by the the Wealthy. We need a change.



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