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Diary of a Madman - An Insight Into Insanity

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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 08:59 AM
Heff many props to you for being open about your issues and willing to bring to light how horrible the system is for mental illness. I myself suffer from sever anxiety, night terrors, severe depression, blackouts, paranoia, and a severe fear of people (agoraphobia). I've been dealing with this since about the age of 13 and seeing docs and counselors for it for the past 14 years. I've gone in to the local emergency psychiatric ward a few times and at those times I looked to be committed so I can have intense treatment of these issues, not once would they do that. They would keep me there for roughly 10 hours give me some pills and a few prescriptions to be filled and send me on my way. The drugs they have me take daily make me like a zombie. I personally raise two kids without their mother in the picture and it is incredibly difficult to do that with how all these mood stabilizers and anxiety preventatives make me feel. The side effects of these drugs are horrid causing involuntary twitches in facial muscles, nausea, migraines, and some other nasty things I'd rather not bring up. Not to mention if for some reason I can't get a ride to the pharmacy and run out of any of my scripts for one day, I go through horrid withdrawals from meds that aren't even suppose to be addictive, such as my anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs.

All my docs just keep upping dosages or changing meds around into diff combinations. They tell me a pill is gonna make it all better, yet I take about 13 diff pills a day, excluding the emergency pills like xanax or painkillers that I take at times. All the pills seem to help with my mental illness, but they themselves cause other problems for me. The docs pulled me out of work 3 1/2 years ago and told me I should only be out of work for 6 months and I should be able to go back to a normal life. Somehow 3 1/2 years later I'm still not allowed to work and I'm still fighting for my ssdi that the doctors tell me I'm entitled to. Needless to say the system for mental illness here in the states is horrible.

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 09:06 AM
reply to post by SatansGift

Parts of that sound very familiar to me my friend. It can be a rough ride, huh?

I am currently off of medication entirely, even though, in a perfect world, I'd at least have something to help with the panic attacks. But I, too, had to leave work awhile back and am also getting the run around in the system. And, well, without insurance - and receiving next to no money... Doctors just are not going to happen.

You deserve to be commended for parenting through your ordeals. I know that my kids were the one anchor that kept me from straight up losing it a time or two (honestly probably way more than that). No matter how dark it gets I can always focus on my children and kind of lose myself in wanting to do right by them.

Kudos to you for fighting the good fight and for sharing with this community in such a meaningful and open way. You have certainly added to the quality of this thread with your insightful words.


posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 03:55 PM
My husband recently died from a combination of a weak heart, massive amounts of prescription drugs in his system, and severe depression, which in spite of years of psychotherapy and medication was not yielding to treatment. Regardless of his very supportive family and my best efforts, we were not able to save him. The official diagnosis was heart failure, but we all know it was essentially a suicide.

My husband had been in the local hospital's emergency room for overdoses several times in the past six months. Each time they strongly recommended he go into their drug addiction/psych unit for treatment and each time he refused. In despair, his family and I went to the magistrate and got an order for an involuntary commitment. However, when he was given his evaluation he assured the examiner that he was neither homicidal nor suicidal, so they did not have any legal grounds to keep him against his will. In fact he was totally suicidal, but he knew exactly what to say and aced the examination. He had had enough experience with the mental health system to know how to do that. The hospital sent him right back home. He died that evening. He was 53 years old.

My second aim in this post is to add something to the discussion of mental health resources in this country. When I first moved down here, there was an excellent, state-funded, community mental health facility which offered a range of services, from psychiatrist to psychiatric medication to psychotherapy to nursing to case management to social workers who looked into the patient's living situation and helped them apply for every benefit they were entitled to. I know this from personal experience with them, as I have also been diagnosed with a mental illness. The health center also provided some free drugs for those who could not pay for them. The fees were assessed on a sliding scale according to one's income, which for many people was zero or close to it. They were treated free of charge. People in shelters or a homeless person could just walk in off the street and be treated free.

Then there was a change in the state government. They decided, in their wisdom, that this community mental health system and others like it were costing too much. The responsible political party shall remain nameless but everybody probably can figure that out. Anyway, the community center and others across the state were dismantled in favor of privatization. In other words, whatever mental health services we have left now are run for profit. Those services now cherry-pick those types of treatment which are money-makers. For example, treating the indigent has pretty much fallen by the wayside. Instead of the large state-funded mental health facility we have one or two smaller ones that provide counseling for those who are not considered seriously ill, and they have one or two nurse-practitioners, who are supposed to be working under the supervision of a psychiatrist but in fact are not. These nurse-practitioners are, of course, much cheaper than actual doctors. The staff at these private providers are typically overworked and underpaid.

Whereas this state used to have five or six hospitals for the mentally ill, it now has one. The prevailing philosophy is called "community-based integration and support." Sounds pretty good, huh? It has connotations of the mentally ill being embraced and cared or by their own communities. What it actually amounts to is they send them home for their families to take care of as best they can. The homeless mentally ill can now sleep on the streets of their own hometowns. In fact, there are one or two profit-making group homes here for the mentally ill but the residents are not integrated into their communities in any meaningful way. The severely ill, especially, just aren't readily accepted by those who consider themselves completely sane. In addition, the funding for this "community support" is very limited, based on the assumption that people will need crisis intervention for a brief period of time, then be "cured." There are no real provisions for the long-term or seriously ill.

The places of last resort now are prisons. Society just doesn't have any other alternatives for them. They get caught up in a cycle of offend (often because they are mentally ill), incarcerate, release, at which time they will offend again, etc etc. for as long as they manage to survive, which for many is not long.

Unless there is a great protest by the citizenry every state will probably eventually have a system as poor as ours.
edit on 20-1-2011 by Sestias because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 12:59 PM

Originally posted by v3rtex7740
I feel the problem isn't catching all the crazy people, but designing our society to accommodate them. There are so many crazies and lunatics in this country, it would be impossible to locate and catalog them. The real solution to stopping the next Jared Loughner is making sure the normal people also have guns.

If just one AZ resident was exercising their right to carry at the SafeWay, lives could have been saved. There are just so many crazy people and so many guns that there is no other solution.

Reports say that there was someone carrying and he almost shot some of the people who were trying to protect and get Loughner.
Not the best point to be made....

posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 01:31 PM
Well done Heff for speaking up.

Theres alot of fear out there, stigma is a hard thing.

I've had issues in the past, that really screwed up my life, not as bad as some of the others here though, my issues are mearly social anxiety, deppresion and very mild OCD (except for the deppresion, I've kept the other 2 hidden from friends, family and mental health practitioners and worked hard to overcome them by myself (prahaps not the smartest way of dealing but ironicly my social anxiety prevented me from talking about them).)

Most of the people I would call friends over the years have had mental health problems and I have seen how bad things have been for them.

I had a friend who had a mental breakdown a couple of years ago, Me, my girfirend and her ex had to look after her because the authorities didn't want to know. I remember for several weeks going over there every night the clean the blood off her arms where she was self harming, most nights she was absolutly drenched in it. A couple of times we were reduced to chasing her through the streets in the middle of the night as she screamed and cried, we had to follow her till she collapsed from exhaustion as if she was left alone she would have probably commited suicide.
She wasn't eating either.
She was finally taken by the police to the local mental health ward, and they said that she was fine and only needed to be a day patient.

The system doesn't exist, its a joke.

I think the one that really shows how bad it is happened only a few weeks ago, my girlfriend's mum had a psychotic break (not for the first time) and tried to STAB her husband, they only kept her in for a WEEK.

yeah I've seen the system and I hate to say this but anyone looking for help from the goverment, don't bother...

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 07:16 AM
I wanted to bump this thread because this morning, while web surfing, I came across the story of, and video of, a young man, on another forum, who got on his webcam, made an obvious outcry for help, took a handfull of pills, laid down, still visible in the webcam, and died.

Good hearted members of the forum this happened on tried to do their best to get help for this young man. They frantically traced his location, through IP, contacted authorities, tried to pinpoint his location by doing all the sorts of searched that one with a bit of information can do in the Web. But this process was just too slow to be of help in this case.

ATS, as well as many other forums are great places to look for community support. We, here, have some unbelievably excellent and caring human beings who give sage and empathetic advice. We have a tightly knit family here and many of us truly do have love in our hearts for our online friends. But we, frankly, despite our best efforts as a community, are not equipped to deal with crises of this nature or magnitude. I do not say this as a member of staff. I say this as simply a member of ATS.

If you find yourself overwhelmed emotionally, please... Call 911, your doctor, a family member, a friend, a neighbor. Anyone. Get up and walk outside and find a living breathing person who is close enough to you to be of help.

I guess I just got a bit moved by this story. So I offer this post as my own way of trying to help others.


posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 07:22 AM
reply to post by randomname

Of course they would when they start charging approx $120.00+ per 40 mins. They want you to keep coming back to fill their pockets.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 07:53 AM

Originally posted by randomname
going to a psychiatrist is like going to a mechanic, they'll always find something wrong.

That's very true.

I'm not mentally ill, yet I'm sure there are traits to my personality that can be classed and labelled as fitting some sort of mental disorder. I'm sure the same can be said for all people.

Take people with superstitions or irrational phobias, you could even say people that have religious beliefs and live their lives according to the dogma are mentally ill to a certain extent. (I'll get flamed for that but how different is believing in Jesus as the saviour etc to that of a person who believes god is a tomato?) No proof of either is there, but the belief in jesus as the saviour is popular so that's acceptable. the person who knows god is a tomato will be seen as nutty as a nutty fruitcake.

Don't we all get pangs of anxiety or paranoia at moments in our lives in situations where others wouldn't be?
It's there for a reason, self protection for the individual. people have different experiences in their life.

I think we all have odd little quirks but the difference with that and someone who needs treatment is when a person can't cope and is causing harm to either themselves or potentially to others. However, I'm a smoker, I'm causing harm to myself so go figure.

I guess like the OP is suggesting, more help needs to be there for people that need it, however much they want and at no cost.

I'm not judging anyone just putting my thoughts down.

edit on 16-2-2011 by JonoEnglish because: (no reason given)

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