Oh Lord have Mercy, ya'll have driven me to make a new thread
Okay, on the topic of SSRI's, MAOI's, anti-psychotics...the lot...
I am a little concerned of how mental health is being addressed not only here but in the media and the news in relation to murder. I hear some
chatter on one side about making mental health care easier to afford, better quality, easily accessible etc... that is WONDERFUL when it hits my ears,
but as it starts to sink into my brain something feels off.
I wrote down ten people I know, I looked down at the list and then said "Who is on Psychiatric Medication?" 7 out of 10. That makes three
"neurotypical" people out of ten that I know. I know them intimately, I know their many colors of mental uniqueness, and I know what medications
they are on. I am on psychiatric medication. I have been for years all kinds, colors, shapes, and sizes! Wooohooo!
All of us struggled to get mental healthcare, all of us struggled to find a Dr. that would listen to us and when a medication wasn't working, figure
out why and give us something else instead of piling new medications on top of what we were already taking.
I live in a poor area, most of my friends had to go through the government run Mental Health system. You call, you reach an "Intake Operator" who
usually isn't even in that office, you get scheduled 3 months out for an appointment regardless of how DIRE your situation is. Nothing can speed up
that process here unless you tell them you are thinking of hurting yourself or others, well then you get sent to a Psych Ward...but wait!... no you
You get sent to the Emergency Room. My mother worked in discharge at this hospital and I worked in medical records, what I am about to say is an
absolute fact here. Emergency Rooms in this area have ridiculously long waits, and it is because Psych patients who are waiting to be transferred to a
hospital with a psych ward are in all the ER beds. I had my 3 year old (at the time) son in the ER with me puking all over me with a 105 degree fever
and my mom did a scan through the patients in the ER to see what the hold up was and it was Psych patients. They can't let them go if they said those
magic words or answered yes to the magic question "Are you thinking of hurting yourself or others?" and they can't take beds from patients on the
hospital floors who are actually dying or giving birth.
This is not the Psychiatric Patient's fault. Let's get that straight right off the bat. This is a prime example of Yes, the system currently sucks.
It gets worse.
So I ended up in this unique position at the age of 15 or 16 (whichever is Freshman year in Highschool it has been quite a while) in which I was
struggling with Anorexia. The question couldn't really be asked of me "Do you intend to harm yourself or others" because it was obvious at my
height and weight I was literally about to kill myself with starvation. I got to skip go and collect two hundred dollars due to my age and avoided the
ER stay and was escorted by police straight to a Psych ward.
I get there, settle in, all the horrors that happened there would require it's own thread but the part that is relevant here is that out of 15 of
us, TEN were foster children that no one would take, all of us young teenagers. Now the problem of Mental Healthcare takes a new turn, where the beds
of the ER full of Psych patients are preventing patients who are incredibly sick from being treated, the beds full of Foster children in the Psych
wards are preventing the Psych patients who need hospitalization from being treated!
Add to all this the fact that if you go to a government run Mental Health clinic OR ACTUALLY scrape up the money to go to a Psychiatrist when they
find out you are self pay you get the same reaction every time they go to write down your medication on that paper. "Well I would give you -this-
medication but it would be easier considering your financial situation to -try this one- and -let's see-"
MY GOD is there a lot wrong with that statement. I have been on all kinds of medication, I have -tried this one- a million times. It got so
ridiculous that I would call myself an armchair pharmacologist because I eventually started reading all of the information on every medication out
there and how it relates to all mental illness the side effects and -EVERYTHING-. Friends call me with issues asking what medication they think would
be best for them.
This is why:
All mental health problems are not one in the same. A big blanket gets thrown over everyone who walks into a mental health care establishment that
first and foremost they are DEPRESSED. The easiest thing for a Psychiatrist to do when she/he has 15 minutes to evaluate your MENTAL HEALTH issue is
try the SSRI first. Everyone gets an SSRI first. Paxil, Citalopram, Effexor, Luvox, Prozac, those are the medications I'm talking about.
The problem with this IS:
If you actually suffer from another mental disorder other than your vanilla flavored depression, SSRI's can send you off the DEEP END. If, in fact,
you are Bi-Polar and you are put on an SSRI it will only exacerbate your Bi-Polar symptoms and turn you in to a manic nightmare. From your first visit
to the Dr. to your next is an obligatory 3 months. If you call and say "Look this is making it worse" you will always get the response "Give it the
full three months". Living three months in the hell of having your already unbearable mental uniqueness amplified by 100 is a wonderful recipe to
make you to some incredibly irresponsible stuff, at best.
Then if you are functioning enough to keep calling (The squeaky wheel gets the grease) usually you will get some additional medications called in to
placate you until the next appointment. These medications tend to be benzodiazepenes (because obviously you now have an anxiety issue) to calm you
down enough until those 30 days are up. Now you are addicted to benzo's. YAY! Then more and more get added to the stack and now your "cocktail"
consists of five different medications, four of which are probably only there to cover up the FIRST ONE that wasn't right for you to begin with.
So that's my rant on what is DEFINITELY wrong with mental health care in America. That's what went through my EARS when I heard "We need better
mental health care" in relation to the murders recent and past and mental health.
This is NOT what went through my brain.
Having a unique brain chemistry (Which is what I like to call MENTAL DISORDER) is just becoming something that people can actually talk about without
getting looked at sideways. Let's skip the entire debate on if people actually need medication and just say for the sake of this thread and my unique
brain chemistry that YES some people absolutely REQUIRE medication.
I hear the chatter on the other side going something a little like.... " Well that shooter was on an SSRI....." ............................ So that
caused it? The medication itself, that caused it? NO. Give me a break. The person was likely misdiagnosed. The person was likely not monitored or
listened to when they said something was wrong or started acting strangely. Then I yell at the message board or the TV or whoever Im talking to and
say "MY GOD ITS NOT LIKE EVERYONE WHO TAKES PSYCH DRUGS IS A SERIAL KILLER WHAT IS THIS THE MENTAL HEALTH FINAL SOLUTION"
...... oh wait
That's what feels funny.
I take psych meds....
I'm not a serial killer......