Saturday, August 12, 2006

MmmMmmm...After midnight, Lettin' it all Hang Out!!

I don't know how long I will be able to type tonight, because I have taken my meds (go Seroquel!) and I am doing amazingly well considering my ear infection has now traveled to the OTHer ear. Yeah, both sides now plugged. Now do not use me for medical advice, but I am finding that Excedrine Migraine kills the pain nicely. In some ways its nice to have a plugged up head, I think I am more focused now that others are drowned out so easily!

Well, I talked to Dad in length this evening. Hi Dad! Although I have asked him not to look, I know he peeks online at me sometimes, I'm not really worried about it.

Now, I am sure the next paragraphs will look like one of my usual rants, but seeing as how I am unmistakably Bipolar, and this is my blog, and I do talk about Bipolar things often, and I am often reminded that this IS my place to write, I shall do so. I recognize that my Bipolar is considered more towards the angy kind, but really I think I am quite well regulated (thanks pesky meds!). At the same time, I think folks see a lot of 'angry' here. I recognize that.

Well, I promise that I don't want to do Scientology bashing (those poor rich idiots) but Dad (who, yes, I'll tell your secret Dad, is diagnosed Bipolar as well) tells me that these individuals put out a 'movie' where they went to the Psychiatric Community and asked such pointed questions as: "Do you have a diagnostic test for psychiatric disorders?" (As in, can you do a blood test and find out if someone's got an illness) and "Do you have a cure, have you ever cured anyone?"

To which, of course, is the same darn answer that we have been receiving: No.

I guess this makes them feel like something's been proven, and we're supposed to watch this 'movie' (uh, propaganda) and say, "Gosh, a somethin' IS wrong here."

Well, all I have to say is, Why do these individuals never talk to a person who has been diagnosed? Why do they obviously show their continuing intolerance of us by refusing to speak to a person who can show them conclusive evidence (all I would need is to procure my medical records) of the difference between a psychotic person who got brain chemically-changing meds and is just pretty darn ducky now, (besides being prone to semi-fits of anger/rage about dumb subjects). All of that applies to me, I'm describing me. I know bunches of more people who could talk about their experiences. If someone really wanted to listen.

Of course they are going to try to make everything look ridiculous by talking to the 'medical community.' WE don't like talking to the medical community. Imagine HAVING these illnesses and being told this very same crap for years. 'No we don't know why you have it, No we don't why or how this pill works, just take it, Gee we're sorry we couldn't have preventing this hell from happening to yet another one of your family members, we don't have a test.' We have heard it for years. It doesn't mean our issues and illnesses don't exist. It does mean we're mighty incredible for having continued to perservere and live despite incompetence, lack of care, mismanagement, zero desire to research our issues and come up with new drugs, intolerance, fear - YOU NAME IT!

I'm still hot on this topic, that would be the topic of stigma and intolerance towards the mentally ill, after seeing DatelineMSNBC last night. Yes, I did email a letter to them about it. Does that mean something about me? I do not know. But a man who had spent years suffering from Tourette's, a very extreme case, has brain surgery done to curtail it. Interestingly, they were going to operate near his hyperthalmus, which I immediately said to Husband, "That area has something to do with Bipolar." One day after his seemingly successful surgery, the man had a psychotic episode. Interestingly, his wife dropped him like a hot potato. I couldn't help thinking that it seemed like it was okay to live with this man, and their four young children, while he was having a physical illness where he was beating himself up on a daily basis, but she was NOT going to subject her children to any possible mental illness. PERhaps, I was reading too much into it, but he was living in a halfway house, without tics or severe self-infliction, and she still would not have him. As in divorce-ville.

I think even if you asked the wife if this was the reason she was divorcing him she would say "No of course not," BUT I think it is quite likely that she had the subconcious knee-jerk reaction that MANY people have about mental illness, "Oh that's not safe for the kids, "Or now he is really a piece of broken poop," or "That is just too scary for me to deal with." Why does it have to be that way? It is as though in mass amounts of humanity is EXPECTED to be ASHAMED of these issues, we are all as comfortable around it as having to discuss child sexual abuse.

I have even said before that the mentally ill and needy children are very much in the same category in terms of really being cared about it our society. Somebody, somewhere, started talking about cancer for instance, previously a very taboo subject, and we have reached an incredible, and I say healthy, age where people talk about it, walk and run in marathons for it, even put magnets and special license plate on their cars. That absolutely did not happen, even a few decades ago. I know for a fact of someone's grandmother dying of the illness because she would not even THINK of going to the doctor for such an embarrassing illness. How times have changed.

So you know precisely where I'm going with this. We need to bring this scary subject into the open. I think slowly people like Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, of course Patti Duke are trying to just push that door open, not saying too much, not being obvious, because people are just not ready yet. So sad, when you see how little progress has been made for people to simply accept A) These illnesses exist, and B) If you get them, there is still massive quality of life to be had C) The stigma and intolerance is killing people. It has got to stop.

When are people going to realize that not all mentally ill people are drooling invalids just one step up from criminals. I think it may be uncomfortable for some to find out there are mentally ill with more education, nicer cars, bigger houses, happier relationships, or whatever, than themselves. I don't know how to stop this, the stigma. I don't know how to change minds, or if it can even be done. I know its not safe for me to tell people my situation. And I am tired of it. But just like all the everyday, pushing ahead, doin' my bests, I'll just keep going.


mysti said...

Great Post Tart. :)

I found that people live in a box. If it is not happening to them personally they have no idea how to relate. It is safer to think it is all in your mind then to actually try to relate.

I do not have bipolar, but I do have several physical health issues. Fibromyalgia is really a hard thing to relate with also. So many people have told me it is all in your mind. Get over it! My mother in law in fact one told me awwww PHISH PASH there is nothing wrong with you! Sometimes in life one just has to pull up there boots by their boot straps and move on! Its all a mind thing she told me.... Until one day she was hurting and a doctor could not find the reason. Then she was able to understand just a little what I go through on a day to day basis. She felt pain, serious pain, and the doctors could not find it! She said what is wrong with them! She understood.... not fully my plight then, but a little.

I think it is the same with bipolar. If it is not happening in there box, it is hard for others to believe.

It will be an ongoing battle for the world to fully understand. Yes it needs to be brought out into the open. Do not be surprised though if even if it is well known, there are still some like Tom Cruise who refuse to understand.


mysti said...

Okay I am constantly using their, and there wrong. {Please ignore when I do this) lol I type faster then I can think it seems.

'Tart said...

Hey mysti, my dear,
Do not worry about your there's and their's - what you had to say was heartfelt (I feel it) and I've spent years disregarding stuff like that in EVERYthing I read (it's the snobbish editor in me) Hah! I mean to kid with that, because I just wanted to tell you I appreciate your comments! I know where the i's and r's go and I don't want anyone to be afraid to write, although I'm thankful that most intelligent people know how to spell. I say that, because some of the ugliest, anonymous comments I've seen on other people's blogs were so hideously spelled that mostly it just made me want to laugh. This, of course, never applies to you and my other beloveds.

mysti said...

Oh thank you Tart! I know I am the worst of spellers. My mom who I adopted would be appalled. She was a school teacher for 40some odd years. In truth it is because of her that I actually recognise my grammer and spelling mistakes. LOL I tend to think okay you do not do so badly for someone who never finished high school! Still....... She would tell me that was no excuse. lol

Hugs, thanks for understanding.