Stigma. Still.

This was found on FB.

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What are your thoughts?

I’m thinking we still have a long way to go regarding Mental Illness Stigma. Even my own husband laughed when reading it, and he’s seen me go to a mental health hospital three times. My point?

Is it that ingrained in our minds? Even minds that should know better?

Out

12.14.18 blog entry

Watching an HBO documentary called Out of Mind, Out of Sight. It is about mentally ill patients who have committed some sort of crime and are now in Forensic Psychiatric Hospitals. (These were once called Asylums for the Criminally Insane.) They interview patients and staff, get into stories of how these folks ended up where they are, and how some patients have even gone missing or been killed in these type settings. It’s a must watch because mental illness and the justice system are a community issue, not just that family’s down the Street problem.

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And for myself, mentally ill as I am, it scares me that I could end up in such a place. Does that ever scare y’all?

Three Identical Strangers

I’ve just watched a documentary called Three Identical Strangers, about triplets separated at birth who found each other at the age of 19 years old.

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I had no idea where the documentary was going, but it delved into nature vs nurture, and twins and triplets whose biological parents had some mental health issues, and their children studied years after. I should mention the kids were placed in completely different households – blue collar, middle income, affluent –  not even knowing they had identical siblings, all within a hundred mile radius. A set of female twins were in the documentary a bit as well.

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Bipolar and Schizophrenia were discussed (surprise), as well as suicide, all supposedly in the name of discovering, what is truly hereditary, what do we decide for ourselves, and – what I wonder and read about quite a bit – nature vs nurture.

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You might want to check it out, but please know it’s emotional.

The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture ~ March 19, 2018

So, yeah. Two things after watching The Secret Scripture with Rooney Mara, Theo James, Eric Bana and Vanessa Redgrave.

1. Glad I wasn’t a woman in early WWII.

2. Glad I wasn’t a Bipolar woman in early WWII.

The movie premiered two years ago (2016) and the book was written and on shelves in 2008, so I’m thinking I’m good to go ahead and say what I want here, but I guess just to be sure ~ spoiler alert.

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I am thankful I live in a time when women are treated better. I know there are still lots of #metoo type issues going on, but back in the early 40’s, a woman could be committed to a psychiatric facility by a man, not only in hopes of receiving genuine medical help, but also as punishment, or as a means of manipulation. But the character in the book would have none of it, continually repeating to herself,

“My name is Rose McNulty. I did not kill my child.”

She kept notes in her Bible in order not to forget her husband, her child, herself and the truth.

The other horrific moments she repeated those facts to herself was when she was about to undergo ECT treatments. Mind you, she didn’t really even need such drastic measures, but it was a way of controlling her. Some people did and still do require ECT. Back then, you’d be zapped and convulse for far too long, her character usually reacted to the volts for five minutes, only as a means of punishment. However, even if she had indeed suffered from Bipolar, the art of ECT was nowhere near perfected.

Maybe it’s still not perfected as I write this is 2018, but it’s much better, and many patients, along with their doctors, use it as a means of helping control Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Severe Depression. Now days, you receive anesthesia and a drug that relaxes your muscles. Electrodes are placed on your temples, and you receive a quick current. You wake a bit later, usually remembering nothing. You could possibly be confused for a bit afterwards. So, it’s effective for some, though many still lose memories. It would be my absolute last choice, but for those that it helps, that’s wonderful.

I’m probably scared of it because of movies depicting a severely screwed up Jack Nicholson flying over the cuckoo’s nest, and this book and movie, The Secret Scripture.

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Anyway, I still recommend Secret Scripture, by the way. It’s wonderful. Even with the sadness, there is beauty throughout, which is much like life, I think. Stellar acting. Top marks all around.

But yeah, I’m so glad to be a woman today, and I thank those who came before me and endured what they did in order that I may go to the voting polls and that women who are abused can receive justice, not just have their truths tossed aside.

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And I’m darn glad ECT is much more effective and safe now, and that it’s a choice for me, not a punishment, or something used as unnecessary treatment when a Lithium pill could solve the matter.

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