Tag Archives: mental health

Stigma Makes Me Feel Crappy

I feel extremely crappy today.

Today is the day every month that I have to call in my prescriptions for refill.

And, it sucks.

Why, you ask? Because, inevitably I end up on the phone with some pharmacist or pharm-tech answering a load of questions because they think I’m a junkie.

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Some Past Writing I Am Proud Of

I have been so sick that I have had a hard time functioning in the adult world and being an adequate parent to Peej, let alone writing. Having a constant headache is not conducive to thinking and writing. I missed posting yesterday and I’m a little bummed about that.

However in applying for jobs I’m doing the laborious task of digging back through about 30 years of writing to find applicable writing samples to send with my resume and cover letter to particular institutions. In such, I have found a few abandoned blogs I used to write and stumbled upon some writing I have done about mental illness in the past that I’m pretty proud of.

So for today’s blog post, let me share with you a few of these pieces:

Veteran’s Day, November 11th (published via Medium, 2015)

You Are Not Alone: Dealing With PTSD (published via Medium, 2015)

5 Easy Ways To Help Someone With PTSD (published via Medium, 2015)

Hopefully, I’ll feel better later this week when I am able to get to the doctor and get some antibiotics for what I believe is now a sinus infection (British Husband has one, too.) It stinks having to work this kind of stuff around his days off, but here we are. *shrug*

Brain Woozels

Using the word “crazy” as a pejorative needs to be eliminated from the English language.

1-in-5 of the American population experience mental illness. (That’s 20% of the population, or 65,000,000 million people for those who would like the math.) 1-in-25 (or, 10,000,00) live with a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, major depression, or schizophrenia.

I am the one in the 25. I live with C-PTSD, major depression, social and generalized anxiety disorders. I am being tested for bipolar disorder. You would never know this upon first meeting me, but I am very open about it, and if you know me more than a few hours I will undoubtedly reveal this in conversation. I am what is called “high functioning mentally ill.” That means that I can perform the tasks of every day life, and even excel in areas like academics and job performance, without being regularly impeded by my diagnosis. Though, technically and legally, I am disabled.

I am not “crazy.” Very few people who live with mental illness are what pop culture defines as crazy: Unbalanced, unaware of their surroundings, irrational, violent, off their meds, etc.

And, it really pisses me off when people use mental health as a way to try to jab at someone. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing and just mean.

Having brain woozles (or weasels, as most people refer to them, but I love Winnie the Pooh) can be a disability, but for many people it is not.

I was 13 the first time I was taken to therapy. I was diagnosed with mild depression at that point, but back in the 80s the solution for children with depression was not drugs, it was talk therapy.

When I was 21 I was put on Prozac. I was on that drug for a couple of years, and felt better, and the doctor thought I had “situational depression” so he weaned me off of it.

At 29 I began experiencing anxiety and more depression. I went to a doctor in San Francisco who diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder and situational depression. They again put me on Prozac and gave me a small dose of Xanax to help with my insomnia caused by the GAD.

All during this time, I was living my life as a normal, functioning adult – I held down jobs, I paid rent, I went to school. And, I excelled and succeeded at life. (In general.)

I was not a raving lunatic, I did not march on the corner with a sign that says “The End is Neigh.” I did not wear a tinfoil hat or hoard or act OCD or be the stereotypical pop culture representation of crazy. Maybe I was a little cleaner and more well organized than most people, but those are hardly symptoms of “crazy.”