Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In search of Mental Health Treatment

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There are more days than not when it feels like a version of mental health Russian roulette, try this medication, talk with that person, why can’t you just get over it?  It is the song that is most heard by anyone who has had to navigate the mental health system, or tell someone about their mental illness.  You never know what you are going to get in return and all sometimes it is not what we need. 

The stigma that comes with mental illness is what draws people away, when all we need is for someone to be close, to love us and comfort us when the skies turn so dark we can no longer see our way.  We are told it will pass everyone get sad, or you’re exaggerating it’s nothing.  I get down often too, and I don’t act like that.  It amazes me in this day and age people are still so closed minded about how the brain works; it is easier to condemn the person seeking help, and actually listen to what they are saying. 

I blame the media for much of this; we are portrayed as monsters, evil and those who should not be part of society.  It is the case with each tragedy that happens, a shooting, for example; the first word out of the media mouth is he was mentally ill and this what happens when someone with a mental illness is around.  So if I was to walk into a business would they kick me out because of my illness?  I’m waiting for that day to come, discrimination and profiling at its best.

I find one reason for the lack of treatment  many receive is the medical community itself.  While many will do their best to receive treatment and have a stable life through medication and therapy, locating a doctor to provide the treatment can be difficult at best.   I had received a list of doctors my insurance company had approved and over the period of two days, I called every one of them.  One had passed away; one would not see me. 2 or 3 didn’t know why they were on the list.  The last one on the list said they would only see those who lived in the same area code!  That one blew my mind, and I actually sat with the phone in my hand for several minutes in disbelief. 

A call into the insurance company was no help, they said they couldn’t change it, and if I find a doctor how would be willing to see me and take the insurance then it would be OK.   In the meantime, I sit here, share my thoughts and try to find the gold at the end of the rainbow.  It’s a daily battle to keep my head above water sometimes; my medication has stopped working, and sleep has become a distant memory, yet even with these cries for help, there is no answer from the medical community. 

I am part of an online support group, the best place I have found for support and to talk with those who understand where I am coming from and my frustrations.  Without these people, I would not make it through some days, I know that no matter the time of day or night someone is always there to calm me down, listen to my fears and cry with me if needed.  

I have thought often of finding an island where we can all go to live, there would be proper healthcare, medications that work and people who truly care and want us to thrive in this world.  It is a dream and I know not reality, but there are days when it is far better than the alternative. 

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