Although this blog series is directly related to mental health and mental illness, I don’t often talk about mental health services here. Perhaps the reason I skip over subjects like medication, therapy, and hospital visits is because, although these services and techniques help those suffering to keep living, they aren’t often something to look forward to. Continue reading
Have you ever run on sand — soft, dry sand that falls away beneath your feet? Well, that’s what living with mental illness is like. While everyone else sprints along the concrete beside you, you stumble and twist your ankles and fall gradually behind.
No, let me correct myself: living with mental illness is like running uphill on sand.
No, wait. It’s like running waist-deep in water with muck under your feet. It’s like swimming through molasses.
It’s like drowning. Continue reading
It is common cliché to advise the mentally ill to speak up about their suffering, to communicate, and to seek help because — didn’t you know? — there are an incredible number of mental health services available to provide treatment and aid to those in need. I hear people speak of therapy, of crisis lines, of psychiatric care, and of medication. I hear people tell stories of how they conquered mental illness, how they found the “right drug” for them, and how their therapist knows them better than they know themselves. What I don’t hear a lot of are the horror stories: the whispered conversations about medication changing one’s personality, about therapy that didn’t help, about monstrous wait times for psychiatrists — about self-harm, about suicide. Continue reading