The Mentally Ill

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Doc Brown

Junior Member
Messages
62
The Mentally Ill

This may seem like a strange topic, but I've been interested for some time in mental illnesses. I would hate to have one myself, but I'm particularly interested in schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses - I read that about one percent of the world's population is going to experience a schizophrenic episode at some point in their lives - I think that works out to be 600, 000 people in Britain. I don't think all of them have the full-blown illness, but they experience at least one episode.

Does anyone here know how the mentally ill in hospitals are treated? Can they read books, watch TV, listen to music? I'm reading the book "A Beautiful Mind" about the mathematician John Nash who succumbed to schizophrenia when he was 30 (he doesn't have it any more now) but for about three decades, he was ill. He was a paranoid schizophrenic and experienced delusions and voices in his head. It's interesting, but in quite a horrible way.

I also dislike the way people in mental institutions are called "inmates", as though they are criminals - I think they should be referred to as "patients." After all, many of them are not criminals - they're just ill people.

I'm not old enough yet to see "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", although I'll probably try when I'm older, because my parents say it's very good and also because Christopher Lloyd (the Doc!) has a part in it. But I basically know the whole story anyway. Nurse Ratched sounds like a terrible person.
 

StarLord

Senior Member
Messages
3,187
The Mentally Ill

Doc,

When you get your chance, do not hesitate to see that movie. It was a pivotal point in my life. Rare is it when a movie does that. It has several layers to it with many different subplots, if you will. The acting and character development was par excellence. I have to admit that the actress that played Nurse Ratched, Louise Fletcher, was one of the most consummate character portrayals that I have seen.

So much so, that for years I could not stand to see Louise Fletcher as my detest for her as a living being surpassed hatred. She was that good in her acting, and the directing was just as keen, bordering on the sublime.

To come to the point of understanding that the Nurse in charge of your welfare is way more dangerous than the other "insane" inmates, must be horrifying at best.

You post has reminded me of some thoughts that I have had for many years, speculations regarding our societies viewpoints and so called measurements concerning "mental illness" I think we are all to some degree "out there", it just depends on how far out on the limb one is and just how functional they can be amongst society.

Take for instance a person that has experienced spiritual enlightenment. Depending upon the strength of that experience, the amount of insight and or degree of leap that has taken place, that person may be in a space where nothing makes sense, thus leaving them to "put back the pieces" as it were, in order to try and have things make sense. The problem is, those pieces no longer fit like they did because you are no longer the same, nor do you view the world in the same way that you did prior to the experience. Lastly, the language to express and or describe the experience my not exist, you know it happened, but you cannot put in words exactly what happened.

Our minds have many ways to decipher the outer world and means to make the pertinent connections to what we know as reality, or to us, what we think the Real world is about. Because we are so different, each of us seeking different truths and experiences, we do not always agree on the intrinsic import of what we see and the relative merit each happening has to offer.

The mind also has within it many ways to 'buffer' experiences to the acceptable level which we can handle or accept them. So much so, that it is reasonable for a person to create a world within themselves in order to survive a traumatic episode. It is almost as if the mind knows that if it dealt immediately with the experience, it would be just like a computer crash, where the hard drive becomes useless. So, that 'safe' world is erected with its cathartic boundaries in place and from that point, bit by bit, the rebuilding process starts. For some, the rebuilding of the self may take a long time with professional help necessary to complete the process. For others, depending upon the degree of destruction or severity of trauma, that process may not take place.

It is interesting to note that for all intension and purposes, the persons mind seems a shambles and broken, it is still aware and functioning enough to save itself from any more harm, a wondrous reaction indeed.

I have often wondered sometimes if the truly sane amongst us were the ones that had been locked up, removed from society so as not to taint the clueless that were grazing in free society, left to their own mental devices until such time as they were deemed 'sane' and set free.

It has been said that "There is a very fine line between Genius and Insanity". The creative world and forces that are in play there are powerful indeed. Some of our greatest creative thinkers and inventors could have mistakenly been labeled insane and or 'maladjusted individuals'. Individual being the key word there, definitely apart from the norm of society. But so what? Here you have a person totaly a conduit for the creative force, inventions or ideas bursting forth, their mental process and thinking, a veritable lightening bolt on grease. Who among us are silly enough to judge a lack of socks as a indicator of sanity?

In martial arts we learn 'Never Underestimate the old, the young, the fat or the skinny." Mankind has spent way too much energy in labeling that specific spot on the limb where they think a person is.

Better to use compassion, empathy, understanding and the giving of space rather than a judgement in my humble opinion.

Conditions in Mental institutions have gone down considerably from what they were years ago. As each successive decline in surplus funds takes place due to cut backs from administration to administration, so does the level of care and possibility of a speedy recovery. It's a shame that doing harm to others(Wars) takes precedence over healing. It used to be a mission for most people that worked in institutions to help the patients heal. Now I feel that to the majority, it's just a 9 to 5 job and let the meds do the healing. We are too quick to medicate, which incompacitates and places the patient in a chemical 'limbo' and cuts off possible pathways for the brain to heal itself.

When you get a chance, rent Patch Adams with Robin Williams. There are many insights to what we think of 'Mental Illness' and how possibly our view and thinking regarding that space may need to be adjusted.

Never judge a person you see drooling as they sit watching pigeons, for that one may be working on the next theory to surpassing light speed and be damn close to the answer.
 

Alyxavior

Member
Messages
241
The Mentally Ill

Interesting topic.

Since I was 16, I was "made" to go to psychiatrists and psychologists, to "fix" my "depression". Now, though, I believe that there is no such thing as "depression" or "mental illness". Everything that we are is within the mind. "Depression" is only one way that your body is telling you to change. Then again, any "illness" is just a guide post to get you to move/change in another direction. To step back and *see* what you're doing, and *where* you're at. Possibly even *when* you're at.

I was diagnosed as being "bi-polar" back in 1994, and because of that, I was deemed "mentally handicapped". As I said above, we create what we are, within our heads. So, in this regards, I created this to be. I must take full responsibility for those actions that caused the triggering of the DNA with me that brought out the "depression". I also believe that anything can be healed. Fixed. Whatever. It's all illusions of the mind.

Each and everyone of us is "handicapped"...and since the handicap is created within the mind...then we are all "mentally handicapped".

Anyway...onto "depression". Because I was told these things for so long, and because I didn't feel it necessary for me to try to work things out myself, I just accepted what was said, and what was told me, and the "depression" got worse.

I could blame my "illness" on several things, and I have, in the past, for a very long time. Blame didn't get me anywhere. Results and solutions, and a very big change in attitude and perceptions, helped me dig out of that hole. I can't say that I'm the person want to be now, but considering where I was 5 years ago...or even a year ago...I've come a long ways.

I had been on medications since I was 16, fighting them all the way, until a few months ago. I would "forget" to take my medicine, and lie to my parents about taking it. You can't just quit anti-depressants cold turkey. It just makes things worse...as I found out....continuously over the years.

When I would go to the psychologists and psychiatrists...I would play mind games with them, and share surface things that seemed to be deep....never really dealing with the main issues involved. I've come to realize that self-expression is the main factor in redeeming the body, the mind, and the soul.

Love has been a major factor in having these insights revealed to me.

I don't consider myself religious, but spiritual, instead. The buried faith in myself was rebelling against what was offered by the "reality" my Ego had created around me.

I had taken, probably, every single medication that was around, at the time, when I took it....I had been on the latest one for several years.

One thing that I realize now, is that when I was playing games with the doctors, I was, in fact, only playing with myself, and causing more damage. If I had just been honest with myself, and them, I could have been off this stuff a long time ago...even though my current psychiatrist doesn't agree with my decision to get off the meds. I remember the first time I met him, though....he intrigued me...as I left his office the first time, he shook my hand and said "It's a pleasure doing business for you." or something similar. The fact that he knew he was working "For" me is what got me. He's still around and if I have a problem, I contact him, but I'm off the meds.

Meds is only a temporary thing...as is any external fix. If you truly believe, and have the will and desire, you can fix anything you want....as long as your perceptions can see the "problem" is within.

Another belief I have, is that everything external from yourself, is just a reflection of what's within. I can see the similarities with what's within me now, from where the country is. (I live in the USA, yes) My body, my mind, is just as split down the middle as the country is, and I can say that the turn around in my attitudes and perceptions, came about right as the attacks on the twin towers were happening.

I was having a dream of the greatest hope of my life...as the planes were making their impact on the buildings, the people, the country I reside in.

OK....Lunch time...I'll continue this, later....if anybody wishes.

*nod*
 

StarLord

Senior Member
Messages
3,187
The Mentally Ill

Great Post Creo,

that took alot of guts to open up like that. I have a friend that is Bipolar due to Speed. I'll add something in a bit.
Thanks again for your post.
 

Alyxavior

Member
Messages
241
The Mentally Ill

More(later)

"Depression" is in my genes. Mostly from my father's side of the family. Fourteen kids, and I suppose, each and everyone could be described as having some sort of mental illness. At least by people that determine things that way. As for me, and my past, I work on me...I'm who I am, no matter what I am. I just chose not to give into the medication. I knew there was a better way. I may not have as much control over the situation as I'd like, but I do have more control than I have had in the past.

When I was 10 years old, we moved, and I really didn't like that decision. I had friends where I came from, and where we moved, it was a new neighborhood. Most of the areas around the house were empty lots and few kids roaming the streets. I didn't consciously choose to withdraw, but it is what happened. I began to stay in my room a lot, and read sci-fi/fantasy books. My mom isn't very emotional, and my dad didn't have much control of his.

Before we moved, I had all A's in school, most of the time. (My first D was in handwriting *chuckle*) Then once I got to the new place, I become more passive, and basically just let things happen. Passive aggressive. It doesn't quite work that way, though. I became crafty. I was intelligent before. The intelligence didn't leave me...it just found other methods of revealing itself. I could circumvent almost anything my parents did to get me to keep my grades up. I wasn't outright mean or anything, and looking back, I was quite silly, and a fool. I think I remember a thread in this forum talking about going back in time to fix things. Well, if I had one thing to go back to....I'd shake my younger self and have him continue expressing himself, and not become the rock he did. In reality, though, I would not do that, for now, I realize that everything happens for a reason, and from the saying "no pain, no gain" and "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I am now given the insight to know that I am going to require the strength of my past to do what I came here to do.

Even now, I know that I am not being completely honest with myself. I don't think I know exactly what I'm not being honest about, but the fact that I know I'm not is a step in the right direction.

I can still be considered "Bi-polar". Maybe that distinction will always be there, by the people that care. I just refuse to bend my will to that title. I am me. That is all I am. I will be the best "me" I can. "Know thyself." *nod* "Cogito, ergo sum." (I think, therefore I am.) One I made up myself: "Cogito, ergo creo." -- I think, therefore I create. Then there is the one I used to say all the time, which may be just as valid: "Cogito, ergo periculosus." -- I think, therefore I am dangerous. I am my own worst enemy. If I deem myself to be. I am my own savior, too. That's probably why I'm so divided as I am. I'm unsure which way to go. I desire balance. Balance, then, would be having to be creator and destroyer, both. Perception is what gives which is which.

My perceptions and attitudes in the past had created the "mental illness" i had fallen to. I remember a day when I had stopped taking my meds a week, or so, before. It was a Tuesday. I was off from work that day, and I drove around following cars and trucks, by reading the license plates and words on the vehicles. I felt I was being tested. Tested to be admitted to a code breaking agency. (I had done this before "A Beautiful Mind" had been filmed, and I hadn't even heard of the man before) I ended up at a gym somewhere, and suddenly the "vision" was gone. I *was* being tested, but the test wasn't the test I thought it was, until realization came later. Being off the medication now, and having that experience in the past, I am able to catch myself when I do these things. I had always looked at license plates. When I was a kid, and the family would go on vacation, we'd play games with them. Started out with just seeing how many states we could see before we got to the destination. Then it became an acro game. Make phrases with the letters. With internet, the numbers became letters, too. With the addition of numerology, the game became even more complex. I even, sometimes, get glimpses of images and futures by looking at the plate, and the car, and the colors around it, and was once told that I had no need for I ching, because I was doing the same thing with the plates. I still do these things, as I drive, but I don't just follow them on a whim. I have more control over where I go and what I do.

I believe that if a person's will creates something, and if that something isn't to the liking of the person creating it....they can create something better, and the solution is very close at hand.

Any illness is an illusion, and a sign pointing toward the goal. Once you find out what the sign means, you can follow it to the pot at the end of the rainbow. Most people, though, just refuse to listen to what their body, and mind, has to say.

With that said, I know that I don't listen as well as I need to, but every now there is, it's both a beginning and an ending. People are afraid the world will end. That's just their perceptions creating fear and doubt. With the right attitude, and hard work, they would be able to create the beginnings they like.

OK...my words have left me.

I'll write more later.

Enjoy!

Creo Amadeo
 

Grayson

Senior Member
Messages
1,079
The Mentally Ill

Good grief Creo, what a tough hombre to contend with. For those who don't understand the term Bi-polar disorder, here is a condensation of what it's about.

Like a magnet has two poles of force, a person diagnosed with a Bi-polar disorder has two distinct states of being, happy and sad, or manic and depressed, with very little middle ground between these two states. Traditional medicine dictates that the symptoms of bipolar disorder are managed with medication, though counselling and life skills education coupled with ongoing support can provide greater assistance. Cognative behavioural therapy (CBT) is found to work well with many sufferers of a Bi-polar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is traditionally often associated with personal trauma, emotional sensitivity, or a sufferer having existed, or existing in an emotionally difficult family circumstance; ie being the child of stressfully perfectionist parents who have high standards for their child/children in both education and personal manner. It is characterized by sequential and cyclical phases of manic elation and disabling depression. People with Bi-polar Disorder regularly experience these cycles of depression and mania that are also called manic depression, endogenous depression, cyclothemia, cyclophrenia and cyclical depression.

Treatment varies depending on the Doctor to whom a sufferer is referred, with Psychotherapists preferring drug regimens of Lithium or Chlorpromazine and possibly Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT) coupled with counselling. A Psychologist would alternatively favour CBT, Family therapy, Life coaching, systemic education or soul mentoring/training. Of the two, I favour the Psychology approach.

It is virtually impossible to detect a Bi-polar disorder as it borrows traits from simple depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Multiple Personality Disorder/Schizophrenia and substance misuse amongst others. Giving the sufferer a far denser/heightened individual experience with a higher rate of psychological morbidity in the long term. Early diagnosis is essential as it can mitigate the effects of long-term suffering and provide literally life saving intervention as one of the more distressing effects of this disorder is the sometimes chronicloss of concentration which can lead to a poor educational outcome for may people. Educational intervention, in terms of systemic life coaching can help people cope, achieve and succeed in the face of an often extremely debilitating illness.

Creo, my hat is off to you. >:D<
 

Alyxavior

Member
Messages
241
The Mentally Ill

*smile*

Thank you.

I was getting around to it, but skipped it somehow. The "trauma" that I experienced was the fact that I chose to hold my emotions in, and deny "feeling" them. That in itself was a lie. The feeling was still there, I just hid them, until they leaked out in other ways. They became deception and lies toward my parents, initially. They were the ones that moved me without asking me. That, though, is blame. That isn't a solution. If I had been mature, and balanced, I would have run with what was given.

Because of where I have been, though, I have greater understanding for darkness. (I'm typing this as a co-worker next to me is huffing and puffing and saying "I hate being civilized, I hate being civilized." and all I can do is smile at her and *chuckle*) You can't see light, without first, seeing darkness...for they can't exist without the other. How does one determine what is good, without first knowing what bad is.

That, though, is a key insight, yes...but...what if there is no good, and no bad...just different. What if what we have been taught is wrong. What if we just have to experience it all, for better understand of Self, so that we can see the reflections of what's around us, to better understand what's there. With that understanding, we can say, "Yes...I have done that before, I know where you come from." That is why, I believe, I had to go through what I did. With the experience behind me, and with the solution presenting itself now, and into the future...I can understand the people around me...

With my solutions for myself, I can offer hope for people around me. They can start to see within themselves, that the answer is there.

With that hope offered, soon. I don't recommend just quitting anything that is there now. I'm just saying...look within yourself and be aware that the answer that you have now, may not be the best one there is. Just be open to what your body and mind is telling you. Listen to what it is saying. Also, don't give up.

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm a lot closer than I was a year ago. There were times when I had wanted to give up...but I didn't. I know my attitude and perceptions, then, were a lot more negative. Looking back to now, in a year's time....I may look at this and laugh. I'll probably see negavity here, too....but for now...I take what I have, and move forward...one step at a time. In "What About Bob?" they call them "baby steps" *smile*

More later.

Creo Amadeo
 

StarLord

Senior Member
Messages
3,187
The Mentally Ill

Creo,

You most certainly are not handicapped in ANY sense of the word. Your grip on reality and its machinations is awe inspiring. You have insights that most folks don't get to see until their 70's and 80's. Your progress and the space that you have manifested for your self to heal in, is worthy of praise. Humor imho, is one of the keys, not the belittleing type of humor, but the guffaw of sheer glee in understanding the heart of the joke, that when shared is naught but joy to be shared. The leaps in understanding your self and those motivations, would shadow most of us, and like Grayson says, Hats off to you.

One of the things I have strived to do for my friend is to allow him the space to be himself no matter what and to be able to see the humor in his own reality amidsts the voices. I have shown him that 'friends' do not judge, and he understands fully when I ask him to say Hi for me when goes goes off to talk with them. My hopes are that in a few years he will no longer need the medication he is on now. He has made very great promise in the two years that I have know him and has not 'fallen' back into the morass that created this spot for just as long.

You are very correct about choices and creation as your answers seem to mirror mine in a few ways. Experience is King, all else is but shadow and wisps of nothingness and fleeting at best.

I think that each of us, in eventual time, learn that we unto ourselves can be our worst enemy or the very saviour that we rush about in search of, forgetting to look within where it has always rested in silence awaiting our discovery.

Be Welcome.
 

Alyxavior

Member
Messages
241
The Mentally Ill

Following the dream of hope on September 11, 2001, my whole life took a turn. I was very sarcastic and sardonic in my humor then. I remember being told that sarcasm is the worst humor or something, and laughing at them for saying it. Now, I believe it to be true...for it not only hurts the person it's directed at, but it belittles the person shelling it out. Most of my sarcasm is gone now, and I'm very glad of that fact.

*looks at the clock: 11:00*

*listens to Billy Joel sing "Downeaster Alexa"*

I've always known that I am a quick learner....when I actually decide upon a path. Along with being diagnosed as bi-polar, back in 94 I was diagnosed with 4 other "illnesses": Obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, and schizoeffective disorder.
I understood what each of those meant, except for the schizoeffective disorder one. For the longest time....part of me believed that I had these things, and it frustrated me to no end. Earlier this year, my psychiatrist told me that I was *just* bi-polar, and that the other four were just subs of being bi-polar. With that knowledge, the burden was lifted, and I proceeded to move forward and a more aliviated pace.

I've had a lot of great insights this past year. It helps when you're willing to listen to who you are, and accept that you aren't perfect, nor that you need to be. I am. That is all I need to be. The rest is luxury.

Currently I'm dealing with issues surrounding deserving and rights. As in...what gives me the right to want what I want...and coping with the fact that I deserve the things I do want. I've felt guilty for wanting the things I want, and for my dreams. I would notice that my mom would shoot down most anything I said. Her first responses to the ideas I had would be negative....rarely anything to keep me going. After realizing that, though...I began to see that I did the same thing to myself. I could blame her for putting that there, and I might even have a right to, but that won't help me get beyond it...and so....I choose to not think about it in that regard. Results and solutions are the best direction. I've been called creative, and looking back....they're right. I *am* creative.

When I first joined this forum...I created a whole new nickname for myself, in hope of moving forward. Now, though...I see that I am deceiving myself. From above, it's the acceptance of the Self as in the now only, that I can move forward. I must see myself as I am, before I can understand how to release the past.

I've been called the King of Puns. I've been called God. I've been called Savior. I've been called many, many things, in my past.

*11:11 now*

I suppose I should talk to an admin to see about having my name transferred over to the name I really am. I can't hide. Not anymore. That time is past.

I was going to write more, but apparently I can't seem to find the words. I don't mean to ramble on this topic, but I see that it all fits together. It's a grand puzzle, a great game. If you look long enough, and let it sink it, you can see that everything is connected.

Two Bushes...it's fitting that my "enlightenment" came upon the burning of a Bush.

OK...shower time. I need to wash this out. Another baptism. Tomorrow is a new day. Timeless, as it is.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself this way. Looking back -- feeling back -- I see now, that this has been seeping out, here and there, for a while now.

*bow*

Creo Amadeo
 

Alyxavior

Member
Messages
241
The Mentally Ill

*looks up and nods solemnly*

Fitting, also, that the above is my 13th post to this forum. 13 is a very powerful number in my life.

Yes, experience is the key....but behind those experiences, the right perceptions and attitude must be evident, or else it's for naught....though, I tend to believe that with enough experience, even in the wrong direction, it will eventually direct you back to where you belong. I tend to be stubborn. I've been called a rock many times, in regards to making people go around me, instead of being a river, and allowing things to flow. A person must be both...and it's the balance of all things, that I am in search for. I intend to find it, too.

I know that I have difficulty expressing my emotions, because, in the past, I suppressed them enough that I forgot how to recognize them for what they were. I'm very lucky...hmm....even though I don't believe in luck...I'm very fortunate to have people around me that are patient, caring, and loving to allow me to muddle through the things that have caught me down in the bog...or in "The Princess Bride"'s world of the fire swamp. *rolls down the hill yelling "As you wish!!!!!!!"*
It just shows that I am finally caring for who I am, and what I'm meant to be, because I'm creating the help I require around me to allow the growth I desire.

For instance...I've always wanted to learn martial arts...both just being able to move fluidly, and to dance with a sword someday. I have yet to do that, but my mind has allowed past lives to resurface, by way of friends and guides...letting me have the opportunity to pull from those lives. I've been told that I'm good at dying by a druid that told me about some of my past lives. She told me about at least 50 or more lives as a Mongolian warrior around the time of Genghis Khan, and with that knowledge, I've chosen to allow my body to reacquaint itself with those memories. Each day I tell myself to meld those memories of movement and thought to my current self. I believe, that in the near future, I will need every scrap of it...

With that, though...I fight myself. I ask myself if I deserve that. If I deem it necessary. Then I think back to the Matrix trilogy. Neo tells Smith that he does it all because he chooses to. So be it. I'm not going to refrain from something, just because others wish it. I can only be who I am and I wish the knowledge that I ask for...along with the wisdom and understanding to wield it.

I think back to when I used to weigh 274 pounds with 44 size jeans. Now I weigh a little less than 200 and can now slip into a size 34. For that fact, and others...I tell myself that I am being the miracle. I look back at pictures of myself and wonder who that person is/was. It's like I needed the experience to give myself a success and confidence in my energies. As I typed that, though...I realized that I had forgotten about the fact. *chuckles* It was only a few years ago that I was that big, yet it seems like a whole lifetime. At the time I was the largest, I had taken a medical leave of absence from work and slept most of the day. I was very depressed. Unwilling to do anything, and very hopeless. *shakes head* Sheesh....I had forgotten. Amazing. My mom even told me that she cried the day I asked her to tie my shoes for me....because I couldn't bend over far enough to do it myself. I don't even remember that.

I've come a long ways. If I can do this. You can too. Don't give up on the dreams of your childhood. I'm just beginning to realize that those dreams may be the reason you were created for in the first place. Don't lose sight of the things that you hope for. There is balance in the world. We are One. Each of us has a job to do. Like that quote about when the chess game is through, the King and the pawn goes back in the same box.

Hmm....*nod* Do your best. That's all you can do. There is nothing better than your best. Timing is everything, and, well....we have all the time in the world. Never give up, and keep going. Illness and pain are just the lines in which you color your picture. Be vibrant and alive.

Good day!

Creo Amadeo
 

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