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Mental Illness


The Shattered Soldier

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The Shattered Soldier

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I wanted to make a place where members can share about their experiences about mental illness issues if they choose to do so.  I'm also a member of depressionforums.org under the same screenname and found it is therapeutic to vent or just bring your issues out into the open.  It is a sensitive and personal subject that is much stigmatized and not often spoken about, but alot of that has changed since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1996.  I feel that mental illness has become more accepted in society and we are finally emerging from the dark ages.

 

I figured I'd post my medication regimen to start out.  60mg Parnate, 5mg Abilify, 100mg Seroquel, 60mg Propranolol, and 20mg V@lium per day.

 

I take an MAOI for treatment resistant depression.  It is a rarely prescribed drug and one of the last lines of defense.  MAOI's are notorious for their potentially fatal side effects, but it was my last resort.  Parnate was originally used for it's amphetamine like properties until it was discovered that it's action resembled more of an MAOI.  Basically dealing out hypertensive crises to people who consumed foods high in Tyramine.  I have to follow a special diet and cannot take several medications, not even cough syrup.  Some of the things I miss are aged cheeses like cheddar, sausages (I want a f'n hot dog so bad!), red wine, tofu (no big deal there), and tap beer.

 

I suffer from what is now termed as a "co-morbid" disorder, which used to be called a "dual diagnosis" until recently.  That is, drug addiction and mental illness wrapped up in a neat little basket.  For me, the illness has been a profound journey into the heights of euphoria and the sinister depths of hell.  Many of us try to commit suicide.  In 2010 I took an economy sized bottle of Quick Release Tylenol because I was unmedicated and had lost my ability to sleep.  This resulted in a 50/50 chance that my liver would fail and I would die.  Taking a bottle of Tylenol is a horrific feeling.  You can't talk, you can't walk, you can't type.  I just stumbled around my house being high on the worst, darkest drug imaginable.  All from acetaminophen toxicity.

 

I could go on and on with wild stories of mania, like the time I blew up my car, or the time I fell 30ft from a pine tree and broke both of my wrists, cracked some ribs, and punctured my lung.  But I don't want to bore anyone here.

 

Given the amount of psychiatric class drugs being sought after on this site, there has to be a few people who would like to share something about their illness on DBG be it depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, hell, I think I read that one of our members has schizophrenia (which is what I consider the deepest of all life's challenges).

 

So please share if you wish in a safe, non-judgemental section of this great forum that many call home.

 

Mike

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Thanks for sharing Mike. You sound like you have a good grip on life today and that's what truly counts.

About ten years ago I worked with both children and adults suffering with emotional and behavioral disorders as I worked on my Masters in Art Therapy (they call it Counseling Personnel now I believe). It was some of the best and worst times of my life. I found it very difficult to separate work from the rest of my life. I wish I could have been tougher emotionally, but I wasn't. I quit school and went a different path.

I've also been the patient for things like depression anxiety and insomnia. I'm not currently under treatment and feel ok. Considering what's going on in my life, that's kind of amazing. But it's one day at a time. I still apply my skills to my life and I think that helps keep me grounded.

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The Shattered Soldier

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Thanks for sharing Mike. You sound like you have a good grip on life today and that's what truly counts.

About ten years ago I worked with both children and adults suffering with emotional and behavioral disorders as I worked on my Masters in Art Therapy (they call it Counseling Personnel now I believe). It was some of the best and worst times of my life. I found it very difficult to separate work from the rest of my life. I wish I could have been tougher emotionally, but I wasn't. I quit school and went a different path.

I've also been the patient for things like depression anxiety and insomnia. I'm not currently under treatment and feel ok. Considering what's going on in my life, that's kind of amazing. But it's one day at a time. I still apply my skills to my life and I think that helps keep me grounded.

I've engaged in art therapy when I was hospitalized for mania in 2005.  I learned more about it in nursing school and found it to be very intriguing and mysterious.  How could the lines of my drawings be analyzed by a professional?  In what manner do they perform this technique?  I know that the art therapist is an integral part of the IDT in a hospital setting.  Why would somebody who analyzes art be so important?  There had to be something special to it, something unknown.  As you can tell, I've always been fascinated by the field.  Can I draw you a picture sometime and you give your analysis of it?  What would you want me to draw?

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I've engaged in art therapy when I was hospitalized for mania in 2005. I learned more about it in nursing school and found it to be very intriguing and mysterious. How could the lines of my drawings be analyzed by a professional? In what manner do they perform this technique? I know that the art therapist is an integral part of the IDT in a hospital setting. Why would somebody who analyzes art be so important? There had to be something special to it, something unknown. As you can tell, I've always been fascinated by the field. Can I draw you a picture sometime and you give your analysis of it? What would you want me to draw?

We had a whole curriculum based on interpretation of drawings as well as other artwork. It's a great way for those who are incapable OR uncomfortable talking about things to express themselves. There are standard items to draw that can shed light on a person. Google HTP drawing analysis for more info. House-Tree-Person drawings (each one on a separate sheet of paper) can share a lot about the drawers frame of mind as well as test for any kind of brain damage. Other things, like mandala drawings can be emotive and cathartic by the very act of creating them. It's truly fascinating. Group drawings bring out people's personalities - you see who is dominant and who is passive. I could go on and on.

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