Tag Archives: Mental Health

Mood Swinging

L0032442 CARSON: Patients waiting to see doctor

I started a folder named Manic Ravings.  I was tired of them clogging up my main drive where I might click on them accidentally and be subjected to their random nonsense at any time.  I thought it might be better to just give them their own space.  That’s why I wrote them in the first place.  To get them out of my head.  I don’t need to keep seeing the files.  They are disjointed and hard to follow.  It’s part of the disease I call Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Bipolar Depression or Mood Disorder or whatever.  I like to tell myself, “Bitch, you’re brain be broke.”

Not all of my thoughts are correct.  Not all of my memories are coherent or consistent with facts.  My brain works overtime, ruminating on the same thoughts, thousands of times over again.  Each time it evolves and twists and spirals into something else.

I wish I didn’t have to think so much.  It’s a burden.  All these thoughts clog up my brain.  Gears whir in the background, the springs tighten.  My muscles are tense and ready to pounce.  I don’t like to feel that way.  It aches.  It seems predestined, like a freight train, unable to be stopped.

There is always a small part of me that knows the rest is false.  A small light shines through the fog.  It takes a long time for that light to grow bright enough to illuminate the room.  I am a ship lost at sea or Lake Erie.  I can’t remember where I set sail or how long it’s been.

In the meantime, I will be left to stumble around in the dark and hazy gray lobes of my brain.  If I’m lucky, I’ll keep my mouth shut and not say every damned thing that comes to my mind.

Somehow I doubt that.  I have never been able to shut my mouth.  My words and thoughts assault me at all times.  I have no choice but to spit them out.  It’s a nasty habit.  I try to be a reformed mood addict, then the rages take over.  I cannot think of anything else.  My body shakes.  I scream and cry and can’t remember clearly when it’s over.  I can’t say it’s worse than seizures, but it’s not better that’s for sure.

I write about my mood swings least of all.  They are the most shameful to me.  The loss of control of my body is less scary than the loss of control of my mind and my mouth.  When I am enraged I will say anything to anyone.  I offend myself with the things I say.  I forget what I say.  Then a seizure will wipe it all away.  My memories are questionable at best.

All I can do is try to live in the present moment and not the past.  It’s a sticky trap back there.  There is no sense in trying to make sense of mania.  It’s not sensible.  It too shall pass.  It comes and it goes.  It is the nature of the Beast.  I cannot kill it.  I cannot tame it.  I can only hope to someday live symbiotically with my Brain.

Today is a good day.

***

(Image by Rosemary Carson: Patients waiting to see Doctor)

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Filed under Essays, Non-fiction

72 Hours

SuicidePrevention

Twice I played an active role in admitting a person to the hospital under a 72 hour watch. Both were voluntarily involuntary. Each time I asked them if they could guarantee me their safety and they could not. Body mutilation is not okay. It is not, not suicide. If you can’t tell me you won’t cut yourself, then you need a few hours away from knives and guns and pills and belts.

I both regretted it and did not regret it at the time. It felt heartless to send them away to be alone in a green room. They are both still alive though, and that’s something. Maybe they wouldn’t have hurt themselves, but we don’t have to know. We don’t have to miss them the way we miss Robin Williams and my cousin Haley. Suicide is 100% preventable. It’s the only cause of death that is.

The first person I admitted was a young girl at the youth shelter I worked at. She was agitated and crying and had cut herself more than once in the past. I asked her straight out, “Are you at risk of harming yourself or anybody else?” She couldn’t guarantee me that she wouldn’t cut herself. I took her to the mental hospital that night. I don’t mess around.

The second time it was my close friend who had just lost her father. She had told me, on more than one occasion, that she would probably need to be hospitalized when her father died. You don’t say that if you don’t mean it. She also told me, more than once, that being hospitalized after the death of her mother was the only thing that kept her alive then. I wasn’t going to let her stay home. She told me too many time, she was too upset. She could not 100% guarantee me that she would not hurt herself. I reminded her of what she told me, how Haldol saved her life. I made her get into the ambulance and leave.

After she left, we went through everything. It was a huge invasion of her privacy. At first I just wanted to wash the dirty dishes and clean the bed, but soon it became apparent that more needed to be done. I had to check everything. I don’t regret checking. Her arms were covered in fresh wounds. There were razor blades in her fucking bed. We took all the knives and her father’s meds. Her father was dead, he didn’t need them anymore.

I regret that she had to spend the night her father died alone, in a hospital, surrounded by people suspicious of her. She wouldn’t visit me when I went the next day. But I don’t have to regret that she is dead because she is alive. And that’s enough for me.

Suicide isn’t something that you want to do forever. It just happens at a peak, at a time of crisis. If you can survive that crisis time, you can survive. The idea of suicide will go away. It’s not always with you. But you have to get past that crisis. If you can keep a person safe for 72 hours, you might just save a life. I hope I did. Twice. Maybe three times.

One other time I recommended a 72 hour hospitalization for my friend. I could feel the mania radiating off of him. He was a different person. I told his loved ones they needed to send him, he wasn’t safe. I wasn’t there when it happened, but when the time came, he went voluntarily involuntary. He is also still alive. He is not suffering from a raging, manic phase. I don’t know how any of these people feel about my role in their hospitalizations. Perhaps they resent me for it. I don’t care. They are all alive to resent me.

I’m watching clips of Robin Williams on YouTube. I can see the pain hidden behind his eyes. I know his pain. I too suffer from depression. Its cold hard grasp keeps me tight despite Academy Awards and Golden Globes. None of that matters. Not a loving family and warm bed to sleep in at night. Depression doesn’t care at all. It can happen to anybody.

And if you can’t guarantee me that you will not hurt yourself in any way, then I’m going to take you to the hospital where they can.

RIP Robin, Haley, Sarah, and all the victims of suicide. The world needed you.

If you are considering suicide,

Please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 24/7

1-800-273-8255

The world needs you

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Filed under Essays, News

FIRE CONGRESS

Image

I am so angry about my so-called government today.  I want to tamp down the rage, but it’s been boiling over for two weeks already.  For TWO weeks our government has stopped working, ground to a crushing stop by a bunch of whiny-ass white men.  Congress has but one job, TO RUN THE GOVERNMENT.  They are not doing their jobs.  We need to fire them.  Any other employee would get fired if they tried to shut their business down for no reason.  You have to pay your bills or suffer the consequences.  At least I do.

My aunt is working for FREE because she works for the VA.  Her mentally ill vets still need care.  That’s right, mental health care for our Veterans is considered non-essential.  That’s how mass murders happen; when sick people who have access to weapons go off their meds.  She has to go to work, paid or not.  I hope she’s got all her hay already.  She also has a farm, cows and horses that need to be fed.  That is EXPENSIVE.  I hope she’s all stocked up now.  Her animals could starve if she runs out of food and hasn’t been paid.  Seriously, think of that: horses starving because of the government shutdown.  Because that is happening right now and worse…

Children are going hungry because their Head Start programs are deemed unnecessary.  Head Start! Our most vulnerable citizens, CHILDREN are suffering because Congress is playing chicken with our country.  Childcare is non-essential?  Ask any parent what they think about that.  Without childcare people can’t go to work.

My cousin is furloughed without pay.  She can’t even check her work email.  She got half a paycheck last week from the time she worked before the shutdown.  She probably won’t get another paycheck.  October is half over; November’s mortgage will be due soon.  This is happening to millions of hard working Americans who just want to go to work.  It’s damaging to think of oneself as non-essential.  And we are finding out more and more every day that the people who are not are work, are missed.  There are thousands of government programs that have been taken for granted.  You only miss something once it’s gone.

We are missing USDA inspectors who inspect our food and who can access the damage to farmers in the mid-west that just suffered massive losses due to a harsh early snowfall.  Cows suffocated under the snow and the government officials that need to deal with it are at home, unpaid.  Thousands of people’s futures wait in the balance.  I hope our Pistachios are clean.

The entire fleet of Alaska Crab Fishing Boats is currently waiting, only half afloat.  The King Crab season is about to open and nobody has the permits to fish.  If they don’t fish, millions of dollars of income will be lost.  That is money that cannot be recouped.   The Russian Fleet will catch all the crab and all the sales to Asia and the US.  Thousands of people’s fortunes rely on this King Crab fishing season.  They are all ready to go, just say the word.  Let them do their job.  Captain Keith Colburn of Deadliest Catch fame was in DC begging Congress to just let them fish.

Meanwhile, it’s still Hurricane season.  The Gulf Coast isn’t going to be spared from inclement weather just because it is an inconvenient time.  Federal Emergency workers were considered non-essential.  They are not essential until there is an EMERGENCY.  Unfortunately emergencies are not something you can predict.  You need to be ready to react instantly, not a few weeks after the shutdown damage has been undone.  Because the shutdown is damaging everything that works on a time table and requires supplies.

I’m worried about our Astronauts in space right now.  NASA is unnecessary.  Thankfully they are on an INTERNATIONAL space station, I’m sure the Japanese and Italian astronauts will share their oxygen and water if it comes to that.  I hope that no meteorites enter our atmosphere though.  NASA usually checks on that for us.  Or rather, they used to.

All science is non-essential.  Even the Center for Disease Control is shutdown.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel the need to risk people’s lives just because Congress can’t agree.  I hope we don’t have an epidemic.

Our government research base at the South Pole is non-essential.  People could FREEZE if supplies don’t make it to the South Pole.  Seriously, FREEZE.  If you leave all that equipment unattended through an Antarctic winter, it will ALL be lost.  Millions of dollars have already been spent getting everything there, we can’t just abandon it!  The South Pole will take it ALL.  It makes me sick.  The House Gym is open, but we are shutting down the South Pole.  Which is more important to you, American Citizen?  Is it really more important for Paul Ryan to lift weights or to allow the SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED CONTINUE?

I’m voting with science every time.  I will never vote for the abs.  Let Paul Ryan work out in his own private gym that he most likely already has.  Or let him pay for a membership at a public gym like the rest of us.  By the way, he’s still getting paid.  Meanwhile, people could FREEZE and all of our scientific equipment could be lost.  Congress might not care about the South Pole, but I do!

I care about the cows and the vets and the crabbers and astronauts and the MILLIONS of Americans who are out of a job right now. The people being hurt by Congress aren’t rich people, they are the hard working Americans who voted those clowns in.  Congress doesn’t have to suffer.  They get paid and have health care and a private gym.  Well, the rest of us are drowning here.

We need to fire Congress!  I have always been an advocate for voting, but I am ready to explode now.  They can’t be allowed to run our country into the ground like this!  We need to FIRE CONGRESS, each and EVERY one of them!

America PLEASE! I know none of us are happy now.  This government shutdown is hurting us ALL.  Remember this.  Remember who did this to our country.  VOTE.

Pennsylvania House Representative Mike Kelley and Senator Pat Toomey, consider yourselves fired.

Now open up my government and let my kids watch the Panda Cam!

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Filed under News, Non-fiction, Rant