invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

mental illness and gun control April 28, 2007

a few nights ago during the democratic debate, New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson said, “We need more federal and state initiatives on mental illness to ensure those that have mental illness don’t get guns.” last year bill richardson announced his support for “kendra’s law”, helping those with a serious mental illness receive the care they need before their illness drives them to commit a crime. (the key word being care….)

i believe in our constitutional amendments. and the second amendment does not read, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. unless, that is, you have a mental illness.

i wish the tragedy at virginia tech never happened. but it would not have been prevented if cho was not able to purchase a gun. cho needed help from our mental health care system and they failed him.

our problems lies within our mental health care system. people need to be treated and cared for. and in cho’s case, one day of treatment was not suffice. it’s not about gun control. the mentally ill in our country need treatment. they need to be understood, their illness needs to be understood. doctors need to spend more than 5 minutes diagnosing a mental illness. and if they decide one is mentally ill, do not prescribe the latest, hottest pill pimped by their pharmaceutical rep. take the time and look into the patient’s medical history. think about the side effects of pill A. and pill B. and pill C. and read the studies. unfortunately most of those studies are conducted by the pharmaceutical companies. which brings me to the lovely FDA. abolish the system and start anew. really. it’s pathetic. they are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies. (more…)


may i suggest: crazy? April 20, 2007

Filed under: depression,mental illness,stigma — clementine @ 1:43 pm
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i don’t like the word crazy. it’s the word a lot of people associate with the mentally ill.

crazy |ˈkrāzē|: mentally deranged, esp. as manifested in a wild or aggressive way

derange |diˈrānj| : ( deranged) cause (someone) to become insane

insane |inˈsān| : in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill

mental |ˈmentl|: 2 of, relating to, or suffering from disorders or illnesses of the mind : a mental hospital. • [ predic. ] informal: insane; crazy : every time I’m five minutes late, they go mental.

i’ve read a few articles and blogs in the wake of the virginia tech tragedy. one person had this to say:

But we’re all told over and over again that “mental illness is just like any other illness” and it’s subject to all the excessive privacy laws and to all the excessive protections of the ADA. And any school official who tried to force him to see a counselor or psychiatrist, or who tried to expel him from the school, would get sued and end up paying this kid a bundle.

cho was way beyond mentally ill. i would say he was psychotic. people use the term mentally ill and crazy loosely. and usually together. if they’re not saying it aloud, they are certainly thinking it. mentally ill does not equal crazy. or insane. or deranged. and that’s what people need to understand. (more…)


mentally ill=crazy? April 17, 2007

Filed under: mental illness,news,stigma — clementine @ 1:44 pm
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i know the shootings at virginia tech have deeply saddened all of us. the details are still sketchy but there’s an interesting report at bbc, my preferred source of news, you can read it here. it seems students are angry because there was a two-hour gap between the two incidents. they complained they received no warning from the university until an e-mail more than two hours after the first incident. i find that gap of time very strange.

my swain attended virginia tech and we’ve been watching cnn most of the day, however, i’m tired of the news here in the states. there is little reporting. we have a bunch of talking heads and it’s frustrating. early on, a psychiatrist on cnn said something about the shooter was probably “off meds” and that sort of thing…you know, mentally ill, unstable…i’m sure we’ll hear bipolar thrown in there sooner or later.

i was talking to my dad earlier on the phone and i brought up the shootings, he mumbled something about, yeah, i can’t believe it, that guy was crazy.

to most, mentally ill = crazy. and we wonder why the stigma still exists.

my thoughts and prayers are with the virginia tech students, faculty and their families.


two weeks later April 12, 2007

Filed under: acupuncture,antipsychotics,depression,life — clementine @ 1:46 pm
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it’s funny, i had no idea losing kinsey would be this difficult. it’s been two weeks and i have cried every single day since. last weekend i had an acupuncture session and it helped, yes, it did. it cleared up some of the depression that seems to always linger but it didn’t take away the pain of losing my cat.

i found an online grief support group and soon found out those that have lost a pet are not welcome there. we must go to the pet grief support group. there were angry comments about, it’s not the same. it’s not the same. well, i’m here to say, it is. all pain is the same. i’ve lost 3 grandparents and a cousin in the iraq war. i know what it’s like to lose someone you love. (more…)