?

Log in

No account? Create an account

previous breakdown | next breakdown

To My Friends Suffering From Mental Illness

I'm sorry. It's not that I ever denied the existence or authenticity of mental illness. I never would've said that depression or bipolar disorder or PTSD aren't serious or just as real as any other ailment that afflicts the heart or lungs or liver. But while I never would've said those things, I'm not sure how much I really believed them. I think part of me thought, "Depressed? Sure. If you were a stronger person you could pull yourself out of it if you wanted to. It just takes willpower." But it has nothing to do with how strong a person is, or willpower, or anything like that.

I am doing my psych rotation right now, and I had my first patient today. She has bipolar disorder and presented to the unit with sever depression and suicidal ideations. Her hopelessness is like an endless abyss and she feels helpless to do anything to change her situation. She cannot see a future of anything other than this illness. Her anxiety consumes her despite the plethora of medications. She wakes every two hours with night terrors, not of horrible monsters, but flashbacks of a time when her life was happier that now seem like too distant memories. Half the time I hardly knew what to say that wouldn't seem like a trite platitude. When she burst into tears her pain was so palpable it stabbed at my core. I felt helpless that I could do nothing to ease her pain. No one could. And I just wanted hug each and every one of you.

Her pain was just as real as the pain from a tumor, or a wound, or a surgical incision. Maybe worse because those are things you can pinpoint, they're tangible. Mental illness is serious and terrible and I am grateful to Luci for making it real to me when even those closest to me couldn't.

So, I'm sorry. And I am always here for those of you who need it. I love you.

Tags:

Comments

( 17 beeps — speeeeeaaaakkkkk )
lyndasty
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
*hugs* Just saying that means the world to me atleast. I know mental illness can seem a bit difficult to grasp if you've never had to deal with it. *more hugs* I'm glad you've never had to deal with any of the multitude of mental illnesses. I wouldn't wish any of this on my worst enemy. Living with a mental illness like major depressive disorder (*raises hand*) or panic-anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder isn't and a unique brand of challenging; the stigma that's attached to those things make it so much harder.
wolfsavard
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
bellipotens
Sep. 13th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
This is the most compassionate thing I've ever read on my f-list.
As someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, thank you<3
wolfsavard
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *hugs*
mohitgandhi
Oct. 21st, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I WAS ALSO THERE WHERE U ARE ALL THERE AND I GET OUT OF THAT BECAUSE OF MY WILLPOWER ANYONE CAN DO IT BELIVE ME AND BELIVE U R DESTINY IS WAITING AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT BELIVE ME!
yourgravity
Sep. 13th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
i think (for most people) the odd blue moment is easy enough to pull yourself out of, if you really want to. i have my down moments, where i have to focus on the good and remind myself, "hey, self, stop feeling sorry for yourself!" i've never really dealt with serious depression or anything, i don't think. i think that would be awful. :/
wolfsavard
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
I feel the same. My patient actually said to me, "I imagine the most anxiety you've ever felt in your entire life. Now imagine it never going away." It hurts to think about.
yourgravity
Sep. 13th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
yeah, it would hurt my heart to deal with people like that...just reading your stories makes me feel for them.
firynze
Sep. 13th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Blue moments are one thing. Even mild depressions are something...potentially manageable. Full depression? I would not wish it on anyone. It's...unfathomable unless you've been there.
yourgravity
Sep. 13th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
my heart goes out to anyone dealing with it...i feel so lucky to never have had to.
alicetheowl
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oddly, when I'm bursting into tears, that's a sign I'm getting better. When I'm at my worst, I can't even summon the strength to cry.

It's a good sign that your reaction is compassion and the realization that you need to adjust your thinking. Some people dig in their heels and find reasons to believe they were right all along. Compassion hurts, when you're dealing with mental illness, but it's also one of your greatest tools.
wolfsavard
Sep. 13th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I hope it's something I never lose in my nursing practice.
firynze
Sep. 13th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yes. This.
firynze
Sep. 13th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*

Thank you for saying this. It means a lot.
wolfsavard
Sep. 13th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
forwardish
Sep. 14th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
<33333333333333333

It is very hard for people who have not gone through it to understand and it is very frustrating to hear "pull yourself up" and "get over it".
And even people who seem to get it really don't understand what it means.

So this, this was nice to read.
wolfsavard
Sep. 15th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
<3
( 17 beeps — speeeeeaaaakkkkk )
nurse. leo. attention whore. punk rock princess. flexitarian. space case. deltasig. browncoat. fangirl. professional bridesmaid. lover. geek. only child. dreamer. former market researcher. aerialist. uconn husky. internet addict. twentysomething. enfp/j. crazy cat lady. gryffindor. bohemian. new england gangsta. democrat. narcissist. daughter. friend.

just me.

Latest Month

November 2012
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow