the quick and dirty version of my story:
I consider myself a lost child, that is, a person who childhood was lost to DSM diagnosis, drugs and the mental “health care”system.
At age 11 I was labeled bipolar (among other things), polypharmacied and endured numerous abusive mental health “interventions.” When these “therapies” and drugs failed to cure my mood swings and “treatment resistant depression,” I was told shock therapy was a safe effective option for cases like mine. With this recommendation from a trusted physician, I made the biggest mistake of my life and consented.
I received 40- something shock treatments from the age of 17-24. During that time I experienced catastrophic drug side-effects including akathisia and two years of gastroparesis hell. Please note this nice little article I linked does nothing to convey the crippling agony caused by this condition. I was bedridden, lived on a ‘starvation diet’ of about a half a cup a rice a day, which was all I could stand. What little I ate wasn’t really to sate my endless hunger, but to serve as a buffer for large doses of narcotics that barley took the edge off. The narcotics created a hell of their own through dependence and all the indescribably bad feelings people get when they take them past one month. Every narc dose created an intense high followed by the feeling someone I loved just died. Over and over again. Dose after dose. Not surprisingly, I spent almost ever second of those two years wanting to die.
Meanwhile I suffered devastating cognitive problems from shock neurotesting later revealed as prefrontal cortical dementia and almost complete working memory loss. This damage was emphatically denied by my doctors before testing and shock was denied as the culprit after testing.
After a torturous two year drug taper, I was free of pharmaceuticals and I began rebuilding my life. A big part of that was uncovering my true problems: I learned my emotional distress was not bi-polar disorder, but instead have sensory processing disorder (SPD), a few hidden learning disabilities, and metabolic syndrome –none of which would have ever been helped by drugs, therapy or shock.
I’ve since pieced together my puzzling conditions, found solutions and have begun to heal and rebuild my life.
So much more happened in between which will be covered in my memoir in the works.
I write about shock and other psychiatric atrocities and disability with goals beyond informing; I also hope to provide solutions and encourage self-advocacy.
I aspire to develop therapies that will help myself and fellow shock survivors regain their abilities and have a life worth living aftershock.
When I’m not researching or banging the antipsychiatry drum, I keep busy with foster kittens, taking online classes, drawing with my sisters and have recently taken my love affair with writing to the next level; fiction-an impossibility if I hadn’t worked with an exceptional rehab team, adult basic ed and college teachers who taught me how to turn my thoughts into comprehensive sentences, paragraphs and pages. I owe you guys everything- mwah! Expect long, sappy acknowledgments in my first book 😉
I’m currently learning how to drive and am the prowl for work I can do well with a broken head.