I have to admit, I experienced a bit of writer’s block when thinking of a topic to write about for this blog post. It was suggested to me that I write about a time when I experienced an interaction, small conversation, or small action that has helped me with my recovery. So after careful reflection, sadly I can’t think of a single instance where this was the case. Of course people have had a positive influence on my life, but with regards to mental health [for me] this is simply not so. Many people have reported negative experiences when dealing with the mental health system; and mental health professionals sometimes subscribe to the same stigmas and discrimination as the general population does.
I can remember a time when I was sitting in a board room in a hospital and all sorts of ‘experts’ had been brought in to examine my case. I was told that if I agreed to meet with them then I would be given a four hour day pass to leave the hospital. What I remember most — aside from feeling like a human science experiment — was after I had answered all of their probing questions and began to tell my story they all simultaneously broke out into laughter.
It’s a difficult reality to face when you are in your most vulnerable state and all other people can do in response is laugh. I think it was at this point that I realized that I need to take matters into my own hands and not rely on others to save me. Do I still take medications to help with my problems? Yes. Have I continued to seek counsel from mental health ‘experts’? Sort of, but not really. I think this was a crucial turning point for me and I needed to be laughed at to realize that the experts: the doctors, nurses, family members, can only help so much. There is, however, an element of personal willpower that I believe is a crucial ingredient to any successful recovery.
Looking back now all I can do is laugh.
Mental Vagabond is a 24 year old who suffered from psychosis and delusional disorder. He is currently receiving mental health treatment and is on the road to a full recovery. He hopes to share his experiences to help those who may be going through similar problems to learn that they are not alone and that there is hope. Follow his story on HMC's Supportive Minds Blog.