My Mother and Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish

Some non-Jewish people know what Kaddish is.  Some Jewish people also know what Kaddish is.  I would guess that more Jewish people don’t than do, because of the secularization of the Jewish people due to the Holocaust and subsequent rush to blend in with whatever dominant culture we found ourselves washed ashore in, those who escaped the ovens.

Kaddish, for those who don’t know, is a Jewish prayer that is an integral part of observant Jewish life.  It is best known as the “prayer for the dead,” although death is never mentioned in the prayer itself.  It is, in fact, a joyous song of praise, enumerating the awesome powers and grace of the Almighty.  It is indeed said at Jewish funerals and at each of the three daily communal prayers, on behalf of the departed, for eleven months.  But it is also said many times during each prayer service, as a marker that divides the different segments of the service.  There are wonderful mystical reasons for this, having to do with elevating the congregation up through the layers of world upon world that lead to complete unification with God.  Most religious Jews don’t know these things, but say the prayers by rote.   Much knowledge has been lost in the years of our physical and spiritual exile.

My parents are among the first-generation children of immigrant parents from Russia and Poland who escaped the Holocaust as children, and had no religious background whatsoever.  Correction: my father’s father was the child of a Hassidic rabbi from Prussia, and his mother was the daughter of a rabbi in the Ukraine.  Both were sent out of their respective countries as children, experiencing exploitation and multitudinous horrors on their way to New York City, where they met and became members of the Communist Party, rejecting their religion out of bitterness; so my father was brought up without religion, to endure antisemitism on a strictly genetic/racial basis.

My mother was raised in a mildly religious environment, but it never really rubbed off on her.  She came away with a few legends and fears, but quickly learned how to cook pork ounce she was out of her culturally kosher home, throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

My mother likes to throw things out.  She threw out her rudimentary Judaism once she was free of the parental home.  She likes to keep a tidy house, so she throws out anything that seems out of place.  She has thrown me out many times.  I have kept coming back, out of a childish wish that she would all of a sudden become the Good Fairy Mother, but that has not happened yet and as she is 86 and I am nearing 60, I don’t think it is likely to happen.

My mother has two sides: childlike, and childish.  Her childlike side is quite charming.  She is filled with wonder at a pair of redbirds on a bush, deer in the yard, a squirrel sitting on a railing eating corn she has put out for it.  She adores her cat with something approaching sexual love.

On the other hand, when tired or vexed she will burst into childish tantrums, cursing and belittling, mocking, slamming doors and kicking the dog.  And throwing things out.

The other day she was in a childish mood, a mild one, and concentrating on throwing things out.  She can’t throw me out at the moment, because she needs my help with my invalid father, but she can throw his things out, and that’s what she was up to.  I happened along just as Allen Ginsberg’s volume of poetry Kaddish was hitting the dust bin.

“Why are you throwing that out?” I asked.  I noted that their once voluminous library seemed to have shrunken, and wondered how many old friends of my youth had gone the way that Kaddish seemed destined.

Kaddish,” she shuddered, twisting her face in horror.  I got it.  Kaddish, the “prayer for the dead.”  Death is lingering around our house now.  In a way it is a marvel: every new day a gift, if my father is still living.  Nevertheless it is a spectre hovering, palpable to all.  I understand: Kaddish is an unwelcome resident here.  I fished it out of the waste basket and dusted it off.

“I’ve never read this,” I remarked.

“Take it,” she said. “Get it out of this house.”

I did.  I took it to The Studio, my father’s old studio where I now reside.  And began to read.  On the first page, Ginsberg is mourning his mother’s death, pacing his living room and saying Kaddish aloud, alone, which is something one is never supposed to do because the prayer is so powerful it could be damaging without the power of ten people to say it.  But there he is, the power of his grief holding him safe in his living room, crying out loud the poem of God’s greatness to the Universe.

His mother died of insanity.  It struck her like a brick to the head when Ginsberg was a young child, and he spent his childhood accompanying her on trains and buses from one institution to another, until she finally ended up in Bellevue, the end of the line, and when countless shock treatments failed, the lobotomy.  She quickly grew old, and died at the age of 60.  My age.

He never gave up on his mother, and he never stopped loving her.  His family spiralled into collective dysfunction around her.  But it seemed to me that somehow he was able to extract, and treasure, the remnants of the delightful, dignified woman his mother once was, and carry that in his heart always.  It made me smile and cry.

I have never been able to feel that way about my mother.  Perhaps it has something to do with the stories she likes to tell about how I was such an idiot as a baby to climb out of my crib and fall onto a radiator, necessitating a trip to the emergency room; or another time, when, at seven months of age I disrupted dinner by climbing into a cupboard and getting hold of a bottle of Tabasco Sauce, which I somehow got all over me, burning my skin and prompting another visit to the emergency room.

These things, and more, might explain why I recoil at her touch, and why I break into a cold sweat at the sound of her voice.

Reading Ginsberg caused me to go inside and feel what I would feel when at last my mother dies (which is not likely to be for a very long time, given the longevity of her branch of the family, who often live to be 100 or more).

What did I feel then, when I went inside?

Relief, yes.  And grief: for the mother I never had.

Coming Out Alien

When Eric Le Clown of A Clown On Fire asked me to write something for his mental health oriented blog, Rx Black Box Warnings, I knew what I had to do. I had to Come Out. I’ve come out Bipolar to everyone who Needs To Know. I’ve come out Bisexual to everyone to Needs To Know. But I never felt a need to reveal my Alien Self, until this last bout of random mayhem where a “weird boy” shot up a school and killed innocent babies, and suddenly he’s not just “weird,” he’s “mentally ill;” and the press is going wild with speculation regarding what brand of “mental illness” he has, or rather had, because he is no longer alive. Dean Obeidallah, “a former attorney,” commented on CNN’s website:

[ L]et’s show some anger about the fact that almost 10,000 Americans died in gun violence last year and still Congress hasn’t passed a universal background check to ensure that criminals and mentally ill people can’t legally buy guns. (Emphasis mine.)

Criminals and mentally ill people, in the same sentence: in the same breath. For this moment, I ask you to set aside your personal stance on guns and gun ownership, and just look at the bone-chilling message: criminals and mentally ill people are juxtaposed, separated only by the article of speech “and.”

The “former attorney” was issuing a call to action, that we lay aside our outrage at trivial issues like the size of Kim Kardashian’s behind, or what faux pas Joan Rivers made this time, and turn our attention to serious matters like criminals and mentally ill people. Let us lay aside the issue of whether these two groups of people should or should not be permitted to purchase lethal weapons; let us look instead at the intrinsic meaning in juxtaposing the two in the same gasp.

What do criminals and mentally ill people already have in common?

Marginalization. Stigma. Alienation from “mainstream society.”

Who says the young man who opened fire on the movie theater was mentally ill? The media does.

Who says the young man who opened fire on the school was mentally ill? The media does.

And what did the neighbors, the school chums of both of these young men have to say about them? They were nice young men, they were shy, they were loners, maybe bullied because they were “weird.”

I want to know: is “weirdness” a mental illness? Is it in the DSM?

And what about the rest of us weirdos, who do happen to have DSM diagnoses: does that automatically put us on a level with criminals?

I find this bone-chilling. I am definitely weird, and I am definitely not a criminal; but I find that the recent flurry of feet running to limit the constitutional rights of “weird people” lessens my inclination to disclose my diagnoses to anyone who Does Not Need To Know.

And that makes me even more of an Alien: a Stranger in a Strange Land .(1)

Alien spaceship

Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life on this planet.

Alien=Anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found

= stranger, unknown
~ interloper, intruder, trespasser
foreigner, outsider

1. Robert A. Heinlein borrowed his title from God, who told Abraham in the Book of Genesis that his people would be “strangers in a land not known to them.”

Noga The Wonderdog: my anchor to reality

Noga the Wonder Dog

Meet Noga.  She’s my Psychiatric Service Dog.  What service does she provide for me?   She keeps me grounded in reality.

You see, many years ago I was raped.  Not once, but many times.  And that has provided me with a whopping case of PTSD:  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The way I coped with being a homeless street kid who got raped a lot was to dissociate.  To leave my body behind, while horrible things were being done to it, and go floating away to Somewhere Else.  It became a habit with my brain, to dissociate from anything threatening; and at last my brain started doing it all on its own, in response to triggers that I may not even be aware of.

And even now, forty years later, I often find that I have been “gone” for hours at a time.  I often have no idea what happened to trigger the episode.  But Noga can tell when I have dissociated, and she jumps up on my legs and “bops” me with her feet, and if necessary, pulls at my pants leg to bring me back to the here-and-now.

And then there are the nightmares.  In my last post I showed you a picture of all the pills I have to take in order to get through the night.  But even with all those drugs, some nights (like last night, for example) I will dream, or hallucinate, or both, that someone has climbed through the window and is standing over me.  B.N. (Before Noga), I could spend hours in a half-dream, half-waking state of paralysis, waiting for the intruder to make his move.  But Noga is a fierce 13 pound watch dog, and she bites!  Now if I have a nightmare I can reach over and if Noga is sleeping beside my left shoulder as she always does, I know there is nothing to fear and I can safely go back to sleep.  Here is Noga keeping the bed warm:

Noga refuses to get out of bed on a rainy morning!

Whose bed do you think this is, anyway?

There are other things she does for me, besides being my Service Dog.  She keeps my right elbow at the proper height for typing by curling up under it, for instance.  That plaid thing is my elbow.

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Plus, she’s just my cute little buddy.

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Noga hates getting her hair wet.

Photos courtesy of my Samsung Galaxy SIII phone.

 

DPchallenge: 2 AM Photo

Sleep is always a challenge for me.  To achieve it, I take five (5) medications: Seroquel, clonazepam, lorazepam, zolpidem, and lithium.  Yes, I know there are six pills in the picture.  That is because of the two Seroquel.  For those who are new to my blog, I take all these poisons due to PTSD incurred courtesy of childhood abuse and a stint on the streets as a teenage runaway, complete with serial rapes.  You can read all about it here.

Nighttime Knockout Pills

Nighttime Knockout Pills

And as if all those pills weren’t enough, I use about half an ounce of some kind of liquor as an adjuvant (enhancer).  My favorite is Ouzo, as it leaves a lovely trace of anise on my palate, as my knockout pills waft me to sleep.  Thats one of the reasons I don’t practice medicine anymore: you just can’t field nighttime medical emergencies while hammered on six kinds of meds (I regard the Ouzo as one of them).

Adjuvant

Adjuvant

If something manages to wake me at night, an earthquake for instance, or the part of the ceiling directly above my bed falling down, or a painfully full bladder (thank God I do wake up for that), I stumble through whatever is necessary to remove myself from the annoyance.  I imagine I would look, to an innocent observer, rather like a hapless zombie that has feasted upon too many alcoholics, or perhaps upon me: too full of sedatives to even try to escape.

So imagine my annoyance when my Galaxy SIII, only slightly smaller than an iPad, rumbled to life at 2 AM, buzzing and tinkling its bell tone indicating an incoming text.

I must have been in the light part of my sleep cycle (otherwise it could have hit me in the head and I wouldn’t have turned a hair), because I awoke with a start that sent Noga, my Lhasa Apso, scurrying to the foot of the bed, as I sat bolt upright as if on springs.

Noga refuses to get out of bed on a rainy morning!

Noga the Lhasa Apso 

My first thought was it must be some mother who had fed her baby strawberry jello, and now its diaper was shockingly red.  Then I remembered: I am no longer in practice as a pediatrician, due to my mental illness and its Machiavellian treatments.  Then a more chilling thought occurred to me: what if something had happened to some family member, God forbid?  But that would entail a phone call from the appropriate authorities, not a text.

At last I wrenched myself far enough away from drugged stupor to actually look at the phone.  MMS, it said.  I touched the “view” button.

Oh fer cryin’ out loud.  This had to be from Floyd, my pervy neighbor.  Who else would send me a photo of his large and rampant, uh, you know….in the middle of the fricking night?  He must have been pickled.  Deleted the goddam thing and lay back down.

Then I sat up again.  I was thirsty.  All these drugs make my mouth dry.  I felt around for my bottle of Gerolsteiner that I usually keep by the bed.  I love Gerolsteiner:  it has lots of minerals in it, good for your body.  And it tastes good, too.  Shit, it wasn’t anywhere around.  I got out of bed and stumped into the dark kitchen.  Ah, there was the bottle: right next to the sink.  Why the hell did I leave it there?  Must have got distracted while brushing my teeth.  Ah well.  Here it was, anyway.

Gerolsteiner, yum

Gerolsteiner, yum!

 

I unscrewed the cap and took a deep chug.

Jeezus Christ and all his disciples, what the hell was this!?  Oh fuck, it was the Ouzo!  What was is doing next to the sink?? What am I gonna do now?  I musta just ingested a cup of it.  And on top of all these meds….should I make myself throw up?  That’s what I would tell someone else.  I hate to throw up.  I’ll do anything to avoid it.

Well shit, if I’m gonna die I may as well go back to bed.  But now I really need the Gerolsteiner, to quell the burning in my stomach.  I found a new bottle on the shelf and drank as much of it as I could, hoping to dilute the Ouzo enough so I wouldn’t die immediately of drug interactions.  Maybe gently in my sleep, to be found some days later when I didn’t answer my phone.  Morbid thoughts.  Damn phone.

I stumbled toward the bed, holding onto the furniture to keep from falling down.

Damn.  Now my bladder was grumbling and required immediate attention.  I looked outside.  Raining cats and dogs.  No effing way I was going to make my way to the outhouse in this storm, especially in my present compromised condition.  For you newbies, just to let you know, my plumbing situation is non-standard.  ‘Nuff said.

2012-10-25 09.13.51

I got out the pee jar, which I keep under the bed for such emergencies.  (No picture of the pee jar, sorry.  Too personal.)

Squatting over the pee jar, I let the excess water drain out with relief.  Shit, shit, and more shit!  Apparently I had not remembered to empty the pee jar since its last use, and now there was pee all over the floor.  Time to get the mop.  (No picture of this either.)

After cleaning up as much of the mess as I could in my present condition, I fell into bed and drifted into a semi-comatose state resembling sleep.  But not for long.  “Brrrr, bling!” went my phone.  I picked the damn thing up and threw it across the room.  It smashed into the closet door.  Good thing I bought the insurance.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/writing-challenge-nighttime-photo/

No, This Is Not Jerusalem. It’s Somewhere Else.

The first time I found myself in Jerusalem, in 2005, I knew This Was It.  I Was Home.  Why?  That can only be explained by my Adopted Sister KupKake’s explanation, which I will explain as follows:  Someone did an experiment with clams (yes I know they are not kosher but neither is this post).  Everyone knows that clams open and close in sync with the tides, right?  Well you should.  So they took clams from the East Coast Atlantic (yes, of America, where else) and planted them in the West Coast Pacific (yes of course they gave them expensive sunglasses).  And sunovabitch if the little fuckers didn’t open and close, not on West Coast Pacific tidal times, but right exactly according to the East Coast Atlantic tide tables of the place from which they were plucked (if you live on the coast you get the tide tables, which tell you when is the optimal time to go clamming, and when is the optimal time to drown.)giant-clam

So according to KupKake, the reason both she and I feel so awesome good when we’re in Jerusalem is that our clams are opening and closing at the right times.  Get it?  I didn’t expect you to.  Never mind.

So when I was called back to Amerika to take care of important family duties, at first I couldn’t get over the clam business.  My clams were clamoring to be back HOME.   I was bereft, and bawled every day for days on end.  Like about 365 of them.  Then I cut back to every other day, then three times a week.  Then my shrink upped my med doses, and now I don’t give a flying fuck about anything at all so I rarely cry for the loss of my Jerusalem.

Nevertheless I think about her all the time.  Jerusalem is a crazy place to live.  It is truly the only place I feel at home, even though my hermetic habits do not change there (the federal disability judge recently issued an official statement proclaiming that I am a Recluse.  I guess that makes me an OFFICIAL recluse.  I always wanted to be a recluse, so there.  If that muggle judge couldn’t see with his own eyes that I’m an Alien, well, well….it doesn’t matter.)

 

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Anyway.  When I am in Jerusalem, cozied up in my house, not going out except to the shuk (public market) which is my favorite place in the entire world, full of noise and noisome smells like rotting vegetables and rancid meat and aging fish and dead cats and stale beer and bad cigars and B.O., and delicious smells like freshly baking pita and Turkish coffee and ripe fruit and fresh spices and Moroccan soups cooking and the wet leaves of fresh celery, when I am not going anywhere except the transports of the magic carpet ride of my favorite sunken-in once-overstuffed but now-understuffed chair, I can close my eyes and listen to the boisterous National Religious youth singing passages from Psalms about Jerusalem, shouting when they get to “Yerushalayim,” which is Jerusalem in Hebrew;  or the Mizrachi (Middle Eastern Jewish) youth singing the same line from Psalms in a whole different tune and shouting when they get to Yerushalayim;  or the Yeshivish youth, much more conservative and much more drunk, singing yet another tune to the same Psalm and shouting when they get to Yerushalayim.  And then there are the American youth, drunker than all of them put together, doing the same thing.  All of this I hear from my Magic Carpet Chair in my home in Yerushalayim, which sadly I have lost because I have had to be in Amerika so long.

Machane Yehuda Shuk 1

Machane Yehuda Shuk 1

On the other hand.  What am I here for?  I ask that daily, for it is very important to ask and to answer that question daily.  I am here to be part of my father’s last days.  I am here to fix some things that were broken, that were neglected, that were threatening to be lost.  These too are likely to bring tears, even in my placidly drugged state.  That is good, as it shows that I am still somewhat alive after all, even though I am a legally official Recluse.alien woman head

From my magic carpet chair above the waterfall beneath my window, I float from here to there.  I cannot go to the Shuk to regain equilibrium; the river is now my Polaris.  I look to the River for orientation.  The music of the river must needs take the place of the hoards of boisterous youth shouting Psalms.  If I listen quietly I can hear them in the roar of the waterfall beneath my window.  I can go out and freeze on my deck above the falls and have every thought swept away by the thundering water, even Yerushalayim.  And that is scary, to think that for one moment I could lose Her to a mere body of water crashing over rocks.

But maybe it’s not that way at all.  Maybe this IS Yerushalayim for me, here, now, because this is what it is, and this is where I need to be, and ought to be, and must be.  And Yerushalayim is where she is, and she is here too, in this rushing water, and in this Magic Carpet Chair with my little Lhasa Apso tucked under my right elbow, as usual.  

Eric Le Clown graciously asked me to write a piece for his blog Rx Black Box Warnings, so I took the opportunity to write something I’ve had rumbling around in my brain, oh, forever. This is really how I feel, the locked-in feeling of alienation, marginalization, and, well, being on the wrong planet.

P.S. all of this is true.

Walking Wounded: Betrayal and Stigma

Even a few days later, I’m still stung and hurting.

A (former) friend whom I have known for years started a Facebook instant message conversation, and asked me what I’m up to.  I said, I’m up to my ears writing a novel, authoring two blogs of my own, participating in a group blog (A Canvas Of The Minds), and guest blogging for others on mental-health related topics, specifically bipolar disorder.

She comes back, bipolar disorder?  Are you bipolar?

Yes.

Are you on meds?

Yes.

Were you on meds when you lived here (with her family for three months, six years ago, while apartment hunting)?

Yes.

Huh.  Well, good luck then.

Click.

A Shrike Impales its Dinner

A Shrike Impales its Dinner

I should have just walked away from it, counted the loss of another person I had thought was my friend, but I felt like I would be betraying myself, as a campaigner for mental health parity and erasing stigma, if I just let it be.  So I sent her a couple of private emails to see if we could sort it out.  No deal.  Door closed.

The pang of that injury took me back to my very first attempt to disclose my private battles with mental illness.  I was at an American Academy of Pediatrics conference.  I am a lifetime elected fellow of that venerable organization.  The conferences are huge, held in gigantic conference centers or spread across multiple hotels.  EVERYONE is there.  So I am navigating a crowded lobby, and I run into an old mentor of mine from my residency.  We had been quite close, and she had always been a shining light for me.  How have you been, she asks kindly.  Well, I return, if you want to know the truth, I’ve been struggling with depression.  She turns on her heel and walks away.  I watch her back receding into the crowd, burning up with shame and racked with the chill of fear: what have I become, that friends and colleagues and teachers just turn and walk away as if I were a leper ringing a bell and calling out, “Impure, impure”?

Years later, I became very close with a neighbor on our street who was also a physician, and like me, an herbalist and energy healer.  We felt a deep kinship and hung around whenever we weren’t at work.  Our kids played together, our husbands liked each other.  It was relaxed and fun and warm.

Even more years later, I had moved away and decided to add acupuncture to my medical toolbox, so I enrolled in an acupuncture school.  First day there, who shows up, but my dear neighbor from before!  We were so thrilled to be on parallel paths.  She and her husband had also moved to the state where I now lived, and she had also enrolled in the acupuncture course!  We switched rooms so we could be roommates; back home we started a seminar group for physician acupuncturists in the area; we stayed close.

Then I had my breakdown.  I won’t go into the details here.  It’s enough to say that I was immobilized by depression, catatonically immobilized, and had to be transported to hospital where I stayed for a couple of weeks.  There was talk of ECT, which I adamantly refused.  I got better enough to discharge; or actually, my insurance ran out and they decided I was better enough to discharge.  I spent the next year completely incapacitated on the wrong meds and racked with guilt over losing my medical practice and putting my two employees out of work, and anything else I could find or manufacture to feel guilty about.

The phone rang one day and I idly picked it up: I wasn’t answering the phone that much in those days.  Why bother?  Who cared?

“Hello?” an eager voice greeted me.  It was my friend the acupuncturist-herbalist-physician!  I was so glad to hear her voice.

“Hi, D_,” I managed, trying to sound chipper.

“Well, what’s the matter?  I’ve been calling and calling you but you never answer and haven’t returned my messages!”  D_ could be fiery.

“Well, D_, the problem is I’ve been struggling with depression.”

“Oh.” (beat) “Good luck then.” Click.

I guess that was probably therapeutic in its way, because ever since I’d gone into catatonia I had not been able to cry.  When D_ snubbed me because I was sick, I fell on the floor convulsed with sobs.  I screamed, I howled, I kicked things, I looked around for something I could afford to break but found nothing so I screamed some more.  I felt more betrayed at that moment than I did when I found out my husband had been cheating on me.  Husbands are one thing; bosom friends are another, and being betrayed because of who I am, and the fact that I was ill, by a fellow doctor whom I loved, was just too much.

So when last week brought me another dose of betrayal, I had a flashback to the last time I was dismissed due to my illness.  It is enough to be one of the walking wounded warriors, without having to endure the betrayal of stigma.

I bless us all, and bless me back, that our friends should be loyal and true friends, as loyal and true as the biblical Jonathan and David, who watched each other’s backs and took care of each other through all the ups and downs of life, loyal till death.

Five Major Psychiatric Disorders Genetically Linked

In the largest genetic study of psychiatric illness to date, scientists have discovered genetic links between 5 major psychiatric disorders.

Investigators from the Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium have found that autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia share common genetic risk factors.

via Five Major Psychiatric Disorders Genetically Linked.

Hmmmm.  Looks like what we already know from our own experience is being borne out by science.  That’s validating.  But even better, the specifics are being discovered, which explain the mechanisms of how our brains differ from neurotypicals.  This will inevitably–and quickly, it looks like–lead to the ability to diagnose specific neuropsychiatric conditions with a simple blood test.  And this, in turn, will bring to a close the era of trial-and-error medication.

The fact that these 5 disorders are very closely linked and, in fact, often overlapped, explains why so many of us have features of more than one illness on objective testing.  And it explains, to me anyway, why so many times medications just do not work, sending us on a seeming merry-go-round of medication trials.

I will never forget the time a rather dull psychiatrist had me on an SSRI, and it was not helping my depression (because she had failed to make the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder), so she upped the dose until I was completely zombie-fied.  Then, when I complained of oversedation, she prescribed Provigil, a powerful stimulant used to treat narcolepsy, or to keep Air Force pilots awake for 48 hour shifts.  That put me in the hospital.

These results explain why so many of us are On The Spectrum and also have MDD, or are Bipolar and have ADD/ADHD.  Or, very hard to treat, Bipolar plus MDD, which makes medication selection maddeningly difficult, because treating bipolar depression is NOT the same thing as treating Major Depressive Disorder, and vice versa, so it often happens that either the MDD is treated and triggers a manic episode, or the BP is treated and the person is still plagued with persistent depression.

And there’s another piece of good news here: having a “physical” genetic illness that can be seen and quantified takes Mental Illness out of the “it’s all in your head, snap out of it” category.  We will be seen as people who have “legitimate” genetic disorders like Celiac Disease and Cystic Fibrosis.  I’m hoping this will dial the stigma factor way, way down.

Let’s hope.

OK, get ready. Ruby Wax is gonna lay it down so it stays down about Your Brain. Yes, YOURS.

Pride in Madness

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Clay over at Depression Comix has SO hit the nail on the head with this one! Black humor at its finest.

Depression Comix

depression110

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