Posts Tagged ‘judgemental’

Easy way out, hard way in.

April 26, 2015

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In full need of disclosure, I must say that I am in no way a professional, nor do I promote or condone medication for everything. As I often say each case is unique, and not all disorders etc require or should be treated by medication. I am simply sharing from personal experience with a child.

I have written on the taboo subject of meds before. It is taboo and it is touchy and very personal and individual to each situation. I am not going to tell you that you or your child needs meds, I’m simply asking that people stop with the “I refuse to give my kid meds”  and “meds are horrible” statements. Just stop being so closed minded and judgemental in regards to medications.

And here’s why.

As a parent making the decision to put your child on medication for anything non physical is an excruciating decision. Mostly because we know that we will hear so much from other parents about how bad a choice it is. How you would never do that. Good for you, I hope you’re never faced with the reality some of us are.
By saying over and over you refuse to medicate a child (I am talking after ample assessment, needs, therapy and by the appropriate doctors here, not just because a teacher says your child’s hyper, or a gp sees a glimmer of a sign) you are implying directly or indirectly that I am not doing right by my child.

That I am taking the easy way out.
I assure you that I’m not taking the easy way out. I assure you there’s not a damn thing easy about having a child battling mental illness. And I assure you without our treatment plan, my son would be dead. There I said it. Yes D.E.A.D. my 13 year old, kind, sweet, compassionate boy would cease to exist. So no I am not taking the easy way out. Stop making me feel that I am!

I’ve had recent conversations with parents who are sitting across from me, asking advice, because their children are lost , suicidal, self medicating and on a path that has no positive outcomes. Yet when I ask if they’re seeing a psychiatrist, or the possibility that medication may help, I’m quickly answered with “no no I refuse to give my kid meds, and that’s all those people and places do!” .

There are times when I get extremely frustrated when a child’s well being is at risk, at how ignorant people can be. Your to tell me that smoking dope, drinking, risky behaviour and so on is better than therapy and medication?

To each their own, if you are actively finding other means of healthy treatment that are successful for yourself or child, good on ya. If it’s successful and getting positive results, please continue.
Unfortunately for many there’s no easy fix, or simple one for chronic mental illness. There’s also the little things called chemicals in the brain, in which if unbalanced only chemicals can somewhat balance them. Maybe your teen says the meds make them feel weird. Maybe they’re not the correct medication or dose, or maybe they do. Of course it’s important to remember with those little chemicals, their brain chemistry has been unbalanced, and quite possibly they feel weird because they’re balanced. Maybe for the first time in years. Their “normal”  may not necessarily mean balanced and well.

We chose to be proactive with our particular situation,and to work with, not against, a slough of professionals.
Our son has been through physio, OT, test upon tests. Ongoing therapy and physciatrists appointments, hospital stays and hours upon hours of coping.

I do get frustrated when parents choose to bury their heads, I do get angry when they ignore blatantly that their children need help.
Our son is now a young teenager, and though the opposite extreme of the classic bipolar extremes, he knows right from wrong. He’s kind and giving. Smart and funny. He’s a risk to no one but himself. We could easily be on a different path had we “refused to give him meds” or get him help. Our journey would be a drastically different one. And I like to think we’ve done something right by being proactive.

So no we didn’t take the easy way out.
Taking the easy way out would have been denying (trust me we tried), ignoring, blaming, and making excuses. No we choose the hard, long, stressful way. We chose to work damn hard every minute of every day to save our child. To give him a fighting chance. To keep him with us, no matter how hard the work is(yes folks it is damn hard) with us for as long as possible.

No we chose to dive in. We chose to take the hard way in.

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Nothing funny about it.

March 11, 2015

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There’s one thing I’ve never, nor will ever understand. And that’s finding humour in others pain, illnesses or struggles.
Our world is so full of humour, if you choose to see it.  Laugh at things circumstances, hell even yourself.
But don’t laugh at others, or stereotypes of others.
I will not carry others ignorance, stigmas and judgements. I refuse to allow them to drain me of the fight I fight. But it still angers, hurts and frustrates me.
I will always advocate for the underdog, especially the underdog that is mental illness.
I will continue to chip away the little pieces of the stigma I can, in hopes one day my child will not be laughed at because of the stereotypes surrounding his illness. So many that are so inaccurate it’s ridiculous.

Yesterday I found myself flicking onto social media, and my feed was full of the “you’re in a mental hospital”  joke.
You know the one that tags your friends, ones running naked, ones licking windows, ones rocking in a corner, ones in a straight jacket and so on.
I am not sure my blood pressure has spiked that high in quite some time.

Are you kidding? And don’t for a second say I’m over reacting, I bit my tongue, but I’m allowed to share just how inappropriate things like this are, and why. And so I will.
I am a mother, a mother to a child who has indeed been hospitalized.

First of all.
Would it be appropriate to share a similar “joke” about a cancer ward? A cardiology ward? A palliative ward?
No.  Every single person I know would say that is not appropriate. Being on one of those wards isn’t funny.
And they’d be right. It’s not.
We don’t make jokes and fill up the Internet with jokes of iv bags, hospitals and chemo.
So why, why do we think it’s appropriate to do so for mental illness? Especially using derogatory, out of date stereotypes?
So we can make light of people who actually need these facilities, to save their lives? So they are made to feel inferior, and less than you because they have an illness? That’s exactly how you’re making their feel.

People with mental illness are not a joke. They are not suffering for your pleasure.

Second. Go visit a psychiatric hospital. Do it. If you think it’s funny or this is what you see there.  Heck take your child, try leaving them there without you for a period of time, and try to laugh about it. Hilarious right? Ya that’s what I thought.
Go. I beg you. 
First you will find its not a place like the 50s movies portray. Second you’ll notice, yes there may be some restraining, but do you know why? Because that patient just tried slitting their wrists, or jumping to their untimely death. Or are lost and confused and scared to death.
You will not see patients running naked, etc.  You will see pain and hurt, and hear heart wrenching stories.
You will see very young patients, middle aged mothers, grandfather’s and everything in between.
And I promise you won’t walk out the locked doors laughing. And if you do, I’m sorry your the one with the problem.

I know many that mean nothing by sharing the  “crazy”  jokes, I know many that mean no harm.  But you are. You are flaming stereotypes that many are trying desperately to put out. I know it’s all meant in good humour, but it’s not good humour. It’s hurtful, derogatory humour, that so many assume does no harm. You’d be wrong.

I may not be able to control others, I may not be able to change the world. But I can change who I allow in mine, and I will not continue to shrug it off. I will however continue to love my loved ones the best way I can. And one of those ways is not laughing at their pain, and by using my voice and heart to fight for them and others to scared to speak up.
I may not be able to control these kinds of things, but I damn well won’t tolerate them either.