He has been willing to share his story for the sake of other people out there who have been diagnosed with a form of "mental illness" and has consented to allow me to respectfully share his story with others too. I trust that anyone who reads his story here will extend that same respect to him. [Those who won't will have to deal with his webmistress, who seems to be very fond of, and protective of him.]
I wanted to share a story with all of you about the day I first recognized that having a “mental illness” meant that I would not be accepted as an intelligent human being capable of contributing to this world and worthy of the basic respect that any person should be afforded.
I went to my first psychiatric consultation six years ago. I, of course, should have been in therapy much sooner but did not realize the extent of my illness or the fact that I was even ill at all until that time.
I had to first consult with a primary caregiver due to the regulations dictated by my insurance plan. This meant that I had to first see my general practitioner and he would then send me to a specialist if required.
I recall making a list of things that had been disturbing me. Things that I did not necessarily feel were unusual but felt they were causing me great distress nonetheless. Things such as hearing voices. At the time, I didn’t realize that hearing voices was unusual. I thought everyone heard them. I just felt distressed by the things that they were saying and by the number of voices there were altogether. At its worst, it was like being in a crowded room where everyone was talking to each other and I would think I would hear my name being called but could not make out any of the other words. It became noise. Overwhelming noise.
I also had begun to take an enormous amount of over-the-counter antihistamines that seemed to help reduce some of my anxiety but they did cause my heart to race.
I mailed my list to my doctor prior to my visit. I knew that, by the time my visit would finally take place, I may not have the desire or ability to speak candidly with him.
When I arrived in his office, he asked me what had been bothering me. I mentioned the letter that I had mailed to his office and much to my disappointment, he had not read it. He quickly left the room and retrieved the letter from the front desk, where it had apparently been for several weeks.
I watched as he read quickly through the letter and he was obviously disturbed by what he had read. He wasted no time in telling me that he would refer me to a psychiatrist as the whole “antihistamine” thing bothered him.
I did later see the psychiatrist and that will no doubt be the subject of many upcoming blogs. But what I found distressing was how my relationship with this doctor had been irreparably changed.
I saw him many months later, as I was visiting someone in hospital. I approached him and said hello as I was genuinely pleased to see him. My pleasure soon faded as I realized that he was very uncomfortable in my presence. It was at that moment, I realized he would have rathered I had been a drug addict or a wife beater than the person who was standing before him.
That day, I went home and cried.
Source: General Practice
That entry was made in September, 2005. In March of 2006, Marek made a new entry in which he stated: I am no longer disOrdered. What occurred between September 2005 and March 2006 is a story unto itself.
Schizophrenia, Mysticism, Recovery, Human Dignity, Rights of the "Mentally Ill"