Much to the chagrin of some of my friends in the tribe, I do self-identify as Crazy sometimes. It just describes so well for me the unquantifiable madness in my mind. The disorganization, the really inexcusable things I sometimes say and the lack of predictability in so much of my life. Crazy just covers the whole topic well.
I don’t like ‘mentally ill’ or ‘psychiatric-ally disabled’ as much, they just don’t convey the nuttiness of my illness properly.
I have to present next week, to a group of foreign trained mental health professionals who are trying to become counsellors in Canada. A fantastic idea. There are so many people who need therapy in their own mother-tongues. If I had to work with my therapist in German, I would be sunk! The problem for me, though, is two-fold:
First, how much do I say? Do I describe the course of my disease in the clinical language I have learned from 20 years in treatment, or do I go for the raw emotional approach? All the nitty gritty details? (perhaps not, my boss and a friend of my mother’s will be there)
Second, I am not typical. I am white, come from a family with money, and have had family support and advocacy since the beginning. Should I bring in some of the stories of my friends who have decidedly less pleasant run-ins with the mental health system in Ontario? What to do?
I know there are many other perspectives, but I have always had good doctors, who were respectful of me as an individual, and I have always had support. I believe in pharmacology, but not without therapy. I believe in ECT (save the life of one of my friends), but only as a last resort.
Will let you know how it goes…