Just Say No to Permanent Psychosis

I’m an actual Visionary.

I think differently and I see things differently.

It occurred to me in a bout of my typical unusual thinking that there would be one very effective way to get the government to enact mental health treatment:

Tell our elected officials that when individuals access medication we’ll be lining the coffers of pharmaceutical companies.

Our elected officials would rally around this particular economic flag if treating first-episode psychosis immediately would make drug companies rich.

In case you’re not keen to side with me in this atypical argument I want to offer you other proof that continuing to stand by and do nothing while individuals are left to get sicker and sicker is NOT the answer.

I have had the misfortune this morning to be told that a person who had 2 psychotic breaks in 3 years is permanently damaged and nothing can be done about this.

Even Elyn Saks the celebrity schizophrenia person who obtained a JD from Yale and is a law professor at the University of Southern California stated in her memoir that she’ll never be recovered.

It can’t be a coincidence that she stated this after writing in her book that she discontinued her medication at least 3 times and wound up psychotic after each time.

“I’m done” with not talking about this.

I’m done with standing by in silence while Mad People who are proud to be psychotic champion that no one should take psych medication under any circumstance.

I’m done with talking about stigma and not doing anything to solve this ongoing hate and discrimination against mental health peers like you and me.

I will go to my grave championing getting the right treatment right away when someone undergoes first-episode psychosis.

It’s the premise of my memoir Left of the Dial:

My mother drove me to the hospital within 24 hours of my breakdown. A day later I was given Stelazine and three weeks later the symptoms were gone.

In April 1992 I discontinued the medication under my shrink’s guidance. Within three months I relapsed and wound up in the hospital for almost two weeks.

Since July 1992–for over 25 years so far–I’ve taken a maintenance dose every day.  For over 25 years I’ve been symptom-free and in remission.

Again I’ll repeat Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote:

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Those of us who are recovered and doing well owe a debt to society to try to help make things better for others who are less fortunate.

Again: I was told today that a person who had 2 psychotic breaks in 3 years is now permanently damaged with no hope.

On the Mad in America website a mother whose daughter developed SZ wrote these exact words: that the mother wished she had allowed the progression of the disease instead of medicating her daughter.

This is what we’re up against folks: people who think chronic disability is acceptable.

I’m on the side of the person who told me today that their loved one had 2 psychotic breaks in 3 years and is permanently damaged.

Pfizer can take my money for the rest of my life.

Any questions?

 

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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