The Love of a Father

Last night I was at a depression group and we were talking about how we can imagine God talking to us as a child of His.  This would be the same as us talking and trying to comfort a child.  Even though we are adults, we are still children of God and He wants to comfort us in our sorrow and time of need.

I immediately recalled a time with my Dad when he was fighting cancer and the thought of the loss of him was bearing on my soul.  I felt like I was unable to talk to him about this because it was his mortality that was the question and fear.  My dad was someone who I was able to tell all of my problems to and he would always patiently listen and guide.  This was so different because how could I talk to him about my fear of losing him.  My dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer and I was going with him for all of his treatments.  Me, being a nurse, knew the seriousness of such a diagnosis.

This dilemma led me into my own depression and inability to cope.  I finally talked to my (then) boyfriend about this problem, and he simply told me that it might be best just to talk to my dad about this.  I decided to take his advise and I walked onto my dad’s three season porch where he was lounging and watching television.  I simply told him that I was worried about him and I haven’t been able to talk to him about it.  I then hugged him and began sobbing on his chest.  He (as he always did) allowed me to get out all of my feelings.  He allowed me to cry, even though I spoke no words.  I was just getting out all of my pent-up feelings.  After I released all of that emotion, I told him that my boyfriend suggested that I talk to him about my feelings.  His only comment was, “How did he get to be so smart”.  I had left mascara stains on his nice cotton button down shirt that he had worn to work that day.  And even though I spoke minimal words, my father and myself had a moment where my fear of the loss of him was exposed.  My dad, with the broad shoulders he ALWAYS had, let his daughter cry about her fears.  He was so gracious and took in all of those emotions without asking for further clarification, or exposing his own fear.  I will forever be grateful for his strength of character and his love for me.

And now is the time to give my fears and anxious thoughts to God (my father in heaven).  He is faithful and will not abandon me in my time of need.  And even though sometimes I don’t even have the words to say to Him, He knows my heart.  All I need to do is be still and know that He is God.

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I resort back to my favorite verse from the bible which says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all you do acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths’.

 

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Incorporating Mental Healthcare Into All Facilities

 

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Think of this.  Why not have the insurance companies not separate behavioral/mental healthcare and keep it all together?  Why not have the hospitals treat each patient individually, and if psychiatric care inside a psychiatric facility is needed – so be it.  Yet, perhaps care can be met in the medical facility with staff on board for psychology and with mental health workers.  Let’s not put people who are in need of CARE and ASSISTANCE out on the streets because it is a psychiatric problem and there are no beds available.  Let’s not do away with psychiatric hospitals because at times these facilities can be deemed appropriate, and a means of consideration for these facilities needs to be figured out.  However, how about incorporating care into each medical facility?  Let’s get with the times and make a solution, and not segregate mental healthcare anymore – the human body (including the brain/mind) is a whole entity.

Are there any other ideas, solutions, considerations?

 

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Looking At The Real Issue

 

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The mentally ill man or woman who just killed or beat up a person or a group of people while at a school or while driving a car, or perhaps even the horrific scenes of drowning children and having the “voices” tell them to do this is all over the media.  This is all the result of the “shock factor” of the media.  It’s amazing that many years ago due to the fact that there were only a few channels on the television, and actually at night there was static fuzz all over those channels these incomprehensible scenes of horror were not seen across the masses of the United States.  And now it has become second nature to expect and even have a horrific bolt of shock when these stories are told over and over and over again on the television and radio stations.  Any news that can horrify the masses are better and more engrossing to the media.  It’s like a frenzy of goblins trying to engulf and squeeze out any and all of the violent scenes of gruesome pictures or videos that can be obtained.  And the problem (besides the fact that these vultures put it out there) is that we as a society feed on it.

Yes the world is a scary place and there are a lot of things that we have to be worried and cautious about, but also we have to be aware that there is a lot of good in this world, and there are many victorious and resilient stories out there.  Perhaps we should stop feeding on the horror and look for the connections and the support and focusing on what we can do to make this planet a better place.  So the mind is a scary thing when it can twist and turn, but perhaps focusing on helping and keeping the people who suffer from mental illness in a state of health with support and encouragement, instead of looking at what the media brings into focus.  How about that Veteran that has come back from fighting the real demons in another country and has now a battle to ensue because of the stigma related to what his mind is going through at this time when he returns – the battle of perhaps depression and PTSD.  A healthier and more appropriate response instead of fear would be to encourage and lift up and give our priority to the battles that are mental illness.

Sure mental illness has been given a bad wrap.  It is a terrible disease for anyone to live with and manage.  That’s why we need to have more education and teaching and knowledge on therapeutic treatments.  There needs to be less focus on those who are rebellious and going against the laws and plain old “snapping”.  And the focus as a society has to be on what we can do to help our isolated neighbor, or the people that need a ride to their doctor’s appointments.  There needs to be less judgement.  There are many (much more than the media would care to tell) people out there in a lot of our families across this nation that suffer from some form of mental illness.  These mothers, fathers, sisters, uncles, brothers, etc… have all been able to raise families, be in a (hopefully) loving environment with family members who try to see and help those individuals in the difficult times.  If we were to learn more and do more and encourage, teach, train more, there would be so many less of these isolated (yet highly broadcasted) incidents.

I’m in no way trying to down play how serious mental illness can be.  Instead I’m saying that instead of focusing on how “bad” incidences can be, there needs to be more focus on helping individuals before they become out of hand.  There has to be less suffering for the individual and the families, and more support and encouragement.  Perhaps the place to start is in each family unit with helping the individual know that they are not alone.  Mental illness should not need to be a hushed disease, and frankly an honest and open relationship has to be developed in the family unit.  I find this especially to be true since the medical and political groups need to get a better handle on the fact that mental illness is not a taboo topic, and it is and needs to be treated with the respect and dignity of any other serious illness (not as if it is on a different realm of the human being).  The MIND is a MAJOR COMPONENT OF THE BODY and it should (and needs to be) treated as such.

A Beautiful Soul

Worth Repeating!

Help Others See - The Journey of Peace and Happiness

My first nursing job was at a Nursing Residence for nuns.  I so enjoyed this job and it was a great stepping stone to more things to come.  Yet the reason I liked this position so much was the company in which I got to spend time with.  The nuns were gracious knowledgable women, and I enjoyed hearing their wisdom.

There was this one nun who was one hundred and one years old.  She was a tiny women and still very independent.  One day she asked me a question, and I recall our conversation so well.  She asked me, “Honey, what religion are you?”.  In response, I told her that I was brought up Catholic, but switched later in life to another religion.  She went on to tell me her thoughts on my answer.  “Oh, that’s OK Honey.  It really doesn’t matter what religion you are.  All that matters is…

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Moving Forward and Having FAITH AND TRUST After Mania

 

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The more I read about bipolar the more anxiety I have.  I never have had a manic episode where I had anger or delirium.  This past episode (which was twenty years from the previous episode) was very scary to me and I find that I’m having flashbacks related to what happened.  I don’t recall a lot of what transpired.  My doctor says it makes sense that I don’t remember.  She said that she would be surprised if I did recall.  However, for the one who had to live through this hell, it bears a sadness and pure uneasiness with what my mind is capable of.  I know that the change in my medications that was made by my doctor was a mistake, but now to live through the after effects of how delirium mania can wreak havoc in one’s life is still brewing in my mind.

I’m a kind, considerate, compassionate individual.  I infrequently swear or have increased anger that I’m unable to handle.  Yet in this state of mania – for the first time in my life – I became an angry, filthy mouthed sailor.  And the thing that bothers me the most is that I have no recollection of any of my actions or words.  There are moments of recollection, but they are a rare few seconds of time.  And I am at an all-time unease with the faith of the knowledge with my healthcare.  My bipolar and my emotional stability had been getting better.  Then to have a blow that came out of nowhere (not due to my own actions, but due to the change of my medications) makes me at an unease with my healthcare.

I’m scared of what my mind can do, and at the control of what my meds have on my mind.  I am and always have been a compliant patient, and a responsible person.  I’m scared.  I’m at the mercy of someone who ultimately made a decision who put me into a spiraling whirlwind of the brain’s torture.  Yes, torture!!  To live through the thought of evil persecution, inability to think for ones-self, being held down for medications while screaming, having my mind totally warp to the point that I had no clue where I was, or who was there is torture!  And now what choice do I have?  Do I now just live on FAITH and a trust that has been broken.  Renewing that trust in my healthcare provider is a hard one for me, but I am dedicated to moving forward with both of us having a clearer perspective of the severity of my bipolar and a more cautious approach.

A GREAT lesson learned from all of this chaos was that the ability to decrease my medications is not in the plan for me.  This was ultimately what my psychiatrist had in mind, with my consent.  She was trying to do a good thing.  However my bipolar requires all of the medications that I’m on.  There is a reason these medications were not lowered in the past twenty years.  She has now admitted to the fact that lowering these drugs are not reasonable for me.  Keeping me stable is the biggest priority, and “for the best quality of life” (in her words) it requires all of these medications.  This was a hard lesson (on my part) to learn.  And now going forward I am much more educated.  I will fight for the ability to be stable (NOT less medicated), which is not my priority!  And a closer monitoring of my daily and overall mood status is a new commitment to me and my husband.  It is now and forevermore a main focus in my daily walk with my illness.

Though this mania and delirium appeared quickly, there was a spiraling out of control period that has been recognized, and it is in those few weeks of time that the medications needed to be adjusted.  It needs to be caught before it gets out of control, and before “sliding down the slippery slope” – as described by my therapist.  So even though this past episode makes me angry and sad and has long-lasting effects, a more insightful level of healthcare has been initiated, and myself (along with my support system) are also much more enlightened and careful with symptom management.