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Re-Entry: Coming down from the moon… (1) December 13, 2006

Posted by fince in Wacked.
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Therapists often talk about the issue of “re-entry” into the “real” world after a stay in the hospital. I’m told there is a lot of research on re-entry strategies and what works for the person who is doing the re-entry. It’s hard to find the research on the web, however, because googling “re-entry” brings up more links for the re-entry process of criminals being released from jail or prison than it does for mental health re-entry. Perhaps I should refine my search.

Ok – doing a search for “reentry mental health” returned more relevant hits. Curiously, though, there are still some criminal justice links – particularly the “Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project”. Something that sparks my interest, but I’m not a criminal. Maybe I should dig deeper.

Not much. Most of the descriptions of the links are still geared toward criminal justice in some way or another.

So, I guess we’re faced with working alone on this issue. Or with our therapist. I do remember developing an action plan when I was in the hospital. I kept it with me when I left, excited to do something “different” this time (my third visit in four years). So the opportunity came about three weeks after leaving the hospital: I was on a tear and ready to explode. I looked for my action plan, thinking that I would be different and not harm anyone or myself. I was pretty good at remembering one thing about my action plan: Page my shrink. So, with great feelings of pride, I paged my shrink and he didn’t call me back.

About thirty minutes later, my wife suggested I page him again, so I did. Second time’s the charm, as it were, this time he phoned me back. He asked a couple questions and told me to double up on my lithium. Not the sort of advice I was looking for. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and he’s been very good for me for the last two years that I’ve had him, but we have to face the reality that the shrink is not the one who helps you with re-entry.

More on this subject another time…

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Why the full moon? December 11, 2006

Posted by fince in Wacked.
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The Latin word for moon is luna. There’s an ancient tradition that strange things happen when the moon is full. Think of werewolves and the like. In English, the word lunatic comes directly from that Latin word.

My therapist agrees. He tells stories of patients, suffering various degrees of mental illness, coming to him in droves prior to the moon’s turning her full, beautiful face upon the sleeping world.

Those of you who have been blessed with bipolarity or any other ‘disorder’ know that we exercise little control over the external events or phenomena that throw us into a cycle or create a psychic event. We’re told, by some therapists, that we can, however, control our responses to these external stimuli – either by learning coping skills, behavioral modification therapy, medications, or a combination of these.

The reality stands, however, that for most of us we enjoy these psychic events. They define who we are and how we have viewed the world for most of our lives. If you’re like me and diagnosed with bipolarity late in life (I was about 37 at the time), we were led by our therapist through an historical overview which showed serious manic or hypomanic activity from the time we were in puberty. Some of us can also recall our first great depression and how it wracked us and ruined two weeks of our life several times over beginning in fifth or sixth grade – sometimes earlier.

Where am I going with this? It’s a blog, I didn’t think I had to go anywhere….

Oh, but I should have some sort of conclusion:

As lunatics we should be careful of the full moon. Watch its advent with some caution. Give your credit cards to a loved one a few days beforehand and, for those of you prone to depressive events, call some friends and warn them you will be out of touch for a few days and that they don’t have to call the police this time.

For those who do not want to take my advice: Welcome luna with open arms and enjoy your next episode!

Welcome December 11, 2006

Posted by fince in Uncategorized.
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War is hell, they say. Well I think they’re wrong. Hell is hell.

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