Letting Out the Anger

Recovery is three steps forward, two steps back. I feel like that especially over the last two months. The spring and early summer were so promising. I was regularly doing yoga, I had lost a bunch of weight, and I was feeling great.

Then the mania happened. Yet another psychiatric first. I believe it was because of the sertraline which has been known to trigger mania in people. Studies have been done to capture that side effect of the drug as well.

The hospitalization was awful, the traumatic events leading to me even needing all the care I’ve needed in the last year and a half were awful.

I hate what a certain Weasel triggered in me a year and a half ago. I was never as “mentally ill” as I was before he fucked with my head. It’s hard to let go of the anger.

I met with a spiritual healer last Saturday and she told me my anger was justifiable. People who harm while masquerading as healers are a special kind of deplorable.

And that applies to the last psych unit I was in two months ago as well. The abuse I received there was horrific. The way they victim-blamed me after I was assaulted was disgusting. And the way they tried to convince me I must be bipolar after barely knowing my history and not even consulting with my outpatient mental health clinic is negligent and irresponsible.

I even wrote a post accepting that label, and after learning more about bipolar and what I went through and knowing the power of sertraline and knowing that I’m generally a sensitive person to side effects, I’ve come to reject that diagnosis until I know more about myself. And I’m not alone, my current providers at my outpatient clinic are also currently disputing that diagnosis.

Everything’s led me to be very skeptical of common psychiatric practices in this country and in general. I was totally dehumanized in the unit I was in, and I tried to flee when I was triggered in the unit. And so what did they do? They locked me in a tiny room, and if you want a first hand account of that horrific experience, you can read my short story about it here.

I’m still finding support in my psych nurse and my therapist, and I’m thankful for that. But these meds. Oy. One that I’m taking causes psychomotor retardation and I’m feeling it. Everything has slowed down. Especially now that I think it’s actually had time to kick in.

I’ve become wary of meds in general. There are other approaches that can be used. This last weekend I met someone associated with a group in Tacoma that supports people who have had extreme states of consciousness. I did some research on this group and their resources led me to this fabulous video about how even voice-hearing can be integrated into someone’s day-to-day without being a hindrance.

I should mention at this point that this is the part of the post where I’ve picked up writing after stepping away from it for a moment.

I’m a little distressed at the moment, I got records and a letter from my last psych unit and they’ve conflated and skewed things to fit their narrative of what happened. They cannot “substantiate” that I was raped even though I was clearly manic, drugged, and incapable of consenting for that sheer fact, and there was a nurse who witnessed it.

I’ve been painted to be something I’m not. I’ve been accused of “sexually acting out” and accused of changing my story about consent when I never said it was consensual.

It makes me angry. It makes me angry that they twisted my history to give me a diagnosis of bipolar. That they twisted my success in grad school and gave it a label as “hypomanic.” In that case everyone who works and attends grad school should be labeled “hypomanic.”

I’m angry that no health care professional ever told me about antidepressant-induced mania and how that could lead to a false diagnosis of bipolar.

I know this is a rambling nonsensical post, but I have to get it out. I’m dismayed at the system that I’m in. I’m sad that it failed me when I needed it the most.

I was able to talk to like minded people this evening, and that really helped a lot. And after meeting these people, after venting about records that I received yesterday that were distressing, I came home to a shitty letter from the hospital’s “risk manager.” I knew I shouldn’t have even read it, but I did. So all those good feelings I had after talking with friends are muddled with the frustration that these people at the hospital have literally NO accountability.

Psych wards are nests for abuse. I saw it first hand. Nurses abuse patients and get away with it all the time. They poke and prod and get reactions and those reactions are then labeled “symptoms” of the illness and the patients get abused even further.

I’m so disgusted right now. I’m going to spend the rest of the night eating my feelings away.



Author: Larissa Hammond

Librarian. Writer. Mom.

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