I rarely write in Pride in Madness when I’m in the midst of a rage. When my body is vibrating and my mind bent on destroying myself it is impossible to sit at the computer and type what I’m feeling. There are rarely words, just screams and thrown objects. One night though, maybe back in March, I grabbed my note pad and wrote the thoughts that were flying through my mind. I would like to share the third of four notes with you.
“Calm it down. Calm it down. Calm it down. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Fuck. Never. I care now but I won’t later. What will make me care? Harm to be hospitalized? Will they make me care? I need a place.”
I have an issue with not caring about things that hurt me once I am no longer angry. I feel like I have a reset button. It’s very hard to know what to in my life when something I felt passionately angry about disappears just because someone gave me a hug. It’s very invalidating and makes me feel like I blame myself for getting angry when in fact people are doing things to hurt me. I mention the hospital because in moments of rage I just wish someone would drag me kicking and screaming there so I could get a break and just be told how fucked up I am. This is not what I really want though, it’s just what I feel.
Today is my sister’s birthday and she is 21!!!! Legal everywhere except in a town in India where the legal age is 25.
Two days ago I posted about the call I had difficulty making to CAMH to see if the wait list for their BPD Clinic was open (which it was not). Ontario Shores aka the Whitby Psych also offers a BPD program and it would not be horrible for me to get to Whitby since my family lives there. I tweeted Ontario Shores asking if self referral was out of the question and they told me to call.
I don’t want to call.
I think I’m telling myself that by calling to ask about the program or going through intake that I am admitting I had a problem. I know that I do but I saying to someone else, that I do not know, that I need help. The person on the other end of the line might think I’m some out of control person who is desperately sick and that’s not who I am and that is probably not what they are thinking…..
Maybe I’ll call after the March Break. CAMH is the desired location. It’s easier for me to get on a streetcar with my monthly pass then it is to pay $14 twice a week and board a bus, subway, train and hopefully get picked up and driven to Ontario Shores.
Thought: While going in and out of sleep this morning I kept thinking back to the CAMH ad’s I posted about yesterday. Cate commented on the post and used a great word “minimize”. I was saying “simple” but minimize is exactly the word I was looking for! With the new generation of youth I feel like, and becoming worried that, mental health is becoming minimalized. It is becoming so casual that any person who is sad could have depression, anyone stressed out could have anxiety etc. It seems like kids are being whisked off to the doctor’s office as soon as they shed a tear and don’t sit still because we want to catch mental illness before it goes to far! In the process of wanting prevention and ending stigma we are making it seem like there is an easy way to solve the problem (a hospital stay for example). Everyone will say that it’s not easy, and it shouldn’t be, but when we’re entering a time when denial of a mental health issue is turning into everyone possibly having one I think we’re stuck in stigma, we still have a problem.
Sorry, I don’t know if any of this made sense. I’m finding this really hard to explain.
My partner told me about an ad he saw on the bus that made him upset. I didn’t understand what he was talking about until this evening when he said that the ad was by the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH). CAMH is Canada’s leading psychiatric and addictions hospital. You either love it or hate it. Most of us in the mental health community are not a fan of CAMH. It’s not strange to see “CAMH kills” graffetti’ed around the city.
As I was heading down to Pizza Nova my partner told me to check out the bus stop to see if there was an ad. There was…
I feel like CAMH has created an anti-stigma ad campaign that will help create stigma.
It is simplifying the problem. “Oh, going out didn’t work? Ok, well come to our hospital!”
It seems weird to me that a hospital would advertise that you should come stay with them!
It is clear that the intention is to normalize that sometimes an issue goes deeper and a hospital stay might be beneficial but because of the ad’s simplified statements I can imagine many people suddenly believing that they should check themselves into CAMH because their night out on the town didn’t cure them of their sadness!
Here are some of the other ads that are posted on Toronto transit.
I find this one particularly disturbing. I don’t know if I can put it into words. I think it’s the nonchalant way of telling you to come to the hospital if you need something different.
These two ads also creates only two types of people. One, people who can go out on the town and feel better after (“normal” people) and two, the mentally ill who go to the hospital. There is a VAST middle ground (with none of them being better than the other) which we cannot ignore. I personally find myself at various points in this middle ground where I may have experiences that I cannot shrug off with a night out but I also do not need to be hospitalized. If anything, more of us possibly fit into the middle ground of needing outpatient supports.
Some of them are good, they are not saying something that I feel can be used against a person or encourages people to commit themselves.
I don’t want hospitals to be businesses but they are turning into them. CAMH is no different (a chunk of their funding comes from Big Pharma). While defeating denial and mental illness they can advertise that if you do need to go to a hospital to deal with your crap it should be CAMH, not some other hospital.
This video for the campaign is also good. I’m sure a few of us have heard these things….
I don’t know if I can take on CAMH the way I took on Sick Kids. I hope it’s obvious how it’s a different situation.
Mental health should be complicated but complicated doesn’t mean impossible. I would be very upset if people saw the ads saying they might need a hospital stay and then they start believing something deeper is happening when really someone close to them just passed away, they just lost their job or got into a huge fight with their partner and sadness is supposed to happen.
These ads don’t draw the solid line between mental illness and non. I know it says “in some cases” but how vague could you be?
I’d be interested to see statistics on intake and admittance after these ads have been up for a few months.
I had a thought just now.
I’ve been floating in and out of random feelings that I have basically been keeping to myself. I have been thinking about why I don’t talk about like I usually do and it’s a very simple answer. I just don’t want to.
My not wanting to talk about the horrible things in my head has nothing to do with stigma, a fear that I will judged, made fun of or anything negative like that. I just don’t want to talk about it.
When I went was putting on the waiting list at Planned Parenthood Toronto I was given a list of organizations that I could call if I ever went into crisis. I realized, as I had a moment last week of “crisis”, that I would never use these numbers. As I said to a friend, “I’m content with falling apart.” And I don’t like calling places I don’t know! I prefer face to face contact.
In the past I have had to be pushed to pursue treatment meaning someone had to set it up for me or had to drive me there. It actually never occurred to me that I would be judged based on my mental health status when seeking treatment. I didn’t realize I was experiencing stigma until I was much older. I just didn’t want to go. I wanted to be left alone. Read the rest of this entry