FROM: INSANE100 BLOG OWNER
To anyone following this blog, I appreciate your support! I started this blog in June of 2018 to share my story of addiction and hearing voices. I am not a great writer, so me and my sister thought putting my story on video might be a better option. In the mean time I have been posting articles dealing with mental health. I hope these articles have brought some attention to mental illness and/or addiction. While I will continue to post articles dealing w/ mental health/illness, I would also like to share my story, any feedback will be appreciated.
When mental illness is depicted on TV shows and movies, it’s not always kind. While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend got a lot right, for instance, 13 Reasons Why, not so much. And when it comes to medications, like antipsychotics or antidepressants, realistic depictions are often lacking. For instance, they may show a character whose antipsychotics make them act like an entirely different person (not the case), or they’ll show someone who is immediately “cured” after a day on antidepressants (also not the case).
These media stereotypes—mixed with the lack of quality information online—contribute to misinformation and myths about mental illnesses and the drugs used to manage them, particularly antipsychotics, David Brendel, M.D., PhD, a psychiatrist based in Boston, tells SELF. “Many of these mental health conditions have been treated as problems with people’s personalities rather than as medical conditions, and so there’s been a lot of resistance and judgement about many of these medications,” he says. more
If you have anxiety, there’s a chance you’ve taken a medication like Xanax or Klonopin at some point, in order to better manage your symptoms. And that’s fine. These drugs, which are classified as benzodiazepines, can help relieve symptoms of anxiety by suppressing your nervous system, so that you can calm down and go about your day.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that Xanax and other drugs have side effects— even if you just take them occasionally. The thing is, many people get a prescription and keep a bottle in their pocket for moments when they feel too anxious. But even if you just take a pill “every now and again,” you can still experience side effects. And, in many cases, it’s all too easy to become carried away, take too many, and even become dependent on the drug over time.
If you’re going to take drugs like Xanax, it’s important to do so carefully and mindfully — and supplement your anxiety treatment with other things like therapy, healthy amounts of exercise, and plenty of sleep. “The best way to use these medications is definitely under the supervision of your doctor, and being honest with all of your doctors about your prescriptions,” Erin Parisi, LMHC, CAP, a licensed mental health counselor and certified addictions professional, tells Bustle. That way, they can plan ahead and make sure you aren’t mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed. more
Teen drug use during the summer often goes unnoticed. It’s when school starts and students nod off in class, exchange pills in the hallways and fail tests that the truth becomes apparent.
This school year, addiction specialists say they’re expecting an onslaught of teens addicted to Xanax and other sedatives in a class of anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” Many teens view Xanax as a safer and more plentiful alternative to prescription opioids and heroin — with similar euphoric effects.
But addiction experts warn that the pills kids are taking, often found in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets, can be just as deadly as opioids, especially when taken in combination with other drugs or alcohol. And it’s much harder to kick the habit. more
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found that the misuse and abuse of benzodiazepine is relatively rare, even though the drug is sometimes hyped as the next overdose crisis in healthcare.
Benzodiazepines – often called “benzos” — are a class of sedative that includes Valium and Xanax. The medications are usually prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Data on over 100,000 adults in the 2015-16 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health was analyzed by researchers, who found that benzodiazepines were used by 12.5% of American adults. Of those, about 17% “misused” the drug at least once, but only 2% had what was diagnosed as a benzodiazepine use disorder.
The study found several risk factors for benzo misuse, including younger age, male gender, lower levels of education, lack of health insurance or employment, and lower income levels — factors often associated with other substance use disorders. more
Earlier this month, musician Kanye West ranted about politics and slavery following the season premiere of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Among other elements of his speech, he told audience members that this was the “real” Kanye speaking and he was off his medication, a nod to his earlier revelation that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“Public figures talking about their mental health issues can help bring awareness and combat stigma surrounding these common conditions,” said Dr. David Hu, medical director at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches in Florida.
“Some people with mental illness never seek treatment because they feel shame. Knowing that they are not alone, that someone they admire has mental illness too, can be a powerful motivator to seek the help they need,” he said. more
After a few months of my depression symptoms getting worse and worse and the suicidal ideation getting stronger and stronger, I decided to hospitalize myself. I practically had to convince the doctor that saw me in the emergency room that I would commit suicide if he didn’t admit me. I know they wanted me to wait it out and see what they could do in outpatient first and give the medicine the chance to kick in. At that point, though, I couldn’t sleep or eat and couldn’t get the suicidal thoughts out of my head, even for a second.
Being hospitalized was one of the scariest things I ever did, but looking back on it now, I believe it was really what I needed. I not only needed medication and a safe place, but I needed some intensive therapy, some ideas of ways to release some feelings, and I needed a chance to figure out what my next steps would be when I was released. I still use things they taught me there every day. more
Rachel Waddingham hears voices.
13 different voices
“I hear about 13 or so voices,” she said in a news release from Durham University, in England. “Each of them is different – some have names, they are different ages and sound like different people. Some of them are very angry and violent, others are scared, and others are mischievous.”
In fact, “for me, the word ‘voices’ isn’t sufficient,” said Waddingham, a trustee of the National Hearing Voices Network in the United Kingdom, and the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. more
In the ’60s and ’70s, deinstitutionalization swept the US. Poorly run state mental hospitals were shut down and set to be replaced with less isolating, community-based programs. It was a promising and ambitious plan that never fully took off—the hospitals closed, the community programs fell by the wayside, and the mentally ill wound up somewhere else: in prisons and jails. But the correctional facilities that moonlighted as America’s mental health hospitals weren’t—and still aren’t—equipped with the staff or resources to help inmates manage their conditions effectively.
How do circumstances like waiting months to see a psychiatrist or not having access to medication impact the people who rely on this care to stay healthy? We asked six former inmates who were managing psychological conditions during their sentence what their experiences with prison mental health services were like. While some spoke about positive and attentive care, others weren’t so lucky. more