Trailer for SEMPER EST SPERARE, a documentary shot in the past year with volunteers from around the world telling their personal stories.

Through the Years

Originally posted on Respite through Writing:

By Anne Schroeder

I in no way think my sister’s story is mine.  But our lives are entwined.  I believe anything that has been hard for me has been a million times harder for her.  But I haven’t lived her experience; I’ve only lived mine.  The timeline is jumbled in my mind, but these are things I remember.

Looking back at our teen years, I can see my older sister’s illness.  I didn’t know at the time.  No one talked about stuff like this.  There was no Oprah show.

My sister stops speaking to me.  I don’t know it’s because she is in an abusive relationship and struggling with mental health issues.  I wish I would have known.

 After a number of years, my sister reaches out to me, but it is off and doesn’t go well.

She tries to reconnect but doesn’t really know how.  I don’t understand what…

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What are your experiences with The so-called Affordable Health Act?

Originally posted on bi[polar] curious:

I apologize for not posting in the middle of this week, but to be frank… some crazy shit went down.

I got a call on Tuesday from my therapist who told me the clinic I go to was going to allow me to have three more sessions before I was going to be cut off. This would be remedied only in the instance that I sign up for insurance via the (already mentioned in several emails and sessions) Washington state healthcare reform website.

Now, to say I was flabbergasted by this threat would be an understatement. To think that a reputable community resource is no longer allowing sliding scale clients is heartbreaking (at the very best) because it will be putting many homeless, and the remaining uninsured cliental out in the cold. What felt much worse was the way my ongoing mental health treatment (via talk therapy) was being held…

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Fight stigma…



background_with_clocksI’m having a major resurgence of symptoms of Tourette Syndrome (TS) in a way I haven’t experienced since I was a teenager.

The Abilify and Klonopin I take pretty much mutes the Tourette as well as controls my Bipolar. But, with my recent change in health – and pharmacy – care, I got a batch of really crummy generic Clonazepam. I’ve always taken generic, never the holy grail of the poll with the actual “K”, but this stuff is shit. TEVA! Need I say more?

I don’t know if I’ver ever blogged about TS. I used to write and publish about my experiences with it and I thought it was the worst thing I could ever have when I was a teenager. Then I thought Bipolar was the worst thing to have. Now I don’t think of either as negative, but ticcing is physically painful and disruptive, and not a good disruptive, at least for me and at least not right now.

More on this later.

Psychotherapy Redux

psychotherapySo, I have new a new (or any) healthcare scheme. Not under the Affordable Care Act, which leaves out so many other alternatives. It’s a program for Artists in New York City for very low-cost care. I put in my time a few weeks ago for my initial psychiatric intake: urine, bloods, vitals, nurses, psychotherapist and a psychiatrist. Oh, and the pharmacy, but that is another story.

I really only need prescriptions, nothing else, I’m doing just fine, thank you. And I know other folks in this healthcare scheme who only have to see a shrink for 15 minutes or less a few times a year to secure their scripts. But New York University-Langone Medical Center oversees this place now. Not a bad things, but now there is mandatory psychotherapy for all new folks at the outpatient psych clinic. Also, probably not a bad thing for folks who need psychotherapy. But, I’m not one of those folks.

I went to my first therapy appointment earlier this week. Very nice psychologist, young woman who is eager to practice on/with the folks in the program. She told me I couldn’t get meds if I didn’t do therapy.

I thought I was done with therapy about this time last year. But talking can’t hurt anyone and I really know how to flap my lips.

I went in on Tuesday, she conducted her mini mental status examine while I jabbered, not too much and not too little. Yes, I get enough sleep, yes, decent diet, some exercise, walked here actually, yes, always take my meds — never miss then in fact. After scheduling another appointment I was allowed to go.

I know 30 minutes of therapy every month won’t hurt anyone (unless they have a bad therapist!), but the fact that it’s mandated disturbs me. I’ve done 20 years of psychotherapy and, in psychiatric lingo I’m highly medication compliant, and have been stable for a long time. “You’re in remission,” this doctor told me. “No,” I said, “I’m recovered.”


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