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Rising Out of the Ashes

"After my psychotic episodes I have had very strong experiences of 'rising out of the ashes' again and having a secretarial job again. Life started afresh for me after each episode of illness." —Silvia Read the rest of the story...

By Silvia


silvia

In what ways have you found psychiatric medication(s) helpful, if any? 

 

Zopiclone is there as a last resort to find some sleep, and Olanzapine keeps me level. Both medications have been cut down to the smallest amount where they still work, under my own initiative, agreed with my general practitioner. 


In what ways have you found psychiatric medication(s) harmful, if any?


The side effects are very bad; obesity, underactive thyroid, weakness and drowsiness.


During your mental health care, have you often felt hopeful about your chance of getting better?


After my psychotic episodes I have had very strong experiences of 'rising out of the ashes' again and having a secretarial job again. Life started afresh for me after each episode of illness. This happened several times and I also looked after my husband who is 14 years older, which greatly helped me to get well again. We also had 2 cats and 2 dogs which greatly made life more active. I just had to get on with it and pushed myself to keep going which has led to an active life worth living.


During your mental health care, have you often felt hopeless about your chance of getting better?


Yes, I felt hopeless on a daily basis in the mornings after waking up, but got on top of it on a daily basis. I am very grateful that things have turned out well for me so far.


Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could reach a personal goal despite your psychiatric diagnosis (for example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, children, etc.)?


After my last episode in Christmas 2003, my psychiatrist told me that in about 5 year's time I [would] be back to normal.


If you overcame hopelessness that you could get better from a mental health or emotional problem, was there a turning point for you?


Prayer and meditation, starting with little (taking care of personal hygiene, make-up), volunteering and getting back to my skills (typing and shorthand), and also meeting other peers who had mental problems, and volunteering together. Also, being conscious of living on earth, which is only a small planet. Being aware of the earth's finite resources and the disappearing of species, and changing of the weather. Lucky to be here at this time, and not, for instance at the time of the first and second world wars. Getting things in perspective.


Tell us what recovery means to you. How would you define recovery from mental health or emotional problems in your own words?


Enjoying positive emotions again and being reasonably able to keep my household going, but being aware of the fact that there is a big world outside my small personal world.


If you could send a brief message to someone receiving mental health care today who is feeling hopeless about getting better, what would you say?


Don't give up. A 1000 mile journey starts with a single step.

 

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I Got Better is a project of MindFreedom International    Domain generously contributed by United by Humanity.