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Submitted by admin on Sat, 12/18/2010 - 22:32
Read the entire memoir here:
A little about me:
Married, two grown sons. Relocated from Pasadena, California to Conyers, Georgia in 2007
Contact me at: verlapacheco(at)yahoo(dot)com
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 09:12
After being deemed mentally ill for over 32 years, I'm now learning what it is to be "normal". After 32 years of psychiatric units, psych meds, psychodrama, individual and group therapy, etc... I've been given a clean bill of mental health (except for PTSD).
Now, this does not mean I am no longer seeing a therapist. I am being followed by the Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Program (CDRP) at Kaiser Permanente. I have over 9 months clean; and I'm learning to be a responsible adult. I was once asked what the difference is between the care I'm getting now compared to the care I was receiving (through the department of Psychiatry)? I can sum it up in one word, "accountability."
Submitted by admin on Mon, 12/22/2008 - 03:59
12 Shades of Snow
By Anne Onimous
I Dreamed A Dream That Was Bestowed
By Higher Beings In The Know
I Dreamed A Dream I Thought Was Fake
Until The Moment I Awake
My Sleep Drenched Eyes Gaze 'Pon This Place
As Pillows Nestle To My Face
My First Thought Of The New Day Springs
What Is Rainbow's End To Bring?
Like Sun O'Er Meadows Alone I Rise
And Float To Mirror's Familiar Eyes
A Glint Appears, A Light Turned On
A Day On Which To Shine Upon
I Twist A Loop Within My Hair
For Mirrror Knows Who Is Most Fair
Submitted by chaya on Mon, 11/26/2007 - 14:23
Below is the talk I wrote for Narpa. Feel free to
Submitted by heather on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 16:00
Wednesday April 4, 2007
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/28/2007 - 00:27
Submitted by admin on Fri, 02/23/2007 - 04:15
Submitted by admin on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:06
When I was in 9th grade, I was under a lot of stress because I was active in about 3 or 4 activities after school. I went on a Speech and Debate tournament, actually a Student Congress, and I felt alienated from everyone else there. We were watching Nine and a Half Weeks at the motel room. I felt like sadism and pleasure seeking seemed to indicate that God did not exist, and that there is no meaning in life.
I went to a psychologist because I was depressed. He sent me to a psychiatrist.
Submitted by admin on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 04:36
The world of mental health law and policy is filled with riddles: How do we recognize competence to make fundamental decisions? How can guardianships, which remove one's basic legal decision-making authority, be challegned? Should we civilly confine a person when that means foreclosing them from having consensual sex? Mental health law is also plagued by chronic under-recognition as an area deserving of dollars, expertise, and other resources.
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 11:11
Growing up I truly had it all: a great family, tons of friends, nice home. Besides my brother's death at age seven, before I was born, my childhood was happy and trauma free. The death of my brother shook my parents up so they were very protective of me, but I had a great life growing up in.. As early as age 9 or 10, I experienced acute anxiety that only lasted five or ten minutes where I felt spacey and disconnected from everything, but still knew exactly what was going on around me. Nothing particular seemed to bring it on emotionally, spiritually or physically, but it occurred several times a year. As a child, I also worried a lot and things like talking in front of people terrified me.
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 06:16
i spent many hours sitting beside myself in that tiny blue room. i spent too much time staring at myself, at the girl in the * full body straight jacket lying on the floor. *safety coat was the euphamism used to describe this particular piece of equipment. i don’t know who was supposed to feel safe… maybe staff, certainly not anyone actually bound into it. she looked like a piece of luggage lying there. dropped. forgotten. waiting to be claimed.
I recently made a joint decision with my marriage counselor & dr. to get off antidepressants. My dr. informed me I could stop "cold turkey" & just switch over to an anti-anxiety drug called clorazepate. Had I known what I was going to experience, I wld have checked into a psych ward to "ride it out" but instead spent days of "hell" trying to get the helicopter noise in my brain from driving me crazy! I had no tolerance for light or noise and cried for days. This was how I started the new year!
I was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown in 2000. I was given the diagnosis of schizophrenia. I have to admit I was quite affected by the medication I was on. In a lot of ways it did make me less mentally functional. Anyway, I did gradually get my medication dosage lowered to PRN which means, "as needed." Under PRN dosage administration, you take a pill when you begin to feel unwell to snap you back into health. That's not necessarily a bad arrangement. Anyway, from there I researched the natural alternatives to taking medications. So far, I've been just fine without taking any medication at all. Here is what I learned:
I almost wasn't going to speak today. I was just going to come and listen. But when I got here I found a bunch of my friends standing around looking sad. The event before ours was a memorial service for a young gay man named Leonardo. He killed himself. And when I found that out, I knew I had to tell my story, because I could be him, all too easily.
I came out as a lesbian when I was 15 (I'm 29) in my small suburban town in upstate New York. It's not a town that welcomes difference. I have a friend who was fined for letting her lawn grow too high and wild. That pretty much sums up my town.
Some Thoughts About Oppression
As a person born with a physical disability, I have always experienced oppression. In every realm of life, I was subjected to negative assumptions and presumptions of incompetence. This was never more apparent than when I entered a graduate program in psychology at a local university. Throughout my time in the program, I was repeatedly told that my disability made people too uncomfortable and that I could never be a good counselor. In evaluations, my disability was referred to as a "deficit which could not be overcome." Since I have always been very strong-willed, I stuck it out and obtained my degree. I then got my real education when I went to work at a local community mental health center.