I just read an amazing story on the “people diagnosed with” message board at www.schizophrenia.com. It is the ongoing story of a woman I’ll call Lisa.
I was away from the board for a time, because of a stupid technical glitch that nobody seems to know how to fix. I can’t access the board using Verizon from home, so I have to wait until I have my sessions here at my beloved library. As you know, I’ve been away from the library until yesterday, taking care of little Puzzle.
Lisa was miserable for years, in and out of hospitals, kicked out of her fiancé’s home, and estranged from her daughter, she went to live with a friend, and that didn’t work out. Drugs were involved somehow, so Lisa moved in with her mother. There was a long series of moves. Lisa was certainly suicidal; I could tell by her posts. But mostly, Lisa had a sense of hopelessness that was so fathomlessly deep I feared she would never recover.
If miracles happen in mental health, they happen because someone didn’t give up. They happen because the tools are available and those tools fall into the right hands at the right time. Lisa didn’t give up, and the tool in her case turned out to be the medication Geodon. When I logged onto www.schizophrenia.com today I read Lisa’s words: “It’s amazing…” “I cannot believe how much better I feel…” “I feel clearer…” and even, “It’s like waking up in a different era.”
I guess what I’d like to say is that miracles do happen in mental health and they happen frequently. We don’t always hear the stories but the stories are there if we inquire.
Most of the stories involve medication. Be careful to distinguish scams from real medical care from a real medical doctor (M.D., preferably a psychiatrist or nurse psychiatric practitioner). Be patient. Studies show that most people have to try several medications before hitting upon the right one. You may not experience the miracle that Lisa experienced, but it’s worth the wait and effort to get the meds right.