Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tortured Souls

Xmichra answered after the original post was published...

Editor's Note; I received an email from this young lady, Cheyenne, asked for a bit more info and this is that exchange...

Dear Aunt B,

How do you tell your parents that you should be placed in a mental institution?

Well, I have about 18 mental "disorders" and I'm not one of those teens that are open to their parents. I'm very shy even to my family.

Here is some more information so you could possibly help me.
I'm 14 and I don't like talking about things with my parents. And I have discovered that I have the following mental 'disorders'(Some may repeat):

2.Bipolar Spectrum Disorder
3.Existential Anxiety
4.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
6.Manic Dipression
7.Generalized Anxiety Disorder
8.Attention Deficit Disorder
9.Social Anxiety Disorder
10.Panic Disorder
11.Depersonalizaton Disorder
12.Expressive Language Disorder
16.Schizoid Personality Disorder

I have all these disorders but I am not on medication for any of them and my parents don't about any of them.
So I'm asking you, How do I tell my parents that I should be placed in a mental institution?
Thank you for caring.

Dear Cheyenne,

Well, it's quite obvious that you have several important issues that need to be addressed, of this I know. What I don't know is whether or not these are true diagnosis or something you have researched on your own and attached to yourself? What I am saying is, while I do believe we must all be our own advocate when it comes to our individual Spiritual, Physical as well as Mental Health and well being, we, including myself, must come to the realization that we don't know it all and should seek counsel.

Being proactive is one thing but yet again, it is a common misnomer for even the brightest of us to misdiagnose ourselves. Thus, we seek out those that have done their homework, gone to school and continued their education in specialized study and medicine.

Just out of the gate, I can ascertain that you seem extremely intelligent. Quite often those of us that are considered fairly bright, gifted or near genius are such tortured souls. In fact you may have received an email from me and at the bottom it reads, "Even the most brilliant minds may have troubled souls." I write this from experience.

I'm not saying any of this in some sick twisted egomaniac sort of way. But my test scores have shown, long ago when I was made to go to Psychological counseling myself, that I was very intelligent. I was and still am one of the many tortured souls that wander aimlessly upon this earth. And we are many...

I've been lost in the depths of hell, they call Depression as well as serious Addiction. I've had Suicidal tendencies and was only saved by Angels, in those serious attempts, believe it or not. That's a whole nother story but suffice it to say, I feel and understand, okay?

The Good News

Today's medications have made great strides in advancement. Meds such as *Cymbalta and *Seroquel, two widely used medications have received good reviews, even in and among my own family. Yes, depression is treatable. Along with therapy sessions, which I greatly advocate in first person. You can grasp sanity and possibly live a close to normal life too.

Now, I don't really know the [your] real issues nor the severity of them. And I only speak from personal expertise but it is a fight worth fighting. You have to want it as I believe you do.And I want you to believe that it can work if you want it bad enough. I believe you do.

I don't know the necessity of your request concerning Institutional placement but far be it from me to discourage you. In fact, it makes me wonder or rather I have real concern that it may be in your best interest to pursue any and all help.

I recommend that you do not wait for a crisis before asking/begging/pleading for help.
More importantly, I'll say it again, you must be your own #1 advocate and insist upon getting help.

My conclusion might be that if you can see all this in and of yourself, then most assuredly something is amiss. Do not be ashamed of all this. They have proven that quite often there are chemical imbalances which cause a lot of depressive conditions as well as if you have a precursory DNA for it, well, it is most assuredly something you can not help.

In addition to these precursors and/or
chemical imbalance, quite often there in lies some sort of tragedy or trauma which may set things off, begin the manifestation or things or actions are set into motion. This might be in the way of abnormal behavior, thoughts as well as actions.

There are many factors which come into play, which in turn, again, can/may manifest into what made be felt or viewed as "abnormal behavior or thought process." But it comes down to each person, each individual, their actions, behaviors, cognitive or otherwise.

The point is more often than not, these are involuntary behaviors, some you might be aware of some you may not. It's the same with the way you think. You might be rational enough to realize that what or how you think about any given situation, is not really rational but you can't help thinking it or feeling it. In example, if you've been chased or hurt in the past, it may be almost reasonable to feel paranoia. You might feel it can or will happen again. The likelihood of it happening again may be slim, non the less you still have these feelings and you can't shake them. You become anxious which may even manifest itself into other behaviors.

I personally have a few "quirks" of my very own. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and when I become anxious I tend to pluck at my eyebrows and such as it calms me. But there have been times when I've walked away from the mirror with less and less eyebrow, a clear indication of my stress and distress.

This list of yours is very real for you and that's what we need to pay attention to. Your parents need to be told that left unchecked, all this accumulation of mental disorders can very well be a recipe for disaster. You as well as your parents need to take it all seriously as well as not be ashamed in any way about it.

Long ago, to admit that you had a "Mental Illness" was a situation most would never do, were ashamed of and quite often those people were tucked neatly away in our Nation's Insane Asylums. My own sister was in there for years until they closed Rosewood down.

The best advice I could give you, Cheyenne is to broach this subject, with your parents head on.
Maybe giving this letter written expressly for you may help you open up and take courage, garner strength and be spurred on!

Keeping It Real,

Aunt B

*Not a paid commercial advertisement


I would strongly encourage you to speak with an actual psychologist or psychiatrist about why you feel you have these disorders, and what has lead to trigger them. These are very serious mental illnesses, and left untreated could end catastrophically. Equally catastrophic is feeling so much disorder within yourself that you do not function in day to day life.
How to get a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist varies by country, I will guess/assume you are writing from the states. If you do live in the states, a referral is appointed by your insurance company, and you would need to talk to your parents about their specific coverage. Many insurance companies insist that you have a referral from your primary care physician or family doctor to see a “clinical psychologist” to determine level of care required. The steps you should take to get help, is to talk to your doctor about the things you are feeling (not with self diagnostic words like above, but by actually telling him about specific things) and requesting their help in finding further mental health. It is sometimes more beneficial to go through your primary care physician because they may know colleges that are really good in the psych area, and you could get some really quality care, But it usually takes a bit of time to set it all up (and thus money on appointments).
IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING HURTING YOURSELF, OR SUICIDE SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. You do not want to put this off because you feel too shy to talk with your parents. You can call the national suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE for immediate help and guidance.

I hope you get the care you require.


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Thank you,

Aunt B

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