When it is Time to go to the Hospital: 11 Steps to Take Before and After Admission

I don’t do well in mental health settings.

I don’t look sick.

I don’t act like a ‘mental patient’.

Not all people with mental illness end up homeless and hallucinating
on the street.

I also have expectations.

I expect my treatment providers to be as passionate as I was when I worked in the field of mental health.

If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder and you are you are about to enter treatment at a Behavioral Health facility it’s a good idea to prepare.

(1)

Don’t assume that behavioral health professionals are trained psychotherapists. Psychotherapy treats the mind. Behavioral Health
treats behaviors.


(2)

If your primary treatment provider is an outside therapist, ask him or
her to communicate your treatment status and history to the facility.

(3)

Confirm that the counselors at the treatment facility have spoken to
your primary therapist when you arrive for your first day.

(4)

Ask if the staff knows how to treat trauma symptoms.

(5)

Do not enable staff ignorance; you have every right to expect your treatment providers to know what they’re treating and to know how to treat it. Speak to the attending psychiatrist if you have concerns. If that fails, make use of grievance procedures to get the most out of your treatment.

(6)

Do treat the staff with respect and consideration. Most people want
to do a good job.

(7)

Do tell the staff about suicidal thoughts or self-destructive alternates.

(8)

Discuss your physical health and if one is needed, ask for a physical.

(9)

If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, ask the staff to check your blood pressure and sugar levels. Diabetes and high blood pressure affect mood.

(10)

Ask for a medication assessment.  Mention all unusual side effects or problems.

(11)

Don’t enter a hospital or day clinic alone. Ask your partner and friends to call and ask about your progress.  Make sure that you sign the releases the clinic needs to discuss your case with friends and family.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017

This post is specific to people with Dissociative and other Trauma
related disorders.

Some of this information may not apply to you.

More reading:

Advocacy for mental health: roles for consumer and family organizations and governments

The Importance of Self-Advocacy in Mental Health Recovery


The Self Advocacy Toolkit

stand up against stigma, no health without mental health

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Racism, Violence, Sexism, Exclusion, Fear

Trauma symptoms were crippling this week; I think I’ve lost three
or four days.

Trump and the Trump/Putin attempt to re-institutionalize blatant
racism and homophobia in the United States is driving me crazy.

A brutal history of cruelty and hate has marched into the present
and demanded control of our lives.

A young woman is dead because our President incites violence.

White Supremacists will kill our democracy to preserve a heritage
of spilling innocent blood.

I am living proof of the life long damage bigots inflict on the children
of the people they target.

You can do something now to stop the abuse of a child:

Say no to racism!

Say no to fascism!

RefuseFascism.org

 

Seven things I wish people knew about mental illness found on Pinterest
Seven things I wish people knew about mental illness – found on Pinterest.

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Blogging While Dissociated

Stigma is a prefabricated negative assessment of a class of people
based on lies.

Internalized stigma destroys self-confidence and self-esteem.

People who believe they are unworthy expect less and accept less.

Do I feel shame over my illness?

Sure.

But I don’t live there.

I remind myself that my culture has lied about people like me my entire life.

Everything it had to say about gay and bisexual men was a lie.

The only way to deal with institutional bullying is for the target to say no.

But it’s not enough to say no.

Before I move on to the point of this post I need to make the following disclaimers:

I don’t speak for everyone who has a dissociative disorder.

I am not an authority on dissociative disorders.

I don’t speak for everyone who has a mental illness.

I speak my mind without consideration for political affiliation.

I do not adhere to a political party or creed.

I don’t expect people to be perfect, but I do expect them to practice
what they preach.

If you are a Republican or Democrat who places your duty as a citizen above political party and religious dogma you have my complete support.

And to all of the no nothing skeptics who think they have the right to judge me I make the following statement:

You are not required to believe I exist; I do exist and I’m not shy about it.

People Like Me
The Narrator and Mateo

My subjective experience of DID is simply that of losing time and memory.

My first response to any gap in memory is to try to fill it in with what I think may have happened.

This sometimes makes it look like I’m lying, but it’s really trying to fill the
missing time.

This may be more obvious on social networks than in daily life.

The people in my daily life respond to the alters but don’t call them by name.

Bobby had a chat this morning with the landlady.

She enjoys his sense of play.

The alters come and go without being noticed by people who don’t live with me; they never announce themselves and they all think of themselves as the “real” me.

All parts of me are loyal and all parts of me remember people who treat
them well.

I don’t have alternates that secretly troll, hack or seek to hurt other people.

In fact, my alternates will unite out of love for someone.

I recall a set of interesting questions I got when I won a Leibster award in 2014.

Here is how I would answer some of those questions today.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in the fall of 2013. I tried to blog for a few weeks but didn’t have the focus or confidence, so I shut down the blog.

In the fall of 2014 I discovered a network of mental health advocates on WordPress. Reading their blogs  gave me a sense of focus; in September of 2014 I re-opened the blog with The Chat.

I blog as a way to communicate with my therapist, but I know that publicly documenting a process so personal is a political act.

What has surprised you most about blogging?

That people support me and read my blog. I know I’m not a power blogger but I’m pleased that so many people read me so consistently.

What one thing would you change about your current life?

I want to have better symptom management skills.

What is one special thing from your childhood that you treasure?

My memories of my Grandmother.

What is one of your favorite things to do and why?

It depends.

My alternates have their own focus. Mateo likes to build computers, Bobby likes to listen to music, Matthew is interested in religion, and I am interested in politics.

Most of my political stance is based on life experience.

I consider it cowardly to be silent about economic and social policies that are designed to destroy people.

I think of my mind as proof of the human spirit.

It’s a quantum mind with different versions of me living
on separate timelines.

It offends me that HMO’s treat the brain like a second-rate organ.

I am a man of faith but I don’t believe in organized religion.

Our species has the gift of reason and when we use it we can see the mysterious.

Albert Einstein said;

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”

Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

That is one of the most spiritual comments I’ve read.

Look at evidence of the Quantum Universe and understand that what we call God is everywhere.

We may exist only because only because we think we do.

That doesn’t make our lives less sacred or meaningful.

A digital portrait of a dissociative alternate named Bobby. The photo was taken by a different alternate named Mateo
Portrait of Bobby, 2012 – signed by Mateo before we started using a common name.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved.

First posted May, 31, 2015

MRI Scan in the header from Wiki Commons

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