Africans and Mental Health (2)

by Rosie R.

I never thought there would come a time when I would write a second part to my original piece African and Mental Health. But given the way things have gone lately, I thought it would be appropriate to let interested parties know how things went with me and all those medications Psychiatrists prescribed for me. Well, I’m sure it is no surprise if I tell you I stopped taking them. Let me explain.

So like I previously mentioned, I was on Zoloft, Trazodone, Lamictal and Ativan. You know what they say – hindsight is fifty-fifty. I should have known that all those mind-altering medications would short-circuit my brain and put me on some kind of parallel universe where another me would take sharp objects and proceed to carve intricate designs on my skin, and (scarier still) peel the skin from the sole of me feet until I had none to walk on. I am even surprised at my honesty as this is not something a person would admit to.

Anyway, somehow or the other, my nurse practitioner decided to get me committed against my will. So there I was with several pills and two bottles of wine and a six-pack Heineken in my system when the cops showed up at my door and told me it was either I came willingly or they would drag me off to the hospital. I dressed up and followed them. I was taken to the ER where my feet were bandaged and blood was drawn. My alcohol level was at .38 (death can occur at .5 level). Not that I let them touch me without a fight. I was the crazy chic throwing stuff around the ER. They called restraint personnel but I calmed down when whatever they gave me started to work. (I swear this is stuff TV movies are made of but this shit really happened).

The remainder of the evening was told to me as I suffered a blackout and could not recollect anything. According to the story, I kept hollering and crying and asking to go home as they wheeled me to the Mental Health Unit. They put me in isolation and tucked me in (how nice), but I kept crying. I asked a nurse, “can I go home?” She said, “No.” I turned over and went out like a light. Hmm. Strange wouldn’t you think?

Needless to say my uncle and sister (the only two I called the next day) were not happy. They called up a lawyer to get me out of the place. My sister wanted to sue the Psychiatrists who prescribed all those meds. If there was anything that made me sad, it was hearing the helplessness of my sister’s voice on the phone. For her sake, I knew I had to take better care of myself.

I spent an entire week in the unit. I refused to go to any therapy sessions; I refused to do anything I was asked to. I threw things at the nurses if they tried to wake me up earlier than noon; I was the patient from hell. I just wanted to go home. When they found I would not cooperate, they involved the justice system and I got a court order to go to an alcohol and drug treatment facility for 30 days. I told my lawyer to tell the judge if he made me go, I would come back and binge drink just to piss him off. (Yes, I did.) So they asked me if I would go to an outpatient treatment place near where I live for 90 days. I said yes, if it meant I would go home. So I signed the papers and I was let out with orders to attend the treatment program.

The day I was discharged, I dressed up in the clothes I was admitted with. That was when I noticed the t-shirt I was wearing said: Got Beer? Yep, I sh*t you not. The nurses were horrified and told me to wear it inside out. I refused. On my way out I waved to my fellow patients and gave the unit staff my middle finger. The first thing I did when I got home? I flushed all my pills down the toilet. Except Ativan which I still take once in a while for anxiety. I was done with Psychiatry.

I changed doctors and my new physician who was a Catholic Charismatic member told me (at the risk losing her license) that my battle was spiritual rather than mental and advised me to see a Priest. I went to church, talked to a priest and got right with God. Everything else took care of itself. By the time most of you read this I would have completed my alcohol treatment (July 24 – freedom day!). I will be celebrating with Heineken.

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Nelson January 21, 2008 - 6:06 pm

Rosie dear if you can see me i see you because all that you have mentioned here made me shed tears because exactly what is happening to you happened to my dearly beloved sister .Although she is okay right now it took so much of our persistence,perseverance and positive spirit to get her mind back on track because she had already been deceived of so much money from those who felt like feasting in what they did not sow.they pumped fear into herlife and made her miserable.

I want to tell you something rosie you see the only way to get back on your feet is if you control and guide your mind towards all the negative vibe that have taken the front burner in your life.

I was also a victim of manic depression that is why i managed to help my sister out of the quagmires of hell because unhappiness is hell and depression is not for a precious jewel like you.

I will always pray for you and hope that nothing contrary to your precious happiness will ever come your way.

Ike December 16, 2007 - 10:25 am

I hope you're doing better… (heck … I hope you're still alive, lol)

Try to gradually get off the meds. They're unnatural chemicals that will always have side effects. You need to change ur environment. It's good that you're being blunt/honest. It's worse when people try to hide it and not call it what it is. Be wary of shrinks. If your shrink does more "prescribing" than actually discussing and talking…. u may want to look for another. Mine would ask me "are u feeling well", I'd say "yes"…. and then he's charge my insurance $365 for one minute of "patient evaluation." Also, look into eating habits. Eating healthy, like raw veggies and such, can do u some good. Look into it. And try breaking bad habits…. give up the Heineken. Look at "why" u drink. Try to remember that "you" are in control of your life/body, not the medication/chemicals.

kem July 23, 2007 - 6:33 pm

In response to comment #2:: WTF? What could the Redeem Camp have done for rosie?

R U 4 real? Wouldnt she better sober and using her medications? There is nothing wrong with prayers, Its all good BUT assuming she went to the camp without medications, i guess she would have been "cured". Right?

Only GOD can save us, people, and not to depend on the so called "prayer people". Puhleeze..

Anonymous July 23, 2007 - 7:48 am

Rosie! Rosie! Really brave of you to make these admissions. So sorry to hear this. Girl! I told you from day one to come to Nigeria and visit the Redeemed Camp. Remember that post? Well, I was the one that made it. Now here you are visiting your priest! You see? Would have saved your self a lot of grief. Hang in there, Sista. Youre in my prayers.

bola July 23, 2007 - 5:36 am

Please take good care of yourself. If youneed therapy, you need therapy! Dont buy into teh hype that Africans dont need shrinks. many, many do, if only they knew better…


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