Friday, October 20, 2006

"How am I to understand medication is relevant?"

Pam Wagner and her sister, authors of “Divided Minds,” are sought after speakers. In this excerpt of Pam’s speech at a recent NAMI meeting, you can see why.
I could be your daughter or your son, your sister or brother, your mother or father, your friend or your neighbor. I suffer from schizophrenia.
She goes on to talk very compellingly about compliance and side effects, as well as lack of insight. In her words …
The right medications can help, though, and when the side effects are tolerable, they make the difference between chronic illness and recovery. I wouldn’t be standing here today without them.

But if, as I believed in the mid-1980s, the CIA and FBI control me through a microchip implanted in my tooth, how do I know pills could resolve that? If I hear invisible voices that sound real, and think bizarre thoughts that feel true, how am I to understand medication is relevant? The solution is obviously to get rid of the radio in the wall or go to the Middle East, find 22 linguists, and translate Gray Crinkled Paper?

I asked the dentist about my tooth. For a moment, he looked taken aback, but he regained his composure and answered, “I understand you believe there’s a microchip in your tooth. I don’t think that’s possible. I think it’s a symptom of your illness. But I’ll take a look if it will make you feel better.”
Read more from the always-gripping blog of Pam Wagner.

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