Friday, March 22, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons, Do Lemondrop Shots Before Getting a Prescription

Welcome to the first blog post! Let's get acquainted:

I'm in my late twenties, and I've had to reevaluate my long-term goals and modify the day-to-day life stuff on three occasions. The first was when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 23. The second was when I had my daughter at 25. And the most recent was at 28 when I was told I had an autoimmune disorder and would experience a life of waxing and waning pain. The kid was on purpose, the rest of the garbage no way in Hell. 

Seriously, I'm in my twenties. Can I get a break, here?

Bipolar Disorder is unpleasant for me, but I have tried to use the experience to help others find meaning in life with psychiatric issues being one of many aspects to themselves. When I was diagnosed, I found numerous sites and books with honest, reputable information. The mental health field is flawed, but clinicians, those with diagnoses, and families are working to promote humanity in treatment and eliminate stigma.

The most notable bit of information you will find on advocacy, support, and professional websites is that psychiatric problems suck. The drugs are barely tolerable, families can rip apart, careers can be destroyed, clinicians are overloaded and can't always help as much as they want/should, House is about the most accurate depiction of psychiatry you'll find in popular media (Though I appreciate their compassion, Risperdal doesn't induce lactation within hours and hypnotism isn't typically used by physicians) - I have enough material for a few books on the Fits-Diagnostic-Criteria Subject.

So when I went to look up information on rheumatoid arthritis one day - possible diagnosis at the moment - I was surprised at what I found. The Arthritis Foundation paints a picture with Sweet-n-Low spiked paint of autoimmune-related arthritis, and sites like WebMD takes a Calvinist approach to explaining etiology and self-care.

To sum up:

It's not a big deal, and it's your fault you feel like shit. Go for a walk or something. And eat fish. Lots of fish. Fish cures everything. Fish and walks.

Alright, maybe I'm being snarky. Well, I am being snarky.

But I'm also being honest.

To the point of the blog!

1. Day in the life of a twenty-something mom and wife in suburbia who swears a lot, often while stubbing toes or having conversations with a priest on existentialism, but in writing as well. 

2. Handy tools for living.

3. Research and theory on autoimmune disorders and psychiatric diagnoses. Plus comorbidity of the two - yes folks, there's research on that, some disorders might share the same etiology as autoimmune disorders, and the ideas are not fringe-y.

I'm not the only one who finds absurdity in some of the issues surrounding advocacy and treatment in RA: the lovely lady at RA Warrior has been fighting the BS for years now. Visit her site, it's awesome. My blog's focus will be more on my life and information on things I find interesting. Maybe someone will find this blog helpful. Outside of, ya know, me.

- Elisabeth

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