Day: June 9, 2015

Undercover Autistic: on disclosing autism in the (academic) workplace

The Third Glance

Autistic – the word that I first heard applied to me my freshman year of college – it was weighted full of disdain, and I feared it. I feared it, knowing but little of the disorder I’d never really encountered, but had heard some very awful things about.

Autistic – the word that I learned more and more about, as I devoured everything I could read on the subject, which was just so utterly fascinating to me.

Autistic – the word that I learned explained the why of how I interacted with the world. The word that explained nearly everything that made me different from the people I was surrounded by.

Autistic – the word that gave me freedom from my fear and belief that I was just a completely broken person who would never succeed.

Autistic – the word that gave me power over myself and my environment.

Autistic…

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What does mental illness look like? The head clutcher

Sectioned

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1895 The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1895

Once you start to notice them, they seem to be everywhere: the head clutcher. What are they? Not the image above, The Scream, an iconic portrayal of human misery, which has been much copied and parodied. Instead, they are stock pictures trotted out to illustrate media stories with a mental health angle, typically showing someone with their head in their hands.

I’ve tweeted about them before and, last week, I started to do so using the hashtag #headclutcher after seeing one stock photo (below right) appear in 3 separate media stories in the same day! Poor woman.

Head clutcher woman - she's popular with the press Head clutcher woman – she’s popular with the press

In this blog post, I’ve drawn together what others have written about the head clutcher, including the blog by tweeter @Huwtube. After seeing my #headclutcher tweets, he wrote an hilarious post entitled The Rise of the Headclutcher

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My Psychiatrist

So today, I just found out that my psychiatrist will no longer be at the site I regularly see her at. I was very sad. She has been very kind during my visits with her. She treats me like a human being, not just a patient. She doesn’t just prescribe me medicine, but provides me support.

I have heard horror stories of how some psychiatrist are indifferent to their patient’s needs. For example, prescribing medications contrary to their patient’s symptoms. Or, instead of developing a relationship with their patients, they display their aloofness towards them. There is no way I’m about to deal with an ignorant ass psychiatrist! I mean having a thoughtful psychiatrist can be the difference between having a successful recovery and unsuccessful one. I don’t want to be still on square one of recovery or worse. Though fortunately for me, God led me to a good psychiatrist. I am not letting go of this one.

Anyways, she told me she will be going to another site (At least she told me that. Some psychiatrists just disappear without a word). I told her I would follow to her to the new place. She smiled and gave the address of the new location. Yippee! I get to keep her as my psychiatrist!  😀

Medication

Crap. I almost forgot to take my medication! Well fortunately, my medication is one of those I can take as soon as soon as possible. One time I forgot to take my meds, my depression came in and made me feel completely miserable. Sigh.. never in my life did I ever think I’d have to rely on medication. It took me a couple of months to accept I would be one of those people on “crazy pills.”  Another one of my fears was being addicted to them. But you know… I haven’t been addicted to them. Though to be honest, I have at times–like today–I have forgotten to take my medication. Anyways, I have come to terms as to why I am taking my meds: so I can live a well fulfilled life.