My comment on Mind Hacks in response to this blog post:
“I found this story to be poignant and bittersweet. As a psychiatric survivor, a mother who was forcibly treated with drugs after 2 childbirths, separated from my babies. No romance for me in this tale, from the woman’s perspective.
I was told I had to take the drugs to stay well but I didn’t believe it. 3 times, at age 26, 32 and 52. I was right to be sceptical and taper the drugs, against the advice of psychiatry. For I made a full recovery each time. Now I’m 62 and have left the hormones and the drugs behind. I was only on them for about 6 years in total, over the 3 “episodes”. My husband always supported my escape from psychiatry. I couldn’t have married a man who was patriarchal or had children to him.
I think it’s useful to hear different stories about madness. The drugs didn’t suit me. I had to get off them myself, to get back to myself. I couldn’t depend on psychiatry to help. All my family experience psychoses, it’s normal for us. The psychiatric treatment was abnormal. There has to be a better way of working with people in extreme states.”
Articles on people’s experience of the altered states of madness often fall into similar types: tragedy, revelation or redemption. Very few do what a wonderful article in Pacific Standard manage: give an account of how a young couple learn to live with psychosis.
It’s an interesting piece because it’s not an account of how someone finds the answer to loving someone who has episodes of psychosis, it’s how a couple find an answer.
It discusses psychiatry, antipsychotics and R.D. Laing but not in terms of what we should or could think of psychosis and society, but what one couple takes from them – finding value where it helps.
Touching, genuine, unpretentious and uncensored.
It is romantic in the truest sense.
Link to ‘My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward’.