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Thursday, March 22, 2012

DSM V - I'm not Mentally ill, I'm human.

I can't sit back and Do Nothing about this! How can you? Are you ok with being diagnosed Mentally ill 2 weeks after your loved one dies? Are you married? Imagine for a minute that you get the dreaded phone call, your spouse has been in an accident and has died. In two weeks are you going to be "over it" and fine? No you're not! You're going to be grieving as any normal human being would be! If you do Nothing, your doctor will be diagnosing you Mentally ill! Do you have children? With that diagnosis, you may lose custody of your children! Do you have aspirations to work in health care? Work with children? For the government? With that diagnosis, you won't be hired and could be FIRED from your current job! Have any of these things already happened to you? Why haven't you read Dr. Joanne Cacciatore's blog? Why haven't you Spoke up and told your story in the comments on her blog? Why haven't you signed the petition?

I can't sit back and do nothing. My son Jack Kendrick Johnson was born August, 31, 2006. He was born premature due to Incompetent Cervix. My son Jack died September 1, 2006 due to his prematurity. Two weeks after my son died, I was in shock that this nightmare had actually happened! I wasn't sleeping, eating and barely breathing. I'm not being dramatic! When your child dies, a part of you dies. You physically hurt all over, from your toes to the hair on your head. My heart wasn't broken, it was shattered! And the pain from that shattered heart is truly indescribable! But I'll do my best...It felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest and that elephant was stabbing me, repeatedly and sometimes that elephant would lay just right on my chest that I would actually stop breathing. I didn't notice it until I realized I had forgotten to breath and I'd take a huge gulp of air. How do you forget to breath? My arms ached like I had been lifting 200 lb weights over my head for days. My eyes felt like they had been stung by millions of bees and dried out like dead flowers. There was no running out of tears, yet open or closed, dried or soaked in tears there was no pain-free moment for my eyes. My head ached in ways I'd never felt before. Worse then the worst migraine you can imagine, Physically heavy like it had been exchanged with a 100 lb weight ball, Filled with racing thoughts; What ifs, Should haves, could haves, replaying every second from the first moment of what I thought was gas pains two days before Jack was born to the car ride home from the hospital not pregnant anymore yet no baby in the car seat. That nightmare replayed over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over Every Night, Every Day, Every Moment of my life for the first TWO YEARS after my son, my only child died. TWO YEARS!

Two weeks after my son died, we were picking up his ashes and his death certificate. Was I mentally ill to STILL be grieving my son's death while picking up his ashes and death certificate? That's what the DSM V will say if you do nothing.

I'm not done.

Two years after Jack died, I got that dreaded phone call! My father suddenly and unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Two weeks after my father died, I was just beginning to grieve for him because my brother and I had to keep our shit together to plan his funeral and start the process of handling his estate. Two weeks after my father died I was home sitting on my couch calling my dad's cell phone hoping to hear his voice just one more time even if it was just his voicemail. I was sitting there realizing my dad would never again call me. Never again tell me he loved me. Two weeks after my dad died, I was grieving for my dad! I wasn't mentally ill, I didn't need pills. I needed to grieve for my dad!

5 years, 6 months and 3 weeks after Jack died, I'm STILL grieving for my son!
3 years, 3 months and 2 weeks after my dad died, I'm STILL grieving for my dad!
I'm not Mentally ill, I'm human!

I can't still back and Do Nothing!
How can you sit back and do nothing?

Friday, March 16, 2012

DSM-5 Why is this a big deal?

My dearest Friends and Family, I'm reaching out because there is something really scary about to change EVERYONES lives! The DSM-5 is changing the timeline for our doctors, therapists, social workers to diagnose US as Mentally ill just 2 WEEKS after our child/spouse/parent/sibling dies!

Why is this a big deal?

For many reasons: 1) Imagine the person you love most in all the world. Picture his or her face, laugh, touch. Now, imagine that you will never see that person again because he, or she, has died. And then imagine that a two-week time limit has been imposed on your sadness, grief, anger, fear, confusion. If you experience such profound distress longer than two weeks, you may be diagnosed with a mental disease. Reason number one why this matters to you? Because someday, you will feel deep and profound grief that will bring you to your knees. You are not exempt. No one is. Grief, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh says, is "the great leveler"; 2) Because a person can be denied private health and life insurance if he or she has been diagnosed with a mental disorder; 3) Because parents who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder can lose custody of their children; 4) Because individuals diagnosed with mental disorders can lose opportunities for jobs and often suffer the effects of global discrimination; 5) Because a diagnosis of a mental disorder stays in your records, despite the fact that many clinicians may not disclose this; 6) Because categorizing normal grief as a mental disorder is a lie and thus is unethical; 7) Because this lie further perpetuates the myths around 'normal' grief and obscures societal understanding, further marginalizing the traumatically bereaved; 8) because such lies harm people and relationships, and 9) many other risks, some known and some yet to be discovered.

Please read Dr. Joanne Cacciatore's blog post for further information. Please COMMENT on her blog and SHARE this all over the Internet, it's our ONLY chance to STOP this insanity from happening!

Please SIGN the petition to STOP this!

There is an Occupy APA movement on May 5th, Saturday, in Philadelphia.

Do Something!

Donate for My Kindness Project to Honor Jack!