Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm Just A Little More Impulsive Than Most

An article in this week's Village Voice has me reflecting on my own mental health issues. A few years ago I had what most would call a breakdown. In Spanish we like to call it un ataque de nervios. Sometimes I refer to it as my breakthrough. Years of pent up emotions and hiding not to healthy behavior just spilled over and I disappeared. Just walked out of my apartment, leaving my daughter in my mother's care and left. I wandered. I drank. I cried. By myself. I figured out that something wasn't quite right and ended up at Mt. Sinai Hospital where I eventually was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When I told some friends, they weren't surprised. Others didn't buy into the whole psychiatric illness thing. I too was and still remain on the fence.
I have refused to medicate myself. This is mostly because of my own fear of abusing the medication more than anything. Oh yeah and I actually do worry about the meds messing up my "creativity" . I haven't been in therapy recently and am wondering if I should be or if it's bs. I've gotten better controlling my impulses ,not so much my moods. So I guess I still remain borderline something or other. On the borderline of what is what I'm still figuring out.


Blogger Natalia said...

i'm one not to believe doctors soo much. ib the old times when you couldn't been told that u had anything because it wasn't discover people would get by. where i'm trying to get is that i believe that for a lot of sickness there is alternative medication, like aculpunture or yoga ... and if you have notice you have gotten better then don't fall into the prescripted medication bull shit. all it is going to do is make u addicted to somenthing you don't need and what about side effect. continue doing what ever it is you are doing and fight it, let it be another challenge you have in life, but a positive one that makes you write in order to liberate the internal gosth that might hunt u down

1/29/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger brownfemipower said...

mamita, while i think that some people might need pills, for the most part, i think if they do need pills for a genuine chemical imbalance, that the imbalance came from how seriously we fuck up the environment--as opposed to something being "wrong" with the person...I think that especially with women of color, we have been fucked with so badly, sexually, economically, spiritually, physically--it's a wonder we don't ALL have full blown personality disorders. But a prof of mine told me once that almost all female schitzophrenics (sp????) have been seriously abused in their lives, and that their chemical imbalances are all linked directly to the way their body handled that abuse...we can't deal with mental issues without also looking at the environment of violence women of color grow up in--and understanding that most therapy is put in place to help you function better in a FUCKED UP world--as opposed to finding ways to empower you to change that fucked up world...some times we need to just walk away like you did. I've done it before--and I know that a lot of women of color that i've read talk about doing the same thing. This world is scary ass fucked up, and is it a sign of mental imbalance or clarity that there comes a time when the sickness is just too much and we have to step back to save ourselves?
you're ok mujer--do what feels right and we'll all be here waiting for you...

1/29/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it can not possible hurt to seek therapy ...

1/30/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

You know--as someone seeking therapy brownfemipower has a point-therapists are there to listen and help you come to your own ways of dealing better in a fucked up society. Nevertheless, it has helped me. I'm pretty impulsive myself but with the help of a more interactive family since they know of my depressive tendencies, my weekly therapy and consistent writing and reading I "adjust" my mood a bit when I am paranoid, put my guard way up high, internalize shit that has happened over the years it is very hard still--but I feel though it is still a short period of time it has helped me tremendously "help put things in a perspective that makes this fucked a world liveable without losing my mind."

Pills scare the hell out of me but I know they have helped people so if it has improved their lives than better for them and their families. And I agree stepping back is important--and I'm glad that it helped I think that is one of the reasons mothers have post partum depression along with prolonged depression, because they don't have the support systems to ever get away. And I agree with a lot of what Brownfemipower is saying in regards to how it is pretty hard to be sane at all times and to gain clarity we have to step back. It is a life that is dim and shouldn't be this much.

I'm sorry and yes, empowerment gained through community support and change making to create a society that is more aligned to nurture not kill our mental health. This is such an important topic many women of color not to mention mamis don't talk about openly. Thank you for sharing--and do what is right for you mama.

1/31/2006 02:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Heidi said...


You have your ups and downs just like anyone else. I think you are doing great, you're a great mom, a talented writer. I think you don't give yourself enough credit.

1/31/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger dustdaughter said...

It took a lot of courage (or I-don't-give-a-f*ck-age) to post this story. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm chronicling my battle with depression (among other things) on my blog. It's good to see more women of color shaking off the stigma placed on mental illness and seeking help.

I was apprehensive about medication for many years. Finally what used to be chronic misery turned into a full-blown meltdown. If medication can keep me from going through that again, I'll take it.

That's where I'm at right now. I'm not trying to judge others that choose or refuse meds and I'm not trying to be judged either.

I'm still writing while taking medication and it hasn't affected my creativity. If anything, it's helped give me enough energy, concentration and motivation to write.

Thanks again,

2/02/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ms.Maegan said...


I think it was the latter...I don't give a fuck-age. Although in hindsight I freak out thinking - om diosa, now everyone is gonna think I'm crazy!. Ha ha .

I appreciate your perspective and would never judge someone who took meds because they needed them. Did I come across that way. I'm sorry if I did. All I know is that I'm so scared of meds even though there have been times when I've thought they really could help. Butit's good to hear from someone that meds didn't screw with their creativity. I think that and (loss of sex drive) are huge fears for me. I feel too much sometimes but I struggle with if that is something that I should control or it being how I am. No se.

2/02/2006 06:18:00 PM  

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