“Gender is a bit of a complicated journey for some. A lot of people are completely comfortable in the gender they were at birth while others know that they are in fact the opposite gender of which they were born. And there are a growing number of people open to the realization that they feel comfortable as both genders, or as neither.
There are many routines and activities that are recommended for helping to balance anxiety and stress. Many of these will also help to balance hormones and chemical functions that may be contributing to skin issues as well.
Fifteen years into my son’s schizophrenia, I stand at the place where the sand meets the water, my bare feet planted firmly. I still cannot retrieve him, but at least he hears me now. I play a kind of call-and-response game with him, like Marco Polo. He will never lose me; I won’t allow it.
I decided a long time ago that I didn’t have the energy for the tap dancing that bowing to stigma requires. This wasn’t a bold or noble move on my part. It was the need for efficiency. The stress and maintenance of this circus requires everything I’ve got. Superfluous activity and emotions are discarded to make room for problem solving.
But as I navigate the waters of our overburdened and underfunded mental health system, there is a wall I keep butting up against. It is a specific limitation which needs to be addressed: Why does the medical establishment seem to stop caring about schizophrenia once the patient is medicated and compliant?
What a mystery, this thing, mental illness. But what exactly is the critical issue? Just how horrible it is? How ugly, how dehumanizing? Or is it something more intricate, more profound than that? A thread throughout the historical narrative of this disease is that the afflicted one believes he is talking to God. Or God is talking to him.
“Officer, my son has schizophrenia and seems to have taken too much medication. He is not violent, or dangerous. He has never hurt anyone. He needs to go to the hospital.”
Right now, we all find ourselves at the shore of an unknowable ocean. The virus sweeping our planet threatens to change everything we once held as true. But this truth doesn’t change: without love we are lost.
Let us move forward from here.
What have I done, with my weakness and my pain? I have hurt him.
I consider the histories of the mentally ill. So often they are artists, with a sensitivity to see beauty and connectedness in the world that the rest of us don’t recognize. Perhaps that heightened sensitivity makes them more susceptible to these illnesses. Their exquisite brains are easy targets, like little bunnies, so vulnerable.