Gabe Howard, Bipolar Disorder, Depressive Disorder discussed on A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast
A psych central podcast and here are your host Jack Zimmerman and gave Howard hello and welcome to not crazy. I am here in the House of my co host. Gabe Howard who is sitting across the table for me staring at me. It's a little extra weird but he also lives here in this House with bipolar. I think that is the longest introduction that I have ever received and I am sitting here with my co host. Jackie who is sleeping in my house rent free food not contributed in any way and teaching my dog very bad habits and she lives with major depressive disorder. Welcome come everyone hello welcome to house. It's like you're here with us. It is really cool and it's the first time that we've been able to record in person little behind the scenes. A lot of this stuff is done on an Internet studio it. It's really good. We plan a lot of stuff via video chat and text messages and emails and late tonight. flurries of inspiration. But it's always good to be in person because the energy just flows and there's always diet coke regular coke if you're not Gabe diet coke regular coke diet coke but regular because if you're going to go to McDonald's which we do and you're going to you're going to get the regular side note McDonald's and Coke we are are open for sponsorships and we would appreciate hearing from your people so what appreciate that. Today we are talking about something that I feel like has a lot of mystery story and is not very clear kind of shrouded in silence which is what it is like to be admitted in patient in a psychiatric hospital dome and Gabe has done that. So I'm going to ask him a bunch of questions about that and I'm happy to answer these questions because what I didn't know upon admission would've would've just been really really helpful to know and in addition to my own psychiatric admission I've worked in psychiatric hospitals and I've interviewed people who were inpatient and I've interviewed reviewed staff and I've really just done a lot of work around this subject because it's the crisis point rate. A lot of people with serious mental illness have been inpatient. And they end up there in a variety of ways. And it's it's a terrifying subjects. It's a terrifying subject. I also think that there's a lot of I guess. Misconceptions nations or at least assumptions about it based on movies pop culture haunted asylums throwback to all of the things that we think we know l.. But I'm going to assume are probably incorrect. But I'm GONNA find out when I ask you all these questions. Pop Culture is a terrible place to get FACS ax. You need to put that on a shirt I. I don't know that anybody would wear it because you know how. Many people are lawyers because of law and order. How many people are doctors because of grey's anatomy? How how many people think they can get away with murder because the show how to get away with murder and snapped? I understand why pop culture. It's spoon feeding you information. And it makes you feel feel like you're seeing behind the curtain a little bit and pop. Culture is really great at playing with our emotions. They don't just show you what it's like to be in a psychiatric hospital middle. They pair it with a dark and stormy night and with sad music and they cut two clips of a family crying and in some ways. That's not far off being in a psychiatric. Yeah trich hospital feels like a dark and stormy nights anybody who goes to the hospital and has to stay overnight. Their family is probably scared. The whole soundtrack thing would be nice but we don't really have soundtracks in real life and there's not quick cuts in real life. There's a lot of hurry up and wait. There's a lot of sitting. There's a lot of wondering well we'll so let me ask you questions for you. Continue because I feel like you're going to answer some of the questions that I have in your little intro monologue which is great right but I would like to make it purposeful because I have good questions at least I think they're good questions. I want to be the judge of the good questions I I will tell you if how well you're doing so I am somebody who has not been in patient. I have considered it. There were times in my life where I was making the phone calls trying to find somewhere to go. I don't even know if that's really what you should be doing. But there were times that I was I was thinking this is probably what I need to be doing. I didn't do it for a myriad of reasons but in those moments all I'm thinking is the shots of movies that have run through my mind of is this a good idea is a bad idea. Is this the only idea so I have got a list of questions before you get into the questions. I'm going to answer from my personal lived experience and I think it's important to stay that just people living with bipolar disorder. Aren't the same. All hospitals hospitals aren't the same. I live in a big city. My admission was seventeen years ago and different hospitals are different some better some worse some the same. So I'm I'M GONNA speak very general and from personal opinion. Your mileage may vary just WANNA throw that right out there. The disclaimer. The first question that I have which is super relevant. How do you actually get admitted inpatient because I feel like this could happen a couple ways but in my brain my pop pop culture brain where I go is I'm having a crisis I go to the? Er because that's what they always say to do in the ER goes. Wow you're bananas you're losing it and they we're going to admit you right here in this hospital and then I have follow up questions but I feel like that's not right. Maybe it's right. I sincerely don't believe that the mental Oh health establishment is saying. You're bananas and I understand why people think that but you know just a little side note. What they're thinking is? This is a person who needs help so that was absolutely correct. People can go to emergency room. They are diagnosed with something or they're a danger to themselves or others and then they are admitted to a psychiatric hospital. That is how I ended up in a psychiatric ward. Is it a psychiatric hospital or award. Like every day is a psych ward. Well no not. Every hospital has a a psych ward and some hospital specialize just in psychiatry so there are psychiatric hospitals. They do nothing but mental illness mental health health and psychiatry and then there's regular hospitals that just like they would have an oncology ward or a new baby ward. They would also have a psychiatric award. The hospital that I was in was a psychiatric hospital that was attached to and part of a larger hospital system. So so I guess I was in both award and hospital but it does vary where you are and it's also important to point out that some rural areas. They don't have a award or a hospital meaning to get care. They can be driven. Twenty five fifty a hundred miles away to get some sort of services yikes WCHS actually was legitimately shocking to me. Not Shocking. That enroll eras. They don't have access to good care but just thinking about in a moment of crisis going. Well let's pack a snack because it's GonNa take US forty minutes to get wherever we're going but rewinding for a minute so you're having a moment of crisis you can't just call up a hospital that specializes in mental illness right. Hey I'm coming on in the way you can with an er right like don't you have to make an appointment. There's all this talk about. Not being enough beds right. There's never enough beds leads. So how do you when you're in a crisis. How do you get to where you need to be? This is where it's really shitty for people with mental illness especially in crisis you are often committed. Did to a psychiatric hospital or a psychiatric ward. Meaning you did not decide. Oh my God. Something's wrong with me. Make an appointment and or go to the emergency room and then check yourself self. In a lot of times. The police are called the authorities get involved. It's scary most people end up in the psychiatric ward through some sort of crisis point. And when you get there you're just in right. It's not like do not pass. Go do not collect two hundred dollars. We're just the police show up you get out and you're like I'm here now. That's probably simplistic. The police. Show up they evaluate what is going on and they decide that you are a danger to yourself or others and they decide not to arrest you. It's very important to throw that in because it's certainly possible that the police show up and they arrest you. You're having psychosis you you think that you know people are chasing you and that there's monsters around every corner but all they're focusing on the fact that you're in a convenience store throwing canned goods and they're like well that's vandalism that's theft that's trespassing and they arrest you and take you to jail and you get no help so in a way the police showing up and seeing a crisis seen something go wrong. Recognize it as mental illness and taking taking you to the hospital where you are then committed against your will is actually things going very very well but I want to put a slight pause there and look at it from from the perspective of somebody with mental illness. You're in crisis you're scared you're not in your right. Mind the police show up and now you're locked behind locked doors and a scary place with crazy people. It sounds pretty terrifying. It's incredibly terrifying. So how did let's talk about you. How did you get in where you were as far back as I can remember? I always thought about suicide. I wanted to die every day of my life as far back as I can remember on on good days I thought well today is not going to be the day that I die and on bad days I thought yeah well. Maybe this is the day that I'll do it. I thought this was normal because hey no good. Mental Health Training purpose of the show right we want to have more conversations surrounding rounding mental illness and mental health. I didn't know that I had bipolar disorder. My family didn't know that I had bipolar disorder. Nobody recognized the signs and symptoms of mental illness. For reasons that that will fill up years and years of not crazy episodes gave. We already know that you're sick. But how did you get admitted. Someone finally recognized something was wrong and asked me if I was planning on killing myself. who was that someone? It was practically a stranger woman that I was casually dating at the time and I say casually dating because we try yeah to keep this a family show but she recognized that something was wrong and did something about it. And what did she do I she asked me if I was planning on killing myself itself and I said yes and I got excited because I thought this was a normal conversation. I thought that everybody thought about suicide. So the first thing that I thought in my head is oh my God. I've got to help her sure that this is going to be fantastic. After I'm dead I have like a will and some paperwork and insurance documents and I need my family to find. I was GONNA leave it on the kitchen table with a note that says. Hey this is what you need to do. Now that I'm dead but I can give it to her and she can give it to my mom and dad. This is going to be fantastic. I was thrilled. I hate the term heart just sank But like I just got that like can't breathe moment when you said I have a helper like that is such a not. It's not good thaw processing for obviously actually shows where you were in the moment of let somebody asking you if you're suicidal. Nearly yes someone to help. That's it's nearby. It shows that something gene is wrong with your brain or your thought process. You're per something is going very wrong in your life to think that somebody is asking you about killing yourself because they want to be involved in some sort of motivating or positive way is in that messed up not surprising. She had the same reaction. Is You she freaked out. She freaked out and honestly I looked at her like she was crazy. I thought why. Why is this woman freaking out? So what did she do after that. She said we need to go to the hospital. She said we need to go to the hospital right now and I said why do we need to go to the hospital. I'm not sick. And she said we need to go to the emergency room and I said the emergency room. Whoa the emergency room is where you go like when you break your leg right when you when you fall off the roof we hear roofing or you're playing with fireworks on the Fourth of July and you burn your hand? It's not someplace that you go because you're feeling the way you felt your entire life. Yeah Yeah I guess if you look at it. In in hindsight of I did not see any of my feelings as an issue. This is the way that I always felt therefore I did not see it as sickness. I understood sickness to be borates. You feel differently you know normally normally you're not throwing up now you're throwing up sickness normally. Your nose is not running now. It's running sickness. Not I felt this way my entire life. I still feel this way. You want me to go to a doctor for it. You'd pardon the Pun. I thought she was nuts. I really did think wow I have come across the crazy person just great now. I have two problems. I need to plan my suicide right and I need to take care of this Wackadoo that that's what was going through my mind..