Today’s blog post was submitted by Anita Brougher who I connected with on Facebook through the Anne Rice fan page (we apparently share a passion for Gothic horror and spirituality.). I have also witnessed in Anita her advocacy for those struggling with mental illness and I admire her willingnness to share. Anita courageously shares her own experience with mental illness, including the challenge of finding an accurate diagnosis so that the illness could be treated properly. I am especially grateful for Anita’s story because it illuminates what can happen when you are mis-diagnosed and how medications that are supposed to help can actually make things worse when the diagnosis is incorrect. Thank you Anita for sharing your story:
I am Anita Brougher a 37 year old mother and wife, and have been dealing with mental illness most of my life. At age 7 after the death of my brother, I suffered a psychotic break. After years of therapy, I did okay for awhile. In 1985 I had a bout with depression. In 1992 I experienced my first major depressive episode with suicidal thoughts. I coped by digging deep into my creativity; drawing, painting, ceramics, and other endeavors. I was stuck by another depression with intense anger in 1995 and was again in therapy and prescribed Zoloft. By ’97 Iknew it wasn’t working because I was angrier more often. In 2000 I tried Prozac but I became either very happy (manic) or intensely angry. In 2008 I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 which explained why I had so much trouble on standard antidepressants. I know now that diet, excercise, spiritual grounding, and a creative outlet help me immensely to deal with my illness. Anyone who wants more information can find it on the web and facebook by typing “mental illness” or something more specific into the browser. One in 6 adults, 1 in 10 children suffer from a mental illness; chances are good you already know someone who could use your understanding and support.