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Porcelain Princesses!
By kimberly j gray   


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A girls fight against mental illness

 

While many will find this hub extremely sad, it is half of me, please know I find the gifts it did bring. Gifts that most aren't forced to experience in a life time. Dedicated to a dear friend indeed.

See all 7 photos
 

2 friends keeping eachother alive

Scars are just tattoos with better stories..........so they say.

Jeri and I gave ourselves twin names, 5 minutes, after we met. I was as white as snow, she said arriving at the hospital.

I returned the compliment in jest, that I didn't know anyone's skin could be so black.

Well then, Jeri said, we must have meant to be close friends.

Porcelain Princesses, sound most fitting.

In our laughter, most definitely agreed, and so it was. To my delight we became the original PP's like never before. At least not here, on the inside.

 
 

Shock Therapy ect - Pocelain Prison

Do not feel your the person
Who has to check if I am okay
Rather relax and know
I am being cared for every day

Do not worry if I feel alone
Your not appointed to fix my state
Rather know this whole process
I will meet others and I can wait

Do not feel alone living without me
A decade has proven for you it is an ability
Rejoice in your own given privacy
And finally calming stability

Do not predict the upcoming treatment
Expectations almost never come true
ECT has helped me once already
With prayer and success I will come back like new

Do not assume obligation to visit
Your busy enough just with your meeting
Rather keep your routine it works
No doubt the ward will keep me busy, greeting

Do not leave for tomorrow
What you can do today
Rather put our faith in this given moment
Because as soon as I am stronger, we will play

Please Please do not listen to me
I am trying to be tough
When in fact I am fragile, and needy
So I promise you, I'm okay, and I love you

Kimberly Gray 1992

 
 
 

I had lived these hallways more than a few times before. Sounds, smells and routines were common to me by then. However I was beginning to realize not so much for Jeri.

People are cold here. Everything is quiet or echos of screams and all so sterile. Am I safe here, Jeri asked me?

Later I learned, when she began confiding in me, she had never been in a lock down 'anything' before, much less a psychiatric ward. She talked of them taking her shoelaces, even her robe belt, all pens and any sharp objects. Sharps including shampoo bottles, she had that had square bottoms and the plastic made them sharp. They gave her one crayon and paper and she was not allowed to leave her room aside from meal time and once an hour 10 minute break. She sure was glad there was a smoking room, and asked if I smoked too, as she found it very scary to go in that room alone.

I had lost all fears many admissions ago. I never left Jeri's side and guided her way. She, not knowing , as our friendship grew helped me with my fear of getting close or trusting anyone. 9 months we were in lock-down. We certainly had plenty of free time to get in all kinds of trouble, and boy we did. It made living a curious dare by day then night.

But reality would remind us 3 times a week that we were receiving shock treatment because nothing else worked. This created a fear that you loose all hope of ever getting better or 'feeling normal'

 

For us

ECT worked, where all the years of medications, with experimenting doctors cocktails, trials and disappointments, leaves a feeling of hopelessness. Giving up, is close to not being able to cope, and no one to turn to. Lonely is guaranteed.

Barbaric? Many think so. ECT is only legal in 2 countries in the world. In the US, it has been banned in many States.

Can't argue it is at minimum, an extremely aggressive treatment for mental illness. Speaking of an illness carrying a chemical imbalance in the brain. An imbalance that lives with you for life.

Even though it helped me, the effects are extreme enough that, for me, causes doubt. The effects, specifically memory loss is what I believe caused me to get better. Not the treatments.

An aggressive set of 27 bi-lateral, consecutive sessions created memory loss I could not believe. Doctors know 4 months after treatment you are guaranteed to loose all memory of the year prior to these sessions. They have no way of knowing how or when other permanent memory loss will be effected. It is different for every patient.

I suppose aggressive therapy such as mine [maximum allowed] should be obvious to expect aggressive effects. It didn't occur to me how much of memory loss was possible.

I have lost 10 years, consecutive of memory, =nothing. I manage through people, pictures, and family to piece my years together and study them enough, they act as a form of some memory.

This is what causes me to hesitate upcoming treatments possibly again. How, when, what, who will I further forget? Weighing, ECT works for me, versus the large gaps of permanent memory loss.

The good news is my current cocktail of new medications, while seemingly insane by quantity, are working really well. Despite medical diagnosis, expecting I still will receive ECT, I won't at this point.

My point in all this, is detailed by Jeri. If she could have just waited until something clicked. Mental Illness can be treated, even the severe chemically imbalanced, like myself.

Hope for the mentally ill, is non-existent. But use and hold on to hope from the people around you.

 
 

ect from one flew over coo coos nest-Jack N

 
 

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Who Invented ECT?
... the broader term "shock therapy" also includes the use of chemical agents. The therapeutic possibilities of these treatments were discovered in the 1930s by Manfred Sakel, a Polish psychiatrist, using insulin; L. J. Meduna, an American psychiatrist, using Metrazol; and Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini, Italian psychiatrists, using electric shock.

What is ECT?
electroconvulsive therapy
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright
electroconvulsive therapy in psychiatry, treatment of mood disorders by means of electricity; the broader term "shock therapy" also includes the use of chemical agents. The therapeutic possibilities of these treatments were discovered in the 1930s by Manfred Sakel, a Polish psychiatrist, using insulin; L. J. Meduna, an American psychiatrist, using Metrazol; and Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini, Italian psychiatrists, using electric shock. Metrazol and insulin accounted for a very limited number of remissions in cases of schizophrenia. However, the injection of insulin often caused coma, while Metrazol and electric shock resulted in convulsions similar to those of epileptics. 

Advances in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have made it the standard mechanism of shock therapy. ECT has had unquestionable success with involution melancholia and other depressive disorders, although it may be ineffective or only temporarily effective. ECT is generally employed only after other therapies for depression, mania, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have proven ineffective. The administration of anesthetics and muscle relaxants prior to ECT has greatly reduced the risk of injury during the procedure, which is typically administered six to eight times over a period of several weeks. The seizure lasts for up to 20 seconds, and the patient can be up and about in about an hour. Long-term memory loss is the main significant potential side effect; headache and temporary short-term memory loss may occur. Why ECT works, however, is still not fully understood, but it may be the result ofneurotransmitters released in the brain as a result of the seizure. 

Bibliography: See A. S. Hermreck and A. P. Thal, The Adrenergic Drugs and Their Use in Shock Therapy (1968); L. B. Kalinowsky and H. Hippius, Pharmacological, Convulsive, and other Somatic Treatments in Psychiatry (1969).

 
 
My partner in Mayhem, and Porcelain Princess Jeri
My partner in Mayhem, and Porcelain Princess Jeri

I needed my other porcelain princess, yet she did perish, on purpose.

 

Jeri

Jeri was not as fortunate as I. She did successfully kill herself on her last attempt just past a year ago. We use to laugh and poke fun at each other. She actually made life worth living on the inside, as we called it. It was always understood we were going to off ourselves soon as we got out, and even found a way to laugh at the fact she was my 'black' up to make sure.

Later came Sooner

And I got stronger, better but sad that I was realizing it's a crap shoot with all the struggles ECT still provides to it's patients.

For Jeri, it didn't work. I wouldn't have guessed this at all. In her decision, I respect her desperation to rid of pain she could not handle. May she have done so, and be at peace with no pain.



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