Mark’s Journey: Trapped – Six days in a bad Mental Health facility

Been out of pocket for a couple weeks, unfortunately experiencing the dark side of a mental health facility.  I discuss the events and unbelievable activity that took place in my six days at the facility in a vlog post.  Everyone, stay strong, and know that getting treatment is still the best way to go…just be careful and make sure you find the right provider and/or facility!  Take care everyone!

Mental Health First Aid

Recently I took a Mental Health First Aid certification course.  It was a great experience and I talk about the class and its benefits in the video below.  I had never heard of this type of class until I stumbled upon it, but was glad I found it and took the class.  It was informative, helpful, and I believe a great tool to help battle the negative and ridiculous stigmas surrounding mental health.  They have classes all over the country and there are organizations who offer this type of class outside of the US as well.  Here is the link to the Mental Health First Aid USA site.

So…are you crazy or something?

I’ve always tried to be very open to the fact that I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 1, 2, 3. I don’t necessarily wear it as a badge of honor but I’m also not ashamed of having mental health issues any more than I’m ashamed of having to take medicine to help control my high blood pressure or cholesterol. I also take medicine to control seasonal allergies and I’m Vitamin D deficient. There you have it, my health issues in a nutshell. Please feel free to run away, flail and scream if you need to…I understand seasonal allergies can be a scary thing.

I don’t know why I feel like I have to start out conversations regarding behavioral health with a smart-ass opening. Actually, that’s a lie, I know why I do it; I feel it provides me with a “guilt-buffer” for those who might not make it to the second paragraph. I’m always assuming people will see “mental health” and run, or proceed to discredit anything I have to say from that point forward. It’s a very glass-half-empty approach, I get that, but we do live in a world where we are vastly entertained and tremendously ill informed on so many issues of merit. I worry that as soon as that phrase, mental health, is uttered I have to use a “don’t judge me because my serotonin absorption levels are not at peak performance…it’s not my fault”!!! Ahhhhh…overthinking; classic side effect of OCD. I promise, the irony of this is not lost on me.

Anyhow, the original reason I started this post was to provide an update on a new type of therapy I am trying called EMDR 4, 5. It’s a relatively new therapy that was originally used for those with PTSD and other trauma related disorders. However, its efficacy has been so promising that it has been used, and tweaked, to help treat other disorders such as anxiety, depression, and OCD. I am working with a new therapist who specializes in EMDR and who has had success tailoring the technique to treat conditions such as mine. We are in the early stages and laying the groundwork, which has been tough. Much of the early work involves listing out “negative history” and bringing uncomfortable items to the forefront so that they can be confronted, and ultimately dealt with. While these exercises have increased my anxiety quite a bit, I at least feel there is a logical conclusion to this increased discomfort.

I am curious though, have any of you had experiences with trying EMDR? Good or bad, I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have regarding EMDR, mental health, or heck, even my seasonal allergies.