Monday, May 9, 2011

We Discuss Three Mis-Diagnosed Mental Illnesses

Okay, so we started writing this last night and we we're going to add some more resources to the page today, but when we were searching through all the stuff online (there is soooo much) and we couldn't get far. It's harder than you might think. Just because we have it doesn't mean we want to read about it from websites that say things like 50% of psychiatrist don't believe it exists...and read in forums people saying that it's all bullshit and it never existed and it never will exist. Despite what people might think this is something that's been around longer than people may realize, documented cases at that. There are, however, a lot of good resources available online, you just have to read through them for fact, ones that clearly don't contain some sort of bias terminology.

And btw, we are aware that people don't think it is real. But guess what? Yep. you guessed it. We don't give a fuck about them, We're not asking for anything, we're not using it as an excuse for our behaviour, we work, we try to function within our system - we've been doing it since we were 6 - we've said before that we always take responsibility for the thing each other does - doesn't mean we understand some of the things each of us do, but doesn't change the fact that we have to be responsible for our actions, just like everyone else. You not thinking it's real doesn't change the fact that we know what our day to day life is like (or sometimes, we don't know), and THAT'S how we know it's real.

Anyway. We can't provide as much information for you as we wanted to. This is generally why we like to do an entire post at once, because the topics are alter driven, and when some of them are stronger influences than others...we can't finish what we started. Particularly when it's topics like we write about here. Give us something not related to us to write about and we can go the distance - we used to write some wicked University papers.

What follows below is what was written last night. We are sure that there were plans to elaborate after the resourced information. We just can't finish it. We are, apparently, going to go for a walk instead, and buy a vacuum cleaner filter - something we were supposed to have done yesterday.


If any of our readers experience any of these disorders and would like to guest blog for us this month and talk about what it's like for them, we'd love to write a brief intro and hand an entry over to know how to reach us...we're everywhere on the internet...


In the spirit of Mental Health Month we are dedicating Mondays to providing some resources to help you learn about some disorders, while we learn too. This week we will start with Bipolar, Schizophrenia and MPD/DID.

There are many disorders within these three that we will discuss in Mondays to come; eating disorders, sleeping disorders, anxiety disorders - we have all of them between us, and all of them are fairly manageable on some level, and very common among those who suffer from DID/MPD. (just adds to the fun hell that we sometimes live)

We've written before that about 11 years ago we were diagnosed with
 manic depression (bipolar), depression and social anxiety disorder, a year following that we were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Being misdiagnose with these disorders, when you have Dissisoiative Identiy Disorder, if fairly common. We read somewhere that it takes almost 8 years for it to get diagnosed properly.

Despite having these diagnoses we've never been overly interested in learning about any of them. The Other Girl didn't want any of us to study too much about it, though she did have a general interest in psychology - we aced the first year psych class at university without even having to show up to class. It was so fucking logical, it was almost boring. Had we not moved on to another University when we did, we may have delved into additional Psych classes, but who knows. With as many interests as we have we took such a variety of classes that it was hard to funnel it all into one thing, we took environmental studies, dance classes (Ballroom, thank you very much), nonprofit leadership, poetry, history, we even tried taking a philosophy course, along with our art courses and communications courses, but we were on the cusp of moving during our third term, and  had almost a double course load that semester, so that was the first class to be dropped when push came to shove. We couldn't always understand what was going on in that class anyway. We'd probably do much better now, 9 years or so later.

When the course offerings came out each term we could hardly wait to try to figure out what to take and fit them together. It was like Tetris with time slots (we LOVE Tetris).

Anyway, off track there...we happen to know people in real life that have bipolar disorder (an old roommate we had was a sufferer), and we know people with schizophrenia... and who doesn't know at least one person on medication for depression or some sort of anxiety disorder. Some of them are legitimate, but we can't all be blind the drastic increase in people who get put on medication, the drug companies line their pockets with prescriptions and then fill them with money. Being sad is normal sometimes, but drug companies feed on people who don't want to learn why they are sad, or learn other ways to deal with it, or people who want instant gratification on happiness.

Ick. That's turning into a rant. We hate medication, okay? It makes us all lethargic and useless. The Other Girl went off of the medication they had finally settled her on, last June. She had been on it since the diagnoses of schizophrenia. They had cycled through a bunch of meds for us and landed on an anti-depressant - the only thing we needed in the end. Why they didn't see then that they had diagnosed us wrong, we have no clue. Call it Midwest state paid psychiatry "at it's best"....just because they have the degree doesn't mean they can apply the book learnin'..

Anyway, we know people that have what we've been diagnosed with...enough to know that that's not what we have, or have ever had (we knew we didn't have any of that anyway, but we'll be damned if anyone was going to separate us from The Other Girl in those days, or from each other now). Our "problem" had been being able to keep our trap shut so well, from the very first time we went to a (family) counselor, who by the way asked us to stop seeing her because she could not handle us and The Brothers - a fact that Angry Brother reminded us of a couple of weeks ago. One of us thought we wrote it in a blog entry but we can't locate it, so we thought it was worth mentioning here. it may or may not be around.

So, we started reading more about these disorders and do they ever sound similar - it's not black and while, it's a gradient of symptoms seeping through, running all over the page, mingling with each other. It's no wonder, with no background information on our abuses' through life from one doctor to another, that they didn't see what the problem was.

Contrasting the Three Very Different Disorders

People with bipolar disorder usually can lead fairly “normal” lives, hold down a regular job, have a happy relationship and family, even be very successful in a career. People with bipolar disorder do not hear voices that aren’t there, and they do not have multiple personalities in their bodies. People with bipolar disorder do best when they stick to some treatment regimen.
Many people with schizophrenia often have a more difficult time functioning in normal society. Because of the nature of the disorder, people with schizophrenia often have a hard time staying in treatment, and an even harder time with social relationships, family, friends, and work. Still one of the most stigmatized disorders in mental health, help in many communities can be hard to come by and many people with schizophrenia end up homeless and forgotten by their family and society.People with schizophrenia who have strong community and family support and resources do well, and can lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives, with rewarding family and social relationships. People with schizophrenia can be depressed or manic, but it is usually as a result of the schizophrenia itself (e.g. they are depressed because they have schizophrenia). If a person hears voices (not all people with schizophrenia do), they do not recognize the voices as being a part of themselves. 
People with multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder (DID), can often lead successful, “normal” lives with healthy, happy relationships with others. While, like people with schizophrenia, they can “hear voices” in their head, the voices are recognized by the person as different identities within themselves (not as external voices from outside themselves). Such identities may help the person function in life, and may allow the person to live their lives with only disruption. Others with DID have a more difficult time, because the identities take over parts of their life, making accounting for time throughout the day challenging and frustrating. While a person may become depressed with DID, it is secondary to the DID symptoms themselves (e.g., the person is depressed because they are trying to cope with their DID).People seem to most often confuse someone who is suffering from schizophrenia with someone who has dissociative identity disorder. While both are chronic, serious mental health concerns, the differences between these two disorders are stark. People with schizophrenia hear or see things that aren’t there and believe things that aren’t true, often tied into a complex, irrational belief system. They do not have multiple identities or personalities. People with DID do not have delusion beliefs, outside of their multiple personalities or identities. The only voices they hear or talk to are these identities

For the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be posting this at he bottom of each of our entries, to help provide additional information about us, and about DID/MPD

10 Things You Should Know About US That MIGHT Surprise YOU:
  1. We used to be a Baptist missionary (yeah, can you fucking believe that shit?!) [we are NOT religious]
  2. We were once married (didn’t last long) [one of our stories talks about him]
  3. We have had nearly 30 physical addresses in 30 years, mostly as an adult (nothing could contain us in the early days) [we actually own a house, but choose not to live in it]
  4. We’ve lived in 2 countries: 1 province and 6-7 different states (running much)
  5. We have lost 120 pounds since the age of 24 (100 of it when we were 24) [and it's close to 140 pounds now)
  6. We have a full time job (well, now it's 32 hours a week - but they actually let us work around the other humans!) [it get's harder everyday, and this is the longest we've ever had a single job since we were 17. We've been there almost a year]
  7. We deal with social anxiety type symptoms every day (and these days we choose not to leave home much, but for going to work) [there are about three people we feel comfortable with being in public with and sometimes we have to be out there alone]
  8. We have multiple “mental illness” diagnoses (doesn't everybody?) [p.s. all misdiagnosed]
  9. We have two beautiful cats, who piss us off every day (but they are special, because they put up with us) [though one of us hates them beyond belief]
  10. We have struggled to survive, over and over, defeating the odds thrown against us (read our stories) [seriously, how are we not dead yet?]

    We've copied the stories written here that are specifically about our past (mostly abuse) and moved them to our other blog, called:
Addressing The Issue of Frank: The Origins, History and Life Story of Frank, from "Just Call Me Frank: One Womans Endeavour At Being Frank"  
Some of our writing on this blog we like to promote, these are those entries since mid-January 2011. There are bits of writing in this blog that we do not actually promote due to embarrassment over things that some have written - they are here for our own tracking - they are angry, mean, scary things. If you feel like it you can find them on your own. Here are the highlights of what we have written so far this year:

The Mental Health Entries: 
Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder
Humour/Random Fun:

If you have any questions for us we are very open and will answer to our best ability - this is totally the month to ask us questions. You can either ask us on Twitter, in the comment section of a blog entry here, or e-mail us at justcallmefrank2010 (at)

Resources for You - facts, figures and personal stories of other people can be found on these sites:
National Institute of Mental Health:
American Psychological Association:
Canadian Mental Health Association:
Mental Health Europe:
World Psychiatric Association:

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