Maybe I should just call this “garbanzo beans” instead of nuts. Or something like that.
I was shunted into two day programs for TWO YEARS after I got out of the hospital the first time.
While I was 20 pounds overweight at the time I received no counseling about what to eat and how to lose weight.
This was circa 1987 to 1989. I hope things have gotten better close to 30 years later.
I had to take initiative on my own to start sessions with an MD who had a private practice focused on health and nutrition.
This has me wondering about whether most individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia today have the courage to speak up and tell their treatment providers: “Don’t snowball me. I need real help.” Not to be strung along in an endless day program where they might give up hope of having a better life.
An actual journal entry I wrote at that time I inserted in my memoir Left of the Dial: “I feared if I stayed here any longer, I would give up on myself like the others had.” Strong words yet true.
I don’t call myself a “consumer” because I think that term is derogatory. I prefer to use the term peer if I have to talk about individuals with mental illnesses. This is because I’m not going to advance a dangerous agenda where I tell people not to take medication and to refuse treatment: like so-called consumers do.
Better treatment does exist yet it’s often hard to find. And what if a person doesn’t have the courage or has negative symptoms and isn’t able to initiate a conversation about health and nutrition?
I’m compelled to think we can’t let treatment providers off the hook. They need to be the ones to start talking about these things with their patients.
Better health=a better life.
I wrote about cucina povera in the Left of the Dial blog last Thursday. Mostly because I’m going to start writing about things I no longer will write about at HealthCentral. One of the things I want to focus on is how health trumps money every day of the week.
Since a lot of people with schizophrenia live on a low income I want to start talking about how to have a better life and to enrich your life during lean times.
I’ll end here with the idea that I’ll use the term garbanzo beans instead of nuts.
Who else I ask you is talking and writing about these things? I’d like to know. I’d like to hear from other peers whether anything has changed 30 years later.