reblogging because seasonal.
Pantene commercial illustrating perceptions of women vs. men in the workplace
When people on tumblr talk about mental illness they’re thinking of pretty boys and girls with low self esteem who make scratches on their wrists and skip dinner and reblog black & white pictures & Sylvia Plath quotes.
They don’t think of the emaciated middle-aged lady with borderline personality disorder who’s on a Narcan drip due to a repeat methadone overdose with the rotting teeth who will cry and curse you and all medical professionals because she’s claims to always be in pain and everyone brushes her off as a drug seeker and will twist and manipulate all your responses back on you so there is nothing you can say or do to make it better.
They don’t post pictures of the morbidly obese schizophrenic who has stopped taking her heart medication again either because she’s homeless and can’t afford them or she believes she doesn’t need them and has a dangerously high heart rate but rips out all her IVs because we’re trying to kill her. She will smell bad because she will defecate on herself and will fight with anyone trying to clean her up, which is a difficult task anyway given her size and immobility, also her toes are necrotic because she hasn’t been taking her diabetes medication either.
Or the veteran who became homeless after developing PTSD & alcoholism, causing his wife & kids to leave him. His lower legs and arms have been amputated because someone thought it would be funny to set him on fire while he slept in the street. He panhandles for money to buy liquor, when he can’t get any he goes into withdrawal seizures and ends up on our unit.
The alcoholic with kidney failure who misses his dialysis appointment and ends up with dangerous hypertension and critical lab results. He will also curse at you and try to refuse most cares, including having his blood pressure taken. You have to remove the sharps box from his room because he will steal syringes, cheek his pills, then chew them up & mix them with tap water and inject them into his dialysis port. You know this because he is also frequently in the hospital with blood infections.
Mental illness is a messy, angry, grueling experience for both the victims and the people around them. Even though I work on a medical floor, in the public county hospital I would estimate at least 3/4 of my patients have co-morbid psychiatric issues. Issues that if they didn’t have they may not have the medical problems for which they are being hospitalized. In my experience mental illness is correlated with poverty and a deficit of self-care. They are more often to be “repeat customers,” the ones all the nurses dread having on their assignment. Their complex needs and demands are draining physically and emotionally.
I believe severe mental illness can be just a terminal as cancer. But you don’t see it getting the same amount of government lobbying or media attention. What you do see in the movies are those pretty white middle class girls and boys who maybe sad or angry and count pretty pills and listen to heavy music and drink and sleep around and live like rock stars even though they’re very sad inside until they see a therapist and have a Great Epiphany about the Meaning of Life and go on to do great things.
What about those who can’t have treatment, who have no safety net? The ones born to family that can’t afford a $4 prescription co-pay but the mother always finds a way to pay for her pack of cigarettes? No one to care enough to notice they need help and make sure they get the medical & psychiatric attention they need? Where do they end up?
They end up here. Scraped off the side of the road like so much roadkill, haphazardly patched up, then pushed back out into the world that ran them over in the first place.
Who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?
December Pokédex Challenge day 1! Favorite bug Pokémon: Joltik!
it’s so cute and tiny and fluffy.