2my moods. I could have been learning that relaxation and stress reduction techniquesand fun activities can help reduce the symptoms. I could have been learning that Iwould probably feel a lot better if my life wasn’t so hectic and chaotic, if I wasn’t livingwith an abusive husband, if I spent more time with people who affirmed and validatedme, and that support from other people who have experienced these symptoms helps alot. I was never told that I could learn how to relieve, reduce and even get rid of troubling feelings and perceptions. Perhaps if I had learned these things and had beenexposed to others who where working their way through these kinds of symptoms,
Iwould not have spent weeks, months and years experiencing extreme psychotic moodswings while doctors searched diligently to find effective medications.Now the times have changed. Those of us who have experienced these symptoms are sharinginformation and learning from each other that these symptoms do not have to mean that we mustgive up our dreams and our goals, and that they don’t have to go on forever. We have learnedthat we are in charge of our own lives and can go forward and do whatever it is we want to do.People who have experienced even the most severe psychiatric symptoms are doctors of allkinds, lawyers, teachers, accountants, advocates, social workers. We are successfullyestablishing and maintaining intimate relationships. We are good parents. We have warmrelationships with our partners, parents, siblings, friends and colleagues. We are climbingmountains, planting gardens, painting pictures, writing books, making quilts, and creatingpositive change in the world.
And it is only with this vision and belief for all people that we canbring hope for everyone.