Mother’s Day

My mother drove me to the hospital within 24 hours of my break. I was given medication, and three weeks later the symptoms had stopped completely.

I differ from the “consumers” in the recovery movement because I think the medical model is valid: I’ve seen firsthand that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar have the best chance for a better life if we take maintenance medication.

The medical model is not as simple as “take your medication and be quiet and keep popping pills.” I understand that certain consumers interpret the medical model this way.

I don’t see it this way. I view taking medication as the foundation of having a fit mind in a strong body. Taking medication can give a person a competitive advantage so that we’re successful in life.

In this regard, I’m not a fan of the consumer recovery movement where consumers tell people not to take their medication because it’s better to remain psychotic than to be well.

Sometimes you can’t make it on your own. You might need medication to have the best chance at a great life.

I might be biased, yet I value remission because certainly if you have no symptoms or minimally intrusive symptoms you have an easier time of it in your recovery and your life.

It’s true that a person can be successful even if they have symptoms.

Yet my point is: why be doomed to having ongoing symptoms if getting the right help right away can stop the symptoms totally or at least reduce their effect so they’re not disruptive?

My point exactly.

I credit my mother’s one quick action to drive me to the hospital within 24 hours with enabling me to have a better life. Luckily, I was admitted and given medication the same day.

Nowadays, individuals are turned away and sent back out into the community where they get sicker and sicker every day they don’t get help.

And I’m not a fan of the current consumer “mother-bashing” where peers are told their families are to blame and that you shouldn’t listen to your mother or father.

Families that go through education about mental illnesses so that they can support their loved ones help their loved ones do better than if the loved one gets no support. NAMI hosts the 12-week Family-to-Family education course and hosts family support group meetings. Dial 800-950-6264 to find the name and telephone number of your local chapter that offers these programs.

This is the way I see it: I give all of the credit to my mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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