Category Archives: Bipolar Disorder

What Makes a Friendship, a *Friend*-*ship?*

(by Necessity, this wil have to be sort of Generic, and non-specific to either time nor circumstance--lest anyone may be adversely 
affected)

It is incredibly frustrating–dealing with the vagaries of living with Attention Deficit Disorder; 4 Concussions, (3 in my Childhood, from falling, or running away from Bullies; one from being Assaulted at a Drive-in Theater, as a Young Adultall four Injuring the back of the Head, right at the bottom of the Skull; all four affecting my Frontal Lobe–nowadays, though the causes (war, rather than childhood carelessness, bullies) are different, the resulting “TBI,” or “Post-Concussive Syndrome”  is identical, and devastating.

When One must go through Life, with these added (Invisibly pervasively-disruptive, yet nearly-undetectable), dis-Abilities, misunderstandings, missed-out Social Cues, misinterpreted Actions, Disastrous Decisions, and/or Reactions are indeed par for the course, and (hard as it may be to Forgive OneSelf One’s perceived Guilt, or Pain), it is at these times it is Imperative we Lift Up our View, striving to See the Bigger Picture(s).

It is also Essential to Cultivate within One’s Self the Capacity of Total and Complete Forgiveness of Self–for Your Actions; of Others–for becoming inadvertently Hurt, (at times) Furious, (frequently) Angry and Frustrated enough to End the formerly Great Friendship. When this occurs, I’m unsure to Whom I feel more Compassion, and Sorrow for: The Friend, who in their Hurt State of Mind, Huffs and Puffs, indignantly, (leading the Other to make even more Confused, likely-uneeded, premature, impulsive, regrettable) Decisions–the Friendship Cracked Open…; Friends-no more; or the Other, who in their Unreliably Frontal Lobe’s Confusion and Perplexing Thought Process, Acts, or Says Something Irrevocably-Unpardonable…, at least, by the average Human Being, anyway–only to (if not immediately), soon after, albeit, too late, wish they could take it back.

For the Second time in five (5) years, my (Invisibly dis-)Abled, (miswired) Brain, caused a Rift with the second of my two Best Friends–Who, in turn, (Interpreting my Innocently-Meant Efforts at Mitigating a Greater Stress on the Friendship), as Insultingly-Disrespectful; I’ve no Idea, at this time, whether and if our Friendship can or will survive my brain’s malfeasance.

The Consequences from Miscommunicated Intentions            

(It’s been three months, since I began writing this; and truthfully, I don’t remember where I intended to go with this. Nonetheless, the portions I Had written before, are still relevant. Moreover, anyone who experiences any and/or all the above or similar conditions, will Understand perfectly where I intended to go with it, and be able to fill in the blanks. As for me, frankly, apologizing constantly gets old very fast…, it can even get you fired–this latter one I’ve experienced myself, so I Know it to be True! Therefore, no apologies for an unfinished post; the Third One in One day–Oops! I must be Manic😞…                                                           

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An “About me” that became a Post

About Me: Artist, Journalist, Piano Composer, Performer; Lifelong Advocate for Acommodations, for the “Invisibly dis-Abled”, on Par to That Afforded and Accorded to both: the Physically, and Intellectually-Challenged Populations, but NOT Us! There are Unjust, Asinine Laws in place, SPECIFICALLY SINGLING-OUT the Neuro-Biologically dis-Abled, for INFERIOR, USSR-like, LIMITED “(Mental) Health Care.”

We’re stuck with mediocre “5-minute-‘psychiatrists’,” who never bother making eye-contact, herding us, into their make-shift “Office,” eyes stuck on their Laptops; ask a few Pre-set questions, click “send” on the computer, with their prescriptions renewal directly to your Pharmacy; gets up from their chair, walks towards the door, herding you right out–THERE’s NO HUMAN INTERACTION, WHATSOEVER! (Speaking with other Individuals, from other Counties, we’ve concluded this to be a Wide Phenomenon, not just in my County).

This neglect by design of my Group of Individuals (see Blog‘s Name) is an abhorrent way of dealing with the 1 in 4 Americans, who’ll experience such circumstances in their Lifetimes! And, BTW, (at least in my State), if One is a “Dual Eligible” Patient (i.e.: Have Both Medicare AND Medicaid)–Psychiatrically-speaking–One is literally “Screwed

By LAW, EVEN IF WE PAY CASH TO THE PSYCHIATRIST OF OUR CHOICE, IT’s ILLEGAL FOR THAT PSYCHIATRIST TO SEE YOU…, (I know! I had a Hard time Believing it, too…, until I Researched it, and found there was Indeed such a Law).

(Considering all the Propaganda, and Fear-Mongering going on in the Mainstream media, about “Mentally-Disturbed,” and worst, as “Souless Killers“), this “Law” is one of the most Absurd, Discriminatory, Dangerous, Ridiculous, Asinine, Preposterous, Corrupt Laws I’ve ever heard about.

And furthermore, it is Taylor-made to affect an already-Embattled, Maligned, unjustly Feared, unjustly Treated, easily-killed by “Authorities, (barely) trained in Mental Health Issues…,

the most extremely Vulnerable of ALL this Country‘s…, Nay, the World’s Populations–those with Severe Mental Illness, (now quaintly designated within the Medical and Insuring Professions: “SMIs which is one more way to: 1. Dehumanize us/further exacerbating Stigma; and 2. Dilute out the Significance of the Truth:

“We’re Individuals, going through Life, with the Added Burden of Living and Dealing with one (or more) SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS…,” (“SMIs!” How quaintly Insulting this Acronym is)!

Au Contraire–In SPITE of this Willful Neglect by Society and Authorities alike; In SPITE of Stigma, We’re thriving, as Artists, Writers, Poets, Painters, Thinkers, Visionaries, Presidents, Movers and Shakers, Governors, Cultural Creatives,…, ALL OF WHOM carry within themSelves this awful Stigma-based Secret:what’‘ll happen if my Constituency (my Fans, my Board of Directors, the Guy Running for Office, who suddenly stopped answering your Communications, for whom you were to play the Piano…) finds out I’m on an “Anti-Mania,” or an “Anti-Psychotic,” or an “Anti-Anxiety” Medication?

I’ll be ‘Ruined’!” So they Distance themselves from You…, as if You’ve the Plague!

Of course, in a Society ruled by sane people, this scenario wouldn’t occur. Too bad the opposite is the Truth.

I’m Done! (With the Diatribe portion).


I may Write about much and diverse Subjects, most gleaned from my Own “Buttons”–which Life has pushed on me–to figure out how to deal with.

Underneath it ALL, the Underlying “raisón d’être” for All I Do, Comes Back to a Single Purpose: “Living and Dealing with Life–its challenges, epiphanies, Spiritual Growth and Joy, whilst Surviving and Thriving In Spite of a DevastatinglyLife-and-Relationships-Disrupting Condition called: “Manic Depression.” (I don’t like calling it “Bipolar” as there are huge amounts of Misinformation, Misconception and Double-Speak in its “Bipolar-…” Nomenclature).


It’s Time I’d Show the World the Real “Face of “Mental Illness:” (mine)

Featured image

Photo, Self-Portrait, by Clarisse, 2011, PA, USA

Here it is, World: The Face of an “SMI” Individual!.

(Do I Look “Crazy” to You?) Me neither!


Finally: What Defines me Best?

I’m An Advocate! Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow…, until my Natural Transition Time comes.🙂 ma89

A Pause for Blue Ribbon Minds Month

Hi, This entry is in Response to a Story Re a Secret Vid Released by an Incarcerated Transgender Woman. Since–though a Hetero, myself–I personally do have LGBTH Friends, these Issues touch me.

OTOH, since May is “Blue Ribbon Minds Month”–and I’ve been carrying this story with me, it happened to me, in 2012–I’m now making it Public here, for the first Time.

(Please Note This entry was originally written, as a Comment on Someone else’s Blog. Since it became so long, I placed it here, instead): l

The same problem (forbiddance of ANYTHING with a Mic and/or Camera, along with severe maltreatment by staff) also exists in Hospital (Adult “Baby-Sitting”) “Psych” Wards–supposedly “treating” the Vulnerable Individuals , who are placed there, Voluntarily or involuntarily. For the Record, this isn’t something like “Hearsay ,” or any such thing! As my Blog’s Name implies: “manicartist…” I’m an Individual with a Genetically-Inherited, Lifelong (Blessing in Disguise) condition, called “Manic Depression,” (currently fadishely called “Bipolar… This, or That.“). Frankly, from what I’ve personally experienced, on five separate, vastly different occasions, under different circumstances–with, but a Single Exception, at an Expensive, Private, “Hospital” which appeared more a Resort SPA, than a Psychiatric Hospital–Three of the Five Hospitals had Staff and Policies, not unlike that mid-1970s’ Movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” (with Jack Nicholson), most even had the Quintessential “Nurse Ratchet,” One, in Houston, Texas, had both, Ratchet, an Overly-muscled Bully…err Security guard, so big his standing in the Middle of the Lock up Ward, left little space for the actual Patients

I Often Felt it was THEY, the Ones, Who Should Be Locked-Up, by the ” Men in the White Coats;” Not Us In my View, the level of…, (passive-aggressive…, dare I say: bordering on Cruel…), their Behavior towards Us is not Only Extremely Traumatizing, Inhumane…, It was/Is Downright Criminal!

Therefore, the Issue here, is HOW WE’RE TREATED, while (essentially) “Incarcerated.”

My Experience was nothing Healthy. It was all Harrowingly Traumatizing–and this is the 1st time I make it Public, (after all, May IS “Blue Ribbon Minds” Month).

It was late May, 2012; my Youngest Son was about to go on a Year-long Bicycle/Camping Trip, through Eurasia, starting with 2.5 months in China, always going West.

My stress Level was extremely High, but otherwise–though Worried, as any Loving Mother, in her Right Mind, Would–I was Stable.

Since my “15-minute Psychiatrist” wasn’t the type to Listen to me, I’d made a timed 15-Min Video of myself, hoping to simply give him a “Heads-Up” of what type of Motherly ordeal I was about to go through, until Mid-2013.

As Someone who Lives with a set of Conditions such as mine, I Believed it The Responsibly sensible thing to Do.

Boy, was I WRONG! <

Since I did have a history of Suicide Attempts–the last being nearly 30 years ago, and I no longer believed in such Solution to problems–I naively told him on the Video, using the big "S" word he needn't worry, due to my Knowings (ie: Reincarnation, etc), such wouldn’t be cause of concern.

Before he even finished the Video, he put my iPod Touch down, took some Notes, made a brief Phone call, and in about 10-15 minutes, I was met outside his office by 2 Female Nurses, accompanied by 2 “Butchie” (man-like) Female Armed Guards; all 4 of whom stayed with me until the Ambulance Arrived.

Immediately upon spotting the guns, a rising m yet well-guarded Panic attack began rising within me. Since I was nicely dressed in a Classy Paisley Midi, split Skirt, and Matching sleeveless Blouse, and my Hair was up done Casually but Stylishly, I don’t wear Makeup, they did treat me with Dry Cordiality.

During the Ride, fearing the worst, And seized by a Panic Attack, I made the mistake of Deleting my Video Message…, Now I had No proof my (former) Psychiatrist’d lie through his teeth about my condition, both for my Admission, and 5 days later to a Judge, trying to keep me in, 21 additional days.

Upon arrival at “3North” Ward, (as it is known by the community), I was dispossessed of EVERYTHING, sandals and all; all I was allowed to keep were my Skirt, panty, and Blouse, no Bra Allowed, no Hair Pins, only a Simple HeairBand for a Ponny tail was given me. For the next five (5) days, I was systematically DENIED Medications I needed, whilst Medicated with Medication I’d taken in the past with bad Results…, this latter, and their Refusal at providing me Valerian Root tea (Nature’s Xanax), and Dandelion Root tea (Nature’s Valium), somehow Uninhibited my “No-Cussing” self-Policy, and every day at around 2pm, out came the extremely Labile, Saylor-Mouthed (someone else from within me, I could neither stop, nor recognize) who did not let up her Cynicism, Mouthiness, Rudeness (Mind you, this behavior was strictly directed To Staff and Doctors, alike, NOT other Patients, with most of Whom, I got along quite well).

I also couldn’t stop being ultra-cynnical, (reportedly) Disruptive, during the Silliest of Groups, we had each afternoon–led by a(n obviously-untrained) Nurse’s Aide, going through the “News” of the day ,(all-Censored, of course), from the local Newspaper.

Since my Bachelors is Print Journalism, with a large Dose of Philosophy (E and W), including Self-audited Courses from Oxford University’s Philosophy Dept, via Podcasts, in Critical Thinking, Logic, and Anything else Prof. Marianne Talbot would Lecture about.

I’d uncontrollably blurt out what I thought of those “News.”

All the same, not just me, we were all Infantilized, treated as if we were two-year-olds, yet expected to Behave to Staff and each other like Mature, Stable, 50-Something Un-Medicated Individuals…

The way we were treated with threats of being locked in our rooms, for hours, the Lack of Real Activities, being made fun of, not being listened to–treated worse than children, all of it, has allowed me to (years later), realize WHY they confiscated my Sole Source of Meditative Music and Uplifting, Anxiety-Reducing Device (my iPod Touch): not only did it have a Mic and Camera, it could also record Vids, and connect to the Outside, Via WiFi.

Thus, ultimately, like the Transgender Woman and her Treatment in the Georgia Jail, Mirrors somewhat, HOW we, the so-called “Mentally Ill” have, are, and still will be, in the foreseable future, “Treated” either in Jail or in Hospital’s Psych Wards. The Total Lack of Freedom, and Truly Insane Treatment we’re dished-out, is nearly the same.

In my Case, the Hospital’s staff always searched Visitors and whatever was brought to me. They also would do “sweeps” of our rooms when we were busy elsewhere in the ward–things disappeared, went to the wrong side, from where they’d been…, our Fragile Minds made even more Fragile by their totally incompetent, Inhumane, Idiotic, Unnecessarily Cruel, Infantilizing OverDrugging, Poor-Food Choices (I’m Vegetarian & they literally made fun of my refusing to eat meat, esp. when I said I didn’t wish to “lower my Energetic Frequency, by doing so…” (something which is perfectly Normal in my System of Understanding of Life). Their comment to the Doctor about this, was Ignorantly disparaging, at best; Utterly Incompetent, at its Worst.

Reading about this Secret Video, made me truly wish we could somehow do the same at a few of the Psych Wards I’ve been in. This last one, being a most Traumatizing, unforgettable, Life-and-Mind-Changing Experience.

Rather than whatever “Healing” the Doctor may have pretended to see happen, failed miserably!

My takeaway from it was Fear of Institutionizatiion, A fruitless Searching for a better Psychiatrist; Learning I COULD NEVER TRUST ANOTHER DOCTOR, PSYCHIATRIST, THERAPIST, ADVOCACY GROUP MEMBER…, No-One in this Field…, Ever Again! Indeed, in my View, they’re all a Bunch of Dr. Mengelas…!

They nearly Destroyed Who I Did Come to Be–a Lightworker! Nonetheless, the scars, the mistrust remain.

My Applause for those with Courage enough (and the Friends outside) who’ll Dare do what she Did. We’re All One, and when Anyone suffers, We All Suffer; when I’m Well (and in time, I WILL) , so will All of Us!

Ubuntu and Namastè, my friends! (Hug a Weird Stranger This month).

A Very Direct Entry, About “Blue Ribbon Minds,” and “Stigma”

Pictured below, is a Magnet, I bought, in 2012, from the local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), I had Affixed on the Driver’s Side of my Car, and which will, once again, be affixed in my Next one:
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/090/59084046/files/2015/01/img_2209.jpgPhoto (cc)-Copyleft, 2015,
by Clarisse L Dodge, York, PA, USA (High Dissemination Allowed, and Hoped-for, Attribution is purely Optional)

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Much Love and Light, to Everyone, Especially to those currently Experiencing “Dark Night of the Soul”-type of Situation.

Believe me, when I say: “I HEAR You!

PS. Those of you who might not know, May is “Blue Ribbon Minds,” (BRMS, for short, I pronounce it “Brooms”). Month. We have less than 4 Months to Plan. What are we going to do about it? (NOTE: BRMS encompasses anyone with what, to society norms, are Miswired Brains). I’m One of them, and wear my Hat Nice and Tall. I’m neither Ashamed, nor Fearful of it…, but that’s another Post.