Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wellness Warrior

When I feel particularly angry about this illness, I dream I'm a Wellness Warrior. Last night, I looked like Keira Knightly in the film King Arthur although I was astride a horse like Clive Owen. I was leading 10,000 warriors on a Crusade (without the religious connotation) against the National Institutes of Mental Health. I carried a scroll stating our demands, which I presented to Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison (yes, I realize that she works at Johns Hopkins but this was just a dream).

We were asking for the following: 1. Insurance Parity. 2. Reclassification of the illness as a behavioral or neurological one to destigmatize it. 3. A Jobs Assistance Program, in which applicants could either get funding for retraining or for education. There would be tax credits for organizations that provided part-time, flextime, or freelance jobs for bipolars. There would be easily accessible funding from the Small Business Administration. 4. State-of-the-art Bipolar Wellness Centers throughout the country. 5. Bipolar Wellness Programs, which offer similar services to Cancer Wellness Programs, including an array of free classes in the following areas: exercise, art therapy, music therapy, nutrition, guided visualization, mindfulness meditation, massage, and so much more.

2 comments:

Rob Johnson said...

Susan,

Have you read Kay Redfield Jamison's book, "An Unquiet Mind"? If so, what are you thoughts?

Thanks,

Rob

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Rob,
Yes, I've read it many years ago. At the time, it was helpful, because she's one of the few successful people who have overcome this illness. But she comes to it from the manic side, not the depressive side (like me). So, the fact that she took lithium and got better and has remained better did nothing for me.

Of course, she is one of the foremost researchers on this topic in the country. But I must admit, I disagree with a lot of what she writes, primarily that bipolar folks need to remain on medication for all of their lives. It's just not true for me.

Susan