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View Full Version : Crazy and HIV+--my story



reclaiming_life
June 13th, 2010, 06:00 AM
Hello everyone. I was diagnosed with HIV 5 years ago. I'd been prescribed a high dose of Adderall (amphetamine salts) for depression. Adderall is more commonly used for "ADHD" (kids+adults who are distracted) and narcolepsy (people who can't stay awake), but...my shrink decided my depression would respond well to speed; apparently, that's how they medicated depression way back when. ANYWAY, after several months, I had a psychotic episode brought on by the Adderall (a surprisingly common effect, I later learned), and I was locked up in a mental health+drug-treatment facility (basically, a mental hospital for drug addicts).

I don't remember being brough to the hospital or anything (I'd been sedated), but they apparently did an HIV test. I tested positive. My hospital shrink, a real douche bag, told me I was poz and then handed me over to a therapist for what I guess was supposed to be a comforting session--she didn't talk about HIV or anything, really. I was 20 years old.

Over the next couple years, my health declined, which was weird, b/c I *stopped* drugs. Word of my HIV+ status got out (its a small town and my hospital shrink told ppl about it--one time in front of me. In a bar.). I moved to another town and...improved. I went on a juice fast, started supplements, that sort of thing.

Now I'm 25 (almost 26), looking at over 5 years of being officially HIV+. I don't know what to make of the whole thing. My shrink at the mental hospital didn't bother to refer me to a specialist; neither did my outpatient shrink, whose prescriptions had landed me in the mental hospital. I guess a 20year old gay guy with HIV and "mental illness" (I've stopped all meds and rejected the concept of "mental illness") is supposed to just shut up, take his crazy pills, and die--preferably without infecting anyone else, of course.

In a way, I think I'm very lucky no one took the time to send me to a specialist. One of the first things I did when I got home was look up stories of long-term survivors with HIV. Surprise, surprise--there were a lot of them, and just as many "successful schizophrenics" had abandoned psychiatry in order to find actual "mental health," so too many "AIDS-patients" had to abandon the HIV Industry in order to get well.

Its been a long, tough road. I'm finally at a place in my life where I'm kind of happy. I'm moving and I'm going to re-start school, finally. I have friends and faith. I really think God got me through all this--I mean, no one else really seemed all the interested.

So now, I'm "reclaiming_life". Basically, I'm moving to a whole new area where I won't have to worry about my mental patient+AIDS patient identity catching up with me. I'm physically healthy to the point that I don't even get colds anymore; all I need to keep going are some supplements and a daily antihistamine.

Sometimes I fear I'm in "denial." Then, I remember that "denial" is pretty much a psychobabble concept used against people who refuse a diagnosis that someone (usually someone with more power) thinks they must accept. I deny "denial" and the psychobabblers who would use it and other such terms against me and fellow dissidents.

So that's my story. I'm here to talk, try to make buddies, etc.

Thanks for having me.

positivenegative
June 13th, 2010, 06:15 AM
Thank you for your talk. I was on the edge of my seat.

I've been on here for a few weeks and really enjoy the interaction.

It really helps to be in a dialogue I find. We are in the same boat but I'm more recent, a year and half.

You're a good writer too.

Ciao for now:)

jonathan barnett
June 13th, 2010, 12:23 PM
Welcome to QA, reclaiming_life. I remember Adderall well. I was prescribed it for ADD and fatigue. A lovely drug... which is why there's such a demand for it on the street.

Congrats on quitting it and any other psychotropics, and thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure you'll hear more from other members.

Brian Carter
June 13th, 2010, 08:32 PM
Alrighty then!

Anyone who lists themselves as crazy is perfectly Ok in my book!

Welcome Reclaiming_Life, a very very good moniker by the way, you have many new friends here and you're journey of understanding may have only just begun!

All the best to you.

Brian

truth84
June 14th, 2010, 04:42 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. It is great to hear that you have avoided most of the terror that the doctors and drugs cause. Chances are the less drugs you take, the healthier you will remain. I'm even a dissident with regards to the mental health industry as well. I'm sure that there are some cases where drugs can help but I believe that overall it is almost an identical situation as the physical health industry. Instead of doctors wanting to actually take the time to solve a problem properly, they want to medicate it away. As you have found yourself, the medication in some cases actually causes much larger problems. There are so many societal problems that it's no wonder so many people are depressed, disgruntled, or otherwise have emotional management issues.

The solutions for the most part don't involve drugs. With physical health, you can eat well, sleep right, exercise often, and minimize toxins. As to mental health, sometimes the best key in my opinion is a well-organized lifestyle. Balancing your time each day and your activities (work and play) and having interests, hobbies, and goals you are working on help to create the best state of mind. Having some healthy social activities are important as well. Many doctors couldn't care less if you trash your health and waste your mind as long as they have a drug to masquerade the problem away. Many of them want you to do this so that they keep making money. Western medicine is in a sad state of affairs. I wish you the best of luck.

gladalive
June 14th, 2010, 08:18 PM
Hi there reclaiminglife.

Good to hear your story. You are young and have so much of life ahead of you. It is good that you have figured things out, like how the meds for HIV are really bad to take.

Hey, we have something in common. I was psychotic once for a few days about 20 years ago. I got really sick with severe stomach pain after a trip to South America and when I came back to the US I had to be hospitalized for the stomach problem. I had been told before not to leave the country because I had colitis but I was only 21 years old and thought I was invincible so I still took off for South America. Any way, once in the hospital, due to the pain, I had stopped sleeping entirely for a few weeks and that was when the psychosis set in for a few days. I am sure it was the total lack of sleep that caused the psychosis but, of course, I don't think any one looked to that for an explanation. I don't even think any one really realized that I had totally stopped sleeping for a long time because of all the pain. Then, after a few days of sleep I just bounced completely back out of it.

So, hey, did they realize the psychosis might be due to the meds or did they just contribute it to something else like they ususally do? God knows they never want to blame the side effects of the HIV drugs on the actual meds. As far as I am concerned, it's the HIV doctors who are the denialists!

So, I am also HIV positive and was once upon a time told I was crazy for a short while. I am glad that Brian Carter still relates to us!

positivenegative
June 14th, 2010, 09:00 PM
It's a shame that hiv patients are under so much scrutiny but keep in mind too that when someone resists the predominate view of hiv/aids, depending on the services available, resistance may construe a mental problem that should be treated most likely with mo' pills.

I don't know for sure but when I resisted psychiatric assistance, as it seemed to be a condition of getting medical attention, is when higher authority was brought into the conversation. The lackey who was doing my intake wasn't good enough.

It was interesting too that it was as if I said a key word that stopped my intake worker in his steps. He stopped abruptly and with serious concern on his face and he said that it was no longer appropriate for him to do the intake.

I asked why and he was like a deer caught in headlights. He just had to get out of there to get real help who turned out to be a high priestess with a Masters Degree.

Throughout I was pleasant but I did express that I was not interested in their assistance and that the only reason I was there was by request of my doctor at the clinic.

I remember initially when I got the positive results and having an emotional breakdown that the worker was all to pleased to let me know that there will be a psychiatry "team" to help me and he practically got giddy about how I would be prescribed psychiatric drugs to help me cope with the bad news.

I could go on and on but suffice to say I did not like my experience with these so called helpful people.

It's been over a year now since that time and I'm not depressed or freaked out anymore. Any negative feeling I have now is understanding what I believe is to be an ultimate betrayal against the gay community and the whole world community as a whole.

But more so the gay community because its the gay community that suffered so much and for those who have towed or are towing the line believing that what they know is right is indeed wrong would be the ultimate horror. Denialism takes on a whole new meaning when the tables are turned.

Gos
June 15th, 2010, 09:46 AM
ReclaimingLife,

I dunno -- it sounds an awful lot to me like you were crazy and your doctors were 100% successful in curing you of it.

You used to take your doctors' diagnoses without question and swallow whatever pills they offered. That sounds like insanity to me.

But then, after all the bad experiences you had with drugs and doctors, you started questioning your doctors and stopped swallowing the pills. Your insanity was cured -- a true miracle of modern medicine!

(Of course, I'm just being facetious here.)

But if it's any consolation, it took me a hell of a lot longer than it took you to wise up to the fact that the for-profit medical industry exists for the sole purpose of creating more disease in order to make more money by medicating it. I only wish I'd woken up by the age of 25 -- I was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 20, took steroids for that until I was 30 and had osteoporosis and a prostate the size of a watermelon, and recurrent psychotic episodes ("roid rage") -- not to mention "full-blown AIDS" which I personally think was at least partly due to having taken prednisone for 10 years.

And yet, after all this, did I learn my lesson? Hell no - when my doctor told me I was HIV-positive, I started swallowing Viramune, Epivir, and Zerit like they were candy and I was a kid on Halloween.

So if I am to measure you against myself, I'd have to say that you're the sanest person I've ever met.

Welcome to the looney bin! :D

--- Gos
--- http://nerosopeningact.bandcamp.com

reclaiming_life
June 15th, 2010, 08:19 PM
Thanks for the sympathetic responses everyone. I find that its really hard to find a place to share my story. If I talk to people still in the mental health system about how much it sucks, their responses are usually along the lines of "Oh, you just had some bad experiences--you need a kind therapist, or a sympathetic doctor. The system itself really isn't so bad, and you do show signs of mental illness." If I talk to HIV-dissidents (online, of course--I don't actually know any HIV+ people around my area), the response is often "Well, good, you didn't fall for the HIV line. We're going to ignore your issues with the mental health industry, and, to some extent, you as well."

I guess I mentioned my (mis)adventures in psychiatry because fighting against the "powers that be" in mental health helped "toughen me up" to fight against the HIV Myth, even if my fight has so far been a personal one (mostly to maintain my privacy and fight the brainwashing the mainstream media and the medical industry subject us to). Once I woke up to the fact that "mental illness" is at best a myth and at worst a lie ("straight from the pits of hell," as the Pentacostals say) used to justify medical torture in the name of "health," it became a whole lot easier for me to see that "mental patients" weren't the only people being subject to medical torture in the name of science, health, and the better good.
I'm of the opinion that, much like a "mental illness," an HIV+ diagnosis is largely used as a condemnation. The patient shot up too much, did too many drugs, had too much (unprotected) sex, was just plain "stupid." Also, there's overlap; lots of people who end up being treated for HIV end up diagnosed with something; often its "Bipolar" (your emotional instability led to drug use and/or unsafe sex), although sometimes they pull out the "personality disorders" on HIV+ people (especially gay men)--its not uncommon for a gay man w/ HIV to be diagnosed as "Narcissistic."
Anyway, I'm glad I found this place. I feel like I can learn from other people AND share my story without fear of being ridiculed or shunned. Thanks again.

Gos
June 16th, 2010, 03:38 PM
Reclaiming_Life,

I can certainly see the parallels. Like "AIDS", "mental illness" is a disease of definition. It's whatever a practitioner chooses to call it, rather than being an objective entity.

positivenegative
June 16th, 2010, 05:32 PM
I posted the following link in the Off Topic area discussing the criminalization of hiv and also looking at history similarly as it relates to sexuality.

http://forums.questioningaids.com/showthread.php?p=41950#post41950

Gos
June 16th, 2010, 08:33 PM
I also found another video with Dr. Breeding which addresses more directly the issue of how the psychiatric profession exploits and dehumanizes patients.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_Gn_BmdRDk

positivenegative
June 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM
Thanks Gos for posting that video.

My story could have turned out the same way. When I tested positive getting psychiatric help was of paramount importance. One of my gleeful counselors told me I qualified for maximum help and would receive any drugs I wanted to deal with the toil of my unfortunate result.

I wasn't going on any of their drugs but I can imagine that for many and most do accept psychiatric help and the psychiatric cocktails that would eventually disable cognitive thinking and ultimately a forced surrender to the way it is.

The video shows that everybody and not just those affected by AIDS is at the influence of what I consider now to be barbaric but with better technology and public relation$.

I believe AIDS has become an operational model for business as usual. I'm not totally cynical but to anyone reading this who may be offended keep in mind that the authority you respect may very well have their heart in the right place but due to hierarchical control within corporate and political powers is suspect and should be questioned nevertheless.

truth84
June 17th, 2010, 06:24 AM
That is true that the term "mental illness" can be an extremely slippery slope. A person who merely does things not culturally accepted or who espouses unique political views could be deemed "crazy." In fact I think a lot of this is already being done. For instance, when a child can't sit still in school they say the child has ADD or ADHD and prescribe him or her medication. Of course now it is many children in every class in every school. If many children have trouble concentrating in class it probably is because the material is unnecessarily boring and the teacher is a lousy teacher. But let's not look at the obvious, let's just make up a disorder where there was none. Maybe we should create one called the "bad driver disorder" (BDD) and start medicating drivers who don't pay attention. I don't see how AIDS is any different. If you are not sick, we are going to make you sick. If you are sick we are going to make you sicker. If you are still not sick we are going to pretend you are sick. No matter what you're sick. Now take a pill and shut up.

positivenegative
June 17th, 2010, 07:45 AM
What you are about to read is not "official" per se but it certainly gives pause as to the why, how and who of psychiatry and "mental health." What's interesting too is that I believe the person who wrote this is an attorney who is a card carrying social worker in and around hiv/aids medical services.

How many of us could fit into a supposed narcissistic personality disorder similar to the made up unofficial declaration below as it pertains to dissidence?

http://www.hermenaut.com/a165.shtml

Brian Carter
June 17th, 2010, 02:05 PM
Hey PN

Is there a drug I can take for that? :)

Gos
June 17th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Diagnostic Criteria for 301.75 Identiopathic Personality Disorder

inability to interpret any information or experience without first filtering for deviations from, or inconsistencies with, chosen vision

extremely concrete and literal understanding of the world that disables capacity for thinking critically, or considering ambiguities
is quick to bond with mirror-image-like peers for a solidarity that is ultimately superficial and trepidatious
gnawing desire to be seen and perceived as not-like-everybody-else
perception of being more intelligent, sensitive, and privy to a "Truth" which others could see if they would only just listen
infertile imagination and cowardice, manifested as a fanatical need for control over speech acts
uses (often inappropriate) repetition to convince self and others of ideas; regularly hisses in movie theatres
is so literal as to be humorless, hypocritical, and helpless
Damn -- with the exception of Criterion #4, this could be a perfect description of the Troofers.

positivenegative
June 17th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Bingo! :rolleyes:

It's ironic too who the author is.

Gos
June 18th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Bingo! :rolleyes:

It's ironic too who the author is.

I don't recognize the name -- what's the significance of the author?

positivenegative
June 18th, 2010, 04:27 PM
Carol*Carbone, the person who wrote this is an attorney. As for the why she wrote this I have no idea. It could be a joke or she's serious I don't know.

G Man
August 8th, 2010, 11:35 AM
That is true that the term "mental illness" can be an extremely slippery slope. A person who merely does things not culturally accepted or who espouses unique political views could be deemed "crazy." In fact I think a lot of this is already being done. For instance, when a child can't sit still in school they say the child has ADD or ADHD and prescribe him or her medication. Of course now it is many children in every class in every school. If many children have trouble concentrating in class it probably is because the material is unnecessarily boring and the teacher is a lousy teacher. But let's not look at the obvious, let's just make up a disorder where there was none. Maybe we should create one called the "bad driver disorder" (BDD) and start medicating drivers who don't pay attention. I don't see how AIDS is any different. If you are not sick, we are going to make you sick. If you are sick we are going to make you sicker. If you are still not sick we are going to pretend you are sick. No matter what you're sick. Now take a pill and shut up.

Nice post. I think that pretty much sums up the con game going on. This is all about getting as many people on as many drugs as possible for as long as possible (preferably your entire life).

I recently read somewhere that over 90% of the U.S. population is on some kind of prescription or over the counter drug at any given time. And as more new 'illnesses' become created, that number is sure to rise unless people wake up and realize most of it is a sham.

truth84
August 9th, 2010, 08:13 AM
I believe also that there are many more closet dissidents out there that we don't realize. This includes AIDS dissidents and Western medicine dissidents both. Part of the problem is that people who are suffering from some illness and do know that whatever meds are prescribed aren't good either don't know any other alternative. Since the doctors are essentially all in it together people are at a loss because they don't know where to turn to get the help they really do need. The legal system causes this problem to get worse. Therapies that are much more likely to cure an illness and with less side effects aren't allowed to be called medicine because they haven't been approved by the FDA, AMA, etc. In other words, what constitutes "healthcare" is strictly controlled. A true free market would help fix that problem. Modern medicine in the U.S. is under the illusion of a free market. People think they have choices on which hospital they go to, which drugs they take, which insurance provider, which doctor, etc. but they are all essentially one and the same.

positivenegative
August 9th, 2010, 02:21 PM
People think they have choices on which hospital they go to, which drugs they take, which insurance provider, which doctor, etc. but they are all essentially one and the same.

Would it be fair to call it false choice?