day 9: hmm.

i always say that i won’t watch hoarders because i see it as an exploitation of people with mental illness. i say, “they don’t have shows about people with bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, do they?”.

well. apparently they do. i’m getting sucked into this documentary about a 7-year-old girl with schizophrenia. i’m sucked in because they showed home video of this poor little kid in the middle of a psychotic episode, talked about how they had to put her on a 5150 hold, and put this poor little kid on risperdal, all by age 5. risperdal, as an adult, is a nasty, nasty drug. i took it to augment SSRIs for major depressive disorder and bipolar II. it made me fat, sad, crazier than before, and extremely suicidal. why. the hell. would you give that to a child?

this kid is now on a drug i’ve never even heard of, it’s such a strong anti-psychotic (and lithium, and thorazine) she was 6 when she was diagnosed, one of something like 50,000 kids diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia. i have met (and deal with on a weekly basis) so many people with adult-onset schizophrenia, but i’ve never seen a kid with it and it’s terrifying. my grandpa had schizophrenia, my mom had bipolar I, and i was fairly normal until i was about 13… but damn. i don’t know how these kids deal with it.

but i digress. i always say i won’t watch hoarders because it’s exploitative and does little to properly educate on the diseases, gain support for research, or rehab anyone with it. but maybe this will make people see how serious mental illness can be, that it’s not just about people who keep stacks of newspapers or that jump off bridges. my heart breaks for this little kid and her family.


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