“Recov­ery hap­pens for me (and I have heard for oth­ers as well) due to a mul­ti­tude of fac­tors”

Keris Myrick the woman featured in the New York Times article by Benedict Carey in the series Lives Restored, Liv­ing with Men­tal Ill­ness responds to the internet summaries of the article. It seems people understood what they wanted about medication and its role in her recovery.

More than anything Keris Myrick is a pragmatist. Do what works. I say Amen to that! What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa. And it’s my mantra that it generally takes a combination of many things that varies from person to person to find health and well-being. Generalizing to everyone based on our own personal experience alone is a recipe for disaster.

From Project Return Peer Support Network Blog

When Bene­dict Carey approached me to be involved in the series of pro­files (Lives Restored, Liv­ing with Men­tal Ill­ness), I was imme­di­ately attracted to his approach; high­light­ing the many resources, skills, tech­niques, sup­ports and cop­ing mech­a­nisms each indi­vid­ual dis­cov­ers and uses to lead mean­ing­ful and full lives despite hav­ing a diag­no­sis of ‘severe men­tal ill­ness’. The series focuses on every­thing that works for a per­son in their recov­ery by shin­ing the light on the many, many things that rarely receive atten­tion and dimin­ish­ing the focus on the role of med­ica­tion. In my pro­file for the series, the word med­ica­tion is used only 4 times in a word count for the entire story of 2, 771.

I am a per­son who val­ues what works for each indi­vid­ual in their recov­ery, from med­ica­tions, to yoga, to walk­ing. We are all dif­fer­ent! I am not anti-medication, I am not pro-medication. What I am is pro-education and choice. I believe each per­son should have as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble so they can make the deci­sions with their treat­ment team, fam­i­lies, and other sup­port­ers that will help them real­ize the mean­ing­ful lives of their dreams.

I find it very inter­est­ing that some of the sum­maries of the New York Times arti­cle, state that my recov­ery was due to “adher­ence to med­ica­tion”. This is not what the arti­cle said nor is it the pri­mary focus of the piece. I started to won­der if peo­ple were miss­ing the point – that recov­ery hap­pens for me (and I have heard for oth­ers as well) due to a mul­ti­tude of fac­tors. The New York Times fea­ture clearly states that work has indeed been my treat­ment of choice. Also, fam­ily sup­port, a great dog, a won­der­ful psy­chi­a­trist with whom I have a strong ther­a­peu­tic rela­tion­ship, and other tech­niques, inclu­sive of med­ica­tions on occa­sion, are all the things that con­tribute to my recov­ery and are the high­light of this profile.

Jour­nal­ist Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic, asked me if I would share with him more detailed infor­ma­tion about the use of med­ica­tion in my life… (read the rest here)

Robert Whitaker’s piece about Keris was shared here on Beyond Meds:  A Rorschach Test for Psych Meds.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters