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