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[personal profile] axelrod posting in [community profile] no_pity
Hey, everyone. Quick introductory post! 

I've been diagnosed with major depression and general anxiety disorder (though I have virtually no symptoms of anxiety these days, largely through my own efforts). I refer to myself as bipolar-esque, because I have 'up' moods (some more pleasant than others), but not genuine hypomanic or manic moods. I recently heard about borderline personality disorder, and I suspect I have that as well - it would explain a lot. I've suffered from mental illness for about as long as I can remember, though it got progressively worse until I finally had to face up to it about two and a half years ago. I've been slowly getting better since then.

My experience with prescription medications makes me extremely leery of ever going near the stuff again (though if you're on a prescription med that works for you, I think that's great). I self-medicate with a combination of St. John's Wort, tyrosine, vitamin D, vitamin B, and coffee - it works fairly well, except that my mood cycles very quickly so it can be difficult to estimate dosages.

I come from a long line of mentally ill women on my mother's side of the family - I'm not sure if any of them were diagnosed with anything, I'm not entirely clear on what they suffered/are suffering from. At least one of my two brothers is mentally ill as well. My mother thinks my dad has PTSD. My paternal grandmother has anxiety, my maternal grandfather is depressed, my great-aunt is depressed, and there was a schizophrenic cousin who died years ago.

I think one of the most harmful things about how I was raised was the complete silence about the history of mental illness in my family. I didn't know anything in the above paragraph until two years ago, or more recently.

I only started thinking of myself as disabled pretty recently, and I'm still not used to that label. But my mental illness does restrict what I'm capable of and the risks I'm willing to take in pretty significant ways (grad school? not any time soon), as well as diminishing my quality of life so *shrug* On the other hand, there's always something going on in my head, so I'm never bored.

In large part, I'm here to learn more about the challenges faced by people with disabilities which I have no personal experience of and I'd also like to be more aware of issues relating to disability rights generally. I look forward to seeing how this comm develops : )

Exile and Pride by Eli Clare is one of my favorite books - he does a great job imo with intersectionality, and he's a poet so it's a pleasure to read his very well researched book. I typed up some quotes when I read the book, let me know if you want me to post those here. I'm not quite sure if that's within posting guidelines, so I thought I'd ask.
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