Conversation with a Forensic Psychiatrist *

          This conversation was essential to my eventual wellness. Dr. David was the admitting MD during Kaylan's 3-day stay in the hospital when she was 13. She was suffering through a period of self-harm. She had developed OCD when she was 9 years old after a long summer of strep throat infections. Dr.David was also my dad's prescribing psychiatrist for the last 2 years of his life. After my dad passed away, Dr. David became my own counseling doctor. He's a kind and earnest man who's devoted his life to integrated medicine. He's the one who gave me Brain Lock to help me understand the physicality of OCD. I wish I'd understood then that Kaylan's OCD was the type with severe intrusive thoughts. Of course we hide what we think is shameful, and intrusive thoughts are often shameful. That's the nature of grief after losing a loved one to suicide... constant wishing. Wishing I'd known the unknowable.

4 Feb 2011
My FB post

Notes from a Conversation

I talked to Dr. David [Last name hidden] - a forensic neuropsychiatrist - last night and the night before, and following is the gist of what he told me:
Depressive illness is genetic and progressive, but there are things that can be done to educate children against it's worst effects. First, do not be afraid to tell the kids the truth (I was wrong here - good job Kimee!) in an age appropriate manner.
The reason death from depression is "catchy" is that families tend to share similar broken coping skills. The most important thing is to teach the children - and ourselves -  to frequently check in with their feelings.
HALT is essential for children with this genetic possibility. They need to be taught to notice if they get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Two of these things together cause physical and emotional distress in a completely healthy person, and more so in a person with an illness.
And he said that learning to express feelings without judgment is essential. Stoicism does not help anyone, as it hinders all people from relying on their family & community in times of need.
It is important to remember that post-partum depression, schizophrenia, mania, alcoholism, eating disorders, OCD, and all  manner of mental ailments stem from physical illness and that these are ALL TREATABLE.
He recommends D3, B-Complex, and Omega-3 for everyone who suffers from any of these types of illnesses.

          This may well be the conversation that led me to advocacy. I remember feeling that this kind of basic medical information was essential and should be widely distributed. I was outraged that it hadn't been.