It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mad Pride, Medication & Emotional Support Animals

It all started at the very end of my shrink appointment Tuesday. I'm going to come right out in the open and admit that I've been having serious compliance issues with my meds for a very long time now. So she says (in a non threatening way, completely in passing) "Maybe I should threaten to not treat you. It seemed to work the last time." To which I said "What if I went all mad pride and had a strong philosophical belief against taking meds?" Also, I disagree with her in that although it did work it was very temporarily. I left it at that as I was walking out the door. But I didn't end the thoughts in my head. I chewed on it for hours. I have a stop forced drugging logo on my right sidebar (which leads to ). And I believe that. I don't believe in treatment by way of coersion, which, if I thought she was even the least bit serious, that would be.

I am pro-choice on the medication front. I agree with the Icarus Project that people need to do what works for them. I don't agree with forced treatment. I don't agree with conventional medical beliefs that seem to say that there is a right and a wrong way to cure this "disease," probably because I very strongly believe that I do not have a disease. I don't want that stigma placed on me. In no way am I saying that anyone I come in contact with personally has placed this stigma on me (well not entirely true, there is one person); I feel I need the disclaimer. It's society at large that does this.

I remember the first time I was decently suicidal. I was shrink shopping and having admitted the extent of my noncompliance issues in the past was told by every single one of them that they refused to see me unmedicated. I don't agree with that and in fact now that I'm getting involved in human rights I find it unethical. From what I understand (I got this from an episode of Private Practice) the American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a stance that Drs should not abandon patients whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate. Where is this different? To me, choosing not to vaccinate is dangerous in that it is potentially putting hundreds of children at risk for death from a measles outbreak. Especially children who are imunosuppressed. Choosing not to medicate does not carry that risk. It just so happens that I begged for drugs anyway. I've never really wanted to die (similarly to this, but different in that I've never experienced trauma) so I'd rather not feel like I do. But this was my choice. Again, I am pro-choice.

Medication is just one tool that a person can take or leave when seeking to achieve their own version of balance. But there are many others, like dogs. I've got dogs on the brain again. I don't know how they came up on the drive back from DC on Saturday, I think K brought it up, but we both believe Autism Speaks' gazillion dollars would be better spent on buying kids autism service dogs. We also believe that human health insurance should pay for service dogs as well as vet bills for service dogs at the same reimbursement rate as human doctor visits and/or DME. The pay for powerchairs and powerchair repairs. By extension...

Dogs also came up Monday night with a friend of mine and in my train of thought about Mad Pride. I suspect that if I had a dog and if I was running and if I was doing other things I know I should do I would not need medication. I do not know for fact as I've never had a dog, but from Oreo I do know I would at the very least be able to lower my dosages. However, at the moment I do not have a dog and I do not run and so regardless of tactics I happen to agree with absolutely everyone that I should be taking my meds right now.

[image description: 4 puppies in the grass]

These periodically reoccurring thoughts coupled with Monday nights conversation prompted me to finally look up what a psychiatric service dog does. How is one different from a mobility / seeing eye / hearing /seizure / autism dog? What I found is that there is such a thing as an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals (ESA) are NOT trained anymore then a regular pet dog but with documentation from a doctor or ANY licensed mental health professional you would be covered by the federal housing laws, dept of justice, and dept of transportation. (links to Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law) So you cannot be discriminated against when renting or flying on a plane. However you are not covered under title III of the ADA, public accommodations. So you can't bring an ESA into a supermarket for example. For that you need a trained psychiatric service dog.

What is the difference between a trained psychiatric service dog and an ESA? What's distinguishing? Read this GREAT article. It's something to think about...


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