I struggle to find peace tonight. My mind fighting to find all that is very wrong right now. I could talk about CT and the loss of so many lives, but my thoughts are a bit closer to home. In the hours since the school shooting Facebook has lit up with the various opponents and supports of guns. And the various groups, mainly scientology that feel the use of psych drugs is the cause of so many problems. For me the past month brought both issues right into my arms. I was a staunch believer in gun rights. Just read back in the blog. I would ardently tell you that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That may well be true, but there is something very wrong. Just as I, a mental patient, could walk into a store and 15 minutes later leave with an assault rifle, so too could the school shooter (and no I will not use his name). In fact, we owned the very same gun. There is no system in place to stop these weapons from falling into the hands of those who really should not have them. Statistics tell us that a suicide is 5 times more likely if there is a gun in the home. That is a pretty staggering number. I bought that gun for a number of reasons, but at the end of the day none were good ones. I am horrified by my actions. Despite my love and respect for my gun it came inches away from costing me my life. Were the gun not in the house that would never have been the case. This dovetails somewhat with the second half of my experience, which is the drugs. A number of elements came together to form an ideal environment for psychosis. Do we know exactly which one was the culprit, not really. Seems the steroids shifted things rapidly. In response the seroquel was increased quickly. Add in the lingering effects of propofol and there I was in the gloaming with an assault rifle to my head. Can we say for sure why, no. Can we look to the drugs? without a doubt. I have no history of psychosis, though some may feel a form of psychosis exists in the moments prior to taking ones life. The night in the storm with the rope, I can honestly say I was not here, not me in my normal mental state. Beyond that, there is no long history of delusions or hallucinations etc. No dissociative episodes, beyond my ability to “check out” when being assaulted. So how than did I react in such a foreign and terrifying manner? it appears the drugs are a key. So I have spent some time deep in thought since returning home from the hospital. This experience has made me question these pills I put in my body everyday, and have been for much of my life. I have this nagging worry that the problems are the meds, not my mind. Yes, I was severely depressed long before medication came into my life at 19 years old, but it was garden variety misery. Not this all out cycle of terrible symptoms and hospital visits. I maintained well on a single medication for years. The move up here caused a shift and a return to depression. From there it was drug after drug after drug. Not one, but often handfuls to create the perfect cocktail. Is it the medications causing this endless mayhem in my mind? Are they harming me? I have always had pretty strong faith in their ability to help me, but since the gun episode I have looked back and nothing but a nagging sense of doubt remains. I know it is being driven by the nonstop drug bashing going on right now. I know, the rational me, that they have helped me. But I can’t shake the doubt. It is a never-ending take one medication to come down, another to add motivation, another to quell anxiety, and another to stop the shakes or the muscle pain at night, and not to forget the mood stabilizer. Multiple classes of drugs combining to create this hailstorm in my brain. It is no wonder I can’t remember anything, or that I shake like a leaf. The neurologist examined me in the hospital, she said the memory could be tested with neuropsych testing, but that there wasn’t really a way to tease out what was causing what- how much was ECT, how much was meds, how much was just my brain.But there were meds we could try, but they had side effects. oh, and the tremor (shakes) well that was from the neuroleptics. She said lower the dose, but they might not go away, and don;t use the drug that helps them because I would probably have side effects including memory problems. Okay, seriously, if this doesn’t sound insane I don’t know what does. It is just this endless loop of drugs and drugs and more drugs. I understand why we are using them, believe me I do. But are they causing more harm than good? I just don’t know anymore. Amongst all the crap in my life right now, I have had this awful experience. It drove home, in a way I had never felt before, just what these medications can do. I guess I always just thought about the physical side effects, but never that a drug would have the ability to severe your connection to reality and somehow disable your ability to control yourself. I cannot stop thinking about the weight of that gun in my hands, and the disbelief that I was holding it to my head, having no idea how I got there. I don’t think I could honestly come up with a worse nightmare. But my brain tries. Over the days that followed the incident my nights were awash in violent brutal dreams. Blood and violence everywhere. they seemed to have stopped, but I still close my eyes waiting for the bloodbath to begin. Where is the violence coming from? I do not play video games, and rarely watch violent movies. This violent narrative seems to have set seed and grown in my mind. Is this the drugs also? I wish I had some answers, though I know at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how fearful I have become of them, I just don’t have the choice of turning them away. Add one more part of my life that I find myself trapped and powerless.