Psych Central

Florida’s Disinterest in Caring for the Mentally Ill

By Kat Dawkins
52 Mickey Balloons (Explored)Another proposed law that does not match up to the name Sunshine State—SB 1726 would dramatically change how the state pays for crisis stabilization units that treat mentally ill patients under the Baker Act. Mental health leaders in Florida believe it will have a devastating effect on suicidal or violent patients that need to be admitted to a hospital.

I’ve experienced psychiatric units first-hand in Florida, and it is no surprise to me, both as a consumer with experience both inpatient and outpatient, that Florida is ranked 49th in the country in mental health funding.

This proposed law makes mental health care in Florida even more difficult to obtain. A disgrace.

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Bipolar Disorder and the Common Cold

By Kat Dawkins

First off, I would like to say thank you to all of you who had such kind words to say about my last post. I appreciate all of you. -Kat 

I’ve been sick for five days.

What first seemed like allergies turned into the common cold.

I don’t get sick very often. I forgot how defeating something like a cold can be.

I was nearly useless at work on Friday. All weekend, I’ve either been in bed or half-asleep, wanting to get back into bed.

Besides the physical symptoms, my depression and irritability kicks up a notch during a bout with a cold or flu.

My bipolar is amplified.

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Her Bipolar Life: In the Throes of Depression

By Kat Dawkins

darknessPlease excuse my silence for the past 10 days. I am back and ready to keep going, no matter what.

Depression is a disgusting thing. Right now I’m in the throes of it.

I don’t know if I’ve ever wrote a blog post like this on Her Bipolar Life.

In the midst of confusion and sadness.

I told a loved one, “I am near rock bottom, emotionally”. It’s that feeling I’ve had more than once, where my exhaustion mixes with horror.

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Who’s the Bigger Expert: Psychiatrist or Patient?

By Kat Dawkins

Exploring an idea

Pondering again:

Who should have a bigger influence on treatment decisions: the bipolar patient, or the psychiatrist?

Should it be equal?

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know I am firing my psychiatrist currently looking for a new one.

Brief synopsis: I’ve been seeing her for a long time. Our medical relationship has grown uncomfortable. She thinks she knows what is right for me, and I do not feel she respects my input. We disagree about my treatment plan, and she, as the clinician, refuses to budge.

Listen, I know that psychiatrists know psycho-pharmacology and general medicine much more than I do, in terms of studying and clinical practice.

I am not suggesting that I don’t need a doctor.

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The Effects of Spring and Sunlight on My Bipolar Symptoms

By Kat Dawkins

madame tanaka's cafeSpring will be here in four days.

Here in Florida, the weather is nearly perfect. The flowers, insects, and snakes (!) have already sprung.

Others are not so lucky. This week, my family members in western New York had a severe snow storm, and more snow is expected throughout the United States.

Although we didn’t feel it as much here, Winter 2013-2014 was bitter for most.

We were the only state in the lower 48 that didn’t get snow this year. However, we still noticed the colder temperatures and the inclement weather that created cloudy skies for days.

In Florida, we definitely notice when it is dark for more than 24 hours.

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The Top 4 Criteria of My Psychiatrist Wish List

By Kat Dawkins

Lucky Star Jar As I mentioned in a recent post, I just got health insurance.

I’ve managed my medication with the same Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) for years.

Lately I’ve become discouraged with her fast-paced office and unwillingness to budge on my disagreements with treatment.

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What Does Mental Health Look Like?

By Kat Dawkins

morning ritual Mental illness causes me to question myself.

Am I being irrational? Do I have the right to think this way?

Am I crazy, or just human?

I have doubted myself so much, dissected the illness so much, that I don’t know up from down.

I often can’t discern whether I am mentally sick or just going through a tough life change like anyone else.

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Mental Illness, Faith, and Rick Warren

By Kat Dawkins

165.365 i'm giving it all to YouI guess I’d call myself spiritual, not exactly religious.

My parents were raised in Roman Catholic families; my mother left the Church in her 30′s.

I was baptized Catholic, and even though I didn’t go through the full “process” of Catholicism, I still attended mass with my grandparents on hundreds of Sundays.

I observed Lent and was often guilt-ed using The 10 Commandments.

During my battle with mental illness, my personal relationship with God has been tumultuous. There are some years when I can’t live without talking to God daily; other years I have completely abandoned Him.

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Covered: The Bipolar Side of the Affordable Care Act

By Kat Dawkins

Man vs. Power


“the greatest Americans
have not been born yet
they are waiting patiently
for the past to die”

It’s fairly official…

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I too have health insurance.

The first premium is withdrawn from my bank account, and I am enrolled. I am waiting for the cards, and I can start using benefits on March 1st, 2014.

I won’t accept it as completely official until I leave a doctor’s office with that insurance card.

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The Top 5 Most Ignorant Opinions on Bipolar Disorder

By Kat Dawkins

Good Advice for Hard TimesIf you have bipolar disorder, you’ve probably had the pleasure (cough, cough) of dealing with people who feel the need to tell you the “truth” about your illness.

You know who I’m talking about—those who do not live with bipolar disorder, yet have a great deal of advice on how you should approach it.

Some of the opinions I have heard from people that don’t live with bipolar disorder include:

  1. Your symptoms aren’t necessarily bipolar disorder; everyone goes through mood swings, lack of energy, etc.
  2. You don’t need medication to stay well and/or you won’t need to be on medication for the rest of your life.
  3. Your illness is not as bad as you make it out to be.
  4. You don’t have to think about your bipolar disorder that frequently.
  5. Bipolar disorder is not a real medical illness.

However, people who have real experience with bipolar, including consumers, doctors, and therapists, find it the illness extremely valid, hard to treat, and chronic and lifelong in nature.

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Recent Comments
  • Harold A. Maio: —Florida’s Disinterest in Caring for “the” Mentally Ill The vast majority of us...
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