As readers of this space know by now, James Ford is the son of Dennis Rimmer and Diane Rimmer of Radisson, SK. He is currently in hospital in Saskatoon battling problems with his mental health. He recently posted some questions and answers about his progress:
Q: Has being admitted been helpful?
A: Absolutely. The way my depression was headed, I could have easily been dead by now. This admission, like the one in 2006, saved my life.
Q: Will you continue ECT treatments after you’re discharged?
A: Maybe. My eighth treatment is scheduled for the day I leave. There are four more treatments scheduled after that, but they might not happen if I’m feeling better by then. Periodic maintenance treatments are a possibility in the future.
Q: What is your relationship, if any, with suicide/suicidal ideation?
A: I talked about this a bit in my “Let’s talk about suicide, baby” post. Basically, suicide is always an option for me. It doesn’t matter how healthy I am, it’s always in the back of my mind.
Q: What impact has your mental health had in your personal relationships, and how will relationship patterns change (or will they) now that you are so incredibly open about your journey?
A: My hospitalization in 2006 really messed-up some friendships. This time, all my important relationships are intact, but I’ve also been very open about what’s been going on, so no one’s been hurt by cover stories or anything like that. I don’t think anything’s going to change now.
Special note to James Ford from Dennis Rimmer ---You are not alone. I feel we all carry our special burdens--some handle it better than do others. I have had low grade treatment resistant depression all my life. Remember in grade 4 looking out the window thinking (and actually seeing) abiut my body lying on the ground, and a little flap had opened in my forehead and a ticker tape was scrolling out --words printed on it repeated over and over "now don't you wish you had treated me better?"--- No wonder a lot of us self medicate. In our age, we were just "moody" or "going through a phase"--yeah, but those moods don't ever seem to stabilize or those phases never seem to end. I have always hidden behind humour--which sometimes does not come across as intended...so then I stay quiet which then means people think I am grumpy or moody or angry or whatever....so I have searched for solutions for years--now have my great wife Diane and a helpful prescription mood stabilizer...
And another reader has offered these words : TAMMIE SPINKS "I have had similar burdens.... I am very lucky to have found a doctor in my early 20's that really helped me....I feel your pain....I had to go through many doctors until I found him.....He was a specialist in many areas. ...PTSD...Anxiety ....OCD and the medications and constant learning of new thinking skills really did wonders....I am still on Celexa but none of the others for the past 14 years and my life is good, I still have those thoughts but I have retrained my brain to behave differently than before...Im glad someone had the courage to talk about this illness....Society has come along way but it has a long way to go on the topic of mental illness...Thanks for sharing Dennis Rimmer"
James Ford -- we are all with you. Stay strong, my son.