Mark Latham: Mentally Ill and In Denial

Wow. I go away for a week and come back to just about ten things I personally feel the need to address, but anyway.

I don’t know a whole lot about this guy except that he tried to be prime minister that one time when I was a kid and it didn’t work out so well, which he blames – repeatedly, even ten years later – on everyone else in politics. Apparently he’s fallen into the role of a stay at home parent since then, and has been writing the odd column on the side.

So I guess that means Mark Latham is a mummy blogger now. And it seems that he’s discovered the click bait staple of those mummy bloggers that give the genre a bad name – establishing superiority over other mummies. Especially those who work, what up Lisa Pryor?  His titillatingly titled column for the Australian Financial Review “Why feminists don’t like children” has caused outrage due to his character assassination of the poor woman over her admission to taking anti depressants.

Well I’m not a mummy blogger but I can point fingers and cast shade with the best of them. You want to give out unsolicited parenting and medical advice, Marky-boy? You see nothing wrong with that? Great! Let’s see if you can take what you give.

Mark Latham, you are overwhelmed. You are depressed. You are grieving your lack of relevance and lack the distress tolerance needed to process that grief. You clearly hold sexist views so being a man taking on a stereotypically female role must make you feel inadequate. You want us to believe you are unemployed by choice but are you really? Who will give Mark Latham, best known for a spectacularly failed political career, a job? Getting Mrs Latham a job was probably easier.

You are not well and you NEED TO GET HELP. For the sake of those children who you apparently take such delight in. Will you ‘cop out,’ give up the ghost and sort yourself out to be the best parent you can be for those precious boys? Because people like you, people with issues who refuse to get help for reasons of ego tend to produce some fantastically fucked up children. A lot of people I’ve been in hospital with have fathers who talk like you do.

How do you think the boys will feel when they grow up, Mark? That they weren’t worth you getting over your misguided sense of pride and getting help so they could have had an emotionally stable father? Surely that’s worse than finding out that your mum relied on antidepressants so she could be that loving, present parent that you remember so fondly.

I suppose I should explain what led me to draw this conclusion.

Like most privileged humans you not only have trouble admitting that you aren’t bulletproof, you also feel the need to demonise those that do and maddeningly seem to win at life doing it. Unfortunately unlike most privileged humans, you an available platform to spew misinformed hate to the masses.

Let’s talk about Lisa Pryor. Respected journalist turned doctor? The woman is an achievement machine. And while I’m not familiar with what Mrs Latham does, I think most Australians are familiar with the works of Pryor’s husband Julian Morrow. Despite being having such a busy partner the baby maker has the cheek to pursue not one career, but two!

And you?  You’re unemployed. A house husband. A stay at home parent. For someone who is apparently so content and proud of your position in life, you were oddly vague in describing exactly what that position specifically entails.

Haven’t we been calling you crazy for years? Forgive the ableism, that isn’t the word I would use. But as a fellow ‘crazy’ I’ve noticed there are certain…behaviours that you have in common with the average left feminist behavioural therapy patient.

You were left angry with everyone after your exit from politics, even with the discipline itself.  Intensely so, years later. To the point where you allow your personal agendas get in the way of your career, when you might have had one. Does the word devaluation mean anything to you, Mark? How about dysphoria?

But let’s face it, escaping federal politics with your sanity intact seems to involve interpersonal skills that you don’t have.   For example: something you seem to struggle with a lot? Distress tolerance.

A lot.

Yeah. A lot.

That’s not normal, Mark.

And let’s talk about where you tried to create some precarious argument as to why Pryor’s depression is proof of a feminist conspiracy theory to destroy the family unit…um, that’s called paranoid delusion. Characteristic of a manic or mildly psychotic episode. Don’t worry Mark, we can fix that. Maybe you’ll find mood stabilisers more acceptable than anti-depressants?

I didn’t want to make this a feminist issue, Mark. I know you find such debate tiresome and it’s obvious that on an academic level you are out of your depth there. Let’s face it, that word was only thrown in so that you could do this:

He can’t stop, no he won’t stop

And hey, it worked. You’re bigger than Superbowl! But at what cost? Do you really belong in the public eye while your personality disorder is running out of control? Boundaries, Mark. They matter.

You can feel better, if you choose to. If you choose, your anger will disappear. You could stop feeling like everyone is out to get you. If you choose.

And no, by choosing I don’t mean just ‘getting over it’ or changing your attitude. I’m asking about committing yourself long term to questioning everything you’ve accepted as appropriate and necessary interpersonally. If that means picking up a diagnosis of clinical depression or a cluster B personality disorder along the way, so be it. Anything to be the best father you can be, right?

Ok, that was far too politically correct for your liking. Let me put that in a way that you can understand, Mark.

WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!??!?!?!?!1Eleventy!

 

Mac

What I’m into this week #2

Watching: Paranormal activity, oooooo!

It was Halloween, this is what we chose as our spooky movie. This movie could have been terrifying if my friends weren’t offering ‘hilarious’ fandubs of the demon all the way through. Seriously though, for a film that must have cost like ten dollars to make, it was very well done.

Working on: nail art.

If you’re following me on Instagram (and if you’re not – why? BE MY FWEND!) or if you just take a cursory glance to the right side of this page you can see that I’ve been painting my nails a lot lately. It has been my favourite mindfulness activity for over a decade and the quality of my mental health is inversely proportional to the quality of the nail art. When I’m doing well, I have no time for anything but plain colours. Last week I sat down to do an adventure time test wheel. It took ages and I’m not sure I would ever do it on my hand but it still looks good I think.

Following: The Honey Boo Boo drama.

Uggggggh.

I said last week that reality stars gone rogue was my favourite topic to read about but this has gone beyond trainwreck into truly upsetting territory.

For the uninitiated, the hit reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” was abruptly cancelled when the show’s matriarch was snapped hanging out with a convicted child molester. Who molested a relative of hers. That relative being her oldest daughter who came forward and identified herself, because really it was only a matter of time before she was outed by a tabloid journalist after Radar Online got hold of the police report.

The pictures of Mama June with this man keep coming, often with the titular Alana ‘honey boo boo’ in tow. First June was saying that he was just her friend, then she was saying they were photoshopped but it wasn’t adding up. Anna did a tv interview talking about the betrayal she was feeling and then had her 14 year old sister call her a liar. More digging into the background of these characters was done.

It’s been known that the Shannon/Thompson clan had a shady past – personally I’ve reserved judgement until now because to me it speaks of a class based culture I’m not informed enough to comment on – but what I didn’t know was that a pregnant Anna only returned to the Thompson household for the sake of the show. I’d always thought Anna looked healthier than her sisters and no, I don’t mean because she’s not overweight. She just generally looks brighter and not totally exhausted all the time. Which is funny considering she’s the one running around after a toddler.

As I said it’s truly upsetting. I was amongst those that used to defend these people as harmless, fun loving rednecks but it’s now obvious that this family has some deep rooted demons.

Youtubing: Bart Baker parodies

I just discovered these and I’m obsessed. These are my two favourites:

“What rhymes with funny?” “A LOT OF STUFF, IDIOT!”

Bart makes a great Robin Thicke actually. Much better singer too.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m not 12, but I find these guys so much cuter than 1 D. And fangirls don’t bother getting riled up, I have a feeling that if 1D did see this they’d find it hilarious.

Next week…hopefully I’ll be reading/watching something more intellectual.

Mac

Topamax. It ain’t tops

Ha…ha…punny.

Things haven’t been great for awhile, so my doctor decided to mix up my medication.

 I’d been subsisting on a mood stabilizer and melatonin antidepressant to regulate my sleep. She was iffy over the melatonin and suggested removing it. I cried. She changed her mind.

 She did decide to supplement my mood stabilizer with another one – topiramate, or topamax. I take an extra pill, tiny pill that must be no more than three millimeters across, every morning and evening.

 She took me through the potential side effects, of which one really stood out –

 Appetite suppressant.

 See, in my experience that should read as:

 Heinous nausea.

 I wasn’t too worried otherwise, because my current mood stabilizer didn’t give me any side effects even in the beginning worse than some broken sleep and mild constipation.

 The day after the night I started, we had a party in the evening and I was running around trying to clean the house in dreadful heat. If I was feeling washed out that day, I put it down to that.

 The next day though I hit the wall hard. Well, I would have if I’d been able to get out of bed. Heinous nausea did indeed make an appearance. After the first few days it’s reduced to being around only three hours after I take it but trying to fall asleep feeling like I’ve just downed a three course meal is a challenge.

 My mood was stabilized all right. Stabilized in a very bad place.

 My depression over the past two weeks has been dreadful. I spent hours in bed staring at the ceiling, with even my thoughts slowing to a plodding pace. Plodding over things that happened ages ago that are suddenly at the forefront of my mind and I can’t get them out, trying just wears me to tears.

 On top of that I’ve been getting headaches. Which is ironic because as well as mood stabilization topamax is supposed to stop migraines. I’ve never had a migraine in my life and I hardly think that these are as bad but they’re still nasty. Paracetamol and ibuprofen don’t help. And funnily enough it’s localized to where that bloody Frisbee attacked me…

 I saw my GP a few days after I started and as soon as I slouched into her office she told me she was concerned. The fact that I was low – more specifically that I hadn’t showered in some time – was clearly evident.

 I told her I had started topamax and she looked surprised. “Topiramate? I’ve only ever seen that used for seizures” – I raised my eyebrows – “but these psychiatrists always find alternative uses for drugs in practice I’ve found.” She added quickly. “come and see me in a week, if you’re still feeling gross I’ll give Dr *psychiatrist* a call”

 I continued to be low with bouts of irritation that haven’t gone away. I can’t leave the house, except near the middle of the night to do my grocery shopping. I can’t stand the sound, sight, touch of people. I fought off intrusive thoughts compelling me to commit violent acts toward my self and other people. This is a symptom I associate with a manic episode.

 I’m not sure if my out of control moods are as a result of the meds not working yet, of them not working at all, or of them interacting and cancelling each other out. After a particularly violent episode of intrusive imagery I left a message for my psychiatrist asking for emergency advice. I will put up with a lot while adjusting to new meds but being bombarded with violent imagery isn’t something I want to deal with for too long if I possibly don’t have to. As yet, I haven’t heard back from her.

 I saw my GP again yesterday and happened to have the first good day I’d had in two weeks. So she’s decided that I’m doing better. Now I’m back down again and no idea where this is going.

 I’m still certain that this is going to cumulate in a hospital visit and I’m ok with that. This medication business needs to be sorted out…not once and for all because it doesn’t work like that but at least for a long stretch.

 

Mac.

Update: Turns out you can be both depressed and concussed

If you recall, about three weeks ago I had an unfortunate altercation with a Frisbee on a morning run.

I was wondering if the abnormally low mood even by my standards that resulted was in fact a concussion symptom, or purely coincidental.  Not that it was overly serious but still, it bugged me.

Last week during a routine visit to my GP I casually mentioned what I had been speculating and she confirmed that depression after a concussion is, in fact, a thing.

Welp.  There you go.

A fairly insidious lesser known concussion symptom, depression can apparently appear even in patients with no prior history with mental illness.  Something to keep in mind if it happens to you, I guess.

Mac