The Way I See Things

Worth Living Ambassador Alex Campeau

Hi, my name is Alex, I’m 23 years old and am still going through a bumpy ride. I’m diagnosed with schizoaffective- depressed subtype, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a lot to swallow, but don’t think of them as disorders, think of them as personality traits. I have had three hospital stays and hope to have a smoother recovery than the one I am having now.

I see life and society in general as a massive lego project. And right now the lego project is a mess. The term “mental illness” is used far too often. Those diagnosed with mental illness are just different kinds of people.

I was diagnosed for being articulate, creative, and having a different view of the world. Medication screwed me hard because it took my creativity away and I’m just not the same. Most people diagnosed as having a mental illness are just deep thinkers. And that’s what I am. I am a deep thinker. Is there anything wrong with that? In my opinion no.

I believe I was diagnosed with mental illness because my writing was very dark and depressing, I was writing about religion, and God forbid, I say something negative about this almighty we follow. But if your beliefs are different from the majority of people, you’re a winner in my books but the everyday simpletons treat you like a loser.

Now in my writings in the past I mentioned that people wanted me dead but that  talking it out with someone helps tremendously instead of saying that to your psychiatrist and be put on multiple medications you don’t really need. Now, a lot of people would get upset over that because they may have a story where medication saved their life. Think about what that medication is doing to your body. Most people don’t know the dangers medication presents. Mine are affecting my liver, my memory, my eyesight.

A psychiatrist is going to see you maybe ten or twenty minutes a month, whereas, for me, I see a psychotherapist every week and we talk. We actually talk for an hour and those symptoms of “mental illness” are bearable. Sure it’s easier to take a pill, but do you want to risk everything? I’m getting my creativity back the more I go off meds. I’m not taking six hundred pills a month anymore. I’m in the process of getting my life back. I should have never gone to my guidance councillor and explored this ADHD thing with her and the psychologist. The more meds I was on, the more convincing I was to having a psychosis. I am absolutely livid at the way my six years have gone. Six years stolen from me and at the age it all happened my brain was still developing.

I always had a belief that a small group of people can make a change. That is why I joined Worth Living. Right now we are at fifty-seven people diagnosed with mental illness, fifty-seven people in the process of making a change, fifty-seven people standing up and sharing their stories.

I just want to caution people about medication and what it does to you. This society is not forgiving of our crimes. Crimes of artistry, crimes of intelligence, crimes of being human. There are second chances in life. Hopefully your second chance has a fight in it. I have been given a second chance and I will not be ashamed for being articulate, for being creative, or even for being a little dark. A lot of people see darkness as something bad or sad. I see it as one of the most beautiful things out there. I see grey skies, stormy clouds and rain. When everything has a touch of grey to it, it brings out emotions sometimes. Yes I am a naturally dark, sad being but there’s nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with being negative when it has a positive outcome.

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