Recommended Reading for March 24, 2010
Unlike a few months ago when Dr. Oz did vulvodynia, this time he did not have a representative from a vaginsimus awareness organization on the show. Perhaps this is because there is no such nationally recognized vaginismus organization (that I’m aware of,) as there is with the National Vulvodynia Association. There are patient-led organizations, treatment clinics, support groups, and doctors prepared to address vaginismus, yes. But for some reason Dr. Oz did not have anyone from one of these groups on the show to talk about it. Instead, he called a random audience member, Ronnie, onto the stage.
I think it is no coincidence that on this episode, without the direction of someone experienced in dealing with vaginismus, it was treated more flippantly than vulvodynia was a few months ago. Vaginismus was compared to panic attacks, localized to the pelvic floor.
I’ve been talking to several people about cures and quality of life, and I find I’m struggling to organise my thoughts on my own quality of life. I’ve blogged extensively about this, both the negatives and some of the positives. But some of my interlocutors seem to want one-line generalisations like “given the choice, one would naturally chose not to be blind”.
But I can’t do that. I can’t put the whole of my disabled experiences in tidy one-line summaries like that.
The stigma surrounding mental trauma and non-neurotypical brain conditions is a huge barrier to full emotional health. When people are unable to talk about their condition for fear of being ostracized, or losing a job, or being kicked out of housing, or losing custody of a child, or coerced into treatment regimens they don’t consent to “for their own good,” the silence they are forced into only exacerbates their suffering. It cuts them off from potential sources of support. [And let me be very clear that the fears listed above are not irrational and paranoid: they are very real occurrences; I’ve experienced a couple myself.]
I’m all for people taking steps to eradicate the stigma of having a mental illness or non-neurotypical condition, and I think it’s great to have allies in this struggle. So for the most part, the goal of the website is a decent one, and I was happy to see that the site also contains good information for people just starting out in trying to understand what it means to have a mental health condition that can impair one’s day to day quality of life.
In the news:
A cop in Barre, Vermont repeatedly tased Ann Osborn, a 59-year-old mentally ill homeless woman who was standing in a parking lot with her arms folded.
Health Ministry spokesman Iliesa Tora said the lack of wheelchairs was a problem especially at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Unit. CWMH’s Emergency Unit, known to cater for the very critical and serious cases, now faces a problem to provide wheelchairs to assist those who can not walk or find difficulty to walk in to see a doctor. It was confirmed that wheelchairs were shared among patients and in some cases caused delays for those who needed immediate attention or wanted to go to the toilet.