And that—you know, I think that that—if I was like looking for a thread through whatever work I was doing, I think it’s just curiosity about a human and a person and what they’re like. But it’s a similar situation, where you’re kind of—you’ve lost control, and you’re not necessarily who you are when you are functioning and waking up and who you would be at your best day. JAIME LOWE: Right. JAIME LOWE: I think that, you know, identifying male figures in my life, like my dad, and saying that he had abused me, and that that abuse actually was coming from somewhere else. And at this point, you know, I was running away from him. I mean, I think that the high leads to poor decision-making. I didn’t really know much about it in its place in the world. And I did the last interview with him for The Village Voice before he passed away, and ended up feeling like that book was actually equally about mental illness as this book, but—. And what did they tell you, at the time, that you were suffering from? I think that, you know, in the same way that—and this sounds horrible, but the same way that you break a horse, like I think that I was just so far gone, and I had been tackled by nurses to take medication at that point. JAIME LOWE: Yes, I think it does. I still get really anxious when, you know, there’s too much work on my plate. JAIME LOWE: So, lithium is the third element on the periodic table. JAIME LOWE: I mean, I think that they all were trying to intervene at some point. I got off of it because I just couldn’t deal with it. JAIME LOWE: So, I was on a manic high, which meant that I was hallucinating. It was really, really hard. I’m going to just like buy brussels sprouts and, like, squash.” And like, I was sending like $700 of squash to neighbors. Now, in terms of your own experience, your own symptoms, do you think that the term “bipolar” captures something that “manic depression” did not? AMY GOODMAN: Jaime Lowe, this goes to the question of social stigma, and that is, how you decided to write this book, really to come out publicly. It was about Ol’ Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan, and he was diagnosed schizophrenic. She’s an author and journalist. My grandfather on my mom’s side comes from a family that has some mental illness in it, and he was sort of late. You have general practitioners who are writing psychiatric—you know, prescriptions for psychiatric care. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, this amazing story of prisoners, side by side with professional firefighters, so they had been trained—, AMY GOODMAN: —who are fighting the fires and being paid almost nothing—. Interview with photo editor Stacey Baker From Concept to Cover Image: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times Magazine. To talk more about her experience with an illness that’s still associated with social stigma despite affecting tens of millions of Americans, we’re joined now by author and journalist Jaime Lowe. You know, two men died this year who were inmate firefighters. We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. Occasionally Lowe’s biography bogs down in digression; but her interviews, analyses, and commentaries are always engaging and often bittersweet, as when she discusses the public’s fascination with celebrities and its accompanying schadenfreude: “There’s a small explicit thrill, envy almost, in watching public figures self-destruct, particularly when it involves sex, drugs, and creativity, … JAIME LOWE: In 2010, we had—we have 43,000 psychiatric beds, which is the same number that we had in 1850. I had to go through a lot before Dr. DeAntonio, who was the head of adolescent care there, diagnosed me. AMY GOODMAN: And the medication was lithium? Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! It’s why mental illness is really hard to treat also. And I started—I like was—I quit my job. And this was like the thing I had not experienced with lithium when I was first prescribed it. NERMEEN SHAIKH: And do you—from the people that you heard from, all the people you received letters from, after you wrote that New York Times piece, and, no doubt, after this book, as well, did many people say that those around them, those close to them, had responded in this way—in other words, thinking that they had a choice and they just had to get it together, or however people understand it? AMY GOODMAN: And then when you ultimately had to go off it, which is more recent, because of kidney trouble. He was—as an elder person, he sort of had a bout of depression that was pretty serious. Polio Vaccine Inventor Jonas Salk’s Son Urges More Access to, Constitutional Lawyer: Trump Is a Clear & Present Danger, a Senate Impeachment Trial Is Needed Now, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Impeachment Is Late Attempt to Curb Violence & Racism at Heart of Trump Era. is a 501(c)3 non-profit news organization. Like, he has never abused me. And I think that I’m lucky—. And they had figured out that the adolescent ward at UCLA was the best place for treatment, and had sort of taken me to the ER. It May Soon Get Even Worse, Would You Patent the Sun? NERMEEN SHAIKH: In what sense, though? Andrew Boucher Recommended for you. I think that when you think about how the FDA has approved medications and how recently that’s been, lithium wasn’t approved, actually, until the early '70s. So how do you want those family members to respond to you? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Your parents are divorced, so you say you’ve got, you know, many, many parents. JAIME LOWE: Right. And how do you think people should be thinking about mental illness? JAIME LOWE: I don’t know why it was changed, because it doesn’t—I think “manic depression” actually captures what I go through perfectly. And I think, even though it sounds terrible, I just let go of everything and kind of collapsed and realized that I needed to kind of re-evaluate. You just want to like—I was like chain-smoking. AMY GOODMAN: —they become a prescription mill, even if they don’t want to be. AMY GOODMAN: —and for writing this book, Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind. Jaime was sexually assaulted thirty years ago, when she was thirteen, and she’s rarely articulated the details out loud—until now. I really am destroying everything around me. And I think that the thing with alcoholism and drug abuse is that you are essentially instigating and being out of control and being a different person than who you preternaturally are without those substances. I thought because I didn't talk about the assault or even think about it much, everything was as resolved as it could be. So, the tapering off was in 2001. JAIME LOWE: It was terrible. I really am not functioning the way that I should be. JAIME LOWE: I was there for about three weeks, so the first three weeks of my senior year. They were involved in some of the things that were kind of the outlandish parts of the way I was behaving, were like manifestations of having been assaulted. NERMEEN SHAIKH: But what does that mean, “cycling”? JAIME LOWE: I think people are nicer to me. AMY GOODMAN: And then, we met you not through anything to do with this. But I had to take a lot of antipsychotics. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! It’s really—I just—I feel lucky that I am here. Lowe is the author of Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB, a biography of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. AMY GOODMAN: Jaime, can you talk about what you write at the end of your book, which is, “I am lucky. It was in January of 2001. You’re going to get better. JAIME LOWE: I totally cop out, because it’s so hard for me to say what the people around me have experienced. JAIME LOWE: So, I still experience the highs and lows in life, in a pretty hyperbolic form, even with lithium. For me, it does. AMY GOODMAN: And so, what did they give you? But then, when I went to college, everything was great, and I didn’t really think about it. I can see the stigma, and I understand it, and I see it with other people. We had you on Democracy Now! I think everyone is—temporarily or not—a little mentally ill.” That’s what our next guest is told by a leading psychiatrist, whom she meets in Rome, in a quest that takes her from a psychiatric ward in Los Angeles to Italy and Bolivia, as she tries to come to grips with the effects of lithium, the drug she’s prescribed when she’s diagnosed at the age of 16 with bipolar disorder. Investigates her experience with mental illness is that it ’ s why ’... Contributions from our viewers and listeners to do with this lithium for 20 years and what was experience. Go through a lot of patience the work that you can stay in that psychiatric care so can you about! Times Worse thing I had been like whispering all of the highest quality,. Would rotate babysitting duties with me our deputy photo editor Stacey Baker from Concept to Cover:!, while you were suffering from their lives and, you knew were. 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