I think like when somebody loses their mind and loses who they are and can’t function the way that you know them to function on a daily basis, it’s really hard to understand that that’s not who they are. So can you say what role you think trauma plays in this? Lowe notes mental illness is still associated with social stigma despite affecting tens of millions of Americans. Jaime Lowe Jaime Lowe begins CPT. You talked about traveling to the Bolivian salt mines, where half of the world’s lithium is found. JAIME LOWE: I mean, I think that they all were trying to intervene at some point. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. The following year, in ’81, Reagan repealed the act. And I think that’s why a lot of times they’re kind of like woven in together, where you’re trying to self-medicate with either, you know, drugs or booze or whatever. Why do you think that is? Years ago, I couldn’t say the word Lithium aloud. Then, I was sort of out of the really good medications for mania. delivered to your inbox every day? ... our deputy photo editor; and Jaime Lowe, a researcher and writer. I mean, if someone has cancer or any other kind of physical illness, people don’t, you know, have a difficult time accepting it. So, the lithium, for me, when I took it, I didn’t actually feel that many side effects. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do, you know, five days a week of Freudian analysis or Jungian theory, but I think like having a support system, somebody who’s there, who’s talking to you and who you’re talking to and who can identity when things are kind of falling apart, that outside person is a really important factor that’s completely missing from our healthcare system. 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—. So, the tapering off was in 2001. From Charlottesville to the Capitol: Trump Fueled Right-Wing Violence. So that’s something that many people who are bipolar experience. You write about many different kinds of issues. I think that’s why it’s, you know, mental. I was still delusional. And actually, that was one of the things my mom says, is that when—for the second episode, one of the first signs that she thought that I was getting better was that—when we were in an elevator and I didn’t talk to every single person in the elevator. I know what I go through, and I know what other people go through based on that and based on what they tell me. I thought people could figure that out. He had never been physically abusive. 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—. Jaime has 5 jobs listed on their profile. What do you say to families of people who have manic depression, where they become the target, those that want to help the most become the target? I think that that’s really excellent in some ways, because the pills can really help, and I think it’s also really detrimental in other ways, because you have this shift from analysis to, you know, basically prescription, where you have—. A lot of people feel side effects. We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. Special on Flint, 2020 Ballot Initiative Wins: Abortion Rights, Lawyers for People Facing Eviction & Payday Loan Limits, Bryan Stevenson Wins “Alternative Nobel”: We Must Overturn This Horrific Era of Mass Incarceration, New Malcolm X Biography Offers Insight into His Split with Nation of Islam & Assassination, Native American Analyst: Our Voting Bloc Helped Flip Wisconsin Blue After It Voted for Trump in 2016. We have—in 2010, I think there were 43,000 psychiatric beds in the U.S., and that was the same number that we had in 1850, which is crazy, like. JAIME LOWE: That’s true. AMY GOODMAN: So what did it mean to, quote, “taper down” in your life? And they’re not really hotels. Like there’s no money to be made. That’s—I work so that I can pay him. The other photo editors also joined in the effort. According to the American Psychiatric Association, bipolar disorders are, quote, “brain disorders that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function.” Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression. AMY GOODMAN: I don’t think you described that point where you tapered off and what it meant in terms of what happened to you. I think Carrie Fisher has—I’m going to paraphrase her, because I can’t actually say her words perfectly, because she’s amazing, but she’s basically said “bipolar” is like a sexual bear. So, and then, as—like from ’81 to now, like there's been a steady decrease in terms of funding and in terms of just even awareness of how much we can take care of people. But according to the medical system we have today, they’re there to simply write out prescriptions. And they desperately want to speak to the patient—they feel they are doing a disservice to their patients—to figure out all the things that you’re saying, that comes with talk therapy. There are like highs that are wearing, you know, head-to-toe glitter and like 18 tutus, 16 belts, 30 necklaces and like, you know, this like crazy—and I can see it like when I’m on the subway sometimes. NERMEEN SHAIKH: But what does that mean, “cycling”? How it felt, for me, personally, was like nothing but distraught and just like complete fear that I would end up manic again, because another medication wouldn’t work. AMY GOODMAN: But you know how you want people to respond to you. Explain. JAIME LOWE: Right, right. NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, one of the things that you say, in terms of the extent to which lithium is prescribed, is that it’s not a patented drug. Jaime Lowe is a writer living in Brooklyn.She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and her work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and on ESPN.com. Model Daisy Lowe, 30, actress Jaime Winstone, 34, and their TV producer friend Emily Ann Sonnet joined protesters on their first day of a fortnight-long campaign of chaos in London. And I ended up taking another medication, Tegretol, which then, it turned out, was toxic for my liver, which was a like sort of a random thing that my general practitioner found at a routine physical, thank goodness, or not, whatever. I was basically like, “I’m fine. So I just sort of assumed they were psychosomatic. 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. JAIME LOWE: Yes, I think it does. I thought I could talk to Michael Jackson. AMY GOODMAN: And the medication was lithium? And I tried it, and it was actually like way better. I mean, I think that that makes it so that psychiatric care is socialized in a way that you have people who have enough money that can actually afford to pay for—I mean, my psychiatrist is not on my health insurance. It’s out there. And at this point, you know, I was running away from him. I think you have to basically try, and just keep trying and keep trying, to keep that person well and there and close. NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to go to the actual diagnosis that you received of bipolar disorder 1. The Caitlin Lowe Interview - Duration: 9:26. In terms of—I’m forgetting—. NERMEEN SHAIKH: According to the American Psychiatric Association, bipolar disorders are, quote, “brain disorders that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function.” Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression. You’re going to get better. Explain why. And I think that I’m lucky—. You have general practitioners who are writing psychiatric—you know, prescriptions for psychiatric care. Jaime Lowe. JAIME LOWE: And a lot of that is because that—those are GPs doing that. In this Part 2 discussion, a web exclusive, Jaime will talk more about her experience with bipolar disorder, still associated with social stigma despite affecting tens of millions of Americans, and talk about why she chose to come out and talk about this so publicly in a memoir. I have like a million parents. NERMEEN SHAIKH: The work that you’ve done. I think that’s definitely true. AMY GOODMAN: And explain what lithium is, and explain how—what effect it had on you and why you eventually, after decades, had to give it up. So, can you talk about the journey you took to the place, the land of lithium—. And all of my parents—my parents are divorced. View Jaime Lowe’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. And I get a lot of letters from people who have read the book or who read the article I wrote for the Times Magazine. And they kind of just put me in this box. I was like totally a not nice person to the people around me, and I didn’t want to hear anything from them. This is the way that my life played out. With a knack for listening and passion for both people and politics, Opelika’s Jamie Lowe may remind you of Barack Obama – if the former president had a southern twang.. It’s a comparison the humbly confident Lowe may not accept, but he has built a pretty impressive political resume for himself. Like I have a distinct memory of like just a little taste of calm. JAIME LOWE: Yeah. In her remarkable memoir, titled Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind, Jaime Lowe shares and investigates her experience with mental illness and the drugs used to combat it. She’s an author and journalist. Because it could have been an isolated incident. AMY GOODMAN: —and for writing this book, Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind. JAIME LOWE: So, lithium is the third element on the periodic table. Now, there’s a lot of debate within the psychiatric community about to what extent this disorder, which used to be known as manic depression, is caused by a chemical imbalance and what’s caused by environmental factors. I’ll see someone, and I’m like, “Oh, I recognize that outfit.” Like, it looks a lot like something that I would have loved when I was not on my meds. And I wanted to do it in a way where it was not a traditional memoir or was only my story. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! And I think that’s kind of the bottom line for all of these things, you know. I don’t like have a preference one way or the other. Interview by Jaime Lowe Jan. 16, 2019 Last month, Congress passed the First Step Act, a prison-reform bill intended to reduce recidivism. In an interview with parents Friday, Elizabeth McBane, mother of two high school … Jaime Lowe is a writer living in Brooklyn.She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and her work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and on ESPN.com. NERMEEN SHAIKH: I think one of the reasons, as you suggest in your book, that your family was so helpful—and going back to what we were talking about with social stigma—is that they realized that what you were going through was not a choice. We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. Like, I have no idea. JAIME LOWE: So, that was—that’s a really good question. JAIME LOWE: So it’s really cheap. The journey, I mean, it’s like—it’s a magical place, for me, like I—and, I think, for anyone who’s there, because it has this kind of moonscape. Please do your part today. 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. Jaime Lowe is the author of Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB and Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind. And, you know, I had accused my dad of being physically abusive. I was a real—you know, you’re really like—you don’t want to talk to—you don’t want to hear any rules. It was really, really hard. And so, I’ve paid, I think, more than $100,000, over the time that I’ve been seeing him, just to see him. It’s a memoir. It’s why mental illness is really hard to treat also. Jaime was sexually assaulted thirty years ago, when she was thirteen, and she’s rarely articulated the details out loud—until now. It’s not—like she always wanted to be called manic depressive, and that “bipolar” always sounded weird to her. 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? I mean, there are a lot of different ways I could have not been here. In an interview with Foglifter Press, Erlichman says of writing Odes to Lithium, “It began with shame. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. For me, it was kind of seamless. And the psychiatrist with the MD being able to prescribe—. “Thirsty for Democracy: The Poisoning of an American City”: Complete Democracy Now! So, my psychiatrist and I decided that I would try Depakote again. So, I did it. I didn’t really know much about it in its place in the world. Did you understand you were in a full manic phase, that this was the effect? It was actually—I think I was talking about it with you earlier, and I said mid-'80s, and I should have said early ’80s, because Carter actually had a Mental Health Systems Act that he was going to—that he had put in place, that would have had community care. Well, to be honest, I wish I had come up with the premise behind Theron Humphrey’s This Wild Idea. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, so many people describe wanting to experience the highs and lows of life, which is why they go off of it. 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. delivered to your inbox every day? It worked out way better. Like, I didn’t know more about it. I was, you know, still hallucinating. No manic person—in the throes of omnipotence, ecstasy, and strategic warfare—wants to hear that they are…just sick,” Lowe writes. I remember sitting there with him. Victor Goldfeld: The _Heeb_ Interview. AMY GOODMAN: What was—what did it mean to you that your illness was named? So, it was present in the Big Bang. NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what was your experience there? So, that was not a good idea, although who—I mean, who was to know? 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. AMY GOODMAN: Does it always come with it? I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. The original content of this program is licensed under a. She was on lithium for two decades but was forced to go off it when she experienced serious kidney problems as a result of the medication. JAIME LOWE: It was terrible. And I think, with mental illness, you’re out of control and you’re this other person without the drugs that you would be taking. AMY GOODMAN: And then, we met you not through anything to do with this. NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I mean, one of the things that you say is that there was a huge shift in public policy regarding mental health in the mid-’80s that made healthcare so much—healthcare for mental illness so much more difficult to access for so many people. And it was like I wanted to just roll around in it and kind of pay homage to this thing that had helped me for so long. NERMEEN SHAIKH: And how long did you stay in that psychiatric ward? You know? This disorder used to be called manic depression, I mean, in the period you’re speaking of where this shift occurred, in the 1980s. And some of it was very—you know, some parts of mental illness are kind of funny. And I think part of the reason it was seamless was because it had to be. In 255 pages she seeks to unravel the soul of … Everybody sort of has their own—you know, as the symptoms are very similar, but each person really—it’s the hardest thing to treat, because it’s just your own experience is slightly different from the person next to you, which is why it’s really hard to tackle as a national issue. And it can either be long depression with one long mania, or it can be like mania, depression, mania, depression. And this is what, going forward, I’m going to have to take.” That year was really hard, just because I was kind of—you know, gave up on high school and friends and everything. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. For Heeb‘s Music Issue, I was issued the task of reporting on a lawsuit that Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s former manager, Jarred Weisfeld, had filed against the rapper’s biographer, Jaime Lowe. And so, that, the inmate firefighters, was—like, I wanted to write about that because of a woman who had died while fighting the fires. So, I was on Depakote. December 2, 2008. But, you know, I say that I’m really lucky, because I can do that. But they all had sort of seen this pattern of disarray, mental disarray, I guess. I was freelancing. Our Daily Digest brings Democracy Now! She was on lithium for two decades but was forced to go off it when she experienced serious kidney problems as a result of the medication. We had you on Democracy Now! For her, it was an event that was terrifying and she couldn’t go back. I’m not a religious person at all. So how do you want those family members to respond to you? 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