by Larry in Pennsylvania
I would like to share with you my experience with the mental health system. Years ago, when I graduated from college I went back to New York to live with my parents. I was confused and did not what to do with myself. I was getting into trouble, doing drugs, etc. My parents sent me to psychiatrist who diagnosed me as mentally ill. The shrink then referred me to a neurologist for tests. The neurologist examined me in Columbia/Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan for several days. I was given a CAT scan, heart exam, eye tests and a whole gamut of exams.
The neurologist then determined I was fine; I just needed to grow up. Afterwards, I went out to Berkeley, CA – the headquarters of the counter-culture. I have a sister who lives there. I had a nervous breakdown or a breakthrough. I then saw a hippie psychologist for alternative treatments for my mental illness. We did all type of therapies, both new age and traditional – such as bodywork, role-playing, relaxation-exercises, as well as one on one counseling. For several years, I roamed around the San Francisco Bay Area. I walked the streets of San Francisco and rode public transportation to various towns in the Bay Area. I had many jobs, washing dishes, pumping gas, and having temporary jobs at banks, utilities, and other organizations.
In June of 1986 I went back to New York. I finally found a permanent position at a major hospital on Long Island. Three years later I left the hospital and I obtained job at the Federal Reserve Bank. Nowadays, I live in Philadelphia. I still work at the Federal Reserve. I sometimes see a therapist for anxiety. I guess I am part of the normal mainstream. I have a job, my own apartment, a car, and good friends. However, I am still shy and awkward with women.