Monty’s Story

By: Monty

Source: Remembrance and Recovery Project by Mental Health America (Mental Health Minnesota)

About 2 years ago I stopped taking my medications. I thought I was so well for so long that I believed I didn’t need them anymore. The result was I had a breakdown and a manic episode. This was my on manic episode in my life but I spent lots of money. When I realized I was very sick I called my best friend, Harvey. I said, “Harvey, take me to the hospital.”

Soon I was in doctors’ care, and listening and doing what they suggested. I had a series of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments and they were wonderful. We started medications again. I got my life started again with the help of Recovery House. The help and sound advice of Neil my therapist and my social worker were well accepted.

I worked very hard with them all. I started an exercise regimen and now I am definitely un-depressed and on the good road to a sound, stable me.

The biggest problem with mental illness is the number of people who don’t understand what mental illness is. Millions need to be educated that basically mental illness is a physical brain disease. Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are three important brain neurotransmitters. It’s their job to carry the messages across a space called the synapse and deliver the message to the correct receptor. Many times, when the levels of these brain neurotransmitters are too high, too low, or do not reach their target receptor, symptoms of mental illness will be present.

Another part of the mix is that abused children have a higher chance of some types of mental illness. So as you can see, mental illness is a very complex situation. I have barely scratched the surface of education but I hope I have made you curious to want to know more. Education is a blessing – and knowledge is the reward.

The question is: How do you know when you are successfully recovering?

The question can be answered in a multitude of ways:

  • relationships get better
  • one can love again
  • spirituality returns
  • my desire to help people returns
  • I want to cook again and live on my own
  • I want to work at a job that is both helpful to others and satisfying to me
  • seeing more of my friends and getting along better than before is also a sign of recovery
  • this list could go on and on and on…

In conclusion, anything that would enhance your life and add to your desire to live would be considered recovering.