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Friday, November 30, 2012

Crazy Nights Crazy Days

If you don't go in crazy you'll come out crazy...


First I want to say; a lot actually:


Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis ,Depression, Suicide, AMHI
AMH
  1. I tend to infuse most of my ramblings with humor. I smile and sometimes laugh when it's most inappropriate. I knew a woman I actually really admired and liked quite a bit who was a female forensic patient (there were only four of us at AMHI) and she had killed her mother. Well the four of us were in a group together and I nervously laughed when responding to her. More than highly inappropriate. But, it's the only way I know how to get through some of this. Sometimes I almost feel in awe of my own life.
  2. There's a huge misconception that a lot of people are found NCR/NGRI (Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity was changed in Maine and many other states to Not Criminally Responsible after John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan). In fact, just roughly 1% of court cases involve the insanity defense. Of those, only around 1 in 4 are successful.(Insanity Defense PBS) Hence the reason there were only four females and another example it garner's an excess of media attention when someone does plead an insanity defense. That being said, there are many more men than women who are forensic patients. I have a few private social media

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Story of Severe Postpartum Depression with Psychotic Features

Tragedies, Trauma, Disasters. What's the common thread?


Unfortunately, these are all the things that in most circumstances have to occur in order for change to happen. Why you ask? I suppose as a "civilized" (and I use that word lightly) society, when things appear to be going along swimmingly, nobody sees a need for change. So, let's take a look at the harsh reality shall we?  I can't imagine anyone wanting to discover that a new mother has 1) Killed Herself, 2) Killed her Child(ren) or 3) Killed herself and her Child(ren) 

When you see it, you know you never want to see it again and that is what prompts change...


We've been making progress with issues on Postpartum, but change takes time. It doesn't happen overnight or even within one generation. It takes a movement of people joining together over a lifetime, advocating and working together, relentlessly. 
The basic reality is this; it's those kind of circumstances that evoke change. In my small community in Belfast, Maine, no one knew what postpartum psychosis was. Least of all me. I had heard of the baby blues, which to my understanding was something that sometimes happens to new moms; they get sad and get over it. Done! Talk about an understatement.
postpartum psychosis story, postpartum psychosis stories, natachia barlow ramseym suicide, depression
AMHI Ice Crystal After it closed down 2007
Even when I was sent to AMHI and started talking to the Psychiatrist there (and the many, many evaluators), there was little written on Postpartum Mental Health Issues at the time. Yet, throughout history it's been well documented and Europe has statutes that speak directly to this specific time frame after a mother has given birth. A few of my Doctor's even commented on it in hearings.
I remember when the story broke about Andrea Yates. We followed the trial and were so saddened when she was initially found guilty instead of NGRI from Postpartum Psychosis. We rejoiced when her sentence was later overturned because of the lead Psychiatrist who testified; lied actually under oath, and many things he testified about were inaccurate.
Think about how much recognition that brought to modern day society about Postpartum Mental Health Issues. Why? Because it took the lives of five children. Andrea had been struggling for years, waving her red flag around and begging for help. Still, no one stepped in and this never received the kind of attention it needed until lives were lost and the entire world was affected by this tragedy.
Andrea herself will suffer in her own mind a certain kind of hell that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I ache for the turmoil I know she feels inside.
I was speaking to a journalist a few weeks ago and she was asking me about my blog and we were discussing one of the reasons I wanted to finally start sharing my story. I mentioned that I had been looking for years for someone who had been in a similar

Friday, November 23, 2012

Rat Infestation, Stellar Turkey Gobblers and Killer Cold Medicine

One of those things is a LIE!

So here's the thing I've noticed. Some of you (my readers), are fickle. Actually, that's not really true. MOST of you require some kind of some strange attention grabbing headline in order to read the article. The article to date that caught the most viewers the fastest; Snot, Diarrhea, Chicken Bones! I know, I know. It's a real mouth watering piece. Especially when I mentioned fecal matter in the first paragraph. How could one resist?

**(I have just realized 12/5 how badly I need to edit this. Late night, Head Cold while on Antihistamines is NOT the ideal time to blog [shrug].)**

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis story, postpartum depression, not guilty by reason of insanity, amhi
Happy Thanksgiving Rat With Tissues and Cold medicine
Not that the article itself wasn't interesting, but hey! Of course, I think all my articles are interesting. That's like allowing me to 'Like' my own status on Facebook or think my own joke is funny. Of course I do. I wouldn't have said it otherwise. I have an entire page dedicated to Owning What You Say. The premise behind the page is to take ownership of your words. Which is what I try to do here.
Which is a good reason why I probably shouldn't be on here now. Why do you ask? Oh, well I have terrible allergies and I thought yesterday that's what this awful congestion was. I also had no idea what to expect for Thanksgiving this year because last year my daughter rearranged the plans at the last minute. We had plans with family and somehow she ended up out of town, with this very not so nice 'girl'. This same 'girl' was actually around 30 years old (my daughter was 18) had 3 kids and was letting my daughter drive her car. Now if I hadn't mentioned it before my daughter is special needs.
About 2 weeks later my daughter took this "girls' vehicle and wrecked it. [Addendum* My daughter does not have a license and will probably never have one]
Moving on.... We'll talk about that another day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not considered a medical condition?

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not Considered a medical condition?

Memories..

Photo Op...

Feeling Nostalgic, maybe because of the holidays so I was looking through some old and new and thought I would share some pictures.

So here goes nothing!

Shey and I shooting Bumper Pool
natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis story, postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, depression, suicide, not guilty by reason of insanity, ngri
Black and White photo Booth circa 1974
Shey had to stand on a chair and I had to hold the back end of the cue since it was too heavy. - Apparently this photo booth was before they had color. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Night in Bangkok...

Reminding myself this isn't exactly Thailand


I have times when I want to do something almost to prove to myself I am alive. Like jumping off a bridge into the ocean. I know it's not actually necessary, but on occasion I have that urge. It's probably similar to the urge I describe below about screaming Fuck You and wanting to Punch People in the Face. Those last two don't sound very ladylike...




Some days I just want to scream Fuck You to the world. There are days when I want to punch people in the face. There are times when I have wondered if this is my reincarnated life as punishment of a past life and I was something truly awful.
natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis story, not guilty by reason of insanity, not criminally responsible, postpartum depression
Pouring in Chapel Hill Waiting for Lanah
I don't have those moments very often. But on occasion when it feels like everything is just bearing it's weight down on me. I am perhaps just one kind voice away from shedding a bucket full of tears (cue the tears now as I type). I have those thoughts.

I have times when I think I just want to go and find some peace and solace. Other times when I just want the company of the unknown stranger who knows nothing about me and to find comfort in their arms. I know it's short lived. So, I have basically sworn off real dating for now. I'm actually supposed to have a date (I have signed up for those dating websites, all the free ones anyway). I usually get as far as a few email responses and I'll either stop communicating or never follow through with the date.
The idea of introducing someone to my past is exhausting. [Oh that date is supposed to be on this Friday]

It's difficult finding that happy medium of someone that knows about your history and doesn't want to date you Because of it and someone who doesn't know anything about your history and then you end up having to tell them about it. Let me just say there are not dating sites out there that specialize in this.

Oh, the punching people in the face thing? I'm not advocating violence in any way. I was speaking

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Walking Dead

Zombie Shuffle


A woman I have been talking and corresponding with recently said the experience of being in the Psychiatric Hospital seemed as traumatic as the Postpartum Psychosis Episode itself. I myself have often reflected on that and felt similar. The things you experience inside a mental health facility can be very scary, especially if you are there as a forensic patient and are doing your 'time' vs just being there until you are better.


postpartum psychosis stories, natachia barlow ramsey, amhi, not criminally responsible
AMHI - Original Stone Building, Right Side, Bottom
Male Forensics Unit
Aside from the constant screaming and noise, there's the having to see or hear someone being forced, sometimes physically to take medication. After watching the patient pace the hallways for perhaps a month, more or less, doing any number of things, there will be an emergency order written for them to receive medication. Usually they are told and are given the option of taking it orally at that point and if still refusing are held down by any number of staff and given injections of meds. You can hear them screaming and begging, pleading. I can recall some of them so vividly and with such clarity.
I understood why sometimes it might be necessary, it didn't make it any easier to witness.
As I look into the recesses of my mind and I recall the faces and the empty stares. The hollow eyes, sad and broken faces, I know I too must have looked like that for months when I was first admitted to AMHI.
I had a one to one for the longest time (where you are assigned a staff person to be with you at all times even to go into the bathroom stall with you).
I have the vaguest memory of finally looking into a mirror (I think to brush my teeth), it may have been to get ready to go to my son's funeral. I remember I had black all around my mouth and chin. I had no idea what that was. It had to have been the activated charcoal from when they pumped my stomach. It was probably on my face for a week or two. It seemed so unreal that I could have had that on my face for so long and not notice it there. I look back at that time and it quite literally feels as though I was the walking dead.

I have actually been watching that television show recently (The Walking Dead), you know the one about Zombies on AMC, and it makes me think of the patients at AMHI. Especially the overly medicated or the patients like myself who in the midst of something like postpartum psychosis, walk around in a zombie like state. There's a term called the Thorazine Shuffle that I think could quite possibly be nicknamed the Zombie Shuffle. I mean they're pretty similar and anyone who has ever seen the Thorazine Shuffle could tell you, there's a good chance they're emulating an acute psych ward when shooting Night of the Living Dead et al.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blackmail, Grief, Guilt, Sensationalism and Finally a Media Award?

Anonymous calls and where they lead 


In 2005, when I was getting custody back of my daughter, someone made an anonymous call to the Kennebec Journal and said; "You want to write a story about a child killer who's getting her daughter back?".

postpartum psychosis story, Natachia barlow ramsey, surviving, postpartum psychosis, death grief guilt



Well that prompted a series of phone calls to my attorney John Pelletier (who I have to say is one of my favorite people in the world and puts to shame all the lawyer jokes) and a month long process of negotiations with family court and the KJ about an interview. Needless to say, we granted the interview (which felt incredibly close to blackmail) in exchange for privacy for my daughter and I moved just prior to the article being published. Since it's available for everyone to read anyway, but in an out of context and unexplained narrative. I thought this would be the best place for the article to be seen. Since most of what is being made available is not being made available in its entire context.

So below are the two articles that appeared on April 11, 2005 (I always wondered if it were purposeful it was published the same day as Hunter died) The first was a sidebar beside the main article, explaining that I did not want to give an interview and had been coerced into it. I always thought it nice of them to at least mention that. Gary Remal interviewed me with my Attorney (John) present over the course of four hours. Below is the basic result.

Oh Wait, the really big kicker? It won a National Media Award from National Mental Health Association  (now Mental Health America) the Following Year. I'm going to add that onto the end, but I'm also going to give it its own post. That was a really nice ending to such a crappy beginning....