Patient Rights by Mental Health Advocate Nikki Stone

Mental Health Advocate
Nikki Stone

Please join me in welcoming Nikki Stone, Mississippi Mental Health Advocate, as she shares a personal experience of being devalued harassed, neglected and psychologically abused by the mental health system and the resulting breakdown.  ~  I hope that you will share your own stories and reactions in the comments section.  Darlene

Patient Rights ~ by Nikki Stone

In my own experience with the mental health facilities in the state of Mississippi I was not very well informed of my own personal rights. It was not until I took the Peer to peer course in 2008 that NAMI provides that I realized that I have rights first as a person needing medical treatment and second as a patient.

When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder in 2003 I did not get a word of encouragement about treatment or the essential tools of recovery. Instead I was told to meet with a group of others who had just been diagnosed, like myself. We sat and listened while a nurse went into details what the medications could do to us. To me it was traumatic and to add to it I had no community support.

Three years after my diagnoses I was admitted into the mental hospital for the first time. This was in 2006. The first afternoon that I was in the hospital I was asked to do a urine test which I did. Fifteen minutes later a nurse confronted me in front of other staff and other patients and accused me of being on crystal meth. I was not in there for a drug problem the only drugs I had in my system were the ones prescribed to me by my psychiatrist. The test they showed me didn’t even have my name on it, up until then everything had my name on it even the cup that I gave the urine sample in had my name on it. I denied their claims and after ten minutes of having to defend myself on these accusations she finally said that it could be a false positive. By then I was bewildered and more scared than I was before. This added more trauma to an already difficult situation.
To add to my anxiety and to be honest my embarrassment when the nurse asked me to fill out the financial papers she wanted to know how I was going to pay for my treatment when I told her that a state grant was going to pay for it because neither me nor my husband had the money at the time she looked at me and quipped “oh a charity case!”

The next day I was ushered in to see the doctor who had never met me before but by the time I walked thru the door to the makes-shift office she already had a treatment plan. The reason I was there in the first place was to adjust my medicine, which could not been done as an out patient. I had agreed to go and was prepared to receive treatment; we could not get the medication to help alleviate the deep depression on outpatient treatment. At that point I sat and listen to the doctor but when she got thru telling me what she wanted to put me on (which would have made me an absolute zombie) I knew I had to take a stand for myself so I refused the treatment and told her I wanted to sign myself out of the hospital.

During the whole 24 hour ordeal I was never given a hospital bracelet and they continuously got my name wrong even though I had written it on all the forms etc. I remember at one point sitting in the day room and there was a woman sitting near me. She and I had talked and she asked me if I would do her a favor. Not sure of what the favor was yet I told her I would. She asked me to take a look at her hip that it was bothering her.  As she lowered her jogging pants slightly I looked at her hip and it look like hamburger meat I asked her what happen and she said they had been giving her a lot of shots. To be honest in my opinion the veins in her hip looked as though they were destroyed. I was able to leave after a 24 hour ordeal of harassment and neglect. By the time I got home I was a basket case seven months later in January of 2007 I had a nervous breakdown and the nervous breakdown caused damage to my frontal lobe area of my brain, I now have petit mal seizures.

This could have totally destroyed me but it hasn’t; I am now an active Mental Health Advocate in my state.

Nikki Stone

Nikki is also a gifted photographer; please check out her beautiful pictures at 

The Photography and Graphic Art of NkstOne

26 response to "Patient Rights by Mental Health Advocate Nikki Stone"

  1. By: J Posted: 23rd November

    PS – Nikki,

    I don’t know if you still come on here, but wanted to say thanks for sharing your story & how much I admire you for being able to become an advocate! So much respect for people who can turn their pain into fuel to help others either avoid or deal with similar pain!

    I don’t really know anything about seizures, but I hope you’re getting better (or at least stable) from them.

    Thanks again & best wishes!

  2. By: J Posted: 23rd November

    Hi Jason,

    I hadn’t come across this post before so thanks for highlighting it. (Hard to read, but also empowering).

    I’m very sorry to hear about your experiences. I wish doctors, psychs, etc (in fact all people who work with those in pain, whether physical, mental, emotional, situational etc) would be more aware of the impact their thoughtlessness has on us!

    I hope that your injuries are healing (physically) – I would assume that having to try and start legal proceedings to be believed would make it very difficult to heal emotionally/mentally, but I also hope that you can find a way forward in that way too.

    I’ve had a pretty bad history of mental health “professionals” who feel like they’re adding to the damage, rather than helping heal the original wounds. It’s incredibly frustrating — especially when I find it so hard to trust myself and act on my feelings to leave! (I think it’s my childhood training from my parents to give abusers the benefit of the doubt, blame myself etc).

    Anyway good luck with your search for an attorney. I really hope you can find someone who will listen to you & believe you & work with you to get what you need.

    All the best! Hope to hear how it goes for you (only if you’re happy to of course)


  3. By: Jason Posted: 23rd November

    I’m currently trying to find an attorney take my case when I was a patient at Whitfield. I described a work injury to the doctor where a chemical burned the skin of my hands and feet, which was all documented where I worked at the time. However, the doctor said on my medical file, “Patient believes a chemical has infiltrated his body and is damaging him”, where the furthest can be true. My feet were hurting at the time and I thought the chemical that burned my skin also damaged the tendons of my feet at the same time. He basically turned everything I said around on me, and he didn’t even bother to investigate my injury (probably didn’t even believe that). At the same time I took like a 300 question paper test before they had me on meds to see what was possibly wrong with me. The results? He said I was normal on paper, and that I answered the questions consistently, but that I had lied on the whole test because he thought I had high intelligence. Well thank you doctor, but how about believing the patient? In any event, he gave me an antipsychotic and a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis even though I’ve never heard voices,never had delusions, and never suffered from paranoia. I’m hoping that the attorney will reverse the decision, and I can get this behind me. Sorry to hear you had a bad time too at the hospital.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Hi Jason,
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
      I am Darlene Ouimet the founder and author of this blog. You have landed on one of the older guest posts here. (from 15 months ago and Nikki is no longer a contributer here)

      I hope you find an attourney to take your case. I have heard stories like this before and so called professionals should NOT get away with this stuff. I am so sorry that this happened to you! What a nightmare!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Nikki Posted: 14th August

    Wow all I can say is I am glad that my story opens up a venue for all of us to speak. We all deserve our own voice, no matter who we are!

    Darlene you are right it is a re-abusive situation within the mental health system, if it hadn’t of been for loving people reaching out to me and one actually sitting with me in the “pit” of my life I would have been a causality of the mental health system here in Mississippi. I thank God that I have been able to be where I am at today in my journey.

    Lisa and Nicole I can understand where you are coming from, often thru out my life I have had various people to not validate my feelings or my well being thus leaving me to fend for myself to a certain degree. The events that took place back in 2006 in this mental hospital left me very devastated and at that time I was 28 years old so I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was on each of you to be at such a young age. (((HUGS))) to the both of you! And I admire the both of you for your strength and courage.. thank you both for sharing..

    Thank you Carla, your contributions to Emerging from Broken has also helped me tremendously thank you for your courage and for your willingness to share! (((HUGS))) to you!

    Susan I am so glad that you are involved with advocacy! Being caught in the mental health system has destroyed many lives throughout the ages, it is time now that we take a stand and change things so that future generations will not have to go through such horrors. I know this is going to sound weird but even in the midst of such devastating circumstances I look back now and realize there is a blessing and that blessing has been that I have found my voice and that I have accepted the reality of me. (((Hugs))) to you and thank you for your courage! I totally agree with you when you said “I am thrilled to finally have a space where I won’t be viewed as a “disgruntled mental patient” for speaking up about the power and control and maltreatment that permeates this “helping” system as the vulnerable are shamed into submission and compliance.”

    Patricia that is so awesome that you are printing this out for your sister I pray that it helps her and that she knows that she is not alone .. (((HUGS))) to you!

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th August

    Hi Susan!
    This is exactly how I feel about it too. That it is no worse then the abuse that landed you in that system! It is absoloutly a RE-ABUSE.
    I am very thankful for everyone who can share these stories. There are so many others out there that don’t realize that having a negitive exp. in a mental health facility is not their fault; these accounts are so empowering.
    Thank you so much Susan!
    Love Darlene
    p.s. Susan has her own wonderful blog ~ just click on her name if you would like to read more about her journey!

  6. By: Susan Posted: 14th August

    NIkki and Darlene; the timing of this post could not be more cosmic karma if I had tried to orchastrate this myself. For a very long time I have lived in the shame following my now 18 year journey through the “mental health”system in 2 different states. It is still very raw and can trigger the anger so easily. The shame of the maltreatment in this system is no different than that of the sexual, physical and mental abuse I survived at the hands of those who were my family. Between my family, the church and finally the mental health system I often feel as though I have been raped and re raped over and over as I submitted myself to the authority of those I had turned to for help and who shamed me when I would attempt to think for myself.

    I too have become an activist and advocate in my state of Iowa and write about my journey through the MH system where my trauma history was dismissed and I had been convinced that I was biologically broken and required the drugs the doctors told me that I had to take.

    I am thrilled to finally have a space where I won’t be viewed as a “disgruntled mental patient” for speaking up about the power and control and maltreatment that permeates this “helping” system as the vulnerable are shamed into submission and compliance.

  7. By: Carla Dippel Posted: 14th August

    Nikki, thank you for sharing your story, for telling your truth so honestly and openly. I am inspired by your courage and your determination to advocate for mental health- for yourself and for others. It is exciting to see your article here at EFB!! I cheer you on in your work and the dreams you are pursuing Nikki! Big hugs, Carla

  8. By: Nicole Posted: 14th August

    Wow Nikki, that is a horrible thing to do to someone. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I was hospitalized at age 14 twice. I was put into an adult mental ward because they had no other place to put me. I was treated by a doctor who had no experience working with children or proper medication dosages for children. I can honestly say it was a horrible experience and I am thankful to be alive. I was almost drugged to death by this doctor and no one really seemed to care. Then when he was eventually confronted by my foster parents he had it court ordered for me to never be able to go back to live with my foster parents and I was sent out of the state to a girls home where worse things happened. I was hospitalized 3or 4 more times after that. This doctor was angry because he was challenged for his wrong doing and mistreatment and took his anger out on me and my life. I too had no idea what my rights were. such a horrible thing to have to go through.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th August

      Hi Lisa Marie,
      This is another powerful story of invalidation and mistreatment. AND ABUSE . It makes me angry that people ~ struggling and hurting people ~ have to go through this stuff EVEN at the hands of professionals! It is so crazy, so damaging and devaluing. Thank you for sharing your story, it is so important that we share our stories, ~ so good for us because it is the first step to admitting that we deserved better then we got, and so good for others to know that they are not alone.
      Thank you so much for your contribution here today!

      And another powerful story. ( I just saw this as I was writing to Lisa Marie) OH MY GOSH.. ditto to you what I just wrote to Lisa Marie above. These kinds of doctors don’t want people to know their rights so they can get away with this kind of treatment. I think it is PATHETIC that professionals need to do stuff like this in order to feel “powerful” in their own lives… uggg. They are no less of an abuser then the abusers that caused you to end up in the hospital in the first place.
      Thanks so much for being part of this discussion. It is so important that others read these stories and realize that this kind of thing is wrong.
      Love Darlene

  9. By: Lisa Marie Posted: 14th August

    I’m moved by all your comments! I’m sorry to all of you that have lost loved ones. I’ve also had someone close to me commit suicide, I sympathize, but not my own child. That I couldn’t even begin to imagine. My heart goes out to you :O)
    I institutionalized myself just after my 16th birthday. I was seeing a psychiatrist of my parents (and insurances’)choosing that I particularly didn’t like. I’ve always had that radar that I just know when people are not good for me, call it intuition, whatever. I just know she set it off like a siren. I wasn’t comfortable talking to her and when I finally did she breached patient confidentiality and told my parents things that she shouldn’t have. It was nothing that was life threatening to me or anyone else, she had no right to tell anyone.

    I thought going into the mental hospital would help me more because I would have a better doctor. Boy was It a surprised when I found out I had the same doctor! It was horrible there. It was more like club med for horney teenagers. They didn’t really help me with anything , just set me up on medications that made me feel worse. They sedated me when I tried to object to the treatment. I was upset that I had brought myself in on my own free will, yet had no say so in the treatment. I never checked out, they just kicked me out when my parents’ insurance finally ran out. They did’t want to help me, just help themselves- to my parents’ bank account. I’ve not been to therapy since. They scared me and left me feeling they had no better idea what to do than I did.

    I’m glad to see that there are advocates out there, I wish there had been a voice for me when I was in that place.
    Thank you!

  10. By: Nikki Posted: 14th August

    Olivia one more thing I want you to know that you are not a blubbering idiot you shared your heart with us and that takes strength and courage and your voice counts! I just wanted you to know that.

    Vikki I am truly sorry to hear about your daughter and how she was done, this is the very reason that I do speak up. Most people who are treated with a mental health concern don’t have the resources to realize that they have rights. I hope that this soon changes! The situation with your daughter was in violation of all of her rights first as an individual and secondly as a patient. One voice can make a hum and be ignored but many voices together can not be ignored. Those of us that can needs to carry the torch for individuals like your daughter and many others.

    Victoria, my sweet friend thank you so much for your words and your voice. You have been an inspiration to many and been a supportive friend to me.

    They say Silence is golden but in abusive situation it is deadly. There is no shame in speaking up to exposing the truth. The only shame is when we overlook or allow the truth not to be told. Abuse leaves an individual feeling as though they are not worth loving or fighting for but that is simply not true. The problem lays with the abuser not the abused.

    I am thankful that Darlene does share her life story with all of us, Emerging from Broken has been a blessing in my life. To actually be able to read what Darlene and others have shared it has helped me to unravel much more about my own situation to be able to continue moving forward. Thank you for your courage Darlene and to the many others who comment on her blog. God Bless!

    One more correction in one of my comments I spoke about having to go to the doctor at age 21 .. in the statement I said “by they way that was the first time I attempted on my 21 first birthday” the correction is “by the way that wasn’t the first time I tried to attempt suicide, I attempted several times, on my 21st birthday” sorry for the typo I need to do more proof reading LOL!!

  11. By: Victoria Mcfarland Posted: 13th August

    First, I would like to commend and congratulate Nikki on a job well done. She is a personal friend of mine ( we met through NAMI training) and she shares her pain ,triumphs,confusion,and wisdom with us on a daily basis. She is a true asset to those of us who struggle with and journey toward recovery from the devastating effects of mental illness.

    To Olivia, I too have been in abusive relationships from the time of infancy til the end of my first marraige. I know the personal hell of having everything stripped from you …your self-esteem and self-worth, financial independence, dreams for your futute, and most of all your feelings of safety. From having a mother who was physically abusive and often threatened to kill myself and my siblings, to having an ex-husband that beat me and slept with a knife stuck in the wall next to the bed, I feel your pain and sense of despair. My heart aches for you, because I too have felt that hopelessness. I too know the guilt of wondering if you had done things differently would your things have turned out differently.

    However, as someone who DID manage to get out of those situations and has a happy, blessed life now ( although I still struggle daily to maintain an equilibrium with my mental illness), I can tell you there is ALWAYS help available. If you can manage to reach out, there is a wealth of resources, as Nikki has explained, ready to help you. If you are uncomfortable confiding in your doctor, you may call the domestic violence hotline. I know this may sound scary to you and initially you may want to go back “home” because so often we would rather endure the abuse than leave our comfort zone, but you can talk with counselors free of charge . You do not have to give your name or location if you do not want to. However, if you decide to leave, they can even pick you up and transport you to a safe house where your husband has no idea where you are. While living outside your own home might be uncomfortable at first, they will also help you to find housing and other resources to help support you emotionally and financially.

    for me, the fear was put in my mind b y my ex-husband that I could not make it on my own. I was scared I would not be able to support myself and my child. However, once I left everything fell into place very easily and I wished I had done it so much sooner. I was able to get an apartment for no rent through housing assistance for a couple of years, assistance with food and daycare expenses and even got a gas allowance for going to college. PLEASE seek help in whatever way you can to remove yourself from danger. If I can do it, ANYONE can. Now I too am an advocate for mental illness, married to a man who treats me like a princess and truly have my dreams come true. We believe in you. Please remember the hardest step is the first step you take.

    Bless you.

    Bless you.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th August

      I am so sorry for your loss. The more you share with us, the more amazed I am ~ your strength is astounding and it represents why I do what I do with this blog. Abuse and invalidation cause so much harm and lives have been lost and are at stake. I believe that the only way things will change is if people are empowered to take their lives back from the abusers and controllers. That is how my life was saved. I finally was empowered to stand up for myself and say no. I finally saw that the system I lived in was wrong.
      Thank you so much for sharing your life and contributing to this blog. In July, this blog had an average of 500 visitors a day. You may not realize it, but we are making a difference.
      Love Darlene

      I am thrilled to see your post bringing out a different aspect of the struggle so many of us go through. I had not had this experience of being invalidated in a mental health facility myself so I could not have highlighted it. My theory is that we get stuck in these places, and if we don’t talk about them, we stay stuck. Often we don’t even know we are stuck there; we don’t even realize how wrong the situation was, because we have been conditioned to accept this kind of devaluing treatment as “just the way that it is”. We live in a world of “pecking order” and the skewed definition of respect.
      Love Darlene

      Welcome Victoria,
      Thank you so much for your contribution to this post. Thank you for sharing your story and offering some solution and especially for sharing your victory and your hope. I believe that hope is the seed that nurtures all the other seeds.
      I am really glad that you stopped by and I hope that you will share your life and your truth with us often.
      Hugs and blessings, Darlene

  12. By: vikki hamann Posted: 13th August

    Your story pressed so many buttons in me. My daughter suffered trauma through abuse. She hit a rock bottom when she found out her husband had been sexually abusing their little baby girl from an early age She was placed in a Mental Health Hospital after a visit from a Mental Health Worker to my home where she was staying at the time because she left her husband. They convinced her she needd to be there despite what I thought but she got worse. They allowed her husband to see her there and she was so traumatised by the visit they injected her and placed her on medication. That also put her in a zoobie like state. She hated it and slowly slipped away from me and her children.They offered no other treatment at all except strong medication. I spoke up and was told that I could not interfere with her rights. They had taken over her life and controlled her through keeping her medicated all the time. When they released her I was told by phone the night before that she could not come home to me or the children that they decided she was a threat to herself and the children she was totally alone. I was told if I took her home Chid Welfare would remove the children from me. My beautiful daughter loved her children so much she made the decision and told me to look after the children for her. In June 2000 she took her life and left 2 young children. Your are amazing thank you for your courage to stand up against a system that is out of touch with the needs and dignity of many who are suffering from abuse.I have advocated for my grandchildren who have lived with me since the death of their mother. I have full guardship of the children but the battle took 5 yrs love to you and GOD BLESS YOU xxxxxx

  13. By: Nikki Posted: 13th August

    Just remember Olivia you are not alone there are many resources out there sharing with your doctor, as Darlene mentioned, what you have shared with us will help him to help you. And you are right it takes one step at a time and with each step forward you will see progress maybe at first small then the further you go much more. Hang in there my friend, and to be honest getting help takes much strength and courage so just know there is no shame in getting help, and don’t give up!

    Here is also the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence link to take you to the list for each state’s coalition

    Here the main link to the website they have many resources to help you

  14. By: Olivia sanchez Posted: 13th August

    Ms. Darlene I haven’t told my doctor but, every time I have an appointment he asks me if there anything going on at home. He said some of my injuries have raised red flags. I was always too embarrassed to say “my husband beat me up, or broke my collar bone or whatever”. But, I know for a fact I cant live like this anymore because its literally killing me piece by piece. When my daughter left me like she did It triggered something inside me. I had no hope left. She was 15 and she was like my rock. I was hurt that she didnt come talk to me or ask for help she just left. I doubt I will ever get over her death and she will always be in my heart but, in order for me to live I have to get away, and I know that…
    Thank you both for your support, just talking with someone makes me feel a little bit better and so much more stronger.

  15. By: Olivia sanchez Posted: 13th August

    You are helping others Ms. Stone. I am sitting here blubbering like an idiot. I admit I hate this life and what Im going through but, I need to live for her to help be her voice and maybe I can find my own in the process. Its been a long process already but, maybe if I take it one step at a time I can make it. I think the first step is getting rid of my husband. With him gone maybe I have a chance.

    Thank you again for everything you have told me and all your kinds words they have touched my heart Oh so much. Your an awesome lady and your touching many hearts.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th August

      Hi Olivia,
      Have you told the doctors that are trying to help you about the physical abuse that you are living with? They might be able to direct you to people who can help you. I understand how hard it is to stand up for yourself, but the way that you discribe it, you are in a very dangerous situation. I agree with you that the first step is to distance yourself from your husband, but you may need help to do that. Talking to your doctor would be a great first step.

      I am so sorry that you have had to live with such grief and distress and for the loss of your daughter. Nikki is right, no one is to blame for suicide. It is a choice made out of extreem pain and hoplessness. Thanks for sharing with us and please be gentle with yourself.
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Nikki Posted: 13th August

    Olivia you are amazing and I thank you for taking the courage to share your story that is how advocacy really starts is sharing. You have just spoke for yourself and that is the beginning of finding strength..

    I am sorry to hear about your daughter and about how your husband is treating you. You should not have to go through that. Suicide is a very hard area to deal with. People who are left behind question themselves and others and often blame themselves and others, but truth is suicide is a personal choice. We can reach out and help the individual yet it is a personal choice. My friend didn’t want me to commit suicide (by they way that was the first time I attempted on my 21 first birthday I was sitting in a doctors office trying to explain to him and to my mom why I had tried slitting my wrist and when that didn’t work I had got my dads gun which my aunt had to take out of my hand).. so in such cases as suicide there is no blame just that we have to allow ourselves to grieve and to work thru it one day at a time. But we have to go on living..

    I am glad that you are still alive be the voice for yourself and be the voice for your daughter. You never know who it will reach and help not only that but what I have learned is by helping others I am also helping myself..

  17. By: Nikki Posted: 13th August

    I wanted to add one more thing always know your patient rights. NAMI’s peer to peer class is wonderful in helping you to know your rights. to find your local NAMI just go to this link and educate yourself there are many resources on-line..

  18. By: Olivia sanchez Posted: 13th August

    I think you are so absolutely wonderful. Your words have deep meaning.

    I think that is half my problem not just the physical abuse but the mental abuse I am enduring. When someone tells us were not worth anything for so long we start to believe the lies. I mean I want to believe its a lie.

    A few years ago my daughter committed suicide my husband blamed me. but I knew in my heart it wasn’t my fault. But, my mind is making me believe otherwise. Recently after Mia’s death my husband and I took a horrific turn for the worst its like he turned from a wife beating monster to a wife killer. I felt as if he wanted me dead to. After he beat the stuffing out of me one night and nearly put me in the hospital I called a friend and told her I loved her and would miss her and hung up. I sat on the kitchen floor and took a whole bottle of oxycontin (from a previous injury). When I woke up I was in the ER. They pumped my stomach and kept me for 72 hours. It was literally hell i there. Everything and everyone was plain. The earrings my dead mother gave me they took out and actually lost one of them. I never thought I would have to go to a place like that again but, Im not so sure nowadays,.

    Thank you for all your encouragement and advice.

  19. By: Nikki Posted: 13th August

    Hello Olivia the question of how do I advocate … The night that I had the nervous break down I was in another mental hospital (actually I had the break down while in the hospital)I laid in the hospital bed crying so deeply that I felt the tears come from my very guts and all I can remember praying was “God please open the doors for me!” In my mind I was thinking hospital doors in my heart I was screaming “Don’t let me die” at that point I had no one I could turn too even the medical professionals did not know what to do for me because I have treatment resistant bipolar 1 disorder, the next day I checked myself out against medical advice the doctor knew I was extremely sick and needed help but I refused I went home to die. When I got home all I could really do was sit on the couch and watch t.v. however I would go to mine and my husband’s bedroom and get out the 9mm gun and hold it while I thought of where and when. I had already started making arrangements in my own mind for the funeral. Then something wonderful happened a friend from my childhood came back into my life I hadn’t seen her in over 19 years our happy reunion was cut short because I was in such desperate need of just anyone to listen to me to hear me. At that time other than crying at the hospital, I could not cry for myself, but this friend she would listen to me, she would pray for me, and she even cried for me. I had never had anyone to cry for me and at that time I could not even cry for myself.. My friend didn’t not give up on me. With such love and compassion and prayers I started reaching out and that is when I came across NAMI.

    I advocate because I know now that I am not alone, that I have a voice, I have a choice, I am not forsaken nor forgotten, and that I really deeply want other people to know and realize the same thing about themselves. I have people who I know personally who did not have a voice some died without every being heard. So everytime I get up to deliver a speech or to advocate I stand for myself, for them, and for many others.. that is how I do it… in truth Love rescued me when I couldn’t even love myself.

    It is your choice, not anyone else. You have a voice and a right to be the person you are no one has that right to take that from you. I had to realize I was worth fighting for, that I had to take a stand.

    Taking medication can only do so much the other part is left up to us, my doctor that I have now told me that all medicine is, is like a cast. Just like a cast on a leg or arm helps to hold the limb as needed until it heals, the cast does not heal the leg but it helps it. Ultimately healing is left up to us. I have had to change my environment. In my case changing my environment means not allowing people to walk over me or bully me, as well as what I watch or listen too and read. If it is not wholesome and beneficial then I don’t need to feed my mind that junk.

    When I realized that I feared people more than I feared God that put a whole new perspective on the way I look at things. After going thru many times of abuse myself, I can understand how someone can fear others, however what I realized about myself is I had made the opinions and actions of other people my god in which if these opinions and actions were wrong and abusive that is what I thought define me. The truth is they dont define me .. it may define them but it don’t me!

    Seeking treatment can be hard and scary but investigate, ask around and always remember the only difference between you and a doctor is 8 years of college but he or she has not had 8 years of experience with you. So if that doctor is not providing the treatment you need you have a right to refuse and to find a second opinion or even a third or fourth.. it is your life and your choice.

  20. By: Olivia sanchez Posted: 13th August

    Wow Ms. Stone you have been through so much. How do you do it? I mean being an advocate. I have been in an abusive relationship with my husband for almost 15 years and it has brought me to a great depression. My family doctor is trying seroquel and low dose Xanax and I dont think its working. I have thought often of checking myself in at the hospital but, have been scared to do some in some aspects. I know if I do I will get the treatment I need and I will get to be away from my husband for a little bit. But, what can they do that my family doctor cant do?

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