CALL US TODAY: 718.869.7000 | 327 Beach 19th St, Far Rockaway NY 11691

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Tamisha's Story

I don’t feel mentally ill. Mental illness isn’t something that I had to deal with as a child, but sometimes the confines of society weigh down on you. I felt a lot of pressure from my job, so sometimes to release the stress, I smoked marijuana. One day, I smoked marijuana with someone on my job, but it had been laced with something. I lost my memory and was threatening to kill him, which is how I ended up at St. John’s.

My first experience at the hospital didn’t go well. I was on a rant and ended up hospitalized in the Psychiatric ward. That really didn’t help because I was with other people who had worse problems than I. At that point, I didn’t think that I was crazy, I thought I was angry, so I didn’t want to take medicine which made my stay longer. Security had to hold me down and give me shots and my medicine because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me.

I’ve been in and out of Psychiatric wards as a result of the side effects from this drug for the past 8 years. I’m doing well. I haven’t been in the hospital for 2 years. The experience with St. John’s, as far as the people who were taking care of me, they did the best they could, I just didn’t feel that it was the place for me.

I felt like I needed a support group, so I was referred to Susan’s group at [the Community Mental Health Center]. The group is a lot of help for me because I get to talk to other people about what makes me angry and just what I go through as a woman.

I got a label of being schizoaffective and paranoid, but going to the support group every Thursday has really helped me. It lets me know that people are going through worse things than me and I’ve really learned how to manage my life, deal with the position that I’m in as a woman and just live my best life.

At first, I believed in the stigma about [mental illness] and I didn’t want to take my medicine, but I take it because I don’t want to slip back into that place anymore because you can go there and lose yourself. I’ve learned to center myself, keep myself leveled and manage my problems.

I’m not back working, but I went to college for social work and I would love to get my PhD in social work because I love helping people and I feel like I have an idea of how the universe works and how we can all help each other. Susan has helped me, the doctors have helped me, and my group members are okay. Sometimes they get on my nerves but I love them and I feel thankful for coming to this program. Everything happens for a reason and I needed this help to help me into my next step in life. I want to feel like I’m a part of society again, to be more social, and I think this center is helping me do that.

327 Beach 19th Street Far Rockaway, NY 11691 | TO REACH US: (718) 869-7000