Breakdown Benefits


In their urgency to cure my psychoses

anti depressants, SSRIs are prescribed

with lithium to settle moods and

as a last measure twelve sessions

of ECT under anaesthetic.


Noone slows down, explores reasons

for extreme symptoms at this stage of 

a long life.  Can they be traced to early trauma, 

father’s death when only nine months old,

mother smothering her own powerful grief?


My friend says, “This is not a breakdown

but a break through.”  Maybe afterwards.

Stigma of mental illness, psych ward

doesn’t admit the insights and compassion

we mad people learn for ourselves and others.


We ask for gentler environments

than mental hospital detention, rooms

for rest and recovery in communities,

care and helpful conversations, value

placed on our deeper comprehension.​