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[“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” music]
Kristin, Shortstop: We’re the Sharp Sluggers, and we are from Sharp Hospital outpatient, and we come out here and have fun and do the best we can.
Betty Templeton, Psychiatric Rehabilitation: Everyone on the team has been a part of Sharp Mesa Vista. Everyone here has a mental illness.
Players: Good game.
Danny: Do you want to know what it was like when I was first hospitalized? I was really, really paranoid, and so I was scared of everybody. I thought everybody was out to kill me, including people I loved.
Kathe, Danny’s MomKathe: Scared to death of me sometimes that when I’d hug him, I was going to break his neck, and he actually told me that … it was just … what a horrible disease.
Danny: My doctor said I have schizoaffective disorder, depressive disorder and OCD.
Kathe: He had been having psychological problems with depression and anxiety and stuff, and then he had a psychotic break. He was going to go to Sharp Mesa Vista’s outpatient program, and they interviewed him and said, “He’s in bad shape. He has to go upstairs.” Which is inpatient. So wait a minute, you can’t do that. And then the vision of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Leaving your preschooler hanging on to your leg, “don’t go, don’t go,” is nothing compared to your teenager just being so scared, “you can’t leave me here.” And, but once I got inside and found out how nice it was, how good the people were.
Danny: I just wish people were more accepting and understanding, because it’s pretty tough. It’s pretty tough.
Kathe: It took me a long time to be able to say, my kid has schizophrenia. But now, I tell people. You’ve got to get out there and fight the stigma, because it’s you and me, it’s our kids, and it shouldn’t be hidden.
Trolley Operator: Park Boulevard. San Diego Trolley.
Kathe: He’s living on his own in a studio downtown, but activities of daily living is still a struggle.
Danny: I had trouble walking around in supermarkets because of the tiles. Like, here’s a black tile, a white tile, a blue tile, and they’re in weird patterns, and I had to walk in certain patterns, and it was really scary, because I’d get to the end of one pattern, and I couldn’t go to the next one. And now, when I have my own apartment, I know they only deliver the mail once a day, but pretty much every time I go in there, I go to my mailbox and check it. And I say I like junk mail, because it proves that I exist. A lot of times, I feel like maybe I don’t exist. And maybe this whole world is an illusion, and then I’m like, well, if it is, I’ve just got to keep living in it, the best way I can.
Danny: I have an apartment, so that makes me the head of my household, even though it’s just me and a teddy bear or something.
Dr. Christopher Morache, Psychiatrist: When I first met Danny, he was still living at home, and was terribly, terribly depressed. And now, when I think of Danny, I think of someone who goes to ComicCon, someone who rides the trolley and makes friends on the trolley.
Danny: She’s right. You’re not your diagnosis. I have a lot of problems, but.…
Dr. Morache: The long haul of recovery is through therapeutic intervention. Sure, I give them medications, but what they really need to stay healthy is some type of healthy interaction with somebody.
Betty: Most people don’t realize that Sharp Mesa Vista is the largest private behavioral health facility in the state of California.
Betty: I’ve heard them say, I live for that softball. Every interaction I have with them is, how many more days until we play softball?
Male Patient: Here we go. Here we go. We’re playing.
Lisa, Right Field: You guys are going down.
Lisa: What a wonderful program to build relationships, to build confidence and to feel good.
Player: Come on, Danny.
Players: Go Danny, go!
Players: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Players: Go, go, go.
Danny: It’s so great. All the problems and stuff in my life, like go away when I’m out there.
Betty: Managing the illness is a day-to-day thing, and the only role they have is being a patient, so we’re trying to move them outside of that, integrate them back into the community and just living again, outside of that illness.
Lisa: I’m not, I’m not going to tell you my diagnosis. Because you know what? I want you to know me as Lisa. Yeah, I do have symptoms of my diagnosis, but you know, I’m Lisa, and that’s who I want people to know me as.
Betty: Good game, honey.
Players: Good game.
Danny: We’re just regular people, trying to live the best way we can.
Female Patient: Nice hitting, Danny.
Betty: There is always hope. Always. Always.