From Institutions to Freedom-The Roger Heater Story
Former Comedian turned Public Speaker talks about his life living with a mental illness called Intermittent Explosive Disorder
From Institutions to Freedom- The Roger Heater story
If your child is throwing temper tantrums beyond your control…
If the man in your life blows up in a rage over the smallest things…
If your house is being destroyed by the hands of these people…
Then this story is for you
From Institutions to Freedom tells the story of Roger Heater who has lived with IED for almost five decades.
As a child Roger suffered from temper tantrums and rage attacks, what began as tantrums banging his head on the floor ended in rage attacks flipping furniture over and destroying his bedroom. These attacks lasted thirty minutes to two hours sometimes. At times his parents were forced to sit on him and hold him down so he wouldn’t cause any damage to himself, or them. By age 12 he was made a ward of the court and spent the next four years being shuffled around shelters, group homes, mental institutions, and psychiatric hospitals throughout the State of California, during which time he experienced several different forms of discipline and medications.
In the 70’s Roger was placed in Deveraux, a institution where they mixed mentally handicap adults with kids. At age 13 he was living with adults as old as 70. Being stripped of his belt, shoes and pockets emptied, he was placed in a 7ft by 4ft room with no outside window or door knob on the inside. He was restrained on beds by being wrapped in sheets from the ankles to his neck. As early as 9 years old he was subjected to several different anti-depressants including Ritalin, Valium and Lithium.
Over the next 15 years he self medicated with marijuana that he began to smoke excessively from as early as age 15. It seemed to control his hyper energy and aggressive behavior. By age 19 his impulsive and addictive personality began to crave the drug- cocaine. Four years later after almost overdosing one evening, he began a self therapy treatment that involved one day at a time of not touching the drug and performing at local amateur comedy clubs throughout the Bay area. Just like marijuana, comedy became an excellent outlet to release his extra aggression. By age 34 with two addictive drug habits and two failed marriages behind him, the comedy stage alone was no longer enough to keep his anger under control. His aggressive and abusive behavior landed him into a psychiatric hospital twice within a 6 month period.
3 decades of Roger’s IED incidents-
Age 4; Temper tantrums began, Roger would lay flat on his stomach and repeatedly bang his head on the floor, his mother had to hold him until he calmed down.
Age 11; He was running head first into walls, destroying his room so bad that everything was removed except his bed and dresser.
Age 16; Roger took out 32 car windshields with a baseball bat causing over $5000.00 worth in damages.
In his early 20’s after receiving a hamburger with mayo at a Jack in the Box drive-thru, he threw it back at the server and sped off in a screaming road rage into heavy expressway traffic almost causing a three car pileup.
In his early 20’s to mid 30’s he mentally and physically attacked 3 separate wives. During a rage attack he was known to lift wives up off the floor by their throats.
After struggling for over three decades, he was finally given a diagnosis in 1995. He was told he had a mental disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder. (I-E-D). This disorder was still unknown to the public and researchers at the time, so proper medications and therapy were still in the testing stage. Over the years while learning what he could about the disease he taught himself how to overcome and survive living with it. After more than 20 years of touring and performing comedy all over the United States, he developed a strong ability to keep any size groups attention and his strong stage presence continues to shine even when delivering material on a much darker subject. His sense of humor, passion and understanding for this disorder stands out in every delivery.
Roger is about to finish his 1st book
From Institutions to Freedom in the hopes that sharing his story with others will motivate and show others that instead of
you can’t-you can! Also in the works, Roger will be writing a 2nd book entitled Minus the Grey Area, a journal of his steps to beating this disorder and living a life medication free for over 15 years now.
Email us to schedule. Contact us @firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger is dedicated to speak wherever there is a need. A man who never took “you can’t” as an excuse, Roger fought through each and every obstacle and came out proving everyone wrong.
Roger is sharing his story all around the country. Please email us with where you are from and names of organizations that may benefit in hearing this powerful, motivating story
To learn more about IED or to book a pro-Bono talk, or just to speak with Roger on line, continue reading through this site.
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