When I look back over my life from where I am now, I wonder why it took me so long to consent to medication. I thought I could “muscle” through these times with lots of will-power. I am a “stubborn” German who thought I was a failure if I admitted I could not do it on my own. I did not realize how I was affecting my loved ones during these times. They had to walk on eggshells so often. With the medication, along with learning many different effective coping skills and going to therapy, I have been stable for well over 3 years. I have a few blips during the course of a year, especially when the seasons change, but with the help of my monthly therapy appointments and lots of self-care and self-compassion, I am able to weather those times with minimal disruption to my daily life. . .
It is due to this history that I chose my current career. I went back to school to get a Master of Social Work degree. I am a licensed school social worker in a small charter school. Several of the students I work with have anxiety, depression, bipolar, OCD, schizophrenic traits, borderline personality traits, rage, suicidal ideation etc. Many are on medications, see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist, and/or have mental health case managers. I am there to help them process through crisis moments and teach coping skills. I want to make a difference, one student, one person at a time. I advocate for us that have mental illness and do my best to educate to reduce stigma.
Trigger Warning: Talk of eating disorder.
Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 | onbeingmindful.
[L]ast year, Lulu — the brilliant idea lady and the creator of the Blog for Mental Health project in 2012 — trustingly and graciously handed her baby over to me to release through Canvas, our joint venture.
I’ve met so many incredible people since the launch of Canvas, and then last year through Blog For Mental Health 2013. Quite a few I know will be my dear friends forever. Though I have had my ups and downs and have been more or less declared “unmedicatable” (my word and a long story), I am happier and healthier mentally than I ever dreamed I would (or even could) be in my life.
Read the post in its entirety! Visit Still Crazy After All These Years – BFMH 2014 | I Was Just Thinking. . .
I’m grateful for everyone who has commended my “courage” to open up about depression. But to be honest, there was nothing courageous about it. Truth is, I didn’t realize there was a stigma against depression, so it was in blissful ignorance that I began to write and speak about my experiences. . . I talked about it because it seemed like the best way to be understood.
As I became increasingly aware of other sufferers’ fear of opening up or seeking help, I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. Did my outspokenness, both while in and out of depression, stem from an excessive need for attention? That is, after all, one of the common accusations heaped on those who do talk about their struggles. Coming across this quote by William Styron (most famously known for writing ‘Sophie’s Choice’) assured me that people can have legitimate reasons for being perfectly fine with talking about their mental struggles. . .
Read the post in its entirety! Visit Why I’m happy to talk about my depression / Blog for Mental Health 2014 – Under Reconstruction.
It’s taken me a tremendously long time to get to where I am today, admitting my powerlessness over the fact that my brain and emotions are not under my control and that I have to be completely honest about that with myself and with others, and especially with my Higher Power, if I am to be able to get healing and live a healthier, more functional life.
I am pledging to participate in this Bloggers for Mental Health 2014 project in an effort to educate, inform, offer resources, reduce stigma, and raise awareness and sensitivity to the Mental Health Issues and Challenges that people experience, every single day . . . people whom we love and care about, people we work with, people we live next door to, people we go to church with, attend school with, or drive down the road beside. People who may just be us.
Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 | PDX Social Safety Net.