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Living is Not Mental Illness

Sometimes, mental illness becomes a moniker for anything that seems hard.  I am guilty of defining my actions according to The Big Book of DID, particularly when I feel challenged by the unknown.  Everything about my behavior, my health, my pursuits, etc. is not a DID response to a trigger-happy life though,  even when my mind wants it that way. . .

I feel more at ease with taking a moderate look at my life.  I ask myself whether I’m having flashbacks, automatic neural spikes, grief… or, perhaps, experiencing anxiety related to hormonal shifts related to my current age of 54.  Once I ask myself this kind of question, I chill a little, encourage myself to remember life changes are normal, and often stressful for many women, but that it’s not the same experience as post-partum-meltdown-gone-rogue.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit The Necklace Comes Off! who knew? | Living is Not Mental Illness.

Accept The Bullshit – Blog for Mental Health 2014 – From the Inside

. . . By this point, my main diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features. New diagnoses were thrown at me with every new psychiatrist I got.

Freshman year I got another new psychiatrist and therapist combo. I was slowly weaned off any medication only to be put back on it after things got too rocky a quarter of the way through my sophomore year.

January of 2012 saw me into a residential program in Belmont, Massachusetts. Another psychiatrist. Another therapist. Taken off medication again. It was there that I was first seriously introduced to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and the possibility of having Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD seemed to fit a lot of my struggles when my PTSD symptoms were taken out of the equation. The type of therapy that this particular treatment center specialized in was and still is a huge part of my coping skill set. . .

The trick about having diagnoses is in separating yourself from them. It’s tough, especially with BPD. Even the name seems to imply negative things about me as a person. It’s a personality disorder. Does that mean my personality is disordered? Am I simply existing wrong? The answer is no. There is a lot more to my existence than mental illness, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. I am not defined by my problems or sicknesses. No one is. It took a long time for me to realize that.

Read the rest of the story by visiting Blog for Mental Health 2014 – From the Inside | Accept The Bullshit.

Trigger Warning: Image of self-harm, talk of self-harm, sexual abuse, suicide

A Bipolar Journey Through The Rabbit Hole

I experienced a lot of bouncing thoughts, I was hyper-sexual, I self-medicated and had done so for many years, I took many risks with my health and relationships, I had no control over money; basically my life was constantly on the brink of complete and utter ruin due to manic behavior. I was also depressed a good deal of the time. Where the psychosis occurred, I have no idea. But, then that is the nature of psychosis; you do not know that you are psychotic. 

I have been hospitalized numerous times both voluntarily because I did not feel safe around myself, and “involuntarily” because others felt I was a danger to myself. I saw many different manifestations of Bipolar disorder, I saw people with Schizophrenia, people who were just psychotic for whatever reason, and I saw people who were simply depressed, had attempted suicide or were afraid that they would. When you are in the hospital, everyone is “crazy” which is a term I really do not like. I do not consider myself or others “crazy”, “nuts” or any other moniker the public chooses to attach to us. What I see are people fighting very hard to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | A Bipolar Journey Through The Rabbit Hole.

Mother’s Hamburger

A few months ago I had to go to physical therapy following a sprained ankle from a fall at work. The physical therapist and I started talking about our families and sharing stories of people with mental illness and how it has affected us. This was one of my prompts to start this blog. I believe that everyone is affected by mental illness in some way. I find myself talking about the mental health issues of my mother, my son and myself on an almost daily basis.

I may not always write about how something that happens to me and my reaction to it is related to my experiences with mental illness, but it’s always there. There’s always a correlation. Sometimes I don’t want to explore it, but sometimes I have to. These stories need to be shared. People need to realize that they’re not alone. I believe that the more people realize that mental illness is not something to be feared, but something to be treated, the more help everyone will get in their efforts to access treatment.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 | Mother’s Hamburger.

Radiant Sunshine

For many years I have heard people in the Black community pass judgment on others by using terms like, “crazy” or “touched”, to identify those that may suffer from mental illness.  This history of ignorance has created a huge stigma in our community.  The fact is, many Blacks do not believe or acknowledge mental illness as true medical condition. . .

The stigma attached to mental illness in our community is associated with shame and disgrace, hiding that we either don’t believe or acknowledge there is a problem. This shame creates the view that anyone suffering from mental illness is a weak individual, does not have faith in God or is using a diagnosis as an excuse.  With these views placed on individuals who are mentally ill in our community, it causes them to believe they are the problem and have to suffer in silence.  This silence for many of those suffering means not seeking treatment and getting the support needed to improve their quality of life.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014: The Stigma of Mental Health in Black Community | Radiant Sunshine.