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Radiant Sunshine – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project: Depression in the Black Community

“You’re just a little sad.”

“Things will get better, don’t worry.”

“All you need to do is pray; God will work it out.”

“You come from a strong line of people, we’ve survived slavery, Jim Crow and years of racism; you can get through this problem.”

To someone suffering with depression, these statements can be hurtful, angering and very isolating.  Depression is far from slavery, genocide, or the institution of racism, but to some it can be very frightening with very real pain.

Read the rest!  Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project: Depression in the Black Community | Radiant Sunshine

Toss the Typewriter – Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

Someone you love is in trouble, and you are desperately seeking a way to help this person. You need answers and direction, fast.  Perhaps your loved one exhibits signs of addiction, or his behavior is erratic. Maybe your once sensitive and loving child (spouse, parent, sibling) cruelly slices your sense of self with his words. Maybe your loved one is alone and lonely, abandoned by his friends who do not understand why he has changed. For whatever reason, you are searching and you found this page.

Are you really ready to do everything you can to help your loved one? If so, the first step is to let go of the shame and the pride that has you anonymously searching the internet for help. You will have to admit that your loved one has a debilitating illness. Cancer is an illness. Diabetes is an illness. Addiction, bipolar, schizophrenia, et al, are all illnesses. Being an ostrich doesn’t make these illnesses go away. Sooner or later, to access the help that is available, you will have to get past your pride. Your choice is simple really. You can keep your healthy pride, or you can help your loved one find a healthy life.

Read the rest!  Visit Put Your Oxygen Mask On First | Toss the Typewriter.

Radiant Sunshine – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project: Bipolar in the Black Community

As a professional in human services it is the most difficult thing in the world to watch people suffer when there is help out there.  This feeling is even worse when you have a personal relationship with this person.  For the last few years that is exactly what I have been dealing with in my own life.  I’ve watched this person have extreme mood swings, going from manic to depressive in what feels like the blink of an eye.  Over time, this person’s extreme ups and downs have pushed people away and literally damaged some very important relationships for them.  Like many African-Americans, this person is spending their life suffering (aware or unaware of diagnosis) and not seeking the help they need.  In the case of the person I’m talking about there is no official diagnoses; however they have been told by myself and others to seek help and displayed many of the symptoms of Bipolar Type II.

Remember Bipolar disorder is far from easy to understand and in many cases the symptoms can look like separate issues.  This reality makes Bipolar difficult to diagnose in general and as a result has led to it being even worse in the Black community due to our lack of seeking treatment.  For this reason, many people and those who love them may suffer for years before ever being treated, making this a frustrating and debilitating illness.  If you or anyone you love is suffering please seek help.

Read the rest!  Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project: Bipolar in the Black Community | Radiant Sunshine.

fractalthoughts – Reinvention- or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept Change

I jumped right in while I had an hour between conference calls and started outlining the talk. This was an easy one for me as I have endless reinvention material. I decided to make my story about all of the short term, highly diverse jobs I had before I found my intended career. To be fair, I work in web-based software interface design and that wasn’t even close to being a mainstream career choice when I was starting out. so I made do with what opportunities came along.

The title of this talk is “Dr Strangejob….or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept (Career) Change” It helps if you’ve seen the movie and some of my audience is much younger than me, so some of the joke will be lost on them, but I hope the overall theme is universal enough to speak to them. What I was forced to hold back in this talk was the mental struggles that made this journey all the more challenging, especially previously undiagnosed ones.

Here’s a sneak peek: I will have 4 lessons learned for each job and how they can apply those lessons in their day to day work lives. I am now realizing this applies far beyond the professional realm into the fabric of how we all live, so I thought I’d share some tidbits from the presentation with all of you. I won’t bore you with the whole outline, just a few highlights.

Read the rest!  Visit Reinvention- or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept Change | fractalthoughts

Toss the Typewriter – Weekly Brief – Relief for Caregiver Stress

There are mornings when you wake up and you are too tired to get out of bed.  There are nights when you are so tired, you cannot go to bed. The television is a balm to your exhaustion. It saves you from thinking, from worrying, from obsessing.

I need to work to pay the bills; I need to work to maintain insurance.  But I cannot work today; I’m needed at home. What if I’m fired?

You care for your aging parent, your young child with a disability, your spouse battling mental illness. Love, anger, resentment, anxiety, exhaustion swirl until the vortex has you gasping for breath.

Read the rest!  Visit Weekly Brief – Relief for Caregiver Stress | Toss the Typewriter.