Monthly Archives: May 2014

Anxiety Girl Becomes Mum

My problem is, the way people, and media, just throw around the term ‘mental illness.

For instance,
“…a young women, who has a history of mental illness…”
“…the killer has a history of severe mental illness…”
“…today a man with a history of mental illness attacked…
“…the alleged killer has a history of mental illness…”
“…the accused has a history of mental illness…”

If you think that’s ok, then just replace mental with the word ‘physical’ and you’ll see how ridiculous it is.

The term ‘mental illness’ cannot continue to be used as a cover all for every single type of mental illness out there. And it certainly cannot be used to ‘explain’ away people’s behaviour, so that everyone just nods their head and thinks ‘oh, they have a mental illness, well that explains it then.’

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Anxiety Girl Becomes Mum: A History of Mental Illness.

Parenting a Teenage Tornado

In addition to his bipolar diagnosis, my son also deals with extreme anxiety, sensory processing disorder and OCD tendencies. Some of the challenges my son has had that go along with these diagnoses are disabilities such as, dysgraphia, auditory, tactile, vestibular and proprioception dysfunctions. Combine all of these things and it is like your body is at war with itself every day.

Although my son has learned how to cope with many of these disorders and can regulate himself enough to not have meltdowns in class (most of the time), school itself if is a building filled with things that can be overwhelming to kids with neurological disorders or mental illnesses. Flourescent lights, chairs scraping the floors, crowded hallways, kids yelling at each other, teachers yelling at kids or even the silence of having to sit in a classroom during a test can all attack the senses. Add on top of all that the bipolar symptom of just not caring. Not caring that you failed a test or not caring that you didn’t do the homework and the teacher will be upset but don’t forget to mix in the lovely anxiety that comes after the teacher has yelled at you or your parents are disappointed in the failed test. For kids that usually deal with these challenges, their own brain is usually the biggest bully they will ever face.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit One Mom’s Love/Hate Relationship with School | Parenting a Teenage Tornado.

S.O.S.Prescriptions

I have found that the compassion I expect from certain people around me, doesn’t exist. Is it me? I don’t know. What I do know is my own compassion and from where it comes. I am still a little lost, I still contemplate suicide, and I still feel rather invisible, but I am in a position to help those still in darkness. I will hear you out. I will be your shoulder to cry on and your venting space. I will not tell you to simply ‘get over it’ because I know from experience that it is never that simple. I will be here for you. My only request is that you be here for me, too.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Compassion | S.O.S.Prescriptions.

Love-40

At first, I was a bit hesitant about the idea of taking the pledge, sharing more about my life on the internet, but then I thought, “why?”

Depression is something that’s affected a big part of my life, and I’ve already posted enough about it on here. Even though my sullen face might not show it, I care a lot about people in general, and I think human compassion is one of the highest caliber traits you can find in a person. If my experience can help others, like Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half has helped me, I will proudly and gladly share my experiences, even to someone I don’t even know. . .

Since I started this blog, I’ve experienced A LOT. I’ve seen a lot of things, experienced a lot of feelings, and learned a lot of things about myself. The most important of which is that there are some things in life worth trying hard for. Depression starts to happen when you start thinking that things don’t matter anymore. And that’s the main thing that has been getting me out of Love-40 and depression, pushing myself to try give life another try.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit A Pledge | Love-40

Natalie Bowers

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety. I believe that being open about my mental health problems has helped me to recover from them. I also believe that the more people talk about it, the more society will recognise that anyone can suffer from a mental illness and that there should be no shame in it or stigma attached to it.

That’s why I’m using the AtoZChallenge as a Time to Talk and why I’m taking the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge. Over the course of April (and beyond), I will be posting about my experiences with mental illness: the bad times, the good times, the things that help, the things that hinder.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog For Mental Health Pledge 2014 | Natalie Bowers.

You Are Not Alone – PTSD : Ongoing and recurring battle with dissociative amnesia

Once I started coloring, it started making more senses to me with clearer images and feelings and helped me realize what it was about. I was even able to name the paining as two selves in one, separated but connected. . .

Having somewhat pretty annoying and cloudy headache on upper forehead and head area. Going to sleep soon tonight. Will try to find time and self-discipline to write tomorrow. I’ve got so much to write and draw, yet have failed to do so. Experienced paralysis with dissociative amnesia several times for the past few weeks, just more than 3 times in the past 7 days. That 6 year-old wounded girl with anger, helplessness, terror, horror, grief, loss and devastation completely took my body and mind over and froze me for hours each time. Just started trying to communicate with her. She hasn’t responded, yet. Will keep trying and figure out how to reach out to her. Since therapy and group therapy with psychologists and hypnosis therapy with a psychiatrist, I’ve become exhausted both physically and mentally fast and easily. This takes a toll on me in the process of healing. Long, yet rewarding journey. Don’t push. Step by step. One step at a time. One day at a time. Baby step.

Read the rest of the story! Visit PTSD : Ongoing and recurring battle with dissociative amnesia | You Are Not Alone.

Somber Scribbler

I have depression. I started treatment in 2006, but it began long before that. I think I was born hating myself. Mental illness runs on both sides of my family. It must be in my genes. I was always a very serious child. People would say I was moody, which I suppose was true, but it was more than that. I had terrible stomach aches and threw up a lot when I was younger. I guess I didn’t understand how I was feeling so it manifested physically. As I got older, the physical symptoms waned, I developed body image issues, anxiety, perfectionist tendencies and the moods got harder for me to handle. Eventually I stopped going out, I stopped sleeping, I stopped functioning and I prayed that I would just disappear. Since it was unlikely that my prayers would be answered, I did the next best thing. I got help.

Currently, I’m functional…most of the time. Some days are easier than others. I’ve come a long way from where I was, but I still have a long way to go. Depression is a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. I am on medication and I have had therapy, but I’m trying something new. I’m sharing. I’m starting by pledging my commitment to Blog for Mental Health 2014.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Pledge | Somber Scribbler

Toss the Typewriter – Weekly Brief – The Rayon Rainstorm

It started simply, just as any dam breaching starts: with one small drop. I wake up late. There is barely one hour until leaving-time. I must bake my daughter’s cake. I’m uncoffeed; in remote control. Preheat oven 350, mixer, cake mix, eggs. No eggs. Shoot. Give up on the cake and chalk up failure number one.

I’ll install my software. Enter personal information; scrape gray matter off of plastic card, type in code. Code not valid. Check the numbers, try again. Code not valid. Have husband check the numbers. Code still not valid. Add failure number two and move on.

With fifteen minutes left before I have to leave the house, all I want is to take a shower. No bathrooms available. No time for a shower. yet another failure in a morning of failures. Nothing I have tried to do has worked. It’s only 8:45 AM and I’m sitting on the side of my bed, crying.

But like any dam breaching, it isn’t the tiny drips of a broken morning routine that bring on the tears. It is the tumultous waters behind the façade, churning for months on end; and then when most vulnerable, hit by an unexpected emotional rainstorm.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Weekly Brief – The Rayon Rainstorm | Toss the Typewriter.

You Are Not Alone – After silence

I have become used not acknowledging my physical and emotional troubles and needs until my body breaks down. My subconsciousness had developed psychosomatic disorder with a variety of symptoms from headache to stomachache with bloated belly that looked like a 3-4 month-pregnant body which got me worried seriously at some point in my 30ies. I had spent significant amount of money, time and energy on going to large medical centers and seeing specialists with symptoms that doctors were unable to diagnose, yet had refused to go see a psychiatrist because I didn’t want to have myself labeled as a mentally ill patient. Yes, I felt ashamed of seeing a psychiatrist who might diagnose me as a patient with mental sickness. I did not want my worries to become my reality because I was too afraid to deal with the reality. I was really hoping that I would be diagnosed with something that has nothing to do with mental illness so that I would not have to face the past traumatic experiences through counseling and treatments. My consciousness avoided such experiences yet it could not stop them from happening throughout my body which is called psychosomatic disorder to my understanding. I want this to stop and no longer want to suffer from the horror and terror caused by the past events in my life. I choose to be happy and to have power to take care of me both physically and emotionally. I want to find help to relieve unresolved psychological and emotional issues that have made negative impacts on myself and my life so that I can finally truly move forward. . . I have often failed in all areas of my life and have fallen very badly hitting the rock bottom leading to despair and depression. I have re-experienced the horror, helplessness, terror, and isolation over and over and have lived in shock. This has to end. I recently started working with psychologists and a psychiatrist as the first step. It has been difficult going through therapy and treatments as it is often making me feel terrified, however I keep telling myself not to give up. I crave intimacy, yet find it extremely difficult with intimacy when it is about to happen and somehow find a way to remove myself from it by running away. Let’s take the baby step and take one day at a time. As an example, let me go outside and feel the warm of sunshine with gratitude.

Read the rest of the story!  Visit After silence | You Are Not Alone.

Just Another Manic Mom Day

I am excited to get involved in this and to this end I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

Find out more!  Visit Blog for mental health project 2014.

Diary Of An Alien

My paternal grandmother had severe paranoid schizophrenia. When she began going through this it was back in the forties, when mental illness was way more of a mysterious, frightening, shameful thing. My grandma was in and out of institutions. A person could be expected to be committed for a year or more, even a lifetime. Common treatments for schizophrenia at the time were insulin coma therapy, electroshock therapy, and even lobotomy. My grandma, fortunately, did not have to undergo a lobotomy, but she went through at least fifty or more electroshock treatments before they stopped being popular. In the early 1950’s, Thorazine was introduced as the first medication to treat mental illness, and caused my grandma to develop permanent tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements… she would constantly hop around, bounce her knees and feet while sitting, and thrust her tongue in and out.). . .

The main point of this story is, in some way what happened to me was like a reflection of what had happened to my grandmother decades earlier. . . But one thing that was similar was the way people thought of me. I remember my mom warning me that my friends from the neighborhood, whom I’d hung out with before I ran away, might be scared of me now. I remember how, whenever I said or did something my parents thought odd or illogical, they would look at me hard and ask, “Have you been taking your medication?” After spending my childhood hearing my parents ask my Grandma that same question, it made me sick when they said it to me, and I would shout at them to never say those words to me again. I often sensed that people in my family were watching me, waiting for me to do something insane. I perceptively noticed two things… one, that my family members did not like to speak of my running away, the hospital, or my subsequent diagnosis with a mental illness, especially in public; and two, that they believed, by never speaking of these things, they were somehow protecting me or doing me a favor.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Diary Of An Alien: Blogging For Mental Health.

Out of My Element

But to the point, going into my third year as a blogger, I think I’d like to do something a little different: support mental health through my writing. Why exactly would I want to do this? Well, I have Social Anxiety Disorder. I don’t really tell people outright, but it is something I’ve written about before and do struggle with. So, here’s my pledge to write about mental health throughout this next year. . .

By allowing God to use what I consider an impairment, I feel empowered. Instead of feeling like a failure because I asked someone else to pray again, I can turn to God and ask Him to give me the strength and courage to do it next time. When I feel anxious, I can stop what I’m doing and pray for peace and I find it in Him.

I’ve come a long way, but I know others need to find this peace. I’m writing for myself, but I also want to give other people hope for something better. I have friends that struggle with bipolar and anxiety among other things, so I’m writing for them too. I’m writing for anyone and everyone that struggles with a mental health issue. And I hope you’ll join me in supporting them.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Higher Purpose | Out of My Element.