Monthly Archives: July 2014

BravelyBipolar

I’m blogging to bring a voice to mental illness. I’m blogging to bring hope to mental illness. So much of what we see in the media about mental illness is so negative and I want to show the good in it. Yes, there is good in it. A lot can be accomplished for a great change in this country if we only get together and work in a positive manner (which the majority of us already do).

Read the post in its entirety! Visit BravelyBipolar – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project.

Ellen Maybe

Why am I doing this? While I do not have a diagnosable mental illness, perfectionist tendencies aside (see above), I have spent my life around those that do. Of course, through childhood and young adulthood, I was not fully cognizant of the mental illness that was swirling around me. I am certain by adolescence, I was at least marginally aware that there were some irregularities going on with my family. But we didn’t talk about it. We were taught at a very early age that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

And talking about something being mentally wrong with anyone in the family definitely fell into that “not nice” category. Shame. Stigma. How it thrived.

And how we’ve all suffered for the silence.

The time has come to speak up.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Ellen Maybe – Blog for Mental Health 2014 – The Time Has Come.

Life Requires Lattes

Looking back I can see how everything has worked out the way it was supposed to. Coming to a point where I can say that has taken a lot of work. There will always be a lot of challenges for someone like myself that has depression. It will always take work to remember not to get discouraged on the days I feel alone, and it won’t be easy to remember the happiness and love in my life on the days the pain is at its worst.

It has taken more than 3 years of therapy and several changes in medications but I am finally in a place where I can write this post . It is only within the past few months I have been able to talk about my struggles with anyone other than my husband and therapist. The more open I am about my depression the less it controls me. The more I fight the stigma by talking about it with others .

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Life Requires Lattes – The turning point of 30.

Kitt O’Malley

In blogging about living with bipolar disorder, I have joined a movement of mental health consumers and advocates devoted to destigmatizing mental health issues. Together we offer each other compassion, support, and acceptance. Together we promote greater awareness and acceptance of mental health issues. Together we overcome the stigma within ourselves, within our families, and within our communities – local, state, national, and worldwide.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Pledge to Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project | Kitt O’Malley.

Beautiful Contemplations

A few days ago, I told my doctor that I needed a break from all of this. I needed a break from the broken never ending tape recorder in my head that kept playing itself on an endless cycle of repeat.

This week I began a new medication. Like the beginning of any new medication I was incredibly nervous. I am going very well, still sedated but calmer then I have been in a long time. My anxiety has also dramatically decreased. However, the past few days have been a challenge; but as anyone who lives with any chronic illness or mental illness will tell you it is all a part of life. . .

There are few places where I can be honest about my experiences of mental illness, but on my blog through my writing is one of the places where my beautifully raw journey is laid out by me for all to view. Talking about the voices I hear (inner voices, in many circumstances), the dissociations I experience, my instances of self-harm is something that I am not ashamed to speak of. One of the messages that I want to get across to everyone reading my blog is that mental illness is not a condition to be ashamed of, it is after all something that does not discriminate; I am in fact quite a successful young lady yet have ended up with several mental illnesses. It is never your fault, you are beautiful, you are brave, it is okay- you can still lead a productive life despite having a mental illness. Yes it is very debilitating at times, but can be managed with the right therapy and perhaps medications…

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Getting used to new meds; offering a perspective on living with mental illnesses- my message. | Beautiful Contemplations.

Trigger Warning: Suicidal ideation, mention of self-harm

Pepper Hadlow

I guess I don’t really believe in that point system anymore. I think I just had a series of unfortunate events, and I was ill-equipped to cope. It was just some bad luck. Everyone gets that.

The universe, in my opinion, is pretty neutral. It’s got its own order of operations, and sometimes people get dealt a tricky hand.

Life doesn’t stack the deck in favor of the people who aren’t as good at the game. It doesn’t dole out less crap to the bipolar people, the schizophrenic people, the obsessive compulsive people.

We’re all dealing with relatively equal amounts of crap. Some of just have a harder time dealing with it. It sucks.

I’m not going to just sit here hoping for another car accident, though. I’m going to try to get better at the game.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit The universe does not discriminate. | Pepper Hadlow.

The Schizoid and the Cat

I’m 47 and have been diagnosed with SPD and PTSD for 18 months, and OCD for about 6 weeks.

I’ve spent my first 40 something years either wondering what the hell was going on, or hiding behind a mask of alcohol.

This blog is not for me, it’s written for the countless people out there who just don’t know.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit The Blog for Mental Health 2014 | The Schizoid and the Cat.

Living with Mental Disorders

My name is not important, but lets call me Alex for the fun of it. I’m happily married. I’m gay. I have lived through abuse and self-harm. And I live with OCD, panic anxiety, depression and a sleep disorder. This blog is about the ups and downs of living with all of this. About living a life with a brain that doesn’t follow your orders.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | Living with Mental Disorders.

Calm Kitchen – Got talent?

I’m guessing almost everyone will have seen an episode of a talent show when a contestant comes on with a story that makes you hope that they do well. Either they are extremely shy and nervous, endured years of bullying or have had a really rough time with depression, anxiety or another illness. They come onto the stage and they start to sing (or do whatever their act is but its normally singing!) and it turns out they are amazing! The whole audience is behind them, the judges say how brave and inspirational they are. Then, this is always the bit that gets me, they say something along the lines of, “Your life changes now!” and the contestant cries and says that they know that everything is going to change for them now. The audience are on their feet and inspirational music plays as they leave the stage and run into the arms of their family or friends, who say they are so proud of them. These kind of stories make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, they are turning a corner, moving on and changing their lives for the better, forever! This is where my issue starts. I do hope that its not just me…

Does having a great audition on one of these shows really change your life from that day forward? In my opinion, yes and no. Yes if you are a great singer/dancer/magician etc, having that great audition can open many doors and provide you with amazing opportunities that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. But can taking part in the talent show remove your past or cure your anxiety, depression or other illness? No. If anything, being exposed to the press could lead to your past being splashed all over the papers! Sure the TV programs may make you believe that as soon as these people leave the stage a magic wand is waved and all of their problems disappear but that is hardly the reality. They will still need to work hard behind the scenes to forget the past or to keep their fears in check. They may be taking a huge step by going on one of these shows but that will not be the end of the story! They will have plenty more steps to take which won’t be televised and good luck to them!

Read the rest of the story! Visit Got talent? | Calm Kitchen.

You Are Not Alone – Battle with PTSD

I feel pretty overwhelmed and confused nowadays. The process of healing has been very difficult and painful as the old repressed traumatic events with negative feelings are being remembered and I re-experience them as before. When I start having a flashback of traumatic events, traumatic feelings occur and I experience both physical and emotional panic attack. I struggle from breathing with chest pain, headache, heart-burn and muscle ache all over my body. It’s as if I am thrown away by a storm or typhoon helplessly and I am scared to death. When it hits me, there is no room for me to think with consciousness. It just takes over me. It makes me feel helpless and powerless. I was alone getting attacked, beaten up, not rescued, abandoned and forgotten when I was beaten up by my father. My family was in the next room but nobody came rescue mr or fight for me. They did not call the police. They did not break into my room where my father was beating me up until I fainted and fell on the floor. They did not take me to the hospital. They did not come talk to me asking me if I were okay. They never talked about it. I was scared to death. I wished I had been dead. I was terribly sorry and sad when I became conscious and woke up. I was terrified with blooded and bruised face and head. I was horrified that something must have gone terribly wrong beyond my knowledge. Nobody was there for me. I despised God for having not taken my life away but having let me alive with terror. . .

On my way to the subway station after getting a little snack, I had the urge to call my sister. She’s the only family member whom I talk to from time to time. I told her that I have been seeing a psychiatrist to treat PTSD. She said to me that it was all up to me. WTF. What does that mean? I am learning that it was not my fault. I confronted her about not having done anything when I was beaten up and after I was knocked out with broken body and mind. “Why didn’t you do anything? “Why?” I cried out on the phone standing in the middle of street. Her response made me speechless. “I don’t remember a thing.” ???!!! WTF. “How could you not remember a thing?” “You really don’t remember any?” Then she said to me “No matter what I tell you, you would not understand or accept it.” She avoided my confrontation in denial. I started crying out loud and couldn’t stop crying. My heart ached. It hurt helplessly. Chest pain. Heart-burn. Trouble with breathing. Red sirens were buzzing off all over my body. I was chocked up. I felt like fainting. Terrible headache. I was that 17 year-old girl beaten up physically and emotionally with blood and bruises outside and even more bruised and broken heart inside. I remembered what it was like being in that room abandoned and experienced it again. It was a war for me without any weapons or shields. I got defeated. Excruciatingly painful. Despair. Tears. Heartache. Fear.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Battle with PTSD | You Are Not Alone.

Calm Kitchen – Let it be

Well here it goes… I feel guilty that my anxiety led to me quitting my job. There I said it. I had a great job, my employers were two of the nicest people you could ever meet and I looked after their children, who I loved to bits. I was happy and had never felt anxious at work, actually my work distracted me from that. But then it happened… I started feeling dizzy, sick and shaky. It could strike at any time, at home, at work or in public. . . I started shaking and went really dizzy, I nearly hit the floor! A first-aider was called over, I had to call the child’s mother to come and get him and my mam to come and get me. It was horrific, I was so embarrassed but the worst thing was the way the child looked at me while all of this was going on. He looked scared and unsure of what was happening. I had scared him, it was my fault.

I went to the doctors. . . and was put on sick leave for two weeks. At then end of that the doctor told me to take another six weeks off. Through all of this my employers were fantastic, they were really understanding and sent me a Get Well card and present. This made me feel guiltier about letting them down. They didn’t know that it was anxiety that I was suffering from, I didn’t know how to tell them, so they thought it was still undiagnosed dizziness. During my time off I kept thinking that I wasn’t capable of looking after young children anymore, I kept thinking of how scared the boy I was looking after had been. What if I had another panic attack and something happened to one of the children while I was wrapped up in myself? So when my employer emailed me to see when I was coming back to work, I resigned and explained that I didn’t want to let them down anymore and that I had to focus on my health. They were very kind and wished me well. My parents were horrified, they thought that I had thrown away the best job I would ever have.

Read the rest of the story! Visit Let it be | Calm Kitchen.

You Are Not Alone – Reaching out to the “Wounded child”

You are just 5 years old. You are innocent. You have never done anything wrong. All you wanted was to be accepted, loved and held. But nothing was given to you. You felt left out, abandoned, ignored, criticized, abused verbally, psychologically and physically by your parents and teachers those who you trusted. You never felt safe, cared for and comfortable. You suffered from anxiety, anger, disappointment, sorrow, worries, unworthiness, and loss. You were miserable. You felt so stuck, trapped, and hurt. There was no way out for you. You were too scared to get hurt again by any other human-beings. I see you naked and frozen with countless scars all over your body in the dark alone. You have been in that state for 35 years inside my body deep inside my subconsciousness. You are scared to death beyond words. You have been hurt, scarred and hurt again, again, again, and again before your scars got healed. Countless wounds with bleeding. You had no voice. You had no power. You were completely helpless and hopeless. You just wanted your life to be ended but too scared to end your own life. You were too young to kill yourself. I see you now. I know that you exist in me. I am so sorry that I have not paid attention to all the signs that you have sent me for the past 35 years by having me paralyzed, frozen, sick with all kinds of physical pain and symptoms. How could I not recognize that you were there despite all the signs that you were sending off so hard and consistently?

I still see you alone in the dark. Shall I come by and give you my hand? You are too scared to look at me. You wouldn’t turn your head over me. Do you want me to hold you? Would you like to be held? I know you have never been held by anybody. But I am here now. May I come slowly and carefully giving you a hug?

Read the rest of the story! Visit Reaching out to the “Wounded child” | You Are Not Alone.