Tag Archives: Blog For Mental Health 2014

bpdvagabond

It is so exciting to see individuals spreading the word and doing their part to combat mental health stigma! My struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder has opened my eyes to the plights of others and inspired me to promote mental health education and change the way we as a society look at mental illness ❤

Read more of nea1891’s story. Visit Blog for Mental Health 2015 | bpdvagabond.

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Chrisies Criss-Crossed Life.

I was made homeless (A family member that sexually abused me and my brothers when I was younger, owned the house me and my parents were staying in, and I could no longer live there) after being placed in a flat, in one of the most homophobic communities – every mental disability and illness I had just exploded and became 10 times worse and I resorted to excessive drinking in order to force myself to leave the house. I have always been my own worst nightmare.

I reject a lot of the help, finding any reason that I can use. . .

But something’s are just out of my control and without that need, that drive, to regain who I was – I will let myself lie in my bed, shut myself off from the world and complain about anything and everything that I can because… That is who I have Become.

Read Chrisies’ post in its entirety! Visit Who I’ve Become. | Chrisies Criss-Crossed Life..

Trigger Warning: Eating disorder, suicide, sexual assualt

Suburban Hobo

First the attacks came on once a month, then once a week, then they escalated from every other day to almost daily. Enough! I’d wake up with one and could barely get dressed for work—a sense of dread overcame me, clammy hands, palpitations. I was diagnosed with “panic disorder.” And yes, the “crazy” gene seems to run in the family. My maternal grandmother was a “nervous” person and endured electroshock treatments back in the day.

Of course I can call the doctor—actually the nurse practitioner—for a handful of pills to tide me over till my appointment on Saturday, but I wonder if she’ll think I sold the “missing” pills. Probably not, but I wonder. The stigma still exists around people dealing (I don’t like to say “suffering,” sounds weak) with mental illness. Too bad we can’t treat it like a physical condition or disease that simply requires chemical intervention. We aren’t living in that world yet.

Read Erica’s post in its entirety! Visit Panic in ShopRite | Suburban Hobo.

Diary of a Sunday Girl

. . . I think I must be the only person in the world who likes Monday mornings. The arrival of Monday morning means another Sunday has been and gone.

For as long as I can remember, Sundays have been somewhat nondescript. There’s nothing particularly bad or good about them, just a feeling of emptiness and numbness. I am a nine to five worker but I can’t even put this down to “anxiety about the week ahead” as I rely on the week’s activities to keep me distracted. And that’s how I try to deal with my Sundays, by keeping myself distracted.

Sometimes, though, that Sunday feeling starts to creep into every other day of the week…

All in all, my life is pretty good. I have friends, have a job, no physical health problems and no apparent reason to be unhappy. I have also struggled with depression since the age of seventeen. I am now twenty four years old and though I have both ups and downs, I am still looking for the best ways to help deal with the downs.

Read Sunday Girl’s post in its entirety! Visit Tell me why? I don’t like Sundays… | Diary of a Sunday Girl.

KEEP IT MOVING

After doing some research, I have found a network of blogs that have similar purpose to mine. I have decided to participate in this, the ‘Blog for Mental Health’ initiative in the hopes that my entries will reach a wider community of people, and help and encourage more people, as they will also do for me.

. . . I hope that by sharing my experiences, and my tactics to get better, I will be able to help those also suffering. I will be making a new entry soon, and will continue to do so.

Read Jessica’s post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 | KEEP IT MOVING.

Normal in Training – The Dilemma of Being Human

I am currently reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which is awesome! . . .

The other night I read a line in the book that gave me pause: “Harold cold no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and this was the dilemma of being human.”

This statement is at the heart of what my blog is about. I have always felt different from others in a way that makes me feel alone in the world. For being Filipino and for not being Filipino enough. For thinking too much and for being too shallow. For not being married, for being divorced, for not having children. For having depression and anxiety. Even without these specific differences to point to, I have felt fundamentally flawed in a way that I can’t quite put into words.

But as I blog about my flaws, I realize that other people feel just like I do–alone in their craziness. The details make us unique, but the pain of feeling separate from others is universal.

So in a way I feel like I am Harold Fry, on my journey to self-acceptance, but with a much less rigorous physical activity component. And as I tell my story, I give others the opportunity to reflect on their own story so that we can share the joy and pain of being human together.

Read more of Christy’s story! Visit The Dilemma of Being Human | Normal in Training.

The Elephant in the Room – Here Comes the Anxiety

I’ve suspected for a while that I have been developing some form of social anxiety, I’ve been avoiding people, staying in bed longer than I should and not wanting to go to work. But today, for the first time I truly realised the severity of my “new” condition.

When I was younger, I can’t pinpoint the exact age, Sometimes, when I was surrounded by a lot of people, or I had to talk in front of the class or even sometimes just randomly for no reason I would suddenly feel like I wasn’t ok and that I wanted to be at home lying on the sofa with my blanket and a milkshake. I used to refer to it (in my head as I never told anyone about it) as the “milkshake feeling” (I used to drink nothing but strawberry milkshake from about the age of 3-12) I hadn’t had the “milkshake feeling” for a long time but yesterday I had it twice.

It doesn’t last long, but it makes me feel like I need to get away from things, I feel like I want to go and lie on the floor, and curl up or hide, I feel scared, like I’m going to lose control and start crying and all I can think about is being in the one place that I must assume is “safe” my sofa. With the things that made me happy as a child. Is this a panic attack? I don’t know, but what I do know is that sometimes this is accompanied with a breathless feeling and worry and it is panic induced. . .

I think the “milkshake feeling” is a nostalgic feeling of being content. It reminds me of when I would have a sick day from school and I would lay on the sofa (with my milkshake) and watch TV. I guess I felt safe because I was indoors, happy because I wasn’t at school and looked after because I was a child and my mum was there watching TV and making sure I was ok, of course, this is different now and I wouldn’t expect her to drop everything and look after me if I threw up a few times. It’s that feeling of safety that I guess is my brains go to juncture when I really start to panic.

Read more of The Elephant in the Room’s story! Visit Here Comes the Anxiety | The Elephant in the Room.

Normal in Training – Declaration of Independence

I like to think of this process as a kind of declaration of independence–from our demons, from judgment, from fear. It happens every time someone goes to AA and admits they’re an alcoholic. Every time someone finds the courage to say I have an eating disorder. I struggle with depression. I live in fear. In making this declaration, they take away the power that their condition has to make them feel weak. Defective. Crazy.

To a lesser extent, I think of my blog as a kind of declaration of independence. I’ve tried to hide these things about myself all my life. I don’t want to be held hostage by them anymore. I want to be able to embrace everything that makes me who I am–especially the things that I am ashamed of.

The president of the student organization I advise, Active Minds, told me that he reads my blog, which kind of freaked me out at first. But he thought it was the most powerful way to fight stigma and to let other students know that they are not alone in their struggles with mental illness, which is the primary goal of Active Minds. So he is finding ways to give students the opportunity to make their own public declarations. It is a wonderful feeling to know that this has come out of my willingness to share my vulnerabilities.

I’ve always liked the expression that freedom isn’t free. You have to fight for it. Although blogging has been a surprisingly supportive and positive experience, I am well aware that there will be times when someone will judge me for what I say. I try to prepare myself for it by doing what my client is doing–to remind myself that ultimately, the only person who counts is me. Then I take a deep breath and hit Publish.

Read more of Christy’s story! Visit Declaration of Independence | Normal in Training.

Trigger Warning: Brief talk of sexual assault

Passion for Life, Love, and Health – What it’s Like to Feel Suicidal (or, How to Make Sense of it All)

Trigger Warning: Extensive talk of suicide – in a sensitive, non-graphic, but still potentially triggering manner. But something I felt strongly enough about to share here nonetheless.

Suicide is an irrational thing.
When you ask that question, you are trying to find reason in the unreasonable. Rationality in the irrational. Sense in the senseless. It’s just not there.

However.
To the individuals considering this potentially final act of their lives, it feels VERY rational.

There can be all kinds of reasons in their minds that make it desirable, or even seem as though it’s their only option – that they have no other choice.

And when confronted with rational statements – perhaps explaining why their reasons aren’t as valid and solid as they feel they are – believe it or not, that (at least in my experience) doesn’t help. In fact, it can make the individual feel even worse. . .

Making sense of it all
Suicide rarely – if ever – makes sense to those left behind.

But this is the nature of suicidal thinking. It doesn’t make sense to you because it really shouldn’t make sense.

The only way you can make sense of it is to recognize that the individual is not thinking 100% rationally (despite how they might feel). . .

When you berate someone for contemplating or even completing suicide, you are displaying a blatant misunderstanding and ignorance about the issue. Of course, this probably isn’t your fault (so please don’t take that statement personally), as there are a lot of misconceptions and stigmas out there.

I’m writing this post to help combat those misconceptions and stigmas. To bring a smidgen of understanding to an oft misunderstood act. . .

And it can go the other way, too. Sometimes I feel like such a burden on my loved ones that I think I would be doing them a favor to leave their lives. That my fiancé deserves so much more happiness than I can provide, for example. It is selfish of me to stick around when my existence causes so many problems.

That is another example of when the irrational feels rational.

So rather than think of us as selfish for wanting to do something that can cause so much anguish to others, keep in mind that often times we’re doing everything in our power to keep from being selfish. Whether it’s hanging on to spare others’ their pain or letting go to spare others’ their pain, the sentiment is still the same.

And for those who do follow through and succeed, remember: it’s not rational. It doesn’t make sense. Chances are very good they held on much longer than they wanted to, to keep from hurting anyone. And to go through with it anyway, they must have been in unimaginable pain.

Read more of Ashleigh’s story. Visit Passion for Life, Love, and Health – What it’s Like to Feel Suicidal (or, How to Make Sense of it All).

Trigger Warning: Talk of suicide (as previously mentioned)

Normal in Training – Self-Soothing

It is as though I am a new mother with a baby that is easily upset but I have no idea what’s wrong with her or how to comfort her. And obviously she can’t tell me because she’s a baby. And I am not a patient mother. I am in a hurry. I don’t have time for this.

My therapist would always tell me that I haven’t learned ways to soothe myself–to comfort myself, calm myself down–which is part of the reason why I’m so anxious. I sort of understood but not really. I was kind of like, well then tell me how to soothe myself!

But now I realize that learning how to comfort yourself is a lot like getting to know your baby. You learn from trial and error how to distinguish the hunger cry from the tired cry. You learn the idiosyncratic things that make her feel better–like driving around the block, or putting music on, or cradling her in a certain way. . .

I am slowly learning how to be a better parent to myself. I am trying to be more patient when I appear to be anxious for no reason. I am trying to be more compassionate. More comforting. More understanding. It’s unfortunate that being mean to myself comes so naturally but being nice to myself takes so much practice.

Read more of Christy’s story! Visit Self-Soothing | Normal in Training.

Beautiful Contemplations – That beautiful fear remains me. I so desperately want to survive this pain.

“A pattern of raised crisscrossed scars, some old and white, others more recent in various shades of pink and red. Exposing the stress of the structure underneath its paint”
― Amy Efaw.

Holding my arms together, side by side; representing polar opposites. On my left arm, old, faded scars- episodic visions of terror and distress are hidden beautifully by the tattooed words ” You are loved. My right hand however, displays the happenings of my latest episode…. caused by silence, those voiceless feelings that tell you there is no other option; destabilized rationality tell you that even if you had a voice, it would not be heard.

After the storm, after it is done.

I shake in a beautiful fear, that remains me. I am human and that indeed I so desperately want to survive this pain. . . Gently calming myself, I am sorry baby. . . I sing to myself:

hush little baby, put down that razor, don’t harm yourself. I express to myself how I live the life of a child. My life representative of an inner child in need of protection. My rational self vows never to hurt myself because after all I am just a child, my sensibilities are that of a child.

I pray so beautifully that my irrational self will never again come to the surface, a reality I know is all too good to be true. I can only hope that next time I will be able to fight my irrational self just that little bit more.

Read the rest of the story! Visit That beautiful fear remains me. I so desperately want to survive this pain. | Beautiful Contemplations.

Trigger Warning: Talk and images of self-harm