Tag Archives: stigma

30 Day Mental Health Challenge – Day 2

Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?

I have accepted my diagnosis for the most part.  I get upset that I have to take medicine everyday.  I get annoyed that I am going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life.  I know that for my BPD I can get much better through therapy and even my PTSD can improve a lot with therapy.  My bipolar is going to follow me all my life though.  I have tried going off my meds and every single time I ended up in the hospital – repeatedly – 15 times – until I got committed to a state hospital.

I have accepted that I have to stay on my meds now.  I have accepted that I need medications and I need therapy and I will battle these for the rest of my life.

I will be honest though, I am treated unfairly many times because of my borderline personality diagnosis.  People think I am manipulative because of it.  I personally, am not.  I have doctors tell me that I tell them whatever I want to get the medications I want.  The medications I have been on work perfectly for me – since I got out of the state hospital, my meds have kept me stable.  The only med that hasn’t is my anxiety med – and I asked the state hospital to take me off of it because in the controlled environment in there, I thought I was better.  I wish I hadn’t gone off of it.  Now, everyone here thinks I am just manipulating them because of my BPD.  There is more than just that instance though – I have heard it multiple times.  I wish that my BPD diagnosis would just be taken off my chart.

But, it is what it is.  I have what I have.  I just need to continue to learn how to cope with it all and live with it all and focus my life on living better and coping better.

But how can someone….

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image source: http://rubyetc.tumblr.com/

Ice Bucket Challenge for Your Passion?

Word Press Post A Day – The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

 

I’m a day late on this.  I have been taking a bit of a break from blogging as I haven’t been feeling too well.  But I have thought about this ice bucket challenge for a bit since it started – seeing the positive and negative comments in response to it.

I think it is great that it has raised so much money towards ALS.  I first saw the challenge back in January, by some friends in Indiana.  It wasn’t for ALS though – it was for their own personal favorite charities.  I thought that was a great idea, since it wasn’t dedicated to a certain charity and it was kind of spread out to whatever they felt passionate about.

I am very passionate about a lot of different beliefs.  One thing that I am super passionate about though, which my blog is about, is mental health issues.  Being affected by mental illness, I strongly support almost any mental health organization that works towards awareness about mental illness.  My personal favorite is NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness), as I have been most involved with them; however, all organizations that are so many that work towards awareness.

So, if anyone out there ever gets nominated for an ice bucket challenge — I am not saying to not donate to ALS, but think about donating to a charity of your choice too — challenge people to think about what they are passionate about and to donate to that.  Create some awareness about what you are passionate about.  Perhaps create a new viral sensation about your passion to raise awareness?

 

Live Through This: Suicide Awareness

This is a project by Dese’Rae L. Stage – about suicide awareness.  She interviews those who have attempted suicide and survived.  She talks to them, gets their stories, and photographs them.  She also has Bipolar 2 and is a survivor of suicide and self injury as well.

Per her website, her project is about:

The intention of Live Through This is to show that everyone is susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts by sharing portraits and stories of real attempt survivors—people who look just like you. These feelings could affect your mom, your partner, or your brother, and the fear of talking about it can be a killer.

You can find her website at: Live Through This

No One Should Be Dying From It

So much awareness is brought to mental illness when someone well known dies from it.  When suicide takes a life away – suddenly everyone is aware of what pain it causes – to that person and to those that loved them – and even to those that did not know them personally but were somehow touched by them.

There have been so many articles, news reports, and posts about Robin William’s death.  I did a post myself.  I do not think it is wrong to bring this attention – I think it is great!

My problem with it is — it starts strong — everyone cares about it.  The public published the suicide hotline number on Facebook, they post that they care and are there for anyone who needs to talk.  They talk about how stigma is wrong.  I am not saying that they are lying in any way.  I think they do believe these things.  I think that losing someone that they were genuinely touched by has affected them.  Once that grieving period dies down though, the “sensationalism” of the issue dies down too.

How many celebrities have we lost to suicides and overdoses over the years?  How many times have we had a month or two where mental health was a big issue because of this and everyone seemed to care about it, to support it?  Then suddenly – it all just went away.

Perhaps, this time it will be different.  Maybe this time, the suicide hotline numbers will stay up.  Maybe people really will take the time to listen and be there for others.  Maybe the stigma will die down.

A few celebrities we have lost over the last few years that have brought quite a bit of attention to the news were:

Philip Seymore Hoffman – drug overdose

L’Wren Scott – Hung herself

Lee Thompson Young – shot himself

Whitney Houston – drowned – with cocaine being a factor, but struggled with drugs and this brought up great discussion after her death

Amy Whinehouse – Alcohol Poisoning …. thus joining “Club 27” – a club of popular musicians who died at the age of 27 from suicide/drug overdose and homicides.

Lots of discussion occurred after these deaths … but soon after, it all just died down. These are just a few of the deaths too.  There were a lot more.  A lot more due to drug overdoses, which is a serious mental health issue today.  A lot more suicides over the years as well.   Let’s not let these stories happen and people just forget about them.  Mental illness is not something that should be in the news for a few months and forgotten.  Let’s keep it in the spotlight.  These celebrities should not be dying from it, we should not be dying from it – no one should be dying from it. 

 

Spike in Crisis Line Phone Calls after Robin Williams Death

Since the death of Robin Williams, there has been a spike in calls to crisis lines around the US and Australia.  I am not sure about other parts of the world, as I simply saw articles pertaining to these two countries, however I am sure they probably went up as well.

Calls, chats, messages, and clicks on their websites to Lifeline in America, Lifeline in Australia, Beyond Blue in Australia,  the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) information line and Facebook page, and local crisis centers all around the US.

Many people were reaching out, seeking help for their depression, suicidal thoughts, and some were simply wondering how people can be depressed – how can someone look happy and yet feel so much pain and kill themselves.  Perhaps with that last question, people will begin to understand depression more and even see or help someone else around them who might present happy but really be very depressed.

While they do not really know how many people were reaching out for help due to their depression and suicidal thoughts prior to Robin Williams death versus those who were affected by his death and began to feel suicidal after in response to his death (example, when you have someone close to you die, you begin to feel like you want to die) — they are glad that more people know about the crisis lines and support systems and are using them.

While I do think Robin Williams death brought a great deal of attention to suicide and mental health, I also think it is going to die down soon as it usually does even though people seem to care very much about it after such a loss.  However, hopefully after all those posts of the suicide hotline numbers – this will not die down and people will remember these resources – and use them – and reach out for help when they need to.

Here are a few articles discussing the increases in spikes in crisis center calls — and there are quite a few more if you search on the internet.

Australian News Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis calls

American Aljazeera Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis line calls

Houston, TX News Article Discussing local crisis center call increase

Augusta, Maine Article – Discussing local crisis center call increase

California Bipolar Foundation – Anti Stigma Video

Sam Kirkegaard – Sam Supports Mental Illness

These are some videos by Sam Kirkegaard.  He makes random videos on youtube, but he has a few called Sam Supports Mental Illness.  They are silly little videos that bring awareness to mental illness.  This is Day 5, which talks about 5 myths about mental illness.  I can’t share all the videos on here – so you should go to his youtube channel and check them out! His first one talks about his story though, which is about OCD and his intense anxiety, his 2nd one talks about why he is doing it and that he is raising money for Active Minds.  There are 31 days worth of them.  I haven’t watched them all, but I will check them out and see how they are, I am sure there is some good and interesting stuff on there.

 

Not Asking for Help – A Mistake I Won’t Make Again

What is a mistake I will never make again?

I won’t ever not ask for help again.  I went for years not asking for help.  Hiding my depression, hiding my pain.  I didn’t want people to think I was weak.  I didn’t want people to not love me or care about me.  I wanted to be strong and competitive in this world.  I wanted to prove I could be somebody.

Depression, Bipolar, BPD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, OCD, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Rape – whatever the mental illness  or Trauma/Past is though – it doesn’t mean you are weak.  It took me far to long to figure that out.

All I knew was that this world was about getting ahead.  That is all that was preached to me in school – you have to do this, you have to do that.  Learn this, learn that.  Get into the best school, earn the highest grades.  Take the ACT, the SAT. Apply, apply, apply.  I was miserable, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

On top of that, I really didn’t believe I was going to be alive.  I really thought I was going to be dead, either by a natural death or by suicide.  I didn’t think I was actually going to have to live up to those expectations anyway.  So I never asked for help.

Then there was also the little fact that it was brought to people attention that I needed help, and no one seemed to care – so why would I ask for help when no one wanted to help me in the first place when others told them I needed it?

After being miserable for years though, and then seeing what my life has been like with the right medications and proper therapy — I would give so much to go back and get these things earlier in my life.  What a difference I think it would have made, how much easier my life would have been.

Even though people don’t always listen when we ask for help.  I still will always ask for it.  I still will always plead for it.  I won’t give up.  I will keep asking, I will keep begging, I will keep pleading for the help.  If I need help – I will get it – no matter what.  Because not asking for help, will just lead to my destruction.  I know that now.