Tag Archives: Mental health

I'm supposed to be taking a break from my blog and social media but here I am. Plus, my class was cancelled because of the snow. I'm not complaining. I'm going to be taking a nap, and maybe doing a little work later on. So, why am I here?

1. Writing gives me the release that I need to function, to help me be mentally healthy. It is also my passion and what I know I am supposed to be doing. Unfortunately I missed my last 2 writing forum meetings, so that is not making me feel in the loop at all.

2. It's also BLUES DAY 2014 at my college and I'm finally (sort of, who really feels comfortable sharing this stuff?) feeling open enough to share a part of my mental health story. Trying to do my part in getting rid of the stigma of mental illness. Not an easy thing to do, but I feel it's necessary.

I suffer from Depression, Anxiety, those fabulous Panic Attacks & Fibromyalgia on top of everything. Why not? At times all at once, sometimes 1 or 2 at a time. Mental health has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Although when I was younger I had no idea why I always felt as bad as I did. The cause(s)? Well that is a share for another day, another format, maybe.

For the most part I can control any mental flare ups that happen because of the coping techniques that I have learned through various therapies and quite frankly a lot of will power. Although a few weeks ago all the coping techniques did not keep a panic attack at bay, and I had to leave class early. Not something I'm happy about, but it was all that I could do. I do not want to end up in a mental hospital or back on medication. Medication works for some, it worked for me for a time but then it made me worse and I have no desire to be on it again. The numbness and brain fog is not worth it to me. Plus I have enough of that naturally. Feeling nothing was almost worse then feeling too much.

Some days I'm not doing that well and am seriously considering going to see my GP. Since I've had her for my doctor I've been doing well and haven't had to see her for mental health issues. She is awesome because she always asks, if I'm doing okay since she knows of my history. Right now I'm not doing so great and I kind of dread having to have that conversation again. I also dread the suggestion of medication, because I'm pretty confident it will be brought up.

Optimism is really hard but I'm trying. This Web Developer program is meant to be a life changer for me. Get me on my way, again, so I can have steady work and continue to work on my writing. Move out of this city. Be able to afford to live on my own again. Boy do I miss that. Nothing beats being able to walk around naked, not say good morning to anyone, or not worrying about telling people where you are and when you'll be home. But I worry all of the time because I don't feel confident that I'll be able to produce work for clients or myself (One of my goals is to be able to create my own website from scratch), without referring to a textbook. I have so many ideas and images in my head but to get them onto the computer screen. It's a mess. Screwing with my confidence and I don't like it at all. Although it shouldn't because 99% of my classmates have a Computer Science background and the other 1% have been doing Web Development/Web Design for fun, for years. So I know I'm being hard on myself, but I've always been that way and it's a hard habit to break.

So yeah, there's a part of my story. A lot of us have mental health issues of some kind and I just wanted to share why I'm not here, for a break,  and why my blog posts are whinge, whinge and more whinge. But I'm trying. Asking for help, getting help and more importantly, not giving up.

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Book of the Month: Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach. A retired actor needs a change in his life so he moves from London to Whales, to run a bed and breakfast. The characters he meets change his life, beginning the next phase of his life.  I'd give Heartbreak Hotel a  4/5. (Links may not work in all countries. All videos belong to the artist/corporation. Links may be affiliate links.)

Till next time,

Nadia


Having an invisible disability is sometimes the same as not having a disability at all. Or maybe I should say that society treats you as though you don’t have a disability. If your in a wheelchair, missing a leg, people can see it so they believe it. If you have mental health issues and are not wandering around the streets muttering to yourself, in dirty clothes you must be fine. If you suffer from physical disorders such as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, people again assume that you are just fine. Not realizing that you are barely hanging on.

In most cases these disorders can be managed through exercise, a nutritionally balanced diet, talk therapy or medication. In some cases they may go into remission. In other cases the disorder may go away forever. Unfortunately in a lot of cases these disorders are with people for life. Which means learning how to manage and live with them. Often times through a lot of trial and error.

Accepting that you have an illness/disorder. For many people a diagnosis is a relief, knowing that it’s not in their head. Validation that they knew something was not right or in sync with their mind/body. A diagnosis can also bring about intense fear, that nothing can be done. That you will have to live an incomplete, just-not-quite-right life. That you may have to be on medication for the rest of your life. Who wants to pop a pill for the next 40 years? That you may never have a productive, happy and ‘normal’ life. These feelings ARE normal and this is why you need to ask for help.

Knowing when to ask for professional help. Life just isn’t working anymore. It’s affecting your sleep, your work, your ambition, relationships. That's the hard part. A lot of people, myself included hate to ask for anything. Independence is something that North Americans in general, hold dear. Asking for help outside the family structure is a hard but necessary step in the right direction.

Finding the right medical professional, conventional and/or unconventional.
-Someone who are willing to listen to your concerns and answer questions.
-Someone who is willing to think outside the box.
-Someone who is willing to look at you as an individual. Therefore the professional and the patient/client are making the best treatment choices together.
-Having the courage to seek help elsewhere, if the professional(s) are not listening to or aiding your needs. If you need to change specialists 3 times because your not being heard, do it. Don't worry about hurting their feelings or offending them. This is your life, it's time to be a little selfish.

People’s perceptions. Should they even be validated? It’s easy to say, just ignore what others are saying. Or you only have control over your own reaction. By not speaking up and correcting people you will never have the opportunity to challenge and change their views. Of course just because someone is challenged it does not mean that you will change their opinions. But at the very least you can open their eyes or thought processes to a different point of view.

Change can be brought about by many things. I’ll just mention a few here.
-Being open with people, if you can. This does not mean broadcasting your illness to the world, unless you choose to. But being honest with your family and friends. If you feel inclined or think this will benefit you, you may also want to discuss it with your employer. This may help if you ever need to take time off in the future.
-Volunteering in your community about an illness/disorder that is important or of interest to you.
-From the standpoint of a friend or family member. Just be there to listen if someone needs to talk. People do get tired of talking as much as others get tired of listening. If your worried about bothering others, there are services in your community for free and for cost to help. Start the search with your family doctor, walk-in clinic or the internet. If your tired of listening to the same story or issue you can guide your friend or family member to these other services for help. Most communities have free support groups if you can get to them. There are also free support groups online for those who don’t have in-person support groups close to them or those who are house bound.

Song of the Day: Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul ‘Back To Life’ - Soul To Soul, 1989, Club Classics Vol. One

Till next time,

Nadia