Blog For Mental Health 2014

ATTENTION PLEASE!  AFTER YOU READ THROUGH THIS POST, PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE ON THE OFFICIAL BLOG FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT SITE.  ALSO, PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT OUR TAKE THE PLEDGE PAGE FOR MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS, SHOULD YOU NEED THEM.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends in the blogging world and outside of it, the time has come.  So sit down, squat down, or lie down, but make yourselves at home.  Because it’s time at last for. . .

art by Piper Macenzie

art by Piper Macenzie

Are you as excited as I am?  I don’t think anyone could be, but please humor me and try to give a good imitation.  ;) Continue reading

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Sid

Click to read Sid’s bio

When I finally started to not care about stigma and admit I had serious depression-like and anxiety-like stuff going on, I had little idea where the journey of treatment would take me.

Not surprisingly, it was the advice of a good friend future fiancée, herself a mental illness veteran, that got me going in the right direction. The right direction was cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  It sounded like just the thing I needed, and I pressed my at the time therapist to get our weekly sessions into the realm of actual CBT, instead of the patient-directed Q & A that had been the hallmark of our times together. Continue reading

Higher Education & Trigger Warnings

SSG

click to read SSG’s bio

Yesterday (for me, but a week and a bit later as you read), I was part of a very interesting FB conversation. It started with a question from Creston Davis, professor and co-founder of  the Graduate School my son is affiliated with. Which by the way, is a seriously kickass school that is breaking paradigms left and right. I had the chance to meet both founders earlier this year and I am thoroughly impressed with what they’re doing.  Also, serendipity at its best. They are based in Grand Rapids, MI which is only 1.5 hrs from Lansingland and Dandelion Soup. Um, Squirrel….. Ah yes, the question:

Are the so-called “Trigger Warnings” yet another way to censor professors? Could they be considered the equivalent of cultural censorship controlled by a privileged demographic only looking to received a non-challenging education? What say you?

Continue reading

What Are We Laughing At?

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

In the playground of mental illness there is always a risk that someone is going to get hurt when people start telling jokes.  It’s like everyone has their own limit of what is acceptable and what is incredibly bad-taste.  A few weeks ago UK comedian and mental health advocate Stephen Fry found this out for himself.

He got roasted on Twitter for a joke he made about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ( see David Adam’s comment on Guardian).  The backlash began to hit.  Fry was attacked for joking about OCD  when he “didn’t have OCD”.  Apparently it’s okay to joke about an illness you have yourself but not any other. Continue reading

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

Soul Survivor new

Click to read Laura’s bio

In a perfect world, all doctors would know that people with psychiatric issues are regular humans, just like everybody else.  They would not look at our diagnosis, our health history, our med list, and automatically assume that we are drug seekers.  They would not automatically write off our symptoms as being “psychosomatic.”  I use quotes there, because the word “psychosomatic” means that the mind is causing a disorder that is expressed by the body.  I happen to be of the school of medicine that believes that virtually all physical illness is caused, ultimately, by imbalances of body chemistry that are initiated in the brain; therefore, all illnesses are “psychosomatic.”  And guess what, folks: they’re real illnesses. Continue reading

Mental Health Awareness Month

SSG

click to read SSG’s bio

Two weeks ago, my fiance – it still gives me the giggling butterflies… fiance… fiance… more giggling butterflies…

Anyway, Dandelion Soup dude and I went to a book store on a Sunday afternoon cause nothing makes us happier than books, being the big Library Mice* we both are and all.

Way too soon, we heard the closing announcement on the PA and on our way out the store, we stumbled upon this table: Continue reading

Public Service Announcement

SSG

click to read SSG’s bio

I am going out on a limb here and I hope that the powers that be (a.k.a. Ruby) are ok with it.

The thing is, we’re a family, right? So, I figured that I should keep my Canvas family* on the know.

I’ve been Team Canvas for… what, two years now.  And then there is this other Canvas dude, who joined our lovely family just a couple of months ago. He’s been a bit quiet around here but he has his reasons**.

The funny thing is dude and I…

Wait for it…. Continue reading

There Are Worse Things

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

It’s one of those things on which, probably, each of us has a different viewpoint.    What’s the worst thing someone could do to me?  And then, is it really the ‘worst‘?  Or is something else ‘worse‘?

I’ve been thinking, trying to find myself some closure from something that happened in my past.  The closure hadn’t come naturally and I’ve realised that perhaps it was because of this.  I was hung up by what the ‘worst thing‘ was.

Without wanting to trigger anyone into places they don’t want to go, let me just say that in general we, as a society, have ideas about what is the ‘worst’ harm that could happen to a person.  I want to suggest that we don’t always get that right. Continue reading

The Perfect (Medication) Cocktail

click to read DeeDee's bio

click to read DeeDee’s bio

It seems like almost everyone who has been under long-term psychiatric care has embarked on a quest for the Holy Grail: the perfect medication cocktail. And it also seems like a lot of people never find it.

But I’m pleased to discover–my therapist and psych nurse both concur–that I’ve finally found mine. It treats a biological failure to produce enough of a couple critical substances: dopamine and progesterone.

My perfect cocktail includes medicated sinus rinses, nasal spray, a slew of vitamins and supplements, and a couple of prescriptions.

My perfect cocktail includes sinus treatments, a slew of vitamins and supplements, a couple of psychoactive drugs, low-dose naltrexone, and progesterone (not pictured).

I’ve known for years that dopamine was to blame for my mood and attention issues because only dopaminergic drugs ever helped. But there’s no “dopamine deficiency disorder” in the DSM, so they’ve labeled me with ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder. Although Wellbutrin XL and Adderall XR is a bad combo for most people–it makes them anxious, wired, and twitchy–it’s exactly what I need. Continue reading