World Suicide Prevention Day 2016

Click to read Cate’s bio

Click to read Cate’s bio

Trigger Warning:  As indicated by the title, this post discusses suicide.  Not graphically, and not in detail, but if you find the topic triggering you may choose not to read this post.

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Suicide (and suicide prevention) is not something I choose lightly to think about, or even write about. It is “My Scary Place”. But I’m going here because this is

Too important not to write about.

 
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To See A Light That Shines

Click to read Cate’s bio

Click to read Cate’s bio

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Did you sing this song as a child? I did. Continue reading

Stigma Via Health Professionals

Click to read Cate’s bio

Click to read Cate’s bio

I wasn’t expecting it from this source.  Actually I had seen this particular health professional about five times and had decided that she knew her stuff.  What’s more, I had decided that she was responding to what I was saying to the extent that I felt comfortable with her.  A big thing.

But I admit I had forgotten a brief moment in my first appointment with her when she responded to something I said with “you haven’t got a mental illness“. Continue reading

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

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 This post contains discussion of chronic suicidal thinking. There are no actual suicides described or images.  Please read at your discretion.

 

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

I was sitting in the office of my Pain Management Specialist.  Also in the office was a medical student.  I know most people don’t like medical students sitting in on appointments, but I don’t mind.  They have to learn about the patient’s perspective somehow, and because in New Zealand their exposure to mental health, as part of their training, is so small, I think it’s vital that they get all the exposure they can get. Continue reading

Toughing It Out

Cate

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From where I was seated, it seemed that no one cried at my father’s funeral.   It seemed to me that it was stoicism all the way.  Most of them were pretty good at it.  My 12-year-old nephew was looking a bit shaky for a while, parents wondering whether he would ‘make it’ to be part of the party to walk the casket it out.  And I can tell you that I was definitely shaky.  I was all but crying, but everyone was so stone-faced that I was determined that I wouldn’t ‘fall apart’. Continue reading

Why I Disclosed My Mental Illness To My Employer

Cate

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It’s a difficult one.  To disclose or not to disclose?  There are plenty of articles around about the issue of whether to tell your employer that you have a mental illness.  I came across a recent one and it got me thinking.  I disclosed in the past but would I do it again?

The article, Deciding Whether to Disclose Mental Disorders to the Boss by Alina Tugend (for The New York Times) got me thinking.  Has my mind changed?

You see, in 2009 I chose to tell my prospective employer that I had a mental illness. Continue reading

Please Understand What It’s Like To Be Me (…Or A Giraffe)

Cate

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TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of issues related to Eating Disorder recovery. No numbers involved.  

Also, there is a rather nasty animal welfare story mentioned in the first two paragraphs.

I read an horrendous story the other day about a giraffe tragically killed in South Africa recently as it was being transported on a busy highway.  The giraffe was decapitated when the truck it was being transported by drove under an over-bridge.  The giraffe was blindfolded (it makes me wonder if the driver was too), and I think that is standard practise for transporting these animals, to keep them calm (personally blindfolding me will not keep me calm).

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What Are We Laughing At?

Cate

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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