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.

vlcsnap-2012-09-07-21h21m04s32

 

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.

 
Continue reading

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

Did You Know Momma is Depressed?

Click to read Jennifer's bio

Click to read Jennifer’s bio

The receptionist thought it would be a good idea to schedule my physical at the same time as my three daughters’.

Since you all have to come in anyway . . . she’d said.

In theory, yes.

In reality? Imagine keeping three ping-pong balls from smashing into each other or the four very close walls of the examination room and you are nearly there. Add a reflex hammer to the equation and you’ve just about got it. Continue reading

Toughing It Out

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

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

Click to read Cate’s bio

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

In loving memory

SSG

Click to read SSG’s bio

As everybody knows by now, the world lost one of its finest. A very human, human being. He was a genius and as it would seem, geniuses are often burdened with mental illness. A brilliant comedian that brought countless hours of laughter and tears to my life and that of many others. He fought addiction and depression all his life. And in the end, he lost the last battle.

Shortly after his death, our very own Cate Reddell shared a petition started by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Founder of SumOfUs.org. She signed it and encouraged the rest of us to sign it as well. 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