I once again asked the lovely Sarah at yesandyes.org to include me her Network of Nice and asked people who suffer from mental illness if they’d be willing to share their stories with me. The interviews will be featured here on the blog and so far, not even 24 hours after the post went up, I’ve received over a dozen inquiries from people willing to be heard, to help fight stigma. I’m extremely moved and excited by the willingness of others to connect, to educate and inform and reduce stigma. I really think the number of responses I’ve received is telling of a shift in the attitude towards mental illness. People want to be heard but understood, as well. People want real talk and real life strategies on how to live with mental illness.
According to statistics published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org), 1 in 4 Americans experiences mental illness within a year. That comes to over 61 million Americans living with some type of mental illness. The impact, both on quality of life and financially, of mental illness does not discriminate among gender, race or economic standing. Sadly, stigma and insurance problems can delay treatment. I dream of a world in which people can get the help they need, with no runaround from insurance companies. I long to be able to say to anyone “I have bipolar” and not fear the repercussions.
I truly hope the upcoming series of interviews opens people’s eyes and minds to life with mental illness. My blog has always been a little all over, reflecting my own mental status, but I aim to make mental illness awareness and advocacy an even bigger part than it already is. It’s amazing how connected and accepted I feel when I conduct these interviews and I hope my dear readers feel the same way.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: advocacy, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, mental illness, OCD, PTSD
Can you tell I’m still on yesterday’s Star Wars theme?
Every elementary school student’s favorite food is pizza. I have it on good authority that the ones who say something different are lying for attention. As you get older, you’re supposed to find new, exotic foods to replace pizza as your favorite. This didn’t happen to me. I have traveled to many different countries, sampled a bounty of foods, and I will still happily eat a piece of plain cheese pizza before anything else.
This favoritism is probably because carbs are my favorite food group. Pizza is king, followed by pasta, bread, cereal, rice, and mashed potatoes. These are my comfort foods, the snacks that take me to that happy place. This is especially true when I am depressed. Everything feels so bad that I just want food to taste good. I don’t want to focus on what is healthier; I want to eat what I want to eat.
Making macaroni and cheese or Ramen is part of my routine when I don’t feel good, but lately I’m increasingly bothered by the possibility that my food choices could be making me feel worse. My therapist wants me to reduce the number of carbohydrates I’m consuming and has even suggested that I try going gluten free. I’ve also noticed several studies online linking increased carbohydrate consumption with depression. I don’t know how much validity these studies have, but I do know that I have to start eating better – especially when I’m depressed.
Feeling crummy is not an excuse to eat poorly. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes we most need the foods that we don’t want to eat at that moment. Taking a big salad to bed certainly doesn’t sound as comforting as a bowl of cheesy macaroni, but I probably need what’s in the salad more than I need what’s in the pasta. Making these kinds of decisions isn’t fun, but I think it’s a necessary step for my overall wellness and especially for my mental health.
What comfort foods do you crave when you’re feeling down? How do you keep a well-rounded diet when you’re depressed?
For a while now I have had a blog list posted on this page (to the left, to the left) and if you have not done so already, I encourage you to check some of these gems out. Not all of them are related to mental health, but they are all blogs I like to keep up with as they enrich my life in one way or another. Today I would like to highlight a few of these blogs. I can’t really choose “favorites”, so I will just pick at random:
Being Truly Present This is an excellent blog, not only for the written content but for the beautiful drawings. This blogger also seasons her posts with some very powerful quotes, and if you know me well enough you know I am a sucker for some good quotes. I can tell Diane puts a lot of thought into what she writes and draws, and the result is an outstanding, well-organized blog.
Dark Thoughts I found this blog recently and I visit it almost daily. Mary has an eclectic range of topics she posts about, from book reviews to freebie opportunities to adorable rat pics. I always get a nice chuckle out of Twitter Wednesdays. Keep up the great work, Mary!
Terminally Intelligent I’ve been following this blog for about a year now, and I absolutely love it! I really like Rory’s writing style and his topics hit home a good portion of the time. Rory and his fiancee Jenny also have an additional blog, The Face of Mental Illness that invites others to share their own personal stories. Check out their submissions tab to find out how you can be a part of this great project.
…and I don’t like onions I can’t remember how I came across this blog, but I do recall being very intrigued by the title. Savanna has a really great blog that covers many topics, including OCD, motherhood, shopping/product reviews, and some very yummy recipes! She is currently taking part in the 2014 Blogger Challenge and I am enjoy reading her posts each day.
If you have a blog, I welcome you to share it in the comments here. I would love to add it to my reading list! I may even showcase it on here sometime 🙂