Daily Archives: September 25, 2014

HeForShe 2014

UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, delivered this powerful speech (transcript here) on September 20, 2014 for the HeForShe Special Event at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Take action, visit: HeForShe.org

Emma Watson pointed out that sexism not only hurts women, it hurts men. Men often do not reach out for mental health services due to stigma against showing vulnerability and expressing emotions.

UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too

Thank you, Emma Watson, for an intelligent, powerful speech in favor of feminism. Ask yourself the question she posed:

if not me, who, if not now, when

HeForShe‬ is a “A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality.”

The movement for gender equality was originally conceived as a struggle led only by women for women.

In recent years men have begun to stand up in addressing inequalities and discrimination faced by women and girls.

Now it’s time to unify our efforts. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.

~HeForShe.org

Gender equality is a human right. Thank you, HeForShe‬.


Filed under: Gratitude, Mental Health, Sexism, Stigma Tagged: feminism, gender equality, HeForShe, human rights

10 Comics That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness

http://io9.com/10-comics-that-can-help-you-understand-mental-illness-1576917503

Chemical Poems: Lithium

Author: Mario Markus
Published Date: 07 January 2014
Source / Publisher: Chemical Poems: One On Each Element
Interview with Mario Markus

Lithium

The grave of the feeble breath
becomes a source
of fighting spirit.
That which calms
the manic mind
is passion
for a withered soul.
And floats
on water.

And all of them:
source, lightness,
passion,
sepulchre,
are caught in the desert
by a river
and poured out
into a vastness
of salt.

image

Moody Blues

One of the things I like to do occasionally is pull out the mood charts I’ve kept over the past two years and compare them. This makes me appreciate how far I’ve come since I started keeping records, and is a great reminder of why I take all these medications that make me slow and stupid. I get down about that sometimes; I miss my brain, even though it was FUBAR before I started on this journey toward wellness. I miss passion and intensity, and as I’ve said before, I miss my hypomania. But then I look at my charts and see the progress I’ve made, especially in recent months, and I realize that the results are well worth the sacrifice.

I also can’t help noticing that the flattening of the line graph and the lower scores on irritability and anxiety correspond with my state of unemployment. Before I left my last job, those scores were off the charts; since I’ve been out of work, they’ve dropped to near normal levels despite the ever-present worries over finances. I never realized how badly job stress affected me until I no longer had any. Even with impending homelessness looming over Will and me, I’m not as freaked-out as I would’ve been if my moods were still largely uncontrolled.

It’s even more impressive when I line up my charts side-by-side. I don’t even have to look at my notes to see the improvement over the six months I’ve been on Zyprexa; it’s obvious that the drug has pulled everything else together for me. And when I compare the line graphs from 2012 and 2013 with those from this year, the difference is amazing. No more wild swings from mania to depression and back again, no more frequent cycling. And there are a lot of flat lines between the blips, indicating longer and longer periods of wellness.

This is the evidence I needed to convince myself that my medication regimen should indeed not be messed with. It’s my nature to question everything, especially authority, and as much as I trust Dr. Awesomesauce I wasn’t sure he was right to leave things alone. But here it is in black-and-white, and I can’t deny that my quality of life has improved since my moods settled down…..even if I do feel dumber than a box of rocks at times.

Some times are worse than others. Since getting up this morning I’ve forgotten my meds (but took them as soon as I remembered), the letter I was supposed to mail out days ago, the day of the week (I keep thinking it’s Friday), and the phone number to my internist’s office. I’ve also lost my place in this post several times and had to go back over it to make sure I’m not repeating myself. As the saying goes, “Some days it’s just not worth chewing through the restraints.” Today is one of them. Good thing I’m in a decent mood, yes?

 


Preaching from the pulpit of madness.

So, today has not been a great day for me. But I went on line and looked up some of my favourite blogs; to check in, to check up and to find out how those I love to follow are … Continue reading

A Shameless Plea for Your Support! (Not $!) & More…

  Throughout my life I’ve been great at promoting others who I believe in with all my heart, whether it be their books, their causes, their blogs, their music, their food…whatever! ;) But when it comes to tooting my OWN … Continue reading

Psychological Epidural

I have tried to come up with a way to describe the bad depressions yet always come up short. Then I got to thinking about my daughter’s birth. I had the epidural because I am petty and hold grudges and wanted her birth to be remembered without any of that negative stuff. So I wussed out and have zero regrets.
But I remember how the epidural not only killed the pain, it pretty much rendered your brain incapable of controlling your body. The doctor says push but not with your legs but you’re dead below the waist so you don’t know what you’re doing.
For those who’ve never had an epidural, think novacaine, like at the dentist’s office. Except it’s full body and especially in your brain.
YES. These are apt descriptions of depression.
You are telling yourself, “Get off your ass, go clean, go shower, do this, do that, suck it up…”
But your body simply won’t obey. Because you are disconnected and numbed to the point your extremities no longer obey the commands issued by your mind.
Then comes mental novacaine. There’s this tiny portion of your lizard brain telling you things aren’t that bad, you will feel better if you do this, you should get this done…
The larger part of your brain that has been hijacked by a virus called DEPRESSION stays on your home page. You are paralyzed mind body and soul. Immovable. Until the faulty program is removed, your system is simply not going to work properly.
And on the days where you do work properly mentally or physically, it is rarely both at the same time because the novacaine has spread and metastasized to the point where you might as well have no limbs.

it sounds dramatic. maybe to some it sounds like crap.
It is what I LIVE. And it is very real, very debilitating, and very hard on your self esteem and morale.
once you hit a point of numbness so extreme…Ceasing to exist seems to be a pretty good idea.
Unfortunately, your mind is so fucked up, you don’t even have the energy to plot your own demise.
And if you did, you’d fuck it up because your memory is impaired, your energy is nil, and your mind is a clusterfuck of cobwebs, lethargy, fear, misery, and a complete lack of focus.

So you tie a knot in the end of your frayed rope and hang on, knowing eventually it will lift. You hope.

That’s as close as I can get to describing depression to someone who’s never been there. They simplify it and trivialize it of course, but it’s their own ignorance.

Today…I am restless yet listless. The anxiety at least is tolerable. My mood keeps bobbleheading, up down side to side. I don’t know what I am. I can’t focus. I have no energy to do anything. I’m actually kind of paralyzed, unable to even decide if I want to read a book or if I even can because my mind is so hazy and unfocused.
I can feel myself being pulled toward the rabbit hole and soon, I will be yanked down inside of it. I fight it and fight it but…Novacaine brain aka depression fights dirtier and it takes hostages.

One day at a time.

Unfortunately, with cyclothmic bipolar, the mood swings that occur in one day make that one day seem like ten.

And by the time you’re too numb to notice any ups or downs…You’re drowning in the black abyss, telling your arms to flail and keep you above water…Only to have novacaine brain take charge and refuse you the strength or ability to fight for your own survival.

Of all the things I hate…I hate mental illness the most. It is a cruel thing to befall anyone.


Help! I’m surrounded by Chaos

I don’t think there is a room in my house undisturbed. We’ve been changing the use of one of the rooms at home and everything in it needed moving and re-homing, in order to fit in what needs to fit … Continue reading

Mood Diary 2

28.8.14 8am

Awake very early, 2ish then later at 4.15am. Lots of thoughts & ideas. Now, mood stable, but I realise I have tears in my eyes and am lower than I thought, and dropping.

9am. Much lower – dread, hopleless, tears. Mild obsessive/compulsive thoughts and actions – everything on the table is now parallel to each other and to the lines of the tiles. Trying to catch my breath, some chest pain. Anxious.

10.15am. Minor panic attack.

10.45am. Actually, not sure I came out of the high entirely. Don’t know. Confused over it. No idea what my mood is at the moment. Though I just ordered a few small things on amazon.. then started a text argument with ex-wife over a minor custody breach by her today.

12.30pm Managed to calm down and now mood stable.

2pm. Stable. Just found 2 more unopened USB drives I’ve bought recently. This makes 4 new ones, oops.

7.30pm. Stable, calm.

9pm. Mood stable, but emotional, tearful for no apparent reason.

10.30pm. Slightly anxious, light-headed. Worried, but don’t know what about. Very tired but will be awake by 2am.


Rocks in My Pockets

With her new feature, Rocks in My Pockets, Latvian-born artist and filmmaker Signe Baumane examines her family members’ history with mental illness (as well as her own struggles) with humor, delicacy and eye-catching animation techniques.

After my son was born, I started having dark, obsessive thoughts. … I was immediately sent to a Soviet mental hospital and locked away for four months. The official diagnosis was schizophrenia, but this was downgraded to the “lesser” one of manic-depression after my parents bribed medical officials.

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