Daily Archives: November 9, 2015

Busy

Busy day.  Went to DMV with the middle one to get a full driver’s license..  Then went grocery shopping, came home and found another submission notice in my inbox, this time from a group called the ,Gordian Review, forwarded by my professor.  So I sent two pieces in and will work on a the third piece to send in for nonfiction. Hopefully I will hit paydirt somewhere else if I keep sending out.  Then took the small one back to the dentist and to the drug store. So that is the plot so far.  A lot of balls to  juggle in the air.

ANd the middle one is playing in a play tonight and tomorrow.  So very busy she stays–she’s missing indoor percussion and dance practice to do this play.  So we will see how she does tomorrow night when we go.  Right now I have dinner in the oven and the usual dread that I have forgotten something important.

Hope everyone has had a good start to their week!


So, I lost some weight!

Yes people, after changing to Abilify (aripiprazole) from Zyprexa I can honestly say I’ve found the right mix of medication to help with my weight issues. I suffer from bipolar type 1 and when going manic I do experience psychosis. So I do need anti-psychotic meds in my life. Problem is, a lot of these […]

Why Inflammation is good and bad…

Source: Why Inflammation is good and bad…


what are you linking about?

Let’s kick off with a subject we can all get behind. The Problem of How to Be Depressed Online File as WTF? Pharmacy Accidentally Distributes Bipolar Meds Instead of Candy Um… Cryptic Pregnancy: Why Some Women Do Not Know They Are Pregnant And About To Give Birth. “Psychiatric issues. Those with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or […]

What does mental illness look like?

When you think of someone with a mental illness, what comes to mind? Is it a bedraggled homeless person in the street? Is it someone wearing a straight jacket screaming bloody murder in a padded cell? Is it someone who goes on a shooting spree at a high school? If that’s the case, then you’d be wrong. […]

Bark, Bark, Bark

David Bowie

♥ ♥ ♥

Just because I’m tired of being sick, and need a laugh, and want to share that laugh with you.  So when I start coughing instead of laughing, don’t be alarmed—it’s just my lungs trying to right themselves.


How harmful is stigma?

I recently read various comments related to bipolar disorder that emphatically stated, “Bipolar disorder is not an illness.  Stop calling it one!”  I was struck the individual said he was in the medical profession for years and knew for certain mental illness simply did not exists, but was merely behavioral problems and not something based in science.

I became a bit curious about the definition of illness, trying to understand if in fact there was any merit to what he said.

The definition of “illness” is a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.  The last time I checked human anatomy the brain, in fact, is part of the body.  How then can someone argue mental illness is not a sickness?

Around the globe mental illness is fighting against centuries old stigma.  There are some places around the world who still practice exercism as a form of “treatment.”  Some people are chained to trees for the remainder of their lives, watched over by priests who believe through spiritual healing they can heal the mentally ill.

While I believe faith can play apart of recovery, faith alone will not heal a mental illness anymore than cancer can be cured without some type of treatment.  It is surprising to learn that there are people who hold on to these archaic and harmful beliefs that end up damaging people who have mental illness in mind, body and spirit.

Fortunately, in the United States we don’t chain people with mental illness to trees.  But even in our “advanced” culture we still manage to blame the victims.  Of course the media is to blame for perpetuating stereotypes.  But also many high profile politicians can’t seem to discuss mental illness without talking about gun control.  It seems that for every step forward we take two steps backwards in the fight against stigma.

The only way we will change stigma is through better education and more informed decision making.  Our discourse must begin to include the reality of how our brains can get sick too.  

Mental illness is not about being possessed by some evil spirit that needs exercised.  It is far more about how the brains neurotransmitters have gone arrey.  Scientists  do have some understanding of how serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine impact moods and psychosis, but these facts seem to get buried in the munitia.

The only way to combat the age old stigma is to continue the conversations with more informed discussion.  We owe it to our young people to move the dial beyond aged old stigma.  It is not acceptable to continue perpetuating stereotypes, yet we do it every day.  

Time has come to resist the notion that people who live with mental illness are less than those who do not.  People may be surprised to learn that many of their colleagues and family members struggle everyday with a mental condition.  The more we can talk about these illnesses the louder our voices will be heard.  Until then, standing up to stigma will be something only a few will continue to fight.


How harmful is stigma?

I recently read various comments related to bipolar disorder that emphatically stated, “Bipolar disorder is not an illness.  Stop calling it one!”  I was struck the individual said he was in the medical profession for years and knew for certain mental illness simply did not exists, but was merely behavioral problems and not something based in science.

I became a bit curious about the definition of illness, trying to understand if in fact there was any merit to what he said.

The definition of “illness” is a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.  The last time I checked human anatomy the brain, in fact, is part of the body.  How then can someone argue mental illness is not a sickness?

Around the globe mental illness is fighting against centuries old stigma.  There are some places around the world who still practice exercism as a form of “treatment.”  Some people are chained to trees for the remainder of their lives, watched over by priests who believe through spiritual healing they can heal the mentally ill.

While I believe faith can play apart of recovery, faith alone will not heal a mental illness anymore than cancer can be cured without some type of treatment.  It is surprising to learn that there are people who hold on to these archaic and harmful beliefs that end up damaging people who have mental illness in mind, body and spirit.

Fortunately, in the United States we don’t chain people with mental illness to trees.  But even in our “advanced” culture we still manage to blame the victims.  Of course the media is to blame for perpetuating stereotypes.  But also many high profile politicians can’t seem to discuss mental illness without talking about gun control.  It seems that for every step forward we take two steps backwards in the fight against stigma.

The only way we will change stigma is through better education and more informed decision making.  Our discourse must begin to include the reality of how our brains can get sick too.  

Mental illness is not about being possessed by some evil spirit that needs exercised.  It is far more about how the brains neurotransmitters have gone arrey.  Scientists  do have some understanding of how serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine impact moods and psychosis, but these facts seem to get buried in the munitia.

The only way to combat the age old stigma is to continue the conversations with more informed discussion.  We owe it to our young people to move the dial beyond aged old stigma.  It is not acceptable to continue perpetuating stereotypes, yet we do it every day.  

Time has come to resist the notion that people who live with mental illness are less than those who do not.  People may be surprised to learn that many of their colleagues and family members struggle everyday with a mental condition.  The more we can talk about these illnesses the louder our voices will be heard.  Until then, standing up to stigma will be something only a few will continue to fight.


Longing for a “sick day”

With an impending restructure at work, my days have been a bit more stress-filled than usual.  My team of six has been reduced for now to a team of three – and we’re doing our best to keep things going despite the sense of doom and gloom about the place.

In the midst of all this turmoil, staff have been dropping like flies… with record numbers of sick days.  As for me, who rarely gets sick enough to justify a day off work, I’ve been day-dreaming about taking a “sick day” to just, well… decompress.

Sick Day

Spending a day battling the flu wasn’t quite the “sick day” I’d been hoping for.

In my mind, I imagined I’d time my “sick day” for when the kids were at school/kinder so that I could sleep in ’till 10am and then go out for a brunch with my husband (who is currently studying at home).

I then planned to dig out one of my craft projects – which have been ignored for the past 2.5 years since I went back to full-time work.  And I’d end the day by picking up my kids (who would be surprised to see Mum rather than Dad waiting outside their classroom) and then welcoming them home to home-cooked cookies.

My work has an official name for days like this.  I know it’s “technically” fine to take a mental health day, but I don’t know about you – I still struggle with the idea of taking a day off when I don’t physically appear sick.

Go to work with a hacking cough or a dripping nose and people encourage you to go home and rest up.  But arrive at work crippled with anxiety, depression or stress and no-one is any the wiser.  It’s easier to hide feelings of despair, depression and hopelessness than a fever.  I worked through months of acute depression – and no-one at work noticed, until I made a point of telling them about the struggle I was having.

Not that I advocate hiding your mental illness from your employer.  I have let my manager know about my condition – and I’d like to think my employees feel comfortable enough to share with me.  Yet, I’m well aware that just telling your staff that they’re  technically allowed to take time off to deal with mental health issues doesn’t make it easy to actually do it.  We need senior staff to model that it’s actually ok.

Today, I finally got my sick day.

Only problem was, it really was a sick day.  And it struck on a Saturday morning.  Sure I got to spend the morning in bed…. but that was where I stayed for most of the weekend. And as for a leisurely lunch with my husband – well let’s just say that I wasn’t feeling up for any kind of date.  Instead of feeling free to enjoy a Monday off work… I found myself dealing with 1000’s of tissues and an aching body that didn’t want to do anything but lie down.

Moaning that “this isn’t what a sick day is meant to be like…” my husband kindly pointed out what I was after wasn’t a “sick day” but a “sickie”.  Hmm… I’d better be careful what I wish for next time.

Mariska xx

 


Longing for a “sick day”

With an impending restructure at work, my days have been a bit more stress-filled than usual.  My team of six has been reduced for now to a team of three – and we’re doing our best to keep things going despite the sense of doom and gloom about the place.

In the midst of all this turmoil, staff have been dropping like flies… with record numbers of sick days.  As for me, who rarely gets sick enough to justify a day off work, I’ve been day-dreaming about taking a “sick day” to just, well… decompress.

Sick Day

Spending a day battling the flu wasn’t quite the “sick day” I’d been hoping for.

In my mind, I imagined I’d time my “sick day” for when the kids were at school/kinder so that I could sleep in ’till 10am and then go out for a brunch with my husband (who is currently studying at home).

I then planned to dig out one of my craft projects – which have been ignored for the past 2.5 years since I went back to full-time work.  And I’d end the day by picking up my kids (who would be surprised to see Mum rather than Dad waiting outside their classroom) and then welcoming them home to home-cooked cookies.

My work has an official name for days like this.  I know it’s “technically” fine to take a mental health day, but I don’t know about you – I still struggle with the idea of taking a day off when I don’t physically appear sick.

Go to work with a hacking cough or a dripping nose and people encourage you to go home and rest up.  But arrive at work crippled with anxiety, depression or stress and no-one is any the wiser.  It’s easier to hide feelings of despair, depression and hopelessness than a fever.  I worked through months of acute depression – and no-one at work noticed, until I made a point of telling them about the struggle I was having.

Not that I advocate hiding your mental illness from your employer.  I have let my manager know about my condition – and I’d like to think my employees feel comfortable enough to share with me.  Yet, I’m well aware that just telling your staff that they’re  technically allowed to take time off to deal with mental health issues doesn’t make it easy to actually do it.  We need senior staff to model that it’s actually ok.

Today, I finally got my sick day.

Only problem was, it really was a sick day.  And it struck on a Saturday morning.  Sure I got to spend the morning in bed…. but that was where I stayed for most of the weekend. And as for a leisurely lunch with my husband – well let’s just say that I wasn’t feeling up for any kind of date.  Instead of feeling free to enjoy a Monday off work… I found myself dealing with 1000’s of tissues and an aching body that didn’t want to do anything but lie down.

Moaning that “this isn’t what a sick day is meant to be like…” my husband kindly pointed out what I was after wasn’t a “sick day” but a “sickie”.  Hmm… I’d better be careful what I wish for next time.

Mariska xx