Daily Archives: May 4, 2016

Multicultural Mental Health Facts #MHM

Multicultural Mental Health Facts 1. Mental Health Facts MULTICULTURAL Prevalence of Adult Mental Illness by Race 16.3% 19.3% 18.6% 13.9% 28.3% Hispanic adults living with a mental health condition. White adults living with a mental health condition. Black adults living with a mental health condition. Asian adults living with a mental health condition. AI/AN* adults living with a mental health condition. www.nami.org Follow Us! facebook.com/NAMI twitter.com/NAMIcommunicate Ways to Get Help Talk with your doctor Visit NAMI.org Learn more about mental illness Connect with other individuals and families LGBTQ Community Use of Mental Health Services among Adults (2008-2012) Fact: Mental health affects everyone regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. 1 in every 5 adults in America experience a mental illness. Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness. One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24. 11.3% 21.5% 6.6% 10.3% 16.3% 15.1% 4.4% 5.3% 5.5% 9.2% Hispanic White Black Asian AI/AN* Male Female *American Indian/Alaska Native Critical Issues Faced by Multicultural Communities Less access to treatment Less likely to receive treatment Poorer quality of care Higher levels of stigma Culturally insensitive health care system Racism, bias, homophobia or discrimination in treatment settings Language barriers Lower rates of health insurance *American Indian/Alaska Native LGBTQ individuals are 2 or more times more likely as straight individuals to have a mental health condition. 11% of transgender individuals reported being denied care by mental health clinics due to bias or discrimination. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth. 2X 2-3X 11% 1 This document cites statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. www.nimh.nih.gov, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, New Evidence Regarding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health and Injustice at every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.

Filed under: Discrimination, Mental Health, Stigma Tagged: access to treatment, bias, cultural insensitivity, homophobia, lgbtq, mental illness by race, multicultural, Multicultural Mental Health, poor quality of care, racism

That Sinking Feeling

It comes from almost nowhere.   Previous thoughts were joyful, content, happy, the feeling of “everything-gonna-be-ok” running free.  The sun has set on those thoughts, and in their place is negativity and uncertainty and noisy feelings of fear.  The “ups” never last too long, around here.

What I wouldn’t give to have the last few hours back, the last few days, the week…ha!  I never seem to enjoy the “up” as much as I should.  I take it for granted, because it always comes back, but I seem to remember that it goes away, too.

It doesn’t go away in a roar or even a remotely noticeable way.  It skitters like grains of sand across the ground, until it accumulates in a pile large enough for me to recognize that those feelings are back.  The feelings that I thought would be gone, at least for awhile longer.

This crockery that I am working on right now, the idea of mental health recovery.  Who am I even kidding?  How foolish of me to finally decide to buy-in to the idea, that someday, I wouldn’t have to worry about any symptoms.  Does that really happen to people in reality, or is it just something for the self-help workbook?  Or are people just fooling themselves?  I think that is more likely.

This time is slightly different, because this time I recall exactly what I was thinking when the negative thoughts started to roll in.  The thought in my head, singular, standing alone — “I am going to worry about myself and what I need, and stop putting everyone else first.”  That was the thought, the idea that sparked all of this downhill slide.

Just as I knew the downhill slide would come, and I would have to stay busy refuting all of the garbage in my head, I know with certainty that the “up” will come back.  It might be an hour and it might be an hour or a week or a month, but my money is on an hour or a day, because there is so much up and down in my brain right now.  No mood state is lasting very long.

So I’ll talk with LarBear and cry my eyes out and then maybe understand a little better what is going on.  What is underlying.  I have my suspicions, namely my poor physical health of late and the fact that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  Let’s hope that’s what it is, and maybe I can even find some middle ground, and not just go “up.”  I simply thought it might be helpful me to document the exact “what” of the downward slide because hey, maybe someday I can change it.

There are bad feelings right now, but there is also hope, and hope must be fought for with every shred of self that one has.  Without hope, there is nothing, and with it, everything.

Filed under: Collection of Thoughts Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, cycles, depression, health, mania, mental health, mental illness, mixed episode, recovery

Child and Adolescent Mental Health #MHM


Filed under: Mental Health, Mental Illness, NAMI, Stigma Tagged: adolescent mental health, anxiety disorder, behavior disorder, Brain disorder, Child Mental Health, conduct disorder, mood disorder

Wordless Wednesdays — Its the Little Things

Sometimes, the smallest things can bring inordinate amounts of joy.  I broke into song when this showed up on my door step yesterday!  Now I can actually write down addresses and phone numbers instead of asking people again and again for their contact information.  What a concept!


Filed under: Almost Wordless Wednesday Tagged: address book, fun, gratitude, happiness, joy, organization, pink, thankful, the little things, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesdays — Its the Little Things

Sometimes, the smallest things can bring inordinate amounts of joy.  I broke into song when this showed up on my door step yesterday!  Now I can actually write down addresses and phone numbers instead of asking people again and again for their contact information.  What a concept!


Filed under: Almost Wordless Wednesday Tagged: address book, fun, gratitude, happiness, joy, organization, pink, thankful, the little things, Wordless Wednesday

May The Fourth Be With You

The original Star Wars movie (“A New Hope”) came out in May of 1977. I was 18 years old, had graduated from high school and just completed my first semester of university. I was going to school on the prairies; … Continue reading

Great Review for “Jockey Jim” by Larry Muhammad. 

Another amazing review for “Jockey Jim” a stunning play by Larry Muhammad!

Photos by Bud Dorsey. 


Physical Therapy

So today was my first day of physical therapy for my right knee.  I did stretching exercises and had a electric knee massage.  SO it wasn’t too stressful or painful today.  We will see how it goes over the course of the therapy.

My therapist is mulling whether or not to help me with my story.  She called to get an idea of what I was looking for and said she would think about it.  I haven’t heard from Gretchen Rubin and don’t think I will.  But it was an effort that may pay off if her people get around to forwarding the email.  I’m glad I made the effort to reach out to her.  We will see.

I’ ve reworked my final essay and will likely turn it in soon.  I think it is much better than the original even though it doesn’t do what the original did.  But it will fit into the overall scheme of the thesis, I think.  This class has really shown me what I need to work on in my thesis, and it’s going to be scary.  But the end result is always the end result–to tell my story to help people.  I need to keep that in mind.




Despite my horrible memory, I can easily recall the loneliest moment of my life. It was the afternoon of September 28, 2003 in Studio City, California. It was my 40th birthday. I had no friends to help me celebrate. The people who I called my friends were nothing more than drinking buddies. Since I was […]

The post Loneliness appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Personality Lost

FullSizeRender (18)

New quilt…needs more sewing and borders put on

So this has been another decent week. Things are rolling along with a few soft bumps.

Meds again: Rexulti 2.0, Lamictal 300 mg, Wellbutrin 100 mg, Klonopin 3-4/ day .25

Doc has reduced Wellbutrin to 100 from 150. I am only taking 3-4 Klonopin per day instead of four on a fixed schedule.


Woke up feeling sort of overwhelmed. Daughter Rachel has developed migraines. Not surprised, as both her dad and I had them at her age. She made a doctor’s appointment to get some medicine.

My anxiety got the best of me today and I ditched a lunch with some old friends. I was worried they would think I was too fat, although one of them is my size. I have actually lost weight, so I don’t know what brought this on, but I hope it doesn’t happen again. I got so flustered I took the day “off” and laid around. I slept hard in the afternoon and did basically nothing. When I got anxious I used the STOPP method my new CBT therapist gave me. STOPP stands for “Stop, Take a Breath, Observe, Pull Back, Practice What Works”. This method is working for the daily anxieties, but is harder to use in the car. It’s probably dangerous to pull to the side of the freeway while I pull out my little reminder STOPP card.

Also scheduled a meeting with our attorney to update our will/ trust documents. Yuck on this. I hate making decisions about what happens after I am gone…I’m not sure I care now that the kids are adults. My motto is “sell it all and divide it by three”. But we have a few charities and things we have committed to over the years, so I need to pay attention.


Woke up feeling anxious with a small headache. Cancelled my phone support meeting with my friend Gaill. (I have GOT to stop cancelling stuff.) I’m wondering if the morning anxiety is because the Klonopin is wearing off overnight.

Felt better as the day went on. Went for a long walk with husband and two of the dogs. (Third dog is not a walker, gets tired fast and wants to be carried.) Got a shower…hands were shaky. Left message for my aunt in Florida.

Finished ironing quilt blocks and laid them out on the floor. Saw my therapist at 2 and we decided I would make a list of things to work on in therapy. I came up with six serious topics. I e-mailed these to her later that day. I have never e-mailed a therapist before…was sort of weird. (They have strange boundaries.) Husband got flustered over ordering Mother’s Day flowers, so I took over and did it myself. I’m sure I will like them.:)


Still waking up at 5. Trying to stay up later but falling asleep around 8. May try a short nap in the afternoon…then stay up till at least 10. Drove myself to breakfast with a friend. Love this woman…really supportive and funny.

Can’t recall how much I have talked on here about the work husband and I have been doing at the center for homeless seniors downtown. Anyway, this friend had a lead to someone who runs the charitable arm of Henkel (they used to be Dial Soap). Am hoping to translate that into some free soaps, shampoos, washing machine liquid, etc. for the center. If there’s anyone in need, it is the senior homeless. Many of these folks are veterans and/or mentally ill. Some are just alone in the world. The center gives them breakfast and lunch, a hot shower, a locker to store their stuff, toiletries, clothes, job leads, a nurse, someone to help them get their ID and paperwork, someone to help them get benefits, small apartments, and move in items when they are ready. They can even get their clothes washed.

Came home after that breakfast and messed around the house. Sewed some, brushed our long haired cat, helped Rachel bathe two of the dogs, and dealt with getting a windshield replaced. Took a shower.


Made it to 8:30 church. Did better on not crying during the hymns. Sewed, went to Walmart with Rachel, cleaned out hanging clothes in closet, took a 30 minute walk. Came home and sat down and fell asleep.


Woke up and it was a good day. Got a shower and sewed more on the quilt. (Was assisted by my son’s little cat. She likes to pounce on everything and drag fabric around.) Drove to my women’s support group and then headed on to the CBT therapist. Got a bid on getting the house painted. $5000. We’re going to do it…has been 18 years. Old paint has held up remarkably well.


Slept from 8-5. Then went back to sleep from 7-8. Felt really good and got dinner in the crock pot.

Was thinking over the previous day and wondered if I was too “chatty” at the women’s group meeting. Don’t know if I am getting hypo or if I am just enthused. The really SAD thing is, I can’t remember my personality. It is lost. I don’t know what “normal” is for me anymore.

My friend and her schizophrenic daughter are doing better. They’re moving to a cheaper apartment (if you consider $1400/ month cheap. That’s like a mortgage.) Anyway, the daughter is getting functional, but not ready to go back to work yet. My friend is looking for a job that pays more. But not just any job. She wants a job that is fulfilling, fun, and a variety of things every day. (My husband laughed out loud when he heard this.) If things go really south for my friend, her brother in Oregon has offered to take them in. This is good news.

I looked at some old blog posts. One month ago, I was very down and flat. One year ago I had just gotten out of the hospital. I guess things are looking up.

Not a week with fulfillment, fun, and variety, but I got through it. Am happy with things…just need to reign in the anxiety.

love to you all,