Anorexia, Anxiety, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, Change the Conversation, depression, Dialectical behavior therapy, Eating Disorders, Keep talking, Mental disorder, mental-health, recovery, Spread the Word, treatment
For me recently it’s been scanning my facebook newsfeed on Facebook; reading that so-and-so is engaged along with 2 of my friends from middle school, the guy I had a crush on in high school and the girl who sat behind me in 3rd grade. I mean come on, forget the ring and the dress and the life long commitment at this point; but where is my prince charming?
Maybe for you it’s something different. Maybe everyone around you seems to be getting their big break at work and moving up the corporate latter. Maybe the people in your life (or in your social media life) are starting families and you are not there yet. Maybe you’ve been backtracking lately and you’re really struggling just to put one foot in front of the other.
Whatever it is….
I learned very early on in life that things work differently for everyone. I couldn’t read well until 3 or 4th grade (which if you put me on a timeline and compare me to “average” is really late). I’ve seen kids climb up a high dive and jump off the first time, while I climbed to the top of the latter that first time and stood there until the lifeguard bribed me to jump off. I wasn’t ready.
The point is, wishing something was different, or wishing that we ourselves were in a different place does not change anything; except add to the stress and the frustration and the emotional turmoil we experience.
I learned to read in due time. I also became a frequent high dive jumper when I was ready. The truth is we are all different and develop in different ways at different times. Accept yourself where you are today as being okay, and see what comes tomorrow.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.
I took a bath this morning. Not a shower, a bath. I honestly was unsure if I could stand up in the shower. I appreciated the time for my muscles, joints and bones to just soak.
I woke up tired this morning.
Coming off of a difficult 10 hour shift yesterday I scarfed some food down and headed to bed only to groan as the alarm on my phone buzzed this morning.
Time to do it again.
I love my job, I love the people I work with, I love the work that I do – but that does not mean I am not tired. As I sat soaking in the tub I began making a list of all the things I could do to help make this morning positive.
This is what I came up with:
We’re going to be tired. We’re going to have bad days. We’re going to be emotionally & physically exhausted sometimes. That’s the truth. It’s our job to decide how we want to deal with it.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.
It seems like at least once a week I am faced with a question about disclosing or concealing my mental health concerns in the face of hindering future leadership possibility, jobs etc. Mental health is one of those things that because of the way that it is talked about, it can cause people to question your abilities to handle responsibility, emotional work, or whatever else they have perceptions about.
What I’ve realized though is that my mental health concerns and all of the recovery work I have had to do has made me a far better leader than I ever could have been had I not gone through that process.
It is in our own weaknesses that we learn to have compassion for other people. It is in our own falling down and getting back up that we learn perseverance and endurance. It is in our own fragility that we realize we are strong. It is in our own surrender and willing to follow that we learn how to lead. It is in our own realization that we cannot do much by ourselves that we learn to work with others. Finally it is only in our pure and honest desire to serve others do we learn to be leaders.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand
BBC Three, Bipolar disorder, graham shiels, health, Mental disorder, mental health stigma, mental illnesses, mental-health, negative stigma, Schizophrenia, schizophrenia schizophrenia, Social stigma, Stereotype, stereotypes in the media
By Guest Blogger Graham Shiels
To answer my own question…No it doesn’t add up!
The more I think about the stigma surrounding mental health, the more absurd it appears to be. When I was first diagnosed with depression, I tried to rationalize it at some point as, OK, if I had a broken arm I would have it in a cast to heal, so these tablets will help me heal my brain. No biggie. But it was a biggie, although I tried to rationalize it in that way, I was very aware of how other people might perceive me. My thought process was I might be seen as, weak or unstable and therefore untrustworthy, also feared by others due to stereotypes in the media.
There are numerous films where stereotypes of mental illness come from, that ingrain themselves in our minds as to how people with a mental illness are supposed to behave. I remember when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder; I was horrified, because I thought Bipolar was another word for Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia scared me, because any films I’d seen featuring extreme cases of Schizophrenia. However soon learned bipolar was a new term for manic depression which I understood more about. It wasn’t until much later I began to understand Schizophrenia was not what I had confined to the stereotypes I had seen in the movies either.
It doesn’t make sense to me that an illness of the brain has so much negative stigma around to it. Whereas an illness to the body is well, for lack of a better word, ‘normal’ and accepted. For me, it can only be explained through fear of the unknown.
So how can we get rid of the negative stigma? We talk about it more; we educate people about what it’s like to suffer from the various mental illnesses out there. We show people it’s not to be feared, though never something to be ignored.
BBC Three is currently airing a series of programs highlighting mental illness, focusing on those who have them and how they cope. I’ve posted most of these documentaries on my blog The Bipolar Place. If you search for BBC Three on my blog you should find the various episodes. They’re a great example of how more awareness is being shone on the whole mental illness debate.
My name is Graham and This is Where I Stand.
This is a must see!! Thank you Brittany for standing up for all the women and men feeling the same way! You are in inspiration for us to be brave and use our voices.
Erin and Natalie
Bipolar disorder, Blogging Guide, borderline personality disorder, eating disorder, health, medicine, mental health awareness, mental-health, Personality disorder, Substance abuse, substance abuse recovery, United States
Where I Stand bloggers are individuals who have a passion for erasing the stigma associated with mental health and spreading hope and awareness through personal their education, knowledge and personal experience. Where I Stand welcome’s guest bloggers in the areas of: Mental Health Awareness, Recovering Planning, Bullying, Eating Disorders, Body Image, Substance Abuse, Recovery, Faith and Healing, Mental Health in k-12 Education, Women’s Mental Health, Depression, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Perspectives from the Mental Health Professionals, and College Mental Health. If you are interested in blogging for Where I Stand about one or more of these things please take a look at our Where I Stand’s Guest Blogging Guide: Where I Stand Guest Blogging 101. Then email us at email@example.com.
We are thrilled to introduce to you Audra: Where I Stand’s newest guest blogger. Please read Audra’s bio below and be on the look out for her monthly posts! You can see her first post titled “Hope.” here!
Audra A. Anderson
Current City: Newmarket, New Hampshire
Topics: Bi-polar and Uni-polar Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, PTSD, Recovery and General Mental Health Issues and Topics.
I was raised moving back and forth from Norway to the United States. I had the unique opportunity to experience the world in a “greater” sense, to live a completely different culture, government and view of mankind in general.
I married young and was a mother by twenty years of age. Through the twenty-five years of marriage and motherhood, I learned many difficult life lessons. I learned that I suffer from PTSD, and eating disorders. I eventually learned my husband suffers from ADHD and Bi-polar Disorder. My eldest daughter was eventually diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and ADD, while my youngest also suffers from anxiety issues, ADHD, and Bi-polar Disorder.
Why Where I Stand?: I was once completely ignorant of mental health issues. Once I began educating myself, and then seeking professional help for my family, and myself I saw the overwhelming need to help reduce the stigma of mental illness by education and awareness. I work tirelessly to achieve this goal.
Interests and Fun Facts: In the past four years I have become a certified and trained advocate, teacher, speaker, facilitator and trainer for Mental Health Issues and Awareness. I have the unique honor and privilege of being allowed to volunteer in the State Psychiatric Hospital on the Children’s Unit, and also connect with the families of the children to help support and direct them to mental health resources. I am also a trained Suicide Prevention Trainer within the Community.
I am also a legally ordained Minister, on two Boards of Directors, and love auto mechanics, my Hemi Dodge Charger, music and nature. I am stubborn and self determined, and that has worked well as an advocate for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves.
Interested in guest blogging for Where I Stand like Rachel, Graham and Audra? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Behavior, Bipolar disorder, cognitive distortions, Diagnosis, disorders, eating disorder, emotion, health, medicine, mental health conditions, mental health diagnosis, mental-health, population study, traumatic experiences
In the world of mental and behavioral health sometimes the best thing to do is go back to the basics. When an individual suffers from a mental health diagnosis their body/mental & emotional state is already under additional stress throughout the day with attempts to regulate emotions, practice dealing with cognitive distortions and also, if on medication metabolizing the medication.
I write this post because I have type II bipolar disorder, and am in recovery from an eating disorder. Let me tell you if I become exceedingly tired or exceedingly hungry I become depressed, anxious, I have an increased level of disordered thinking, my medication does not metabolize correctly, I often times feel ill which makes my eating get thrown off even more, and so on and so forth.
You think I’m the only one? I work as an activities counselor for a therapeutic home for teen boys. They all individually have their own traumatic experiences, diagnosis or behavioral issues and when they have had enough rest and enough nutritious food they are less restless, attend to their chores, get along better with one another and staff.
I have been in recovery for just about two years now; and still to this day every so often I evaluate myself on my basics. How am I doing on rest? How I am doing with consistent meals? How I am doing with exercise? How am I doing with medication? Because the truth is the second one of my basics gets away from me my recovery is in jeopardy.
It’s time to go back to the basics.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand
This past week I traveled to King’s Dominion in Richmond Virginia with work. We took the residents of our therapeutic residential home as a day trip. Let me tell you: we had a blast. While there, I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between riding a roller coaster and working on recovery.
Like recovery, roller coasters are intimidating (especially if you have never been on one before). It’s often times asking for help the biggest initial challenge – just like getting on the roller coaster and getting buckled in.
For those of you who have been on roller coasters before, think back to one that has a steep incline heading up then drops you. In recovery we are often chugging up and up and up and then without warning something changes and we have to reassess.
When riding roller coasters we often don’t know what’s coming next (which is similar to life). The best we can do it hold on, regulate our emotions, and try to enjoy ourselves!
It’s always important to remember too that no two roller coasters are exactly the same; just like no two person’s recovery process will be exactly the same, so rather than comparing ourselves with the people around us it is more effective to focus on what is happening in front of you!
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand