It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

NMHAW and Understanding

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 7 2015 @ 04:45 PM
Good afternoon all,

I was wondering if I could take a small moment of your time. I will be brief.

Next week is National Mental Health Awareness Week (May 11-17)

So in preparation I thought I could throw out a simple request. One that even I need to work on sometimes despite being need deep in the profession itself.

Mental health issues are prevalent. They are widespread. Depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, and a slew of other terms may seem like small talking points to some but I have come to realize that they are far too small.

If you will, take a look at some statistics at NAMI

A large percentage of people walk through their day in a level of pain that some of us cannot fathom and yet here we are each day failing to discuss the problem. That problem has a pair of names; "Stigma" and "ignorance."

Society has deemed it fit to brand people with mental illness as weak or in some cases complicit in their own suffering and yet day in and day out we see the horrors that people inflict on each other. Is it any wonder why something like depression or anxiety or trauma is such a major indicator in statistics? We aren't talking about a town's worth of people. We aren't even talking about a Metropolis' worth of people. We are talking about over 60 million lovely souls that hurt from time to time and yet here we are telling them to get past it or that the children in western Africa have it much worse.

What they do not understand is that placing such disgusting language on the heads of suffering individuals accomplishes nothing but inducing shame into a life who already has their own shame. Why so ugly my friends? Or, alternatively, if you are not the one spreading the filth; why do we allow it to be so ugly? Are we perfection? Are we better than someone who is depressed?

So my simple request is as follows

When you see someone who is perhaps not at their shiniest or their tip top, try and remove yourself from bias and personal feelings and allow your mind to wonder. Wonder what is behind the frown on a sunny and delightful day. Wonder why that woman's eyes dart from place to place. Wonder why that child may not behave in what society defines as "normal."

Because in many cases there is an underlying monster and it is powerful. So depression and bipolar and PTSD may just be words, and to a point they are, but the implications are strong. Those same people you encounter may be fighting a battle harder, longer and more enduring than any boxing match or marathon...and they do it every day.

Erase the stigma and allow yourself to wonder...

Thank you for your time

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 04:57 PM
a reply to: KyoZero

The stigma has alot to with education.Even when someone goes through this, they often don't want to talk about it.It's painful to be labeled and have have ignorance used against you.

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 05:43 PM
a reply to: KyoZero

that is very kind of you

the hardest thing for me is that despite all the help I could seek there is nothing anyone can do for me as I refuse the thought of drug treatments

what makes it extremely difficult for me is having to exist with others who are not a part of me yet I have to be a part of them or their requirements. i am completely incapable of explain myself neither it is desirable for me during attacks and the worst is when i do they start to worry about me

unfortunately mentall illness is difficult to prove but what perhaps would help is cutting people slack and yes deffinately being less judgmental or being quick to draw conclusions. this sociaty is so fast paste and that is the worst trigure.. when u know that if u retrieve for one day - this day could change and define everything about future

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 06:09 PM
a reply to: Layaly

In the old days of ancient Greece and Rome, individuals experiencing challenges like these where often prescribed a time in scenic places, to relax, refresh and forge new emotional connections.The spas they went to in Northern Italy where rich in different salts.We don't do that anymore, and life is more stressful then ever.

I feel that if someone needs to heal, they should take a multi-faceted approach.Drugs can be very helpful, to stabilize someone, but are far from a complete solution.I'd like to see more therapy, exercise, and holistic practice supplement medication.I feel that practicing tai chi, luk tung, yoga and meditation in general can help individuals get their lives back on track.Drugs are meant to help us heal, and have a better quality of life.They aren't the whole solution, and society short changes on so much potential these people hold.

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 04:36 AM
a reply to: KyoZero

Cognitive therapy is far superior to drug therapy when treating mental problems.

Some drugs even make things worse.

So why don't people use or get cognitive therapy.

Because it takes time and costs more money.

So we just turn people into medicated idiots.

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 06:02 AM
a reply to: TorinoFer

Even if you have the money or coverage, it's just part of the challenge.

Stumbling blocks of these kind, make one question everything you know about yourself.

Usually even in the best case scenario, the doctor's will err on the side of more rather then less medication.Their primary concern is usually just trying to stabilize you at first.It's traumatic, and leaves someone wondering if the cure is worse then the disease.Doctor's often sincerely mean well, but who is ready to be a human guinea pig for what could be months of adjusting one's medication till others agree you are "normal".

Christ realizing the medicine is necessary, is even colder comfort.It's scary, and you have to let go of many expectations for it to even succeed.Damn it, this is harshing my mellow.

F*ck stigma.It's a crossroad.You have to fight, be brave and believe in yourself.

They told me when I became psychotic, "Your brain is broken."
"Ok, what part of my brain is damaged?"
"Everything appears to be normal, we believe you have a chemical imbalance"
"You can see that on the MRI?"
"Not exactly, blah, blah, blah"The drugs don't help me remember his nebulous response, lol

They told me that this runs in family's and I have had this my whole life, but it doesn't usually show till later.I'm sure the hash, problems with my old lady, working 60+ hours a week, and sleep deprivation had nothing to do with this/sarcasm

"When can I go back to work?"
"Oh, we don't think you will be able to do that anymore"
"Is that your decision?"
"You need to think realistically about your future!"
"Thanks, doc I'll pass everything on to the wife and kids!"

Don't drink the kool aid, people.You have your own freedom of choice, so you do what is right for you.If I would of bought that mentality, I would be dead.It's one of the hardest things in the world, here is where the maze becomes a labyrinth.If you don't believe in yourself you, how is anyone one else?Don't hand off that authority to anyone, sincerely fight to make the most of your experience.What other choice to you have?

That was 9 years ago, and I am working and this diagnosis was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.I had been running around so long like a chicken with my head cut off, that I forgot to stop and smell the roses.

Medication sucks, it can take a very long time to find out what works for you.You need to be patient and heal on different levels.If you find yourself in this position, don't let the fear get the better of you.It is critical that you find medical help, good psychiatrist and therapists who you feel comfortable with.You really need to trust who you decide to work with.If I would have listened to what the doctors told me, when I first received this news I I probably would still be in the hospital.Don't sell yourself short, you can heal and be yourself again.Just be ready to accept that this is a long term process.

And that's all I have to say about that for now.
edit on 8-5-2015 by dffrntkndfnml because: (grammer)

edit on 8-5-2015 by dffrntkndfnml because: grammer

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 07:43 AM
a reply to: TorinoFer

CBT (or any school isn't just about CBT) is far superior in many cases...not all

In quite a bit of the cases if the medication were present there would be no CBT to even be tried. Therapists see it every day. I have had my clients when I started in mental health (now substance use and PTSD) who would miss or skip their medication and there was no amount of talking or CBT that would help at that point.

I agree that for a good deal of people, trying therapy first is a fine idea but you must know that there are many others who do not function well without the medication that works for them. It's a hard fact to swallow but it is a fact. I agree also that people are over medicated but I also know from the inside that these pills and shots have massively changed a lot of lives for the better.

Point is, while I agree to a point, you can't blanket all of mental illness under a CBT will work flag without knowing that without other assistance that some clients don't have the chance.

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 02:36 PM
Thanks KyoZero for creating this thread.I had been thinking about doing something to raise awareness of NMHAW all week.

Please forgive me, for going off topic.I can't help feel deeply ambivalent when confronting the issue of stigma and the importance of education.I find myself battling a deep sense of cognitive dissonance when it comes expressing myself about mental health.I wonder the value in sharing my pain...

To fill in the some blanks, my diagnosis is Bipolar Type 2 and I labour as a Ironworker in the construction industry.That's why looking back, I feel disappointment with my initial experiences with psychiatry.

Back on topic...

The issue of stigma is can be compared to the elephant in the room when it comes to healing and education of mental health issues.

The feedback can be very confusing, when one receives a diagnosis like this.Aside from the physical side effects of an initial course of medication clouding ones vision, this is a uncomfortable topic for many people.In my circle of friends, many were very supportive even going as far a suggesting this diagnosis was an error.My more intimidate family however, could see what the doctors were saying.No one said there was something wrong with me, but the situation was very puzzling to say the least.

Education is key to understanding and using these kinds of challenges for the greater good.

I was extremely upset at first, I had gone to the hospital to get a second opinion about my mental health.A friend working in the health industry, gently suggested this at the time due to all the stress I had been experiencing.I went down to the hospital, and thought I'd be in and out.I didn't want my friend to worry about me, his concern was genuine.

Well, life surprised me.After talking to the psychiatrist he had asked me to stay the night.They gave me some medicine for stress (lol), and I felt I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed when I signed on for an extended vacation in the psych unit.

I can laugh now about it, but my mind-state was dulled at the time.I have a difficult time remembering how it all went down once I talked to the intake psychiatrist.

Thank God, I stayed there.It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

During my hospital stay, education was a major component.The individuals in my ward were invited to participate in EPI, the Early Psychosis Intervention program.This course went into many different facets of mental illness and served as a crash course to learn to understand myself better.I was extremely reluctant to participate, but within a few days alot of the questions I had about my well-being were answered.The EPI program covered things like exercise, the importance of friendship and relationships to recovery, mental health resources in our community, stress factors, triggers and much more to break down the big picture into a more manageable perspective.We would do a little Luk Tung (Moving meditation) and they encouraged us to take advantage of the exercise available to us.

Without participating in this program, I wonder if I would still be in the same place.I was told it was developed in the UK somewhere, and mental health professionals were working on adapting it to help wider geographical locations.

After leaving the hospital, this new information was in a better perspective.Previous to this diagnosis my life lacked the stability required to see my work through and accomplish my goals.It had been easy for me to blame others for my own short comings before.

Now to learn to practice dealing with stigma.

My family was really concerned about what this diagnosis meant for me.They were scared too.

It took a long time to get back to work.My brothers were extremely gracious with me, though they always had exceeded the stereotype of the construction industry.Financially, my diagnosis came at a poor time but they reminded me that you can't buy good health and money isn't everything.They were much more understanding about the situation then I had imagined.

It was about a year later, once I tried going back to work.They had placed me on some more minor duties to see how I would do.No, no, not quite ready yet.The anti-psychotics slowed me right down, and between my extra weight and mellowed out attitude, we could see that I needed to recover more.

Idk, I believe in transparency when it comes to these sorts of things.I had told everyone about my condition, much to the worry of my immediate family.They felt others would use it to their own ends, or why would I limit myself like that.Perhaps I may have felt different, if I worked in an office environment or somewhere else.

I doubt it though, I needed all the help I could get, and the subtle way my mood would gradually change made it important for me to get help watching for signs of danger.I couldn't feel good about myself working in such a dangerous career without giving my brothers the full picture of how I felt, and what I was going through.Trust is a necessity in my line of work.

Another year went by, before attempting to go back to work.My medicine had been cut back gradually, so I was starting to feel more like who I am.If you find yourself with down time, please practice reading, and learning whatever information you can get about your condition, while keeping a close eye on diet, rest, and exercise.You won't regret that.

As I learned more about myself, I started realizing that mental health is actually a much bigger concern then ever.In my area (Metro Vancouver) we actually have some really high rates of individuals coping with this.I hadn't known about that before, and further reflection gave me the impression that most people don't talk about these things.I note this, because my initial fears about stigma and the judgment that often comes with that were largely an illusion.I wouldn't have known that if i hid it though.People were very supportive of me taking a proactive role in my well being.

It was about 2 years before I was able to get back to work, and safely focus on what I needed to work on to get back on track.

Without the support of my friends, and family I doubt that I would have been able to adjust to this condition.This made all the difference in the world.If you know someone who is wrestling life this way, try your very best to exercise patience and understanding.It's the only way, they have any chance to learn to deal in a more healthy fashion.

I mention this specifically, because nobody is perfect.The most frustrating thing for me, is when while arguing to hash things out, my loved ones have thrown my diagnosis in my face.This is extremely painful.It doesn't happen very often anymore, but it did alot at first.It is better to focus on criticizing the way one's behaviour is creating the issue.That way even if it is their condition that is colouring the situation you provide them the opportunity to learn to handle that in a positive manner.As soon as one uses lables to insult another, it closes off the mind and invites a reaction instead of response.

I'd say that personal education about mental heath health trumps educating others around you.That part will fall into place as you do your own homework.

The stigma was mostly just fear, I get the impression that many others deal with this challenge silently.Once they see someone else doing well in a responsible fashion, it will encourage society to be more open about this.

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 02:43 PM
I ran out of characters...

I wanted to say that the between learning of this diagnosis, time off from work, and education I received, the setbacks that had been standing in the way of me becoming more successful have been largely removed.Now, I am more easily able to follow through with goals, and enjoy life more fuller.

I know many people suffer with diagnosis like this, and many people have negative experiences with psychiatry.Please don't get discouraged, just remain committed to your health long term.

top topics


log in