Too Concerned with Mental Health at Times? 

When I heard an actress, who had recently given birth, was getting health with her postpartum depression, I felt that concern time was over because I somehow knew she was in good hands. I often wonder if that concern was prematurely ended. I mean, since she was in good hands, she was getting good help, right?  

I was wondering: when should you be concerned with a person’s mental health, and when should you be NOT concerned? Also, could you be too concerned? Could that concern actually be thinly-veiled fear? 

When you’re dealing with your own mental health, I think concern should be best had by the person themselves. Mental health persons, when dealing with it, can be their own best advocates. Besides, they know what is best for them a majority of the time, especially in dealing with the tedious trial-and-error method of mental health medication. I am a fan of telling the doctor everything that is going on with your body, mind and mood. I know it’s long and drawn out. I myself had to tell my own prescriber that I was not feeling and functioning when they switched my prescription on me once. I am even glad there is somebody who looks out for me and my mental state as well. Unfortunately, few of those with mental illness have that person who really looks out for them. I know I am blessed in that aspect.  

About excess concern: that is usually a veiled fear of mental illness itself, and the various aspects of the behavior. I must speak again and again of the stigma, fear and hate that surrounds us who have mental illness, and our families. Pushing it under the rug will do nobody any favor. As a matter of fact, stigma gives mental illness a cover of darkness, and darkness is the perfect environment for the illness to spread and fester like bacteria, claiming lives and families as it grown. It is only in exposure to the light of day that we can fight it. 

So, what is the limit of concern? Where do we stop being scared for the person and begin to help the person in their fight for their health?  

What to Do About Mental Health Stigma 

STIG-MA (noun):

a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person:
“the stigma of mental disorder”

synonyms shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad) reputation shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad) reputation

Source: Oxford University Press

*****

I just realized something: Mental Health Stigma is not killed through lecture. Sure, I can sit and talk about how mental health stigma hurts, but I can also offer some tips to combat it. Research is fairly sparse on the topic – how to combat mental health stigma – but I’ve been looking at it anyway. There are a few tips to consider:

1) Combat internal stigma: Internalized stigma is not really your fault. It’s instilled in you by your family, your friends, the media, and even strangers. You might want to think of your mind as a sponge – if it sits in the dirty water of stigma, it will eventually absorb the dirty water of stigma. Get yourself away from those who are living in the dirty water as much as possible; however, we are talking about cleaning out the dirty water you have already absorbed. Here are a few things to consider:

-Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder are real medical illnesses. Why are they published in medical journals if they’re not?

-See a therapist if you can. I know that often, people are

-Don’t self-medicate. Using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to make yourself feel better often leads to addiction, and a troubling condition called Dual Diagnosis. I don’t know much about this condition, but bringing on multiple conditions is not recommended for anyone. It takes you the rest of your life of taking care of yourself to live well with mental illness; it takes just as long to recover from addiction.

2) No Name Calling: From one “Crazy” or “Nutjob” to another, those words hurt. They are just as derogatory as racial slurs, and calling something “gay” when you mean stupid. As far as I’m concerned, this name calling is hate and discrimination.

3) Praise for Seeking Help: If you don’t get that it’s good to get professional help with your brain, I’m here to tell you this. It’s good to get professional help for your brain. Your brain is a complex medical instrument that often requires a professional’s expertise to get it working properly. If no one tells you this, know that you are a good person for seeking professional help. Remember, you are not Superman.

4) Take Care of Yourself: I cannot stress this enough – self care is essential. What people do not get about self care is that it is not always the glamorous bubble bath most people picture it to be. Self care is taking your medication even though you gag on the larger medicines. Self care can be the bubble bath or treating yourself, but it’s other things, too. Self care is seeking help if you need it. Self care is resting when you need it. Self care is getting to your therapy appointments. Self care is learning that you can still live a full and productive life with your state of mental health. Self care is not self-medicating.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If others want to contribute tips and tricks for combating mental health stigma, by all means, tell me.

Election Stress Disorder

Have you been disappointed by one candidate, or two, or three, or even four? Are you feeling stressed? Are you getting sick easier? Do you need a break from all the political craziness? Chances are, you, like 52% of Americans, suffer from Election Stress Disorder. From the allegations of sexual assault around one presidential candidate, to the allegations ranging from carelessness to treason around the other, no wonder a majority of Americans suffer from Election Stress Disorder, hereby referred to as ESD. It’s kind of like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, except the trauma, which is the stress from the current election, seems to be ongoing at this point. You can simply search for information regarding how and why this phenomenon exists, but I have learned there are good coping techniques for this kind of stress. Here are a few:

1. Take a Break From Media. Or Two. Or More.

I’m serious. Get off social media, turn off the TV and the radio, warn others you’re not taking political talk anymore, and take some time for yourself. The post about someone else’s meal, baby, pet, etc. Will be there when you get back. This is also a common technique for self-care. People are crazy with stress; take a break from them.

2. Volunteer.

It’s a common fact that once you turn negative energy into positive energy, you feel better. Volunteering for your passion or cause is a perfect way to do that.

3. Have Your Say at the Voting Booth.

That’s what voting is all about-having your say. I don’t have to remind Americans that voting no matter how stressed you are, how much you feel punched in the gut, that you can say everything you can with your vote. Sure, Big Social Media might try to herd you into the two major choices, but you could start a sea change away from the two-party tug-of-war that might give a better candidate a chance to vote in the future.

4. Stay in the Moment.

This is crucial to happiness, and it encompasses so many things. Many ways to stay in the moment are there.

5. Stay Spiritual/Religious.

That is, if you are Spiritual or Religious. People with religious or spiritual sides are reported to be less stressed. I’m not

6. LAUGH!

I don’t care what one candidate or the other wants to be cancelled. Humor has the same effect of spirituality on stress. Besides, who hasn’t found something to laugh about this particular election?

And Finally, One for THIS Election:

Remember, this election is geared for the Toddler Brain.

Have you seen the Twitter accounts of these candidates? Come on, with all the mudslinging happening around this time, you wonder how low any of this is willing to go. I’m almost scared to watch the final debate due to the risk of physical violence. That’s how toddler it feels to me.

I would like to remind you that if you have ESD, you are not alone. Check out my last blog post for living proof. The post is called “A Deplorable Pig-Dog Speaks.”