Creative Questions 9 – Mental Health

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CQ9: How has mental health impacted on your life?

When I hear the words “mental health,” I automatically think of someone with a healthy mental state, or advocates for the mentally ill. I do not have a healthy mental state, but I do advocate for those with mental illness, mainly because I have suffered from mental illness since I was a child. I had minor depression beginning around age 10 which lasted until I was around 16. Then again in my early 30s – I was finally diagnosed as Bipolar around then. But I also showed the reckless behavior of Borderline Personality Disorder beginning in my 20s and lasting through my mid-40s. I’ve had Social Anxiety Disorder since my early 30s and suffered Agoraphobia in my mid-30s until my early 40s. I’ve rarely known a time when mental illness hasn’t affected my life. Mental illness even runs in my family on my mother’s side. My mother had some form of it and I had an aunt who committed suicide. I’ve witnessed almost all of my other aunts suffer from depression or phobias.

In the Mental Health community, I was fortunate enough to end up in some really great hospitals, have some good doctors who worked to get me the help I needed and even a few therapists who took the time to understand me and work with me. But there are still stigmas out there about the mentally ill. People think most of us are deranged or dangerous and that isn’t always so. The only danger most of us pose is toward ourselves. And yet anytime something really bad happens, the government and the media always declare that the person or persons was mentally ill. We cannot even discuss our illness in workplaces because we get stigmatized or, as in my case, fired – though I was never directly told it was because I had a mental illness, but I knew why I was fired. And because there isn’t enough knowledge about mental illness, relationships get ruined.

So how has Mental Health impacted my life? Negatively for the most part. My only success in dealing with my illness has come through Mindfulness practice. Without it, I would most certainly be dead.

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7 thoughts on “Creative Questions 9 – Mental Health

  1. It seems to me whether you’re dealing with mental illness, grief, or the breakdown in relationships like marriage, THIS is a pivotal issue: “a few therapists who took the time to understand me and work with me.” I know from having struggled with anxiety and seeing three different counselors over the years that it feels like most of them just view their work as a job, not a relationship of sorts. I’ve even found that to be true with my diabetes clinic. I’ve been very successful in dealing with it since 2003. And I credit that to the fact that I have a diabetes TEAM that really cares. That makes all the difference in the world.Nice post, Lori.

  2. Very personal and so powerful, thank you for your frankness!
    You are so right about the discrimination and destructive myths around mental health issues. Hence I started the topic as I feel the more the general public know then they must take responsibility to correct the wrongful treatment and support people equally. Soul Gifts said it well – you have inner strength and resilience, have found your coping tools and have grown from your challenge, well done!

  3. ANd yet you are not. You have a strength and resilience within that has kept you going. They, together with your motivation and courage, helped you find the tool that works best for you. One day perhaps you will see the blessings and learnings that have enriched your life along the way too.

  4. Lori !
    My Dear! You have expressed everything so frankly.
    I should say you have rather confessed.
    But I personally feel that there is nothing in you as you express.
    For you have expressed that last line – mindfulness…
    So do not ever think of that family background or that illness that is other way troubled you.
    You just have to be free of unnecessary thoughts.
    I do not know what you say about the mindfulness thing.
    Empty Empty Empty your thoughts coming from inside and outside.
    Furthermore think that you are a blessed soul and you are nothing but total BLISS.
    This much I can say.
    Love to You and Regards,
    Shiva
    🙂

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