Tag Archives: Mental Health

Enjoying Me My Mental Health Advocacy


 

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My contributions on pages 20-21

Hello world, it’s 18 days already into this month which is Mental Health Advocacy Month, and am enjoying my efforts at raising awareness.

I mean, in addition to writing and networking for such a ‘complex’ subject which I am passionately passionate about (oh yes I am), I have had the honour of guest blogging and now am even published in a magazine oh wow.

Two full pages to write all I wanted on the topic

 

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And it could not have landes on a better date. Today I am not only working from home because am tired of commuting into town with all that ‘crazy traffic’, but I also had to deal with 2 ‘mini’ stressors this morning.

Let me sit back and leisurely read this magazine. LEGIDEON is published by some dynamic sons and daughters of my native land in the diaspora;  and it is Succulently labelled “A Washington DC Based News Magazine” – you can log in and read online.

Keep doing what you do and enjoy yourself in the process… All the best to us all – take care of your mental health

Questions to an author: Molly McHugh P2


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Hello world, Let’s continue with the second part of our interview right? You can refresh on P1 right here

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)?

    No. I wrote it how I wanted it to be, played a bit. And though it does have a nice creative style and feel that many (not all!) have commented they enjoyed, it was a bit crap at the start. I was too full of myself, too thrilled with getting it finally done (much was written in notes 20 or so years earlier and saved in email). It needed a lot of editing (I did all editing myself) and it needed to be filled out with more detail.

    I recently even did a minor update with a few things that needed to be fixed and added in a couple of resources. Just want it to be of value to whoever takes the time to read it. And for it to help someone heal their suffering. Give ideas of things that may help.

  1. Did you have a writing mentor?

    No. A few were very kind to check out the earlier version (and honest enough to tell me it needed a ton of editing!) but that was it.

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published?

    I had a bunch of notes I had written years before and saved in my email. It just felt right to do it, and I was ok being public as my son was older. First version I put up on Amazon as a kindle book took maybe eight months to complete. Updated that a little and then published as a paperback book via Createspace maybe six months or so later.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

    I shared as much as I could. My blog is full of more info on a ton of topics that didn’t fit into the book. And my way of learning and connecting with others, helping to affect change. Speaking out abou the overdiagnosing and overdrugging, etc. I learned not too long ago about the death of children who are erroneoulsy being given BP diagnosis. So sad. They have health issues, but no, they should not be on psychotropic medications. The doctors fueling this new targeting of children – some have been sued after the child become completely disabled or worse, dies – should be in jail is my line of thought.

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging, business etc?

My bipolar blog I mentioned above – a much different voice than most of what is out there.

My freelance writing business – info here:  I’d love to help someone write their memoir! Special discount for mental health focus 🙂

  1. Where can your memoir be found?

On Amazon here as a paperback and kindle book.

Thank you very much Molly for answering my questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects.

Any questions for Molly or ideas for my questions to an author series please leave them in the comments! Thank you for reading; Mind your Mind and take good care of your mental health.

Questions to an Author: Molly McHugh


bipolar-1-disorder-how-to-survive-and-thrive-by-mollyHello World, during this month of May which is Mental Health Awareness month, I am as you must have noticed, doing interviews with authors who have written on mental health, especially about their personal experiences.

I have done a modest review of Molly’s memorable memoir on my blog, and it is my honour to interview her too. 

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:

    Sure. Born in U.S., youngest of five kids, mom a nurse, dad (after 4 years in WWII) owned own insurance biz. Very athletic (probably saved me from having worse mental-physical health issues), soccer in college, diagnosed Manic Depression freshman year after a psychotic break and hospitaliztion. Normal middle class kid. Loved animals, loved nature, loved being active. Did well in school. Always in one sport or another. Had close friends, the first boyfriend, first kiss, pajama parties, dance parties, prom night… plus some other things I will refrain from mentioning. Lol.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with this audacious title?

I had a FB group for e-book authors, and I asked for feedback on my book title. One of the earlier ones was “A Brain Gone Awry”… everyone hated it. I of course, thought it was brilliant. Ha! More ideas for a title not that great according to my helpful ‘more experienced writer’ critics either.

Then someone told me I had to be more clear, and that folks want to ‘solve a problem’. So I realized my gift to share was to focus on BP-1 (the classic Manic Depression) and to talk about the alternative care that I did over the years that helped me. And helped me not be on psych meds – which is huge. Most folks want that. Hence the title about BP-1 and how to thrive.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. Going from the assumption therefore that you are surviving and thriving, what is your take about mental health?

I am doing well. I’ve suffered – and still do – like anyone who has to deal with these issues but have had many wonderful things in my life as well, so am thankful.

My main issue is that the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ theory used to put folks on drugs has to end. Sure, these meds can help someone suffering with an epsiode of illness (bipolar is episodic in general – with normal periods of functioning) stabilize, get back in control, but are very harmful with long-term use. And no – there is no such thing as an identifiable imbalance they correct. They affect brain chemicals (like anything you ingest into your body) but are neurotoxins with many distressing side effects and create new ‘illness’ issues i.e. side effects.

Mental health is a huge term. It would take a long time to write my thoughts. But the main issue for me is to identify underlying causes of the symptoms someone is experiencing, if possible. And then search for ways to treat. I still deal with quite a bit of fatigue… but not severe, debilitating depression like I had in my younger years. God that was awful. And the improvement is from learning about and treating some of my unique health issues (thyroid, allergies, detox from toxic exposures, etc). Others can do this too.

  1. Did your diagnosis help or hurt your mental wellbeing in the long term?

What an excellent question. I’m not really sure how to answer this… as I had no ‘choice’ in being diagnosed. I didn’t read a book and think ‘oh, this is me’ or spend a bunch of time in therapy then get told I was bipolar. I had the classic onset with a manic episode in late teens and was hospitalized. And no, I was not doing cocaine or any recreational drug that caused it.

A diagnosis is just a label describing symptoms, is one way to look at it. I kept it pretty under-the-table from my outer life as much as I could when younger. But I had to have treatment – had severe depressive episodes and mania. So in that respect, it was needed I guess. Though I fought for other ways to be well and learned much, and healed much on my own with regular docs – what I share in my book.

I can say if I had bought into the ‘I have a chemical imbalance and have to take psych meds’ for life nonsense I would be dead by now. No question in my mind. And also I would not have had some of the amazing experiences I’ve been fortunte to have: college degree, healthy baby, well paid professional work, rasing my son as a single Mom, travel the world, etc. All of this while not on any psych med(s).

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way you were treated and the way you perceived stigma before and after you got a diagnosis?

    I definitely have experienced stigma (personal relationships, being treated differently, fewer job opportunities) – was forced out of a four-year university program due to knowledge of my medical history. Stigma is real, and I am not sure how it can be changed.

    I had a fair amount of emotional cruelty too – the “tough love” approach is how some describe it. To deny what it really is. When I was severely ill, living on the street, wealthy family with multiple apartments unoccupied didn’t intervene. I spent Christmas in a homeless shelter miles from everyone else secure and safe in their home. Of course it was my fault I had become ill, my fault I was forced out of college then crippled with student loan payments, my fault I’d somehow not fit into the cultural norm everyone felt comfortable with, my fault I was raped, my fault I was mugged, my fault I somehow didn’t miraculously emerge a rock solid twenty-something making tons of cash.

    At it’s essence, stigma is really a form of emotional cruelty. And there’s plenty of cruel people in this world.

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us about motherhood with a fragile mental health like yours?

Fragile is a bit offensive of a word… though I know you do not mean it that way. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Surviving what I’ve survived I look at as an inner strength, something in my makeup that no one will ever take away. It is a part of me and will be when I leave this earth. I’m vulnerable in ways some others are not, but not fragile. And never have been.

I loved being a mom and was like many other single moms. I was on no psych meds, never hospitalized, worked for many years, eventually went on disability but still worked to provide a better life and opportunities for my son. We lived and traveled abroad, he is bilingual, has had a ton of amazing experiences.

The only thing that is very different about me – that really would not be noticeable to others – is I have to keep stress down. Limit social time. Had to focus on my son, staying well. Most don’t have as much of those concerns. But most haven’t Manic Depression with a history of psychiatric hospitalization either.

It was always on the back of my mind that I had to stay focused and be careful not to trigger any severe episode. For the most part I was successful. No parent is perfect. My son was raised with more love and caring attention that many children are.

P2  – the conclusion of this lovely interview comes up tomorrow so stay subscribed lol & Thank you

Alone time to better position yourself…


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Hello world, this is a short post but I hope the title and graphics tell us it not one to be taken lightly. I will as usual use a personal incident to illucidate why I so value alone time.

One day a few weeks ago I returned home from seeing off a friend and there was smoke in the kitchen. It later on turned out my last son Gaby had turned the burner on and gone off to take a shower and then forgotten about what was on the stove. David had put some rice to warm us as I was leaving, and after he turned it off, Gaby taught he hadn’t done done a good heat up. When I came back, already stressed from some incident during the day, I was so angry I was shaking… all the what ifs were running wild in my head… I instinctly gave David a slap and just realized that wasn’t the best approach… I had tears in my eyes and the boy was apparently so shocked he burst into tears too… I quickly went and locked myself in my room and put some soothing music… I stayed in there for like 45 mins and although they all came knocking on the door, I had to calm down completely before letting them in. We talked, made peace and I was so sorry. I was however glad I locked myself up and got that alone time…

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We need alone time especially to care for ourselves, our mental health, take perpective etc. I call them My Me Moments and used to plan them and structure them and all… but now, even when I wake up and have some precious 15 minutes before the boys barge in, am grateful…I take even blogging breaks when I need to and I don’t appologize for saying No I can’t go with someone because I’ll rather stay by myself home… Life can be so hectic, these alone times are so needed to better position oneself

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Precious alone time in on the beach Dakar after sports

And you gentle readers and followers, any thoughts on alone time?

Be not Ashamed


no shame

Be not ashamed to cry

You can’t store it all forever

Crying is no sign of weakness

Humanness if you ask me

An emotion just like others

Be not ashamed to cry

When it hurts so bad

When the knee gets knocked

When the mind goes mad

Crying can help inside out

Be not ashamed to tell

When you’ve gone thru stuff

So shameful you want out

Telling could bring such help

And who knows who you help

Be not ashamed to write

Write it all for you or us

So much therapy if you try

You have to take a step

Ignore stigma and shame

Be not ashamed to read

Read yours and ours

Keeping the brain as busy

Just like you should your body

But be not ashamed of your pace

Be not ashamed to hope

Even when all seems hopeless

The last beat maybe bring a break

Hope that break could lead to a breakthrough

What is life without hope?

Be not ashamed to love

Love yourself and others

Try and try and try

You never can tell when

One more time could be deal

Be not ashamed to be You

P.S: This has personally helped me a lot. I remember hearing Obama and other big figures say asking, crying, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but of strenth

When Royalty gets involved…


Today, I am presenting a poster on the need for epilepsy mobile clinic to plug the knowledge gap in rural settings…in Dakar Senegal. I will subsequently do a post on the corellation between epilepsy and mental challenges (my brother suffered from both and I have read from some who have had a challenging history with both)

Over to today’s post, I want to share an interesting post I read on the mental health writer’s guild aptly titled: Heads together a Right Royal Approach

The point of my post today is that mental health advocacy and sensitization is gaining more and more celeb attention: Yes; the cream of the creamIest Royalty are Putting their Heads Together and doing face time with stars like the one and only Lady Gaga…

So, if Royalty can talk about it and get involved – what holds you back?

We all have mental healths to take care of admit it or not, stop the stigma by putting your own heads together – thank you

Imperative Scarifices (Launching Mental Health Awareness Month)


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Never been a coming without a going

A taking without a given

I may be losing touch

Seeing too much reality

———-

More of as I see

You have to sacrifice 

Even manna was prayed for

No good ain’t easy

—————-

You got to watch a lot

Watch what you eat

Watch what you drink

Watch what you smoke

Watch what you do

——————-

And then the people

You got to sacrifice some

Who you know

Who you don’t

Who you look up to

Who you look not to

———————-

If inspite you still crazy go

You got to try

Try to take dem meds

Try to do some sports

Try to sleep a sound

Try to try therapy

Try to eat right

Try to not give up

—————–

Cause in life as I see

Much depends on us 

Us before them

It may seem impossible

But with sacrifice

The ill can be buried

Imperative sacrifice

Mental health is Mental Wealth, lend a helping hand or listening ear: Stop the Stigma

PAW Pink Party: I will be on a panel


So, hello world, we get what PAW stands for, and PAW Cameroon is slowly but taking off. I was invited to join a panel and I am excited about the panel I’ll be joining.

Getting Authentic: Leading from your Heart against all odds

This is a VIP highlight of my week. 

The week is starting off challenging because I somehow contracted the mumps virus… (I thought I was too old for that oh my), but I hope all is well by then.

Have a nice week everybody, and I ‘ll sure share feedback.

Thank you for your support and all

Are you defined or refined by your past???


Do we see or feel the rays no matter how blurred; or we only see the narrow and dark path? How much is this a cause and effect of our past?

Hello world,

We are approaching the weekend and my ever contemplative and searching soul just thought about what my past has or is still doing to me. I then thought to share it with us all here and maybe inspire others to do their own introspection.

Ok let’s go.

1) Did my past cause me so much pain to make me despise lots of it? YES. I have admitted my role in all the mess of my past and tried to deal with them in different ways all with a bid to heal. Now, we all know the wise saying about not focussing so much on your past to let it influence your present right? Well I dare argue that wisdom so so easier said than done… There are many including myself who have numerous times over been both physical and mental victims – hostage of their pasts. Some pasts have been know to impact so badly our present circumstances so much that the future is completely blurred and unfathomable…  but then next;

2) Am I so ashamed of my past to talk about it or share it? Me, NO. When I realized how much shame of my past was killing me slowly and almost got me to drive a knife in, I decided, (even if implementing that took a few years) to deal with that shame and talk about that past through any medium available. For me, it was also a way to fight stigma. The stigma associated with being a ‘loser, a pimp, an addict, a mentally challenged or ill, etc etc’ and who knows whom will be helped by my story right? ok, and so what now;

3) What has facing my past and pain and sharing done? Oh my, the big big positives negate the tiny setbacks or few hate trolls. I even got a national award for my very first memoir. I have become much more self-empowered and aware, so full of gratitude, so conscious of Amazing Grace, so full of faith, oh so determined as a women’s rights and mental health advocate.I hardly turn down any invitation to talk about my past, share my lessons and journey and yes on my own platforms there is no hiding where I come from… I have become one of those brands you don’t mess around with and I am at peace with this ME… Who knows what or where I would have been had I not made that conscious, painful and challenging decision  to deal with and heal from my past;  and so in conclusion;

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Today, I confidently answer that my past has not defined me but it has refined me – it has helped me to embrace self-improvement, self-love, self-appreciation, self-worth and oh my self-esteem is better than ever. This has been a long journey and actually an ongoing one… But, am better equipped and am using that past and pain as solid foundations from which to springboard to greater heights in all faith, hope and charity.

And you…??? Please share cause you really never know who can be helped by your comment

Have a nice weekend everyone!!!

Simply Weird


Simply weird

They say they know

They don’t act like it

They say they understand

They don’t sound like it

They say they sympathize

Please gimie a break

……………….

Truly weird

They think it’s you

You are nuts anyway

Label and diagnosis to prove

You can’t be of value no more

You are incoherent and oft despicable

……………

And how weird

Your past means nothing

The pills mean everything

They know it all it seems

They paid all their dues for that

What’s to your name anyway

………………..

Ain’t it simply weird

What can you have to say

We all seen you go 

Bungee bungee here I fly

And now what you mean

The Looney no more?

…………………..

How weird

Dermatologist better than Psychiatrist

Body better than mind

Psychology is pharmacology?

Please take your looney off

It may cause you some shocks

………………

Thus it gets weird

And weird it stays

A merry go round

Hide it from them

Stash it in your trolley

Wrap it up in your joint

Or is the bottle?

Get over it  you can

Off goes the siren

……………….

Simply weird

Tralalalalala

Bungee bungee I go

In my mind sometimes weird

But I can’t stop cause

Life itself is

Sometimes Simply weird