Monday, May 20, 2019

Ostracized, Stigmatized, And Categorized + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This month is National Mental Health Awareness Month and how aware of Mental Health issues I am! I've been touched by those who struggle with mental health issues all of my life. And do you know what? Most of them are wonderful, kind, intelligent people. Yet many times they have been ostracized, stigmatized, and categorized.      

My Uncle was such a kind person per my recollection, and he had schizophrenia. He alternated between living with my grandparents and in the veteran's hospital, due to his diagnosis during his time served in the Korean War. I remember him walking around the house aimlessly, sometimes muttering to himself, as if participating in some fascinating conversation, unseen by myself or anyone else. But he was oh, so harmless. I don't remember him really participating in birthdays or Christmas. But one year, I gave him a handmade reindeer ornament. I will always remember his smile of delight. It was such a small gesture, but it showed that he knew me, and valued my gift!
Another close relative, though not by blood, was diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder. That was really interesting. One day he would be so talkative and have all kinds of amazing insights. He would keep you a captive of his conversation for hours, unless you could somehow get away. The next week he would be down for the count, seeing no one and going nowhere for weeks.

A teacher that I worked with briefly had some kind of disorder that made him lie, straight-faced. He exaggerated stories and even made strange noises and motions when he was trying to convince me he had some kind of physical ailment. And it wasn't Tourettes. Or was it? All I know is that it wasn't in the "normal" category.(What is normal anyway?)

There are so many people who have depression of some kind. There are actually more than 10 different kinds of depression! I, for one, have struggled with depression all my life, but choose not to take medication for it. I have learned to manage it by walking regularly, and managing my triggers. If I can do that, I can be pretty normal. Many times I find myself forcing myself to go places or do something when I don't feel like it at all. Usually in the end, I'm glad I did it. But there are times, when nothing seems to work and the motivation to do anything just isn't there. I don't push myself at those times. I just try to not sink any lower and I do something nurturing. I have to monitor the kind of entertainment I watch, too. I can't watch anything too violent or sad. It triggers my depression. I basically stick to animal documentaries, comedies, movies with happy endings, and game shows.

I'm really glad that there is a National Movement to give awareness and help for those who suffer with Mental Illness. The more it is out in the open and talked about, the more people can learn about the resources that are available and get help. After all, mental illness is a disorder of the brain and should be given the same consideration that someone with heart disease, a kidney disorder, or any other kind of physical ailment is given. It's not something to be swept under a rug, pretending it doesn't exist. 

How have you been affected by mental illness? Do you suffer with it or does one of your family members? What are your coping strategies and devices?
  Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)    


Tamra Phelps said...

I have relatives that remind me of your uncle. One of my uncles had schizophrenia, too. He was basically harmless. But it was sometimes hard to convince others of that if he was talking about things that obsessed him. We definitely need to educate people about mental illnesses.

elizamatt said...

I'm lucky that I haven't really ever suffered from depression, there was a time when living in a foreign country and my then husband took up with another woman that I was desperate, sad. However I was also angry that he would do this and leave me and his 7 kids. I think being angry helped me and I do despise this man, who later cheated me out of money owed to me for medical bills for his son. I just think of him as a poor human being who no longer even deserve the classification of being human.

A GAL NEEDS... said...

Tamra - It really does need to be discussed and avenues opened up to help others understand that the stigma is usually not the truth! Thanks for the comment!

elizamatt - That experience must have been devastating. Even though you may not be naturally prone to depression, sometimes depression can indeed happen because of things that happen in your life. It's called Situational Depression and it is real. I've been through that kind of Depression and it is just as serious as chemical depression. I sincerely wish you all the best in your journey of healing.