I grew up in a household where I thought life was normal.  I thought everyone’s parents fought, thought dad always beat and raped mom, thought playing mind games was normal, I thought this was what everyone lived like.  Years later I’d come to realize, NO, this is not normal!Read More →

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions), which interfere with daily activities and can cause severe stress. You may feel the need to try and stop or ignore the OCD but that will just increase your anxiety.  Eventually you will feel the need to stop the acts the OCD causes which will alleviate the stress.  You will find, eventually, the acts will keep coming back; this is the vicious cycle of OCD.Read More →

My life, like everyone else’s, had its ups and downs. My brother and I would take turns spending weekends with both grandmothers’; go to church, to the library, do some baking and play games. We had the best time with them. While at home, everyone would be quiet, doing their own thing. Usually during birthdays or holidays is where you’d find us happy, joking and enjoying our time together. It wasn’t until years later, I discovered why we spent so much time away from our parents. My father had been diagnosed with manic depression during his teenage years and we didn’t know this until IRead More →

Chances are the majority of knowledge of mental health comes from the media. Researchers have suggested that most portrayals in the media are stereotypical, negative and incorrect. Stigma towards mental health has been in the media as far back as the 1800’s; “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”; dissociative identity disorder, formerly called a split personality disorder or multiple personality disorder. Inaccurate portrayals of people with mental illness has created negative stereotypes in all types of media; internet, television and print material such as magazines and newspapers.Read More →

Joanie Malarchuk is wife of former NHL hockey player Clint Malarchuk. 28 years ago the then 27-year-old ice hockey goaltender, of the Buffalo Sabres, suffered one of the most gruesome injuries ever seen in professional sport. His throat cut by a stray skate, he survived thanks to his team’s trainer reaching into his neck to pinch shut the severed artery that would later need 300 stitches.Read More →

What do you do when a situation is the most positive of experiences, but your not equipped to deal with spot light or praise? I’ve mentally beat myself up for so many years now that I don’t know any different. I recently attended an awards ceremony where I was one of three nominees for an award that evening. When I got the call I was happy, but not overly joyed, some friends and family said I should have been ‘overjoyed’ ‘ecstatic’ ‘over the moon’ etc.. but really, itwas just ‘OK’. I put the phone down , told my fiancée who was very pleased and carriedRead More →

How well do you know your friends, co-workers or even family? It would be surprising to know it doesn’t matter how well you know them, they may be hiding something from you. What you may see is a happy marriage, a great job, lots of friends. What you won’t see is the unhappiness, lack of energy, constant self-doubt and changes in appetite; a few symptoms of high-functioning depression.Read More →

On September 12, 2016, I went to listen to former NHLer Clint Malarchuk speak for the World Suicide Prevention Day. He touched on his medication and drinking, how he mixed the two and how it affected his mental illness, himself, his family and his suicidal thoughts. I do know, from personal experience from loved ones, how important it is NOT to mix alcohol and or drugs and certain medications when you live with a mental illness.Read More →

Imagine having the same thoughts in your head or seeing the same visions in your head, over and over again. Now imagine experiencing this when you’re supposed to be sleeping. This happens to many people who live with mental illness and happened to me. I remember always having to sleep with the radio on or I would have nightmares. The radio always “tuned” our my parents’ arguments and I could sleep. Not realizing I may have developed PTSD, I still had to sleep with the radio on even after I moved out of the house or I would have the same dreams over and overRead More →

Dear Friends, For those of you who aren’t aware, I am VERY PASSIONATE about Mental Health Awareness. This year I am proud to be participating in CAMH’s fundraiser to fight the stigma against mental illness, while on the #sicknotweak Team. This year, for One Brave Night for Mental Health, I’ll be staying awake all night on May 13 to inspire hope for the one in five people who experience mental illness in their lifetime.Read More →