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2016 - 2017
  
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Our Contributors

Amanda Kavanagh
Sandra Yuen MacKay
Gabe Howard
Bonnie Pedota
Jackie Lea Sommers
Emily Aube
allinyourhead
Christy Barongan
Charlotte Ankers
James Russell
Clink Malarchuck
M.J. Neely
Andy Behrman
Danielle Hark
Rufus William
Jonathan Harnisch
Marisa Lancione
Reva Steenbergen
Kelly Risbey
Wendy Sparrow
Keith O'Neil
Kevin Hines
Myrko Thum
Judy Schwartz-Naber
Caroline CriadoPerez
Elena Peters
Christopher Luke
Kurt Cunningham
Erin Schulthies
Victoria Maxwell
Greg Weber
Al Pascarelli
David Sandum
Elaina Martin
Janet Singer
Sarah Fader
Neil Moon
Fliss Baker
Joe The Sicilian

Mental Illness Does Not Discriminate

I don’t like to use my blog for rants, but I am angry. And if I’m being compassionate with myself, then my anger is just as valid as any other feeling. So I’m going to give myself permission to write about my anger.

I was telling a friend recently about the presentation I gave at work on self-compassion, and he responded with hostility and disdain. I was not prepared for the attack. I understand that some people prefer the “suck it up” approach to pain and suffering, but why would it make him angry that I teach people how to be kind to themselves instead?

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Your Emotions While Helping Someone with Mental Illness

Mental illness is very real and affects everyone around, not just the person living with it. Do you know anyone with a mental illness, have you lived with someone and seen it first hand? If not, you won’t know how stressful it truly can be.

As someone who knows, it can play a tole on you and you may not even realize it. I’ve already been through it with my father and brother and it was very stressful. I don’t know if it was the best way, but my way of handling my father and his manic depression was living a life in books. Reading books was my way of blocking out the yelling and screaming, my other way of coping was the more jobs I had, the better, and the less time I was at home.
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What is Normal?

http://www.allinyourhead.co.uk/

What is ‘Normal’ ?
Is it the way in which a person who is more outspoken than another saying how you should live your life?
Telling you how you should react to certain circumstances, situations or aspects of life?
It could even be in the way that you eat your food!
I have seen Indian families eat curry and rice with their bare hands, no cutlery in sight. Chinese families eat with chopsticks. British families eat with cutlery…. But still, it’s just eating food. We all need it to live.
So who or what is ‘Normal’ in those instances then?
We all do what we can to survive, all differently but for one thing.
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Lost Freedom

This was written by someone very close to me who lives with mental illness. I see what it’s like for them to develop anxiety and panic just because they have to go out the door or when it comes time to write an email. I see first hand how isolating mental illness can be, by family and friends and themselves…like they say, it’s lost freedom.

People need to know living with mental illness IS NOT a choice.
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Meet Fliss Baker!

Written by Fliss Baker

Twitter is a wonderful thing! I’m four thousand miles away and I’m meeting the like-minded. For info I’m a writer, author, volunteer and guest speaker in mental health and I love it.

Oh, and I have a diagnosis of bipolar.

I receive ongoing professional treatment in an attempt to manage my depressive and manic cycles. I am also in recovery for an eating disorder.

It’s important I introduce myself before my illness because as much as it rules my life at times, I will not let it define me.

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O Captain! My Captain!

http://joethesicilian.com/

I honestly do not know where to start. I am devastated. I was having a hard time deciding what my next post would be about, and then he wasRobinWilliams gone… As I wrestle and fight to come to terms with this emotional tornado, I stand my ground as the high winds smack the cold tears running down my face. I scream into the unforgiving truth and it just continues to spin more violently out of control. Inside I am dying, but my adrenaline forces me to fight. My muscles burn hot like 1,000 volcanoes and my clenched fists swing illogically at the twisted cold truth. I hit nothing. The tornado runs me over and back again. I jump up when I can, and continue to scream and swing. If it had a mouth it would laugh at me as it pushed me further down into the dirt. The tornado has grown tired of me, and moves on to destroy bigger and better people… just because it can. I lay with my face in the muck, and as I lift my head, I see the vultures and parasites coming right at me. If this was Hollywood, they would already be drawing a chalk outline around my body. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I heard the news and the ignorant vultures are coming for his legacy and my sanity. Usually, they are innocuous goons in their highly coveted prime time slots, but now they smell the fear and sadness like a shark smells blood in the water and they become apex predators in their own minds. Even though they can’t maintain the momentum for very long, it is an opportunistic feeding on the weak that their ignorance and general hatred fuels because the time is right.

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Kelly Risbey – My Story

Written by Kelly Risbey
http://mentalhealthwarrior.com/

I’ve battled anxiety and depression on and off for almost 20 years. My anxiety started getting bad in high school and I started having panic attacks in my second year of university. This led to my panic disorder diagnosis and my first major battle with anxiety.

Trying to manage school, maintain a good GPA, cope with panic attacks that happened during class, deal with endless anxiety issues, find support, and learn how to battle my panic disorder was exhausting, frustrating, terrifying. All I wanted was my life back. I wanted to go to class, take notes, listen to the lecture, talk to my friends, do homework, have fun, and relax: normal university stuff. It was a long, hard road, but with incredible support, I learned to battle this disorder, I reclaimed my life, and I graduated.
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Clint Malarchuk – Interview

CLINT MALARCHUK
Interview by Samina Raza
December 28, 2014

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Clint Malarchuk, NHL goalie, NHL coach, cowboy, horse dentist and now author of his first book “A Matter of Inches”, the title refers to the bullet in his head, as well as the skate that was actually a few millimeters from his carotid artery! This man is indestructible, thank goodness, knock on wood!
He suffered from OCD, horrible anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, and finally PTSD because of a horrific hockey injury to his neck. Even dealing with all those mental illnesses, he became a great goalie, playing for, among others, the Buffalo Sabres. And then an NHL coach. While battling his demons and alcohol addiction, he put a bullet in his head and survived with no side effects! His book is a tour de force of honesty, truth and a no holds barred description of his life, good or bad, he put it all to paper. The book is a must read.
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Work Under Pressure – Neil Moon

Work Under Pressure centres on the personal story of Neil Moon who was so severely bullied by co-workers that he attempted suicide and suffered a breakdown that kept him out of work for 5 years. Neil wants to share his experience as widely as possible to highlight the issues around stress and other mental health issues. Also in the film are experts from Restore and Root & Branch, mental health charities in Oxfordshire who helped Neil in his recovery.

Mental Health is a serious issue for businesses and people alike and it needs to be tackled. As one of our interviewees says if one in 6 employees had an accident at work in any one year there would be an outcry but because its mental health nothing’s being done…
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My Name is Sarah and I Have Panic Disorder

Written by Sarah Fader
http://www.psychologytoday.com/

I’m Sarah Fader, a mother of two, a blogger, an animal lover and I am living with panic disorder. What this is means is that sometimes, out of nowhere, I feel what is known as “fight or flight.” There is a seemingly imminent threat, when in actuality I am completely safe. Panic is a funny thing. I’ve laid in bed awaiting sleep and all at once I would feel a pain in my cervical spine. The pain would trigger a automatic thought in my mind: I am dying.
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