First of all, apologies as I haven’t written a blog for a while. It’s down to a few reasons, work family also, I have been reading a few blogs and social media (tweets, Facebook posts) .
Everybody has their own unique way of writing and telling their stories which is amazing, it’s really helpful and takes some bottle to really open up and tell all, I have total respect to you all and thank you.
While reading them, I can see myself in most but also get why there is this stigma (which is bollocks). I tried to read from a neutral point of view and read every word as though I’d never struggled with anxiety attacks and mental health issues due to them. The words , the sentences they seem fictional!! Even though I know that they are 100% true, a ‘normal’ person reading them will think that we are lying. But why would people make things up? I write not to scare sufferers, I do not lie, I just want to let people know that it is ok, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!! I’m willing to tell you what goes on in my head and my life to try and help if you want to talk about or read it.
The help is great, can’t fault the blogs, however I’m going to talk about an incident, one like no other has made me think about people and my mental illness.
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.
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…
By Andy “Electroboy” Behrman
For years, I suffered with a mental disability. I still do — no one has found a cure for manic depression (bipolar disorder) yet. During those crisis years, though, nobody knew anything was really wrong with me. I was experiencing a wild rollercoaster ride of frightening highs and lows that put my life in jeopardy, but my disability was completely invisible.
“I am Jonathan”
Having retired from professional filmmaking, this had been where I left off–a study of psychosis and schizoaffective disorder as I saw it through the schizophrenic lens in 2009 and 2010.
“I am Jonathan” is intended to be educational; target audience being grad students in psychology and counseling.
It’s just time for me to let it go, at this point in my life. I do hope it might prove helpful, offer hope and understanding of what schizoaffective is like for me on a daily basis.
Written by: Wendy Sparrow
I’m medicated for OCD. I have to be. And it’s not 100% symptom control…more like anywhere from 30-60%. But my OCD is severe enough that I don’t expect total symptom control.
There’s this thing about going the medication route. You’re not working through your problems and coping despite them like you do with therapy. You’re not feeling them every moment like when you’re suffering with them or practicing avoidance. They’re a background noise…one that you’re ignoring, and the medication makes it easier to ignore them.
Written by: Caroline CriadoPerez
Journalist & Feminist Activist
This is a blog I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I’ve held back mainly out of fear. I know that by writing this for public consumption, I’m giving more ammunition to those who seek to discredit me and dismiss everything I say as the irrational ramblings of an unbalanced hysteric. I also know that when they use this post to undermine my words, it will hurt me. But I feel like it’s my duty to write this, because there might be other people out there who have been struggling like I have, and don’t realise they don’t have to live this way. And also, I feel stronger now. I feel like maybe I will be able to cope with the inevitable jibes.
Written by: Neely
As a 24 year old female who has endured, suffered and been at the mercy of ill mental health I am inspired by campaigns by charities such as, Mind, Re-Think, and B-eat to talk. Having experienced discrimination, ignorance and stigma throughout my own struggles I truly believe that it is time to talk in order to reduce these negativities surrounding not only the topic of mental health, but also for those experiencing it.
Through diagnosis after diagnosis I remain in recovery for a disorder best described as somewhere between Borderline Personality Disorder and a Dissociative Disorder. In my time I have conquered my 5 year battle with Bulimia and am taking my final steps out of 3 years of Anorexia.
It has been almost 10 years of enduring mental ill health for me and my entire time in doing so has been swamped with sincere shame. It is time to change.
by Kurt Cunningham
I tried to end my life one night after having a wonderful fun-filled evening with friends. It was in November 2012 — I had a plan in place for months. Not one person had any idea what I was planning to do.
After a series of life-changing events that began in 2009 and included the closing my once- successful business of nine years, and culminated with the death of my mother in August 2012 life just seemed unbearable to me. My finances were a mess. My health wasn’t great. And I couldn’t make a romantic relationship last more than a few months.
When the planning for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s new West 5th campus began more than a decade ago, words like ‘stigma’ and ‘integration’ were on the minds of many, but not yet widely used or understood – especially when speaking publicly about mental illness and addiction.