Blog for Mental Health 2013

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Does it seem like I’m blogging for too many causes?

In November, it was Bloggers for Movember. Last week I learned about and joined Bloggers for Peace. Now, I’m also joining the Blog for Mental Health 2013 project.

It certainly wasn’t my intention to become an activist with my blogging. However, in light of the journey of growth, healing, and recovery that I am on and have been on for significant portions of the past twenty years in my own life, which began with a diagnosis of depression and suicidal ideation in my teens and twenties, all of these things tie in together.

Bloggers for Movember

Bloggers for Movember started as a movement to raise awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer. Somewhere along the way it came to include raising awareness for Male Mental Health issues. There is almost a cone of silence around those issues in men. Many men who wind up in the penal system and/or homeless experience mental illness in one form or another. Many men who become domestic violence abusers, as well as substance abusers with destructive and compulsive behaviors have mental illness as a factor in their behavior. Yet, bringing the topic of Mental Illness into conversations regarding these things is often dismissed, ridiculed, and treated as a poor, pity me excuse for bad behavior and that bleeding hearts are making excuses for them. So, the ones experiencing the problems first hand self-medicate, act out, and operate in denial, while their symptoms and actions wreak havoc in their relationships and in the lives of the people around them. Because I have had many men in my life; family, friends, and acquaintances, who have dealt with (or not) these things I have been affected and witnessed the effects on others.

Click this badge to join

Click this badge to join

I see the Bloggers for Peace movement as an opportunity to work toward peace and reconciliation regarding the ostracization and stigma people who are labeled as different or other because of mental illness diagnoses and associated behaviors experience and suffer from at all levels and in various ways: personal, professional, educational, governmental, and societal. People who may have unrecognized or undiagnosed mental health issues often operate and function in ways that make them targets for bullying, hatred, intolerance, and diminished opportunities for self-realization and advancement. All of these things are disruptive to the most fundamental place where peace begins, in the inner self.

When I saw Cate’s post on her blog, Infinite Sadness or Hope, and read these words:

Being part of this project is important to me, because I know how hard it is to live in this society where mental illness is not seen as okay. I want to do my bit to spread the word that it is totally okay. I not only want to make life easier for other people who have mental illness, but I also want to contribute a message that prepares our world to be more accepting of mental illness in the future. May the next generation not have to fight with stigma. May they be able to find the acceptance and peace they deserve.

I knew I needed to be part of this project. It is important and it matters. It is an action toward peace. It is an action toward increasing awareness, which can and will lead to understanding and acceptance.

There are three steps to becoming a participant in the project:

1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma. ~ I, Kina Diaz DeLeon, do so pledge.

2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.

I did this earlier when I referred to Cate’s post. You can consider this an open pledge, so feel free to link to Human in Recovery and this post!

3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.

I was first diagnosed with depression as a teenager. I had the not quite vague idea that depression ran in my family. At that time, it was believed that my mother had committed suicide, died of depression, when I was 12 years old. My legal guardian self medicated with marijuana and toxic relationships. My grandmother showed signs of dementia by the time I was in my early 20’s but no one recognized it. I thought she was a bitter, angry, paranoid, and unstable old woman. For the last 17 years I have been in a chaotic and toxic relationship with a man who I believe experiences undiagnosed and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder and possibly unrecongized and undiagnosed learning and developmental delays or disabilities. Other family members have dealt with depression, PTSD, substance addiction and abuse. Many friends and acquaintances have been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder. I have worked in the Adult Foster Care system for behavioral and developmentally delayed persons who experienced multiple diagnoses and had been severely abused, neglected, and marginalized by their caregivers. There has never been a time in my life where the stigma, ignorance, and effects of mental illness did not affect or impact my life in one way or another. I’m pretty sure I am not alone, but it has almost always felt like I was alone, especially when surrounded by those who were unaware and dismissive of their own potential mental health issues. It has been devastating in so many ways.

However, I am finally seeing hope, healing, growth and progress. All since I began blogging in December 2011. This is why I am joining the Blog for Mental Health 2013 project.

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27 comments

  1. Hello, just exploring the blogroll from Blog for Mental Health 2013. I like your ‘blogtivism’; it sounds like something I’d be more interested in exploring. Good luck to you and your journey. I look forward to reading more 🙂

    -Sarah from Mental Illness Insights

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    1. Sarah,
      Welcome! Glad to have you visit. I look forward to interacting with you and finding out more about your journey. Sorry it took so long to respond. Once things settle a little bit on my end, I hope to have more opportunity to visit and connect with new readers and commentors.

      Blessings,
      Kina

      Like

  2. I’ve been planning to start a blog, but I hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted my topic(s) to be. After reading this post, I think maybe I should begin by sharing “my story” (which is mostly uneventful) and my personal struggle with anxiety, depression, periods of hypomania, OCD, and ADD. I, too, will take the pledge once I (finally) get my blog set up. Thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. Amanda,
      Thank you for sharing this! Sharing our stories – eventful or not – is so important in this digital age of hyper-connected disconnection. It has helped me to reach out, make connections, establish new friendships, and create a positive and encouraging network for myself. Even more important, I have discovered, is that by sharing my stories, others are helped, inspired, given hope, and able to recognize that they are not alone in their struggles and challenges.

      Keep us apprised and updated once your blog. Looking forward to reading it.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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  3. I just took the pledge myself and I’m now visiting my comrades blogging for mental health.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. Perhaps we can encourage each other.

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  4. Definitely a connection between blogging for peace and blogging for mental health, Kina. I look forward to seeing the synthesis of these two movements and the posts that come out of this synergy. Kudos to you for actively participating in what really matters to you. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

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  5. Thanks for this, Kina. I’ll do something about it in the morning (no, that’s not actually procrastination; I’m trying to change my sleep habits by going to bed earlier). If I can’t get it before I start work, I’ll get it in the afternoon. I believe in this stuff, I just don’t always know where to start. You gave me a starting point.

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  6. That’s an interesting idea, blogging for mental health. As a person who has battled depression and an eating disorder, i can respect someone participating in this challenge…even though it falls WAY beyond the scope of my current blog, so I cannot participate without starting a whole new blog (which I do not have time to do.) But writing about mental health issues and the feelings associated with them helps people deal with whatever is going on. This is a well-known fact.

    Good luck, Kina!

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    1. Angie,
      I appreciate your situation and that it isn’t within the scope of your blog. One question though, is there information on the actors you talk about on your blog and if they ever had personal struggles with these kinds of things? That would be one possible way of staying within your scope, but still addressing the issue. Just wondering and not trying to force the issue.

      I’m grateful to have you read and comment, even share if you feel so inclined, but not obligated. I’m glad the UBC brought us into each other’s sphere.

      Be well,
      Kina

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  8. This blog has amazed me! I’ve had a mental illness past. Have gone through depression and come to the point of suicide. Woken up in hospital from an overdose…twice, not even mentioning about my wrists! I can’t bring myself to the fact of having a mental illnes. So yeah, I’m a male who’s in denial. I’ve always thought I were normal but suffering a little depression. Since reading this, I beg to differ now. I have times of split personality…well I think that’s what it is. I have a habit of talking to myself in the mirror…is that normal? I speak like it ain’t me! A lot if things have eased since becoming a Christian. I don’t self harm and a certainly don’t have any suicidal thoughts. My wife nicknames me Randy Orton (WWE wrestler) because his entrance music is about him hearing the voices inside his head. Maybe so but I wouldn’t harm anybody, I don’t get them sort of thoughts that I’ve heard other people talk about who suffer with mental illness or schizophrenia. I don’t know nothing about my biological father but my family haven’t had any records of any mental illness…so that’s been my reason of denial. Then I get that little voice saying, ‘How y’know it ain’t ya dads side of the family?!’

    We’ll overcome this, I have faith we will! God bless x

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    1. Greg,
      Thank you so much for being so open and willing to share your experience. I am honored and grateful that you felt safe enough to do so here. I am also glad to know that my blog is helping you to recognize and explore yourself and your life in these ways that seem to be helpful to you. The effects and causes of different mental illnesses and disorders are not always genetic, sometimes they can be developmental and environmentally based or brought on by injury. The important thing is not to necessarily identify where it comes from but to understand what it is, what it isn’t and what it means about your specific life and the kinds of choices you will need to make to live the best possible life in the context of your reality.

      I read this today and don’t know if it would be helpful in understanding what I am trying to say: http://blackboxwarnings.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/it-is-what-it-is/

      I am quite familiar with Mr. Orton, because others in my family have been WWE fans, although it has been quite a while since I have watched an episode. It sounds as if your wife is a treasure and a blessing.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and support her and on facebook. You are a treasure yourself, my friend.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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  9. An interesting read – good for you! As someone who has experienced depression myself, I know full well the feelings of isolation and stigmatism.
    I’ve tried with my personal interactions and online writing to improve people’s self esteem, which I hope helps people.
    Keep up the good work!
    Cheers,
    Gordon

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    1. Gordon,
      Thank you.

      Speaking purely from my own experience and to quote another blogger… The Bloggess (?), “Depression is a lying bitch.” I have found that virtually no amount of cheer leading from other people, regardless of their good intentions, positive words, constructive criticisms, well meaning advice, or tough love were ever able to lift my self esteem. All of these things may have contributed to my personal growth and evolution, but it is a moment by moment struggle to act in ways that combat the soul deep negativity that dwells inside. I am doing it, some days better than many others, and as much as it is possible I am happy for it.

      Someone close to me has, through her own will and self-determination, moved through the daily practice of addiction to Meth and other pharmaceuticals. She makes daily decisions to act, think, and be a happy person. Yet, every day is the gnawing hunger to use and go back into the throes of Meth’s lying promises. Because of the nature of it, she has to work daily to not let it take hold again.

      The depression is like that for me, only I am still learning to combat its lies and allow the truths of love, acceptance and beauty in.

      Thank you for adding to the love, beauty, and acceptance.

      Blessings,
      Kina

      Like

      1. Ah, you make an important point here. When I had depression, I knew that the cheerleading and encouragement and good words only made it *worse* – that’s when I knew I needed professional help.
        When someone is at that stage, the chemical imbalances inside us need to be corrected, and that along with talk therapy helped me through.

        So yes, people trying to help with words only has limited effect if any at all when someone is that far gone, but the encouragement can maybe be enough to get that professional help in the first place.

        I like to think of my self esteem offerings to others not really for people at the depression stage, more the before or after stage, if that makes sense!
        Cheers,
        Gordon

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