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Author Topic: Mental health and Me  (Read 1886 times)

HeartShadow

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Mental health and Me
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:19:36 pm »
Mental Health and Me
   First of all, I hate that term.  Mental health.  As though it's somehow separate from physical health, like the mind is separate from the body.  We are one person, mind and body.  If the brain has a chemical problem, we call it mental illness.  But we don't treat foot problems as foot illness, as though it's separate.  Just the mind.  And we treat it differently, too.  We're starting to see mental health as part of overall health, but it's still stigmatized.  Bad.  A flaw.
   I am not mentally healthy.
   Don't back away.
   I am not mentally healthy, but I am not contagious.  I suffer from depression and anxiety.  These are facts of my life.  My brain functions in a fashion that is not normal and is considered ADHD.  That difference in function makes it very difficult for me to do some daily tasks and makes a regular day job quite difficult.  Were I to go back to such a job, I would need to seek medical help so that I could function a bit more as expected.
   And I am Divine.  As I am – not once I get things under control or as long as I fit a certain picture, but as I am.  I have depression.  It's a medical problem, a chemical imbalance.  I take medicine to help with it.  That medicine helps be be more the person I want to be instead of the person illness would otherwise make me.  It is not a weakness.  It is acceptance that being Divine doesn't mean flawless.
   I am not mentally healthy.  That's hard to write, hard to say.  Hard to get past the stigma.  We talk about depression, somewhat, but it's still viewed more as the lack of wanting to do things, not the pure inability to get anywhere.  We talk about anxiety, but look sideways at the full pulse-pounding panic attack that has no reason or cause.  Just a misfire of adrenaline.  We still don't really accept that people's minds can simply work differently, or malfunction, and it's just a fact of life.  We don't accept that it's not weakness.  We just come with different minds, just like we come with different bodies, and some of them don't work the way we'd like them to.
   I am not mentally healthy, but I am still Divine.  Were I “normal” I would not be able to do the work that I do.  Were I “normal” I would not be me.
   We've all got health problems of some sort, and we gain more as we grow older.  We all need help with the things that we can't do well.  We all need to deal with the problems we have and find ways to cope or adapt to them.  What we shouldn't do is blame each other for the types of problems we have.
   I am not mentally health.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.

veggiewolf

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Re: Mental health and Me
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 03:15:25 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;61091
Mental Health and Me
   First of all, I hate that term.  Mental health.  As though it's somehow separate from physical health, like the mind is separate from the body.  We are one person, mind and body.  If the brain has a chemical problem, we call it mental illness.  But we don't treat foot problems as foot illness, as though it's separate.  Just the mind.  And we treat it differently, too.  We're starting to see mental health as part of overall health, but it's still stigmatized.  Bad.  A flaw.


This is one of the things over which I rant time and again - having a "mental illness" is like having any other chronic illness.  The symptoms and cause may differ, but the difficulties with ADLs, etc. are similar.  

Quote
...I am not mentally healthy.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.


I write about mental health and FlameKeeping on my blog(s) from time to time.  I've come to recognize the following:
  • I have Depression and I am Divine.
  • I have social anxiety and I am Divine.


Being who I am includes those things and does not prevent my Divinity - it makes me ME.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

earth_dragon

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Re: Mental health and Me
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 02:21:16 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;61091
Mental Health and Me
   First of all, I hate that term.  Mental health.


I have no problem with the term Mental health. Health is health and I only become stigmatize when *I* allow it. I don't allow it.

With that said, I perfectly well understand where you're coming from in both a personal sense and a professional sense. Something we often tell people to do is watch their wording about their health very carefully. For instance, to say "I am cancer" doesn't make much sense, does it? A person can *have* cancer, but they are not just cancer itself. So it makes no more sense to say "I am depressed. Or I am bipolar." Again, a person can have those ailments, and it affects the person sometimes on a daily basis, but no one is ONLY their mental health diagnosis.

I am also not mentally well. It's something I've struggled with my entire life, and I'll continue to struggle with it to my dying day. But it is never the be all, end all about me. I also have Epilepsy, so I know all about how the brain can royally screw up. But again, Epilepsy is something I have. I am not Epilepsy.

I have found over the years that people find it much more difficult to attach labels and stigma to you when you just stand up and own it. Whatever *IT* is. Not to say that some won't try, but if I refuse to take their crap about it then they have no where to stand on it. If a person owns it then they have control of it, no one else does.

This is no way affects divinity. You *have* depression and anxiety, but you *ARE* Divine. That always comes first. Regardless of what else happens, you will always be Divine.

I'm very, very glad to see you have such a positive handle on this. It's truly refreshing and enlightening!  BIG HUGS!!!

Dark Midnight

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Re: Mental health and Me
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 03:11:51 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;61091
I am not mentally healthy.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.

I think that overall, this is the main point. Like you, I am not mentally healthy. I accept that fact and try to carry on with my life as best as I can and you know what? That is all that anyone or anything can expect or demand of me. I do the very best that I can  and no one can ask more than that.

I am not healthy (mentally or physically) and yet I am still Divine. :)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 03:12:18 am by Dark Midnight »
"No matter how dark the fur, the bunny is still fluffy." (Melamphoros)
AKA Thundercougarfalconbird..... (Thanks Nyktipolos!)

Shawnee

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Re: Mental health and Me
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 07:23:08 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;61091
I am not mentally health.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.


I'm right there with you. I've had trouble with depression since childhood but did well at hiding it from people until I got married. I had a terrible bout when my son died in 2000 and was completely consumed by depression for a year. Thankfully I pulled through it with help from my husband and meds.

A few years back I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My drug regimen of Lyrica, Cymbalta, Diclofenac, and Trazadone help me tremendously with both the pain and the depression. Of course I still have days when dropping a spoon will bring on a spell of crying and beating myself up. I've learned to let loose on those days and embrace the moment until sanity returns.

I really like the part that being Divine does not mean flawless. Dealing with our flaws is often the best lessons we can learn.

wadjet

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Re: Mental health and Me
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 08:31:43 pm »
Quote from: Shawnee;65720
I really like the part that being Divine does not mean flawless.

 
HERE HERE. The concept that the Divine is flawless is antipathetic to paganism (I'll try not to Christian-bash). If you are polytheistic, are the Gods every pictured as being perfect in all ways? Heck no, they're mucking up constantly. If you are pantheist, you can simply look at science and nature to see all the "flaws". Some flaws have destructive consequences - and some have beautiful ones.

I have chronic illnesses of both the physical and mental kind. I've been hospitalized: ie mental ward. I have to worry that when I type those words, each of you will suddenly shift your perspective of me, lose respect, question my integrity and validity.

We are all expressions of the Divinity. The Universe is manifesting its individuality through us. We are the ones who give the Divine a personality and a life.

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