Is stigma all bad

Is stigma all bad?

Is stigma all bad?

As time ticks by me and my battle with mental illness rages on; so to does the fight for better care. It’s no secret that the mental health system is in dire need of funding and resources. Sadly, I only see it worsening as we move forward through this pandemic.

Alas, this is but one of this issues surrounding mental health. We also have the constant stigma that seems to go hand in hand with the daily struggles of those who suffer. Finally, there is the deep-seated struggle that resides within those who are ill.

Read Two Tiered System

Overall, I can only conclude one thing; the well minded just don’t get it. Even worse than that, they don’t want to understand. While this is certainly not true of everyone, it nonetheless leaves us struggling to see why when our mental illness comes up in conversation, why many falls silent; Perhaps worse than that, they turn and walk away.

How to talk to someone with a mental illness

But is stigma all bad? Is it possible that this awful approach to illness can have a silver lining? I argue that yes, indeed there could be. Hold on, lt me explain.

IS stigma all bad
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Regardless of whether one is mentally ill or not, we all must set boundaries and surround ourselves with positive energy; am I right? What does this mean? Well, as far as I can tell, it means we must welcome the kind and compassionate into our lives and purge the negative and hurtful people who only make life’s challenges worse.

Check out Sick Not Weak, a non-profit organization dedicated to all things mental health.

So again I ask, is stigma all bad? Maybe it’s more helpful for us in those moments when someone turns their back on us or outright avoids you and I like the plague, not to sweat it?

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Now, am I saying we should stop fighting stigma? Of course not, what I am saying however, is that on an individual level we can use incidents when we are stigmatized by others as a way to set boundaries or as a method to filter negativity out of our lives. I mean, do we really want someone like that in our lives?

Nah, I’m busy trying to heal and while on my journey, the lat thing I want to do is devote energy into a person who doesn’t get it. I don’t know about you, but personally, I have waaay too much going on to waste my already limited resources on that. Man, I don’t even have the reserves to waste on myself.

In conclusion, I don’t think stigma is all bad, it’s been helpful for setting boundaries with people as I encounter them (individually). At least I know where people like this stand. With that being said, we should remain diligent against stigma as a collective and continue to educate and advocate for better funding and compassion for the inflicted with a mental health condition.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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When PTSD catches up

When PTSD catches up, how do you handle it’s wrath?

Let’s face it, life doesn’t stop doing its thing. It will always come with its ups and downs, that’s simply part of the deal. Sadly, these rules still apply for those with mental health conditions. Of course, I can’t speak for everyone but I can for myself. So here it goes; Life’s hard my friend and recently, I have had my fair share of the harsher side of things.

Checkout Al Levin’s Podcast, The Depression Files

Thing is, right now, I don’t feel that bad. Despite a break up and my son’s accident, I should be wreaked right? Well, I’m not, but its has not yet sunk in for me. Fear not, it will when PTSD catches up. Then, it will hit me.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Being witnessed to so many critical incidents, I have built a disconnect from tragic events; not the good kind either. In fact, I have no armour what so ever. No, what I’ve got going on is an unhealthy dose of disassociation and apathy; both symptoms of PTSD but are protective in a sense. I liken it to a sort of power down mode, designed to protect what’s left of me.

When PTSD catches up
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Despite resembling a zombie at times because of it, make no mistake, when PTSD catches up with me, I will “feel” once more. It may take a day or maybe even three, but it will hit me and hit me hard.

Symptoms of PTSD

When it hits it will literally take my out of living. For how long, is anyone’s guess; all I know is that I will retreat from the world and live within the safety and quiet of my bedroom. This ever busy world is just too much, especially when life throws me a few curve balls. It essentially creates the perfect mental illness storm.

Read Nightmare’s aftermath

If this sounds like you, don’t despair, this need you feel to seclude yourself will pass. When PTSD catches up with you, it will be hell but hang on you WILL get through it… Stay strong.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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tiered system

Two Tiered system

How can we help the maximum amount of people with a two tiered system?

It should surprise no one that 2020 is one for the history books. I mean, whoever thought wearing a mask would become a standard accessory? Not me, so many changes. Sadly though, so much has remained the same. From my view, many of the things that need to change to keep us safe are being neglected. Most notable are the two tiered system we are all forced to live with.

For me, when the pande`mic began, I was, like many of you, scared to death. I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on?” The world as I knew it seemed to make a permanent change overnight. If it weren’t permanent, other things about COVID-19 got penned under the category of undetermined.

Experts warn that mental illness will be the next pandemic

The best example I can think of for this was the quarantine. No one could tell us how long we would remain in our homes. Although being stuck within the four walls of my home at the time was painful; it was not as painful for me as it was for most; I assume. Living with PTSD, I prefer the solitude that only being at home brings.

For me, being isolated was easy on my battle with PTSD. My depressive disorder, however, not so much. That was hell; its flames fuelled by the chronic worry that only clinical anxiety can bring.

Essentially, I was a hot mess but as up and down as I was; I could still put a lot of energy into thinking about how we can use those tragic times to identify some of society’s biggest social challenges or the lack thereof. Maybe this is exactly the type of thing we needed to force the changes that would better everyone’s lives.

tiered system
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Having what seemed like all the time in the world to solve these things, I concluded that this two tiered system has left the vulnerable even more so. What’s worse, a pandemic will leave an untold amount of people who lost loved ones and their jobs in this vulnerable category.I thought this is the time to push because this influx would have to get addressed.

Having said that, I am a mental health advocate; I have spent a lot of my time thinking about the potential damage COVID-19 would have on the pre pandemic and post pandemic populations. The ramifications, I thought, will be enormous.

Coping with mental illness during the pandemic

So, after all that thinking, what did I conclude? I saw that the current mental health system as insufficient. What I was two main issues; One, the public system is severely under-funded and two, the private mental health care sector is too expensive for the many who were already suffering from a mental health condition. Now, as the dust settles and we are free to move about; many more people are in desperate for help. Makes sense, right? But if this broken, two tiered system was failing us before COVID, it was sure to leave those in need out in the cold afterwards.

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE MENTALLY ILL.

Being through the public system, I saw how precarious it was before the world ground to a halt. So many people turned away or otherwise discouraged because of the long wait times that they give up trying.A sad and disturbing reality.

With this in mind, the pandemic excited me in a sense because I hoped that governments and citizens alike would see this two tiered system for what it is, divisive, costly and morally wrong.

Want to hear more about the struggles of people fighting mental illness? Go to A New Dawn podcast.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Unfortunately, the “new normal” seems to only consist of social distancing and mask wearing. Other than that, it’s business as usual. What does this mean for us? Well, from my perspective, it’s also business as usual. So far, there has been no move to increase mental health funding, no legislative move to make the system accessible to everyone, and no outcry to demand change…. We can do and must do better.

However, we live in a society where money will always trump compassion and thus funding will always flow away from the right thing and into the corporate branch of our society. That is precisely why we need to merge our voices as one and insist on the necessary changes needed to get away from this two tiered system.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness