Mental Health Monday – Wheel of Emotions

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I started my recovery through depression and anxiety in the spring of 2012. Obviously, there were issues prior to actually getting help, and I owe it to my friends and my doctor for seeing the problems and putting me on the right path. 

One of the things that I truly needed to survive were anti-anxiety meds taken daily. The problem is that with the prescribed dosage I lost a lot of emotions. Not just awareness, but the feelings. For myself, I needed to be able to be sad when the time arose, like when my mother-in-law died. We adjusted the dose, and it’s better, but I could have really used this in those early days. I plan on looking at this chart in the days ahead and expanding my emotional vocabulary.

[Clicking on the picture will take you to the original article.]

Provided from Sarah Schuster on The Mighty. Clicking on the picture brings you to Ms. Schuster’s post and information on the graphic in relation to her mental health. Copyright, S. Schuster (c)2018-2019

Mental Health Monday – Understanding Mental Illness – An Interview with Stranger Thing’s David Harbour

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One Look at Understanding Mental Illness.

I think it’s important to hear from people we like and respect and hear their stories. David Harbour says a lot of things in this short interview that I’ve heard before and that I try to promote in my own life. He is known recently from his role in Netflix’s Stranger Things and is starring in the upcoming Hellboy 2.

 A few takeaways:

1. Stop the stigma.

2. Mental illness is not the completely negative thing it implies to many people. We can live with various forms of mental illness, or rather we all have mental health issues that we contend with and need to adapt to, regardless of level.

3. Medication is not a bad word. It is also not an end-all solution. It is so very helpful when used in conjunction with other therapies.

4. You are not stronger if you avoid taking medication for your mental illness/continued mental health.

5. If you and I both have depression, we may  understand and empathize, but no one’s situation is exactly alike. Despite that, we can help each other and share ideas that work for us.

Mental Health Monday is Coming

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Tomorrow begins a new, not so new series on mental health. It will include links, resources, my own reflections, and other relevant items. It won’t necessarily be every week, but I do have four in a row planned out for January. 

I personally find January and February to be difficult for many people, what with the come down from the busyness of the holidays, the winter months that keep us more isolated, and the lack of holiday time or days off from work and school. Sometimes, it’s good just to sit back, take a look at what we did for those busy days, look at the photos, re-read the Christmas cards, and enjoy our new found time. That doesn’t work for everyone, but hopefully, everyone will find something for them on these Mondays.

How’s Your Health?

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November is known as the time for employers to furnish their employees with the next year’s health insurance and other benefits plans. It comes and goes at a fast pace. We are often caught unawares, and it’s something we have to do proactively every year.

My suggestion as we come upon the first of November is to take a health inventory. This would include what services and insurance benefits you used this past year, and what you expect to use next year so you can choose the best plan for you and your family without rushing around in the twenty-four hours of the very last day.

Take your health inventory.

Are you due for a tetanus shot? Any other missing vaccinations? Flu shot?

Have you had your yearly physical?

Is it time for a pap smear or mammogram? Prostate screening?

Colonoscopy?

How are your eyes? Do your glasses need updating? Do you need glasses?

How’s your hearing? I just got hearing aids, and I’m still adjusting to them. It’s not like going from deaf to hearing, but it is quite an adjustment to the new sounds that I’m noticing – the rattles in the car, the water and heat through the pipes in my house, the tapping of the keyboard I’m using right now. (I honestly can’t believe how loud it is!)

Take a medication inventory.

Are all of your medications up to date? Are they still working the way they’re supposed to? It may be time to change some dosages.

How’s your weight? Mine could do with some losing and increasing some exercise. On her TV talk show, Rosie O’Donnell used to say, “Eat less, move more.” Simple and yet really good advice that anyone can succeed at. Keep a food and exercise log. It’s not to guilt you into doing the right thing, but it’s good to see how far you advance from where you had started.

How’s your blood pressure?

Another simple, healthy choice is less salt and sugar. Less is more. Can’t go wrong with that. Smoke less, or stop completely. Drink in moderation.

Laugh. And sing. It’s good for your heart. And your head.

Take a mental health inventory/check-up.

Any depression? Anxiety? If yes, mention it to your doctor. Don’t put it off and let it sneak up on you.

Keep in contact with your doctor, and your health care administrator at work. Look at all of the available plans and compare them to what you have now. It’s not always better to take the cheapest plan, and by the same token it’s not always better to take the more expensive plan. Know your needs, and choose based on that.

Are you eligible for the Affordable Care Act? Medicare? Medicaid?
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019!

And Here’s To Twenty More!

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​Twenty years ago last week, the first in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (a slight name change from the UK version) was released in the United States. I was unaware of its existence until sometime later when it was recommended to me by a teacher friend of mine. I have always been a fan of fantasy, played my share of D&D, written my share of worldbuilding. I was a little envious of JK Rowling. This was perfectly in my wheelhouse. One of the things I loved about Harry Potter was its multi-genre layers. The magic world but set in the modern world. Magic for stirring sauce and knitting. Friendships, and others, misfits but still finding your tribe, and right and wrong. It was everything at once.

And so, I read the first two books.

And then the third at the library. Continue reading