Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mental Health



Hi everyone!  The video I have chosen for this post is "Animal Concerto" by the Just for Laughs group here in Montreal.  Hope you all enjoy it.

The topic I have chosen for this post is mental health.  Even though I find that people are more open to learning about, and accepting people who have mental health issues, I still think we have a long way to go.  Mental health issues, just as physical health issues, can appear in many forms.  Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, just to name a few are some of the mental health issues that people deal with on a day to day basis.  

I have been deeply touched by many who have mental health issues who are able to talk about it and share it openly and honestly with others.  I encourage this, as I think it is a wonderful thing to not only recognize and accept one's mental health issues, but to be able to reach out and talk about it.  

As for myself, I have had this blog for one year now and I find it very therapeutic to be able to talk openly and honestly about the issues that I face.  For those of you who are new to my blog as well as for those who may have missed the things I have shared in previous posts, here are some things that I would like to share with you all.

I was in a special class for slow learners in elementary and high school.  I hid this for a very long time.  Even people who have known me for a long time didn't know about this.  Finally, I came out and admitted it in November, 2011, and I am grateful that I found the courage to tell my friends and fellow bloggers.  I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, and I am grateful for the kind and loving, accepting response that I have had from you all!  I struggle with depression.  I have osteoarthritis.  I have had several attacks of gout.  I had a bout with diverticulitis last August.  I have only one kidney since the age of four.  My right kidney was removed because it was not functioning as it should have.  The doctors told my parents that I had a 50% chance to survive if they removed it;  if they did not remove it I would surely die.

I am finding that people talk more about physical health than mental health, but without mental health, our physical health suffers.  In my experience, mental health strongly affects physical health.  For example, when I have gone through bouts with depression I noticed that my physical health was less strong than when I am feeling happy and positive.  So why do some people try to pretend that depression, and other forms of mental illness, are "all in our heads?"  Why, as well, do some people find it easy to ignore and shove aside people who have a mental illness?  I think it is because they are uncomfortable and don't know how to deal with it...but pretending it doesn't exist and shoving aside and ignoring it does not help the issues or the people dealing with them.  A loving environment, friendly, kind, patient and accepting can work wonders!

For myself, being on antidepressants didn't work.  I discovered a couple of months ago that Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic Acid are supposed to help boost the effects of the meds. For myself, it has worked wonders!  As well, taking long walks (a half hour or more), being in nature, being around kind, patient and positive, caring people (such as many of you who visit my blog and my good friends face to face), helps me tremendously.  Another thing that helps me a lot is listening to old music from the early 1900's to 1940's, laughter, being around animals and listening to nature sounds such as ocean waves, seagulls, etc., really helps me a lot.  And having this blog and having had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many good and kind people, and being able to share my happiness, my sorrows, my issues with mental health and physical health and your loving and supportive response helps me tremendously.  A heartfelt thanks to you all!

The photo I am sharing today is one that I took in July 2011.
Hope you all like it.  You just need to click on the image to see a larger view.

Thank you all so much for "listening", and for visiting me here!  I always appreciate and enjoy reading your thoughts, even if I don't always respond individually.  You are always welcome to share your thoughts by clicking on the 'comments' link at the end of my post.

40 comments:

  1. Are these geraniums? So pretty! The mental health thing...testing and accepatance have come a long way, but still have a very long way to go!!

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    1. Hi Ginny, honestly I am not sure what they are. So glad you like them. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  2. Hi, Linda--lovely photo! Such a lush plant.

    I agree that mental health can have such an effect on physical health. There's a close interaction, I think. And we do have a long way to go in fighting the stigma surrounding mental health. Thank you for speaking out about it. I love your list of things you do to help your depression!

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    1. Hi Tina, thank you so much for your comment.

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  3. Funny video, pretty picture. I think the reason so many people hesitate to discuss personal matters of ANY kind is due to people in their past who've used such information against them. Thus, your idea of being with POSITIVE people should make it a little easier for you than for some folks. Good thinking.

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    1. Hi Gorges, so glad you enjoyed the video and picture. I think you are right on being afraid to discuss personal matters and your reasoning. I was made fun of so much in school and called "stupid," "retarded," among other things, I just tried to put it all behind me as I got older...then I realized that in order to be myself and allow myself to heal, I needed to share my experiences and feelings, and it does help being around positive people.

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  4. Hi Linda, Being new to your blog, I was not aware of all of your problems. God Bless You, my friend. I do know that a positive and happy attitude goes a very long ways in helping one feel better. Blogging is good for that since people are so very nice --and do so much to make us feel good about ourselves.

    I also know that not nearly enough is done in our country to help those with mental health problems. SO much more needs to be done...

    Thanks for sharing... Loved your video...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Hi Betsy, thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate your friendship and encouragement so much.

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  5. Whille homeschooling my son earlier this school year one unit was the study of mental health & how much this can affect physical health. I recognized some of my very own physical health was being affected by my grief. I needed to get some things out. I have done this through my blog where I fill safe. I am not ready to do other wise. In the early days of my sons death things I said were not received by some as my feelings but they gave rude negative comments and treatment as if I were a crazy person. So for now I am thankful for all the prayers and emotional support I receive from my blog friends. friends The flowers are so pretty and beats looking at all the mud rain and flurries blowing outside my homestead. Blessings! Lara

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    1. Hi Lara, I can totally empathize. In school I was continually ridiculed and called "stupid," "retarded" among other names, and it really hurts and discourages one from sharing one's feelings and experiences. It took me so many years to be able to share the fact that I was in a special class for slow learners in elementary and high school. I was 55 years old by the time I finally admitted this...and this was just 15 months ago. It took me a very long time. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  6. You've outlined the connection between mental health and physical health very well. I agree we need to be very open about mental as well as physical health.

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    1. Hi George, thanks so much for your comment.

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  7. Today was a tough day; then I came here just before bed and your JFL video made me laugh and laugh. That's the best one ever!

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    1. Hi Shay, I am so glad that the video I posted helped to end your day on a positive and humorous note. :)

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  8. Dès mon enfance, la peinture a été pour moi un beau refuge pour fuir les gens qui se moquaient de moi... Elle m'a aussi aidée lorsque j'ai été gravement malade... C'est pour moi une amie que je n'abandonnerai jamais.
    J'aime votre publication et la franchise de vos mots. Vous êtes une très belle personne.
    Toutes mes amitiés.
    gros bisous

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    1. Merci beaucoup pour vos commentaires et je vous trouve une tres belle personne aussi, Martine! Hugs to you!

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  9. Helen devries8:47 AM

    The thing is, Linda, that you encourage and enable us to talk too....it's a two way process.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Helen, I am so glad that I do this for you.

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  10. Thank you for your understanding.

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    1. You are very welcome, Bob, and thank you so much for your comment.

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  11. Film raised a smile or 3, lol.
    Real Great photo.
    Real honest chat, which comes from the Heart and expresses tenderness.
    There are more folk who suffer this illness and they dont realise it too.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the video. Thank you so much for your response.

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  12. The video is so funny. Love the expressions on the faces.

    I, for one, appreciate your commentary on this blog and your willingness to share your own experiences with others. Karl Rogers, a well-known psychologist from a few years back, said that what we think is most personal is also most universal. So, you are not alone. I think most people deal with problems like depression, perhaps even a bit of paranoia, etc., at different times in their lives.

    Some cases, of course, are more severe and need professional assistance. But there should be no stigma attached to mental health issues. I think sometimes down through the years, people have tried to ignore or hide such issues - sometimes by putting mentally ill in locked facilities.

    But, that is not the case anymore, thank goodness. Generally speaking, I think it is helpful to be able to talk about those issues that most concern us. Talking is good. The more we can communicate about these things, the better off we will all be.

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    1. Hi Lowell, I am really happy you enjoyed the video. I really appreciate your thoughts on this post, and thank you so much for sharing.

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  13. All of us who have lived for a while have our mixed bag of problems - like you. Like you I have also found that things like photography, walking, talking etc etc helps. Keep it up!

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    1. Hi Rune, thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it.

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  14. That video made me smile ;-)
    And so did I reading your nice comment on my blog.
    To smile and laugh is a basic medicine for all of us.
    I did NOT do that in school too, had a terrible time there. In spite of this I nbecame a teacher in public school for 23 years. And the educated as a gardener. Which have made me happy for the last years ;-)

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    1. Hi truels, I am so glad that the video made you smile! Being a teacher is a wonderful thing!

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  15. Hello, Linda. I'm glad you're okay, because you've been strong and brave. I'm using some expressions, so that you can understand machine translator. I think I will have understood what I mean.
    Linda The photo is spectacular and thank you for sharing with us Vido. I sign up as a follower, not to miss anything of what you post. A big hug from Spain :)

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    1. Hello Gumer, thank you so much for your kind words. I do understand what you say. I am so glad you liked the photo and the video, and a big thank you for following my blog!

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  16. Nice photos, interesting reading.
    Keep up the good work!

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  17. Sounds like you are on a good path! Laughter is really the best medicine and the movie is a hoot, thanks!

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    1. Hi Wayne, thank you so much for your comment and I am so happy thatyou enjoyed the video!

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  18. I send you a very big hug, Linda ! You are you, and that is wonderful !
    Lie(f)s.

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    1. Hi Lies, you are so sweet. Thank you so much. Hugs back!

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  19. That video was too, too cute! I love the looks on the faces in the "audience". It sounds like you are doing well considering what all you have endured in life. Keep persevering!!! We like hearing from you.

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    1. Hi Lynda, thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it.

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  20. Linda, the video is fun, I've enjoyed watching it. I can see my incredulous face and raised eyebrows watching such a situation. :)

    In my opinion, one can't judge people according to the speed of their thoughts or level of their intelligence. There are so many people who are clever and able to think on their feet but arrogant and narrow-minded at the same time! I do like the way you face your limitations.

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  21. Linda, I think you are an very brave and caring person to bare your soul to the world in the hopes of lifting awareness of mental health problems. Thank you.

    I do know that there are always people willing to help and when you find these souls, it is rewarding for everyone. Almost everyone has struggled with depression at one time or another. When I finally reached the source of my depression it was like a rebirth for me.

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