How can a country that prides itself on healthcare policies view mental illness as a second or third priority? What I hope for is the day mental illness is treated with the same importance and seriousness as any other illness. Mental illness is, after all, a brain disorder.
We see sights like the one above on the train. It almost becomes parts of our daily routine. I was a commuter on the train recently, on my way to many different job interviews. These two issues etched a thought in my mind: (1) How many people I see out and about suffer from some form of mental illness?; and (2) Am I going to face the same stigma because I am ill?
My intolerance with how mental health is treated is the straw that will one day, break my back. Even while doing my research, the inaction and lack of a sense of urgency continue to grind my gears. For an issue that affects one in twelve Singaporeans, we sure aren’t doing anything about it.
The first time my boyfriend hid my nearly empty packet of Alprazolam (an anti-anxiety drug that is commonly known as Xanax, and acts as a minor tranquilizer) and my brand new packet of Sertraline (an SSRI-type anti-depressant that is commonly known as Zoloft), I wanted to kill him. And, if I’m being honest, also myself.
Major Depression in one sentence: “a biochemical disorder with a genetic component, when early experiences influences, where a person cannot appreciate sunsets”. This is a great lecture by Professor Robert Sapolsky, from Stanford University, on Depression with notes prepared by us.
Yes, indeed they are.
Social insufficiencies can cause serious mental health issues. We, as humans, are social creatures and need to interact with others. We yearn to have relationships with others, communications with others, support systems, being part of our community, feeling loved by others. But friends who have never experienced mental health issues find it hard to help and can turn out to have certain negative side effects.
We have an education system that makes our students masters in Math and Science. This was posted by Claire last week. But I believe that this comes from a larger issue. Through some research, we might have the best system that makes our students masters in Math and Science, but the education system is backward in terms of helping our students grow and mature as students.
The mental health continuum looks at mental health and mental illness as separate things. They may affect each other, but one does not determine the other. In other words, you can have brilliant mental health but yet have a mental illness.
We don’t really talk about mental health. It’s an issue that we need to talk about more but the only times we tend to talk about them is when something bad happens. I was inspired to write an article about the state of conversation about mental health after a conversation with a rather important figure in my life growing up.
As someone who goes through periods and waves of depression, self-care can get terribly difficult for me. Brushing my teeth, taking showers or washing my face becomes something I do every few days. Recently, I found one way to make myself take showers. Still working on other self-care methods, but I think taking a shower can be one of the things that make a person feel more refreshed. A slightly cool shower running down the face and body can be very effective in upping one’s mood slightly, being clean and all.
So for the love of God, Buddha, Mohammed, or whatever god you believe in, if someone in your life suffers from mental illness, please visit them. Please care for them and extend a helping hand. Sinead, like myself, are fortunate enough to be seeking constant treatment and are able to share our experiences and opinions on what we go through. But there is a significant group of people who cannot.
I have never fessed up and actually recognised where my thoughts go sometimes. But the fact that I cannot care for myself, the fact that I cannot remember when was the last time I was happy and the fact that I do not see myself as a living being in the coming years scare me. It should scare others around me more than it does, and that is why I fight stigma.
Being an optimist myself, I have always chosen to focus on the bright side of things, on the things that I could change and improve. Thus, I would like to share some ideas on how to focus on the good side of things and drive out those negative thoughts through three simple steps!
Nobody wants to be sick. Nobody wants illnesses placed upon them. I recently got warded for being suicidal and my only night there was unpleasant – with the lack of electronics – it made my self-therapy difficult. I had to keep myself busy and there were no opportunities for me to do so.
Us versus them – that’s the short answer. Stigma only exists because we want to be on the side of the majority, the side of what is “right” – or what we perceive as right anyway – the side which is accepted by the same majority they want to be part of.
The wide range of inputs that contribute to mental health can lead one to guess that it is definitely not easy to achieve a good state of mental health. As such, here are 4 ways that can help you to improve your mental wellness on a daily basis.
Remember that depression isn’t just a mental illness – It used to drive me mad that Rob wouldn’t get out of bed. It took a while to realise that he “couldn’t” rather than “wouldn’t”. I was so sure he would feel better if he came out for a walk or met his friends, but depression is a physical illness, too. As Dr Cain says: “Physically, depression impacts energy levels. People sometimes feel very tired and want to stay in bed all the time.”
Have you ever daydreamed? Or perhaps your mind wandered off during a conversation? You have? Congratulations, you have experienced a dissociative episode. Dissociation is common but for those with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), the experience is amplified ten-fold.
Something something plastic bag floating through the wind… Wait, wrong artist. Imagine this, you’re sitting, on what can be described as a comfortable chair, hugging your back and hips. Perhaps you’re at a cafe, enjoying a cup of coffee, or at the beach, or just on the couch at home, watching the latest football game. Now imagine this, you are where you are, a soul among others. You are in a social situation, but yet you feel so, so, alone.
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram – nowadays, we cannot avoid these mediums when talking about our youth’s mental health. Instagram is the worst social media site in terms of its impact on the mental health of young people, a report has suggested. The #StatusofMind survey found the photo-sharing app negatively impacted on people’s body image, sleep and fear of missing out. (Telegraph)
You may need a referral to see a mental health professional, if you are feeling stressed out, depressed or having unusual experiences, and it is affecting your day to day life. You can either get a referral from a polyclinic, or directly book an appointment with the clinic or hospital.
We can start doing some pretty silly things that in retrospect, can affect our mental health negatively, just when we don’t need it. Below is a post from the Huffington Post that could be helpful when it comes to coping, especially in a time where everything can seem blurry and dull behind a grey veil. Dealing with grief and mental illnesses can have their similiarities (don’t get me wrong, grief does not equal a mental illness). But here are some coping techniques (albeit in the negative tone) in the words of Tazz, a Marketing & Communication Specialist.
This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing from the start of the weekend. If you know me in real life, you will not be surprised to read about this post. If you don’t know me in real life, don’t worry, I won’t shut up about it so you’ll hear about it often enough.
Do note that this post is directed towards friends of those with mental illness; not caregivers. Sometimes we have to take a step back when a relationship is too harmful. This is an unavailable option for a lot of caregivers but, when it comes to other relationships, walking away is sometimes the best option.
Sometimes, you never know how deep the hole can go. I never knew it either, but apparently, when you think you are really depressed and you can’t go any lower, life says: “you know what? Let’s go 3 floors lower.” What I would love to do, is to escape the recesses of my own mind. The birthplace and labyrinth of new ideas and new creations, but also my worst enemy as well. Introversion is a personality trait for some people, and they like it this way, but I think introversion has turned itself against me.
13 Reasons Why (stylised as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) is an American television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix. The plot revolves around Hannah Baker, a high school student, who dies by suicide. Two weeks later, Clay Jensen, one of her closest friends, finds a package on his doorstep containing 13 audio cassettes made by Hannah explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself, and Clay is one of them. In order to find out how he fits in, Clay must listen to the tapes.
“Imagine you had a dog, and suddenly you had to put it to sleep after 10 years of caring for it. How would you feel?” That’s the analogy used in Every Brillant Thing, a play by Bhumi Productions, used to describe a person who was lost to suicide. An audience member was asked to re-enact a scene as a vet using euthanasia to put the protagonist’s dog to sleep.
Welcome to Winding Through The Willows! This is a site dedicated to raising awareness for not just mental illness, but mental health and self-care too. Amongst others, we talk about mental illness; where and when to seek help; risk factors of mental illness; coping skills; and, the importance of self-care.
What if your mum was hospitalised in a hospital for a suicide attempt? What would you do? For Johnny Donahoe, he decided to write down a list of things which were worth living for.