We wondered what we would write on this day for the the 3rd annual APA (American Psychological Association) Mental Health Month Blog Party.
We wrote an introduction at the start of the month Mental Health Awareness Month: 2012 http://just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com/2012/05/mental-health-awareness-month-2012.html and as we always do we write about our life with mental health issues whenever we can, as a form of therapy and advocacy, as well as issues related to mental health in general. (then there is all the other stuff we write about like general health, sex, travel, food, art, current events, philosophy, etc.)
Without rehashing everything about our mental health, our life in the past, our misdiagnoses, our day-to-day life not (they are here in the hundreds of entries we've written in the nearly two years we have been writing this blog), we'd like to share the following, a message, because tens of millions(1) of people in the United States are affected by mental health issues each year.We feel what we have to share is a message. A reminder, an important one most of us try to live by (and try to convince our others to live by - not always easy, so we understand if you roll your eyes, and you discount what we say as horse-shit, because some of us do the same).
Hey, diagnosis, YOU are not a person.
Do not let your mental illness and mental health issues define you. You are more than a diagnosis. Try not to stand behind it and use it as a crutch. You can overcome your past, you can overcome your present...you can form your future. A year can take you to new places, but you have to be willing to try to change your way of thinking, even the smallest of things can make big things happen. No, life is not easy. It's not easy for most people, even "mentally healthy" people. The point is to not let the parts that aren't easy destroy you. Take each experience, good or bad, and find the good, no matter how small. Find the humour. Laugh in its face. Anything is possible. Believe in yourself.
You are not your diagnosis. Don't let it convince you otherwise.
People are not their diagnoses, they are people, the same as everyone else, and different just like everyone else. Respect the differences and open yourself up and you can meet some "crazy" cool people.
Why write, why blog, about mental health stuff? There are many reasons. Again, we've written about them before. Reduce stigma by demystification, strengthening understanding and knowledge, sharing, writing therapy, helping people realize they are not alone. The value is there, even if you only do it for yourself and never share it with the world, at the very least writing can help you understand yourself, organize your thoughts, find peace.
That's it. That's what we have to share for the APA 2012 Mental Health Blog Party. Come back any time and read as much, or as little, as you want. And thank you, for reading this.
(1) National Institute of Mental Health Statistics http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
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