Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

The big bad conversation.

September 10, 2015

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Suicide prevention day.

To me, and many it’s not a day.
We don’t just talk about it for a day.
It’s life. It’s semi normal conversation, albeit a crappy conversation. But a real conversation that must be had.
It’s a conversation we find vital, and as important as any other. It’s a conversation that must be had.
It’s not just a conversation, it’s so much more. It’s a touch, a hug, a tear, appointments, meds, doctors, frustration, anger, heart break and unimaginable sadness, it’s support and love, smiles and laughter. All in the hopes of keeping suicide at bay. Or yes ultimately preventing it.

Yes it’s a difficult subject to talk about but one we must have. For so many reasons,and one that should be had by more people.
So many have been touched, but it’s still such a taboo topic, and those who haven’t been affected simply don’t, can’t understand. So the conversation is important. Don’t tell me it’s not. Suicide is a topic that in my opinion should be discussed, as much as diabetes and cancer. To take away the shame, the blame and the non accurate assumptions and the judgement, the all mighty judgement that goes along it.
So start talking. Today gives you the perfect opportunity.

Our reality, the hardest of all realities for us to understand or accept is: we don’t know. We don’t know how long our loved ones will be able to fight, battle, suffer and try before they can’t anymore.
All we can do is support, love and guide. All we can do is hope. Every single day we hope we can some how prevent the tragedy that so many, to many, suffer.
And to accept that we’ve done all we can, and will continue to do so and acknowledge and accept that sometimes we can’t prevent suicide.

But please remember those who die of suicide or are thinking of it, haven’t just had a bad day.
A day didn’t bring them to the last resort as a day won’t stop it.
Prevention is everyday, not simply a day in September where we band together. But if it can get the conversation started, and  resounding voices around the world, I am all for a prevention day.

http:// https://bestkids.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/lets-talk/

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PTSD, bipolar or both? I hate choices!

May 16, 2015

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http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/ptsd.htm

Above is a good link to explain ptsd. I highly suggest taking a look before reading this post.

When you have a child with multiple diagnosis sometimes it’s extremely hard to determine which you are dealing with at any given time, if you’re dealing with more than one at a time and how the hell to decide.

This week I found myself feeling like a pretty good failure in the mom department. Because it took 7 days of dude having panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares and irritability for him to finally be able to explain enough to me to understand what was going on.

We have all heard of PTSD. I often write about our experiences with bipolar disorder and our son. But instead of dealing with our typical right now we’re dealing with one of his diagnosis that only creeps forward every so often.

Often we think of PTSD only affecting front line military vets, police, emts or the like. If we think of it in children we think environmental or abuse. We don’t think of it in victims of bullying.
But it most definitely can be a cause, one people would rather not acknowledge because we don’t think of bullying as severe as war or abuse. Yet it is a form of abuse,and can be utterly devastating to the victim.
And like everything, some people can cope with it or shrug it off better than others. And some it continues to effect for year’s. And please if you are thinking, it’s gotta be something else, or, PTSD from bullying what a joke, either stop reading or open your eyes.

Dude was diagnosed while hospitalized 4 years ago (aged 9). The diagnosis was not made on a whim, in fact it was made only after he’d been there 3 weeks and it was determined by the doctors what was going on was not a result of his previous diagnosis, or that a medication adjustment was needed. This particular stay (his longest to date)  was a direct result of the hell he had gone through. During his stay and following he had specific and intense therapy.
For the most part he trucks on without allowing panic, anxiety and flashbacks to take hold. But with PTSD like most mental illness, there’s triggers that bring it crashing back adding current rational and unrational fears along with it.
At this moment, years later, because of events happening in our world, I have a child whose petrified to leave the house or be alone, which is not fun . It’s days full of phone calls while I work and nights full of nightmares. It means falling behind on schoolwork because he’s trying to overcome panic instead of spelling. It means a lot of conversation and reassurance.
Thankfully he’s older and able to express his fears and understand logic better than in the past. But the anxiety and panic are very real and very scary to him.

And this last week because I wasn’t on the top of my game, I found myself frustrated and confused by the what. What out of the choices are we dealing with, and finding myself digging through the vault of my mind to quickly shift gears and remember the appropriate way to handle it. And some days I wonder why the heck we have to have choices! Wouldn’t one be enough? And then I look at my boy. And I remember the hell he’s been through, and will continue to go through. And I remember to hold him tight, love him and support him and fight FOR him instead of against him. I am not the one living through it, I’m just a bystander and I’ll be dammed if I won’t help him through his hellish days so he can enjoy the beautiful ones.

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PTSD, bipolar or both? I hate choices!

May 16, 2015

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http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/ptsd.htm

Above is a good link to explain ptsd. I highly suggest taking a look before reading this post.

When you have a child with multiple diagnosis sometimes it’s extremely hard to determine which you are dealing with at any given time, if you’re dealing with more than one at a time and how the hell to decide.

This week I found myself feeling like a pretty good failure in the mom department. Because it took 7 days of dude having panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares and irritability for him to finally be able to explain enough to me to understand what was going on.

We have all heard of PTSD. I often write about our experiences with bipolar disorder and our son. But instead of dealing with our typical right now we’re dealing with one of his diagnosis that only creeps forward every so often.

Often we think of PTSD only affecting front line military vets, police, emts or the like. If we think of it in children we think environmental or abuse. We don’t think of it in victims of bullying.
But it most definitely can be a cause, one people would rather not acknowledge because we don’t think of bullying as severe as war or abuse. Yet it is a form of abuse,and can be utterly devastating to the victim.
And like everything, some people can cope with it or shrug it off better than others. And some it continues to effect for year’s. And please if you are thinking, it’s gotta be something else, or, PTSD from bullying what a joke, either stop reading or open your eyes.

Dude was diagnosed while hospitalized 4 years ago (aged 9). The diagnosis was not made on a whim, in fact it was made only after he’d been there 3 weeks and it was determined by the doctors what was going on was not a result of his previous diagnosis, or that a medication adjustment was needed. This particular stay (his longest to date)  was a direct result of the hell he had gone through. During his stay and following he had specific and intense therapy.
For the most part he trucks on without allowing panic, anxiety and flashbacks to take hold. But with PTSD like most mental illness, there’s triggers that bring it crashing back adding current rational and unrational fears along with it.
At this moment, years later, because of events happening in our world, I have a child whose petrified to leave the house or be alone, which is not fun . It’s days full of phone calls while I work and nights full of nightmares. It means falling behind on schoolwork because he’s trying to overcome panic instead of spelling. It means a lot of conversation and reassurance.
Thankfully he’s older and able to express his fears and understand logic better than in the past. But the anxiety and panic are very real and very scary to him.

And this last week because I wasn’t on the top of my game, I found myself frustrated and confused by the what. What out of the choices are we dealing with, and finding myself digging through the vault of my mind to quickly shift gears and remember the appropriate way to handle it. And some days I wonder why the heck we have to have choices! Wouldn’t one be enough? And then I look at my boy. And I remember the hell he’s been through, and will continue to go through. And I remember to hold him tight, love him and support him and fight FOR him instead of against him. I am not the one living through it, I’m just a bystander and I’ll be dammed if I won’t help him through his hellish days so he can enjoy the beautiful ones.

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Getting real! Will I ever get to shut up?

May 4, 2015

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Here where I live it’s Mental health week. I don’t know if it’s the same where you are. But I don’t care when the week is where.
Every minute of every day in my house is mental health “week .
It’s not a day or a week or a month for those who have it.
But it gives us a good opportunity to maybe get a few more people’s attention, maybe chip away a bit more of that stigma.

Because I’m telling you now, that the biggest problem with mental illness isn’t those suffering, it’s the stigma and stereotypes surrounding it.

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Truth is, those with anxiety, depression, bipolar and the gambit of others are no less. Yet to often they’re made out to be!
The stigma surrounding mental illness has had its time, now it’s time for it to be stomped out like so many other stigmas that have been minimized by people actually standing up and saying enough.
It’s time to break down the walls.
Those who are in the trenches of illness aren’t the ones who should have to make this change, at least they shouldn’t have to do it alone.
They are pretty unlikely to be open, because society has them feeling ashamed and scared of being looked at as less. So that leaves it up to us, the general population to make reality known, to lead the change, to speak up until people are sick of our voices, so much so they may have a new understanding or appreciation, or at the very least they think before they speak.

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If you are still using the ‘r’  word, chucking out bipolar and mental hospitals as a joke, here’s a kick of reality for you. You’re not funny, you are flaming the fires of mental health stigma. Mental health isn’t a joke. It is as serious as any other chronic disease. It is difficult, frustrating, all consuming and life threatening without treatment. And like any disease treatment is necessary, and sometimes even with all treatment possible the outcome is death. But like no other disease stigma plays a huge barrier in patients getting treatment needed. Often feeling judged, shameful, isolated and unsupported.

And I promise you that the mother’s who have buried their children would ask you to consider how you would feel burying your child, because treatment wasn’t sought because of the ignorant stigmas surrounding their child’s illness.
Or how you would feel after all treatment was taken, still loosing the battle, burying your child (because that’s reality for many) and the next day hearing the “think positive”, ” their fault “, ” you didn’t do enough “, and
” your in a mental hospital ” bull. Yes because that’s what every mother facing illness, and potential death of a child wants to hear.

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So until
*one by one people shut up long enough to think about their comments and jokes. Even  if you think it’s funny, keep it to yourself, it’s not and you’re not helping the problem.
*One by one people actually think of those who are in the “jokes”. 
Really think about the battle they face. Think about how you would like to have yourself or your child, or an illness you face, to no fault of yours, mocked, laughed at, blamed, ridiculed, criticized, and judged by the masses.
* One by one we realize we don’t laugh at, make jokes or judge physical illness, so why in the hell is it OK to with mental illness?
* One by one people understand the majority of people with mental illness are solely a threat to themselves not others.
*One by one, people keep their judgements of treatment to themselves. * One by one we start supporting those who live with mental illness and their families, building them up instead of tearing them down and making them feel less.

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Until those things happen and make a difference, I won’t shut up. And I truly hope one day I can just shut up!

Nothing funny about it.

March 11, 2015

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There’s one thing I’ve never, nor will ever understand. And that’s finding humour in others pain, illnesses or struggles.
Our world is so full of humour, if you choose to see it.  Laugh at things circumstances, hell even yourself.
But don’t laugh at others, or stereotypes of others.
I will not carry others ignorance, stigmas and judgements. I refuse to allow them to drain me of the fight I fight. But it still angers, hurts and frustrates me.
I will always advocate for the underdog, especially the underdog that is mental illness.
I will continue to chip away the little pieces of the stigma I can, in hopes one day my child will not be laughed at because of the stereotypes surrounding his illness. So many that are so inaccurate it’s ridiculous.

Yesterday I found myself flicking onto social media, and my feed was full of the “you’re in a mental hospital”  joke.
You know the one that tags your friends, ones running naked, ones licking windows, ones rocking in a corner, ones in a straight jacket and so on.
I am not sure my blood pressure has spiked that high in quite some time.

Are you kidding? And don’t for a second say I’m over reacting, I bit my tongue, but I’m allowed to share just how inappropriate things like this are, and why. And so I will.
I am a mother, a mother to a child who has indeed been hospitalized.

First of all.
Would it be appropriate to share a similar “joke” about a cancer ward? A cardiology ward? A palliative ward?
No.  Every single person I know would say that is not appropriate. Being on one of those wards isn’t funny.
And they’d be right. It’s not.
We don’t make jokes and fill up the Internet with jokes of iv bags, hospitals and chemo.
So why, why do we think it’s appropriate to do so for mental illness? Especially using derogatory, out of date stereotypes?
So we can make light of people who actually need these facilities, to save their lives? So they are made to feel inferior, and less than you because they have an illness? That’s exactly how you’re making their feel.

People with mental illness are not a joke. They are not suffering for your pleasure.

Second. Go visit a psychiatric hospital. Do it. If you think it’s funny or this is what you see there.  Heck take your child, try leaving them there without you for a period of time, and try to laugh about it. Hilarious right? Ya that’s what I thought.
Go. I beg you. 
First you will find its not a place like the 50s movies portray. Second you’ll notice, yes there may be some restraining, but do you know why? Because that patient just tried slitting their wrists, or jumping to their untimely death. Or are lost and confused and scared to death.
You will not see patients running naked, etc.  You will see pain and hurt, and hear heart wrenching stories.
You will see very young patients, middle aged mothers, grandfather’s and everything in between.
And I promise you won’t walk out the locked doors laughing. And if you do, I’m sorry your the one with the problem.

I know many that mean nothing by sharing the  “crazy”  jokes, I know many that mean no harm.  But you are. You are flaming stereotypes that many are trying desperately to put out. I know it’s all meant in good humour, but it’s not good humour. It’s hurtful, derogatory humour, that so many assume does no harm. You’d be wrong.

I may not be able to control others, I may not be able to change the world. But I can change who I allow in mine, and I will not continue to shrug it off. I will however continue to love my loved ones the best way I can. And one of those ways is not laughing at their pain, and by using my voice and heart to fight for them and others to scared to speak up.
I may not be able to control these kinds of things, but I damn well won’t tolerate them either.

Gotta do what you gotta do…

February 25, 2015

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And fight we will!
If you follow my blog, you know life has been a bit of a roller coaster as of late.
I have had a brain that just won’t stop. Because when you are dealing with a high needs child, it would appear life likes to keep you on your toes, all the time.
Just when you have a smooth day you hit a huge bump, and that bump requires changing tracks.

Though dude’s recent crash has subsided and the meds seem to be levelling out and he amazes me at thirteen with the knowledge and insight he has into his anxiety and bipolar, and he fights every single day with himself to do what is needed, mainly school, we find ourselves at a crossroads. 

Where do we go from here, when everything is going well, except for one huge, ginormous trigger?
How long do we push the trigger for  before it potentially blowing?
And why the hell do I care or worry about what other people who aren’t in our situation think?
The truth is I need to let that go.

The truth is that only we know what we need to do, and yet I question it.

I question it not just for the opinion of others, but as with any changes we make in hopes of finding a solution for our child, we can only hope it’s the right choice. Because do we ever really know? Isn’t parenthood a whole lot of hoping and crossing the fingers that you’re doing the right thing?

There’s no bubble, there’s no get used to it, there’s no gotta be/do this that or the other when you’re simply trying to get your child through the toughest years of his life with bipolar and anxiety. The bubbles and the this that and others of typical children are not the main concern. The main concern is teaching, guiding and supporting while they grasp and learn to live with the turmoil that encompasses them everyday and their reality of living with it the rest of their lives, encouraging them to be the best them they can be, and to push them as far as you can without pushing to far.
Because they’re not your typical children. Because sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get through the day let alone years, without feeling judged by general society. I truly wish I would stop being told that I can’t put him in a bubble. I wish it could be understood that’s not what it’s about, and even if I am putting him in a bubble, if it meant keeping your child healthy and alive, would you not bubble yours? You gotta do what you gotta do, period.

You gotta hope and cross the fingers and hope to hell it works!

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Stay in your glass house.

November 22, 2014

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When I write, and talk for that matter, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I try to always see both sides, I try to be politically correct. Because I don’t want to offend anyone, or hurt anyone.  But sometimes I just get pissed off. I am human after all, a human with a voice and I’ll be dammed if I will be made to feel less.
You see I don’t just have a son with mental illness, I also suffer a tad of anxiety myself and have many people I care about suffering, mostly silently with depression, anxiety and a gambit of other diagnosis.
I watch so often as many ignorant remarks are made, and I’m sick of it! Ya ya get the whole “they mean well”, ” don’t understand ” hoopla.
But I am sick and tired of the excuses people come up with to justify ridiculous comments they make. If you don’t know what to say it really is better to sometimes say nothing at all.  And if you’re reading this shaking your head thinking it’s not that bad,that it’s not that big of a deal, stop reading because you’ve obviously never been there or watched a loved one in the depths of despair trying to survive, and you obviously have a glass house. But don’t worry we can all see through the walls.

Instead of saying the attached list, try things like:
Can I help?
Do you need anything?
I don’t know what you are going through, but I am here.
No I can’t imagine.
Sometimes there are no answers, but you are loved and supported.

And sometimes there’s nothing you can say,  but just being there is all you need to offer.  To know they have a shoulder is all you can do.

I am sick of being a shoulder (and I have pretty big ones)  because of someone’s ignorant comments. I am sick of being there to wipe tears because of stigma. I’m sick of hearing and seeing shit that costs lives. I will however always be that shoulder and wipe those tears,  because there will always be people who say and share said shit,  who live in that glass house. And I will always be there whenever I an needed to pick up the pieces from their damage.

Damn poor excuse!

June 8, 2014

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This cartoon came across my news feed the other day, and I thought hallefreakinglulah!! A simple cartoon that maybe, possibly might get through to some people!
I’ve talked, posted and shared for years just this. Mental health disorders are not all made up, not all in a persons head, and definitely not that easy!

It all comes back to seeing is believing.  And because people can’t see your inner workings of your brain, they either assume your full of crap, or that it’s not as bad as you think or as a physical pain or disease. Trust me I get it. One of my hardest struggles with dude was not seeing it. If he was bleeding, coughing etc I knew what to do.
So I suppose my struggle was not being able to see meant I couldn’t help heal.
I know this now not to be true. As with any chronic illness there are things those of us on the outside can do to help.   In my case it’s helping him maintain. In your case it may be something different,  but no matter what, chronic or not, depression, anxiety, bipolar, the whole gambit is just as real and scary (and potentially as life threatening ) as cancer, diabetes, and broken bones.
But we can help. And we as parents, families, friends and hell as a society need to do so!
It all takes time, and Yes a little frustration, a lot of patience, and even more compassion!

We need to first stop saying the things in the cartoon.  That in it self would be a huge success!

People suffering don’t need us to tell them to suck it up and move on. They don’t need us telling them it’s not that big of a deal. Do you not think they’d love for that to be true? It isn’t fun you know. 

Would you, really think about these questions, tell a cancer patient to suck it up?
Would you fight the doctor trying to tell you your loved one needed insulin to live? Or would you take the cast off your child’s arm as soon as you got home?

I doubt you would.

You would hold them. You would cry for their pain, and the unknown. You would do anything in your power to ease their pain. You would drive miles for appointments.  You would allow them sick days.  And days to just be. You would let them rest and re coup until they felt good enough to carry on. You would fundraise for cures.  You would move mountains to heal them or maintain their ideal health.  You would sympathize, and be there, not just for the patient but their loved one’s.
(I watched a video once and a mother was asked what’s the difference between your child being diagnosed with cancer and yours with (I think it was) depression? Her response,  casseroles.)
  Think about it.

If  we as parents, friends and society do all of the above for physical illness without question, why do we not do the same for mental illness?

Because we can’t see it? Think about all the other things you can’t physically see, yet believe.  I’m sorry, but having to see to believe is a damn poor excuse!

Dear Mom

April 26, 2014

Dear Struggling  Mom,
I see you struggling, I hear your tears,I feel your frustration.
I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.
There are times in life when our hugs aren’t enough. When are word’s simply won’t fix things.
There are times you’ll feel judged, gossiped about, and all alone.
There are times you know at your core things are to big, but I know your fear.
I know how painful it is. I know how scary it is to ask for help.
But you are a mother, and you will do all you can to protect and help your child.
There’s no shame.
There’s no need for others to judge, and if they do, you truly don’t need them.
After 12 years of being a mother to a unique child with a gambit of his own disorders, I’ve learned a few things. And some of the lessons have been harder than anything I’ve faced. Here’s a few things I’ve learned:
1. It’s not about me. Is it hard?  It’s harder than anything, but don’t worry about what others will say about you or your parenting.  There’s days my heart breaks for my son, but honestly I have yet to feel bad for myself.  He is my child, and it’s him I hurt for.
2. Get help if you need it.  There is absolutely no shame in therapy,  talking to friends and family and getting support! Not only for your child but for yourself!
3. Patience.  God knows you’ll need it. When we as mother’s can’t fix something we want to know answer’s and reasons right now! It’s taken six years for my son’s final (and biggest ) puzzle piece to come to light. The first thing’s, second thing’s, he’ll the tenth things tried don’t always work. And it sucks not knowing the whys, but there’s a good chance you never will. Have patience with the system, your child and yourself!
You are stronger than you think.
You are braver than anyone knows.
You are wiser  than you feel.
You are more exhausted than you let on.
You are incredible.
You are beautiful.
You are mom!

With all the love and support,
A bipolar, SPD, GAD, OCD, DCD
Mother.

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