Mentoring Is An Overlooked Resource For Fighting Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Mentors are a support system like no other, and I am wondering if they could be more powerful than any other resource being used today, when it comes to supporting people with mental issues, and their family and friends who are involved in their lives? Anyone can step up to the plate and be a mentor. No educational degree is needed, just a willingness to reach out, listen or share personal experiences and stories, and be supportive. I think co-mentoring and group mentoring  could be useful as well. Society may have an untapped resource at their fingertips.Mentoring 2

I have a history of being a mentor and having one. I think “First hand knowledge” sharing from someone living with a mental illness is a more powerful message than reading secondhand accounts. When a dialog is on going, questions, ideas, and options can be explored in real-time or during scheduled hook-ups. Blogging on the internet could help in countering depression and loneliness for all ages, including seniors. By using my computer to touch base with my mentor and friends I have the sense that they are sitting in the next room. This is a comforting element that I consider priceless.

l am going to explore my thoughts here on using Bloggers and their followers to reach out to develop a  mentoring model. If a Blogger writes something about mental illness the information they share can reach people world-wide. Some people suffering may read it, some family members and friends trying to understand this monumental problem may read the contents as well, and the learning and sharing curve begins. What if the Blogger welcomes and encourages a discussion in his or her Blog by asking those wanting to share to leave a comment in the comment section, and assures them that a response will follow? Walla, a possible seed for a  mentoring situation has been planted. And if the comment sections fills with helpful and informative information those comments generated can benefit all who read them.

I have gained much knowledge and insight reading people’ stories who suffer from depression and from others who are bipolar. I think some have benefited from some of my shared stories as well. I know I have felt encouraged by many comments I have read attached to some of my Blogs.  I think many have tried things that worked, and some things have been tried that have failed. Sharing true experiences in the comment sections of Blogs could facilitate questions and answers for more in-depth discussions.

The model I have covered could even expand. I have found Skype, and Skype messaging to be far superior to what Facebook offers, and it is free. It is possible to have multiple people connected at the same time or only a one on one message thread. One of my mentors and I  Skype message by beginning our comment with the time stamp provided by Skype messaging, so each of us know exactly what  we are responding to, so there are no misunderstanding on what we are referring to, in case we are not messaging in real-time.

I bet others interested in trying to connect within the realm of mentorship and mental issues can and will come up with other ideas. I welcome anyone commenting on any of my blogs, including others outside the areas of mental illness. I have written about parenting and other subjects. Mentors cover all kinds of subjects. I focused on mental illness here because I don’t think that area has been explored as completely as other subjects.

Here is a little sliver about me. You can read my story on my “About” page and my “Marty’s Bipolar Trek”, on my home page. I am past  the middle of seven decades old. With my doctors support I am unmedicated. I also see another professional with his blessing. I am part of a small mentoring group, have a personal mentor, and have 3 people who I have promised to call if I get thoughts of harming myself. Last week I had a significant down, and in 90 minutes of messaging with my mentor, I leveled out. I have had a SERIOUS reactions to using Rogaine in the past, which I wrote a blog about. And recently I  had to stop water walking at a local water park because of my reaction to the high levels of chlorine present. All kinds of minute information, like my two examples, are ripe for coming out in a mentoring session, where problem solving occurs, when exploring events that might lead up to an episode. So I feel strongly that mentoring has helped me in significant ways. That is why I decided to write this blog and introduce blogging as a gate-way to mentoring.

I end by saying, I hope that writing about the idea of mentoring, using the tools available as bloggers and followers, stirs up some interest. I hope anyone wanting to develop this kind of exchange will consider the ideas I have thrown out as a challenge to get a mentoring frame of mind started when writing about the many forms of mental illness, depression and even loneliness.  I am open to discuss or share anything I have personally experienced in my journey of being bipolar. I am also interested in hearing about other people’s journey. I think mentoring can out weight some effects the medical profession and the pharmaceutical companies can provide. At least that has been my experience. Years ago when I was heavily medicated, and saw a medical professional, little was done to help me, except to hand me a prescription, and show me the door. I have come a long way from that place, and am managing my disorder in different ways. Mentoring is helping me stay grounded, and I am having fewer ups and downs. No one understands mental illness more than those who suffer and their families and friends who are aware of their struggles. I think banning together can have some astonishing results. At least I hope so.

Posted in Bipolar, communication, Democrats, depression, Drugs, education, Emotional Health, emotions, Family, Health care, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mentoring, Pharmaceuticals, Problem Solving, Society, Suicide, Support for Seniors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mental Illness is a Surmountable Obstacle

Write into the Light

~ Guest post by Jackie Cortez

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness. And while treatment is available, it’s often underutilized.

For many people, mental illness can be something that troubles them periodically in life but never something that incapacitates them. For others, mental illness can be completely debilitating. What’s important is recognizing mental illness and treating it with the best approach for people so they may live healthy, productive lives.

Inner turmoil

While there are social stigmas attached to mental illness, it is the self-stigma that can be the most dangerous to a person’s overall well-being. A person with a mental illness may feel ostracized from his peers and turn to outward or inward destructive behaviors to cope. These may materialize as bursts of aggression, depression, or isolation or as reckless actions including sexual promiscuity and alcohol abuse and drug abuse…

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A Small Mentoring Group Shares Memories of Robin Williams…And Their Own Struggles

I belong to a small group of ladies who all suffer from severe depression, are bipolar, or have a family member or friend with serious issues. We meet regularly and discuss whatever we need to talk about. Our recent meeting touched on Robin Williams, since the anniversary of his death is Aug. 11th. Some shared past “hiccups” they had encountered as well. Here is a recap of that mentoring session.

Many in the group thought Robin was bipolar even thought he was never formally diagnosed. He always seemed “Turned on” most of the time when he was performing, being interviewed, or out in the public eye, and maybe even with his family. I believe that was the only way he felt safe and accepted. I know I have become an academy award level actress during my “Down Moments”, when I am in public, and am fighting depression, or I hide in my “Shame Closet”, and stay home. When I am “UP” I resemble a life of the party, full of energy, happy-go-lucky gal. There are some times when I am centered and usually present myself as cool, calm and collected. Most in the group nodded in agreement, with a sense of understanding. There is no magic test to prove or disprove one has Bipolar Disorder. Usually the diagnosis is based on observation and information the patient shares with a professional.

Others in the group talked about Williams, and his apparent struggles. It seemed to be common knowledge that Robin tried to get relief from drugs and alcohol throughout his life, with probably little success. He had acceptable amounts of prescription drugs in his system at the time of his death. He was free of alcohol as well. It was reported that he was suffering with severe depression prior to his suicide. He had been misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s, instead of the Lewy Body Dementia which was discovered after his passing. His wife revealed symptoms that accompany Lewy’s and his early symptoms that began around Oct. 2013. The symptoms included sudden and prolonged spikes of fear and anxiety, constipation, urinary difficulty, heartburn,  insomnia, poor sense of smell, stress, and a slight tremor in his left hand. Eventually he suffered paranoia, delusions, problems with memory and high cortisol levels, indicating stress. His wife Susan said ” He was losing his mind”.

I shared that I believed, when Robin left this earth, taking his own life, people with mental problems were struck with a feeling of hopelessness. After all, this gifted, loved and talented man, who brought so much laughter and joy to the world,  who had the financial resources to get counseling, and top of the line medical treatment, could not overcome his depression and pain, to the point where he would rather die than suffer any more. I shared the statement related to suicide, ” No one wants to die, they just want to stop hurting and stop the symptoms they are bombarded with”.Robin 5.PNG

Another member recalled reading about what Robin said in a 2010 interview. He said something to the effect that remembering using cocaine, being paranoid & impotent, was no fun. He added ” There is no bit of  me thinking ooh, let’s go back to that. Useless conversations until midnight, waking up at dawn, feeling like a vampire on a day pass, is not what you are after”.

Our subject turned to the medical profession and drug makers. Unfortunately we agreed that we did not trust the medical profession to solve many mental health issues, because it is a money cow. The usual message heard about mental illness is, WE NEED MORE MONEY, for research, or what ever they think will open the flood gates to dollar bills. The focus seems to center around treatment instead of cause. I tossed out the idea that Gene Therapy might be a solution to correct the flaw in the chemistry producing part of the brain, but the greedy pharmaceutical company’s would figure out how to block that if a study ever got going in that area. I added that I thought the medical and pharmaceutical industry was about as useful and productive in solving mental issues, as Congress, and that is pretty bad.

One member had a personal experience she wanted to share, because it turned out well. She has a mentor outside of the group who helped her regain her footing after a huge “down”. Here is what she shared about how she felt as she was beginning to coming back from the bottom. She had already had about an hour with her mentor and thought their “Session” was over.  She continued,”I went for a short walk hoping my mind would become more clear. When I am down I feel empty. When I am up, I feel full. My goal alway is to stop in the middle on the way up or down. The flaw that I have is what makes me feel ashamed. The fact that my chemistry is flawed makes me feel my whole body is flawed as well, and that creates a feeling of worthlessness that is on my mind, and in my consciousness 24/7. It is painful knowing I am flawed and probably have no control over it. That is where the closet comes in and sleeping or hiding is easier than being aware or living through the moments of pain. Waiting it out, so to speak, is scary. There is no clock I can watch, and know that the pain will again, and temporarily, be gone. There is the  knowledge that it will rear its ugly head again in the future, guaranteed. I was able, with the help of my mentor, to stop my downward spiraling. On the way up I faced the task of climbing one step at a time and focused on stopping midway and taking a long break.” She smiled and recounted that her mentor called back and asked her if she was up to helping solve a problem. This gesture made her feel worthwhile and needed and she jumped at the chance to help. Her mentor was wise enough to remind her that she did have value and that her help was needed.

In conclusion, the group agreed that they thought a lot of people with serious mental issues did understand Robin and his choice, and were, in a way, happy for him, because he was no longer in pain. I think they also left wondering if they had the courage to endure their pain, and keep living, and keep up their fight, to beat their unbeatable conditions. All present at the meeting were happy we had found a way to mentor each other. We had created a safe place, without judgements, and without the need for a closet to hide in. We all hugged and the meeting was adjourned.

Posted in Alcohol, Bipolar, Blogger, Blogging, Cause & Effect, depression, Drugs, Emotional Health, emotions, Health care, Medical Profession, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Pharmaceuticals, Problem Solving, Robin Williams, Society, Suicide, Therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

History’s Truth Cannot Be Ignored Or Destroyed….Or Can IT?

When I hear that statues connected to the Civil war are being removed I can’t help but wonder the point of these misguided individuals. Will Martin Luther King Jr’s remembrances be next? Doesn’t the Fake News realize there are honest investigators in America that are willing to search and dig for the REAL TRUTH, and their message will prevail? Will the politically correct movement be revealed as the hoax it is and shown up as a Bully tactic used by the LEFT LEANING POLITICIANS? Will the fact that the two major parties were uncovered as being much the same and part of the swamp Trump tried to drain? And will a culture bent on taking over America be stopped or will they prevail? And will the fact that Obama hated America so completely that he spent eight years, with the help of Congress, trying to destroy what our founding fathers had envisioned? And how is history going to look at the Clinton legacy?Robert E. Lee

In fifty years I think people looking back at todays history  are going to ask, “What were they thinking?” Angry people are being misguided in trying to remove statues representing part of our Civil War past. How can part of a war’s history not be relevant? History is a great teacher. We learn by our successes and failures alike. One of my friends said, “Let them take away all of the statues, and we can just say that slavery never happened, and White Privilege never existed.

I am surprised that Black Lives Matter supporters are not trying to destroy Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy, since he was for non-violence, and they seem to be one hundred percent for violence with every childish cause they take up. I think they will be looked at through the lens of the black version of the KKK.

I think when Obama’s legacy is revisited he is going to be shown as a President who hated America so much that he tried to destroy it in every way possible. They are going to wonder why he threw away the opportunity that was in his grasp, to help America continue the progress it had enjoyed at healing racial issues. Instead he poured gasoline on the problem and lit a match. He Cut the legs out from under America’s Justice System, tried to sidestep our Constitution, and encouraged a culture pretending to be a religion, to evade America, and try to change the fabric of who and what America stood for.

Thank goodness Peter Schweizer wrote the book, “Clinton Cash” for history to see how corrupt the Clinton Foundation was, and if anyone follows the trail of the Clinton’s back to the days before Bill Clinton was Governor of AK their stomach will turn upside down with disgust and horror. History will never get these truths from the Fake Media that was happy to turn a blind eye. After Schweizer’s book was published the FBI began an investigation on the Foundation, that seemed to  thrive, while Hillary was a Senator and Secretary of State. That investigation is still going on today in 2017. The book details how foreign governments helped to make the Clinton’s rich. I wonder if the true tale of the Clinton’s actions will ever fully see the light of day or proper justice? Thank goodness Hillary was beaten in 2016. If she had won we would have probably lost our freedom of speech and the second amendment which allows Americans the right to bare arms, and we would be headed for losing our sovereignty as a nation. If James Michener wrote a complete historical version of the Clinton’s it would probably have more than the three volumes it took him to cover “Texas”, his historical novel series on that great state.

Next, I am wondering how history will view Islam, Muslims, Muhammad who was an Islamic prophet, and Sharia Law, in the context of those followers trying to overtake America with that culture, religion and belief system. They will probably scratch their heads. Why would America allow anyone’s law, other than their own, to rule? Why would they condone a “Profit’s teachings” who practiced and supported Pedophilia by marrying underaged girls, which is against the law in America, having multiple wives, writing about killing anyone who did not embrace his religion, believed in breeding with only people who followed his religion causing massive in-breeding with disastrous results, to take over? How will the history books address the fact that Muslim clergy, called Imams, preached against assimilating into American culture, and that groups who routinely chanted, “Death to America”, were allowed? How will history view that the word Islam means submission, and America is built on freedoms. The two seem incompatible to me.

And in fifty years will the news and media still have their heads in the sand, still not  reporting truthful news, and covering up facts. Or will they finally be reporting true and factual information not tainted with their slant or biases,and allow the readers to decide what they believe, based on facts and not opinions. Will they still be covering up stories they want to hide, like Hillary’s health during the 2016 campaign, when she clearly had some serious problems. Or Will they still be trying to report  their version of what they want readers to believe, thinking that their job is to brainwash Americans.

My thought is that if by fifty years from now, and America is saved, our history will be there for many to read, and learn from. If America is lost it won’t matter, because any remnant of truthful history may have been destroyed.

I hope Americans stand up for this great country, and corrects the nonsense going on today, and works diligently to save our country, and our history, for future generations. Many lessons are learned by reading about our successes and failures. Future Americans will gain the insight from our REAL HISTORY, if it is preserved, to keep working on the concept that America has the potential of becoming or remaining great. Remembering and honoring our history is the greatest tribute we can offer our founders.

Posted in American History, Black Lives Matter, BLM, Blogging, Burying Truth is deadlyier than Cyaniade, Cause & Effect, Common Sense, communication, Death of conservations, education, Fake News, Free Speeh, Generation, Hate vs Sanity, Journalism, Journalist, Justice, KKK, Left vs Right, Muslim, National Pride, Patriotic, President Trump, Respect, Responsibility, Social Media, Society, Tax reform, Truthful News, Vengence vs Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Secret Closet…..Bipolar Disorder

I wrote this in Sept 2014. My story shows a pretty clear picture of some Bipolar experiences, and then I have added an update as of 2017.


“I never connected your being Bipolar with mental illness”.  That was what my son said to me yesterday. He said he knew I had extreme highs and lows, because I had told him that years ago when I was formally diagnosed in my late 40’s. He has known me for his 50 plus years and said that he has never considered me abnormal, just an out of the box mom and grandma. I told him that extreme depression also rested under the umbrella of mental illness. He said ” Well lots of people fit that picture”. I said “Pretty much”. I started thinking  about all of  the labels and behaviors that are linked to being Bipolar. I wondered why I had  never shared any of that information with him before now.  Answer, I wanted to shield him form what it was really like having this life long sentence. I didn’t want…

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Possitive Parenting Is Full Of Common Sense Choices

Parenting is the most important job in the world, in my opinion. Parents are presented with a little person with a brain that is like an empty sponge, ready to learn through their experiences. No instruction book comes with the birth of a child. There are lots of books full of advice, some good, some full of misinformation and garbage. I think all parents want to avoid the mistakes their parents made, but will certainly make their own missteps. I want to share some stories and thoughts to show how common sense approaches can solve some issues along the way.

I recently got to get up close and personal with my three-year old Great Grand-Daughter.  I had only had a few encounters with her since she was born. I already had a pretty good connection with her six-year-old brother. Once I got to see the three-year old when she was a few months old, and the other two visits were in a group setting, and she looked at me as a stranger. This past week-end I visited her home where she felt safe, and our visit went quite differently. I took gifts, huge fleece blankets, large enough to be bedspreads. She was pleased with her gift, but here is the part of the story I want to share. She has a reputation for being a little pill. During our visit she got a  huge frown on her face and started whining. I said “Come over here and let me hug that frown away”. She ran over with a huge smile and let me hug her. The point is I did not scold her for the frown. I gave her a different option while acknowledging her frown without a reprimand. She felt “respected” for having her frown and was presented with an alternative, which she chose, which gave her a sense of power. My offer to hug her frown away was also a distraction. She then said, “Come help me make my bed with my new blanket”. Off we went and did just that, laughing all the way to her bedroom.Snipped me and great grand kids..PNG

Later in the day I heard stories about her reaction when she feels unhappy or displeased. She growls. When we were alone I asked her if she would growl for me, and she did. I said “If you really growled at me for real that would scare me and make me unhappy”. During the day I asked her to growl, and when she did I would ask if the growl was real or pretend.  “Pretend” was always her answer. We turned those exchanges into a game. I would guess that if in the future she growls at me and I ask her if the growl is for real she will probably say it is not. If she says yes the growl is real I will ask her if the growl is a big growl or a little one. My intuition tells me that it might be a little one, but what ever her answer is it will  give us a chance to talk about what she is unhappy about to want or need to growl. Our exchange helped take the power away from the growl. Later in the day she and I and her mother went to a baby shower that was held in a beautiful outdoor setting. I got so many hugs and kisses for the rest of the day that I was in Great Grandma Heaven.

Both of these stories were teaching moments where we both showed respect for one another and were open to sharing feelings. It is never too early to begin teaching respect and the willingness to listen to one another.

A second story I want to share happened about seven years ago. I had been a widow for about four years and was invited to live in a mother-in-law apartment at my sons home where he, his wife and four kids lived. One grandson was leaving for college and three kids were still at home with the youngest being a ten-year old girl. One day soon after I moved in my granddaughter came down and said, “By the way I am not too happy that you moved in down here”. I replied ” Tell me why”. She replied that her mom and dad bossed her, her brothers bossed her, her other grandmother, who lived near by, bossed her, and now she had another boss  with me living downstairs. I thought for a minute and said, “I will make a deal with you. I will not boss you unless I see you doing something that might be harmful to you.” She thought for a minute, smiled and said”Deal”. And she is now 17 and we have had a delightful relationship ever since. See how respect and honest communication diverted something that could have ended badly?

My stories are examples of some common sense parenting ideas. Everyone needs to feel and act with respect and wants to be heard with an open and loving heart, at every level. I also think trust is a byproduct that enters into the equation. If these kinds of tactics are used at an early age a pattern of respect and communication is forged, and when the rebellious years come, and they will, it will be easier to ride out the storm with successful outcomes, in my opinion. So I have shared some mini lessons on parenting that might bring a little peace for families now and then. I would love to hear others share their success stories in my comment section, because no one have all of the answers, so sharing can benefit many.  I have written other blogs on parenting that might be of interest. I would love to hear from all who are interested in sharing.

Posted in Cause & Effect, Child Rearing, Common Sense, communication, Emotional Health, emotions, Family, Generation, Human Nature, Intuition, Mindlessness, Parent love, Parenting, Phases in parenting, Problem Solving, Respect, Society, Stories from the heart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Educating The Masses Is The ONLY SOLUTION To Getting Mental Awareness OUT OF THE CLOSET

It is my belief that educating the public is the ONLY way to get society to understand the importance of the epidemic the world is facing with their collective biases and stigmas they place on the subject of MENTAL HEALTH. I belong to a Think Tank, and recently a Mayor in AZ addressed the subject focusing on teens and children. I posted some comments in the tank that I am going to share here. I don’t think enough is said about mental health and am sick and tired of the subject being ignored and shoved under the rug. Ignoring the subject will not make it go away. There are so many hidden costs that society is paying for this very moment. For example, there are prisons full of inmates suffering with mental disorders.  Just compare the cost difference in treating these people and incarcerating them. Locking them in jails is the same as trying to ignore the problem, in my opinion.

Here is one of my posts from the Think Tank.

Unfortunately there are only 4 categories of people who are ever interested in any major movement, including mental health. In the category of mental health the interested players are the ones personally suffering, their friends and family who know the individual, the professionals treating or wanting to treat them, and the pharmaceutical community who wants to profit from the treatments. There should be a fifth….communities as a whole. You may ask why. I doubt there is one person in your community who does not know or has not known someone suffering at one time or another with a serious issue. The person suffering may be in the closet and hiding their problem, but I guarantee they have touched you personally. Mental problems have been hidden or denied for decades because of shame or stigmas placed on the subject. Talking about alcohol and drug abuse seems more accepted than mental problems, and yet even though some of those are considered medical problems they are self-induced in many ways, because using alcohol or drugs is a choice and sometimes even legal. I have never heard of a soul choosing to be depressed, suicidal, Bipolar, to have an eating disorder, or any other in the long list of behaviors associated with mental health. Treating active mental problem is necessary, but in many ways it is shutting the barn door after the livestock has escaped. Awareness needs to be two-fold, in my opinion, and trounced on  with vigor. Treatment and prevention needs to be aggressively pursued to make a dent in the problem. Parenting and a supportive community and an involved educational system can make a difference if all pull together to take the shame factor out of the equation and strive for an open dialog.

Here is my second Think Tank post.

I applaud the move for any awareness towards mental health issues, but the time to begin is way before the youth is affected, especially if drugs are involved. I have a loving and caring friend who totally missed the signs when her son began using marijuana at 12. Her son is now in recovery but hooked on methadone, which is legal. I have asked her if she will ask her son to allow me to interview him to hear the story from his side. If that happens I will blog about it, since I think many have not heard a first hand story. I have only heard second-hand ones. The point of telling you this is that this mom was hands on and her son was cunning and a great actor. He did not have a lot of money, so the drugs were probably supplied to him until he was hooked. Then the crimes began to support his habit. Once his mom was aware she found she could do little to stop the slide. She even moved his mattress next to her bed to keep track of him with little success.He is now 21, having been in treatment and incarcerated many times. Even though he is of legal age he still acts much younger because of the effect drugs have had on his brain, and no one knows if it is permanent. Drugs are just one area mental illness gets started. Alcohol is another culprit and cause brain dysfunction.

Bullying, abuse, neglect, and so many more outside experiences in general are contributors, in my opinion, to altering brain function, as the brain is still developing until the age of around 25. A child is born with a clean slate, hopefully, so all he or she is around, hears, sees and experiences is very important, and helps form who they are, and how they see the world. NEVER has parenting been so important. Fake news pounds obscene thin body images as being what to strive for, and eating disorders spring up, easily hidden and overlooked by caring parents.

Social media floods the market with unhealthy ideas and information. Advertisers continually push products that are dangerous to consume. Energy drinks come to mind. My grandkids tell of representatives of these companies flooding college campuses. They  pass out this stuff like mad and free, hoping to get the students hooked on their products. Some kids have died drinking these energy drinks thinking they were harmless.

I know of a lady who thought she was not loved as a child, even though she was. She told me “How can you expect the world to love you when your parents don’t?” She was dyslexic and did not do well in school, so her self-esteem was damaged to boot. Now these kinds of things are understood, but how many problems like these are still in the learning stages?

Mental illness is as broad or maybe broader a problem than the types of cancer in the world. Ignoring any mental issue will not make it disappear but will feed the hungry beast. These problems are cheaper to prevent than to treat, in my opinion. Please step up and be a part of the solution because being quite will put all in the camp of being a part of the problem. Never say “That could never happen to me”.

Recently a girl was found guilty of manslaughter and could receive 20 years for texts she sent her boyfriend or ex-boyfriend encouraging him to commit suicide, which he did. This was a clear example of bullying in my opinion……………………………………………………………

Here is my third Tank post. This was part of my response to a person who said “Depression is a choice”.

Here is a visual that might help show that brains look very different when depression occurs compared to a normal brain. I don’t see how this difference can be caused by a choice. I also ran across some myths associated with depression I would like to share, plus a powerful statement that made sense to me.

Depression is a flaw in chemistry not character.
1. Depression is all in your mind. (Talking about thinking, not the chemistry, because the chemistry is the problem)

2. People who are depressed need more care & love.

3. Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

4. People with depression cannot lead a normal life.

5. A tragic event is the cause of depression. (Tragic events cause sadness but that is far different from depression.)

These myths alone, plus many more, show the need for education and awareness.

I would love to see tee shirts all across the world that said “TARGET MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS” Then have a big target circle under the words with the words “Education and action” written across the center of the target. Maybe some Health care professions could get this rolling and start a national movement. Who knows. It might help get the message out to the masses and out of the closet.

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