One in Five Canadians will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime, so why is it that average “wait times for outpatient services are six to nine months”?(CBC News, 2015). Mental Illness is a common, yet often unacknowledged reality for many individuals; it’s imperative that medical concerns are treated quickly and efficiently no matter what the concern is. However most Canadians struggling with mental health issues, do not have that quick and efficient treatment for something that could potentially be unnoticeably life threatening. Despite there having been “a 30-per-cent jump from the same month the previous year.” (CBC News, 2011) in ER visits at one hospital alone.
Some people claim that vitamins and minerals can cure serious mental illness. That's not what I'm talking about here. While in general, there's not a ton of research funding for supplements and herbal products, there are a number of supplements that do have some research evidence to support their effectiveness in depression.
One of the things I talk about in my new book Managing the Depression Puzzle is the idea of differentiating between illness treatment strategies and wellness promotion strategies. I think it’s a distinction that applies to mental illness in general. So what’s the difference?
My life has been less than graceful, to put it nicely, so I'm going to be following my pattern by writing this in a less than graceful way. I'm not going to worry too much on being chronologically correct because I don't even really know when certain things happened in my own life. So I guess just sit back and enjoy the roller coaster.
The decision to post this article has not been easy, in fact writing this article has been a lulling thought in my mind for a while. 'But the thing is…you have to decide whether you want to write the story, and sometimes that can be very difficult'
ever wondered what it’s like in a psychiatric hospital?
When I was little I questioned my faith. I was raised Greek Orthodox and one day my family was telling me the story of Jesus walking on water to save a man from drowning. Kid me then said "well if God made everyone walk on water no one would be drowning in the first place"... which honestly was a brilliant thought for a 6 year old to have. I was then yelled at because I shouldn't question or judge God. This is when my intrusive thoughts started. Because of my new fear of appearing unchristian these thoughts would pop into my head saying things like "you worship the devil" or "you're a demon". Which was really scary for 6 year old me... I wish they were like that now because the older I got, the scarier my fears became and because of that my perception of myself got worse and worse.
**Disclaimer** I am not a medical professional and am not intending to give medical advice. These are suggestions based on my own life experience as someone who has a mental illness and has checked into a mental health hospital. **Disclaimer**
I have considered taking anti-depressants before but I have always struggled of the idea of medicating myself. I think that largely stems from being gay for some reason. Coming out as gay is a huge thing, it’s about saying to the world ‘this is who I am, like it or not, this is me, and its Ok to be me’. It’s about saying who I am is OK, so it feels like a bit of a betrayal to have to acknowledge that sometimes who I am is not OK. With chronic as opposed to episodic depression, there is a chemical imbalance within your brain that can’t be chased away with happy thoughts any more than you can pep talk a diabetic pancreas into producing insulin.
Why Cyclothymia is relevant to me?
What a word, suicide. There are so many of us people who think about this time and again. I know that it has crossed my mind a few times during my life so far. I think that most just talk about it to get attention from people. The thing about it is to me it is an easy way out. I have had three friends do it and getting over it is something that is hard. The many questions like could I have done something to stop it and when it happens we feel guilty. If you have never had to deal with it you can’t imagine what it is like.