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Depression

There's a reason many of us have trouble sharing our personal battles with mental illness. The reason is the label our society has put on mental health; that anyone who visits a mental health specialist is “crazy," or “insane." Mental illness is treated as a passing phase or a hedonistic lifestyle here in India. Living in India and having...
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After 11 years of suffering quietly, I resolved to speak out about something most of us decide is a secret to take to their early graves. For years, decades, lifetimes of silence makes the thing nonexistent to the world. The only reason for this silence is the fear of judgment — from loved ones, friends, relatives —people who matter, and also,...
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“I want a divorce.” The sentence I was afraid of was coming finally came from his mouth. It felt like a ton of bricks and an ache in my stomach. I felt like I was in a movie where the camera zooms out and shows you like an ant.Shortly after he moved out, I overdosed on pills. I was struggling with an addiction to prescription pain pills and had...
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This year my psychiatrist changed my initial diagnosis of severe depression to Bipolar II Disorder. For a moment I felt like my world had stopped spinning. I felt lost and betrayed because I did not know what this new diagnosis meant for me. For days I lived in denial and refused to accept it. However, a few weeks away from home taught me the...
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Until I was 16, I thought that my uncle had died of cancer rather than suicide. There was always a dark joke in the family that we have a history of mental illness in our lineage. There is the distant cousin who lived in a tiger cage because, well, he thought he was a tiger. My beloved older brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when...
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Your buttocks are cold and aching because you’ve been pressing them for too long against those filthy concrete steps on the hallway, in front of the elevator. There are cigarette stumps and ashes all over the place, but that does not bother you in the least. You’re happy that human transit is sparse on the 4th floor, though you hear the elevator...
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Madeleine Breen

How do I pray, as someone who lives with bipolar disorder? In my younger years when I was fairly stabilized on medicine, the daily Scriptures were my prayer and my study, sometimes studying several hours with my commentaries and allowing the silence to foster the Holy Spirit’s voice. During daily Mass and throughout the day new things might...
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Maegan Bassett 

Mania You wake up after only four hours asleep, but that’s ok, you feel fine. Today is going to be a great day, a productive day, one of the best days of your life. You get in the shower and sing every song you know, and keep singing as you dress up and do your hair. You have no reason to leave the house today, but you’ll find one. Maybe you’...
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There were a lot of warning signs that I had a mental illness, long before my first diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. I would have massive mood swings and extremely violent temper tantrums that often resulted in the destroying of objects or attempts to physically injure someone. This resulted in...
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Sean DeArmond

Sean's wife, Sarah, wrote a blog that goes with this one. We recommend reading them together. In terms of mental health, we live in the best possible time; and the future only looks to be even better. We have resources and treatments, and an impressive number of professionals in the field who are skilled at properly diagnosing their patients...
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What Love Means Now

January 29, 2016
My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely different than I ever thought possible. It is not trivial. It is not selfish. It...
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Lights, candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa, nutcrackers, snowmen, gingerbread men, cookies, cakes, pies, ham, turkey, wine, sparkling wine, stockings, gift boxes, Christmas carols, and garland…this list goes on. This brings “happy” times…right? Not for me. Christmas time brings winter, which brings the whiteness of cold. It elongates the...
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