The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) first introduced Mental Health Week in 1951, and it has since become a yearly tradition. The official hashtag for Mental Health Week is #GETLOUD. CMHA and the Mental Health Commission of Canada asked that everyone speak up and get loud for mental health during the week of May 2-8, 2016. And of course, as you know, May is Mental Health Month in the U.S.
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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” - Buddha
There are a lot of scary statistics out there. Mortality rates. Higher risk for diabetes, metabolic conditions, earlier deaths. Adverse medication side effects. What exactly does this cocktail of medications do to my body on a daily basis?
If stigma didn’t exist, we would discuss mental illness more openly. I had a recent unpleasant experience on Twitter where someone posted a tweet that essentially said “Bipolar is not an illness. You simply have not trained yourself to control your thoughts and emotions,” and this person was very insistent that mental illnesses do not exist.
Melanie Luxenberg was diagnosed with Bipolar II in July 2010. She also experiences rapid cycling and at times, experiences multiple cycles in a week, as well as general anxiety and social anxiety. Melanie graduated with an Honour’s B.A. in English & History from the University of Toronto in 2006 and from Seneca College’s Accelerated Law Clerk Program in 2008.
Rapid cycling is defined as four or more manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes in any 12-month period. Rapid cycling occurs in 10-20% of all people with bipolar disorder, and is more common in women (read this article for more facts about rapid cycling).