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I am not exactly sure why I am having such a hard time right now but I am. Before I start my ramble here I would to thank everyone that is reading this. I want to thank each and every one of who follows my blog and everyone who is reading my words for the first time. I want you to know that I love all of you because you are my therapists, my friends, my healers, my confidants, my trusted many, my heroes and my inspiration.

I haven’t shared everything that is happening in my life lately, but there is a lot. My mental health I think is actually quite good, but I am going through “normal” difficult things at this turning point in my life. Many big changes occurring all at once.

I have always been an emotional person. I feel more and deeper than most people I know. I am not sure if it is related to my mental illness or is the cause of it or vice versa or both. Sometimes it is a beautiful thing to feel so much at such an intense level. At other times it is a catalyst for destruction of the life I try to live well. Feeling too much for others hurts seemingly unnecessarily at times.

Let me get back on track and the reason for my rant. My beautiful youngest daughter Alexia is graduating from High School tomorrow. I am not sure why but it is making me very emotional. Too many emotions and feelings and reflections of her life and mine intertwined together into a messy bun with not enough fasteners to keep it in place.

Where is my life going? Where is her life going? I want her to have the best of everything. She deserves it. Can I make it happen for her?  Can I be as strong as I need to be for her. I pray she has the best life. She deserves it. It is her turn.

My Alexia is the strongest, most resilient, most beautiful, compassionate, kindest, calmest in a storm kind of person I have ever met. She is going to go to the University of Minnesota next year to attend college. It is a beautiful University and is her dream. She deserves to be there. I pray it will all work out for her. I pray we have enough money from student loans so she can attend. She deserves it.

I pray this is the beginning of a fabulous golden life for her starting at the University of Minnesota as a Golden Gopher.

Also, she turns 18 on June 4th and because she turns 18 my social security disability will be reduced by $700.00 each month for the first time. That is a huge chunk of change—cut in pay. Somehow I must survive on less money. I must move out and find a smaller and cheaper place to live. I must be creative and learn to live on less income. I haven’t found a new place to live but it must happen. I will look again next week.

There are a lot of changes coming soon. They make me nervous. Change is hard to adjust to sometimes. I pray it will all work out and I can be strong enough for it to all happen. Most of all I pray my Alexia will be able to live the life she sooo… deserves to have.

I love you Alexia.

The reason I thanked all of you at the beginning of this ramble is because I was having a very difficult moment earlier this morning and felt much better after writing and sharing the post titled “Shh…. That is Stigma.” Please take a read if you would like to.

I should be cleaning my house and decorating and cooking etc. For some reason I felt I felt the need to write more and share my words again. Writing is very therapeutic for me and I am hoping after writing my many words to you, my wonderful blogging friends, that the therapeutic effect of writing will calm my many thoughts and nerves and make them blend together peacefully into one goal accomplishing thought.

I need to stop stalling and get to work on my many pre-graduation things. Putting them off will not stop my Alexia from graduating tomorrow.

Since I woke up this morning, I went through my many mixed up emotions and decided I needed to listen to my anthem. All these words apply to me because I often feel like a misfit because of my bipolar diagnosis and the stigma that is attached to it.

Please welcome me into the empty nest syndrome. Here I come…

I am here…

This is me…

This is my Alexia. Here she comes world. Please be kind to her and LOVE HER!

“When the sharpest words want to cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown ’em out.

I am brave. I am bruised. I am who I am meant to be.

This is me.

Look out ’cause here I come And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
Look out because here I come.
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Theres nothing I am not worthy of…”
 
The Greatest Showman ['This Is Me' Lyrics Video in HD (1080p)] - YouTube

This Is Me (Lyrics)

Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman Ensemble

I am not a stranger to the dark

Hide away, they say

‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts

I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars

Run away, they say

No one’ll love you as you areBut I won’t let them break me down to dust

I know that there’s a place for us

For we are gloriousWhen the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin

Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in

We are bursting through the barricades and Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)

Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)

I won’t let them break me down to dust

I know that there’s a place for us

For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I am brave, I am bruised I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh-ohOh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

This is me and I know that I deserve your love(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

This is brave, this is proof

This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)

I’m not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I’m gonna send a flood Gonna drown them out Oh

This is me

Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek

This Is Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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With all the illnesses in the world to pick from I had to get mental illness. I had to get the only kind of illness that condemns you and destroys you for having it. If mental illness does not kill you on its own the stigma related to its name will eventually destroy you.

I am hurt and deeply saddened today for many reasons but one of them is because my own mother has been slowly killing me for twenty-five years because of stigma. My entire life my mother only loved me if I was good and perfect. There was no unconditional love and if she had it she did not know how to show it.

When I was diagnosed with mental illness twenty five years ago that was the day my mother’s daughter died. I was dead in her eyes. She never saw me the same again. I saw that look of disgust and pity in here eyes each time she looked at me. I felt the pain I caused her every time I spoke to her. She could never hide it and I could not forget it even though I tried desperately to. I always tried to make my mom happy and love me. Everyone wants their own mother to love them but mine did not have it in her to even try anymore.

Her views of mental illness have always been archaic. She was old school. Mental illness was something to laugh at and be ashamed of and fear. This is what her oldest daughter had become.

My mother’s way of dealing with my mental illness was to not deal with it at all. Maybe if she pretended like it was not real and I was not real, we would both go away. Just don’t think about it and it will all go away.

The problem with that was that I was very real and I did not go away and neither did my mental illness. While she was pretending my mental illness was not real my mental illness became more severe and real nearly killing me many times. My mother continued to stay away and pretend. It hurt her too much. My mental illness hurt me too much too, but I could not leave the “too much” as I was the “too much.”

My mother is a very smart woman, but she chose not to educate herself about my bipolar disorder . Don’t talk about it. She said things like, “Nobody talk about Suzie’s mental illness. Shhhh… Don’t say anything. Don’t bring it up. Shhh…”

Let me tell you what shhhhh… does.

Shhh… belittles.

Shhhh…. shames.

Shhh… humiliates.

Shhh… detroys.

Shhh… makes you feel like you don’t matter.

Shhh… makes you feel like NO ON CARES.

Shhh… makes you feel like you aren’t worthy of anyone’s words, care or concern.

Shhhh… slowly kills.

The other day my mother complained to me about how awful it was that none of her children came to her Ovarian cancer meetings. I visited my mother in the hospital many times and sent her beautiful flowers and many cards. I painfully reminded her that for 25 years she never once came to my mental illness family meetings. She never once visited me in the hospital even when I was near death. She never once bought me flowers. I am her daughter but she couldn’t find it in her heart to care enough to even visit me in the hospital. She barely acknowledged the illness that is and has been killing me for years.

I thought after 25 years she was better, but I was recently reminded how I was sadly mistaken. Yesterday over the telephone my mother was making fun of my “crazy” (great) Aunt Lilly. Great Aunt Lilly was never spoken about and my mother only told me about her five years ago. That was how shaming it was to have an Aunt Lilly in our family. She was the relative you held your index finger up to the center of your lips and said shhhh… That was how Aunt Lilly was referred to. Her family, my family, put her in a psychiatric hospital (Insane Asylum) and threw away the key. My poor beautiful Aunt Lilly never got back out. She never got to go home and died in the Insane Asylum.

I am the “crazy” Aunt Lilly in our family today. They didn’t lock me up in the Psychiatric Hospital, but maybe only because they couldn’t today. Mental illness stigma has decreased and treatment of people with mental illness is better—at least that much better.

My family still calls my beautiful Aunt Lilly “crazy” Aunt Lilly and laugh about it. It breaks my heart. Don’t they understand? Don’t they care?

Why can”t my mother and the rest of my family understand that when they laugh at “crazy” Aunt Lilly they are laughing at me?

Why don’t people understand that when they make fun of people with mental illness they are making fun every person with mental illness?

Will I be known as “crazy” Aunt Sue? In my family, I think so. I am trying to help them understand and I keep trying, but my family has a very hard surface to break.

Will stigma only end after the older generation dies? Maybe.

I believe the younger generation will be much better about treating people with mental illness wisely and compassionately. We need to end mental illness stigma now, so we do not have to wait another generation for it to improve.

We need to end mental illness stigma now so we do not have anymore “crazy” Aunt Lilly conversations in this lifetime.

Start normalizing the dialogues about mental illness.

Let mental illness become part of a “normal” every day conversation. Mental illness is  much more “normal” than you realize.

~wri;tten by Susan Walz | My Loud Bipolar Whispers

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/archaic/

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Hannah’s Story

North Carolina, USA

“My name is Hannah. I am a blogger and mental health influencer on mediated platforms. I discuss topics regarding mental health, stigma, and share parts of my journey as a young adult living with a mental illness.

I was barely 20-years-old when I was involuntarily placed in a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder. It was there where my story began, and my path in life changed forever.

I walked out of the psychiatric hospital as a different girl with a different mission in life. However, I was unsure at the time what that mission would be. When I left the hospital, I hid my diagnosis from the majority of my family and friends.

According to society, mental illness was something I should be ashamed of, and it limited my chances of succeeding in life. As I learned, later on, this is untrue.

When I was 24 years old, I decided to go back to College and volunteer for the local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). At the beginning of getting involved with the mental health community, I kept quiet about my story. As time went on, I finally revealed my diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder and was encouraged to speak publicly about it.

Although I hesitated, something inside of me said it was the right thing to do, so I went forward with opening up about it. The mix of getting involved with mental health and working towards my degree in media communication led to creating my blog Halfway2Hannah* where I came forward publicly about my experience living with Bipolar 2 Disorder.

It has been eight years since being released from the hospital, filled with ups-and-downs, mistakes and finding my authentic self. I am sincere, raw, and unapologetic. I do not pretend to be perfect or the ideal mental health patient. I would not live without bipolar if I had the choice. Although I blame bipolar disorder for my struggle, I also credit it for my success in life. I will not be cured of bipolar disorder, nor do I want to be. Bipolar disorder does not define me, but it is a significant part of who I am.

My mission is to empower individuals who live with a mental illness. We live in a world where we are told that being different makes us flawed. However, I believe that being different makes us beautiful. I want to inspire individuals to share their story and realize they should not feel ashamed. I want those of us living with a mental illness to talk about what we love about ourselves and what makes us capable of doing great things in this world.

Our confidence exists within us, but it is difficult to find when we are always told it does not exist. I want people with a mental illness to fall in love with everything about themselves, especially the parts that, for so long, we have been told make us flawed and unlovable. Our truth is our beauty, and it deserves to be shared with the world.

Life without a story is no life at all. My story includes the mind I was born with; the part of me that I have learned to love. This is my wish for others living with a mental illness.”

*Halfway2Hannah shares not only Hannah’s experience, but the story of others living with a mental illness. Hannah blogs about everything mental health-related, including the way social media can be used as a tool for communication and advocacy. She is the HealthyPlace.com YouTube vlogger and author of the blog, ‘I’m Bipolar Too.’ She hopes to achieve many things in the future as a mental health advocate and writer.

© 2018 The Invisible Illnesses. All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization

Hannah
Thank you for sharing your story with us.  You deserve much praise and honor. Your story is your glory. We celebrate you.  

If you want to share your story on my blog and join us on our campaign “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story,” please check out the post titled, Please Help Me With My New Campaign – “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” to learn the mission behind our campaign.

For suggestions and ideas about how to write your story and for directions on how to share your story on my blog, please visit the post titled A Revised Guide – How to Write and Share Your Story For “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.

Thank you in advance for participating and helping our cause of increasing awareness and educating about mental health and mental illness, reducing suicide and ending the stigma of mental illness.

We are on a mission to save lives.

We are on a mission

to improve the quality of people’s lives

who live with mental illness.

Thank you for being you.

Much love and hugs, Sue

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights reserved

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For my fellow bipolar surviviors and mental illness surivivors, we are in very good company…

The following video helps make bipolar disorder become more real by showing a face with the name of a famous person that has had bipolar disorder or is still living and surviving with bipolar disorder. This is just a small list. The list is so much larger than this. There are many more people living with mental illness, famous or otherwise.

Bipolar Disorder and other mental Illnesses are not just labels, or numbers, or a list of names of people.

They are real, real lives, a life lived, a life full of living with a story and a history and/or a future. It is a life lost, a life found, a life stolen, a life taken by suicide, a life lost to time and many important, valuable, meaningful and beautiful lives full of a lot of living yet to live. It is real. It is here. It is us. It is you. It is me.

It touches all of us and impacts and influences our lives in many ways. It has touched all of us and impacted and influenced all of our lives in some way since the beginning of time.

A video containing an A-Z List of  Many Famous People with Bipolar Disorder

A-Z OF FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER - YouTube

Articles Related to Famous People With Mental Illlness

  1.  Stars Who Have Battled Mental Health Issues (Illness)
  2.  12 Famous People with bipolar disorder
  3.  People Celebrity article titled Gabourey Sidibe, Chrissy Teigen and More Stars Who’ve Spoken Out About Their Struggles with Mental Health Illness
  4. Famous People with Mental Illness
  5. 30 Famous People Who Struggled With Mental Illness
  6. 15 Celebs Who are Shutting Done Stigmas About Mental 

A List of 165 People With Bipolar Disorder

(This list was even longer, but I deleted some people on the list. However, I thought it was imperative to share this list to show that there are so many successful, talented, and gifted people that have lived and are living with bipolar disorder).

  1. Alvin Ailey, American choreographer, diagnosed with bipolar disorder (then-manic depression).
  2. Adam Ant, English musician and actor.
  3. Emilie Autumn, American singer and violinist.
  4. Maria Bamford, American comedian, stated in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune that she has been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.
  5. Marcel Barbeau, Canadian artist and painter.
  6. Maria Bello, producer, actress and writer.
  7. Helena Belmonte, American model.
  8. Max Bemis, frontman of the band Say Anything, spoke about his diagnosis in an interview with Alternative Magazine in 2014.
  9. Maurice Benard, actor, discussed his diagnosis on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has since become active in promoting bipolar awareness.
  10. Davone Bess, American football player.
  11. Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist. Believed to have suffered bipolar disorder and known to have emotional swings, hospitalized a number of times for depression he ended his life with suicide.
  12. Paul Boyd, classical animator.
  13. L. Brent Bozell Jr., American conservative activist and writer. He wrote publicly about his experiences, suffering, and recovery from bipolar disorder.
  14. Russell Brand, British comedian and actor.
  15. Jeremy Brett, English actor, known for playing fictional detective Sherlock Holmesin the Granada TV series of the same name, diagnosed with manic depression
  16. Chris Brown, American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, and actor, Brown has been diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder.
  17. Frank Bruno, British boxer, was hospitalized for a short period, and as of 2005 was on lithium.
  18. Barney Bubbles, English graphic artist whose work encompassed graphic designand music video direction. Bubbles committed suicide when he was 41.
  19. Art Buchwald, humorist and Pulitzer Prize winner.
  20. Elbridge Ayer Burbank, Artist and painter, Burbank was diagnosed with manic depression and was treated at several different facilities during his life.
  21. Cosmo Campoli , Sculptor.
  22. Quincy Carter, American football quarterback.
  23. Dick Cavett, comedian and television journalist.
  24. Eason Chan, Chinese popular music singer.
  25. Changjo, South Korean singer, dancer, promotional model, actor and composer.
  26. Akio Chiba, Japanese manga artist, committed suicide due to issues related to bipolar disorder.
  27. Rosemary Clooney, singer and actress.
  28. Kurt Cobain, American musician who was best known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD], then later with bipolar disorder.
  29. Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, is an author, educator, mental health advoc-ate.
  30. Francis Ford Coppola, American film director, producer, and screenwriter, was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having manic depression.
  31. Patricia Cornwell, American crime writer.
  32. Robert S. Corrington, American philosopher and professor of philosophical theology. In his book Riding the Windhorse: Manic-Depressive Disorder and the Quest for Wholeness, he gives a personal account of his own experience with the condition.
  33. Michael Costa, former Australian Labor party politician and Treasurer of NSW. “Mr Costa said a number of state parliamentary colleagues approached him about their mental health problems after he publicly revealed his battle with bipolar disorder in 2001.”
  34. Sean Costello, american blues musician.
  35. Vincent Crane, keyboard player of Atomic Rooster.
  36. John Curtin, 14th Prime Minister of Australia 1941–1945.
  37. Disco D, record producer and composer.
  38. Paul Dalio, American writer, director and composer. He made his feature directorial debut with Touched with Fire (2016), a film which drew upon his own experience with bipolar disorder.
  39. Ray Davies, English compositor. Davies was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and he attempted suicide.
  40. Adam Deacon, actor. Deacon discussed his diagnosis in a 2016 interview with Stephen Fry.
  41. Swadesh Deepak, Indian playwright, novelist and short-story writer.
  42. Richard Dreyfuss, actor, appeared in a BBC documentary to talk about his experience with the disorder.
  43. Mike Doughty, singer from alternative rock band Soul Coughing.
  44. Patty Duke, actress.
  45. Thomas EagletonUnited States Senator from Missouri. He was privately diagnosed with bipolar type II in 1983, eleven years after stepping down as George McGovern’s running mate during the latter’s presidential campaign in 1972 due to the revelation of Eagleton receiving electroconvulsive therapy in the 1960s.
  46. David Feherty, former professional golfer on the European Tour and PGA Tour.
  47. Carrie Fisher, actress and writer. Starred in the Star Wars films as Princess Leia.
  48. Zelda Fitzgerald, American socialite and novelist, and the wife of American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, diagnosed at the time as schizophrenia, but now thought likelier to be bipolar disorder.
  49. Helen Flanagan, English model, Actress.
  50. Tom Fletcher, English singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist, of McFly, discussed his bipolar disorder in the book Unsaid Things… Our Story.
  51. Larry Flynt, publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications (LFP).
  52. Ellen Forney, Graphic artist and cartoonist and creator of Marbles: Madness, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.
  53. Connie Francis, singer.
  54. Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, and writer. Fry was the center of the Emmy Award-winning documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive in which he shares his experience being diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder and interviews a number of celebrities who are also diagnosed with bipolar-related disorders.
  55. Alan Garner, novelist, wrote about having bipolar disorder in a collection of critical and autobiographical essays.
  56. Paul Gascoigne, English footballer, wrote about his treatment for bipolar disorder in his second book.
  57. Mel Gibson, actor and director.
  58. Matthew Good, Canadian musician. He first disclosed his illness in a personal blog.
  59. Charles HaleyAmerican football linebacker.
  60. Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials.
  61. Charles Hamilton, American hip hop recording artist.
  62. Linda Hamilton, actress, star of the Terminator movies. Was diagnosed at the age of 40.
  63. Suzy Favor Hamilton, American former middle distance runner.
  64. Mariette Hartley, American actress, has publicly spoken about her bipolar disorder, was a founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  65. Doug Harvey, Canadian professional ice hockey player
  66. Jonathan HayAustralian rules footballer.
  67. Ernest Hemingway American journalist, won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and insomnia in his later years, He committed suicide in 1961.
  68. Drewe Henley, British actor, Henley and his illness were discussed in her autobiography White Cargo.
  69. Kristin Hersh, musician, of rock band Throwing Muses, has spoken about her bipolar disorder.
  70. Derek Hess, designer and visual artist.
  71. Shane HmielNASCAR driver.
  72. Marya Hornbacher, writer.
  73. Byron Houstonbasketball player.
  74. Jesse Jackson, Jr., former member of the United States House of Representatives, has stated he’s been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.
  75. Adam Jasinski, winner of the U.S. series Big Brother 9.
  76. Kay Redfield Jamison, American clinical psychologist she is a professor of psychiatry and writer, who has written extensively about her personal experiences with bipolar disorder, including in An Unquiet Mind.
  77. Andrew Johns, Australian rugby league player. Publicly announced his condition following retirement.
  78. Krizz Kaliko, American hip hop musician.
  79. Chris Kanyon American professional wrestler.
  80. Kerry Katona, English television presenter, writer, magazine columnist, and former pop singer with girl band Atomic Kitten. BBC.
  81. Patrick J. Kennedy, former member of the United States House of Representatives, has spoken on his mental health issues, including diagnosed bipolar disorder.
  82. Margot Kidder, actress.
  83. John Konrads, Australian freestyle swimmer.
  84. Mary Lambert, American actress, singer, and writer, revealed that she had the illness in an interview with shewired.com and in her 2014 song “Secrets“.
  85. Debra LaFave, schoolteacher who had sexual relations with minor student.
  86. Andrew Lange, astrophysicist and Goldberger Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology in PasadenaCalifornia, he was awarded Balzan Prize and Dan David Prize. Suffered from mood disorder and committed suicide in a hotel in 2010.
  87. AJ Lee, American professional wrestler and author.
  88. Vivien Leigh, actress, most famous for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s movie “Gone With The Wind.”
  89. Jenifer Lewis, American actress, spoke about her diagnosis on Oprah in September 2007.
  90. Bernard Loiseau, French chef, was the chef and the owner of 3-star Michelinestaurant-La Côte d’Or, Loiseau..
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Nicholas Cunningham is a long-time performer, dancer, choreographer for a number of Broadway shows, including most recently, The Phantom of the Opera.

What past life experiences, physical traumas or genetics do you believe have had an effect on your mental health?

There is a long line of alcoholism and depression in my family, from both sides. I’ve inherited those genes. Growing up in the household of an alcoholic has definitely had ramifications. Learning to deal with the ‘uncertainty of behavior’ from a young age is something that has affected me long term.

How did the effects on your mental health appear in terms of symptoms?

I think my symptoms grew over a long period of time, they weren’t instant and I certainly didn’t notice them straight away.  They started appearing much later in life, which was when I decided to face them. That was when I realized there was a lot of work to be done. There were many years of self-suppressing to unravel.

When and why did you decide to ask for help to get relief?

I decided to get help six months into my sobriety, as I had abstained from all drugs and alcohol without the help of a program. I had succeeded up to that point, but after six months of meditation, and self care, and work, I realized that doing this alone wasn’t the way. I asked from help, and started therapy. I’ve been once a week, almost every week for two years. It has saved me from a relapse and I’ve learned that a lot of my substance abuse and alcohol addiction came from and is related to my mental health.

What methods helped you individually get/feel better?

Self compassion. A daily practice that comes and goes. But this is the MOST important way of dealing with the fact that we are human. We make mistakes, we don’t always look 100%, we get busy, swamped, tired, worn out, but you know what? We are all survivors. We have to show ourselves compassion and say “Well, this is how I look/feel/am today, and I love every inch of it…” which gives you space to go out and be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. I find it difficult at times, especially through those moments of despair. But dig deep and find love for yourself. You are doing great.
On top of looking inward, I often look for help by sharing stories of survival and creating a community around myself. It is a good way to feel less alone, or lonely. Two things which can lead to a place where you don’t want to live. I continue to surround myself with my good people and I continue to nurture friendships by finding love within them. This will bring self awareness to how you are feeling and how your mental health really is. Often the people we surround ourselves with, are a reflection of our souls.
Why did you decide to go public with your story? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
To help people who feel alone. I know exactly how dark it can be. I know the monster inside. I know how cavernous that cave can be. But there is light. By sharing my story I hope to help one person come out of the dark. I will continue to encourage people to be capable, strong and fearless. I really hope to help those people who struggle with addiction and alcoholism and the relationship those two things have with mental health.

How did people react when you went public with your story?

Love. I was showered with an overwhelming amount of love. I held myself accountable and shared a video online three years ago. I woke the next day to 400 + messages of support and love. It was that day I knew I had made the right decision to change my life. Three years later, I’m sharing my story with you, #SameHere!

Links and/or descriptions to any of your own personal resources you would like to share with the Global Mental Health Community:

If you are in the NYC area, two great places to find help with your mental health are IHI Therapy Center and GMHC.

Nicholas Cunningham is a long-time performer, dancer, choreographer for a number of Broadway shows, including most recently, The Phantom of the Opera.

The Global Mental Health Alliance: We’re All A Little “Crazy” 501(c)(3)

 Copyright All Rights Reserved © 2017

Nicholas Cunningham
Thank you for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us.  You deserve much praise and honor. Your story is your glory. We celebrate you.  

If you want to share your story on my blog and join us on our campaign “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story,” please check out the post titled, Please Help Me With My New Campaign – “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” to learn the mission behind our campaign.

For suggestions and ideas about how to write your story and for directions on how to share your story on my blog, please visit the post titled A Revised Guide – How to Write and Share Your Story For “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.

Thank you in advance for participating and helping our cause of increasing awareness and educating about mental health and mental illness, reducing suicide and ending the stigma of mental illness.

We are on a mission to save lives.

We are on a mission

to improve the quality of people’s lives

who live with mental illness.

Thank you for being you.

Much love and hugs, Sue

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights reserved

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Exciting New Breakthrough in Mental Health —Genes hold the key

Written by Eric Haseltine, Ph.D., Jan 04, 2016

Melissa was a 45-year-old research nurse in Africa with a long history of major depression. When her depression worsened, she went for treatment and was prescribed paroxetine (Paxil). Less than a month later, she committed suicide.

An autopsy showed that, despite having taken the medication as prescribed, there were no detectable traces of Paxil in her bloodstream. The medication wasn’t helping her, because somehow it had vanished from her body.

How was that possible?

As it happened, Melissa had gotten her genome sequenced as part of an earlier research project, so scientists  in her lab learned after her death that she had duplication of the CYP2D6 gene, which codes for enzymes that breakdown and inactivate drugs like Paxil.

This discovery lead the doctors to conclude that Melissa’s genetic make-up doomed Paxil to fail from the start because her system was doubly efficient at breaking down the drug, eliminating it from her system and making it unavailable to her brain.

Someday doctors will routinely have such genetic information before they prescribe psychoactive medication and greatly improve the hit and miss results that contributed to Melissa’s death.

And that someday is today.

Like Melissa, Andrew had suffered from severe anxiety and depression for years. His problem wasn’t that antidepressants didn’t work, but that the drugs caused severe side effects. In desperation, he turned to the Mayo Clinic where “pharmacogenomic” testing had recently been implemented. Mayo doctors discovered that Andrew had the opposite problem from Melissa: he lacked the genes to code for enzymes to breakdown the drug properly, so that the antidepressant remained in his system in abnormally high doses, producing severe side effects.

Armed with Andrew’s genetic profile, Mayo doctors prescribed alternative meds tailored specifically to his unique biology, reducing side effects and giving Andrew his life back.

The rapidly declining costs of genetic testing that made Andrew’s recovery  possible are poised to foster a major revolution in mental health care.

A revolution that is sorely needed.

For instance, although roughly 10% of Americans will take antidepressants sometime in their lifetimes, the National Institutes of Mental Health estimates that these medications are only slightly more effective than placebos. Even the most optimistic assessments of antidepressant efficacy have found that only 1/3 of patients respond to the first medication tried, and that trial and error with alternative and multiple medications is required before an additional 1/3 of patients find some relief. Sadly, around 30% of those who suffer from depression do not respond to medication at all.

A recent clinical trial further revealed (based on genetic tests discussed below) that up to 70% of patients are prescribed medication that has no chance of working.

And a quarter of patients who take antidepressants, report significant side effects of the kind that Andrew experienced.

Patchy effectiveness and troubling side effects of psychoactive drugs are also the rule for OCDschizophreniaADHDbipolar disorderPTSD and other mental disorders.

But geneticists and neuroscientists are zeroing in on genetic markers that can predict which patients will respond to which drugs without major side effects, minimizing the “shot-in-the-dark” treatment strategies that prevail today. According to one of the testing companies that offers genetic screening for psychotropic drugs, 210,000 patients have already been tested for genetic markers that indicate whether a medication will work or have significant side effects.

Today, the tests analyze genes that influence how effective some drugs will be and whether they are prone to major side effects by looking for genes that influence :

  1. How efficiently a particular drug will be chemically broken down after it is  taken
  2. How likely the drug will slow “reuptake” of the neurotransmitter serotonin, thereby prolonging stimulation of serotonergic neurons that elevate mood
  3. Whether receptors for serotonin are more or less active. Less active receptors correlate with increased side effects of many Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly used as antidepressants.

Early clinical trials indicate that these tests can double the effectiveness of drug treatments for depression while reducing side effects.

Psychopharmacogenomic tests have also just come online for drugs that treat anxiety, ADHD, OCD, Schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

The tests are far from perfect, and currently only address a few neurotransmitter systems and drug metabolic pathways, but progress is rapid.

Advances have been so promising that I predict genetic screening will be a routine first step in prescribing drugs for mental conditions within ten years.

If you or someone you love has struck out with medication for mental illness and can’t wait 10 years, take heart. Thirteen thousand health care providers have signed up to prescribe these tests and a number of medical schools and hospitals are launching psychopharmacogenomics programs and conducting clinical trials as I write.

Instead of shooting in the dark, your doctor may take precise aim at your illness in the full light of psychopharmacogenomics.

My psychiatrist is doing this. He is going to test me as soon as I find my Medicare card. They were supposed to send me one but haven’t so I will have to call them and wait… If and when I get my Medicare card and get the test done and find out the results, I will let you know what I learn. I think it will be fascinating. So happy to have a new Psychiatrist with new learning and training and knowledge. Love, Sue

Altar CA, Carhart JM, Allen JD, Hall-Flavin DK, Dechairo BM, Winner JG. Clinical validity: Combinatorial pharmacogenomics predicts antidepressant responses and healthcare utilizations better than single gene phenotypes. Pharmacogenomics J. 2015 Feb 17. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2014.85. PubMed PMID: 25686762.

Hall-Flavin DK, Winner JG, Allen JD, Carhart JM, Proctor B, Snyder KA, Drews MS, Eisterhold LL, Geske J, Mrazek DA. Utility of integrated pharmacogenomic testing to support the treatment of major depressive disorder in a psychiatric outpatient setting.

Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. 2013;23(10):535-548. Hall-Flavin DK, Winner, JG, Allen JD, Jordan JJ, Nesheim RS, Snyder KA, Drews MS, Eisterhold LL, Biernacka JM, Mrazek DA. Using a pharmacogenomic algorithm to guide the treatment of depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2:e 172.

Winner JG, Carhart JM, Altar CA, Allen JD, Dechairo BM. A prospective, randomized double-blind study assessing the clinical impact of integrated pharmacogenomic testing for major depressive disorder. Discovery Med. 2013;16(89): 219-227.

Winner JG, Allen JD, Altar CA, Spahic-Mihajlovic A. Psychiatric pharmacogenomics predicts health resource utilization of outpatients with anxiety and depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2013;3:e300. doi:10. 1038/tp.2013.2

Psychology Today © 2018 Sussex Publishers, LLC


I will be posting something important about mental illness every day throughout the month of May on my blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Please keep visiting my blog My Loud Bipolar Whispers and look for statistics or other beneficial information related to mental illness to increase awareness, educate, reduce mental illness stigma and prevent suicides.

It is crucial and imperative for all of us to get involved and save lives.

So, please visit my blog every day, but especially every day throughout the month of May.

Mental illness awareness and education can save lives.

Opening the dialogue about mental illness can save lives.

Sharing your story can save lives. 

Please see my post about my new campaign titled, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.” I need your help and hope you will be interested in participating in my new campaign. Thank you for checking it out. 

Much love and many blessings. Hugs, Sue

Copyright © 2018 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

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MY NAME IS…………….
Written by Jolene Cannady  on May 21, 2018

Recently, I have had a friend who is struggling.  Perhaps they do not even realize they are a friend.  I tend to sit and listen to people when they need advice or a good ear.  I do not do it because I have to, but I do it because I love humanity and I have been down dark roads.  My friend is struggling, so today I wrote this post dedicated to them and to anyone else out there that is struggling.  My love goes out to you all.

My name is Jolene Cannady.  I am almost 43.  I am a rape survivor.  I am a PTSD and major depression survivor.  I am a suicide survivor.  During my journey with my dark friends, my nickname for PTSD and depression, I had three suicide attempts. Two of them I think were more attempts to be “happy and back to old me” because I took a ton of my anti-depressants; I thought that the more I took the happier I would be.  Funny how the brain works when you are in a dark place.  The last attempt though, that was a real one.  It was 14 years ago, and I took a bunch of my blood pressure medication, which led to the emergency room and charcoal.  My daughter was only about two-years-old at the time.  I used to be ashamed to talk about this.  I had people, even ones I loved, tell me “don’t tell people, don’t talk”.  I felt dirty, broken, hopeless.  Everyone around me appeared to be smiling and happy, I did not want to “bring them down” telling them my dark thoughts.  Mental health disorders create an environment of loneliness, one that those who have not walked their paths cannot understand.  Your mind tricks you into believing you are not worthy and no one cares.  You feel like the world would be better without you in it.  You feel shame.  It is a painful and lonely place.

Here I am now, a nurse practitioner who works beside Veterans and a student working toward my Doctor of Nursing Practice.  My research is focused on educating healthcare providers on mental health disorders and aiming to increase their comfort treating them, as well as decrease some of the stigma that exists in the realm of healthcare.  I survived.  Yet, there are always remnants.  Small pieces that remain and always will.  Recently, I tried to get my eyelashes tinted.  Did not happen, it required me having my eyes taped shut and lying down.  A vulnerable position that makes me feel very afraid.  This year I had to go for a breast biopsy.  The doctor who saw me the day before was a female and she said, “I will see you tomorrow”.  So, in I went the next day and a male doctor was present.  I had to go in a smaller room, be in a vulnerable position, and bare my breast to him for the biopsy.  Even though there were female technicians there I had an anxiety attack and had to do my deep breathing/counting out loud to get through that experience.   I almost passed out.  The technicians asked me what was wrong, and I said, “I am a rape survivor, this scenario is not good for me”.  I felt no shame in saying that, I was advocating for myself.  Younger me would never have spoken up.

Mental health disorders are difficult.  They are journeys with long paths, paths that curve in many directions.  The greatest gifts my journey brought me were true loved ones, strength, my voice, and the honor of working beside Veterans (they take me under their wings and treat me like one of their own).  So now I give you the opportunity to speak up.  Speak loudly and without shame.  Who are you? What mountains have you climbed?  I am Jolene and I am here for you.

© 2018 Bring Change to Mind.

Here is the link to Jolene Cannady‘s story and the BC2M blog page.

Jolene Cannady,
thank you for sharing your story with us.  You deserve much praise and honor. Your story is your glory. We celebrate you.  

If you want to share your story on my blog and join us on our campaign “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story,” please check out the post titled, Please Help Me With My New Campaign – “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” to learn the mission behind our campaign.

For suggestions and ideas about how to write your story and for directions on how to share your story on my blog, please visit the post titled A Revised Guide – How to Write and Share Your Story For “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.

Thank you in advance for participating and helping our cause of increasing awareness and educating about mental health and mental illness, reducing suicide and ending the stigma of mental illness.

We are on a mission to save lives.

We are on a mission

to improve the quality of people’s lives

who live with mental illness.

Thank you for being you.

Much love and hugs, Sue

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights reserved

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Benzos are the untold story and are turning into a very dangerous epidemic.

Benzos are the addictive medications we are not talking about yet. Benzos MUST be included in the same conversations as Opioids when talking about the dangerous medications that are contributing to substance abuse, addiction, dependency, death and suicide. They are not talking about the dangers of Benzos enough Yet, but trust me they will soon. The dangers and destruction from Benzo use is increasing rapidly.

Almost every suicide attempt or suicide by overdose involves Benzodiazepines as part of the lethal cocktail. What is the correlation? I believe Benzos are the weapon of mass destruction. Benzos are the invisible or hidden drugs that go under the radar but are actually the one of the main parts of the problematic equation.

Be part of the solution and NEVER take Benzodiazepines. 

Klonopin (Benzodiazepines) nearly killed me. Please stop taking Benzos or NEVER START THEM. I never want what happened to me to happen to ANYONE.

Much love and hugs, Sue 

Benzodiazepines: America’s ‘Other Prescription Drug Problem’

Written by  John Henning Schumann, April 26, 2018

Drew was in his early 30s. His medical history included alcohol abuse, but he had been sober for several months when he became my patient.

His previous doctor had given him a prescription for Ativan, or lorazepam, which is frequently used to allay tremors and seizures from alcohol withdrawal.

My first inclination was to wean him off the medication by lowering the dose and telling him to take it less frequently. But inertia is strong in medical care, and Drew prevailed upon me to continue providing lorazepam at his regular dose for another month while he solidified his situation with a new job.

The next time I heard about him was a couple of weeks later when a colleague read me Drew’s obituary in the local paper. There was no cause of death listed. But I knew he could have run into serious trouble if he had mixed alcohol or other drugs with his lorazepam.

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, a class of medicines known as sedative-hypnotics. They’re used frequently in the U.S. to treat anxiety and insomnia. Other drugs in the same category include Valium and Xanax.

The problem with benzos, as they’re also known, is that they’re highly addictive medications, both physically and psychologically. Abruptly stopping them can lead to withdrawal symptoms like the ones Drew hoped to avoid when he kicked alcohol.

Klonopin, my drug of choice or rather prescription medication is called K-pins on the street and sells for about $20.00 each. I honestly had patients I met in the psychiatric hospital that knew I was prescribed Klonopin try to become my friend just so they could trick me into giving them some of my Klonopin or even selling it to them. I never fell for it nor would I ever do that. I respected my doctor too much and plus I loved my Klonopin. I would never give my Klonopin up or give it away. I won’t even touch on the criminal consequences of giving other people prescription medications. 

Moreover, with long-term use, our metabolism adjusts to benzos. We need higher doses to achieve the same effects.

When taken regularly, benzos can have the unintended effect of impairing your ability to sleep without them. When used for anxiety, their disruption or withdrawal can lead to a wicked return of the symptoms they are intended to treat.

Because of their addictive potential, benzos are controlled substances, whose use is regulated and monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

With so much of our attention now understandably directed at the nation’s insatiable appetite for those other controlled substances — opioids — it’s no wonder that the dangers of benzodiazepine overuse haven’t drawn as much scrutiny.

But that is starting to change.

recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Our Other Prescription Drug Problem” highlights massive growth in the use and abuse of benzos in the U.S., including the fact that the number of deaths attributed to benzodiazepine overdose has risen sevenfold over the past two decades.

That’s not altogether surprising when you consider that the number of prescriptions written for benzodiazepines increased 67 percent to 13.5 million per year in 2013 from 8.1 million in 1999.

While death rates and prescriptions for opioids still substantially outnumber those for benzos, it’s combinations of the two types of drugs that are particularly fatal.

Three-quarters of deaths attributed to benzodiazepines also involve an opioid, resulting in a stern warning from the Food and Drug Administration in 2016 about the danger of combining the medicines.

Stanford psychiatrist Anna Lembke, lead author of the New England Journal of Medicine essay, calls our overprescribing and overconsumption of benzos a “hidden epidemic,” because it remains underpublicized in the glare of the opioid crisis. “Even if we get the opioid problem under control, the benzodiazepines will still be there,” she told me in an interview.

Her essay also mentions the growing problem of synthetic benzos manufactured in clandestine laboratories and sold on the Internet without FDA approval, doctors’ prescriptions or pharmacy oversight.

One such designer drug is called clonazolam: a chemical combination of clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax).

Clonazolam serves no medical purpose. It’s a chemical devised for recreational use and profit. But it’s a hundred to a thousand times more potent than our standard array of benzos, according to Lembke. This means its potential for overdose is substantially higher, too.

In another recent piece about benzos, author Maia Szalavitz points out that these medicines have exhibited explosive growth in use even without the marketing that brought opioids to the fore in the 1990s and early 2000s. Most benzos were already available as generics then and still are today — yet the numbers of prescriptions continue to grow.

Journalist Paula Span, who writes regularly about aging for The New York Times, published a recent feature about the widespread use and risks of benzos in the elderly, for whom they pose a particular danger.

The American Geriatrics Society lists benzos as “inappropriate” for use in the elderly, because of their potential for adverse drug interactions. In older people, benzos also heighten the risk of falls and can hamper memory.

Unfortunately, since the quality of sleep diminishes as we age, many Americans are prescribed benzos to help them doze.

As with Drew, I’ve had many other patients come to me already taking benzos prescribed by another doctor.

With the growing awareness of our nation’s opioid problem, many patients ask me to help them taper off opioids or not to start them in the first place.

I wish the same could be said for benzodiazepines.

John Henning Schumann is an internal medicine doctor and serves as president of the University of Oklahoma’s Tulsa campus. He also hosts Studio Tulsa: Medical Monday on KWGS Public Radio Tulsa, and is on Twitter @GlassHospital.


I will be posting something important about mental illness every day throughout the month of May on my blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Please keep visiting my blog My Loud Bipolar Whispers and look for statistics or other beneficial information related to mental illness to increase awareness, educate, reduce mental illness stigma and prevent suicides.

It is crucial and imperative for all of us to get involved and save lives.

So, please visit my blog every day, but especially every day throughout the month of May.

Mental illness awareness and education can save lives.

Opening the dialogue about mental illness can save lives.

Sharing your story can save lives. 

Please see my post about my new campaign titled, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.” I need your help and hope you will be interested in participating in my new campaign. Thank you for checking it out. 

Much love and many blessings. Hugs, Sue

Copyright © 2018 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

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My name is Amy Bleuel.

I am 31 and I struggle with Suicide

Life is full of trials that may bring a person to experience great pain or, if we’re lucky, bring us great joy. Those experiences, the good and the bad, are carried through life with us. To not only shape and change whom we are, but to also leave us with the lessons we have learned.

Growing up, for me, was one trial after another. I spent years wondering what I would eventually learn from my experiences and why I had to endure these things. At some points, I even wondered if there could be a way out.

From even a young age, I learned how to endure and to fight. At the age of 6, 2 years after my parents divorced, I chose to go live with my father and his new wife. Living with my father was great until my stepmother began abusing me physically, mentally and even emotionally. I endured her abuse until I was taken from my father and put into state custody. I remained there while I waited for my mother to come for me. This happened at the age of 8, marking the start of my journey into “the system”.

As a young child, I’d already experienced more pain than I even imagined possible. Going forward with my life was difficult because of the years I’d been abused. I’d been left with a tendency towards seeking unhealthy kinds of attention and a habit for choosing paths that weren’t beneficial for my life.

When I was 13, I was raped for the first time. Rather than being reassured and comforted after the assault, I was held responsible for a crime I did not commit and put back into the system. The next five years of my life were spent in darkness and total solitude. I was even heavily medicated with drugs used to treat mental illnesses despite never being diagnosed with one at the time. I fell victim to self-injuring behavior more than once and, on a number of occasions, even attempted to take my life.

I had little to no respect for myself and I felt that I was worthless. The people around me, especially those who were supposed to love me, never showed me that I was worth the very air I breathed. Their attitude towards me became my attitude about me and the mentality through which I viewed myself.

At the age of 18, I lost my father to suicide. I had been at a low point for quite some time, but this brought more pain to my life than anything I had ever experienced. With that pain lingering in the shadows, I was sent off to begin my life as an adult. I was fresh out of the system and completely unaware of where or how to begin my life as an adult, so at that point, after 5 years of not being in school, I obtained my HSED and went off to college.

Beginning college brought an entirely new set of trials to my life. I started experimenting with drugs, which led me to abuse prescription painkillers. I also struggled greatly with depression during that period, which reflected very poorly on my performance in school. It was during my first couple of years in college that I was raped two more times and, at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, I experienced the loss of my unborn child.

Throughout my life, through the good times and the bad, I held closely to my faith in God. There were times that I wavered in my Faith and wondered why I had to experience such pain and times when I wondered how could a God of love allow me to go through this?

Meeting my husband was the turning point in my life. For the first time, I experienced true love and I was, finally, able to start healing. It was through this journey that I embraced my calling and set out to help others who felt they were less than their true worth. I knew I wanted to impact the world and to make a difference, which is how Project Semicolon began.

It is the love of my Savior that empowered me to make a difference and to love the world with a Christ-like love even when the world hadn’t loved me. It is only through God that I am here to tell you my story and empower you all to continue yours. Without His love and grace I know that my story would never have been told. I hope that you all know that you are loved and that you are worth saving. My story isn’t over yet, neither is yours.

Stay Strong; Love Endlessly; Change Lives

Sadly Amy Bleuel died by suicide on March 31, 2017

Amy is the founder of Project Semicolon. She made a huge a difference and positive impact in the lives of many.

She opened up the conversation about suicide prevention and mental illness. She helped reduce the stigma of mental illness and suicide by sharing her story and encouraging others to live and share their stories.

RIP Amy Bleuel. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

PROJECT SEMICOLON’S MISSION

Within the belief that suicide is generally preventable, the mission of Project Semicolon is to help reduce the incidents of suicide in the world through connected community and greater access to information and resources.

We believe that suicide prevention is the collective responsibility of each and every person on the planet.

  • 75% of suicide victims share their plans – I have many times…
  • 90% of suicides are diagnosable and treatable – hopefully
  • 22 daily suicides are Veterans of the U.S. Military – that saddens me greatly

Project Semicolon is an organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide. Our work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. Through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, we know we can save lives.

Project Semicolon is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by our Board of Directors and operating under the nonprofit laws of the State of Colorado. Project Semicolon works at the international, national, state and local levels to prevent suicide using a public health model in suicide prevention; concentrating its efforts on education and awareness.  Project Semicolon operates by the guidelines published in the Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Prevent Suicide (1999) and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2012). Over the years, Project Semicolon’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers have included survivors who bring a special affinity for suicide prevention, along with other skills, to ensure organizational growth, development and effective management and operational talents to the agency.

© 2017 – Project Semicolon | Mental Health Community

I have been thinking about getting a semicolon tattoo. I would also like to add beautiful butterfly wings on each side of the semicolon. The semicolon would be the body of the butterfly. The butterfly represents that I can transform myself and my life into something beautiful.
The semicolon represents that my life is not over yet. The semicolon is the symbol that reminds me of all the living I  have yet to live. The semicolon tattoo would remind me what could have been as I am a suicide survivor. God saved my life for a reason so I must keep living. I have a lot of living to do and a lot of lost time to make up. I am ready to not only live, but thrive.
I know tattoos are expensive, so right now I can’t afford to get one, but hopefully soon.

I want others to notice my tattoo and ask about It. I will proudly tell everyone what the semicolon represents and why I have this tattoo. I will not be ashamed to say what it is for. I will be very proud to say I am a suicide attempt survivor and a bipolar survivor and…

I am not ashamed!

Amy Bleuel
Thank you for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us.  You deserve much praise and honor. Your story is your glory. We celebrate you.   RIP Amy Bleuel

If you want to share your story on my blog and join us on our campaign “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story,” please check out the post titled, Please Help Me With My New Campaign – “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” to learn the mission behind our campaign.

For suggestions and ideas about how to write your story and for directions on how to share your story on my blog, please visit the post titled A Revised Guide – How to Write and Share Your Story For “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.

Thank you in advance for participating and helping our cause of increasing awareness and educating about mental health and mental illness, reducing suicide and ending the stigma of mental illness.

We are on a mission to save lives.

We are on a mission

to improve the quality of people’s lives

who live with mental illness.

Thank you for being you.

Much love and hugs, Sue

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights reserved

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Bring Change to Mind is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.

Actress & activist Glenn Close co-founded Bring Change to Mind in 2010 after her sister, Jessie Close, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her nephew, Calen Pick, with schizoaffective disorder.

Every individual who speaks out inspires another. And another. That’s how we’ll end the stigma around mental illness. That’s how we’ll Bring Change to Mind…

Get The Facts

One of the best ways you can help someone with mental illness is by understanding what it is – and what it isn’t. After all, myths about mental illnesses contribute to stigma, which in turn prevents those who are living with one from seeking help.

Bring Change to Mind – Guiding Principles and Beliefs

  1. Start the Conversation – Opening a dialogue about mental illness builds the awareness, understanding, and empathy necessary to inspire the action, structural change, and the creation of new norms which end stigma and discrimination.
  2. Amplify Voices – Our role is to give a voice to others, as their experiences and stories can transform feelings of isolation and despair into feelings of community and hope. These stories will open hearts and minds and change fear and stigma toward people living with mental illness into compassion and support for their journey ahead.
  3. Be an Ally – We are a trusted ally in the conversation about mental illness and openly collaborate with other mental health professionals, academics, resources and advocates to grow this consequential movement.
  4. Empower the Future – The foundation of broad awareness will be built by deeply engaged change agents, such as young people touched by mental illness and motivated to improve the lives of others.
  5. Support Science – Science and evidence-based action is essential to achieving our mission. Therefore, we ground our work in the latest research, which we evaluate for effectiveness then share with confidence.
  6. Fight for Human Rights – Our work is about saving lives, reducing suffering, and ensuring that people living with a mental illness are able to pursue their human potential with dignity, full civil rights, appropriate healthcare, and unbridled access to life’s opportunities.

Choose Your Words (It is Important)

  • When we say someone is “crazy” or “that’s totally mental” we’re perpetuating stereotypes.
  • Eliminate the phrase “suffers from mental illness”. Instead, choose, “lives with mental illness” or “is affected by mental illness”.
  • When we say a person is “schizophrenic,” we make their mental illness fully define their complete identity. Instead, be clear that this is a disease that individuals manage and live with, e.g. “he is living with schizophrenia”.
  • There are many phrases and terms; “crazy,” “nuts”, “psycho”, “schiz”, “retard” and “lunatic” that may seem insignificant, but really aren’t.

While there may be times when it is too challenging or simply not possible to politely correct someone else’s insensitive use of language, you can always watch your own.

The very first time I saw this video I was in the psychiatric hospital and a Recreational Health Professional wanted me to see this powerful video and showed me it. For some reason, this video touched me and impacted me in a very strong and positive way and brought tears to my eyes, happy emotion filled tears. At that fragile, vulnerable, sorrowful period in my life, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that maybe, just may people really do care. There was hope. There is hope…

In August of 2009, Grand Central Station became the setting for a massive production, Bring Change 2 Mind’s first Public Service Announcement. Hundreds of principals and extras proudly wore their BC2M t-shirts and started the mental health conversation in the midst of this massive transportation hub. Ron Howard lent his extraordinary talent in directing the spot, and John Mayer donated his song, “Say” as the musical backdrop.

I love this video. Since it has been made the statistics for mental illness have changed. It is now 1 in 5 people have mental illness instead of 1 in 6 as this video states. This video is very powerful and is one of my favorites. For some reason this video makes me emotional. I think it is because it was one of the first videos I ever saw of this kind. It made me realize that people do care and that there is hope. I saw this video for the first time during one of my many psychiatric hospital stays. I hope you enjoy it.  ~Love, Sue

“Grand Central Terminal: 60” Video

Grand Central Terminal :60 - YouTube

Visit http://www.BringChange2Mind.org for more information on how you can help combat the stigma around mental health.

Start the Conversation within your own community…

Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M) launches its second national anti-stigma campaign, Schizo, in May 2013. Featuring the Co-Founder of BC2M Glenn Close, her sister Jessie and her nephew Calen, the PSA has been shown in scientific survey’s to reduce stigmatizing attitudes towards those living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

“Schizo” Video

Schizo :60 (Bring Change 2 Mind's Second PSA) - YouTube

For more information on Bring Change 2 Mind and its mission to end stigma and discrimination, please visit, bringchange2mind.org and join our community http://www.facebook.com/BringChange2Mind.

http://bringchange2mind.org/

Bring Change to Mind – Let’s Talk Mental Health


I will be posting something important about mental illness every day throughout the month of May on my blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Please keep visiting my blog My Loud Bipolar Whispers and look for statistics or other beneficial information related to mental illness to increase awareness, educate, reduce mental illness stigma and prevent suicides.

It is crucial and imperative for all of us to get involved and save lives.

So, please visit my blog every day, but especially every day throughout the month of May.

Mental illness awareness and education can save lives.

Opening the dialogue about mental illness can save lives.

Sharing your story can save lives. 

Please see my post about my new campaign titled, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.” I need your help and hope you will be interested in participating in my new campaign. Thank you for checking it out. 

Much love and many blessings. Hugs, Sue

Copyright © 2018 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

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