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Monday, September 19, 2016

10 Common Warning Signs if Mental Illness

10 Common Warning Signs if Mental Illness
Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness





1.   Excessive worrying or fear.

2.   Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable "highs" or feelings of euphoria.

3.   Avoiding friends and social activities

4.   Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired or low energy.

5.   Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite.

6.   Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs.

7.   Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes such as headaches, stomach aches or
      vague ongoing "aches and pains."

8.   An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance.

9.   Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger.

10. Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning. 







Friday, September 2, 2016

Urban Justice Center - Mental Health Project - Open Mic




Please pass along anyone whom you feel 
can benefit.

I have attended these open mic night events.
awesome experience.

Thank You




Monday, August 29, 2016

HIV and Depression






Depression is a syndrome, a combination of emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms portrayed by sadness, loss of pleasure, loss of self-esteem and sometimes difficulty functioning.  If you are experiencing these problems and they persist overtime, cause you suffering, interfere with pleasure and work on a daily basis, you may have clinical depression.

Clinical depression or major depression "More than 19 million Americans suffer from clinical depression each year ."  If you feel depressed most of the day, a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships, find yourself withdrawing from others, fatigue...loss of energy. trouble concentrating, problems remembering to take your HIV medications, problems sleeping, talk to your provider as you may need a physiological evaluation.

Major depression, clinical depression is treatable with medication.  Once medicated the symptoms will cease allowing you to get better, feel better and get on the road to recovery, medication is crucial for this to happen.

Serious mental illness includes diagnoses which typically involve psychosis (losing touch with reality or experiencing delusions) or high levels of care, and which may require hospital treatment. Here we look at two of the most common severe mental illnesses: schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (or manic depression).

From my website facts page you will find statistics on major depression, serious mental illness and HIV, also please visit the resources page with listings in all fifty states.

Today, nineteen years later, on two cocktails I'm back working part-time, living in affordable housing, my SMI (bipolar disorder) is in check.  This can be you, again talk to your provider.




RESOURCES:

8 dimensions of wellness






































Friday, July 15, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rebuilding Your Life After A Manic Episode



Reprinted by Permission of BP Hope Magazine
See my own feature in BP Hope Magazine  This Is Me


Damage Control: Rebuilding Your Life After a Manic Episode


Fixing relationships with those you may have hurt during a mood episode is never easy, but believe me: it is possible. And you can!

bipolar-mood-episode-rebuild

By Julie Fast

Many of us with bipolar disorder make terrible decisions when we are ill, and rebuilding our lives afterward is naturally overwhelming—especially after a massive episode, when extreme mania and psychosis might have put you in the hospital, or jail (or both). Talking with creditors, school, work, and those you may have hurt is never easy, but I can say from personal experience that life can be even better than it was before if you face the rebuilding head-on, no matter how much it might hurt.
Bipolar is such a selfish illness: My depressionmy suicide attempt, my massive manic episode. But if your own personal experience is your sole focus, rebuilding will be tough. I learned this the hard way. I lost husbands, careers, friends, and a whole lot of money because of bipolar episodes. I cried, complained, and told anyone who would listen, “No one understands my pain!” This went on for years. The day I finally turned the focus off myself and onto other people and their needs, my life changed for the better.
The day I finally turned the focus off myself and onto other people and their needs, my life changed for the better.
Massive episodes—like the time I dumped my partner and took off for China on my own with basically no money—deeply affect the people around you, and it takes a lot for them to get over it. Expanding your vision to think about what other people in your life went through when you were ill and what they need during your rebuilding is critical. Even if you’re feeling fragile or ashamed, opening yourself up to the experiences of others and letting them know that you understand their perceptions can make all the difference. Here’s an example of what you can say to loved ones if bipolar just threw your life—and as a result, theirs—upside down:
I’m tired and worn out from these mood swings. I have no idea how I’m going to get through this, but I want you to know that I’m going to give it all I have. I have a diagnosis now and some answers. I know you went through something as well, and I promise that when I’m feeling better, we can explore how it was for you and what I can do to make things better. For now, I could use your help in getting this illness under control. I am thinking of you and your needs as well as my own.
Rebuilding a professional relationship takes guts, when all you want to do is hide under the nearest rock and stay there. Here’s an example of what you can say if you’re trying to salvage a career after a particularly nasty episode. Once again, acknowledge what it was like for the other person and put yourself in their shoes:
I know that my illness and the behavior it caused was very hard on you. I left work in a way that was probably confusing and very upsetting. I said things no one would choose to say to someone in a business setting. I finally have answers for why this happened, and I am open to any questions you may have. Please know that I understand that it’s now my job to keep myself well, and I have a plan in place to make sure this happens. I would like to talk with you about how we might work together in the future if I can show you through my actions that I’m getting the help I need.
In terms of relationships, especially with family and partners, people want and need—and deserve—to know how you’re going to take care of yourself when you say you want to rebuild your life. For myself, I watch my lifestyle closely, especially regarding sleep and relationships, and I understand my triggers and avoid them.
Saying the right things matters, but unless words are accompanied by action, people will tend to stay away. Whether you were just diagnosed or you need to rebuild once again, be bold and approach this with your head high. Build your self-awareness, and also your consideration of others. A life that seemed destroyed by bipolar can become a life where people want to work and be with you because you know who you are, what you need, and how to take care of yourself. This is your gift to the world, built out of your pain.

Printed as “Fast Talk: Damage Control,” Spring 2016

Please visit my site at www.bipolarbear.us

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How I Celebrated National HIV/AIDS Long Term Survivors Awareness Day




Sunday, June 5th is the third annual National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day. it was same date, the year 1981 of the first reported case of the disease, now none as AIDS.  This day raises awareness for people living with HIV, now 35 years later. It does this by opening up a conversation between ourselves,and our providers,in support groups, fellowships for those who are in recovery, also family and friends, and if you are open and accepted about your status, then from all walks of life. 

Sharing life stories and shared experiences around aging heals, it does this by normalizing your new diagnoses in that it’s not just you who had oral surgery, had to see a neurologist, had an abdominal ultra sound, gone to hospital for surgery and have had to disclosed my HIV status.   It’s not easy, but know it’s happening everyday as we’re growing older in the health care system that’s not the 95% gay clinic where you went for your quarterly labs decades ago.

I'm happy to share that today integrated care is being offered, that you are asked hows your mental health and visa-versa, as many are there for both my physical and mental health.  But now I'm outgrowing the comfort of an LGBT Clinic as I'm requiring specialists as I'm needing tests and treatments outside the clinic.  Thank God for the network of medical providers outside of the clinic who accept medicare and don't charge the 20% not covered, I'm able to receive the care I need.  

You see for me, I’m disabled living on SSDI, on Medicare,  and in public housing.  It’s here that I’ve learned from my three dozen Grandmothers, Aunts and Uncles,  all accepting of my being gay, my being HIV+, my being bipolar.   I learn from them and they learn from me, there lies the awareness.    



I call bingo, and this past week on May 30th I shared on the microphone, that as we say good-bye to mental health awareness month, this weekend I’m celebrating National HIV/AIDS Long Term Survivors Awareness Day.  What a joy at age 57 to be that open and accepted on so many levels, the common denominator is we are all aging and all are on Social Security Insurance or Social Security Disability Insurance, (SSI or SSDI).

I hope my day to day story has helped you see how I make it work for me, sharing your story heals.

Happy Birthday


RESOURCES:

Lets Kick Ass, AIDS Survivor Syndrome

Aging With HIV/AIDS
















Thursday, May 12, 2016

Better Then The Med's I Take




Better then the Med's I Take

Like the Title of his Blog, "the Peers Life" Please welcome a fellow Peer, a reader and new friend whom met while reading my Op-Ed re-print in the National Alliance on Mental Illness this past December 1st, 2015, Worlds AIDS Day.

Like I say when I receive emails from readers, "Better than the Medications I take," is why I'm a Consumer Advocate for mental health, HIV and substance abuse, raising awareness and eliminate the STIGMA of all three.
A tease from his Blog. "I’m an American/Australian man who has relocated from Lismore NSW Australia, a regional city centre to Tucson Arizona. I’m a recently Certified Peer Support Specialist. I volunteer at NAMI Southern Arizona providing NAMI program and information regarding mental health held at various resource fairs throughout Tucson. Prior to living in Tucson I left a wonderful mob of people called Grower’s. With the help of the GROW program I changed my life and I haven’t looked back yet. Thanks mates!"

Please welcome James Chapman, "The Peers Life"