Skip to main content

Mental Health Round-up

Recently, I've been noticing a lot of articles about mental health online. May is only a few weeks away, and it will be National Mental Health Awareness Month. Here's a round-up of some recent articles I enjoyed and wanted to share about this topic.


Why the World Needs the Mentally Different
This is a blog written by Glennon Doyle Melton, an author and speaker with a history of mental health illness herself. I admire her honesty and humor, and in this post she has a wonderful perspective on what those who are "mentally different" bring to the table. She says, "What we who are mentally different need is respect. We know we need help managing our mental differences, but what we ask for is a shift in your approach to helping us. Instead of coming at us with the desire to change us because we are inconvenient to the world- come at us with the desire to help us because we are important to the world. We want you to see that with a little help, we can be your prophets, healers, clergy, artists, and activists. Help us manage our fire, yes, but don't try to extinguish us."

In Sickness and In Mental Health
This is an audio episode of a program on NPR in New York called Death, Sex & Money. It features the story of a couple who were married for three years, when the wife started experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder. It chronicles her recovery and inpatient stays, as well as their decision to have a child. I appreciated the honesty of this couple who had no idea this was going to hit them a few years into marriage, and the openness in letting others see what their journey was like.


MLB Teams Nurture Players' Mental Health
Three teams in Major League Baseball hired sports psychologists or mental health coaches. For major league athletics, I am pleasantly surprised at their recognizing of the needs of the players on and off the field. So far the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and the Washington Nationals are the teams on the front lines of this new holistic approach.

Last but not least, I'm including a fluff article about Celebrity Quotes that will Change the Way You View Mental Illnesses. It includes a list of various celebrities who have faced mental illness in some way, which I feel will help decrease the stigma for all the people who admire them and think they have it all together. My favorite quote from this article is by John Green, a young adult author. "I take medication daily and have for many years. I also try to exercise a lot, because there's some evidence that exercise lessens the symptoms of anxiety, and I try to use the strategies that I've learned in cognitive behavioral therapy to cope with my illness. But it's a chronic illness and it hasn't, like, gone into remission or anything for me. It's something I live with, something that I've integrated into my life. And we all have to integrate stuff into our lives, whether it's mental illness or physical disability of whatever. There is hope. There is treatment.

Popular posts from this blog

The Long Shot

I don't even know where to begin as my head is still spinning with the news I received today.  So I'm just going to put it out into the ether:

Entyvio (vedolizumab), which I started for my Crohn's disease about 6 months ago, did what no other approach has:  cleared my eosinophilic esophagitis. 

But wait, isn't Entyvio a drug for inflammatory bowel disease?  Yes.

Is Eosinophilic Esophagitis a type of inflammatory bowel disease?  Nope.

Are IBD and EoE related at all?  As far as we know today, no.  There are very few overlapping cases.

So WTF happened?

Without getting into the biomechanics of a drug that's way over my pay grade in medical understanding, my gastroenterologist had a theory that the way Entyvio works would block the cascade of eosinophils (a part of your immune system, a type of white blood cell) through it's magical way of selectively keeping my immune system from attacking my digestive tract.

She was fucking right.

Since being diagnosed with EoE in ear…

Bubbles

I've been thinking a lot about how we live in an era of infinite access to infinite information (thanks, internet tubes!) yet we still fall into many of the well-established psychological laws, if we can call them that, of human behavior.  Don't worry, this isn't going to be some drawn out post on social psychology. Wikipedia is great for that.

I want to talk about bubbles.  Information bubbles, that is. And how each one of us lives in one to some extent, no matter how educated or enlightened we see ourselves to be. And even if we know we live in said bubble, it takes being shown information that directly conflicts with how you think things are, or should be, and the result is you feel kinda ew - the technical term for "ew" being cognitive dissonance.

I live in a bubble.

In my bubble is the world of academic medicine, academic health psychology, and a circle of psychologists dedicated to people living with chronic digestive illness.  I live in Chicago, a major me…

Everyone Can Fall Down the Rabbit Hole

A few months ago my 3 year old son uttered the words, "I hate you, mommy."  It was after I yelled at him for doing something wrong, which I've long forgotten what exactly the source of our exchange was. But I certainly can remember those words. I can hear them in my head if my brain decides, at random moments, to replay them.

My intellectual, clinical psychologist brain can explain this for days. He's 3, he doesn't know what he's saying, he learned the word hate somewhere else, presumably at preschool, as I discourage its free use in our house. He's using it to express his anger not his true feelings toward me because once he self-regulates (psychobabble for calms the F down) he tells me he loves me.  Blah blah blah.

Regardless of all that knowledge and shit I have from too much education, those words destroy me emotionally.  Maybe they hit me harder because of my profession because my head goes to all the subsequent pathology he'll surely go on to de…