The State of Mental Health in America 2016.

Mental Health America released their findings about the State of Mental Health in the United States.  These findings are for youths and adults.

I live in Georgia, and I’m really glad about the improvements that happened with mental health from last year to this year.  While they still really need a lot of work, there is some progress somewhat being made in some areas.

Anyway, take a look at this guys.

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/sites/default/files/2016%20MH%20in%20America%20FINAL.pdf

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An excerpt from an opinion of mine from Facebook.

I haven’t written in awhile, but I wanted to share this excerpt from Facebook that I posted.  I hope you all enjoy.

I’m going to go out on a limb with what I am about to say.

As someone who’s life has been affected with a mental illness, and has made great strides in living with it, I made a huge distinction the other day.

I remember during my worst depression cycle of this year back in April, I remember saying that everyone doesn’t recover from mental illness. Now, I was in a cycle that was like a serious black hole of despair for a good bit. I got fed up, which incidentally that led to the meteoric breakthroughs that lead me to tonight.

I actually am going to now explain what I couldn’t back then. This is something that, perhaps we all know about in one way or another in our lives, but it is something that is a recurring factor with anyone who struggles with mental illness.

It has to do with time. Mental illness impairs one’s ability to think in a myriad of ways. Therefore, it takes time away from someone. Those outbursts, the disorganized speech, those mood swings, that anxiety, they keep a person from producing in the real world, destroying relationships and property in the process.

Then, if things get severe enough, one goes to the hospitals, the prisons and what not. Losing more time because they did something that in the court of public opinion, they are monsters. Then they lose time from being in those facilities, and even more should they get out because the world is DRASTICALLY different to them.

Then comes the part where one has to make sense of all this, which costs them more time because coming back into the real world, they aren’t equipped with the capabilities to even function in this world that has changed so much. Poor comprehension, communication, and less opportunities are available to them. Most are stuck for a long time.

Some, no, most stay stuck. People with serious mental illness die 14 to 32 years younger than the general population. Take a look at what I just wrote again. Don’t you think, that it is a lot of time gone by the impact of mental illness on one’s life? I don’t mean years either. I MEAN DECADES OF A PERSON’S LIFE IS TAKEN AWAY BY MENTAL ILLNESS ON AVERAGE.

That is why it is that serious. Some people really are not strong enough to go through all that and come out stronger than they were before. My favorite author Haruki Murakami said, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

What I’m saying to you all who read this, is that not everyone is going to come out of that storm stronger. Some just kind of give up in a sense. Some people run from the storm of losing all that time and end up losing even more time. Maybe I got lucky because I never want to settle.

I do realize by writing these words, it sounds like a complete contradiction to what I do every weekday. However, I do believe in these words, because it is someone like me who could write these words and understand the struggles of mental illness from someone who has taken that time.

And, because I understand this, I can maybe work on something to make sure people who suffer don’t lose anymore time, so this world can see a lot more beautiful minds.

I haven’t posted in a long time, but there is something I would like to say.

I haven’t posted anything in a long time, but I want to say this:

I really do not like how anyone with a serious mental illness are being classified as.

The first thing that I learned when I became a CPS is that I am not “bipolar”, I’m Marques Brooks.

You see this not only in the mainstream media, but also you see it in a lot of the popular blogs, and with mental health professionals, doctors, family members….

We are people.  Not labels.

Just when is it okay to open up????

This is a portrait of Ned Vizzini. If you read a few posts back, this is the author of some teen novels. Most importantly, he is the author of, “It’s Kind of A Funny Story”. He also suffered from depression, and he also committed suicide just before New Year’s of last year.

He was an advocate for depression, and if you read a lot of his books, some tended to deal with depression. A lot of people would come up to him on book signings and speaking events and say how much just reading his books changed their lives. And even though there was an outpouring of this for him, in the end, he couldn’t deal with what was eating away with him inside.

I wanted to bring him up because there is something that really wanted to touch upon, but I really couldn’t until now. What happens to those who suffer from a mental health diagnosis, when you are in the point in your life when you are consistent with your treatments, and doing well with yourself, but you find yourself in sort of a limbo? What I mean by that is, what do you do when you everything you do is under a microscope, and any little thing you do could be a turning point into you either ending up in a hospital, or you ending up like a Mr. Vizzini?

I’ve been thinking about this question for a long time since I got hired at the day treatment program that I work at now. I look at the consumers that I serve, and then I take a look at myself. There is a big difference between where I am, and where the consumers are. Some of them, it’s like they don’t get it, and never will perhaps. Some are just fine with having just a place to come and get breakfast and lunch up to five days of week, and then just go to their proverbial personal care homes where they do nothing for themselves. For those like this, they are just fine with this. For others, they are soaking in every opportunity. Keeping their head down and making moves to better their lives despite having the diagnosis they may have. Then I look at myself who has pretty much entered a category that you see a lot of advocates, actors, singers, and other successful people have come into. The people in here all pretty much while they are probably famous or really popular, they have to really limit themselves and the behavior. One wrong publicity stunt or negative press coverage could mean tough times for their careers.

So that’s where I am. Over he past three months I’ve gotten a lot of offers from people out there who said if I need to talk, then they are there. Let me tell you as someone who is always living in recovery, this is extremely, and very difficult. The main reason, I feel like, is that as someone with a serious mental illness and who struggles with it very often, you have to decipher what is a character problem, and what is a problem that has to do with the symptoms of your diagnosis. This is a hidden thing that a lot of people don’t get from those who actually suffer and are prisoners of their symptoms, even those that are the family members, spouses, friends, or coworkers would not see, and even those in the medical model won’t even pay attention to on many occasions. There are a lot of instances where you just don’t know what you are feeling at the moment. Not to mention, that situations in where your flaws as a person are exploited can even trigger symptoms. I’ll give you an example.

A couple of weekends ago, my phone got stolen. Had it been a few years back, I would have beat myself up about it. Because I would have beat myself up about it, I would eventually get triggered into a deep depression. Because I would get triggered into a deep depression, I would eventually get into a crisis state. Now, it’s like I have to think about everything I say and do because one wrong move, and it is curtains for any progress I would have made at all.

It’s rough. And for those who suffer like I do periodically, You just don’t know what to do. Living with bipolar disorder for 17 years of my life, the way my symptoms affect my reality is that the cycles from a moderate hype, to a severe low becomes so overwhelming that I can’t function. For those with Schizophrenia, they hear and see things which distort their view on reality. For those with Borderline Personality Disorder, the inability to regulate their emotions causes them to do inexplicable things which destroy boundaries and relationships. But, when you are making a conscientious effort to get better, to recover in a way to where you are functioning just like one without one of these illnesses would, when is the time where you get to know yourself? When is the time where it isn’t just the symptoms, and when is it just you, the person.

That is why it is important to just be a human being. Yes, I do suffer from a serious mental illness. But it is just one part of me, the person. I would say that one big thing that has helped me out is to just be objective when I can…to look at everything with open eyes. I mean, let’s be honest, I am human, and I react to things just like any other person would. However, I think just because I do react, I don’t want to be looked at as some freak, or that monster, or that crazy person, or that psycho. That’s also why I don’t open up as much as I should, because of these things. This is also why a lot of my consumers do not open up to my coworkers or myself. They want to get away from the stigma from being a psycho person and find some type of routine or, “normal” in their life.

I think I can speak for a lot of people who suffer from serious mental illness when I say that when you first learn of your diagnosis, you understand that there is a part of you that will always say in the shape of the symptoms that you won’t get the same types of things that others will. I guess somehow that is partially false. If you don’t do the right things to keep your symptoms under control, and let them run amok, then yes, that will happen. But if you do the right things, things will happen, pieces get put together and such.

I guess it’s just when you do put these pieces together that I am struggling with. It’s like, you are damned if you and damned if you don’t. But I guess there’s one good counter to it: just to live. Somehow, though, I’ll find an answer, cause I do want a good life like anyone else, and I really want to help people. I guess what I’m trying to find is that when you find a little bit of success as someone living in recovery from a serious mental illness, when is it okay to just open up? Perhaps finding the answer to this, will prevent a lot of successful people, like a Ned Vizzini or a Robin Williams from suffering a cruel fate, and then help a lot more who aren’t as famous but struggling just as much.

Quick read on Mindfulness.

Quick read on Mindfulness.

I’ve been on the DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) form of treatment for quite sometime now.  Even though that it was primarily used to treat those with Borderline Personality Disorder, it has helped me very well in taking my coping skills to the next level.  

This article from TWLOHA slightly touches of the foundation of DBT, which is Mindfulness.  Think about taking a subject, and being able to just accept it.  You don’t have any reaction to it, thoughts, opinions, or anything of the like.  This something that is easy in saying.  This is hard to master, as I’m finding out.

I hope you enjoy the read!  I know that I said that I would have a big update post ready, but I got hired by my psychiatrist’s office!  Therefore, my time is stretched thin.  However, I will find some time to write about what has happened since that last huge post that I made!

A solid article about what stigma can do in terms of the mental health community.

A solid article about what stigma can do in terms of the mental health community.

Great read here.  I’m going to do my best to keep people aware of how many people suffer from mental illness around the world from here on out.

It’s really tough for a lot of us to really reach out to folks who suffer from these altering illnesses and for those who have to watch loved ones suffer.  I think it is time we get educated on this and let’s bring a whole new crop of people a new found hope that they wouldn’t find otherwise.