Featured post

To All The Blog For Mental Health Warriors Out There

Due to my health, I will no longer be able to curate this site. If Blog For Mental Health has served its true purpose, you don’t need me here anymore anyway. The 2015 Blogroll is up-to-date as of this writing, and you can use the wonderful community of bloggers listed there to make connections, and to find kindred spirits dealing with similar challenges. That’s always been the most important role of Blog For Mental Health, to connect individuals in a positive way to support one another.

I love you so very much,
Ruby

© Ruby Tuesday and The Official Blog For Mental Health Project 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and The Official Blog For Mental Health Project with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Featured post

Blog For Mental Health 2015

Due to my health, I will no longer be able to curate this site. If Blog For Mental Health has served its true purpose, you don’t need me here anymore anyway. The 2015 Blogroll is up-to-date as of this writing, and you can use the wonderful community of bloggers listed there to make connections, and to find kindred spirits dealing with similar challenges. That’s always been the most important role of Blog For Mental Health, to connect individuals in a positive way to support one another.

Show of hands, how many had given me and Blog For Mental Health 2015 up for lost? Be honest now, I can’t see your hands from here!😉

Well, whether you had or had not (and don’t feel badly if you had, I honestly had moments when I wondered myself), I’m happy to end the suspense for you right now by officially launching. . .

art by Piper Macenzie

Blog For Mental Health 2015 badge by Piper Macenzie

A Very Short History Of BFMH:  In 2012, my A Canvas Of The Minds co-founder and dear friend Lulu had a spectacular idea.

I found myself interested in an official blogging project to raise awareness for mental health education. I sifted through Google for awhile, unable to find anything like it. And I thought, “Why don’t I start one?” It would be easy! All I would need to do is produce a graphic and some instructions.

Being a woman of action, Lulu did just that.  In 2013 she allowed me to launch the project through Canvas, and last year this very site you’re visiting now, The Official Blog For Mental Health Project, was developed to handle the campaign as a venture all its own.

The purpose of Blog For Mental Health is to share our stories, educate, eradicate stigma, let those suffering know they are not alone, raise our voices, dispel misconceptions. . .  You know, just your average change-the-world-with-our-words kind of thing.

So How Do I Become A Part Of Blog For Mental Health 2015?

First, all you must do is write a post.  It’s that simple. The post should include the following four items:

1.  The BFMH pledge, the words Lulu kicked this gig off with three years ago:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

2.  The 2015 BFMH badge, pictured above.  You can put it in the post, on the sidebar, both, whatever you like.  The purpose of the graphic is to catch the attention of your site’s visitors and hopefully get them interested in participating, or at least spreading the word about the campaign.  Which brings me to. . .

3.  Please include a link to this post, or at least a link to the site (blogformentalhealth.com) in your pledge post!  This matters.  The whole idea is to raise awareness, that being the case, your readers need to be able to investigate BFMH further on their own, should they be interested.  The easiest was for them to do this is a source link!

4.  Please include in your post as little or as much as you would like about your experiences with mental health. This can be your own story, the impact of a loved one’s struggles, perhaps something you read or saw that really woke you up to the importance of addressing mental health.  Anything that has truly impacted you matters.  Essentially, we want to know what has drawn you to become a part of the Blog For Mental Health campaign.

There is no requisite number of posts you need to make in the year to “qualify”.  As many of your words and as much of your time as you can contribute, it’s enough.  A little can go a very long way in the fight to raise awareness, educate, show support, and eradicate stigma.

Once you have written your post:  Email the link to your specific Blog For Mental Health pledge post  to blogformentalhealth@gmail.com (just a link to your site itself is not what I need).  I am the only one with access to the account, in case you have privacy concerns.

If you have general questions, read through our Frequently Asked Questions page before emailing me privately — unless of course your question is of a private nature.  If you ask your question in the comments of that page, others may benefit.  As stated above, all emails are held in strictest confidence, no one sees them but me.

Once you have published your pledge post, and emailed me the linkI’ll get you listed on the Blog For Mental Health 2015 Official Blogroll, both on this site and on Canvas.  I’ll also share your voice through our social media channels, and excerpts of your posts through this site.

If you like, include social media you are on (your Twitter handle, the URL of a facebook page for your blog [not your personal account], a link to your Google+ profile) that you would like connected with your post, if any.

You are invited to email additional links to future Blog For Mental Health posts you write throughout the year.  I’ll share these out during the year, though only your initial pledge post will be listed on the Blogroll.  There simply isn’t room to list all pieces there!

Two important disqualifiers:  I will not share posts that are abusive or malevolent (please click here for clarification).  That one shouldn’t have to be stated, but I discovered last year that in fact it did.

Also, there has been enormous growth in the number of spam and ad sites recently.  While I want awareness, I reserve the right to challenge and/or refuse any piece I suspect of being fraudulent or from a site primarily for monetary gain.  This includes individuals who may be self-employed and devote a great portion of their site to promoting paid services. When in doubt, ask: I only disallowed one site out of 268 for this reason last year!😉

Thanks, as always, for your patience, attention, and faith in this project.  Also for your belief that I’m actually going to get this ship out to sea.  That means the world and then some to me. ♥

Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of.  Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!

Further Blog For Mental Health Info:
Frequently Asked Questions
Take The Pledge
About Blog For Mental Health
Handy Links
Blog For Mental Health 2015 Official Blogroll

(Some pages and posts may be temporarily down while I update information.)

© Ruby Tuesday and The Official Blog For Mental Health Project 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and The Official Blog For Mental Health Project with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wild Currents

I’m easy to spot in a crowd. I’m the one with leash in hand and, I hope, a well mannered psychiatric service dog (PSD) trotting along at my side. I’ve had a service dog since 2008 and almost can’t remember what it’s like NOT to have a leash in my hand.

People will ask what the dog does and I must admit that while having the dog is a game changer for me, you aren’t likely to see her do much more than walk calmly at my side, sleep contentedly under my desk, restaurant table or beside my chair at the theater or concert. For me the dog is a game changer, she is helping me navigate change that must come from within. . .

I’ve come to think of the dog like dressing for my complicated and sometimes category five weather. She helps me shift the energy from talking about it to navigating it. She is in the trenches with me, she has my back, a silent sentinel helping me to confront my demons and navigate the challenges life puts in my path.

Read more of mschrysalis’ story. Visit Blog for Mental Health 2015 | Wild Currents.

imillnotcrazy

I have been blogging about my life with mental illness since last Autumn. Officially I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Depression and am also recovering from an Eating Disorder. I am currently undergoing testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD).

I blog anonymously about diagnosis, treatments, therapies, the individual aspects of my all-encompassing ‘mental illness’ and, sometimes, I just need to vent. I think that’s the most important thing here, my blog is MY OWN PRIVATE SPACE. I can write whatever I want without disturbing or upsetting the people I love.

Read the more of NERDFIGHTER83’s story. Visit Blog For MH 2015 | imillnotcrazy.

The Upside Down Chronicles

I have struggled with mental illness for the last five years. I have struggled with low mood, self harm, OCD, panic disorder, psychosis and disordered eating during this time and I have had enough! Mental illness is a nasty, manipulative thing. And the worst bit? People can be so unaware and insensitive about its very existence. I have been hospitalised since August 2014 and I write regularly about my experiences as both an inpatient and a CAMHS outpatient service user. I read somewhere that having a mental illness is like fighting in a war where the enemy’s main strategy is to convince you there is no war. I can’t think of anything more truthful. I’ve had friends and family worry about me sharing my story due to the stigma.

“What about employers?”

“Are you sure you want to share this?”

But how else will the stigma be beaten if no one is going to speak out?

I want to live in a world where people can have their mental illness treated and understood just like anyone with a physical illness can. I want workmen when entering inpatient units to not be nervous of the patients. I want mental health screening in schools to save lives. I want my friends to be seen as the warriors they truly are.

Read more of upsidedownchronicles’ story. Visit Why I am In: Blog for Mental Health 2015 | The Upside Down Chronicles.

Faith, Hope and Chocolate

In addition to this, I also pledge to be there for the bloggers I follow. I will read your posts and try to comment in an appropriate and supportive manner. I will care. And I will also then take you and your situation into Chapel and light a bunch of candles for you.

My mental health is currently mostly OK. I’m one of the lucky ones, because my mood is affected by my hormones, and by going on the Pill, that has balanced that out. I know I can’t stay on the Pill for ever, but for now it works. But I have also found that if I start the break for my period when I am in a retreat that is longer than a day, my mood will plummet. I am still a sensitive soul and someone snapping at me can easily upset me at times. However, I am learning how to get perspective and not take things too personally.

There seems to be a family history of depression and other mental health issues through my mother’s side of the family. As I said, I’m one of the lucky ones. And I pray that it will continue that way.

Read more of Faith’s story. Visit Time to Talk Day | Faith, Hope and Chocolate.

Borderline Functional

Being diagnosed with BPD gave me an unexpected sense of relief. I’ve endured a number of diagnoses throughout my many years of mental illness but never felt like they made complete sense compared to what I was feeling. Some of them were incorrect, some were only a piece of the puzzle. But looking into the vast depths and intricacies BPD contains I finally realised that there was a diagnosis that made sense. I finally felt that I wasn’t simply a massive f*ck up, that there was a explanation for why my mind acted the way it does. . .

The validation I’ve gotten from connecting with other people online who share my emotions, struggles and experiences with mental illness has brought me great comfort at times. What’s more, hearing from others who blog about their experiences continues to teach me about myself and my mental illness.

I find that blogging, venting, and turning to the mental health community helps me to process my thoughts and feelings in a different light. In addition, after years of feeling alone, I have found there is a community of acceptance, genuine care and generosity of spirit formed by others who struggle constantly with their own pain.

Read more of Aimee’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Heath 2015… And Blogging About My Mental Illness | Borderline Functional.

hbhatnagar

Depression is an ironic disease, you need people to help you through and you always think there’s no one to help you and maybe that’s true. Ok, that devolved into a more confusing rant than I started with.

I’ve been blogging my depression through posts and poems over the last two years. Most of what I was going through at any moment of time can be seen in those posts. Here I’d just like to mention people’s responses and reactions to me. Most of them have either turned a blind eye, the few who haven’t have blamed me or withdrawn. I don’t honestly blame them. I know how difficult it is to deal with someone with depression, almost as difficult as it is for the person to deal with his/her depression itself. For all those struggling to handle a depressive, please know that your efforts are not in vain. It’s a constant struggle and often you’ll find things going in the opposite direction, but if you can, hold on. It’s one of the most noble things you can do, even if you might not get the obligatory “thanks” every time. If you can’t, you’re not to blame either, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t for everyone. Not a very enlightening post, but I thought carers for depressives deserve a mention here as well. Hope there’s someone looking out for you out there!

Read more of HBHATNAGAR’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Health | hbhatnagar.

bpdvagabond

It is so exciting to see individuals spreading the word and doing their part to combat mental health stigma! My struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder has opened my eyes to the plights of others and inspired me to promote mental health education and change the way we as a society look at mental illness❤

Read more of nea1891’s story. Visit Blog for Mental Health 2015 | bpdvagabond.

Unsilenced

Because it sounds so much like what I do already, participating [in Blog For Mental Health] was an easy decision. I’m used to blogging on my lonesome, in isolation from the rest of the internet, so I look forward to being part of something bigger – allowing others to discover my blog, while discovering the blogs of many others who care deeply about mental health issues.

I know I often lose credibility due to my young age – sixteen – but I hope this will not be the case with BFMH. My struggles with my mental health go back to 2006, which was when I lived with what I realized was, in retrospect, an anxiety disorder. Fast forward to 2015 and I’ve been through a number of depressive episodes, which included self-injury and suicide attempts, among many other problems. I also know many people, friends and family members, who have had a wide variety of struggles as well.

Read more of UnsilencedHonesty’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Health 2015 | Unsilenced.

a super-human life

I have struggled with mental illness for nearly half my life. Over time I have fought battles with social anxiety, general anxiety, major depression, ptsd, anorexia, insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, and borderline personality disorder. I am still fighting many of these battles today. I have been in recovery for two years now and counting. Lots of therapy (CBT and DBT), hospitalizations, and medication have helped me greatly, but it was accepting that my weaknesses can be strengths is what helped me choose to turn my life around. I am very interested in what makes us human, and I believe that mental illness is something that does. I believe my mental illnesses are human qualities, but to the extreme. That is why I call my blog A Super-Human Life. We are extra human, super human. And I’m proud of that.

Read more of asuperhumanlife’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Health 2015 | a super-human life.

davidrothbauer

My followers, and those that know me personally know that I sometimes struggle with mental health issues and sometimes I talk about it here.

I’ve never regretted it when I have.

But often I won’t, for various reasons that are usually not good ones.

I will continue to do so, in hopes that someone who is struggling may read about my experience and realize that they are not alone.

Read more of David’s story. Visit Proud to Blog for Mental Health in 2015! | davidrothbauer.

Gray Clouds, Clear Skies

Since the [Major Depressive Disorder] diagnosis, I have ventured in and out of the valley of depression at least 6 times, perhaps more. The thing about depression is – the more episodes you have, the more episodes you will have. All through those years, I asked God to someday use this in my life for His glory. And He has – I’ve facilitated a depression support group at our church, I’ve told my story to the ladies at Women’s Bible Study on several occasions, and I’ve shared one-on-one about the struggle and victories in the battle against this illness. And now I’m blogging about it!

So after 7 years, I sometimes walk, sometimes stagger down the road to mental health, with MDD currently in remission. But it never goes away completely. It taunts me when events in my life are a mess. It threatens to take over my thoughts, to remind me of all of its promises – you are helpless, you are worthless, no one understands, stay by yourself, hide under the covers… all the lies that depression whispers in my ear.

My goal right now, as depression threatens to re-enter my currently chaotic life, is to recognize it if it comes and practice the techniques I’ve learned to keep it manageable until it passes. I need to remember that it does pass, ’cause it sure feels interminable in the midst of the darkness that surrounds me. I want to lean on Jesus, who has been with me every step of this journey, and on the promises that He will never leave me. I know I’m vulnerable – I’m headed towards another major adjustment in my life – moving across country – and I am trying so hard to not be afraid of what might happen.

Read more of Peggy’s story. Visit Blog For Mental Health 2015 Pledge – Gray Clouds, Clear Skies.