I was naïve to think that mental illness had nothing to do with me. My maternal grandmother had died by suicide following years of depression. My mother struggled with depression and social anxiety throughout her life. I myself had been diagnosed with depression and my teenage daughter as well.
I was conditioned to view my illness on a scale of “severe” to “less severe.” I was accustomed to doctors describing my condition based on how I was doing at that moment rather than where I was on my mental health journey.
How do you recognize the difference between a sad mood and depression? Would you know what to say or do if your child expressed suicidal thoughts?
When I first told the world I suffered from a major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, I miscalculated. I was angry at the time, and I didn’t realize it would actually have a positive impact on me and the people I represent.
Many people don’t know how to provide comfort or respond appropriately in times of need or crisis. Instead of listening and taking the time to provide a constructive response, they jump to conclusions. They say the first thing that comes to mind.
I don’t “look” like I have depression because we are encouraged to carry on as best we can given the circumstances. I don’t have any outward signs of my condition but this doesn’t make it any less real.
Recently I met someone who was late for an appointment, as she worked in a jail which had been on lock-down because an inmate hanged himself. “Another person in solitary confinement,” she said.
By Katherine Ponte, BA, JD, MBA, NYCPS-P, CPRP | Jan. 25, 2019 I was recently discussing coping strategies for my bipolar disorder with my psychiatrist. I was pressing him for new ways to cope. He told me that most of his other patients also tend to look for what to do—a new medication or treatment method—but it is just … Continue reading Coping With Mental Illness: What Not To Do
7/17/2018 It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that NAMI learned Fred Frese of Hudson, Ohio passed away last night. In recent months, Fred had been in failing health—a devastating demonstration of the toll medical co-morbidities can have on those with mental illness. Fred’s legacy within NAMI is enormous. He served two separate … Continue reading NAMI Mourns Fred Frese, Mental Health Champion