Back in 1949 US Congress established Mental Health Awareness Month due to all the soldiers returning from World War II who were suffering from mental illnesses. However it wasn’t until 1980 that PTSD was recognized as a disorder and added to the DSM-III. And it wasn’t until years later that it was determined that PTSD could be attributed to any significant traumatic event and not just caused by experiences during a war.
The main character in my book is bipolar. I know a handful of people who struggle with this disorder. The appropriate medication and therapy are helpful. However there is a high incidence of people who stop taking meds and stop going for therapy when they begin to feel better. My character is one of those and it has led to other problems including substance abuse as well as failed relationships.
Post Covid, psychiatrists and psychologists are even more in demand. The pharmaceutical companies are enjoying a booming business. On the downside, the problem of homelessness has escalated and the crime rate has risen. Suicidal ideation has become more common and suicide attempts have increased. Sadly the suicide rate is also on the rise again.
The stigma of having a mental health condition is still there. A chemical imbalance in the brain is not viewed in the same way as a broken leg or hypertension or any other number of physical problems. The public still requires further education when it comes to matters of depression and anxiety. People often state that they don’t know what to say to people struggling with depression. Sometimes it’s not the words. It’s the actions that count. Let a person know that you care about them. That is certain to make a difference in their life.
Several years ago I experienced a major depression. While medication and therapy were helpful, a hug from a friend was just as important. You don’t want to go out for coffee today Karen? Fine. Then I’m bringing it to you. We’d often sit in silence but that didn’t matter. You cared enough to be by my side. How about if we go out for a drive? Amazing what a change in scenery can do.
Words can’t describe the incredible comfort I got from my dog. Koal would snuggle up with me for hours on end. He would amuse me when he played with a squeak toy or chased after a ball. Yes, animals are right up there when it comes to providing support when we are hurting. In all honesty, he was my major source of unconditional love at a very dark time in my life.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I encourage you to reach out to someone who is struggling. Knowing that someone cares will make all the difference in the world to that person.
I can’t believe that it’s Sunday again already. I just wrote a Sunday blog post a few minutes ago. But wait. That was last week’s. And it was a week ago.
Tomorrow is my birthday and it’s one of those where you leave one decade behind and enter a new one. People often refer to them as milestone birthdays. But I call every birthday a milestone.
The weather here in Washington has been a lot cooler than usual as well as being rainy and windy. Well, it does beat snow and my friends back in Mexico tell me they’re roasting in the heat.
Yesterday was interesting. The clouds allowed some sunshine to peak through so Christina and I headed for the community wide yard sale in Cashmere. Our biggest find was an oak armoire with lovely shelves and drawers and not even a hint of particle board. $5 well spent.
Back at home in the afternoon the rain finally poured down. I decided to spend my time doing research for one of my characters in my WIP. What’s App was the medium I used to chat with a friend in Mexico, a doctor from Calgary originally from England where she received her medical training. The topics wavered between bipolar 1 and atrial fibrillation. Heavy stuff.
Now where was I going with this post? Oh yes! Kreplach or perogies. I guess it really doesn’t matter what you call them. They are delicious.
I grew up with a Jewish background and they were kreplach. My Bobba had Russian roots and I can still envision her in the kitchen making them from scratch. I did it that way exactly once. Much easier to buy them frozen from Naleway or to head down to the nearest Ukrainian church where the ladies there offer homemade ones for sale on Friday afternoons. I also recall driving out to restaurants in rural communities where the Mennonite version was available.
But I’m far away from Manitoba now and here in Washington I’ve introduced several people to the frozen perogies I’ve found at Safeway or Albertsons. This afternoon I’ll be frying up some onions and getting out the sour cream. And ketchup. You heard me right. That’s a new twist for me. My friend Clairesse is coming over and she is one of the rare Washingtonians I know who enjoys perogies. She grew up on Camino Island and ate them with ketchup.
So there you have it. Call them what you like. Kreplach or perogies. Happy Sunday!
I was talking to one of my blogging friends the other day and somehow we got on the topic of why we blog. I originally started blogging as a way for my friends back home to come along with me on my travels and adventures. But it has evolved into more.
I write about whatever happens to come to mind, whatever I’m in the mood to write about. At the moment, mental health is very much on my mind. May is mental health awareness month. And one of the leading characters in my WIP is bipolar. I also have friends in Canada, Mexico and here in the USA who struggle with a bipolar disorder. Needless to say I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject lately.
No idea why but I started thinking about Carl Rogers and encounter groups. Anyone else out there remember encounter groups? They were a part of my life back in the late 60s, early 70s when I was studying psychology in college. Ah, yes, my Canadian friends. I used the word college instead of university. Next you’re going to accuse me of spending too much time in the USA.
Back to my character. At the moment he is in a psych ward, not the most pleasant place to be. After all the struggles he’s had throughout childhood and his early teenage years, the diagnosis has finally been made and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with him next.
My character has had issues with anger management all his life. It began with temper tantrums as a toddler. And then there was the stage where he held all his emotions bottled up inside. Then the volcano erupted. Mood swings became the norm. Is he headed toward full-blown narcissism and ultimately Alzheimers? Too predictable. A serial killer? Nope. Don’t like that one either. Oh well. I’m sure it will come to me eventually.
But I sure am enjoying writing fiction. It’s fun to let my imagination run wild. People beware. I’m finding inspiration in the most unlikely places.