A Self Analysis of my Blogging Journey

Hey guys! Today’s post is going to be a reflective one! I am going to analyze my growth as a thinker in relationship to this blog.

When I started this blog, I thought I already knew everything about mental illnesses, because I have two. However, I was quickly proven wrong. I had to research more than I thought I would have, and had to go more in more depth than I normally would have. I had a decent understanding, but I definitely did not know everything. This blog was a learning process for both you and me, and I am thankful to have grown amongst you!

As I mentioned in my first blog post, my goals were to “educate you about mental illnesses and provide resources and materials to help #StopTheStigma”. Through my ten blog posts (I am not counting my shout-out post because that was not related to the topic at hand) I discussed many things. What mental illnesses are, and how stigmas are used in everyday language (such as using mental illnesses as adjectives, or clothing). What it means to be healthy and ways to be healthy. The empowerment of those with mental illnesses. What some think are necessary for those with mental illnesses (medication and hospitalization). What caused the stigmas of mental illnesses, and what will happen and continue to happen if these stigmas are not stopped. As a final post, a video of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver summarizing many of the ideas I discussed in this blog as a recap of most things discussed.

I think that I progressed as a blogger through this past month. I had so much freedom with my blog, but I wanted my audience to be informed on the subject at hand. In order to accomplish that, I used most of my blogs to explain what mental illnesses are, why it is important to stop the stigma on them, and why it is important to know all of this. My Stigma Saturdays were meant to be motivational and educational. I used many pictures and a few videos on my blog to drive home the ideas I was discussing.

Many of y’all would not know this, but I am currently in school to become a pharmacist. However, I do not want to be one who pushes drugs on people, especially those with mental illness. I have discussed this; if someone does not want to be medicated for their mental illness(es), by all means, I want them to go without medication.

When making this blog, I did have some difficulties. Finding videos that were not ableism or in some way discriminatory was my biggest challenge. Everyone has different emotions towards their illnesses, and I did not want to post something that had anything negative in it, or would hurt someone’s feelings. I tried to find enlightening posts—posts that visualized how mental illnesses feel to those who do not have mental illnesses. Again, that is difficult, because mental illnesses are a spectrum, and it is very subjective. Nobody feels the exact same way as somebody else. Basically, political correctness was my biggest challenge.

I am really proud of my blog. This was my first time blogging, and I had so much fun with it! I am especially proud that I got people from outside of my class to like my posts! I have followers from a few different countries that were reading my posts, and that made me excited, because it meant that I was engaging and y’all were engaged.

Thank you so much for your dedication, I have had so much fun blogging to y’all—

Medicated Normalcy♥

Advertisements

Stigma Saturday: Marketing Mental Illnesses

marketing mental illness

Why? Why do clothing companies think this is okay? Is this funny? Please, market on my mental illness, that is absolutely hilarious. *sigh* This is one fashion trend I just cannot get behind for a few reasons. To start, this is absolutely derogatory, and continues the stigma that mental illnesses are jokes and for attention. Do you see people wearing clothing that demeans physical illnesses? No? That is what I thought. It is things like this that perpetuate the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses. My illness is not a joke. I am valid. The Odyssey Online has a few more examples of offensive mental illness merchandise if you are looking for a few more examples.

Until next time, my Warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

Stigma Saturday: Last Week Tonight

Hello my warriors! Today I thought I would share and discuss this video:

If you are not familiar with Last Week Tonight, I highly encourage you to take 12 minutes to watch, at the very least, this one episode. John Oliver does a fantastic job discussing stigmas and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses through this video, but he introduces some humorous aspects to keep the subject from being too heavy.

John Oliver just finds the perfect combination of seriousness and humor, all while being informative. He discusses many of the different aspects of mental illnesses, such as where those with mental illnesses are placed, who talks about it and why, and ways to better help those who have mental illnesses.

I hope y’all enjoy! Until Thursday, my Warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

What is Implied if Stigma is not Eradicated?

Greetings friends! Today, I am going to write about what might happen if we can’t #StopTheStigma. The people who would be affected if the stigma does not stop would be those with mental illnesses, which is important because they are already dealing with a lot on their plate.

Self Stigma is when an individual believes in the stigma that surrounds them. Self-Stigma is dangerous, as it lowers self-esteem, makes individuals feel shameful about their illnesses, and they may eventually give up. Give up fighting the stigmas, give up caring about tasks, and give up finding help.

If one gives up finding help for their illnesses, it can hurt them in the long run. Being scared of judgement for an illness is a barrier in receiving proper medical help, and it is a cyclical process. They are tired of fighting their illness, decide to get help, but are scared of the repercussions of having a mental illness, scared of the doctors not taking them seriously, scared of what will be next, or scared of friends/family/coworkers reactions. Afraid of this, they may refuse to get help. Thus the cycle continues.

Never fall into self-stigma, for it is a monster in itself, and no one needs to fight mental illnesses alone. There are always people who care, and at the end of this post, I will be listing some hotline numbers to call if you ever need to speak with someone.

If the stigma is not ended, the general population remains ignorant to mental illnesses. Stigma locks in the misleading and incorrect ideas regarding those with mental illnesses, like “those with mental illnesses are just seeking attention”, or “she is faking her depression, anyone can just ‘snap out of it'”… the list goes on and on. So, if we do not #StopTheStigma, everyone will be affected.

We need education, and we need acceptance. Us with mental illnesses are not “dangerous” or “crazy”. We are people too, and we want to be treated as such!

I know this is a very heavy topic, but I am finished for today! Be on the lookout for my next post on Saturday! I love y’all, and till next time, my Warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

Theorizing the Stigmas Surrounding Mental Illness

Hey y’all, Medicated Normalcy here! Today, I am going to theorize about the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses, and discuss what may be a possible way to #StopTheStigma! The three main sides of stigma are those with mental illnesses, the general public, and lawmakers.

I believe that the stigma of mental illness originally became contentious due to a lack of understanding. The typical response to something you do not understand is to shun/ignore whatever it is. Thus, the stigma was born. Everybody and every culture views mental illness in different ways; some are more accepting, others less so.

The key to ending the stigma of mental illness is openness and discussions. Knowledge is the answer… knowledge and acceptance. As soon as we, as a people, stop believing that all those with mental illnesses are “different”, “unhuman”, or “not normal”, stigma will be eradicated. Nevertheless, we need to learn how to fight mental health stigma until it no longer exists, and NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) released an informative site that listed 9 ways to do just that!

The World Health Organization, (WHO) has said that:

“Many people with mental health problems choose not to engage or maintain contact with mental health services, due to stigma and discrimination.”

The day that mental illnesses can be talked about [to anyone] without any sense of judgment/discrimination is the day that we end the stigma of mental illnesses!

Until the 23rd, my Warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

Blog post Shout-Out!!!

Hey y’all, Medicated Normalcy over here!

This is an unscheduled post, but I wanted to take the time to show some of my favorite blogs some love! They are on quite different topics, but they all cover some interesting issues that we are facing today.

Have you heard about what is going on in Cherokee right now? My friend, BK at frostfit318 is covering this very serious, and personal, issue. It is important to be knowledgeable of all different cultures, and BK is doing a wonderful job explaining the current situation to those of us (like me) who did not have much previous knowledge on how Cherokee was ran! I highly recommend checking out what they are saying!

What do you know about the Darknet? No, it’s not a pitch-black website! Frostandfound has been doing some very interesting research concerning the darknet over at frostyandfrenchfries! They give us background information concerning the darknet, which is very nice for people like me who only vaguely knew what went on there. It is just such an interesting topic to me, and I love to learn new things, so if you also want to learn about the darknet, please go visit Frostandfound’s blog!!!

My last shout out goes to jperry2398 over at carolinaonourminds! They are covering the very controversial issue of the drinking culture of under-aged students at universities. No matter what your view is on what the legal age should be to drink alcohol, please go check out their blog. They are well researched and discuss a variety of alcohol-related topics. I have particularly enjoyed this blog, mostly because of how controversial this topic remains to be.

Anyways!!!

Thank you for allowing me to share with y’all some of my favorite blogs to keep up with, and if you have any recommendations for me, I would love to hear them!

Until the 21st, my Warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

Analyzing Medications and Hospitalization of Mental Illness Patients

Hey y’all, it’s Medicated Normalcy here, and I have a very analytical post about mental illnesses today! Bear with me here, it is a bit longer post than usual, but I believe you will find some really good information in here, as well as some very informative links!

Two posts ago, I defined what exactly constituted mental illnesses, but I will gladly give a brief overview again to those who have not yet read that post. Mental illnesses are “health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion, or behavior (or a combination of these three). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities”.

Today, I plan to discuss some of the arguments that regard mental illnesses; mainly medication and hospitalization. Regarding medicine, I will touch on: what it does, how many people take medication, who should be medicated, and why some people do not take it. I will also be discussing mental hospitals/institutions—its (questionable) past, who is admitted to them, what goes on inside, and the types of admittance. Mental hospitalization and medication often go hand-in-hand, which is why I am explaining both of them.

This post is to explain the arguments for/against medication, as well as the hospitalization of those with mental illnesses. It is important to understand how much choice an individual has regarding their illness, and at what point higher authorities such as doctors and law-enforcement officers decide to involuntarily medicate/hospitalize someone.

I believe that medication and hospitalization is the center of my topic regarding mental illnesses and their stigmas, because when asked to think about someone with mental illnesses, some people think that we are dangerous because of our diagnoses, and that we should be locked up and medicated. I want to break that stigma, and many more by thoroughly explaining what exactly medication and hospitalization does, and why they are not always necessary for those with mental illnesses.

Medication

Medication: a magical pill that makes everything okay, or a villainous pill that makes one dependent on drugs? Luckily, it is neither. Medication is used to help treat chemical imbalances in the brain which is what is believed to cause mental illnesses in most people. Mental Health America lists different types of medications that are used for mental illnesses and gives a bit of background information, including anti-psychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleeping pills, and stimulants.

According to Time, about 1/5 American adults take medication for mental illnesses. If you remember from my first blog post, about 1/4 Americans have mental illness(es), which means that there are around 16 million, or 1/20, Americans with mental illnesses that do not take medications. The Citizen Commission for Human Rights has a breakdown of how many of each types of medications are used and by which age-groups.

Not everyone needs to be medicated to perform “normally” in society . Medication is typically used because it helps stabilize the highs and the lows experienced, and make the difficult days more bearable. Those who feel they will benefit from the steadier emotions and wish to minimize the effects of their illness(es) take medication. But some believe that they can do just fine without medication, and that is a personal choice—no one can be forced to take medication if they do not want it. That is, unless there is an emergency. An emergency situation is defined as a situation in which you may cause harm to yourself or to others, in which case you will be medicated involuntarily. Rep. Tim Murphey (Pennsylvania) was trying to decrease the amount of say mentally ill people have on involuntary medication. He believes anyone with a severe mental illness should be medicated, regardless of how “dangerous” they may or may not be; but he was met with heavy resistance. There is a stigma that mentally ill people are prone to violence, when in fact, they are more often the victim of crimes. Those with mental illnesses are no more likely to provoke violence than any other person.

There are those (generally neutral or liberal-leaning) that believe that mental illness medication is over-prescribed. Instead of getting psychotherapy, primary practitioners give out prescriptions for medication, which usually contain side-effects. Some side-effects are the typical nausea and headaches, but others are more severe, like muscle spasms, metabolism changes, and risk of cardiac disorders. The over-prescription of medication may also be to benefit the pharmaceutical industry. In 2010, United States citizens spent over $16 billion on anti-psychotic medication, and more than $11 billion on antidepressants.

So, a question to take away is: why do some take medication while others do not? From personal experience, I take medication to make myself seem more normal to others (hence my screen name, Medicated Normalcy), because I do not want to appear to be abnormal. Here I am, bringing up normalcy again. If you can recall to my first blog post, I discussed what normalcy means to me, and how it is totally okay not to be normal. Yeah… sometimes, it is hard to follow your own advice. Regardless, wanting to be “normal” is one reason why some people do take medication. Other good reasons include wanting to feel more consistent with ones’ emotions, and the feeling of control over oneself.

Mental Hospitals

If an individual wishes to receive treatment for their mental illness(es), they may go to a psychiatric hospital voluntarily. There are instances where an individual may be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, and those cases include: if there is a serious likelihood that you will hurt yourself or someone else, or if your judgement is severely impaired and could worsen your condition and are in need of hospital care.

Mental/psychiatric hospitals have not always had the best treatments for mentally ill patients. Common practice then could be defined as torture nowadays. For example, hydrotherapy could mean anything from being strapped inside of a tub for hours to even days; getting pressurized water being shot at the patient; and even being wrapped up in ice-cold towels like a mummy. Other “treatments” include the tranquilizing chair, insulin-coma therapy, and lobotomies.

Today, you will not see such “treatments” being utilized at psychiatric hospitals. Instead, there are therapies that one can attend, such as group therapy or one-on-one therapy with a psychiatrist. There are times where one’s experience within a mental hospital is positive, and there are times where it is negative. Granted, the mental hospital system is not perfect, but it does have better conditions/treatments than they used to. It is unfortunate that the stigma that follows mental health can lead certain nurses to treat patients differently, like they (the patients) are not human enough. Luckily, that does not happen in all mental institutions, but it does happen enough to be an issue.

I know this was a long read, and if you made it this far, I thoroughly congratulate you! The length of this post makes up for the fact that my next blog post will not be until Tuesday, March 21st. I hope y’all can wait that long!

Until the 21st, my warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥