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Showing posts from July, 2013

"Penny for Your Thoughts"

What exactly is stigma? Is it prejudice? They are connected, intertwined, that is for certain. Especially on the subject of mental illness. Sometimes it's subtle and sometimes it's not. Ever since I began speaking years ago about my own battles with depression, and now with this blog, I hear from people, strangers, colleagues, and friends, on a daily basis who are waging their own wars. Their personal stories, words of support for my own health, and encouragement for the work that I do to raise awareness on this topic are all so inspiring and rewarding to me. Whenever someone shares a piece of themselves with me, I become a bit stronger. I feel less alone on those particularly dark days and I learn about how others cope. Adding a few tips and tricks to my mental health tool kit is always good! There are many of us out there - one in five Canadians have been diagnosed or will be diagnosed with mental illness in their lifetime.  But most of us still aren't talking about it …

"Invincible Summer"

 “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
~ Albert Camus
Do you ever have that feeling that the universe is working against you? Maybe you woke up late, missed your bus, and when you got to work you realized that you left your lunch on the counter back at home. Don't you just hate those days?

Now imagine that you are fighting a debilitating illness. Depression alone is not so great on the best of days - feelings of isolation, despair, hopelessness, and sadness. Add to that some 'fun' factors such as fatigue, weight gain, and financial strain. It can make you feel like you are fighting a losing battle.

I seem to be making the slow journey back out of depression, for which I am overjoyed. At least, I would be overjoyed if I had the energy. Just when I thought my battle was almost over, a few new ones came along. Challenge number one? Overwhelming fatigue.

Yes, fatigue is a common symptom of depression. But this time for m…

"Accept Nothing Less"

We wish nothing more, but we will accept nothing less. Masters in our own house we must be, but our house is the whole of Canada.
Pierre Trudeau

Today is Canada Day and I am a staunchly proud Canadian. As I watch the reports on television of the uprisings and political unrest in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey or the stories about the abuse of women in India or even the fight (again!) for women's reproductive rights in the United States, I am so grateful. I am grateful that I had the sheer good fortune of being born in a democratic, somewhat socialist leaning nation, such as Canada.

I can go through a long list of things that I love about my country (butter tarts, the Canadian Rockies, Mr. Dressup) or why I am proud of it (Rick Hansen, women's rights, multi-culturalism) but I will narrow it down to two things that I read about this past week that pertain to mental health issues in Canada and the elimination of stigma.

First of all, there was the tragedy & devastation of the re…