mental health meds

Talking to my younger self
  • #Postitforward
  • Younger self: I'm going to stop taking my meds!
  • 28yr old me: Why?
  • Younger self: Because they are brain altering medications - they change my personality and who I am naturally. I want to see what I am like underneath it all, meet the REAL me, the organic me.
  • 28yr old me: Okay, but have you ever considered it's your mental illness that is "brain altering" and the medication actually helps balance out the chemicals in your brain that are affected by the illness - making you more your-REAL-self when you take them.
  • Younger self: ... No, I hadn't thought of that.
  • 28yr old me: Take your meds, you'll thank me.
Dealing With Stress Induced Illness During Vet School

When I was a youngin, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is a GI condition (constipation, diarrhea, bloating, painful abdomen, etc). that can be exacerbated by stress and trigger foods. Once I got through the initial (years and years) struggle of identifying my triggers, my IBS, like a latent virus, faded into the background. I rarely had any problems, and I was feeling like a normal, happy, healthy, peaceful human being. 

And then everything changed when vet school attacked. As exam upon exam rained down on me, I began to feel painful and bloated even when consuming my “safe” foods. And if anyone has experienced IBS, one painful bloating episode can leave you crying on the couch clutching your stomach all day. Or hurriedly running to the bathroom all day while fighting off excruciating cramps.. It’s a daily struggle, because there are stresses everywhere. Juggling 15 exams, bills, relationships, classes, sleep, and “me” time is hard.  And to be honest, clinical rotations hasn’t made it any better. There are new challenges, such as gulping down food at 4 am after my 18 hour shift, or trying to soothe my grumbling tummy as I face my insecurities about new procedures or retaining my knowledge base. Every day is just a new stress to add to my already sensitive GI system. 

And I wish I could sit here and say that I found the miracle cure and if you have a chronic illness, whether that be physical or mental, that you can heal it with ease while also juggling the constant pressure cooker that is school. But it’s not that simple. It’s hard. So hard I want to cry in frustration sometimes. 

However, with my IBS comes the persistence of working through this. I was never truly aware of my stresses (or stress relievers for that matter), until now. And now that I am equipped with that knowledge, It is slowly becoming manageable again, I am becoming a normal person again, no, a stronger person, and for that I am thankful. 

And with this comes help, from peers, from professors, and from professionals. I am not alone in this, and neither are you. An illness, whether it has physical or mental manifestations, is not going to make this journey easy for you. But you should know that regardless of what you are struggling with, you have resources to help you through, and that despite the lies that your illness is spewing to you, you are still capable of crossing that finish line. 

Depression for the mind is like cancer for the body. If you don’t fight it, it will eat you alive
—  Ani Owo
to my girls who have trouble in school

it might not surprise you to know that how mental illness is diagnosed is sexist.

most baselines for mental illnesses and the symptom criteria for diagnosis are based on studies of Caucasian males. this includes developmental disorders, like ADHD.

whether it’s a result of gender norms or of biology, girls with ADHD (all 3 types, including what was formerly called “ADD”) typically present symptoms differently than boys. for example: whereas boys might jump out of their seat and be very disruptive in class, girls might display hyperactivity through more subtle means, such as fidgeting and, especially, excessive or loud talking. once they get older, boys start having trouble completing assignments on time because, for example, at midnight on the night before it’s due, they’ll abandon a project to go to something else. girls, however, typically will not abandon projects - instead, they might just have a lot of trouble finishing them, or have a brand new idea for how to do the project at midnight, scrap everything and start all over. but they get it done - making it harder for teachers to notice they’re struggling.

because they’re often better at completing schoolwork and behaving in class than boys, the symptoms of ADHD often don’t catch up to girls until high school, college or early adulthood - when, suddenly, they cannot finish projects the night before and need to plan in advance/time manage - and they realize that they can’t.

i’m speaking here as a mental health worker and someone who has ADHD myself - if you’re a girl in high school or college who’s been struggling a lot, and that description rang true, consider a visit to a psychiatrist. you may have ADHD, and talk/medication therapies can actually change your life.

anonymous asked:

Just because you're vegan does not mean you have an eating disorder, eating disorders are mental health problems not ethical ones.

Just because you can read doesn’t mean you have good reading comprehension.

That’s not what I said. What I said was that many vegans have Orthorexia Nervosa, because Orthorexia Nervosa,  being an extreme and thus unhealthy obsession with only eating ‘clean’ foods due to a fear that everything else is dangerous/toxic, often leads people to be attracted to extreme vegan dieting.

Due to the very culture of ‘clean living/raw vegan dieting’ it is very appealing to someone developing O.N. and furthermore, the whole alt-med/natural foods only/vegan sphere of nutrition actually creates O.N. very easily due to being hotbeds of fearmongering and misinformation regarding the toxicity of foods/what can give you cancer, etc etc.

Again, I literally worked in mental health, studied alt med, worked again in two vegan establishments and created the curriculum for a raw vegan culinary/nutrition class AND prior to that had O.N. myselfI know wtf I’m talking about.


Combat Fatigue Irritability [1945]:

This vintage film touches the issue of combat disorders, irritable mood, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. This film presents the case of a Navy seaman suffering from combat fatigue. He is first shown at his duty station in the engine room of a ship, manipulating water pipe valves. The scene then shifts to a hospital ward; the sailor’s ship has been torpedoed and sunk. The patient has not suffered any physical wounds, but he is jumpy, nervous, combative, and short-tempered. He goes home on a 30-day leave, thinking all will be well once he is away from the hospital and the military. But he blows up at his family, walks the streets, gets drunk, and fights with his girlfriend. The only people he feels comfortable with are other servicemen home on leave. He becomes so distraught when hunting in the woods with his father that he is taken to a doctor and then sent back to the Navy hospital. He is aware now that he is ill and cannot cope with civilian or military life. Talking about his deep feelings and fears in individual and group therapy sessions helps the sailor recognize and deal with his problems. This film acquaints the patient suffering from combat exhaustion with the nature of his illness and the therapy necessary for recovery. Stars Gene Kelly.