Monday, September 20, 2010

"Badger Goes Mental Tips & Tricks For Living With Depression"

 Living with the depression axis of Bipolar or If you live with Depression alone can be a chore. I can easily find myself wanting to do little more than stay naked in bed all day and surf the internets between sleeping, smoking and eating fried foods. Medication can put most if not all of my symptoms on holiday in Mexico but while I am recovering there are tasks I discovered will keep me from now showering for days and eating my way through a 7-11 at 2 am.

  1. I must get up each day, that mean up not naked under my duvet with my netbook. Up means somewhat vertical.
  2. Clean my place and keep it clean. When I am sick I let my place go, this just feeds my depression or mania. I know straighten up every day in an attempt to create some kind of mental muscle memory.
  3. Get Dressed, yes putting on clean clothes will always make me want to go out or at least not crawl back into my fore mentioned duvet naked. 
  4. Go for a walk even if it is just for 10 minutes, why because I am not naked under my duvet or on top of it depending on the weather.

 these are just some things that work for me, I no longer use my computer from bed if my back can take it. My bed is for sleep not for twitter. I suffer insomnia which is common, so creating a work space that I use my computer at makes me feel somewhat productive.

 I know these are hard and or impossible when deep in your or my depression and I would be a asshole to tell anyone to do all these things when sick. Yet when in recovery or when you are starting to feel not quiet right this little things do make a difference.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Bipolar & BiSocial My Life Long Struggle"

 1983 a shy somewhat introverted boy, some who knew him would say emotionally troubled, but sweet changed. 1983 was a life changing year for me, after a couple of years of severely struggling emotionally, bouts of  of depression unnoticed for the out of control mania that left the people who cared for me shaking their collective heads wondering what went wrong with me. I attempted for the first time and as we all know not the last to take my own life. Lucky for me that the ceiling joist in my closet was not strong or I would not be sitting here right now. My parents sent me for a short quiet stay in hospital to see what was wrong with me. A doctor whom to this day because of my mania cannot remember much other than those clicky swinging metal ball thing on his desk diagnosed me as Bipolar 1 . At first everyone sighed a collective sigh knowing finally what was wrong with me, still it my parents in some ways lived in denial that what I had was organic something seen as a defect and soon I learned to hide.

  I became great at hiding my depression and to some degree my mania, I was involved in activites that mania would be seen as normal, listen to punk music got a mowhawk and found a place to fit in it seemed. I still never felt comfortable anywhere and still to this day in some ways I still do not. I keep people at a distance for many reasons, if you are not close I cannot emotionally hurt you and vice versa you cannot hurt me when you leave. This has developed into a separation anxiety and social anxiety. My life to me seemed easier if life was on my periphery only being touched gently.

 Allowing people in has happened when I emotionally trust someone I can let them in and it is about degrees and levels. This all seems to contradict my outward gregariousness and friendliness that most of you know or have witnessed. I am comfortable talking in public, at parties etc, yet it is in my outer rings and what you see is me I am just on the other side of the emotional fence. This can and has lead people to not know what to make of me, it springs what I project, " lack of trust". How could you trust me if I never let you in?

  Now here I am on the web, on twitter getting or trying to know people and letting them in my emotional living room. I write about my life pretty openly I have talked about my failures, personality flaws, mistakes and a whole barrel of other emotional detritus. I am not perfect nor am I evil, I make mistakes based on a mixture of emotional and behavior traits that I am now working on even if for years they were so personally painful and repugnant that I hid them from myself.

 As I strive to open myself up, be a better person and make amends for damage I have done I only ask that if you have seen the good in me and are willing to be patient with me, that the good things you have seen or maybe know will come into focus. Last week I admitted publicly that I had lied to a friend and that when I am stressed or ill. I knew by doing so that I would open myself up for any fallout that that may have. This was one of the hardest things I have every done knowing that it would make me look guilty for everything from kidnapping the Lindburg baby, to the popularity of Snooki. This is a burden that I must bear if I choose to become more mentally sound.

 I am fighting every moment not to disappear into my personal rabbit hole and  live my life alone with people just out of my reach. I do not want to I like people and frankly care about a lot of you. I am just learning how to do it all over again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Car 87 Where Are You, A Model for Mental Health Crisis Policing"

 In many cities around the world the mentally ill in crisis come into contact with Law Enforcement at sometime in their lives some repeatedly. At issue most police officers only receive 30 hours on average of mental health training. For the person in crisis and many already in a state of paranoia and or psychosis these ofter end in physical injury and sometimes death. For the Law Enforcement officers  frustration, feelings of helplessness and lack of education can lead to personal injury and personal psychological effects.

  Many people with illness have a mistrust of the police, because of perception and or previous contact, so what is a police department and health authority to do? well he in Vancouver, BC Canada we have Car 87 /88.

 Car 87 was started as a joint effort with the Vancouver Health Authority to put into service a patrol care specializing in Mental Health Crisis. The car is manned with a specially trained police officer and a specially trained nurse who wear plain clothes and responds to mental health crisis that may need law enforcement assistance. The cars both 87 / 88 can be dispatched by doctors or workers who are concerned that their client may be in immediate need of mental health assistance, finding people who have left hospital without permission or from other officer and 911 if there is reason to think the person involved may be in crisis.

 While the police may not be perfect in dealing daily with citizens struggling with mental illness Vancouver's Car 87/88 is a great model for other jurisdictions globally to make the interact with police and citizens with mental illness a safer more human experience. It also allows the person suffering to feel like they are getting care and not being harassed for being ill. In struggling neighborhoods foot patrolled community policing have also done well to reduce stigma that young officers may have as they get to know the people living in the community and interact with them daily.

 Stigma in Law Enforcement about people living with mental illness can be reduced by furtherer education education in the academies and continued education while serving. Mix that with services like Car 87/88 and we are on our way to making contact by police, courts, and people living with mental illness healthier.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Digital Side Show Freaks" Television's Exploitation of Mental Illness For Fun & Profit"

This To Sell This

Every Monday night the twitters is a buzz about A&E Networks "Hoarders" a show very loosely marketed as a mix of documentary / entertainment. In my opinion it is pure and simple exploitation of people with Mental Illness  for profit. The typical argument is that "it may help someone", or "It is educational" this is total bullshit. If it was educational they would talk about treatment and interview professionals. I know what News/Documentary style TV is I worked in it. "Hoarders" and it's older sibling "Intervention"  are watched for voyeuristic reasons by millions not so millions can help a aunt clean her 10 litter boxes. It shows people in their illness at their worst and they look for the worst cases they can and they are not slowing down. No longer are normal "Hoarders" enough during sweeps weeks and holidays A&E is pushing "Extreme Hoarders" on us, feeding our collective need to see people worse off than us.

  These people are above all Ill and at their worst and yes some are very odd and yes a lot are filthy but they are still people first and foremost. So you may watch this but what and when is it too much. Would you watch a show that shows anyone slowly dying of HIV-AIDS?  No most likely not.

 A&E which used to be "Arts & Entertainment" has turned into a digital side show, not much different from the old carnival ones. It seems people like oddities, hell I love oddities but the broadcasting of people in emotional pain, deep emotional pain is wrong, exploiting the mentally ill so you can sell more widgets is sick at best. Want a education about mental health or addiction, read a book, watch PBS or talk to a professional. Lets all stop feeding the monster of Stigma visa vie A&E.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Installment of "The Daily Badger"

As you know I am "The Badger: And instead of my bipolar posts I will post a badger and his or her personal story badger as seen through out my perversely twisted eyes & brain. So lets meet todays badger porn

"The Medicated Badger"

as you can see this little guy is enjoying the effects of some mind altering substance as \badgers usually are not rolling around looking happy they are usually scaring Jehovah witnesses and scientologists yet we see Vinny here seeing what do knows what a badger sees on drugs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Care & Feeding of Your Badger" Or "Why Friends Are Important to Someone With Mental Illness"

  By now most of you know I am back in hospital after a attempted suicide. I am safe but still fragile and working hard on getting better. One of the things that has given me strength are my friends, without their support and love my recovery would be much harder and somewhat empty.

 Friendships are very important to someone when they are ill and feel alone and undeserving of love and friendship. I am blown away at the support I have received, friends have visited, emailed, called and have taken me out. Some friends I have never met as they are from twitter or other social media and also their support is that of friends and has made a difference in my life. I am grateful, moved and emotional from all of everyone's support and good will.

It is not easy to be friends with someone who is Bipolar or any mental illness for that matter. We tend to leave a wake of personal destruction behind us in our journey. This is why for so long I chose to be alone, no one to hurt in my path, that loneliness sucked but it worked. Then I went and made friends in my community, and not only like them and respect them for who and what they are but I love them for the people they are and their endless capacity to love. And at the end of the all we really want is for some folks to love us.

 Yet here I am to say that I violated my closest friend and I's relationship and trust by lying to her and her family. I because of some crappy early family issues mixed with my bipolar will when stressed, afraid, over tired will lie and I lied to them. This may forever change our friendship and I hope we can still have a friendship after mine and mine alone actions. They have while being hurt been supportive and that makes me feel very good but I am still very sad for the damage that I have done. I am now working with a therapist on these issues and hope to soon be rid of them and to be a even healthier person.

 I am making a contract with all my friends that I will not lie to any of you and if I feel like i need to will tell you. I also am open and welcoming you all to call me on my shit.

Friendship is a two way street, you have all been so kind I feel I owe it to you all to be the best badger I can be and to be a person you can trust, rely on and to be worthy of your friendship and Love.