“Serious” Mental Illness

DeeDee newI’ve seen references to “serious” mental illness here and there. What the heck does that mean? Even Google can’t give me a clear answer. A fantastic blog post by Kaitlin Bell Barnett pretty well says everything I would have said about this topic. Rats. Now I have to come up with something more.

A point I’d like to specifically highlight is that most of the time, this term is reserved for illnesses that involve mania or psychosis: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. The National Institute on Mental Health uses a broader definition: Continue reading


Survival Tactics: Bipolar Disorder Edition

DeeDee newIn the first episode of this 2-part post on survival tactics, I went over a few things that I do to minimize the daily miseries of ADD. Today’s focus is on strategies for bipolar disorder, which is somewhat more tricky because the symptoms are more diverse and unpredictable.

Unlike ADD, which is a disorder that I literally struggle with every day, bipolar is something that comes and goes for me. It’s an issue much of the time, but not all of the time, so it’s harder to feel adequately prepared. Continue reading

Insomnia One, Drugs Zero

photo (6)Sleep eludes me tonight. 
I have taken the appropriate doses of the appropriate pharmaceutical cocktails, to no avail.  I know this feeling.
It is born of anxiety, of a tightening in the muscles at the back of my neck, and in my diaphragm, restricting my breathing.  I have to pay special attention to the jaw muscles so they don’t get stuck, Heaven forfend. Continue reading

Survival Tactics: ADD/ADHD Edition

DeeDee newMental illness sucks.

But life goes on, and on, and on, regardless of how I’m feeling from one day to the next. Some days are pretty darn good, others, not so much. Over the last 30 years, however, I’ve come up with some strategies that help me get by. I call them “survival tactics” and I’m pretty sure we all have our own collection of adaptive mechanisms that help us make it through the hard times. Continue reading

Awards And More Awards

RubySo, our lovely Manic Monday yesterday wrote a post honoring all of us here at Canvas with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  She, in turn, inspired me to write this up, to take care of a loose end and weave in a new strand.

So.  On the subject of awards, in January our own Tallulah “Lulu” Stark gave us a Versatile Blogger Award.  I honestly wasn’t sure how to handle that one, as there wasn’t much activity on Canvas around then, and hadn’t been for a while. Continue reading

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

MondayI nominated Canvas for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  This may sound a little odd because it’s a group blog with many different writers, each of whom contributes something unique and individual to the group.  But that’s exactly why I nominated Canvas: the individuality, creativity, and support found through this blog is inspiring.

I won’t put down seven random facts about me, but I will extend the nomination to each blogger and commenter in this community. Continue reading

High Functioning Mentally Ill

DeeDee new“High Functioning” is a term usually reserved for describing autistic people or others with developmental disorders who operate a bit better than expected, which unfortunately isn’t saying much. It’s also occasionally applied to mental illness and other learning disorders. As applies to ADD, which is technically a developmental disorder, I like the following quote that I turned up (I edited bad use of commas because it burns, it burns!) Continue reading

Got IBS? Check your meds.

photo (6)Statistics show that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis than the general population.   And of course that means pills.

The symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea (there is a form that includes constipation, but that’s not so relevant here).  The diarrhea can be so severe that a person could become housebound, or even incontinent. Continue reading