What defines being a blogger, specifically a mental health blogger? Must I write regularly or frequently? Must I always write about mental health? What if that is not my focus ALL the time? What if I’m so busy that living with bipolar disorder is not in the forefront of my mind? What if I’m overwhelmed by my life circumstances? What if I’m simply taking a break?
I’m not the most disciplined writer. Never been one for discipline; though, I do brush and floss my teeth every night. My house is a mess – dusty and cluttered. I bathe or shower (I prefer to bathe) at least once a week. (You are probably disgusted by this admission. I try not to move too much, so I don’t sweat and get stinky. Yes, I know I should exercise daily. And, eat better. Just because I know better, doesn’t mean I do better.)
NAMI Peer-to-Peer introduced me to the concept of mental health recovery and gave me HOPE. I volunteer as a Provider Education presenter and just trained to become an In Our Own Voice public speaker to share my story of mental health recovery.
NAMIWalks provides NAMI Orange County with 1/3 of their operating budget, enabling them to offer free mental health educational programs, meetings and support groups.
In commenting on a Des Moines radio show about Roberts’ dissension from the decision regarding same-sex marriage and his decision in favor of the Affordable Care Act, Huckabee said that Roberts, “apparently needs medication for schizophrenia.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) didn’t take too kindly to the attempt to use schizophrenia as a slur or to the mischaracterization of schizophrenia as involving a split personality, noting in a news release that
“Schizophrenia is a mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. It affects about 1% of Americans. The average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to early 20s for men and the late 20s to early 30s for women. It does not mean that a person has a ‘split’ or multiple personalities.”
In fact, the disorder associated with multiple personalities has a name, dissociative identity disorder. While the two can have overlap of some symptoms, including auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions are the primary symptom that characterize schizophrenia whereas two or more distinct personalities constitute the main feature of dissociative identity disorder.
The latter remains a controversial diagnosis and is thought to trace to extreme and often repeated traumatic experiences that lead the person with the condition to wall off the recollections of those experiences in a separate personality or personalities. It might be more common in girls and women than in males.
Schizophrenia, on the other hand, has a genetic component with a pretty high rate of co-occurrence in identical twins and is equally common in men and women. It can involve a lifelong need to manage delusions and hallucinations but violence is not, as seems to be a popular perception, a key feature. Suicide, however, is devastatingly common, and occurs at a rate of up to 10% of young men with schizophrenia.