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~Mental Health Monday Guestblog~

Posted Sep 20 2010 6:00am
Because of some family issues the guestblogger that was scheduled for today had to cancel at the last minute. We are currently re-scheduling for sometime in October. In the mean time I will share with you a guest blog entry I wrote for someone else last week

When Amber asked on Twitter if anyone was interested in writing a guest blog entry for her, I was interested right away. I have been blogging on and off since late 2007, took a long break and have been back full force on my own blog since March of this year. When I asked her what she would like me to write about her answer was ‘Something you’re passionate about’. Oh the choices that left me with!

Let me start at the beginning though and let me introduce myself. I am Kris, 27 years old, mom two two darling girls, married to L, and a full time employed work-at-home mom. I blog over at Our Journey Through Life and you can find me on twitter at @GermanInAlabama .

As I said, there are lots of issues I am passionate about: breastfeeding, hosting/being an exchange student, mental health awareness, … Out of those the issue I am most passionate about is mental health awareness. It is a topic I was relatively clueless about until life forced me to become educated on this topic. This happen gradually at first when my husband was diagnosed with depression and GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) around the time of the birth of our first daughter in November 2006. By October 2007 there was no way around educating myself on it more when L started slipping into his mental illness more and more to the point of being hospitalized for the first time after a serious psychotic breakdown.

At that point he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Finally things made sense. We had an answer to why he had been acting the way he had. It did not leave us with an instant solution (and even now 3 years later we are still working on it) but it gave us the key to start fixing things. One thing I soon realized though was how lonely I still felt. People didn’t and don’t generally like to take about mental illness. There is still so much stigma attached to it. It is kept hush-hush if there is someone in the family with depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia,… It’s the ‘crazy great-aunt’ one might have but finding someone willing to talk about a spouse, parent or sibling with anything mental health related can be very difficult. I realized that if I wanted support I needed to reach out to others.

That is how my blog was born. Earlier this year I finally decided to check out Twitter. Only because my job ‘made me do it’ since until then I had been kind of weary of it. After all, what good could 140 characters at a time do? I was proven wrong. It has turned out to be a never ending source of support, education and resources for me. One of this invaluable resources is the #mhsm chat . #mhsm stands for ‘Mental Health Social Media’. People from all over the world from all kinds of backgrounds meet there weekly at 7pm CST (check here for your time zone) to talk about various issues from Mental Health Week, to Suicide Prevention, to more personal issues like how to find and give support.

We would love to see you there! And I hope you come check out my blog and maybe you will even email me to share your Mental Health story on one of the Mental Health Monday guest blog spots.
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