Schizophrenia is still deeply misunderstood, even though it affects 1 in 100 people. Today we’re launching new research revealing that 42% of people don’t know what schizophrenia is – but that they are willing to know more. Here at Rethink Mental Illness, we think it’s time to Rethink Schizophrenia.
We’ve created an audio experience to help people understand what it’s like to hear voices – one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia. Please watch, share and talk about this video to your friends and family – especially those less likely to know about this condition. Help us to challenge attitudes all of this week and beyond. Join us to campaign and changes lives for good. Visit https://www.rethink.org/rethinkschizophrenia
Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2017 is workplace wellbeing. So whether you’re an individual looking to boost your own wellbeing or an employer seeking advice on supporting your staff, we’ve got a range of ways you can get involved.
Take a deep breath
Learning to breathe more deeply can make you feel a lot calmer and increase your sense of wellbeing. Take five minutes to try out this simple breathing exercise. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can use this technique anywhere – at work, at home or on the bus or tube – anytime you feel your stress level rising or need a moment of calm.
Tips for staying well in everyday life and at work
Living with a mental health problem can often have an impact on day to day life, making things that others might not think about a bit more difficult. We’ve put together some tips and guides to help you cope with everyday life.
We’ve also got suggestions on how to stay well at work including reclaiming your lunch break, achieving that all elusive work-life balance and the five essential steps to improving wellbeing on a daily basis.
Texts cost £3 plus your standard network charge. Mind receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Supporter Services 020 8215 2243. We may contact you about our charity and ways that you can support us. To give £3 but opt out from any further contact by phone and text, reply ‘NOCALL’ to 70004.
Need help? We’re here for you.
Find out about support and treatment options and ways you might be able to help yourself or support others in our A to Z
“My wife has PTSD. She has a version called Complex PTSD. It’s when a person has had multiple traumatic experiences,” he said. “Her whole life, she’s been covering it, pretending it isn’t there. For whatever reason, in her 30s, it’s decided to really manifest itself and that’s what I’m going through with my family.”
Those who have PTSD know that covering up trauma doesn’t make it go away — and that it’s not uncommon for trauma from your past to affect you later in life. Flowers said getting into counseling and getting a name for what was going on helped his wife.
“Usually I feel protective of her but I decided to take it head-on,” he said. “Now she submits to it – that doesn’t mean that she’s gonna let it beat her, but rather that she’s gonna finally acknowledge that it’s there and promise to break this cycle.”
This was days b4 my husband took his own life.Suicidal thoughts were there,but you’d. Never kmow. #fuckdepression
The photo shows Chester surrounded by his children and smiling. He does not look “depressed” or the stereotype of what a suicidal person is “supposed to” look like. The thoughts were there, as Bennington said, but no one knew.
Since Chester’s death, Bennington has been incredibly active on Twitter, sharing tweets from others talking about Chester and using hashtags like #FuckDepression and #MakeChesterProud. The later hashtag was started by Chester’s Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda, who was inspired by a similar hashtag created by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, after her husband died.
“Do something great / kind / generous to #MakeChesterProud,” Shinoda tweeted, inviting fans to honor Chester’s memory with kind acts.
Bennington’s first message came a week after Chester’s death. In a letter to fans shared on Twitter, she spoke about her grief, and closed with a message for those who were grieving as well. She wrote:
May God Bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would’ve wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.
MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES
If you need to talk, call 800-273-TALK (8255) for free, confidential, 24/7 help.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
It has been an incredible journey so far and we feel truly moved by your response and involvement. We are really proud to introduce this short film about the project. Please take a few minutes out to watch and then share….spread the word! (Huge thanks to HaDenough Media for their awesome film)
Update: Lady Gaga has confirmed that her chronic pain is caused by fibromyalgia. (original article from themighty.com)
In Lady Gaga’s upcoming Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” viewers will get a glimpse of Gaga’s life away from the spotlight — including her struggles with chronic pain. While promoting the documentary, Gaga opened up about why she included these difficult scenes in the film and the support she hopes her fellow pain warriors feel while watching it.
At a press conference with the film’s director, Chris Moukarbel, in Toronto ahead of the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today, Gaga reportedly became teary-eyed as the conversation turned to why she chose to document her struggles with chronic pain. She said it’s “hard, but liberating,” and explained that she believes pain is a “microphone.”
“My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they’re not alone. It’s freeing for me… and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” Gaga said.
She also acknowledged the shame that is often associated with chronic pain, but that struggling with something doesn’t make her “weak.”
There is a degree of self-deprecation and shame with feeling in pain a lot. And I want people that watch it — that think there’s no way I live [with chronic pain] because they see me dance and sing and don’t think that could possibly be — to know I struggle with things like them. I work through it and it can be done. We have to stick together. I don’t have to hide it because I’m afraid it’s weak. It’s a part of me, and I’m grateful to Chris for caring. The compassion is overwhelming. That’s why it makes me emotional. It’s very touching.
Moukarbel said it was “incredibly hard” filming Gaga while she was in pain, but said she still wanted him to keep shooting. “I think she was very aware of other people who struggle with similar chronic pain. She is not even sure how to deal with it, and that’s a reality,” he said.
Last month, Gaga released a series of short clips from the documentary, including one that showed her at a doctor’s appointment discussing treatment options for an unnamed health condition.
Gaga has spoken about her health issues before — in 2010, she revealed she had tested “borderline positive” for lupus, the autoimmune condition that led to her Aunt Joanne’s death before Gaga was born.
Last year, Gaga posted on Instagram about her chronic pain and shared the methods she uses to treat it. “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she wrote.
Earlier this year, Gaga appeared on the cover of Arthritis Magazine. She told the magazine that she had been dealing with chronic pain due to a broken hip and synovitis, an inflammatory joint condition.
“Gaga: Five Foot Two” will begin streaming on Netflix on September 22.
Dr Chris on This Morning explains all about chronic pain condition fibromyalgia after Lady Gaga postponed her European tour due to her health problems:
This is a re-post from an original article, which can be found here
On holiday in the Peak District in June 2007, three months after being diagnosed with ME, I sat down one afternoon with a pile of postcards and discovered I could no longer write. The words were clear in my head, but the pen in my hand made only meaningless scribbles, empty scrawls. The connection between them had been severed. It was many terrifying hours before it returned.
This episode was my first real experience of the cognitive dysfunction that’s a core symptom of ME. ME (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS) is a neurological disease affecting 250, 000 people in the UK, that impairs both body and brain. It’s a 360 disability. Since 2007, my health has deteriorated – by 2009 I was using a wheelchair, and in 2013 became bed-bound – and as my physical functioning has declined, so too has my cognitive capacity. I have problems with memory, attention, concentration, comprehension and language. I can’t listen to the radio, watch TV or use a computer, can’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes or read more than a couple of sentences. If you know me, you need to know I’ll forget your birthday, or your married name, or that this time of year is difficult for you because it’s when you lost your father, not because I don’t care, but because my illness makes me someone I’m not. While I was still well enough to go outside, I couldn’t work out money in shops, or judge speed and distance to safely cross a road. These days I can’t coordinate a knife and fork; my husband has to cut up my food.
“Brain fog”, as it’s colloquially known, can be funny. People with ME post comic stories on web forums about slathering themselves in shampoo instead of sun cream, or going to the supermarket without a purse. LOL. Except no, not LOL. For me, the loss of cognitive functioning is the most distressing and debilitating aspect of my illness. There are no aides for this kind of disability, no walking sticks or wheelchairs for the mind. No one can see it. And no one understands it. When I try to explain that I can’t follow what’s being said, that I shouldn’t be trusted with figures, that the internet is beyond my grasp, I hit a wall of blank incomprehension. I want people to know I’m not going crazy, or being rude; I’m just struggling to remember, to form words and sentences, to add things up, to process, in the same slow, stumbling way I struggle to walk. I used to be smart and quick-witted. I worked as an academic. I have four degrees. My brain, and its intelligence, were my main assets. Now I don’t recognise myself. It took me several months, and my husband’s help, to write these 800 words; when I was well, I’d write 1,000 words a day. I bargain with the gods, tell them I’ll stay in a wheelchair for the rest of my life if they’ll only give me back my mind.
It’s the loss of language that’s hardest; being unable to express myself or communicate in the ways I want or need to. I can only talk for ten minutes a day, and when I do I quickly misplace the thread of my argument, or forget what I set out to say. Even simple instructions to my carers can defeat me. I lose words, everyday words. Dressing gown is a favourite. Duvet, my brain suggests. Duffel bag? Duffel coat. Definitely duffel coat. You could take an interest in this, in the way words are indexed and shelved in the library of your mind. But I can’t escape the fear that, somewhere in the basement stacks, a quiet fire is burning, and I’m losing words for good. And with them, I’m losing a sense of who I am.
I thought writing could be a way around this. I have glimpses of myself, moments of clarity, perception, articulation; I can write, longhand but lucidly, for a few minutes a day. I started a website to patch together these fragments, to try to explain my ME to the rest of the world. But I can’t stitch these pieces of myself into a coherent whole, a meaningful narrative. Again and again, my illness silences me.
These kinds of problems with cognition aren’t unique to ME. They’re common after stroke; in certain illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia; and among people undergoing treatment for cancer – so-called “chemo brain”. Yet in my experience almost no one recognises or understands this kind of disability. When my walking stutters and slows, I’m met with wheelchairs, disabled access and smiles. When it’s my speech and comprehension that falter, I find only confusion, impatience, even disbelief. We need to find ways of talking about and explaining these kinds of disability, too. A new language: one that might begin to replace the one I’ve lost.
At Emma Hart’s studio, two assistants are helping the artist with last-minute touches to graphic patterns inside a group of outsized ceramic heads. The heads appear to be consuming them as they lean deep inside, torches strapped to their foreheads, delicate paintbrushes in hand. In a little over a week, the finished works will be moved to London’s Whitechapel Gallery where they’ll be strung from the ceiling like lamps: the centrepiece of Mamma Mia!, Hart’s show as laureate of the biennial Max Mara art prize for women.
Formed, fired and glazed in Italy, during Hart’s six-month residency for the prize, the heads show the influence of time spent both in professional ceramics studios, and as an observer in a centre for family therapy. “Both are driven by patterns,” Hart explains. “The psychiatrist is trying to unravel human behavioural patterns, and the studio to generate a visual pattern.”
Inside one head, the pattern shows young women entangled in a vine of jealousy, among the stylised jaws of Venus flytraps. In another, manicured fingers push hot red buttons, rendered in the greens, blues and yellows of a thermal imaging camera. A third shows overlapping rows of curves, which transform from McDonald’s golden arches into a line of pink breasts as the pattern mounts the sides. Freud would have a field day, but that’s the point.
In her early 40s, Hart’s work marries academic foundations (she has a PhD in fine arts) with emotional honesty and a sharp sense of humour. A current touring exhibition – Love Life – with fellow artist Jonathan Baldock, features ceramic-stockinged feet that terminate at the toe end with open mouths, like sock puppets nagging about some mundane chore. A sculpture of a pair of squeezed-out, rolled-up paint tubes suggests both a pair of weeping eyes and sore sagging breasts: more domestic angst, perhaps from a self-pitying artist struggling with new motherhood.
Hart studied photography and only started working with clay – in what she would be the first to admit was an amateur way – a few years ago. In earlier interviews she had spoken about her relationship to it as an expressive medium, relishing the tactility and even slightly cathartic experience of handling and forming the stuff. “There was a big fight to get the clay to do what I wanted. That was really important – it was interesting to be dumb and not know what you were doing – but it comes with a lot of stress. The problem is that it maybe takes 20 goes to get three pieces and that can grind you down.”
But her residency in Faenza changed all that. The small Italian town plays an important role in the history of ceramics, lending its name to faience – also known as maiolica – tin-glazed pottery that has been produced in the town since the 14th century. And while there, Hart learned alongside ceramic historians and artisans steeped in traditional techniques. “Now I can check in with experts along the way, and, to be honest, I feel relief and excitement that that’s how it could be in the future.”
That study has fed into the pieces she has made for Mamma Mia! The ceramic heads are modelled on the inverted form of traditional maiolica jugs (in a sly domestic reference, the artist has scored lines on them as if they were merely humble kitchen measuring jugs). Fired in a kiln “the size of my bathroom”, they were glazed with the assistance of a traditional faience studio. Inverted, the mouth of the jug transforms into a nose, and the heads will cast pools of light on the floor in the form of speech bubbles as though they were conversing.
Before arriving in Faenza, Hart had spent two months in Milan watching families attend therapy sessions (the “Milan Systemic Approach”) at the Scuola Mara Selvini Palazzoli. She watched therapists identify cycles of behaviour within family groups, and working with genograms – family trees that express emotional relationships between individuals through the use of coded coloured lines, references to which appear in the installation of the finished works.
Hart even engaged in a process known as “sculptura” with her own husband and young daughter, which saw the three of them standing in a sequence of emotionally expressive postures for half a minute at a time. (The experience was she says, “actually quite positive”.)
Much of Hart’s art has a kind of gallows jocularity. Love Life is riddled with morbid puns, both visual and verbal. In one work, hanging salami sausages are shaped to read, ominously, “Your Back”. At Whitechapel, ceiling fans made of giant cutlery appear to slice through the hanging heads as they rotate.
Hart has returned to Faenza half a dozen times since her residency finished, and has developed a close working relationship with ceramicist Aida Bertozzi. “She’s seen it all and done it all,” says Hart. “She’s not fazed by me saying, ‘I want to dig in the clay like a dog for a week.’”
Perhaps more valuable than the skills and knowledge she has acquired, Hart’s time in Italy has taught her that, in art as in motherhood, it’s OK to admit that you don’t know what you’re doing, that you can’t cope by yourself, and that actually, you’d appreciate a little help.
We had two excellent speakers come and give talks during the exhibition. The first was by Kyra De Coninck on the secret world of Fascia and the role it plays in invisible illness, then Shell Lawes talking about her experience with Ostomy and body confidence. Enjoy!