Why Am I Still Asking Why?

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I READ THIS ARTICLE FROM A LOCAL NEWS STATION and was astounded at the numbers they gave for the percentage of teens who seriously consider attempting suicide. It raises so many questions in my mind. How can it be that many? What is causing this? Why aren’t we talking about it? And why am I still asking why? It’s time. No, it’s way past time for mental illness to be a part of our daily conversations. It’s past time for it to be normal to discuss mental illness. It’s past time for things like mental illness and suicide to only be talked about in hushed whispers. And it is so far past time to be embarrassed if you have mental illness or you have a child with mental illness.

I also question how resources can still be so limited. Why don’t we have mental health Urgent Cares? A place you can go to anytime if you need someone to talk to, if you need help. Someone who can then refer you, if need be, to a specialist who can help you long-term. Isn’t mental health a part of our physical health? The brain is a physical part of our body, isn’t it? And although we aren’t to that point of having help and care as readily available, it is out there. If you or someone you know and love is showing signs of needing help, please get it. Please take it seriously. We all deserve the best care and health we can get.

How Far I’ve Come

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I just wrote about how hopeless things can be. Then I started thinking about how far I’ve come in regards to my mental health. If people could see where I was at twelve years ago, eleven years ago, ten, five, two—hell, even less than two years ago—I can say with confidence that they would be impressed! I have learned so much—from therapists, from books, from friends, from other bloggers. I have a better handle on my depression, anxiety and OCD because of what I have learned. I have grown so much, especially in the last two years. I have become myself again, and that is huge! I deserve to be proud of myself. I deserve to give myself credit for what I have accomplished. For those of you out there who are struggling, remember the good you have done, remember the good you have accomplished. Remember that and cling onto it with every ounce of strength you’ve got left!

Does the Air We Breathe Affect Our Mental Health?

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I thought I’d give a little update on myself. I’ve been doing extremely well the last couple of months. I believe part of the reason is because winter ended, and so did my seasonal affective disorder. It truly is amazing how much I improve once the cold, snow and gray days are gone. It’s amazing what a difference warmth, sunlight and longer days make.

I was thinking more about how well I’ve been doing, wondering if anything else might have to do with it. I believe some of it is just my own growth through experience and knowledge I’ve gained. But I also have been wondering if any of it has to do with the fact that I’ve gotten rid of all the chemicals in my home. A few months ago I signed up to be an independent sales consultant for Norwex. They make, among other things, microfiber cleaning cloths to replace the traditional cleaners in your home. Their global mission is to reduce chemicals in the home. So, the day I got all my Norwex stuff, I threw out all of my bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, fabric softener and drier sheets, soap and facial cleanser. I no longer use harmful chemicals in my home, and I honestly wonder if the fact that I’m no longer breathing in or absorbing all of that crap has played a part in my improved mental health.

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According to a study by the University of Washington air pollution impacts mental health and has been associated with behavior changes. If it’s true of the air outside, why wouldn’t it be true of the air inside? Food for thought, for sure.