Posted in Mental Health, Stigma Talks, video

A story about a “Pill Journey”.

How many of you have gone through months of feeling more than sluggish and deep inside you know it might be depression because the symptoms are there?  Insomnia at night and wanting to bury yourself under that duvet when it’s time to get up.  What about loss of appetite?  For some it is eating and eating and eating some more to fill that void.  Why is an “emptiness” so painful?  Shouldn’t one feel relieved to not feel a heavy weight pressing on our shoulders?  Oh wait, what about feeling like a truck drove over you and decided to park on your chest for a few hours a day.  Ever feel like your mind is racing so much with “What if”s” you feel like you are on an out-of-control merry-go-round and you’re afraid to try and get off because you may NOT survive the fall?

Adults worry.  Mothers worry about the safety of their children. Fathers worry (working moms too) if they will be able to maintain a decent home; Parents worry when they have to say “no” to private lessons in this and that.  Not all kids have the luxury of playing sports.  But do children worry too?  Sure they do.  They are little sponges soaking up all the vibes in the home, at school on the playground and unfortunately on the bloody tube…internet, tv, computer, tablet…heck, even on their Ipod!  All things that were made to entertain youths has drawn them into another world…of hopelessness.  Children sure don’t see the world the way I did as a kid.  Heck, at five I just wanted to be Dale Evans riding into the sunset with RoyRogers and when I really fantasized, I was Marilyn Monroe in a pink convertible Cadillac!  But did I worry?  I guess I did too when my mother looked sad or cried but I quickly forgot about all that when I watched Mighty Mouse or Donald Duck.  Television was monitored in our home so we did not watch violent shows.  The news? It just was not graphic as it is today.  My first memory of a “sad news” was watching the funeral procession for John F. Kennedy and feeling so sad for the children.  I could not imagine losing a father so young! Gosh, I was still missing my grandfather I had lost at 6!!

These days, through my work, I am aware how children and teens worry and many do suffer from depression.  Some are lucky and get the help they need but as they share with us, it certainly can be a long journey before they get a proper diagnosis and the proper treatment required.  It gets complicated with youths.  Their brain is still developing and once a health care profession finds the right dosage of a particular medication, their brain tweaked a little more.  I admire anyone (youths and adults) who continue to get the support they need for their mental health and become more self-aware so they are part of the equation in their treatment.  That’s right, they are the expert on what is going on in their mind, their body and their spirit…what they contribute only gets them that much closer to finding a proper treatment leading to recovery.

I just saw this video I am going to share here and it says it so much better than I could ever, so, take a look and listen. You may have to watch it a few times to allow the “common sense” to sink in.

This is a testimonial of a person’s “Pill Journey”.  I have listed mental health resources below.

©Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 2017/07/26

CMHACanadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

National Suicide Hotline U.S.A.

Kids Help Phone – Canada

Child Helplines around the world

Other links and resources on my Page here

Posted in Did you know?, Mental Health, Re-blogs

Overcoming Anxiety – Part II

Part II – Overcoming anxiety…these exquisite and raw photographs tell so much more than words…

Broken Light Collective


Photos taken by contributor Racquel Fortuna, a 31-year-old woman from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Racquel lives with severe anxiety that causes her to shut herself off from the rest of the world. She often feels overwhelmed by fear, doubt, sadness, and isolation. Racquel’s internal battles were negatively impacting her life, both mentally and physically, until one day when she decided to challenge herself to turn things around. She started by taking better care of herself and opening up about her fight with anxiety to her loved ones.

About these photos: “This is the second part of Overcoming Anxiety, a series of black and white self-portraits expressing my struggle to move beyond the constraints of my anxiety issues. I find comfort in the idea that we’re all connected through our emotions and experience. Through this bond, we understand more about each other and, more importantly, ourselves. My group of self-portraits portrays my personal journey in conquering my issues, beginning negatively and progressively becoming more…

View original post 90 more words

Posted in Did you know?, Mental Health, Re-blogs

Overcoming Anxiety

Overcoming anxiety is a daily challenge for most who suffer an anxiety condition…here is a brave soul willing to share …there is recovery…

Broken Light Collective

Please welcome first-time contributor Racquel Fortuna, a 31-year-old woman from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Racquel lives with severe anxiety that causes her to shut herself off to the rest of the world. She often feels overwhelmed by fear, doubt, sadness, and isolation. Racquel’s internal battles began to negatively impact her life, both mentally and physically, until one day when she decided to challenge herself to turn things around. She started by taking better care of herself and opening up about her fight with anxiety to her loved ones.

About these photos: Overcoming Anxiety is a series of black and white self-portraits expressing my struggle to move beyond the constraints of my anxiety issues. I find comfort in the idea that we’re all connected through our emotions and experience.  Through this bond, we understand more about each other and, more importantly, ourselves. My group of self-portraits portrays my personal journey in conquering my issues, beginning negatively and progressively becoming more…

View original post 78 more words

Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Mental Health, Self-care, video

Dance like no one is looking

Stress…how do you manage it?  Moody blues, can you overcome them and if you can’t, what about taking a break from sadness, worries ( the old fashion anxiety we all too often label now) and stress?

I often suggest to youths to exercise, dance, jog, take a brisk walk around the block because we know it is cold in most places in Canada, do yoga or Tai chi…movements do not have to be fast…it is the movement in itself that is therapeutic and in so many cases, it is healing.

I have always enjoyed dancing but have never been a very good one. I would practice as a teen before going to a dance some special line dances, listen to lots of Motown and allow the music to move my body.  I’ve noticed when you enjoy the music, your body seems to respond so much better.  When the children were younger I would dance and they would laugh at Mommy who looked silly…actually they probably still think the same thing and they are 30 something!  What has changed over the years  however is that I let my guard down in my late 40’s.  I would dance now with freedom because my internal voice said, “Dance your heart out like no one is looking!”    I had a regular place I loved to go dancing in Toronto that had live R & B music every day with no cover charge!  We had a group of friends that went regularly and it was fun.

One friend told me I reminded him of Carmen Diaz in her role in Charlie’s Angels.  I remember saying, “I thought I danced better than that!” But what he meant was her free spirited…laissez-faire attitude and for that I would agree and consider that a compliment.

Dance like no one is watching and you will certainly lower the stress in your life…even if it’s just for a few hours…it is free, healthy (but don’t like that stop you) and FUN!

Here is a video that will put a smile on your face…watch and see, I dare you.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/801/13

Inspired by this post at The Kintsugi Girl

Posted in Bullying, Stigma Talks

A conversation about anger

Originally written in January 2014. When I saw someone reblog this today, I thought to myself, “Hmm,  did I write this?” I sure did and often I would suprise myself writing on Sreejit’s prompts at The Seekers Dungeon.  Well I decided to repost this here because school is starting up REAL soon and it does touch thoughts on Bullying.  Clr 2014/08/23


Brimo anger is an aspect of Ares  rage
Brimo anger is an aspect of Ares rage

A conversation about Anger with Mini-Me (MM)

Me: What do you think is meant by Anger?
Mini Me: It is what it is, right?

Me: but what might that be?
Mini Me: It’s an emotion,
a deep feeling.

Me: but is it sometimes a ruse?
some kind of manipulation?
like the result of a short fuse.
Mini Me: Well (sigh) then it might
have become sort of a weapon; alright.

Me: Like … of mass destruction, you say?!
MM: heh, heh! good one, I like that analogy.
I suppose it can destroy the spirit in a family,
say…if it is to keep everyone in tow.
That type of anger can stem from addiction
among other things, it can be a projection
of what hurts inside and it’s pointed to others.

Me: Oh, oh! like when things erupt in a row
and the yelling scares everyone into silence?
MM: That would certainly stimulate compliance!

Me: But that gives a negative slant to that emotion,
I’m not liking “anger” at all now…too much commotion.
MM: It can also be the only way to make change…reform.

Me: You mean by bullying folks to conform?
MM: Well, that too but I meant to stand up for a principle,
like, to stand up for what you believe and the rights of people.

Me: Fight for a right? huh?
MM: (Sigh) let me explain
in words that are plain:
Say, someone is a bit of a bully and will harass
and a bystander may blow up and say
Hey stop being such a hardass!!

Me: Oh dear! that would attract a fight
and who knows what else that might
erupt all in the name of having a “right”…

MM: You are missing the point again (sigh!)
anger is sometimes necessary to gain
attention and so much more when you
should be respected, speak of what is true.

Me: Yes, I think I understand this; it would
mean to use a controlled anger
that serves a purpose for the greater good.
MM: Yes, exactly. Anger is sometimes a need
to ward off the devious, exploiters and greed.

Me: But what about anger that stems from rage
that performs in a deranged, frightful stage?
I find that very scary…for the person hearing rage
and the person raging feels out of control too.
MM: that is an anger that needs to be addressed,
help from a counsellor or trusted wise friend
and counselling can be a way to contend…
search from where this fury stems.

Me: Kind of like bottled up resentment?
MM: That may be one plausible cause.

Me: And what about the person who is witness?
MM: they require an apology and explanation
of the outburst and pledge it will stop
or at least attempt to control and ration
such frenzied outburst.

Me: I felt much rage and anger when my father died.
I found that quite confusing, why rage mingled with grief?
MM: Anger is part of mourning and, a process that will subside
over time. It matters not to whom the anger is projected,
know that it is part of the grief process, causing healthy relief.

Me: Wow! I did not know that, the things I learn from you Mini-Mi!
MM: So pleased to oblige…there is so much more, you don’t know?

Me: More? You mean other reasons why one gets angry?
MM: it can be a symptom of a greater picture, such as mental health.

Me: Oh, no, not that again…something to excuse this dark comportment.
I don’t buy too much into that excuse, sorry MM but that’s just a copout.

MM: It is, on the one hand but it can be a symptom of mental illness
and there is help, there is hope, there is even treatment.
Me: but treatment can be so long and no one wants to be a zombie.

MM: did I not say there is also recovery for such deportment?
Me: I’ll take your word for it…I guess.

MM: don’t take my word for it, it is can be a symptom of anxiety, depression, to name
but a few, even part of aging or dementia may have outbursts of anger and

even pre/postmenopausal, hormonal based, burnout, and past childhood issues and/or abuse
that have been hidden for many many years…then it can resurface in rations
of sudden rages…It can be quite disconcerting.
Me: what happens to children who are exposed to such outbursts?

MM: a form of explanation but not a justification
one must still acknowledge one’s problems, failings, limits.

Me: I guess that makes sense.
It sure takes a lot to finally  acquiesce.
MM: Yes, it does….it does indeed.

Me: I really enjoyed this little talk, thank you.
MM: You’re welcome, I speak only what is true.

© Cheryl-Lynn, Stop the Stigma, 1/24/2014

Photo credits: Brimo Anger

A prompt on Anger Management from Dungeon Prompt Seekers 
This week’s prompt is: Anger Management (running from January 23 – January 29)

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

– Aristotle

“In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

– Buddha

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

– Ambrose Bierce

“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”

– James Russell Lowell

Posted in Stigma Talks

Adam’s Song

This song actually saved some lives according to comments I am seeing on Youtube.  A great example how the media can help to raise more awareness on depression and mental health issues.  I am posting this on the day after World Suicide Prevention Day in memory of Adam, my friend, Sue’s son. Namaste, Sue xx

blink-182 – Adam’s Song

“Adam’s Song”

I never thought I’d die alone
I laughed the loudest who’d have known?
I trace the cord back to the wall
No wonder it was never plugged in at all
I took my time, I hurried up
The choice was mine I didn’t think enough
I’m too depressed to go on
You’ll be sorry when I’m gone

I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn’t wait to get outside
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we’d survived
I couldn’t wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone

I never thought I’d die alone
Another six months I’ll be unknown
Give all my things to all my friends
You’ll never step foot in my room again
You’ll close it off, board it up
Remember the time that I spilled the cup
Of apple juice in the hall
Please tell mom this is not her fault

I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn’t wait to get outside
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we’d survived
I couldn’t wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone

I never conquered, rarely came
But tomorrow holds such better days
Days when I can still feel alive
When I can’t wait to get outside
The world is wide, the time goes by
The tour is over, I’ve survived
I can’t wait till I get home
To pass the time in my room alone

Posted in Stigma Talks

I’ll soon be there one day

I don`t judge you
I find life tough too.

There you are every day
at my subway every morning100606655--homeless-woman-on-street-getty.600x400
there you are every day
like a blaring warning
of my own disgrace
that slaps me in the face
there you are every day.

I don’t judge you
I find life tough too.

I don’t mean to stare
at your choice of beverage?
There you are every morning
I see you at Dundas Square
like a psychic warning
the truth’s too hard to bear

I don’t judge you
because you ease your pain
since I do it too
keeps me from going insane.

I don’t judge you
I find life tough too.

If I look revolted, it’s sure not YOU!
If I look critical, it’s sure not YOU!
if I look shocked, It’s really not YOU!
I’m merely seeing a reflection
of my sourly spitting image
outcomes of my dereliction.

There you are every day
reminding me every morning
if I miss just one week’s pay
you’re my telepathic warning
I’ll be joining you damn soon
I’m already half way there
getting drunk at my saloon
the obvious, too great to bear
I’ll soon be there one day
at the subway every morning
there I’ll be every day
searching for relief someway.

so please forgive my insolence
I’m so not judging you!
my fears engulf me since
I know not what to do

Your presence is really
exposing ME , hinting
of what my life’s become;
your presence at Dundas Square,
just a sign what I shall bear.

So please forgive my insolence
I’m so not judging you
my fears engulf me since
I know not what to do.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, September 5, 2013

Related Source: judgement

Photo: Woman Fearing to become BagLady

Posted in Mental Health

Back to school jitters

imagesBack to school soon and sooner depending where you are located in Canada and the US. Here in Quebec the kids are back in next week.  It should be an exciting time for the little ones, right?  Well for many youths it is a great time of year.

For many, it’s a bit like that Wal-Mart commercial…you know the one with the mom holding her list and a little boy and a little girl that look bored out of their minds but don’t dare burst Mommy’s bubble, are shopping for school supplies.  It is a time of year that you start with new work books, new binders with fresh clean sheets. Don’t you love to write with your best handwriting possible on the first few pages?

Little Boy With Your Escholar Itens Going To School Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 10715678. -
Free Cliparts And Stock Illustration. Image 10715678.

Sharpening those Crayola crayons…oh, back up for a second,  (((((((((((rewind )))))))))))))))), they come pretty much all sharpened already now.  Oooops, I am sure dating myself now, aren’t I?  But you get the drift, right?  The crayons are all the same length and lined up nice and neat…for now anyway.

Others are getting the school uniform, matching pants, blazer/sweater and for some skirts but I hear many schools are

kids going to class - Clip Art Gallery
kids going to class – Clip Art Gallery

opting for pants for the girls too.  It may be a great idea to have a uniform but when the girls leave school premises and roll up those skirts just a tad too high, along with those blazers with the school logo, it may not give a good impression, right?

Some are out shopping for shoes and clothes because nothing fits anymore!…my oh my, how summer seems to make these kids grow like weeds!

It is also a financial strain for many families. And don’t kid yourself, many youths are aware of this strain.

New clothes, new school supplies and new haircut (that is sometimes put off to October when school pictures are taken). Getting to see buddies and friends you haven’t seen for 2 months.  Wow! That should be something to look forward to, right? You would think many youths would be anxious to see their friends and buddies.  It is a great opportunity for many who live in neighbourhoods where there are less youths their age. Finally, a place to hang out with friends during recess and lunch time.  Am I right?  You would think, eh?

I suppose for most it is a great time with the exception of the older teens who may have enjoyed waking up at 2 in the afternoon, school may be a huge adjustment but soon enough their circadian routine will get right back into the swing of things…hopefully.  Summer is fun too but after a while, social and intellectual stimulation is needed.

But for many youths that IS not the case at all.  For the couple of weeks, youths are thinking and dreading to get back to school.   There could be various reasons.  Let’s take a look at a few.

Some youths have difficulty in school due to learning differences.  That’s right, they just learn differently.  The information has to be taken in, regurgitated in a different way for many youths.  If he’s lucky, the school has identified the “difference” and has been able to implement a programme to help him learn better respecting his pace.  Let’s say he has the help required.  Great!  Some schools are great about this and all the students act like one big family, with students helping each other.  Now doesn’t that sound like a dream to you?!! Well, it is a dream unless you are in a special or private school with 10 to 15 students per classroom, this is rarely the case.  I am not saying some schools are able to promote this type of solidarity and team spirit but you know and I know that it does not happen often enough.  I have to admit it may be more prevalent in elementary schools but still, not all across the board.

bullyingThere is always “one” youth who will make an inappropriate comment to single out any students who are getting any form of “special education”.  And if that ONE student got a few snickers and laughs from the comment, the damage is usually difficult to repair unless someone acts real fast.

There is also “one” parent who may make a uncalled for comment about some students with learning differences taking up the teacher’s time.  I guess some of those parents do not always factor in that the school is usually getting extra $$$ for the extra time these students require.  I have a thing or two I could also add to that adult but that’s not the purpose of this post, not today anyway. {Keep smiling}

I remember speaking to a youth a very long time ago who said his friends didn’t like him much anymore because of his wisecracks.  In Kindergarten and Grade 1 he was considered the class clown.  But then his peers got wise to the type of comments…they were sarcastic, put downs and all that laughing was at their expense.     

Listening to him speak made me realize that he was a very brilliant young boy.  So we talked about his “gift” because that’s exactly what it is when someone is so smart, right?  It is a gift.  He didn’t have to work at it, or work hard to study like many of his peers.  So I explained that perhaps he caught on to things quicker and was not as tolerant when others didn’t catch on, hence, his spewing sarcasm from time to time.  He agreed on working on a plan to stop himself whenever he felt like blurting something cynical and to have a couple of good buddies remind him. Eventually he would learn to “think” before speaking.  I’ll never forget that boy.  The courage it took him to admit he was the one hurting his friends’ feelings.

There are lots of youths going back to school that are dreading going back to school to be exposed to more taunts, teasing and plain mean bullying.

They keep repeating old scenarios in their heads, from last year (and for the unlucky ones for several years) and it freaks them out.  I don’t blame them.  Many have given up telling a trusted adult (teacher, parent, counsellor or principal)  Yikes!! That’s not a great idea but they figure if the grown-ups in their lives can’t fix their problem, who can?

There are some youths and teens who have been so tormented with bullying (cyber bullying included) that they do not want to go back to school. Some have changed schools several times but it keeps on going on.

And sadly, there are some youths as young as 11 that talk about depression, self-harm and yes, even suicide.  Shocking?   I would say so!!  These are not the majority of youths…thank goodness but even if there is ONE student per school who is carrying this burden, that is WAY too much. 

It is so unfortunate to recognize that these types of situations are no longer just reserved to older teens (and by just I certainly do not mean that as a demeaning inference that it’s of lesser importance…not in the least!)

Adolescence is such a turbulent time in a youth’s life that being bullied does not need to be added to that se_high_school_bullyingcomplex equation of growing up!

–          Youths as young as 8 years old anticipate going back to school for various reasons like bullying, feelings of low self-esteem due to struggles learning and

–          many fear they just won’t fit in with their peers.

–          Some are changing school, new city, going into middle school or high school.  Those are “huge” transitions.

Do you remember how you felt going to college for the first time?   Remember starting your new job?  And those were during adulthood…so for young persons it is not as easy to go through these changes.

Some need help, some encouragement and lots of coaching and cheering on “You are doing great!! Good job!!”  I still feel great when someone tells me “great job”…it feels like being stroked by a piece of silk on my shoulder…that soft cool feeling, you know?

It is NOT part of growing up to feel that anxious, scared and worried about school.  Youths need support and guidance.  So, if you find your child is more rambunctious than normal, ask how he is feeling about school starting.  If she is usually an active and chatty person, and become more withdrawn and sensitive or testy…check it out. Any changes may be related to anxiety of getting back to school. 

–  Some youths may be anticipating how to make new friends…perhaps a few moved away; maybe they are going to high school…that’s a big transition and some are worried the school is going to be so big that their old friends will be drawn to new people and just forget about them.

–  Regardless of the academic level of a youth, peer relationships continue to be a huge part of their lives inside and outside of the classroom.   Friendships are often the first relationships youths make outside of their families; some may drift apart for various reasons as mentioned above but for the youth it can mean they are hurting and missing that person.  They need to know that they are not alone to make new friends.

Here is a great website that has umpteen ideas for youths and teens on bullying, friendships, emotional health and so much more.  Hopefully it can give you, the reader, some insights to help someone you know who is struggling with “back to school” jitters.



A little humour goes a long way…

Teach Chic: First Day of School
Teach Chic: First Day of School

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, August 21, 2013