the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Journey Into the Light: May is Mental Illness Awareness Month


I should have realized this– my blog feed is blowin’ up with posts from bloggers that care about this issue.

Aussa Lorens shared one blog post via Twitter.  (She works for a psych ward, and she tells it like it IS at her own blog!  So why shouldn’t she share a post from another blog about an awesome cause?)

Alyson Herzig wrote in

Laughter is the Best Medicine, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor – The Shitastrophy:

In honor of May being Mental Illness Awareness month Jessica Azar and myself have launched a call for support and submissions for our Anthology: Laughter is the Best Medicine, Surviving Mental Illness through Humor.

Kenneth “The Culture Monk” Justice is on his “Drinking In The Culture” coffee house tour, and is spending time talking to people, a few who are bloggers and regular readers of his blog at WordPress.  His last two posts have been on the theme of mental health, specifically speaking about frustrations about how medicated Western society has become of late:

Bi-polar disorder & defying doctors orders…REALLY???

Mental Health and Damn Idealism…REALLY???


It’s actually a topic that bubbled up from previous posts and previous comments, so I’m not surprised Kenneth decided to write about it specifically.

Why is this an important cause to me?  Because, dear readers, I have a mental illness called bipolar mood disorder type II, and I manage it– it doesn’t manage me.  Now, it’s gotten tough again as chronic pain affects my mood, too, but after 25 years or so of struggling, I finally got the treatment that works for me.

I think an integrated approach is helpful for mental health– humor, humanity, and a holistic approach to overall health generally.  I am indeed worried with the Big Pharma approach that is almost Apple iDevice like (in promoting apps): “Got a problem?  There’s a pill for that!”

We can do better– but I don’t think we’ll get it from the top down.  In my experience, it was to fight for the treatment I felt was appropriate, and to stay that course despite the obstacles.

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

4 thoughts on “Journey Into the Light: May is Mental Illness Awareness Month

  1. Very true, Jak. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks for sharing this, Jak! It is in my family as well and can be excruciatingly debilitating if not treated. I took my niece in last year for 6 months to literally save her life and give her an opportunity to graduate from HS and get all the help available. I set her up with the best of the best, helped her actually graduate but lost the battle as soon as she turned 18. In addition to being Bi-Polar she has Borderline Personality Disorder. Once she turned 18 she refused all help and is now living in the streets engaging in all possible risky behaviors. Very sad. Glad you are managing it and it is not managing you.


    • It’s painful to hear stories like your niece, I mean as I’ve heard them before, and sometimes seen the results for myself. There’s still a lot of stigma out there that I don’t think is necessary. On the other hand, I know some refuse treatment because the side effects can be brutal and some health care professionals will NOT listen. Quite a few of mine wouldn’t, and shaming tactics are unfortunately not unheard of in community mental health. As I said, Aussa tells it like it is– I believe her when she says some of her co-workers are in worse shape than the patients… and it’s not unusual for them to become patients as well.


  3. That is a blessing, Toni-san. Despite my family’s failings, they definitely saw me through somewhat similarly dark times. I’ve mentioned it in bits and pieces to other bloggers in passing, and judging from their responses I figure I should write about them, soon. First inpatient trip I had involved an OD as a young unmarried adult, second inpatient trip… well, both Cimmy and Princess recall that as a painful memory.


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