30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge

I look forward to starting this project today with day 1!

Thanks to this very inspirational blogger (who I highly recommend following) for the idea and for the creative format in which to increase awareness and defeat stigma.

**If you also choose to do this project, please link to Marci’s Blog Directly**


30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge- Master List.


About Christine O.

I had been a young, single Mom to two girls for ten years; until March 9, 2014 when I married my soul-mate Jason. I’m a former 20 year+ full time executive in a demanding field turned business owner (this year); marathon runner, daughter to the perfect parents, oldest sister of a highly successful ‘normal’ younger brother and ‘functional’ single-mother (of 3) sister, coach, boss, best friend, member of the church choir, volunteer for the local NAMI, AFSP, and CASA organizations, and have over time become well acclimated to the world of mental illness after a life changing event or two. I have also become known in my community as the one who takes on the High School year after year in attempts to have a Suicide Prevention Program in place (as in Texas statute). My goal in writing, blogging and learning as much as I can about such subjects is to defeat stigma associated with brain disease, preventing suicide in the future, and saving my family.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, depression, Health, major depressive disorder, mental illness, OCD, stigma, suicide attempt survivor, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge

  1. mm172001 says:

    You did it correctly. If you would like when you answer prompts you can type something like… to find more out about the challenge and then link to my master list or something like that. That way it helps people find all the prompts (the master list) if they are interested in taking the challenge as well.

  2. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    I don’t like the term “mental illness”, because it doesn’t distinguish between neurotic (functional) and psychotic (too sick to function in society). Even if you’re on medication right now, you probably survived for years without it. Has your brain chemistry changed so much, or did you just decide it was easier to use medication as a crutch?

    — You seem able to write coherently, so you can’t be that bad. The people with the real problems have delusions about the government sending electronic messages directly into their brains. —

    I’ve felt bad/depressed sometimes. I know it is chemical to a certain extent, but there are natural ways to alter mood and perspectives: music, exercise, food, sex (which I suggest with caution).

    • Christine O. says:

      I have learned in my limited time as identifying with these issues, that some do prefer some terms over others which is absolutely understandable. I didn’t realize there was such a distinction. Thanks for bringing that to my attention! I don’t find offense in being referred to as “mentally ill” because I have a specific goal to dispel the stigma of mental illness as a whole, across the board. The capable and incapable; the functional and psychotic because I know from my experiences that before I knew ANY of the more general terms I would automatically get an idea in my head of what someone with any kind of psychological/ mental/ brain condition would behave like and it was nothing like I have found to be reality.

      I am on medication now. I have had it adjusted some even in the year since I began taking medication for my conditions but feel comfortable with the ones I am on currently and the dosages seem effective. I did survive for 37 years without this medication but the second to last month of my 37th year I came close to dying. TOO close. After a few days in ICU and during a stay in a Behavioral Health Hospital, I visited with a psychiatrist who strongly suggested I begin to take some medication to help regulate the chemical imbalance in my brain. I was hesitant but I knew I couldn’t continue to feel the way that I did. I had slowly began to feel worse and worse over the years and when I started the medication, it felt almost as if a dark curtain lifted off of my head. It was a slow change but I noticed less depression and less anxiety. Now I recognize the medication as a necessity as if I was an insulin dependant diabetic. This is lifesaving; not at all a crutch.

      Thank you for the compliment! I do love to write and some of my projects are much more coherent than others. I am not sure what you mean by my not being “that bad” or my not having “real problems”. I have never lost touch with reality and do not have hallucinations or psychosis but I do agree those are problematic for those that have such illnesses. But I can assure you that I do have real problems and feel like my illnesses are very bad for me. I would much prefer to be healthy mentally. My illnesses have cost me much over the years, even though I only just realized and recognized that I do in fact, battle such illnesses. The two most important things it almost cost me are my children and my life. I will always feel as if I have pennance to pay for the damage I have done due to my illnesses.

      In my research and learning since my diagnosis I have learned that there are many things that contribute to illness; brain chemistry, family history/DNA, environment, trauma, etc. I have been one of those that has ‘self medicated’ somewhat. I have never, ever done an illegal drug nor medication that wasn’t specifically perscribed to me. What I have done to make myself feel better is exercise (I have run 8 full marathons to date and coach a training program), I do eat healthy, I don’t drink more than 2 glasses of red wine a week, I do enjoy music of all sorts and studied classical voice and theatrical performance in college. All has helped me with my mood but in spite of all of that, I still broke last year. And medication and therapy has helped me significantly and I feel this, in addition to all that I mentioned above, is a great health plan for me for now. I am sure I will re-evaluate from time to time to stay as healthy as possible.

      I appreciate your comments, Matthew!! I am fairly new to all of this and have found so much information since I began writing and sharing about myself and my illnesses.

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