Archive for December, 2008

Since you all like cats so much….

December 31, 2008

together-2

Here is a cuddly one of young and old together………

Famous people with mental illness…

December 31, 2008

 

Here is something to ponder on over New Year.  (With acknowledgement and thanks to Mental Health Awareness blog.) 

 

Mental Illness is not confined to any particular ethnic, racial, religious, or financial group. Anyone can get it, at any time.  Even though most mental illnesses have devastating effects on the lives of those affected, many have found that these illnesses can produce extraordinary clarity, insight, and creativity as well.

Below you will find the names of many famous people who felt not only the devastation, but also the extraordinary creative potential, as well as the courage to use it. It’s quite a list. Please take the time to browse it thoroughly.

 

Abraham Lincoln

The admired sixteenth President of the United States suffered from severe and incapacitating clinical depression which sometimes led to thoughts of suicide as well.

Virginia Woolf

The British novelist who wrote To the Lighthouse and Orlando experienced the severe mood swings of bipolar disorder which included feverish periods of writing and weeks spent in the gloom of depression. Anthony Storr wrote about her story in The Dynamics of Creation .

Lionel Aldridge

As a defensive end for the legendary Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s, he played in two Super Bowls. During the 1970’s, he suffered from schizophrenia and spent two and a half years homeless. Before he died in 1998, he gave many inspirational talks concerning his battle against paranoid schizophrenia.

Eugene O’Neill

The famous playwright, author of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!, is documented as having suffered from clinical depression.

Ludwig van Beethoven

The brilliant composer is documented as having suffered from bipolar disorder, in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb.

Gaetano Donizetti

The famous opera singer suffered from bipolar disorder.

Robert Schumann

The “inspired poet of human suffering” lived with bipolar disorder, as one of many creative people discussed in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr.

Leo Tolstoy

Author of War and Peace, Tolstoy revealed the depth of his own mental illness in the memoir Confession. He suffered from clinical depression, hypochondriasis, alcoholism, and substance abuse. His experiences are discussed in both The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Inner World of Mental Illness: A Series of First Person Accounts of What It Was Like by Bert Kaplan.

Vaslov Nijinsky

His autobiography, The Diary of Vaslov Nijinksy, documents the dancer’s battle with schizophrenia.

John Keats

This renowned poet’s mental illness is documented along with the illnesses of many others in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Broken Brain: The biological Revolution in Psychiatry by Nancy Andreasen, M.D.

Tennessee Williams.  The playwright wrote about his personal struggle with clinical depression in his own Memoirs, and his experience is also documented in Five O’Clock Angel: Letters of Tennessee Williams to Maria St. Just, 1948-1982; The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams by Donald Spoto; and Tennessee: Cry of the Heart by Dotson.

Vincent Van Gogh

The bipolar disorder that this celebrated artist suffered from is discussed in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb and Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Van Gogh.

Isaac Newton

The English mathematician and scientist who formulated the theory of gravitation is suspected of suffering from bipolar disorder, as discussed in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb.

Ernest Hemingway

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist’s bouts with suicidal depression are examined in the True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him by Denis Brian.

Sylvia Plath

The suicide of this poet and novelist was caused by her lifelong struggle with clinical depression, as discussed in A Closer Look at Ariel: A Memory of Sylvia Plath by Nancy Hunter-Steiner.

Michelangelo

The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr discusses the mental illness of one of the world’s greatest artistic geniuses.

Winston Churchill

The quote “Had he been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished,” was written by Anthony Storr about Churchill’s bipolar disorder in Churchill’s Black Dog, Kafka’s Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind.

Vivien Leigh

The British actress of the 1950’s & 60’s, star of Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire suffered from the mental illness bipolar disorder, as documented in Vivien Leigh: A Biography by Ann Edwards.

Jimmy Piersall

The Truth Hurts, written by the baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, detailed his experience with bipolar disorder.

Patty Duke

The Academy Award-winning actress revealed her bipolar disorder in her autobiography and made-for-TV move Call Me Anna, and in A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness, co-authored by Gloria Hochman.

Charles Dickens

The clinical depression of one of the greatest authors in the English language is documented in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb, and Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph by Edgar Johnson.

John Forbes Nash

Mathematician, author of the game theory of economics, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He was also the subject of the book and movie “A Beautiful Mind” !

 

This is the link to the host site:

http://mentalhealthawareness.wordpress.com/

 

Christmas thoughts…

December 25, 2008

For those of you who are able to enjoy Christmas, I wish you happiness and peace with those you care about.

For those who, for one reason or another, find Christmas a dark and lonely place, I know you are there and I hope that something good will happen for you.   Remember that this site has many links, and some are to safe chat rooms where you can make contact with others, whatever your age.   And if you have no one to answer you in the silence of the holiday then send me a message and I will try to reply to you.

Oberon.

First Ever All Wales LGB Research Project involving Mental Health

December 21, 2008

Dear Stonewall Cymru supporter,

 

In partnership with Mind Cymru, Hafal and Journeys, Stonewall Cymru are currently conducting the first ever all Wales research project into the views and needs of those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) and have experiences of mental health issues. 

 

The survey is now online to fill in or alternatively you can be sent a copy in the post.

 

To find out more about the project and to fill in the survey in, please visit our website.

 

http://www.stonewallcymru.org.uk/mental_health

 

Many thanks,

Megan

 

Kind Regards

 

Megan Evans

 

Mental Health Project Administration Officer/Swyddog Gweinyddol Prosiect Iechyd Meddwl

 

Stonewall Cymru

Transport House

1 Cathedral Road/1 Heol y Gadeirlan

Cardiff/Caerdydd

CF11 9SB

 

Phone/Ffôn: 02920 237744
Fax/Ffacs: 02920 237749
Email/Ebost: megan.evans@stonewallcymru.org.uk  

 

12 days of Christmas

December 18, 2008

This may raise a smile in quiet moments…

12 days of Christmas

Christmas Header photo

December 11, 2008

New header photo is St Mary Street, Cardiff – Christmas 2008.   Do you have anyChristmas theme photos you would like to show on this blog?  If so, send them to caradoc.who2@ntlworld.com  and we will see what we can do.   Here is another of Queen Street on a damp, cold evening.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

and inside the Queen’s Arcade…

colours of evening

colours of evening

but we don't have a chimney....

but we don't have a chimney....

Male Anorexia

December 10, 2008

The following is from Teens First for Health by Great Ormond Street Hospital.  To reach the site for the article and other information click this link:

 http://www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk/teens/life/campaigns/archive/2006/eating_disorders.html

Male Anorexia

Eating disorders affect more girls than boys, but boys get them too. Sixteen-year-old Mark James* spoke to Anna Bailey about his battle with anorexia.

“I first noticed that I had a problem with food when I become obsessed with a diet I was on. Throughout my teens I had always been overweight so when I hit 16 stone I went on a strict diet and started exercising. But the more weight I started to lose the more compliments I would get and the more weight I wanted to shed. In the end it became a destructive cycle.

Christmas

The crux came at Christmas time. I had lost around six stone in three months. But rather than tucking into all the Christmas trimmings I ate very little because I still thought I looked very fat. At just ten stone my family obviously knew this wasn’t the case and were slightly concerned I had lost weight too quickly. They then suggested I go and see a doctor.

Misdiagnosed

The first doctor I went to see wasn’t very helpful. I was told that boys don’t get anorexia and my eating habits were put down to depression. The leaflets I was given to read were also targeted towards girls. I felt extremely isolated and wondered if I was the only boy in the world who felt they had an eating disorder. Eventually I found a psychiatrist who confirmed what I had been thinking. It was a relief to know that there was something wrong and someone was taking me seriously.

Rock bottom

My anorexia actually got worse before I started to get better. It was all I could think about during the day and I started to calorie count. I wouldn’t eat any food over 100 calories and I cut out all meat, crisps, chocolates, nuts and cakes. At my lowest point I was only having a bowl of cereal in the morning.  This had a huge impact on my energy levels at school and I was falling asleep by eight o’clock at night. But at that point I didn’t care; I was willing to take the risk with my health as long as I wasn’t gaining any weight. My friends thought I was just going through a ‘MK’ (Mary Kate Olsen) diet faze to look cool and would tease me for being too thin, but inside I was very unhappy and ill. Every time I would go to eat I felt so guilty that I would instantly exercise off the weight or make myself sick. I couldn’t help myself; it was that overpowering.

Hospital

Eventually the weight loss took its toll on my heart. I started to get sharp pains and I plummeted to six stone. At this point I was just a couple of days off from being hospitalised and coming near to death. When the doctor told me this it was a real wake up call and I knew that I had to do something about it.

Recovery

In order to get better I started to try and eat a bit more. So instead of eating one bowl of cereal a day I would have two. I also stopped exercising so much and tried to do activities like drama to raise my self-esteem. Through doing new things I meet new friends who have supported me.

Future

I am slowly getting better now and overcoming my anorexia one day at a time.

I don’t know whether I will fully get over it but at least I know now that I am not a freak and that there are people around to help me. I am now an Ambassador for the Eating Disorders Association and it’s great to meet people like me who are getting better. I also wanted to help other boys who might be going through the same experiences as me but don’t know where to turn to. It makes me really mad seeing stick thin images of anorexics in the press because you don’t need to be really thin to have anorexia. You can look fit and muscly but still think in an anorexic way. There isn’t a label or image that fits all and that’s why the disease is so deceptive.

Top tips

My advice to anyone who thinks that they may have anorexia or an eating disorder is to ask for help. Either speak to a friend, your family or the doctor but don’t leave it too late because it can get worse. It’s better to take control before the disorder takes control of your life.

*The real name of this individual has been changed to protect his identity.

infoFor more help and information

For more help and information about eating disorders please contact beat.

BEAT – Young People’s Forum

December 9, 2008

Many young people have joined our forum. Young people have told us that they find it difficult being heard. We hope the forum will give them the opportunity to tell others how they feel and really be listened to.

Want to find out more?   Follow this link:

http://www.b-eat.co.uk/YoungPeople/Forum

My Eating Disorders….

December 9, 2008

….is a  website is put together by a group of young women with eating disorders.  Each post is reflective of a constant struggle with body image and self esteem.  This blog also contains informational posts.

If you want to look at it, follow this link:     

 http://myeatingdisorders.wordpress.com/

Boys get anorexia too.

December 9, 2008

For information provided by a family with direct experience click on the following link:

http://www.boyanorexia.com/