The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Green Ribbon Month

I am not sure what the one-in-three statistic is meant to convey. Just sufferers who seek (or receive compulsory) treatment? Or does it include an extrapolated group of presumed sufferers who never seek treatment, but instead self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, and other risky behaviours to try to feel a bit better?

Like all stats it can never mean what the shorthand version seems to mean.

But as a diagnosed long-term sufferer of a disablingly serious mental illness (Bipolar 1) who takes a handful of prescribed pills every day of my life to try to achieve some peace and balance, I would be delighted if I never bumped up against any more stigma and prejudice in what remains of my life.

So, END THE STIGMA, indeed!


  1. Hari OM
    A very good initiative and I am all for the catch phrase. Presumably this is being backed up by a sound campaign of leaflets and infomercials?

    As a healer/counsellor, naturally I saw a variety of stress and mental disorder states and I would say that the majority, (I am fairly certain), would not want to go around wearing a ribbon advertising their fragility. So I wonder who is expected to wear them?

    So you may see I am a bit ambivalent about the benefit of ribbons of any colour - much as you, quite rightly, are regarding the broad and inclusive statistics!

    What worked for Breast Cancer (and it did/does and all power to it) will not necessarily work in this area. In Sydney, there was push to have mental health properly understood and accepted by the general public, whereby stalls were set up in various, high-profile shopping malls for a week. Inventive things like hypothetical conversations with a sufferer and on-the-spot emergency counselling training were given. It proved very popular - especially with young people, which was rewarding.

    It is a sad indictment that there are significant numbers of teenagers with psychosis and other drug related disorders and here was evidence of their peers wanting to help.

    Will be interested in an update on this at some point! &>

    Meanwhile, all strength and joy to you my dear. Pills notwithstanding, I am glad you seem to be finding something of that balance you seek. Hugs, YAM.xx

    1. Who would wear them? Anyone who has been touched, indirectly as well as directly, I would hope. Those bereaved by suicude? The recovered, the recovering, their friends, family and loved ones? Psych docs, social workers and nurses?

      If it IS 1 in 3, then the general public MUST know people who have been touched, are being touched, by isues of mental health The days when the first Mrs Rochester is confined to a wing of the house MUST be over, in civilised societies, surely? That was almost two centuriws ago!

      There is nothing "notwithstanding" about my medication, in my view, and I have never had reservations about taking any of it (provided it is effective, for instance Lithium wasn't).

      It has saved my life. Just as insulin saves the lives of Type 1 diabetics.

      If I see any more material or publicity for this I will let you know.


  2. Hari OM
    Hmmm, I fear that the terror of print has perhaps mis-communicated my intent and for that I apologise. Please know that I am 100% behind any approach that "releases Mrs Rochester".

    It may be, also, that there are some variances on this between UK and OZ. It may be that you are a bit ahead of the game there. That is not because the care in OZ is any less, rather the society, perhaps, is still a tad square. I did actually do the 'go ogle' thing and found some good info.

    Please know I was not all suggesting you should not be taking medications - rather that my impression is of someone who truly is finding 'her balance'. Forgive any inadvertence on my part from seeking to be involved at distance.

    Again with hugs, YAM xx

  3. I am not sure either if the UK is more advanced than Oz in terms of care, especially as so many GREAT psych drugs were developed and trialed "down under". We maybe aren't so square as a society as parts of Oz, certainly we are most of us growing more and more tolerant and accepting of difference, whatever more conservative elements might wish about turning back the hands of time. Witness the recent legislative moves towards introducing equal marriage.

    I misunderstood your use of "notwithstanding", I think. You see, I come across SO many otherwise quite intelligent people who are more suspicious and afraid of the pharmaceutical treatment options than they are of the illnesses, sometimes! Fear of "depending on tablets" is rife. It's pretty much taken over from the idea that only weak people get depressed!

    Typing is good, but it ain't perfect. Neither is talking, sometimes. Often the same words just mean different things to different people...which has always been fascinating to me, as a student and teacher of English.

  4. Hari Om
    Thank you Marion and I agree completely with your second para - in fact a lot of my role, I discovered, was in helping folk understand that the medication WAS necessary (where it was - occasionally not, but that's not for here). Acceptance of treatment is a lot of the battle.

    Plain fact is (and I aggravate a lot of my H'path colleagues with my pragmatism!) that there is no one, whole and complete answer. If balance is found then don't go rocking that boat!

    Not intentionally anyway. I agree that, depending on context and framing, words can take on different nuances. I am also aware that, having been in OZ for over 20 years and also now 2 years in India am influenced, however unsuspectingly, by the respective usages of what looks like the same language!!!

    In the interests of détente, I again tender my good wishes and look forward to another day. YAM xx

  5. I think far more openness will go a long way towards ending the stigma and so I applaud this initiative just as I did red ribbons for AIDS and pink for breast cancer (even though I wish they'd chosen almost any other colour). It's not so very long since people referred to cancer as the Big C or 'a growth' and many were very hesitant or afraid to seek help if they had symptoms. Hopefully we're long past that now with cancer and AIDS, so I wish this campaign too the same success.