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Recovery 101

I’ve had some interesting conversations this week, but one of my favorites would probably be a discussion I had pertaining to the theory society has set around what it means to be “mentally ill” these days. If you really think about it, the term mental illness only serves to stigmatize and cause separation between people. For example, if I were to let’s say – get into a traumatic car accident and require an extensive amount of rehabilitation, lose my job because of it, get overwhelmingly sad because I am now forced to have other people take care of me, etc, the only way I am going to get better is to get into the mindset of recovery. Similar to this, those who are labeled with many mental illnesses simply struggle on the path to adulthood. Getting our life on the right track and figuring out what you want to do is extremely difficult, and it requires skills that not everyone has at certain times in their lives. In my personal experience, I was labeled with psychiatric diagnoses at an early age and thought that I had to conform to what society and others dictated I had to do because of my labels, but that isn’t the case at all. Just like that earlier example of the once “normal” person who just happened to get into a car accident one day, a person who has been labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis has to go through the same process of recovery in order to achieve their wellness. No one is different than any other, and no individual is immune to having to go through the process. Yes, for some it may be harder than for others, but it is still attainable. So, the question still remains- why stigmatize and signal out one type of recovery versus another???

How do you guys feel about this concept?

National Bipolar Awareness Day: March 31st


Help us raise awareness about Bipolar Disorder on March 31st. This day is celebrated nationally to increase awareness and to promote early detection and accurate diagnosis, reduce stigma, and minimize the devastating impact on the 2.3 million Americans presently affected by the disorder.

S.F. and Dolce both live with bipolar disorder. You may read their stories at the links provided below:

S.F: “The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my illness is to have patience… I rushed through my recovery, partly out of ignorance and partly out of fear that this illness was going to impact my life in ways I didn’t want it to…”. Further reading here: https://turningpointct.org/story/s-fmanicdepression/

Dolce: “I didn’t understand why I would have hyper days and then some days I would be down, I always thought that I was a troubled kid…”. Further reading here: https://turningpointct.org/story/dolcebipolardisorder/

These amazing stories exposes us to the diverse struggles that other young adults with Bipolar Disorder have to deal with. Please keep reading more stories here.

There are more resources available at turningpointct.org to guide you through your recovery. Follow the Q&A guide if you are thinking about getting help. Learn about how you can get started and do a self screening test to see if you may possibly have a bipolar diagnosis.

Learn more about Bipolar disorder by clicking on this link then clicking on the ‘mood disorders’ tab on ‘The Facts’ page.


  • Trevor Project (crisis intervention & suicide prevention for the  LGBTQ community): 1-866-488-7386

Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award

Jerry Greenspan Student Jerry Greenspan
The Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award is an annual award honoring an undergraduate college student who is raising awareness of mental health issues on campus, reducing prejudice around mental illness, and encouraging help-seeking among their peers. It was established in 2008 through a contribution made by Carol Ullman and the late Joseph Greenspan, in memory of their son, Jerry Greenspan.

This award is designed to encourage dialogue about mental health on campuses, reduce prejudice around emotional disorders, and raise visibility of the outstanding students who are tackling these issues at schools across the country.

The undergraduate college student selected for this award receives:

A $3,000 cash scholarship
Recognition on The Jed Foundation’s website
A trip to New York to attend JED’s Annual Gala

Visit the Jeff Foundation website for more info and Submit your application here by 11:59pm ET on March 25th

Published: by the Jeff Foundation:

Mental Wellness Month (Tips From Maneesh Gupta)

To Understand and Not Be Misunderstood

A surprising mistake that I have often made is to speak in my native tongue without clarifying myself. Sometimes I do this simply for fun or to play on words (with a friendly intention) but I realize that if someone is unable to understand what I am saying, they might at times, think that I am being offensive. Sometimes a genuine thought may create conflicts unimaginable and this underscores a recent experience that I had:

In Jamaica, it is typical of us to greet a friend who we haven’t seen in a long time by saying, “Yuh dash mi weh”, which translates as, ‘You have forgotten about me.” To me, this is the most friendly thing you can say to someone who you haven’t seen in a long time, but to someone else, it may not be so friendly. In my mind, its funny that someone would interpret this differently, but to someone else, its simply offensive and rude.

The problem is not that I had been offensive or I unintentionally appeared to be offensive but that language, semantics or simply just communication, can have many meanings. Luckily, it was a friend and not say, someone who I work with professionally. Of course, I wouldn’t use such expression in any professional sphere, because its meant for friends and only friends. Not that it couldn’t be another phrase or expression, it certainly could. But the luck here is ‘feedback’. In another case, I may not have the benefit of hearing what the person I am speaking to, really thinks. We naturally have an habit of keeping silent about things that offends us. Maybe for the best.

It feels good, knowing that someone who cares about you, responds the right way and ask the right questions.

‘What exactly do you mean? Couldn’t you have said it in another way?”

That’s good and that helps communication because mutual understanding is important.

By the way, I think that I have written about this before…. Sooo coincidental because I had a similar incident before.

Over the last few months, I have also learnt, first hand, that sense of humor is not the same for everyone. The sense of humor here in the United States, is often different from humor in other places. Which means that things that I find funny may offend others, and things that are offensive to me, may be of humor to others. It’s a very thin boundary, and in some cases if you do not know how to respond, if it’s that you respond by retaliating in anger, it can make matters worse.”em>

But of course, the bottom-line is, I just hope that whenever I speak or say something, if I’m misunderstood, someone will correct me or point out my flaws in a polite way. But that’s understandably a luxury, unless someone is a friend. Its a very big favor.
And I have misinterpreted others as well. Its never a good feeling to have. But its simply a communication thing. We just need to better understand ourselves and others at times.