VLOG: Why It’s Important & 4 Ways To Show Compassion & Empathy Towards Others.

compassion, courage, empathetic, gratitude, inspiration, mental stigma, personal development, self-reflection

Hello and Happy Monday to  my friends,

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on why I find it so important that we reflect often on how we are showing Compassion and Empathy towards others. Especially because as a Mental Health Community, we fight for others to show understanding and compassion towards us because of our Mental Illness. I think it’ll help each of us grow better and stronger if we can learn that despite the stigma and the lack of empathy from the society we often get– compassion is what binds us together as human beings. Living in a world of violence, hatred, and negativity on a daily basis already makes life tough. Let’s be a beacon of hope. Let’s show others compassion and empathy as often as we can.

In this video below, I share the 4 ways I’ve been implementing showing others empathy and compassion in my life. Truth be told, they have slowly not only helped me show compassion and empathy towards others but these simple acts helped me grow as a person. At the end of the day, there are ways we can make this world a better place and this is a tremendously positive way to contribute your part.

cropped-adamire2.jpgI want to hear your thoughts! What ways do you show compassion or empathy to others?

Till next time, Take care, have a great week, stay positive and have some fun too!

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Inside the Bipolar 2 Mind

anxiety, bipolar, depressive episode, lifestyle, mental health, mental health awareness, personal development, story, strength, suicide, suicide prevention

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 in the early spring of this year. Although I had heard of Bipolar, I had no idea the symptoms, the details and struggles that go into this particular Mental Illness for those that had been battling it every day.

It wasn’t for a few months that I even wrapped my head around this new concept and accepted I had been diagnosed with Bipolar. I took the medications like prescribed (of course, complaining about them the entire time), but most of the time I isolated myself so I could research, and research (and research) all the articles, data, and stories that I could find online to help me prove that this diagnosis was wrong…. but to no avail. As I read story after story and dived deep into understanding the explanation of this illness on Mental Health and Medical sites, I could easily say “me too!” to all the struggles and symptoms that consistently described how I was feeling, but I couldn’t articulate into words myself.

img_5356-e1541600399972.jpgSee, often people with Bipolar or any mood altering illness won’t explain to you the symptoms they experience in detail; partly because they don’t want to scare you and partly because they don’t fully understand them all themselves. It’s hard to understand a diagnosis so complex and then be able to articulate that into words. It’s hard for many reasons, but one being because some people don’t believe Mental Illness is real. It’s easy if you break your foot, go to the doctor, followed by an x-ray and then you get your diagnosis. When you are mentally ill, your ability to articulate how you are feeling, usually to a complete stranger,  is how we’re diagnosed which is why so many people are unproperly diagnosed for years before Bipolar and other Mental Health Disorders reveal their true characteristics which will finally lead to proper treatment. Treatment helps, I’m grateful for it because it makes it more manageable, but treatment doesn’t cure Mental Illness.

img_5355-1.jpgI still have to put in work every day to make the most out of the rapid cycling mood changes that drastically change as quick and easy as walking into a dark room and simply turning on the light switch to see; that darkness becomes light and vice-versa in less than seconds. Living with Bipolar, as simply put as I can explain it, is similar to that. Your mood will change in a matter of seconds for no reason at all and usually, it’s out of your control.

img_5357-2.jpgThe illness has a variety of symptoms which makes it even more difficult for people to get properly diagnosed. For example, I consider myself a very grounded person. I know who I am, my values and core beliefs. I know my boundaries and likes and dislikes. But, I don’t feel like I live in a ‘middle ground‘ mentally. I am either living in a state of mind called “Hypomania” or “Bipolar Depression”. Hypomania is constantly high-paced behavior and energy, accompanied by impulsive thinking where your ideas and thoughts race 100mph, you’re judgment becomes clouded and you can’t concentrate on the task at hand to save your life. It’s also coupled with heightened anxiety and can’t forget about that good old friend, insomnia, which regardless of how much sleep you get, your energy level will stay up and so these symptoms linger for 24 hours a day, weeks at a time. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Actually, it’s exhausting. Exhausting both mentally and physically.

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The other half of a Bipolar mindset is dark and isolating. During a depressive episode, it begins to feel normal to fantasize about suicide which is why people with Bipolar are 3x more likely to commit suicide. These thoughts that become horrifyingly casual are called “suicidal ideation”.  It’s common that people with Bipolar are unable to explain the symptoms of these episodes. Personally, I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, do anything, go anywhere, try anything, eat anything; I’m simply, extremely unmotivated. I’m sad for no reason and struggling to fight the dark thoughts that present themselves consistently, although they’re 100% uninvited. I’m irritable, anxious, fatigued and feel completely empty. If I could draw or illustrate a visual picture for you during one of these episodes to capture how it feels, it’d simply be the darkest rain cloud I’ve ever seen suddenly blocking out any and all sunlight from every area of your life. That raincloud can’t be moved, it will simply stay for as long as it intends too and in reference to Bipolar, this is the battle that most would say is the hardest about Bipolar 2.

Understanding Mental Health is important because it’ll help you understand people more. Perhaps you’ll feel more compassion next time your friend bails last minute because they’re suddenly depressed or maybe you’ll reach out more to be that friend who can pull someone out of that isolation when they desperately need someone.

Bipolar is hard, but it’s manageable. It’s a part of me, but not my entire story. Yes, I still have to find a balance in life with this new diagnosis, I don’t know all my triggers yet and I only have a handful of tools that I have developed to make it through these depressive episodes. But, in time I know that I will become better and stronger at caring and battling for my Bipolar 2 Diagnosis. I only know that because of the incredible people who boldly shared their raw stories with Mental Illness and shed light into a time in my life when I was feeling incredibly alone.

img_5359My PSA for you is after knowing that 1 in 5 people suffer from a Mental Illness, chances are you know a lot more people who struggle with similar feelings to what I’ve described. I hope you know that you can be their beacon of hope and bring light even in the darkest of times by simply listening and reminding them they are not alone. For those of you that can relate to this illness, remember that an illness like this doesn’t make you broken. It makes you strong and brave for battling your own mind every day. You have one little sparkle of madness, you must never lose it!

Wishing you all the best,
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img_3689A day, a week plus one whole month dedicated to showing support for the millions that took their life to suicide. It’s the one month that brings awareness to the problem that 1 in 5 people deal with every day for the rest of their life; Mental Health and the fact it results so often in suicide.

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I’m grateful for this movement because doing something is better than nothing. But why don’t we raise awareness all year long? when did “serving & helping others” become a second/third/nineteenth priority to people. We declared a war on drugs and although there is debate whether that helped, it was a problem recognized on a national level; something everyone was involved in. That’s what we need with Mental Health and for suicide prevention.1925996346f46dfbd6186cc66aa35a41.jpg

When did “commit” suicide become a loosely used term? They didn’t commit suicide. The reality is someone took their life and suffered unimaginable pain in doing so.

It is no secret that Mental Health is my passion, but it’s also my biggest battle. Regardless, it’s in my bones & soul to feel compassion and deep empathy for the people who struggle with the will to live. I know I was given these struggles to contribute to the Mental HEALTH CRISIS that exists in America. Not enough psychiatrists, insurance doesn’t cover rehabilitation, psychiatric wards closing down in hospitals– the problem is growing, the solutions are decreasing and now it’s up to you, me, our society to raise awareness and do what we can to show we care; to make a change in someone’s life. If not in our time– let’s do it for our kids; the next generation!

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I had my own loved ones attempt suicide, a trauma I’ll never recover from. To imagine losing someone I loved was the greatest pain I’ve felt. To know I loved someone who was in that much pain that the world becomes so painful to live in & killing them self is the most realistic option at that point—- that feeling is something I can only imagine to be the equivalent of living in hell. A real life, living Hell. & yet every 16 minutes someone is in this living hell & attempts to take their life. What a sad reality we’re living in. But we can help! This month I’ll post a lot about Mental Health in an effort to bring awareness.

Today’s call to action:

If mental health wasn’t something you thought about– maybe because you never experienced it or didn’t know much about it– I challenge you to spend this month finding one way to contribute to this problem. Whether you learn, volunteer, or simply reach out and show someone you care; stop the stigma. Help be a big part of an important cause. You have the power to save a life with your words and actions; which are the superpowers we were given as humans.

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Let’s start by telling someone we care, today!

& Today, I’m bringing attention to the campaign I am super passionate about which is called imlistening.org 

They share the proof that Mental Health and Suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate. Anyone can fall into a Mental Health Illness or go through periods of suicidal thoughts. This organization interviews celebrities, athletes, singers & more who share their truth with the world and they allow you to share your story too. Check them out!

And below are resources from their site! Please repost them, share them, talk about them with people. Nobody needs to feel alone!


RESOURCES:

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or any other type of crisis, you are not alone.

If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)
Phone: 1-800-273-8255

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free and confidential service will provide crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Their website also offers a live chat for anyone in need.

Crisis Text Line (741-741)
TEXT: TALK to 741-741

The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, and it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their trained Crisis Counselors are available for coping with any painful emotion for which you need support.

Additional resources:

If you are seeking any form of assistance, the below list of resources can provide support or refer you to a local resource which can help.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Phone: 1-888-333-2377

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness, funds research, and provides support and resources to those affected by suicide.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Phone: 240-485-1001

For information on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of anxiety and depression.

Concussion Legacy Foundation

Concussion and CTE Resources

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Phone: 1-800-826-3632

For information and online or in-person support for those with bipolar disorder and depression.

Now Matters Now

Now Matters Now provides skills and support for coping with suicidal thoughts.

Psychology Today
Provides a national directory of therapists, psychiatrists, group therapy, and other options.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Phone: 1-800-662-4357

Provides referrals to mental health care, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis treatment at a low cost/sliding scale.

Talkspace

Online, on-demand digital therapy.

The Trevor Project
1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project provides confidential support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Their phone hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Veteran’s Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255
TEXT: 838255

The Veterans Crisis Line is available for veterans in crisis and their families and friends who are in need of support. Their hotline, text message service, and online chat are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide confidential support to those facing a crisis.


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How YOU Can Save A Life— it’s easier than you think!

Avoiding Small Talk., contribute, courage, depression, lets talk, lifestyle, mental discrimination, mental health, mental health awareness, Mental Illness and Recovery, mental stigma, new post, Stop the Stigma; Mental Health., story, strength, suicide, suicide prevention