Archives for Related Diseases
The Sunflower, Yellow and Hope: Rebranding to Destigmatize Depression One Lowe’s Mood-lite at a Time
I have been missing quite a bit lately, and figured it was about time I gave a reason for my disappearance. It isn't that I don't love writing about my experience with ADHD -- I do. It's therapeautic and I love talking to all of you and hearing your stories and suggestions. I have been MIA and have not written, quite frankly, because of all of the wonderful things added to my schedule and my ADHD. I embarked on a journey of my dreams in working to create a better world for all, including those with mental health issues, and simply have not found the ability to focus to sit down and reach out. My apologies! I thought first I would fill you in on my progress as it relates so very well to all of us in many ways. I started the nonprofit iFred seven years ago, by default, but it has grown to be a strong passion of mine as I continue to learn the truths about depression and the lack of resources available. I launched a national cause marketing campaign through my for-profit company, the Mood-factory, in Lowe's stores nationwide, where iFred earns $0.25 of each light bulb sold for iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression. I started a company eight years ago to develop a product line of light bulbs based on how colors affect moods and named them Mood-lites. Researchers have shown that colors have an affect on moods, so I took the theory and applied it to lighting. These lights are NOT meant to treat any depression, but function as an additional way to create a certain mood in a room as you would with colored pillows, art and wall colors.
It is so amazing how organizations are popping up all over the world helping us join forces to tackle mental health diseases. I was privileged enough to speak in Athens, Greece a few years ago about iFred's rebranding depression work, and learned from countries around the world just how important it is we work together to solve our greatest challenges. I've just recently been asked to join their advisory board, and continue to be amazed and impressed by the work of all throughout the world. It was celebrated across the U.S. when we were able to get mental health parity law passed. I don't by any means intend to minimize this work - but do we realize that what we accomplished was to treat the brain in a similar fashion to the heart, liver, and intestines? Should we really have to fight that hard for that? Those that were involved in the legislation understand the intense work, dedication, and challenge this simple piece of legislation involved - and unfortunately the rest of the world is so far behind us in many different ways.
I haven't read studies, but I have to believe that women with ADHD have a much harder time coping with PMS than those without it. I have always had depression, but my life was mixed with alcohol which makes things a lot less clear, as it is always changing your brain chemistry. When I quit drinking completely at 33, and started living a more aware life sitting through any type of feeling, I started recognizing patterns. I was probably 36 by the time I realized just how much PMS had affected me earlier on, and have come to realize ADHD only added fuel to an already explosive situation. It was like a breath of fresh air once I started realizing what was happening. Every month, I feel completely 'awful terrible the world is ending.' Every month. In the past I didn't understand it so ran every which way but into and out of the feelings. Yet I never understood the connection.
I'm at a complete standstill, as a matter of fact it was hard to write this blog today. My mind feels like it's on vacation, only it hasn't gone anywhere. The more I try to work, the harder it is to do so. In all honesty, my brain is probably saying it needs a break, a long, well-deserved break for having fought so many tough issues for so many years straight. Only I don't listen, I don't think it has time for a break so I push harder to focus and one thing at a time and I have a lot to do so keep at it. I get mad at myself for resting because I want so badly for things to happen and know I can help so many people and if I just take a little more time...
I am considered a marketing 'expert', so I've spent a lot of time studying, (re)branding and marketing products and people. When I first started the nonprofit iFred, my idea was to rebrand the disease state (depression) into something that focused on the positive, hopeful, joyous state that could be reached once you recognize and treat depression. It seemed pretty obvious to me that if we portray depression or other mental issues as 'hopeless, depressing, and disturbing,' we are not going to get much positive attention or resources.
I won't do this often, but today I do have to write and wish everyone a happy Global Day of Hope and ask you to check out our depression branding work and think about signing our petition. I run a nonprofit for depression called iFred -- the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression, and today is marking the first ever day in the first ever month for the Global Month of Hope for depression. Our rebranding objectives: Global Color: yellow Global symbol: sunflower Global Month for Hope: April