Archives for October, 2011


The 5 Scariest Things About Mental Illness

From horror movies like Halloween to haunted houses roamed by stray mental health patients, when it comes to scare tactics, mental illness has long shared the spotlight with goblins, ghouls, and other Things That Go Bump In The Night - and not just during Halloween.

Some advocates turn the other cheek when it comes to using mental illness as a scare tactic; they've learned to pick their battles, if you will. Others actively fight against the stigma they believe such representations promote.

Others still snub knee-jerk reactions in either direction and instead use the depictions as teaching tools.

Fortunately, I'm not writing yet another post about why you should or should not be okay with movies called Psycho or parents allowing their children to trick-or-treat donning the iconic Jason Voorhees hockey mask.

(Pause for applause.)

I am, however, going to tell you that contrary to what many mental health advocates preach, there are scary things - truly scary things - about mental illness.

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Demi Lovato Finds Success With Accountability

Demi Lovato is on top of the world right now. Her third studio album, Unbroken, was released September 2011 and its first single, "Skyscraper," won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer: Song. She also racked up a couple of Do Something awards for her role in "Sonny With a Chance" and "Make a Wave," her duet with Joe Jonas.

Oh, and let's not forget she's waiting to find out whether her MTV O Music Awards and Youth Rock Awards noms will turn into wins, she's launching her "A Special Night With Demi Lovato" tour here in a couple of weeks, and...

...and she's a trending topic on Twitter pretty much all the freaking time.

It's good to be Demi.

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Celebrities Team Up For New Anti-Gay Bullying Campaign

Whether you're into Dancing With the Stars, Jersey Shore, Glee, Modern Family, or Parks and Recreation, chances are one of your favorite celebrities is involved with the recently launched Amplify Your Voice campaign.

Working with the the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) launched Amplify Your Voice earlier this month to provide youth with tips on how to stand up against bullying, ways to stay safe...
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Weekend Reading: Kirsten Dunst On Depression And Stigma

During her feature interview for November's issue of Flare magazine, 29-year-old actress Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette, Spiderman, Bring It On, and - oh yeah - Interview With The Vampire when she was just a wee lass) recently spoke out about depression, including her own treatment for depression and the stigma associated with the mood disorder.

Dunst, who checked into Cirque Lodge back in 2008 and later that year opened up about the experience to both clear the air about drug use rumors and point out depression isn't something to be gossiped about, tells Flare:
People are embarrassed to talk about [depression]. I would never put anyone down that was in that kind of space.
She also notes that her depression treatment helped her realize that many people experience depression:
I think that most human beings go through some sort of depression in their life. And if they don't, I think that's weird.
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Jennifer Aniston Raises $450,000 For “Artists For Haiti”

Okay, okay, okay - she might not have gotten naked for his charity (or even lent her name to it), but Jennifer Aniston is helping Ben Stiller in another big way -

- and not just by partying with him after his recent Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

At a charity auction at New York City's Christie's auction house, the 42-year-old actress who's getting ready to show the world her directing skills with
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Weekend Reading: Antonio, Melanie On Marriage, Substance Abuse

The November 2011 issue of AARP features some interesting firsthand insight into the marriage of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, but you don't have to wait until next month to read The Animated Life of Antonio Banderas...

..or Melanie Griffith's Point of View.

Griffith's struggles with substance abuse problems - to the tune of alcohol, cocaine, and most recently prescription pain pills - have been no secret. Yet, Banderas has stuck by and supported Griffith throughout her relapses and recoveries during their marriage, and claims their ups and downs (emphasis on downs) has only made them stronger:

Banderas admits that he and his wife have struggled at times, notably with Griffith's substance abuse. But the challenges, he says, have only strengthened their relationship.

HOWEVER...according to Griffith, things didn't always happen quite the way Banderas remembers.

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Mental Health Day: Top 5 Celebrity Organization Efforts

Back during Mental Health Month, we talked about how you can advocate like a celebrity, but...

...what about the charities and organizations through which the celebrities are advocating? What are they DOING with these organizations to really spread the word about mental health awareness?

From working with existing mental health organizations to launching their own mental health charities, these five celebrities (and their respective groups!) are working hard to raise mental health awareness, teach people about mental health resources, and eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

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Weekend Reading: Elizabeth Berkley Writes Teen Self-Help Book

So...Elizabeth Berkley (a.k.a. Jessie Spano to those of us who remember when Mario Lopez was A.C. Slater and not a serial TV host) has a new (to me) self-help book out.

Berkley, whose done her fair share of show-hopping (or, show-girling, heh, heh), penned the book for teen girls who need answers about everything from love and life to their bodies and friends.

According to the product description:
Ask Elizabeth is the complete guide to teen life; the last and only self-help book they'll ever need. Inspired by the many workshops Elizabeth Berkley has conducted with over 30,000 teen girls across the country, Ask Elizabeth brings the spirit of these conversations to life on the page.
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National Depression Screening Day: Get A Free Screening

Today (Thursday, October 6, 2011) is National Depression Screening Day here in America, and one of our favorite athletes-turned-advocate, Gregory Montgomery is encouraging everyone to get checked.

Montgomery's work has spanned collaborating with mental health nonprofits like to filming documentaries with the NFL to speaking at various public venues about his own battles with mental illness.

Now, the former All-Pro NFL punter is working with Screening for Mental Health (SMH) to make sure those in need know mental illness is treatable and manageable:

I’ve found the strength to navigate through bipolar disorder's gauntlet. I've learned that it's not a death sentence, but actually a gift. Simply a race car that needs to be learned to be driven. (SMH)

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David Arquette And Courtney Cox Plan New Comedy Together

Glad David Arquette didn't get bumped off "Dancing With the Stars" last week?

Well, you might get to see even more of him.

According to's Michael Ausiello, via their production company Coquette Productions, Arquette and his soon-to-be (I'm guessing; they seem to spend more time together than another estranged couple I know) ex-wife Courtney Cox are working on a new show together.

The tentatively titled "10 Years" will be a comedy that "explores the ups and downs of relationships across a group of friends, spanning 10 years."

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