Archives for August, 2011

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Meet TONEE VALENTINE The Piano Man at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport

Get My Newsletter Tonee Valentine is a 30-year veteran of the entertainment industry


Meet Tonee Valentine! The Piano Man at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport
In my blog post on Monday, I asked Who is The Piano Man at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport? Back on May 23, 2011, I was privileged to meet this wonderful musician... (in the above-video playing)... at the largest airport in the world...(with hundreds of thousands of travelers passing by him)...while he pounded those ivory keys; making calming music among the chaos.  Like a true professional,  he kept on playing while a baby screamed and cried, cell phones rang and conversations rumbled; filling the air with distracting noise.

When I sat down, I knew I was witnessing something special!  So, I start to record this airport Piano man.  I wanted to meet him in person but missed the opportunity.  (I had to catch a plane.)  I wanted to credit him in my video and  thought I had the correct name.  You can read more about that in my blog post:  Did I See Darius Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish Playing at the Atlanta Airport?"

Enter the POWER OF THE INTERNET!  The other day, I received this comment on the post I referred to as the Piano man looking like Darius Rucker:
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Earthquake Felt from Georgia to New York – Shocking

What is more shocking than an ECT treatment...today, on the east coast, there was an earthquake felt from Georgia to New York!  {{{{SHOCKING}}}} It was surprising to everyone!  Gosh, who would-da-thunk such an event could occur on the east coast?  The good news is that according to media reports, no serious damage, injuries or death resulted!  No doubt, the quake frightened millions. I was shocked too and I did not feel a thing.  I just read all the chatter and posts and tweets!

When things like this happen, we tend to have a heightened sense of anxiety and stress. One thing I find helpful in overcoming these feelings is not to dwell on things we can't control.  Rather, channel that energy into things we can control.  Talking about it helps and writing about it helps as well. Write an e-mail or phone a friend or chat or tweet your feelings.

What else can help?
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Chato B Stewart

Who is The Piano Man at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport?



Who is this 30-year veteran of the entertainment industry?


Who is The Piano Man at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport?
In May 2011, I was privileged to be part of the DBSA conference where I was a speaker and part of the DBSA comedy show (Need a Laugh?) On the way home, I was really stressed from driving an hour to the airport, rushing through security where they always pull me aside and make me do some other test... I swear it's FAT PROFILING, but that's another story. Needless to say, I got to the 39th gate all the way down the end of the airport with all my luggage only to find out my flight was canceled.  They did give me a free hotel night right next to the airport.   So instead of leaving on Sunday, I got a Monday flight with a 2 hour layover in the Atlanta airport.



For those of you who have never been to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, it has been ranked as the world's busiest airport for over a decade, based on travelers.  It's a hub for going almost anywhere!  We are talking millions of people passing through each year.  Last year there were 89,331,622* and this year an estimated 55, 432, 086* visited the airport.

With so many people walking in and out the doors, planes,  trains and automobiles, you would think finding someone you met briefly would be next to impossible. Enter the POWER OF THE INTERNET
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Is Your Mania like Visiting Shangri-La and Your Depression like Being in Davy Jones’s Locker?

"Shangri-La" is a mystical utopia paradise that does not exist...Well, unless you're Bipolar and have a lot of manic episodes.  This utopia can quickly turn into mania and you may feel the endless energy; filled with what the French call "Joie de vivre" or Joy of Life, we may be in a constant elation.  While this is not true of all mania, it sure does sum up a lot my manic episodes.  Although, that was when I was in my teens and early twenties.

Then my time in Shangri-La La land turned more into Hypomania. It was still characterized by persistent and pervasive elevated euphoric times but the irritable mood, rapid thoughts and "eccentric" behavior took the forefront.  My moods became more and more of a mixed state. That is when the Depression like being in Davy Jones's Locker took hold.  I would be able to deal with it for some time without being medicated.  Mostly because I did not know what I was dealing with so I just self- medicated the blues away with Canadian Mist (whiskey).  That lead to other problems which is very often the case when you self-medicate.  My behavior was getting more and more violent and I walked around like a ticking time bomb.
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2011 Mental Health Humor Cartoons

The Curse of Mental Health Self-Advocacy



Chato: You Okay Doc???


Title: How dare you tell me how you feel! That's MY job!

The Curse of Mental Health Self-Advocacy
“Who do you think you are coming in here telling me what your diagnosis is?! Do you see that degree on the wall? That gives me the authority to determine a diagnosis, not you! If you don't like that then you can leave and see someone else!”
That’s what was YELLED at me (almost verbatim) when I got assigned a new med-manager/psychologist at a well-known mental health provider in Sarasota, Florida.  I was only "officially" diagnosed for two years when I was already running a DBSA support group in the community.  I didn't quite understand the recovery model back then, but the ignorance of people and stigma just fueled my desire to help others! So, what "grievous" question did I ask that set this glorified med-manager off?
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2011 Mental Health Humor Cartoons

Which Came first Bipolar or Dyslexia?


Yellow M&M: Dog-Damn-it Not only am I NUTS... But I'm dyslectic, too!


Title:  M&W's


Which Came first, Bipolar or Dyslexia?
Is Dyslexia a precursor to Bipolar? I was diagnosed as dyslexic when I was 8 years old at the Boston Children's Hospital. In short, my father was told I would not be able to read at my expected age group level and my comprehension would be affected.  He also said my hand-eye coordination would be slow and I would not excel at sports. 
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2011 Mental Health Humor Cartoons

iPod Generation Making You iCrazy?



Using: { iPod, iPhone, iCrazy }


Title: The age of the ipod has made me finally feel like I fit in.

iPod Generation Making You iCrazy?
The fact is we are moving full-throttle into the computer and super-technology age.  From "smart" phones to bionic body parts.  We are living in a exciting time some refer to as the information age.  Everything is at our finger tips! Heck, my seventy year old Mother even has a cell phone and she hates anything with batteries.  Ever since Bluetooth short range wireless, people don't look twice if they see you talking out loud or even arguing with yourself...the assumption is you're on the phone.  (Whether that is the case or not.)  Now that everyone seems to have a camera or video with their phone, you might even become an internet sensation if the video of you during an "episode" goes viral!

I say we should take advantage of this iPod generation and order the iKZ 2000 mock (fake) Blue Tooth headset.  Then, we can walk around and let our inner dialog out.  Not to worry, we will fit in and can start "acting" crazy like all the people do with ipads, iphones and ipods.
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Affirmations of the Depressed

The Hygiene of Depression… It Stinks

Husband: we seem to have a surplus of hygiene products… Is there something you're not telling me?

Wife: Go Away!


Title: Depression Really Stinks

The Hygiene of Depression... It Stinks
It is no secret that the last thing you want to do when you're depressed is get out of bed. I could be embedded to my bed. Yes, we joke sometimes that the first clue friends, caregivers or even our doctors might have to determine if we're depressed is our hygiene. The smellier we are... the more depressed we may seem to be... a stereotypical analogy just stinks.

I think, it's a little bit of a misnomer.   f a person really cared about us, they should've been able to figure out that we were depressed long before they realize we have not bought new hygiene products in quite a while.
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Equine Therapy For Weight Loss?

Joe: [carrying Horse on back for Equine Therapy]

Title: Equine Therapy For Weight Loss?

Equine Therapy For Weight Loss?
I was catching up on my blog reading and really enjoyed Claire Dorotik, LMFT's post on Equine Therapy For Weight Loss.

Claire tells us that "Equine therapy has been used for a wide variety of psychological and behavioral conditions, and weight loss has been attacked from seemingly every possible angle, is it possible that working with horses can somehow hold benefit for those struggling with weight?"



Emotional eating has always been part of my "psychological factor"... Can equine therapy help me? In Claire's article, she takes a closer look.  Here are a few bullet points:
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

The Top Five “I’s” of Monday & Planking “à plat ventre”

The top five “I’s” of Monday:

1.      I woke up LATE this morning, my alarm clock didn't go off…

2.      I could not find my car keys…

3.      I had no sugar or milk for coffee…

4.      I had a flat tire…

5.      I forgot to charge my cell phone only to find out my AAA card expired two days ago…

Yes “I” definitely hate Mondays!

Not all Mondays are bad!  It was just a week ago I was in Boston taking a special Boston tour in The Godfather's 1939 Cadillac Eight-Passenger Limousine. Mark's video commercial is after the jump. I got to see Boston in style with my family! Now that was a good Monday!
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