Archives for April, 2012

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

UN-CERTIFIED LAUGHTER LEADER

A Window To Laughter and Certification
Since when did laughter become a billable therapy? There are a few locations where you can actually get certified as a Laugh Therapist or a Doctor of Mirth.

While I love the idea - the idea of using humor (laughing) to deal with stress and many other issues that come up in life, it's not a new thing. Laughter can help in the healing process of Depression, Bipolar Disorder and many other mental health issues. What strikes me as NOT funny is the price tag of some of these classes or programs have to get "certified." It makes me laugh - mostly cause I can't afford any of them!

This is a situation I've come across a few times in my life. For example; I cleaned windows for 25 years. I remember the window cleaning industry getting all up in arms about "certification" for window cleaners. On one popular forum in the late 90's, I remember one member saying something to the effect "OH PLEASE, maybe when robots clean windows!" That became a running joke.

Who would be doing the certification? Who would enforce the violations and on and on? Back in 80's and 90's it seemed like a joke. Thirty years later, there are many certifications for the "professional" window cleaner. They are designed to educate window cleaners. Here are a few:
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Chato B Stewart

Do You Have An Unhealthy Lifestyle? It Could Be Suicide By Apathy!

Do you have an unhealthy lifestyle? Apparently, according to Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation survey/test, I have one...

Unhealthy Lifestyle


Chato, your lifestyle habits could be hurting your health and your quality of life. But this is probably not news to you.
(Chato says: I know. It's not new to me. At the beginning of this year, I weighed 380 pounds. My Diabetes was out of control, staying above 250 to 378 for almost 2 weeks. My cholesterol and high blood pressure had taken a toll. In short, I was a heart attack waiting to happen. Suicide by Apathy!)
You're just not sure what to do about it. No problem. We're here to help [Dr  Oz and ShareCare.com] you get started. The first step to improving your lifestyle, your health, and the way you feel is to think about what needs changing.
(Chato says: I recognized in December 2011 that I was in fact being very apathetic about my health. It was suicide by apathy; I could really care less if I lived or died. It's the worst type of suicidal ideation or suicidal attempt, since you really could care less and no one really recognizes it as a suicidal attempt or ideation. But let me say this (and I'm sure I'll get a lot of comments.) -  if you are like me and stuff food in your face to deal with your emotions, you are in fact committing suicide by apathy!)

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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

The DBSA “Positive Six Campaign”

What Is The DBSA?
Will you be participating in this? The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance's (DBSA's) positive +6 campaign? I know I will be there! I hope that you will participate in this positive and fun campaign.

Living with a mental illness or mood disorder presents many challenges requiring a lot of support for real recovery. The DBSA motto is "We've Been There. We Can Help." Without a doubt, they've helped many people. Starting over 26 years ago, the DBSA was a Chicago grassroots peer-led support group. Fast forward to today's network of nearly 1,000 patient-run support groups across the country.

Their peer-led chapters and support groups serve about 70,000 people every year.
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Chato Stewart’s Music Video – If This Doesn’t Make You laugh – Get Your Funny Bone Checked! (Parody of Hot Problem)

The latest music video to go viral features two girls singing badly in the back of a limo about how HOT they are and the problems they have being so hot. The song is called "Hot Problems" and I think they call themselves Double Take.

Besides the fact that the song is an obvious attempt to make a very bad video, they use the monetized Google ad words to try to make a profit. However, it's still funny enough to make fun of and do a parody.

I've done a parody before, of Rebecca Black's "Friday," which has had a number of views. I called it "Shrink Day" and it's just me having fun.

Here is my music video called "FAT Problem Size XXX" - Parody of Hot Problem - Double Take." My kids helped me shave part of my head and my beard and we put on "clown" makeup. I think it was fitting for this "goofy" not hot but "Phat"/Fat video.

Take a mental health break and enjoy my very self-deprecating video.
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Lime It Up For Mental Health Month

Share Your Support With A Postcard!
Less than two weeks before Mental Health Month begins, I'm already getting started on the preparation work to draw 31 Mental Health Heroes.

We want to reach as many people as possible with our Mental Health Hero campaign.  I want to encourage all my readers to share the Heroes on their blogs and in social media. You have permission to repost the images and caricatures of the Heroes.

You can also show your support for Mental Health Awareness month by wearing a lime ribbon. Would you like to tell some of your friends about Mental Health Awareness month?  Do it with a postcard: Share your mental health awareness month advocacy with a postcard.

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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Embrace The Mental!

Different Is Not a Four Letter Word!
The true definition of the word MENTAL is: "an action performed by or existing in the mind: mental arithmetic; a mental note. Or pertaining to intellectuals or intellectual activity." It's only when it's used as a noun or an adjective that the connotation of "mental" becomes stigmatic.

Nowadays, the word mental itself is used as a descriptive adjective to identify someone different than normal. (What is "normal" anyway?) We are all different. It doesn't matter what our differences are. The fact is not even Siamese twins are equal in every way. Being different is not a four letter word!
Learn To Embrace Our Differences
The way I live and how I cope with my "mental ability" is different than how you may cope with your specialty of the mind. Let's not reject everything because it doesn't fit the norm; let's embrace our differences. The one common thread we may have is living with a mental illness.
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2012 Mental health Humor Cartoons

What the Friggatriskaidekaphobia?! Friday the 13th AGAIN!

Superstition or Phobia?
Friday the 13th AGAIN??!!  What the....Friggatriskaidekaphobia!  And there is still going to be one more “Friday the 13th” in July!

If you are the suspicious type and believe in superstition, you may be afraid. This year there are three Fridays that fall on the 13th of the month. The number three is very significant because it signifies a completeness. One example is an algebra. You add a small number three in the top right-hand corner to make a cube. A cube is perfect and equal on all six sides.

Either good fortune or calamity is identified depending on the sign and its interpretation of many superstitions. A few common superstitions here in the Western world could be walking underneath a ladder to bring calamity or bad luck, having a black cat cross your path, spilling salt or opening up an umbrella in a building.  All of it could spell doom for you.

My favorite is breaking a mirror. This one supposedly gets you bad luck for seven years. I wonder who keeps track of those 7 years?! I also wonder if you break more than one mirror, can you serve concurrent sentences? The fact is a superstition is based on ignorance and fear of the unknown. It is that type of ignorance or lack of knowledge that feeds into our fears. So, superstition is not a phobia. Instead, superstition causes us to have anxiety/phobias if we put belief in it.
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Bipolar Dad

Visit The Institute For The Overmedicated And Misunderstood


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My Top 10 Favorite Mental Health Humor Cartoons On:
Bipolar Disorder
Medicated or Misunderstood?
The other night I was talking to a new friend about the different medications we take. She was embarrassed because she thought she was slurring her speech.  Her medications mixed with the painkiller Percocet (acetaminophen and oxycodone) for rheumatoid arthritis (a "long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues") was having physical and visible side-effects.

I'm familiar with Oxycodone or Percocet because growing up my father had an ample supply of them for his back injury. I used to borrow his medication only to find out that the stuff doesn't get you "high," it knocks you clean out. It was like getting hit with a baseball bat and waking up two days later.  So when I saw my new friend, I knew right off the bat, no pun intended, that she was too impaired to drive.  I encouraged her to make arrangements to have someone else drive her home and she did.
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2012 Mental health Humor Cartoons

Mental Health Heroes will all GO Lime!


Cartoon-A-Thon: Humble Beginnings

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know about my annual Cartoon-A-thon for Mental Health Awareness month.  Here in short is the history of the Cartoon-A-thon:

In 2008 when I started blogging, I decided to do something special for the month of mental illness awareness in May. (Will you?)  I decided I would draw a cartoon for each day of May. In 2008 and 2009, I drew just cartoons.  That was a success, but something was missing.  I felt I was being a little too self-deluded in my own cartoons. Then, I drew two of my readers into cartoon characters.

My peers were so elated that I drew them into the cartoons. Which gave me an idea -  but I didn't think I had the skill set to even attempt this idea.
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2012 Mental health Humor Cartoons

I Want To Apologize to Gary Larson

I want to apologize, it turns out I got a little too emotional in my post that included this cartoon I did with the title: Gary Larson in a Nutshell – Remembering Paul Boyd.

The post made it seem like Gary Larson didn't care what happened to Paul Boyd and it was wrong on my part to impute bad motives without having accurate knowledge of the real situation or how he really felt.  Mr. Larson ,I offer my deepest heartfelt apology.

The post became some what of a rant and took away from the cartoon I drew and the genius that is Gary Larson.  I admire and love reading Gary Larson's cartoons. So with me off my soapbox, I wanted to repost the cartoon I drew that is neither a copy or reprint of any of Gary Larson's previous work.

This is a Chato Stewart original drawn in the style of Gary Larson.  Yes, it's just a cartoon influenced by my love of Mr. Larson's work!

To Gary Larson, thank you for making me smile!
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Distortion Of The Mind – Words In Blood

I love to draw! I've been drawing cartoons as a "healthy" coping skill since 2008.  Sadly before I figured out the power of drawing cartoons, I would sometimes express myself, or release the emotional trauma within me, by cutting or burning.  I did not yet possess the tools needed to overcome this mal-productive coping mechanism.

However, I was learning the power of the written word.  I found out when I was at my deepest and darkest, I could bleed out my feelings into words or poems instead of self-injury.  Below is an acrostic poem (with some poetic license) I wrote in 2007.  This being national poetry month, I thought it would be appropriate to post the poem I entitled: "Distortions Of The Mind."

The imagery is very raw and somewhat dark.  This award-winning poem was published in a magazine and in a book. I walk you through my mind, the chaos, fear, the self-hate, loathing and end up with just a glimmer of hope. While this poem does take you into the mind of someone living with suicidal ideation and self- injury, there is an underlining message of HOPE in all the chaos! Because the topic could be a trigger for some, I would recommend reading it when you're in a "good" place and "stable" mind!  Please know, I want to encourage positive, healthy coping skills such as: drawing or writing poetry.
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Behind The “Mental Health Humor” – Special Investigative Report Video

Special investigative report: Get to Know the REAL Chato Stewart behind the Mental Health Humor Cartoons
He says he is a father! He says he is an activist!  He says he can't draw! But what do we really know about Mr. Chato B. Stewart?  Not a lot, except for some mysterious reason this cartoonist gives away his cartoons free to mental health activist groups and peers!

Now, get to know who he really is!  Yes, get to know THE REAL CHATO STEWART.

Here is an independent report that captures the real Mr. Stewart. Make sure you turn up the volume on your speakers; so you can hear what this meek, mild and soft spoken cartoonist has to say about his cartoons and his life.

Chato Stewart's words are so moving that we recommend you do not watch this video if you have heart issues or if you have any HOT or sharp objects in your hand.  Watch at your own risk!

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