Archives for June, 2012

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

The Basics, Diagnosis, and the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder for Patients and Their Families

A Webinar titled “The Basics, Diagnosis, and the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder for Patients and their Families” will be presented by Joseph Calabrese, MD, on July 11th. I can't help but think about the title, and thinking about the basics of bipolar disorder has me intrigued.

When I think about the basics of my diagnosis, the only thing that comes to mind is “how it totally and utterly sucks!”

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2012 Mental health Humor Cartoons

JUNE: Positive Change Challenge

Yes, I know I'm a bit late on this, but I still wanted to share the June DBSA “Positive Six Campaign” challenge with you. There is still time to be part of it. This cartoon is the second of six I've been commissioned to draw for the +6 campaign via my other cartoon series The Family Stew.

Here I am working on getting over my negative talk.

JUNE: Positive Change Challenge

Incorporate two (+2) positive habits into your routine this month. Drink more water, be diligent about getting 8 hours of sleep, eliminate negative self-talk, etc. Small steps can lead to big changes in how you feel…physically and emotionally!

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2012 Mental health Humor Cartoons

Suicide By Cop or ECT By Cop?

ME sanity?
"They're always after ME sanity!"

Yes, I’m just changing the "Lucky the Leprechaun" quote, “they're always after me lucky charms.” If you don’t know, Sir Lucky is a spokesperson (cartoon character) for General Mill’s Lucky Charms cereal.

Even though I love this cereal too much, the fact is I can't pick a favorite cereal. It's a toss-up between Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Forget about pouring a heaping bowl of cereal, I would eat the whole box by myself. Something about those marshmallows keeps me coming back for more. (I'm hoping my cartoons keep you coming back for more too!)

I have never had to deal with the effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) (how about you?), unless you count the time I was cleaning the windows for a big bank in Boston and touched a "live" wire on a 12 foot ladder and got ZAPPED! The electrician was looking for the short in the lighting system and when my copper squeegee touched it, all the lights went on for a few seconds.

That experience is as close as I got to ECT. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it - even though I don't think I would get it done if I had the choice. The truth is, as far as I know, my insurance (which the state gives me) does not include ECT.
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Bipolar Disorder

Living With Bipolar: Emoticons Flowchart

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My Top 10 Favorite Mental Health Humor Cartoons On:
Bipolar Disorder
What Emoticon best describes YOU at this moment in time?
It's tough living with Bipolar Disorder. My moods fluctuate rapidly at times (I am not complaining, just explaining), but I am not alone and neither are you. Everyone has something in their life that makes it tough for them personally!

You know your personal pain. You know how to best explain what you face on a daily basis. You know what brings relief. You know what positive coping skills to employ. You know what negative coping mechanisms to avoid (from past experience)!  Knowledge is power. (Power to act, decide and change.)

You know why you are at this point in your life. Think about it. Analyze what brought you here - your "present" emoticon. Honest self-evaluation serves a useful purpose; have you put to paper your own personal flowchart?! Is it high-level, detailed or matrix? If you like your present emoticon, what do you need to do to stay here? If you don't like it, what do you need to do to reach a different emoticon? (Most people want happiness in life.)
Caption: Living With Bipolar Emoticons Flowchart
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Mental Illness Is Like Playing Mouse Trap – It’s Full of Snares!

What Is A Snare?
The dictionary defines a snare as “a trap for catching birds or animals, typically one having a noose of wire or cord.” Some other synonyms would be “a trap,” “noose,” “pitfall,” or “deadfall.”

It's like the Mouse Trap game - did you ever play it? It's filled with different types of traps to ensnare you so your opponent can win. It's  somewhat complicated for a children's game because of all the parts, but even so, it was always fun to play.

But, it’s no fun playing it as part of "real" life!

We all can become ensnared and trapped by many different circumstances, but the one thing I hear more often that not when it comes to living with Bipolar Disorder and the emotional snare. That snare is guilt and shame!

Caption: Mental Illness is like playing Mouse Trap, it’s full of snares! 
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Using Anger Constructively – An Angry Bird Philosophy

What Really Makes the Angry Birds Angry?
Emotions are emotional! Part of our emotional makeup includes anger! For many of us living with “mental health issues,” anger might seem to be the only emotion we truly understand.

We may be short-tempered due to circumstances that seem out of our control. Our anger could be deep-seated from emotional trauma or could be from a host of other different sources that have frustrated us to a point that we are furious over something or someone that has irked us in some specific way.

Caption: Breaking through anger requires knocking down walls!

Is anger healthy?

Irritation is a fact of life.  For example, you may get a skin irritation and your body immediately attacks it.  You have a biological response to the skin irritation shown by the outbreak of rash or redness of that particular area. Noticeably, your skin may seem hot at the point of irritation.
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

The 2012 Mental Health Heroes: Exposure On Psych Central’s World of Psychology

Summer Beretsky does the Video Blog/Video Review on the World of Psychology blog here at Psych Central.  It's such a privilege and honor to have Summer exclusively feature the Mental Health Month's Cartoon-a-thon Heroes in her video series titled: "Chato Stewart’s Mental Health Hero Caricatures."

Thank you, Summer! Below is her first installment of nine Mental Health Heroes with their photos and their caricatures.

Summer also blogs at Panic About Anxiety and also has written for the Los Angeles Times. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @summerberetsky.
Kudos to Chato for this unique and creative way of honoring those who are involved in mental health advocacy! - Summer Beretsky
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By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Oops! I Forgot One Hero – Mental Health Hero Corinna West

Corinna West
2012 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon

Drawing done by Chato Stewart

Oops! I forgot about Corinna.  Figures I forget the one hero that is a black belt and could KICK my BUTT!  :)
Wellness Wordworks
Creative Director · Dec 2009 to present
Kansas City, Kansas

We offer art, peer suppor, and non-medication wellness strategies to show that emotional distress can be temporary and transformation.

Offering spoken word poetry and motivational speaking to revolutionize mental health outcomes so people recover from lifelong diagnoses.
Company Overview
Motivational speaking and spoken word poetry to recruit people to eight active programs:

1) Poetry for Personal Power
2) The Chocolate Fairy
3) The Story Project
4) Mental Health Community Friendliness Assessments
5) Bike for the Brain
6) Words as Weapons
7) Car-Free Challenge
8 ) Taking Authority over Truama-Informed Care

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