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Living with Bipolar Or Depression? Why Celebrate Your Mental Health?

Mental Health Humor Celebrate your bipolar depression cartoons by Chato Stewart
Mental Health Humor Celebrate your bipolar depression cartoons by Chato Stewart

Our Mental Health Organizations & Networks Celebrate. Why Don’t We?

In 2015, the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance is celebrating 30 years of supporting peers living with mood disorders and mental health issues in person. Online, Psych Central celebrates 20 years of its award-winning mental health network. Mental Health America (MHA) annually makes May each year a month to celebrate for Mental Health Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has NAMIWalks that celebrates its 13th Anniversary in 2015.

Are you seeing a pattern here? There is a lot of celebrating of our Mental Health Awareness.  What about celebrating our own Mental Health? Should we even venture to think about celebrating living with bipolar disorder or depression or other mental health or mood disorders?

Why Celebrate Living with Bipolar & Depression or Mental Illness?

Okay, as a person living with Bipolar Disorder, I’ve been on a journey; not one of choice. It has been over two decades filled with mania and depression and everything that comes with it. This is a journey I had very little control over.  Filled with much disappointment, agony, and heartache.

It wasn’t until I was willing to go on another emotional journey towards wellness and to educate myself about and learn about things like self-care and advocacy did my “personal journey” have true meaning (other than getting well).  Recovery had meaning. It was something that I could celebrate with others who also were on the same road to recovery.

Over the last 12 years, since my first being diagnosed with Bipolar in 2003–by Dr. Henry Ehrlich (web records show he would be 80 this year if he is still practicing.)–He was part of low-income provider…ever since 2003, I’ve taken every NAMI Training available to a peer. I’ve participated in many different “Mental Health” classes/courses. Some Free, a few paid.  I’ve successfully completed the requirements to become a Florida board certified Peer Specialist. I’ve been blogging since 2008.  Started blogging here at Psych Central in April 2010…In April 2015, I hit 5 years for Mental health issues.

Participation awards
Participation awards

I mention this NOT TO BRAG! LOL, this is nothing to brag about considering there are many readers who have done much more, for many more years. But this is my “personal journey”  regarding mental health, I should celebrate it?

Not long ago, I was reading a friend’s blog who was very upset about the thought of peers celebrating being mentally ill.  She had some good points.  I would never want to celebrate my illness as a blessing.  IT IS NOT, I agree with her in that way, there is nothing to celebrate about being depressed, suffering the pain, or suicidal behavior  – except, celebrating surviving!

We live with illnesses that do nothing but TAKE…{ Bipolar DisorderDepressionSchizophrenia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)PTSDAnxiety & Panic, Child DisordersEating DisordersOCDPersonalitySexual IssuesSleep Problems, and more }… Are mental disorders and mood disorders just takers…that take away from our LIFE, they take money, take dignity, take happiness, take away sleep, take friends, take away family, take our health?…and in the end they take our life.

t2013 The Family Stew_Mental Health Humor_Behavioral Marker Multiple Suicide Attempts by Chato Stewart cartoon

Chato Stewart At the DBSA 2010 Party For The Peers in Chicago PhoroSo HELL YELL, Celebrate Living, Celebrate everyday! Recovery is not a short road trip. It’s a long road with many turns, many unpaved roads, we need to Celebrate our achievements.  Each day remembering that we have come a LONG way–even if that long way was just a baby step. NEVER give up! Celebrate our recovery Every day…but you don’t have to get a cake each day.

 

Peer Ambassador

Chato Stewart

 

 

 

Living with Bipolar Or Depression? Why Celebrate Your Mental Health?


Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). info@mentalhealthhumor.com


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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2015). Living with Bipolar Or Depression? Why Celebrate Your Mental Health?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 26, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2015/07/living-with-bipolar-or-depression-why-celebrate-your-mental-health/

 

Last updated: 9 Jul 2015
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.