Types of mental illness such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality, and others are painful to those who suffer with the diagnosis. These illnesses are real and can be life threatening. They are a biological chemical disorder of the brain.
What makes finding help so hard is the stigma that is so highly associated with it. We are made to feel as an outcast in society. We are made to feel it is a weakness of our character and that it is our choice to be ill. We are told to pull ourselves up by the boot straps and get over it.
What I want to accomplish in my web site is to give back hope. I do not want anyone to feel the pain I have felt due to my own diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Those who do not suffer from the illness are not always able to really understand what you or we are going through and/or how to help. This is understandable because they havent a clue. It takes one to know one and I AM YOU!
Who am I? I have a BA in Public Administration because I want to be a public servant and what better person to serve, but you.
In addition, I am a nurse who worked on a mental health unit at an area hospital for five years. I was given the title of Top Ten Nurses of Cedar Valley” in 2005 for my advocacy and for the empathy and hope I gave to my patients which many I now consider my friend.
I also have been with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for at least the past ten years which includes the national, state, county, and college levels. I was President of NAMI UNI (University of Northern Iowa) for three years which is a college affiliate providing support for students on campus.
Just this year I became a member of both the Commission of Persons with Disabilities and Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) both in the State of Iowa where I reside.
Last, I am very active politically educating congress/legislators to make policies to provide parity (equal) insurance and any other equal treatment for those with illness no matter which type it might be and/or to what degree.
This web site is meant to answer questions you might have and to find the hope that is not always provided elsewhere. I will also include a section to help family and friends to understand how they can assist us if needed. Too often they are more stigmatized than we are and too often just want the problem to be resolved or to just go away.
Mental illness is for life. It doesnt just go away, but with education and support it can be managed so we can all live well with a mental illness. This is what I want to help you find through all my experiences both good and bad so you do not have to experience all the excruciating pain and embarrassment I have had to endure to get me to where I am today. I will share my secrets so you can skip some of the pain of having a mental illness. Watch for these they will be called “Secret of the Trade.” These are things no professional will tell you.