Blog Archives

A Common Characteristic; Observing Others

Remember the silver lining.

It’s nice to observe the sunset.

Those with mental health difficulties may find themselves on the sidelines watching life as it goes by. I know, I for one, sometimes find that I am the quiet one observing all the activity around me. Read the rest of this entry

That Flaw You Don’t Want Anymore

Letting Go ...

Letting Go …

You know it. I’m sure you do. You are just about to introduce yourself to someone and you think, I’m not good enough. You become aware of something in your past that was hurtful and embarrassing and somehow that makes you less valuable. At the current time you are unable to start a friendship with this new interesting person that could bring much happiness into your life. You remembered a flaw in the midst of your perfection.

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Inner Parents

(Due to Hlightenoliday Monday my blog came out on Tuesday morning)

Put away the cheese. Straighten up the fridge. Be in by 10. Clean up the bathroom. Don’t eat anymore butter tarts. You reach a point where when you leave home it can be a relief. Finally, if you want you can eat from the peanut butter jar. You can have your music on late at night, and best of all you can talk on the phone whenever you want. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Judge Me Until You’ve Walked A Mile In My Shoes

Choose a good path on your journey.

Walk a mile in my shoes. Start by reading about my experience.
c 2012 Kelly Babcock

To have a label that drags you down is annoying. One label that I have had given to me is schizophrenia. It is hard enough to show you are worth something in this world, but to do so with a demeaning label like this is extra hard. When I cover it up or refer to it as the ‘s’ word or talk about my imagination or about the angels that talk then I hope you have some acceptance to this description of the condition.

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Schizophrenia

Schizo – what every you call it!

You might wonder what schizophrenia is and what are some of the issues that people with it might have. Today I want to dedicate this blog to issues and casual information about schizophrenia.

First of all, I’ll call it the ‘S’ illness because for personal reasons it would be difficult to say schizophrenia every time I had to say it. So the positive symptoms of the ‘S’ illness involve sensing things that aren’t there, or having body sensations that are not real, or hearing and seeing things that most people don’t. On the other hand what’s called the negative symptoms can involve a numbed out appearance, and emotions that are dull and a need to withdraw. All of these symptoms can come singley or several at a time and can really be a pain when you want to live a successful and productive life.

Ontario's provincial flower.

Ontario’s provincial flower. c 2012 Kelly Babcock

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Solutions Verses Problems In Mental Health

lightenIt is the season for mental health advice. There are blogs, self-help books and magazines all around. It looks as though most of the information is about problems. The description of problems often includes labels and their definitions of different mental illnesses. They don’t even know exactly what mental health label each of us is dealing with?

Peter Pan convinces the children to fly by thinking happy thoughts. Maybe this fairy tale has a grain of wisdom in it. I think happy thoughts are beneficial to the child in all of us because even though we don’t physically fly, we can lighten our burdens with a positive outlook. It is my suggestion that people talking about positive thinking should talk about mental health problems less often and about mental wellness more often.

A Light In The Distance

When I began using coping skills to deal with mental health dilemmas I became smarter and funnier and more present. It occurred to me with my new skills there could be names for genius levels of thinking and problem solving and brain storming. Names to describe the good mental health. I’d like to call a person who looks at things differently, a person with advanced perspectives in wellness. I’d like to call a person with skills in brain storming, a person with advanced idea generation abilities. These are just a couple of the ways skills could be identified. Focusing on what we do well may indeed increase our abilities to do those things even better.

Striving towards something is satisfying. We can set our goals and priorities and stick to the course with our wellness. Yes, I’ve found this works, but we have to be careful when we travel this road. Different issues can come up even when we have a more positive outlook on mental health. We have to try not to get ahead of ourselves! The body assimilates information and emotions and learning in ways that all work together. If the person is not ready for advanced knowledge emotionally, their system may break down.

Balancing Mental Health

This is where I had trouble. I tried to become whole and complete and full of assimilated growth all at once in ways that were interesting but weren’t very practical. I had the courage to try something new. I had the positive thinking to get me through the activities. What I didn’t know was my limits, or how these things would affect me. Brain gym was one thing I tried. Too much, too fast, led me on quite a journey of major ups and downs and a lot of disappointments. Visualization led me to increased energy in dreaming and not the experience of putting things into everyday life. Counselling led me to have neat discussions but left me wanting to feel fixed after I expressed myself. Now that their isn’t the pressure of taking part in the actual therapies I can look back and use some of the beneficial parts of these therapies.

Identifying problems is important to some people. With clear ideas of the problems there can be an understanding and even a compassion that allows that problem to dissipate. Many people are glad to finally know what is wrong with them.

Wouldn’t it be nice to finally know what is right with us? How about Getting A’s in the area of mental health that could lead to motivation and inspiration across groups of people. Just what do we do well? Are you organized? Are you good at stress release? Do you care about other people?

Learning Never Ends

Talking about solutions can be pretty motivating in itself. Seeing a difference from one month to the next because of solutions put into practice is even better. Improving skills might feel too much like school, but what if we get to design our courses? It could be fun. We could excel in these courses because we were interested in picking them.

We could even build on our knowledge from when we were kids in school. We could study some more Shakespeare, try our hand at some mathematics and learn some new songs to sing. Who says education must only be for the youth? We could take a night school course. Or just remember the things we liked, keep learning about them.

Mental Wellness

Solutions, positive thinking, goals and education are all ideas for now and the future. They have been used before and can be used again. Let’s not talk as much about mental health problems that make people feel inferior but let’s talk about genius areas of mental health. Let’s face it, a depression or a bout of hallucinations can kick in some pretty amazing skills to help us face those symptoms. Just what are those skills we are learning? Can we take pride in those newly learned skills?

Some of the people I’ve been privileged to know with mental illness have shown these wellness skills. Some are extra-compassionate and excel at curiosity. Self-care is also an area of expertise for others. Humour is a skill some have and use as a great way to reach out.

I’m going to talk to some of my friends about their positive characteristics. The things that help them get through every day life and the things that they are admired for. These are solutions to problems. Our strengths help us with our weaknesses! It is time to listen, look and act on solutions, so more people can feel better and find relief from the focus on mental illness. Let’s talk mental wellness!

Feel the Connection – Youth and Adults Part II

Remember the silver lining.

Remember the silver lining.

This is Part II of a blog regarding a Canadian Mental Health Association program called, Lets Talk, which I worked on with coordinator Jackie Ralph in the high schools. We attempted to educate about mental health. We taught about ways to meet stress face to face by embracing relaxation and rejuvenation.

In part I, I displayed the reasons for such a program. I further discussed some of the reasons that teens feel extra stress. These reasons for their stress touched my heart and made me realize that young people care a great deal!

In part II, I share more of my personal involvement with the program. Read the rest of this entry

Intelligence Recognized

 

We are social creatures like penguins.

People are social creatures like penguins.

When I meet someone new sometimes I want them to know that my brain functions a little different from normal, in this day and age, you could almost say who’s doesn’t. But for me it’s a little more serious and it affects my life a little more.

A good friend was telling me about the following similar phenomenon that I had also encountered. After I tell a person about some mental health symptoms I have, both good and bad, it’s so nice to then be asked about my psychology degree, or my years working in organic restaurants, or about the books I have published. I suppose this shows us that we are recognized for the intelligence we have and not just the difficulties we face. I am happy to say that many people have done this with me. It is so pleasing to have a complex conversations about opinions, perspectives and planning for the future. Read the rest of this entry

Getting Older

The road is a journey

The road is a journey – © 2012 Kelly Babcock

Is getting older the same as growing up. I think everyone gets older but who really grows up? Growing up would have to do with maturing, understanding, forgiving and maybe getting wiser. Getting older on the other hand might mean getting wrinkles, sore knees, a persistent cough and a feeling of having lived some of the best times.

Whether I am growing older or growing up I hope I can accept life as it affects me. I mean I hope that I can role with the signs of aging. Going with the flow is a lot healthier than fighting this natural progression. Read the rest of this entry

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