By: Kerri Zeblisky
There's a lot of myths and stigma surrounding mental health. Plenty of it has to do with media coverage and portrayal of it in Hollywood. Sometimes it can also do with people stereotyping the mentally ill based off the experience they had with an individual person. Here is one such myth that speaks to the aforementioned.
Myth : People with Borderline Personality Disorder are all the same/ alike in their behavior.
Truth: Borderline Personality Disorder can be diagnosed if a person has 5 or more of 9 symptoms/criteria: this means that there are 256 possible combinations! (Taken from Emma@Borderline PersonalityDisorder/Facebook)
The 9 criteria are as follows:
This just covers the criteria that is needed to meet the diagnoses of this disorder. There has been a bit of a change to the diagnoses as the DSM-5 is out. The Facebook group that I quoted the stats from haven't figured out if the new criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder has changed enough to effect the statics that were used to figure out the combinations that this disease manifests itself in people who live with it.
Many people think of certain events where it would be nice to release balloons. Events that come to mind are graduations, memorials for the passing of a loved one, the birth of a child, advertising for businesses, children’s and birthdays parties and celebrations of all kinds. What people don’t think about is what happens after the balloons are released.
After balloons are released, eventually they make their way back down to earth. Beach litter clean-ups have shown the amount of balloons found on the beach has tripled in the past 10 years. After balloons have fallen back down to earth, they wreak havoc on wildlife on land, sea and air.
Many marine species have been hurt or killed by balloons. Animals as well have been hurt or killed by balloons. Both marine species and animals are usually killed by the balloon blocking the digestive tract. They slowly starve to death. Animals and marine species can also get entangled in a balloon ribbon, leaving them unable to move or eat.
Balloons take years to decompose, even the biodegradable ones. Because a balloon is around for so long, this means there is plenty of time for it encounter many animals, who may think its food or get entangled in it.
Even though the consequences to wildlife and the planet are great, the balloon industry spends millions of dollars lobbying to keep balloon releases legal, it should be obvious to all that balloon releases are simply littering. It’s time to take a stand against balloon releases. No good comes from them. Balloons kill wildlife, pollute the earth, waste finite gases and cause power outages. Everyone should write their lawmakers to protest against balloon releases.
Alternatives to Balloon Releases
Plant a tree, flower or bush to honor the passing of a loved one. Flags, banners, streamers and anchored inflatables are good ways to advertise a business. Kites and spinners (pinwheels) are a fun alternative to balloons. Bunting is a great way to decorate for parties. Drumming is a good way to celebrate an occasion. Floating flowers down a stream is a nice way to let go of a loved one. Rock painting can be done for memorials or celebrations of all kinds. Lighting candles is a great way to remember a loved one or welcome a new life (but be careful with open flames). Blowing bubbles is a fun way to celebrate an occasion. A mass gathering can be held to commemorate an event, to honor a loved one or honor the birth of a child.
As you can see there are many alternatives to the release of balloons. There are others that aren’t listed here. Since there are many alternatives, there really is no good reason to release balloons.
 Balloons Blow, Inc. 2016
I recently started taking yoga classes as advised by my therapist. I’m a survivor of sexual abuse trauma, and have been diagnosed with Dissociation Identity Disorder (DID). I experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with flashbacks, anxiety, and depression.
As of now, I am still coping with emergence of old memories just as veterans do with their flashback with war trauma. Reliving these memories may cause depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. The shock and fear that runs through one’s mind can be devastating. There are also physical symptoms to deal with, especially during panic attacks. These include light-headedness, dizziness, headaches, elevated heart rate, and palpitations. During such panic attacks, many people go to the hospital thinking that they are having a heart attack or breathing difficulties.
As I discovered while practicing Yoga, it keeps me focused in the here and now and keeps me aware of my body instead of dissociating. The process of dissociating can make one feel dizzy, light-headed and disoriented – almost like leaving your body. This is accompanied by shock and fear. Yoga helps me maintain my focus in the moment instead of reliving a past memory at some distant time and place.
by Mary Husowech
The best answer to this question may be “either and both”.
Most of us here have been diagnosed as having a major mental illness. Mental illnesses are not mental weaknesses. The diagnoses that we are most familiar with include:
All of these illnesses have one thing in common. They are not our fault. Each disorder has both biological and psychological components. We all begin our lives with a brain that is built using the blueprints contained within the genes we inherit from our parents. Later, hormones change the brain to prepare it for adulthood. It is continually being changed by the things we experience. The brain determines the mind as the mind sculpts the brain. Unfortunately, the brain can also be changed in negative ways by things such as drugs, alcohol, injury, trauma, and chronic stress.
How we think and feel are influenced by our environment. Probably the most important environment during our development is that of the family, with the most important time being our childhood. We all have both positive and negative experiences as we travel through life. How we are as adults is in large part determined by these positive and negative experiences. They affect our psychology, our emotions, and our behaviors. All of us can be hurt by unhealthy negative experiences.
Some of us are also hurt by unhealthy brains. Medical science has long recognized that many mental illnesses are actually biological disorders. Even Sigmund Freud, who we know for his development of psychoanalysis, proposed a role for biology in mental illness. He was, after all, a neurologist. The first solid evidence for this concept in modern times came with the discovery of lithium in 1947. Lithium was found to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic-depression) or cause them to disappear completely, allowing previously disabled people to lead normal lives. Lithium helps to correct for the abnormal neurotransmission in the brain that is the cause of bipolar disorder. Subsequent medical discoveries included the observations that the drug, Thorazine (an antipsychotic), successfully treated schizophrenia, and that Tofranil (an antidepressant) successfully treated depression. Again, these drugs help to correct for the abnormal biology of the brain that accompanies these disorders. Since then, a great many drugs have been added to the arsenal of doctors to treat mental illness. In addition, there are some newer brain stimulation techniques that work without the need for medication.
What about psychology? What role does it play in mental illness? This can be a two-way street. The abnormal biology that occurs with some mental illnesses affects our psychology – how we think, feel, and behave. On the other hand, our psychology can also affect our biology. As we now know, the emotional stresses and traumas we experience change the way our brains operate. This is especially true of things we experience during childhood. These stresses can trigger the induction of abnormal brain function that leads to major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other major mental illnesses. In order for this to happen, however, there must be a genetic or some other biological vulnerability to begin with.
It is important to remember that not all psychological and emotional difficulties are biological in origin. Again, we are all products of our environments – family, friends, enemies, school, work, culture, climate, love, war, etc. Environments that are unhealthy often produce unhealthy people. However, this, too, is not our fault.
In conclusion, regardless of the cause of our mental illnesses, it is important that we treat both the biological and the psychological. We will all benefit most if we do.
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.