May 11, 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month Is Here!

 


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posts for this Public Service Announcement...May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I would be remiss if I did not use this little old platform I have here to draw awareness to Mental Health and the need to normalize discussions about it. If you have read here for a while, you know I have been very open about my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Health Anxiety diagnosis. I first wrote about that in a post right HERE. (Just click on the word HERE, and it will take you there.) 

It took me a long time to feel comfortable discussing my OCD and anxiety with those outside my immediate family. Why? Because I used to care about the stigma attached to any mental health issue. Now, not so much. In fact, I will tell anyone who asks about my struggle with OCD and anxiety, my diagnosis, and my treatment plan, including therapy and medication. I know now that talking about it is helpful to me and anyone else struggling with any mental health issues. Anxiety makes you feel alone, as if no one understands those distressing thoughts running on a constant loop through your mind. 

Therapy has taught me so many things I wish I had known years ago. First of all, never be embarrassed or ashamed to talk about your issues. Everyone has something. Everyone. OCD happens to be mine. Another thing? I have OCD. I am not OCD. My mental health issue is a part of me. It does not define me. Also, medication can be extremely beneficial when used correctly. I am fortunate to have found an excellent psychiatrist who was able to confirm my diagnosis and prescribe the proper medication that is keeping my OCD and anxiety under control. 

I have OCD. I have Health and General Anxiety. I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I take medication to treat my OCD and anxiety. I pray. I also homeschool my daughter, make healthy meals for my family, decorate my home for every holiday, and watch Match Game every day. I love to read. I love being a mom. And a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I love writing this blog and reading your blogs. I love scary movies and iced coffee. And afternoon naps.

So there you are, my friends. My little contribution to Mental Health Awareness Month. I hope that it helps at least one person reading to know they are not alone. To give them that last little nudge needed to open up to someone. 

We will resume our regularly scheduled posts about puppies and coffee on Friday. In the meantime, have a cozy Wednesday, my friends. Thank you for reading!

Billie Jo

22 comments:

  1. I really do appreciate that you are open about these issues. I have some problems that I don't share with everyone but my family helps me with mine...especially my husband. I make healthy choices and don't give up or give in to my fears. Thank you so much for sharing this my friend! I hope you have a nice day. When we were at the Gulf Coast Sunday, a lady gave me a ducky for my Jeep! That was fun!

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  2. Thank you for your openness and this post! We actually have an appointment later today to get the official diagnosis on what is going on with my son and his anxiety issues. So it was pretty comforting to read your post today.

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  3. How wonderful of you to share this. Mental illness is a disease and no one should feel alone or embarrassed to say they have it but I understand it is not something always talked about. I'm glad you feel you have your OCD under control. What a blessing that is.

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  4. Thank you for posting about this. I truly believe we have to be open about mental health issues to help break the negative stigma associated with them. I have Bipolar and I am happy to tell anyone about it and how blessed I am to live in a time where there is good medicine to help such things. I always say the brain is an organ just like any other thing it can not function correctly and need treatment. Hugs to you dear friend. ~Juli

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  5. I really do love that mental health awareness is becoming more & more comfortable in addressing. Why there is a stigma to it when its just like any other thing people have to deal with thats out of your control.

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  6. My 18 yo daughter has OCD and anxiety. You make me hopeful for her future. Your transparency is very admirable.

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  7. You are a strong lady to be admired for your openness. An inspiration to us all.

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  8. I appreciate your openness with your mental health issues. I know it is helpful to those that struggle with similar issues to not feel alone.

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  9. Billie, you have no idea how much you have helped me. Actually, blogging about your issues has helped me. I am not alone. I am okay. I am different, but I am still likable. Billie is likable and has a great family, so if she is okay so am I. Meds do help, but we still have our days of down. Thank you, thank you.

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    1. Me, too! Some days are just harder than others.

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  10. I also have anxiety, ptsd, ocd in the form of intrusive thoughts, have some phobias. I take a daily med for anxiety. I work more than full time hours, care for our house, help with grandchildren. So, I struggle. I get up earlier than I need to in the morning so I can have a little peace and quiet before the day begins. I am in a struggle currently and praying for relief.

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    1. Bless you, Ellen May. That’s the kind of OCD I have, too. Very hard to explain to people.
      Mary in OK

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  11. Hi Billie Jo. I love that you post about this. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. Finally, after my husband almost died from a brain aneurysm, I realized that had HAD TO find some help, so I sought out a therapist and have been working with him for over four years. I am much better, but still have to employ the strategies I have learned to help me over the rough spots. I have learned that my mental health is important and something I must take care of. I appreciate your honestly sharing or your struggles and how you are dealing with them. It makes me feel like I am not so all alone. Thank you so much, my friend!

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  12. Love how you share my Friend. And it's so very important. It seems our whole world needs more mental health assistance (& Jesus in my opinion) than ever before. God bless these gifts you give to others and the ripples I have no doubt they make to reach others. 🙏

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  13. Thank you, Billie Jo, for your honesty and sharing what a lot of people think is very private but so important to talk about!!! A few years back I had terrible panic attacks and got through it and all my life since I was very little I have always had bouts of depression. I believe that in talking about it not only helps us but lets others know they are not alone if they go through these things as well. God bless you!!! : )

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  14. I'm running behind on comments...my apologies. Thank you so much for your post. There are definitely times when I have too much "brain noise" or "clutter" that causes anxiety. I can't get to sleep, or I'm wide awake at 3 AM. I find if I write things down it helps me...what am I worried about? Getting it on paper and if I can tackle it, and get the satisfaction of crossing it off a list, it helps. Other days I just try to take deep breaths and tell my brain "shhhh". Prayers are a must...Hugs, Mary

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  15. That’s wonderful of you to share this, BillieJo. I, too, have OCD and Anxiety. I take meds and benefit from them. Not sure I can say they’re under control, but moving across country in your 60s is hard for anybody, right?! We left California last month and are moving into our new house tomorrow.
    So much has changed in the Mental Health Awareness arena in our lifetimes. From not knowing I had “a thing” to learning there’s a name for it and help, too. People used to live their lives suffering with a secret. So sad.
    These things can be genetic, too, so mamas, tell your children if you suffer or your mom or dad did. Give your kids the boost-up they need to know they’re okay.
    Whew, stepping down from my soap box. TY, again, Billie Jo. I’m glad you can enjoy life :)
    Mary in OK

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  16. So good of you to share your thoughts and feelings to help others who suffer with this, Billie Jo. Yes, we all have ours fears and anxieties. I just saw a squirrel scurrying across my lovely white fence as I'm writing this. That is mine. I don't think I'll ever get used to these critters, they scare me so much. I know that is not as severe as what you experience, but you're right, we all have something. I'm sure your words are of much encouragement to those who suffer with anxiety. Thank you for that, my friend.

    ~Sheri

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Thanks so much for saying hello!

Billie Jo