A Beautiful Life, Art

Urban Grind and Mental Health Day

10 October, 2009

All up in yr Urban Grind

Today I put some of my work up at Urban Grind in New Farm. Urban Grind are wonderful about supporting local artists and connecting with the community, and I’m really appreciative that Morgan let me put my work up!

All up in yr Urban Grind

Today is World Mental Health Day, and the theme this year is:

Making mental health a global priority: scaling up services through citizen advocacy and action.

I advocate for complete openness about mental health issues, including my own. I hope in some way it helps other people feel that it isn’t taboo, and think of mental illness as a medical condition – just like Juvenile Diabetes (which I also have). I’ve encountered people who suggest “getting off your arse and making a change” and those who say “oh but it’s all in your head” and they’re really dismissive, simplistic and often unproductive suggestions, in fact, I feel personally that they encourage those who suffer from mental illness to not talk about their condition.

So, in the spirit of breaking taboo and stigma: I’m Natalie and I suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m interested in living a wonderful life, but sometimes it’s hard to act out a wonderful life when your brain tells you other things. Sometimes I am sad for no reason. Sometimes I panic about things that other people do without a problem. It doesn’t mean I’m less of a person, and it doesn’t mean I’m less worthy of respect or medical care.

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  • nicolejensen

    I am Nicole and I have generalized anxiety disorder. I've been bullied for my mental illness ever since my diagnosis of depression at 13. I panic over a lot of stuff every day, take medication, face permanent unemployment and feel that I cannot ever, EVER talk about my anxiety to anyone other than my shrink at risk of a dishonorable view of myself as a capable person.

    Anxiety can have benefits; I am rarely late and have an unbelievable eye for detail. I may avoid tasks until the last minute, but when they are achieved I do so to no less than 100% of my ability.

    It doesn’t mean I’m less of a person, and it doesn’t mean I’m less worthy of respect or medical care.

  • Kate F

    I am Kate and I suffer from depression and depression related anxiety. I suffered my first depressive episode at age 13 (when the church I was attending informed me that my parents, atheists, were evil and going to burn in Hell for all eternity).

    I have been hospitalised twice with depression (once at 21 and another time at 24). I have yet to find a medication that doesn't exacerbate the problem, so I try to get along herbally (St John's). It's not ideal but it's all that's working.

    I am currently searching for a new therapist.

  • Lisa

    Hi Natalie,
    I am Lisa and I have Panic Disorder with mild agorophobic tendencies.
    just wanted to send you a hug, and say that I think you, your art and your blog are very special
    xo

  • Stephania

    Hey there kate, I know this is a late reply, I only read this blog entry of Natalie’s for the first time now.

    I dont know if this would apply to you, but in case it would I thought I’d retype this (I had put this comment in one of natalie’s recent blogs):

    “”ALOT of people with depression, anxiety… even other mental illnesses like OCD and even schcitsophrenia, can be living with a biochemical condition that most conventional doctors & GPs dont understand or know about. I really do encourage you to look up the conditions called PYROLURIA and HISTADELIA/HISTAPENIA. These are genetic conditions where you either cannot produce neurotransmitters properly, or you loose Vit B6 & zinc (nutrients absolutely crucial to balanced brain biochemistry) which can create havoc in terms of mental health.

    I have pyroluria and histadelia, and have discovered that at least one of my family members has pyroluria as well. Treatment is relatively easy to rectify the problem (includes prescribed doses of specific nutrients you’re lacking in), but requires a doctor who knows what they’re doing. I would reccommend my doc who is Dr Mike Woodbridge – http://www.drmikewoodbridge.com.au .

    IT IS REALLY WORTH RULING THIS OUT!!! (because while drugs may be lifesaving, they dont fix any biochemical problem – they just bandaid it and the underlying biochemical issue remains untreated.) “”

    I dont know where you are in the world, if you’re in brisbane or not, but I highly suggest you check this out. I have been feeling much better (I also have other physical issues which are being rectified), and my bro is feeling a big difference as well since he’s been treated. I am happy to discuss this more if you like! I just wonder how many others are feeling the same and their doctors are missing this? :)