Ten Signs Your Medication Is Not Working

Stone gargoyle at Be Our Guest

You can feel miserable with the wrong medication.

Medication for depression or other mental illness is a tricky thing to manage. Everyone responds differently to it. Some people find that Prozac allows them to think clearly while others have racing thoughts with that medicine. Others love Zoloft despite the fact that others dislike it.

Just like our bodies are made differently, our illnesses have different remedies. Finding that right medication is the key.

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9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges – By Laura Willard

This is so beautiful! A tattoo can be a great sign of recovery, creativity, and hope. It is not for everyone. For example, I doubt that I will ever get one. However, I think it can be a wonderful coping skill.

Kindness Blog

If you’ve been online this week, you’ve probably seen something about the semicolon tattoo.

 But in case you haven’t, here’s the short version: It’s a tattoo that represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

I wrote an article about it earlier this week. When we posted it on Facebook, our readers shared inspiring messages, stories, and words of encouragement for one another, and many also posted pictures of their own semicolon tattoos.

I was blown away by the responses and reached out to several of the people who posted their own photos.

They were happy to share their tattoos and stories. I was touched by what they told me, and I hope you also find encouragement, hope, and inspiration in their words. Here are their stories.

  1. A mom and her daughters, fighting together.

9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges - By Laura WillardDenise and her daughters, Tayler and Olivia, got their semicolon tattoos right before…

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Letter from a Support Person

My father and my sister Maria years ago

My father and my sister Maria years ago

I recently received a beautiful comment on this blog. An anonymous support person wrote a letter that was much more powerful than anything I could write trying to understand that point of view. Thus, I wanted to share this letter from a family member or friend of a person struggling with mental illness. Hopefully, it will touch you as much as it impacted me.

Plus, if you ever have something that you want to bring to my attention or think that I should share, let me know in a comment. I cannot promise to always blog it. However, know that I am open to hearing your voice and what you would like to see more of on this blog.

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I Don’t Think You Know What That Word Means

Words are slippery little doohickeys. Over the course of time, they change in meaning, morph into taboos, and are molded from new popular new phrases. A perfectly respectable word can became the worst swear, or a harsh insult can transform into a humorous remark. Language is a funny thing that way.

Thus, using words in incorrectly is a common mistake. We all play a role in reshaping language. Yet, certain words in the wrong context bother me because their usage is inconsiderate, ignorant, or offensive. The people saying them often do not intend for this meaning, but that does not take away from the damage that can be done. So, remember that this post is not to judge but hopefully to shed light on what we might say without even thinking. Here are just a few of the words or phrases that are used incorrectly and bother me.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone on Antidepressants

Much debate surrounds medication including antidepressants. Some people say that diet and other holistic methods are better than Western medication. Others argue that mental illness is not a true disease but can be overcome by willpower. While medicine is over-diagnosed at times, neither of these responses helps those who are struggling with depression or another such disorder.

For the past few days, I have not taken my strongest and most helpful medication. As explained in my post yesterday, my mood has been very low. Last night, my mother convinced me to take my medicine again. Although life is still not rosy, I feel much better today if sleepier. This just proves the importance and potency of medication.

Still, as shown above, people continue to judge those who take antidepressants. Here are some comments that people have made which is hard for a person taking medication for mental illness.

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Thoughts after Taking a Day off of Medication

Laughing with friend

Even with friends, I know that part of me is different because of my medication.

Because I saw the late night premier of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last night, I did not take one of my evening medications which makes me very sleepy. The lack of it kept me riled up and awake until a bit after 4:00 A.M. Still, my alarm was set for 8:30 because I have so much work to do.

When I awoke this morning, I felt strangely perky. “You will crash in a few hours,” a friend warned. But I did not.

Without my medication, I sprung through the day with a strange energy. For the first time in a long time, liveliness pulsed through my body. It was almost like I was a new person.

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Starting the Morning Strong

Staying strong and focused on recovery is extremely difficult. Whether you have depression, alcoholism, or bipolar disorder, finding hope to keep fighting for a healthy life is wearying at times. Many days, your strength seems to fail, and relapse seems like the only option.

However, there is hope and possibility for change. One huge advocate for that has been Demi Lovato. Reading her book of daily inspirations or meditations has helped me to center myself and begin my days on a strong note.

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Being a Strong Leader with Mental Illness

Winston Churchill's grave

Winston Churchill’s grave

The idea of being a leader has always haunted me. If I was one, did it mean that I was too loud or bossy? Instead of seeing this as a positive trait, I feared how people would perceive me.

At the same time, my father lauded the values of strength and leadership. In fact, some of his greatest work has been starting youth programs that encourage teenagers to work in teams and practice servant leadership. His example gave me some hope, but I never believed that I was worthy of leading others.

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Can Someone Just “Get Over” Mental Illness?

Oxford in the morning

A morning in Oxford

One of the hardest comments that I have received regarding my mental health problems has been “Why can’t you just get over it?”

Other people I have spoken with throughout my treatment have echoed aggravations about similar responses from family or friends. Many variations of this question occur, and even more frequent are the people who treat me in this manner. Knowing how to answer is very difficult.

However, the more that I think about it, the more that I realize how often I ask myself the very same thing. My brain is constantly berating me for not “getting over” things. Anna Rose, why can’t you just be a big girl and ignore the pain? Can’t you snap out of the depression that you are in? Why don’t you just stop thinking about that topic and get a life?

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Top Ten Quotes on Bipolar Disorder


Going in and out of a never ending tunnel is how one friend described bipolar disorder.

Bipolar is a term that is thrown around much too often in casual conversation. “She is so bipolar. You never know what mood you will find her in or what will make her upset.” No, you probably mean to say that she is moody. If she really does have bipolar disorder, than that is still a rather compassionate way to discuss her illness.

Thus, I decided to put together a list of quotes about bipolar that will hopefully raise awareness about this difficult mental illness. Although I do not struggle with it, several of my good friends do. They are brave warriors who need great energy and resilience to get maintain stability. Even then, battling this illness is nearly impossible alone. Please reach out to your medical care team, family, and friends instead of trying to power through it by yourself. My hope is that these quotes can give you hope and others (including myself) wisdom.

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