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Showing posts from September, 2019

My Interview on The Women Are Worthy Show

I appreciate Jacqlyn Charles, host of The Women Are Worthy Show, for bringing attention to mental health challenges, such as mine. On September 16th, Jacqyln and I held a conversation about mental illness and its stigma.  Jacqyln referred to the "Acceptance" chapter of my book, What's On My Mind? Volume I. The opening statement was a question: "Is accepting mental illness the beginning of recovery?" Initially, my recovery was court-mandated. In other words, I had no choice, but to accept forced treatment due to the legal circumstances as articulated in my book. However, I gained acceptance quickly by the support of my treatment team and family. I recalled my mother's approach to my condition which was something I could learn how to manage because of my awareness of the diagnosis. My mother said: "At least you know what you have so that you can do something about it. Some people do not know what is going on with them." The stigma of men

Watch Women Are Worthy Show on Facebook Live with Ashley

My Anti-Stigma Message: There is Hope

(Champions of Science: The Art of Ending Stigma) When I was diagnosed there were not a lot of recovery stories on schizophrenia. The only story I could identify with was the movie, Out of the Darkness that features Diana Ross. Over the years, I have been called demonic on a few occasions due to my diagnosis. This is scary to me because I do not see myself as a threat or evil spirit. I identified more with college students, I dropped out of school as a result of my illness. I was diagnosed at age 20. Now I am a mental health advocate that aims to debunk myths and continue to strive to live well in recovery in spite of widespread stigma. I am appreciative of Janssen Pharmaceuticals educational non-branded platform that aims to reduce stigma. In 2011, they spearheaded a documentary that shows how recovery is possible for persons living with schizophrenia. This was my first time seeing recovery in a positive light opposed to simply limiting us to the largely characterized sy

11 Years of Overcoming Schizophrenia Blog Anniversary

Eleven years ago I started blogging anonymously about my experience with schizophrenia. I was 21 years old and still learning about my diagnosis, which I continue to study today. I am grateful for the feedback of my peers in recovery, caregivers, and our loved ones who engaged in this blog. Over the years my recovery story gained a lot of opportunities and exposure. I became a mental health advocate, speaker, and trainer. I sought different platforms to share my lived experience. There were several.  In 2010, I shared my recovery story as a speaker for In Our Own Voice. This program was new to NAMI Georgia, I was among the first class. I thank my instructor, Cathy M. for teaching me how to share my story. This program gave me a glimpse of what was to come.  My first speaking engagement was on my birthday. I spoke for NAMI Georgia and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement. My presentation focused on my history with mental health, and legal inte