Mental Health Friday #27

Mental Health Friday #27

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Have you ever wondered if a therapist is right for you? Have you ever contemplated whether you should break up with a therapist or even how to go about it? Well, then stick around because for this week’s Mental Health Friday, I had the honour of hosting a therapist John Dennis who blogs at Parent family Solutions. Below are his answers to the questions plaguing many of us.

We need to break up!

It’s you, not me. OK, maybe I’m partly to blame too.

As a therapist, I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about people seeing a counselor that wasn’t right for them. They had no idea how to bring it up or how to end things…and consequently it usually didn’t end well.
People will keep seeing a counselor even if it’s not a good fit. Often times, they keep going out of fear or guilt, hoping that they will still be able to work through their issues despite the lack of connection.

For most people who have gone to counseling, they have seen more than one therapist.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve met with someone who probably should have been in counseling long ago, but, due to a negative experience with a first counselor, they avoided going back.

This post is going to explain how to break things off with your therapist.

First you have to determine what the issue is.

Is the therapist not a good fit for you?

fit-www-parentfamilysolutions-com
It’s important to feel there is a good fit with your therapist.

In the very first session I usually explain to clients and family members that it’s important for the client and family to feel like they have found the right professional. I go on to further explain that I’m not the counselor for everyone. All counselors are not cut from the same cloth. If that’s the case, it’s my job to get the client a referral to someone that may be a better fit.

Are they not the right fit in terms of their personality? Or their worldview? (Ie. They’re really into…fill in the blank…and you’re not. You’re an evangelical Christian and they’re an atheist). Now, I will point out that there’s a difference between feeling supported in your life, your choices, etc. and your wish for your therapist to support your cannibalism and heroin use. Just because they don’t support you 100% of the time and confront you on certain areas doesn’t mean they are the wrong therapist. I’ll further point out that doctor and therapist-shopping is common among those struggling with narcissism, substance abuse and borderline personality disorder. Read more

Mental Health Friday #26

Mental Health Friday #26

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I know, I know, there are quite a number of us here for whom the previous year was fraught with dampened expectations, punctured dreams, heartbreak and betrayal. I have a fair idea of what it feels like; I spent a chunk of 2017 popping Fluoxetine and Quitiapine, and I “coincidentally” lost a job one month after opening up to my struggles with depression.

I lived out of my suitcase for six weeks, waking up next to warm bodies in Calabar, squeezing my six-foot frames into Nissan Micra taxis in Ibadan, and rolling on large dusty mattresses in Port Harcourt. I was ignored by people from whom I expected support, and I overdosed on Haloperidol, but I’m still here, I’m still here.
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I want you to remember that Hope is a verb, and that Optimism is a noun that still exists in dictionaries.

There may be a large volume of uncertainty as one year gives way to another, and you really can’t be blamed for that (for some, seeing out each day was tasking enough), but I want you to remember that Hope is a verb, and that Optimism is a noun that still exists in dictionaries.

In 2018, I hope you find peace, I hope waves steer you to shores, and I hope that the darker rooms of your mind find light bulbs that last significantly longer. I hope you find love, and if you have, I hope that you sustain it. Never lose sight of the fact that every emotion of yours is valid, and you have the right to be vulnerable, to be sensitive, to be intense without apology. If he is not comfortable with it, if she tries to stifle you, don’t be afraid to take a walk.
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I am all too aware of how helpless you can be when trying to hold on to love, and how hard it is to resist chasing after yesterday, but this year, I hope that you learn to move on and get over, I hope that you learn to attach premium value to your feelings. I am not oblivious to what it means when someone has you wrapped around their finger, but you deserve the one who wants to be with you everywhere (ok, almost everywhere, to avoid a restraining order), you deserve moments that are the stuff of dreams, and there’s need for you to stop having your heart dragged around.
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I hope you recognize fake love when it is swung in your face, I hope your lives get entangled with people that are worth the sacrifices

Sure enough, no one owes you anything, but I hope you run into people who’d be willing to help you with no long talk, I wish that this is the year you finally get it together, and I hope you come to terms with the fact that you can’t have everything (godliness with contentment, or something like that). I hope you recognize fake love when it is swung in your face, I hope your lives get entangled with people that are worth the sacrifices you have to make, yea, I hope Life finally allows you to find your rhythm in 2018.
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Much is made about worthy causes and progressive movements, but I hope that “group think” does not erode your mental faculties, I hope that you don’t shelve the values you hold dear in the name of being “woke”, heck, I hope that you get to have a mind of your own in 2018. Here’s hoping that you avoid needless drama, and here’s hoping that your decisions are well advised, so that those who detest you would find no opportunities to kiss their teeth on your account.
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True, not everyone attaches importance to the hype and anticipation that comes with another January, but I like to think that the calendar deserves its respect…and in all this, I am convinced that Someone is watching over us, so (for those who believe) feel free, send shout-outs to Him!
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Here’s to adventure and memory-making in 2018.

Written by Jerry Chiemeke who is a lawyer, screenwriter, writer, editor and a critic and writes at JerryChiemeke.com. I came acrosss the inspiring post above on one of the groups I am in, and requested Jerry for permission to share it here with You guys. 


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com

Mental Health Friday #3

Mental Health Friday #3

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The effect of stigma on an individual’s acceptance of a diagnosis is something I find extremely important. As I noted in my last mental health Friday post, my first diagnosis came at the age of five.

At first glance, one might find it easy to stand in judgment of a mother that turns away the opinion of an expert. However, in my case, I was most likely one of the first children diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder and at that time (1974), the term Manic Depressive was still prevalent. I can only try to imagine what the “label” would mean to my mother at that time. Something to the effect of her daughter being crazy, stupid, and/or dangerous. To look at her daughter, she knew those things were not true, but had she had a realistic view of what the disorder meant, she may not have so hurriedly pushed it aside.

the books I read, and later the internet, gave the worst case scenario as they do with most illnesses

At the age of 23, and receiving the diagnosis as an adult, I made an effort to educate myself. What I found to be the problem in seeing this in myself was that the books I read, and later the internet, gave the worst case scenario as they do with most illnesses. These things were not the case for me and so I turned it away myself, based on my oddly extreme ideas on what the diagnosis meant. Read more

Over a cup of coffee-

Over a cup of coffee-

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Ever wondered what it would feel like,
to voice our affect over
A mug of coffee:
You and I and all the others.
To ignore the rule that sadness,
should be dwelt with in silence;
Have a laugh over our pain which
Has a name.

Ever considered the possibility:
That our silence is a fuel which brews
It, and speaking- the water which can
Quell it. If only for a bit:
This pain which has a name.

I don’t know about you, but
My coffee is brewing,
The sun is set to rise,
My mood has no compass yet.
What you say?
Let’s talk about it?
This thing which turns us
Into shadows of our former
Personas…

Mornings-

Mornings-

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Wake up.
Feel the warmth of the sun
Reflecting upon your golden skin,
feel it’s love bathing every inch
of your body. Absorb it-
the love the universe
Is pouring onto 
you.

Let it seep
Through the pores of your skin,
Through your bloodstream straight
To your heart, to your brain which
Needs a jog, a reminder that you
Are needed, you are loved,
Your presence on the
earth is a necessity.
Stay…

Mental Health Friday #25

Mental Health Friday #25

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Today’s story was sent in by Ian, touching briefly about his experience in Psych ward and there after,

It’s been a looong time since I was in hospital, the last time. Since then, thanks to government cuts, they’ve closed the psych ward where I had become so regular, I think that I could have earned airmiles from it. That makes me feel weird thinking about that. Places where we were, parts of our lives that no one knows about.

Sometimes I jokingly talk about my time “on ward” in small, self-deprecating anecdotes.
‘I didn’t get to take a phone inside, in my day’ or ‘If I had said that on the ward, they would drug me up’.

No one gets the humour.

There are still some songs that I cannot listen to, even after all of these years. Not that I don’t love them – but because they come balled up with feelings that I know I might not be able to slow down once they start rolling.

Psychosis, Manic Depression, Major Depression, Borderline, Morbid Ideation – these are terms that sometimes crop up on the radio, and every time they talk about them, it makes me want to groan. The people they talk about are either axe-murderers of somehow brilliantly gifted celebrities. I am neither.

Madness did not give me special insights into the world, it did not make me violent, and it did not make me quirky-and-brilliant(TM). It just made me broken, and stuck.

I still take medication, sometimes – although none of it ever seems to work. I take it as a precaution rather than a cure. God don’t let me become like that again, I pray.

And after it all, after my twenties thrown away – literally in the loony bin – where am I now? Am I better? Healed? I’m still stumbling and wondering what happened.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com

Long ago-

Long ago-

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It seems so long ago-
Since the cold outside,
Matched the cold within,
And the grey skies reflected,
The world I hid;
When the right words failed me,
my words disgraced me;
When the hurt I bore,
I dispensed,
To those who didn’t deserve it.

It seems like a century
Has passed, from the time
When the face in the mirror,
Was starved from its one source;
When the body I dwelled in,
I failed miserably;
When the soul inside was aching,
And the body- failing.

What seems like centuries
gone is but a few years;
And the cold outside,
Now feels foreign to my skin.
And my words have filters,
And my body now my temple..
What I though I wouldnt survive,
I lived to tell it’s story;

Mental Health Friday #13

Mental Health Friday #13

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I just recently read an article on Jezebel titled “A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with Their Toxic Moms” which really hit home for me. I know this isn’t like my typical happy, upbeat posts; but it’s something I’ve dealt with since I can remember and I know I’m not alone.

I love my Mother to the end of this Earth, that will never change. But it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Growing up, my sisters and I have had to deal with what the article referred to as a “broken woman”. Many terrible things have happened to my Mother, which I won’t go into detail about. But the most impactful was the loss of my brother when he was 2 (in ’89). I hadn’t been born yet, in fact my mother hadn’t even met my Father yet (my two sisters and brother have a different Father). I’ve always wished I was alive to meet my brother, but at the same time I’m not sure how I would have handled his death. My Mom’s addiction developed shortly after.

In the late 90’s, she started attending a methadone clinic to attempt getting off the drugs she was abusing. If you’re not familiar with methadone, it’s a medication usually used to relieve severe pain. But it’s also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to opiates. Little did everyone know that this would be a new addiction in itself.

Obviously I was never told anything about this when I was younger, but I remember being able to notice some of the side effects of the methadone. The most noticeable being extreme drowsiness. I can remember around the ages of 7-10 I would go to her house every Friday to stay for the weekend. I’d be sitting with her at the kitchen table trying to tell her all the things I did in school that day and she’d be hunched over, passed out. I didn’t think too much of it as a child, I just thought “Oh, Mommy’s really tired”. However, I did think it was strange that she would start to fall asleep immediately after I would shake her and wake her up. It got progressively worse as I got older. When I was around 12, my grandfather passed away (my Mother’s Father). We all loved him very much, but my Mother especially. She fell into an even deeper depression after this and along with being extremely tired from the methadone, she never got out of bed, she was barely eating, and just didn’t take care of herself in general.

I have limited memories of actually doing things and spending quality time with her. Instead, I watched her wither away from being a beautiful, energetic woman to a lifeless shell of that woman. I was always so envious of other girls my age growing up who had good relationships with their Mothers. In my early teens, I sort of resented her for choosing a life of drugs over the possible relationships she could have had with her three girls. As an adult now, I just had to accept that she is so lost in her own depression and addiction, that she doesn’t even realize what she’s sacrificed. Those childhood years are something that we won’t get back, and neither will she. I don’t hate her, I don’t think I ever could. I’m just disappointed in a way.

Anyone who has a family member or friend who is an addict, I can relate. You want to help them so badly to create a better life for themselves. You want them to realize that drugs aren’t an acceptable coping mechanism for their problems, that there are other options. But like I said before, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. They have to want it for themselves. You can’t sacrifice your own happiness and wear yourself down in hopes of “fixing” them. As painful as it is, you have to let it be if they are not willing to change. All you can do is create a better future for yourself. I know I have the power to be the Mother that mine wasn’t, for my own children in the future.

This week’s story was sent in by Amber who blogs at What Makes Me Amber.wordpress.com where she blogs about health, wellness, (yummy) recipes and Life in general.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit this post.

IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com.

Mental Health Friday #11

Mental Health Friday #11

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People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are often thought of as manipulative, self harming attention seekers. Their lives are a mess … they aren’t able to function like normal human beings. Nobody would ever give them a job …

But, in reality, we really aren’t like that.

I was diagnosed with BPD last year. On 4th July 2014 I received a copy of a letter sent to my GP.

“Amelia is a 20 year old university student who lives at home with her parents.

Diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder with mood instability, self harm, atypical eating disorder, low self esteem, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, and feelings of emptiness. Her mood is dysthymic and varies frequently.”

A week later I received another letter discharging me from the care of the Mental Health Services. Apparently there was nothing they could do for me.

The bottom fell out of my world. How could a psychiatrist label my personality as disordered?! How could they ditch me a week later? I have spent the last year trying to understand this big, scary, stigmatised disorder.

BPD is completely different for everyone. There are nine symptoms, and to be diagnosed you must fit at least 5 … so there are lots and lots of different combinations! Every day I understand it a little more, and for me it is a disorder of extremes.

I completely love my diagnosis and completely hate it in equal measures. Half of my life is so dark that I can barely drag myself out of bed. The other half is bigger, brighter, and more beautiful than you can imagine.

I can flip between the two in a heartbeat. Everything is black or white. I love you or I hate you.

I self harm. I have attempted suicide. I dissociate. I panic. I am impulsive. I can get angry. I am terrified of being abandoned. I don’t really know who I am. I have periods of feeling nothing at all. Everything is very very intense.

But I am human.

Having BPD doesn’t stop me doing stuff that ‘normal’ people do. Most people who meet me would have no idea that I have ever seen a psychiatrist, let alone been stamped with a diagnosis.

Believe it or not, I have a job. And I am a manager! Last week I went to a fancy works-do, and although I was struggling on the inside, nobody pointed or laughed or realised that I was any different to anyone else. Next week I am meeting with the CEO of the business. Again, it will be hard for me, but I will get the job done just as well as anyone else. I can be the ultimate professional.

My GP was so shocked that I have a serious mental health condition and a full time job that she jumped up and declared that I must be cured! She was so over-joyed that she immediately cancelled all of my mental health referrals (the sight would have been quite amusing if I hadn’t been so furious!).

Having BPD does not make me weak, incapable, stupid, dangerous, or a liability.

So many medical professionals have seen my diagnosis and treated me like an injured puppy. A crazy injured puppy. They have looked at me with pity in their eyes.

I hate that. I am a human being. I am not crazy.

One of the most empowering and helpful things for me recently has been starting my blog. Suddenly a whole new world has been opened up to me. I am getting to chat to other people with BPD and am privileged enough to read their stories. I am able to speak out about my day-to -day issues in a community where I’m not being judged. Finally, I am beginning to understand that I’m not alone!

I desperately want the stigma that comes with BPD to be broken down. I want it to be accepted that people can have a serious mental illness, and really struggle with it, but that doesn’t make them any less of a person. We aren’t all crazy dangerous monsters.

Today’s contributor is Amelia who blogs at Borderlineamelia.wordpress.com . She blogs about surviving the diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder one day at a time.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit  this post.

IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com.      

Mental Health Friday #24

Mental Health Friday #24

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I had a pretty good childhood until around the age of six, that was when I was raped for the first time. I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t know how to handle the trauma. I turned to smoking at that young age. We had a security guard in the estate and he introduced me to it. The assault didn’t stop at the age of six and by the time I turned ten, I’d been raped two more times by different men. 

We moved from that area to a different state, but I was already hooked to smoking (I went on to smoke for about ten years); maybe it was a coping mechanism for me.
I was ten. I knew I was depressed and became suicidal as well. I tried to kill myself but didn’t go through with it; I guess, despite it all, a part of me wanted to live.

When I got into grade 10, I had a really bad time there, which forced me to look within myself. I realised, my life was a mess but I wanted to be better; I felt that I could do better. I overheard my parents talking about a colleague of theirs who was a psychiatrist, so, I stole his contacts and called him. We talked on the phone and he fixed an appointment for me. All of these, I did, without the knowledge of my parents.

I was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He put me on medications but I never took them; Compliance to medication is not my strong suit.
Still, I kept on seeing him once every week. It was liberating, talking about everything without feeling like everything that happened was my fault, the rapes were my fault. I was fortunate to have a great psychiatrist.

My parents didn’t know I was seeing their colleague as my Psychiatrist, and so, one time, we met in public and my parents introduced me to him as their daughter. We exchanged greetings and he pretended he didn’t know me. I loved that he did.

I kept on seeing him secretly until I graduated from high school, I never went back after that. (I’ve been thinking a lot about going back now ). Although now, I can say that I learnt what I need to do for myself and how to take care of my mental health.

Still, I have so much anger bottled up inside about our attitude towards mental illness, molestation, child abuse and just things like these- I mean it is right there, happening before our eyes, but we just don’t see it. People think that if you are depressed or traumatised, there’s this somber image you fit into- but I wasn’t. I was the noisy bubbly child, the people pleaser and did not fit into “that image” at all. We are so self absorbed that we never pick up on the little things.

I find it brave of people who put a face to their mental illnesses and the trauma they’ve experienced.
So, this is it, my story. The journey of a child victim to an adult survivor and warrior.


This week’s Mental Health story is about someone who requested to remain anonymous and I respect that. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your bravery and for reminding us once again- Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.

To everyone who showed up every friday to read these personal stories of our journey with mental, thank you very much for supporting this; with your stories and your emails and your likes and comments and shares. It is a blessing.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com.