1st Pod Cast Question 5 (Mental Health)

This blog post contains just the 5th proposed questions from Deidre Reigel for the “Deidre Reigel Hope and Healing Radio Show ” & my projected answers.

The following is taken from a rough draft I wrote in preparation for the Interview & was open to any changes & suggestions. We didn’t stick specifically to this as a script but it allowed me to stay on topic.

To hear the whole show for that day go to: “Deidre Reigel Hope and Healing Interviews Tom Bailey” on YouTube If you enjoy it be sure to give it a 👍 like 👍 and subscribe for more interesting & inspiring pod casts.

Here is basically how I answered just the 5th question. 

Deidre proposed the following : You struggled with mental health issued and I was sad to hear that your son committed suicide due to his mental health, what are your thoughts on mental health and how do you manage your own mental health?

My Answer: I’m actually glad that you asked that question because it’s important for people to understand mental illnesses. Just like we understand other health issues like if you had a brain aneurysm or if you had cancer that was eating away at your brain and all of a sudden you know you weren’t the same or a loved one has some type of an illness like a stroke that’s effected them and  their speech. Even the disease of alcoholism or someone whose mind is altered by thier addiction to drugs…

we can come to understand that because we see it and it’s common but with mental health it’s happening on the inside and we can’t see it anymore than we can see cancer cells or a diabetic’s sugar levels. In regard to mental health when serotonin or other natural chemicals in the brain get off-balance they can actually cause people to want to do things that they normally wouldn’t do or that the average person wouldn’t think of doing. 

In some ways the effects bipolorism have on the brain is like having a superhero power because some who is manic depressive will express themselves differently and maybe do some things other people just didn’t do or wouldn’t do.

 I’ve notices some people enjoy watching or listening to what comes from that creative, sometimes over creative, state of mind.

I think of some of the comedians that I’ve been compared to like Jerry Lewis or Jim Carrey or Robin Williams (well known people we’ve all seen) and people say to me you know I love that upbeat, funny, silly, creative drive you display.

 What they’re seeing in me is often mania (part of manic depression or being bipolar) and I think perhaps in a lot of artist what we’re seeing is mania or sometimes depression being expressed through their art and we are entertained by them because what’s inside them is coming out. When no one is around is often when the harsh side or ugly charateristics of any mental health issues come out.

I travel on the “bipolor express”.

I joke about how it all started because when my parents took me to the playground as a kid they put me on the mood swings. 

I had a great childhood. The only drug problem I had growing up was my parents drug me to Church. 

Regardless of how good our environment was or currently is mental health is a health issue & effects us no differently than any other commomly known physical health issue. It’s part of being human. Not everyine will suffer from congestive heart failure or pneumonia just like not everyone will suffer from psychotic episodes or and other mental health issue.

With my son, he was in great shape physically (went to the gym all the time). He was in very good shape spiritually (read, studied & lived out the word of God. He share his faith with a lot of people). He even made YouTube videos (Pressing Words Youtube Channel) & published articles on his blog (Pressing Words – The Spilling of a Lost & Found Mind -www.lexbailey.wordpress.com) where he did little messages from the word of God to encouraging people. 

My son Alexx

So, although he was healthy & strong physically & spiritually, mentally he struggled. It had nothing to do with how he was raised or how he lived his life. 

It was like a civil war going on in his mind and he tried to manage it the best he could but he got so sick of taking the medications they were telling him to take & feeling like nothing could help him balance out these overwhelming feelings & aweful desires. He was overcome with this fog in his mind.

He got so sick that the chemicals in his brain drownded out the normal/balanced healthy rationale thoughts. 

He was only 22. I remember when I was 22 and wasn’t even aware of what bipolorism was. I had some crazy thoughts but it wasn’t until close to my 30’s when I faced a bit more external stress & met head to head with suicidal thoughts of my own. It was in 1997 I was diagnosed. 

 Knowing what’s going on with our bodies, minds & souls is the first big step. I’ve always said, 

“The difference between really being crazy & not being completely crazy is that you are aware that you’re crazy.”

No one likes being labled crazy or disabled in any way form or fashion but when you recognize how you may be different from the average person that is the first real mile stone in letting your “disability” & opposition present a new opportunity.

The mandarin word for hope is actually two words when translated into english and that is “opposition & opportunity”. Without opposition why would we even need hope that things were better? 

That is why I got that Mandarin character on my writst, right where one may consider slicing in frustration.

The Bible says in Romans 8:24‭-‬25 NIV “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24‭-‬25 NIV)

If you realize you’re not thinking clearly and there’s this fog in your head it helps if you have enough sanity to know that it’s going to be okay, it’s not okay right now but you honestly admit your weakness that something is wrong with you it will help get you back on the road to where things are manageable again.

I wrote an article I called  The Fog Blog 👈click to go to it.

Sometimes it takes family, a friend, a counselor, treatment or even hospitalization, to point this out but only we can take the steps in the right direction toward doing what it takes to start thinking & living clearly again. The fog can be blown away but waiting for that change is the hard part. 

 Sometimes the deterioration of our health is unavoidable, it’s part of who we are as humans, but there is help out there for us before we become so ill that it leads to self medicating or an early death.

I also want to be sure to say that our physical, mental & spiritual health is not always directly connected to each other. 

What I mean by this is that you could be in the best spiritual shape & in the best time of spiritual awareness as possible and yet physically or mentally deteriorating because we are all mortal, we are human. 

What you see when you look at me is just an earth suit. I personally don’t believe we are just human beings on a Spiritual quest. We are all Spiritual beings (we have a soul & spirit) and we all face this experience of being human while our bodies are just housing our spiritual lives, just a shell.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV the Bible says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

For me personally in 1997 my suicide attempt was unsuccessful & I got help. 

Now to stay as health as possible so my own mental health doesn’t take my life prematurely I continually keep myself in check, 

  • I journal a lot,
  • taking the medication they told me to keep taking & not stop taking just because I feel better & good. The medicines keep the right chemical balance. 
  • I also make sure I’m getting enough sleep, that is very important to me because when I am manic I feel like I don’t need sleep & can’t sleep. 
  • In addition to this, I am consistently trying to keep things in balance around me, which isn’t always possible because there are certain things, people, situations & circumstances that are unavoidable but sometimes I have to avoid certain people or places or things because it will make me manic. To stay balanced sometimes we have to keep things around us in balance. Spend more time in healthy environments than in unhealthy environments. Certain people & even places can be toxic. 
  • Also, after a time of great excitement I have to do things to help me unwinde & relax, to come back down to a middle state of being without crashing all the way to the bottom. Those recreational activities (even rest & relaxation) help re-create us. So we in turn can create thing, accomplish things & get that feeling of serving a purpose. 
  • Good encouraging relationships are so important too. I still have 4 daughters (Kyri, Olivia, Madi and Abbey), my wife Rhonda, 2 sisters & my parents are still alive & still very supportive. They, along with extended family & friends who are like what a healthy family should be, offers me a healthy environment.

The balance doesn’t always come easy. I personally need prescribed medication along with a living environment that doesn’t have too many triggers that I’ve learned will set me off or cast me into mania or depression.

This concludes question 5 from the 1st pod cast. To read the other posts go to:

👉1st Pod Cast Question 1 (Writing)

👉 “1st Pod Cast Question 2” (on art)

👉 “1st Pod Cast Question 3 (regarding still playing the Drums)”

👉 “1st Pod Cast Question 4” (what I hope to accomplish) 

👉“1st Pod Cast Question 6” (Rhonda B.’s. Bath Remedies & me)

To hear the whole show for that day go to: “Deidre Reigel Hope and Healing Interviews Tom Bailey” on YouTube If you enjoy it be sure to give it a 👍 like 👍 and subscribe for more interesting & inspiring pod casts.

Go with God, beetle

💢💢💢💢EXTRAS💢💢💢💢

link to 👉 The Fog Blog👈click those words to read.

My son’s suicide notes included this request “Don’t let my writing die with me please. Love, Alexx”

I’ve written several post about Alexx, his life, his death & how I am processing the loss of my son. For an index go to: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/my-sons-life-death-alexx-edward-bailey/

5 thoughts on “1st Pod Cast Question 5 (Mental Health)

  1. Pingback: 1st Pod Cast Question 1 (Writing) – tombeetlebailey

  2. Pingback: 1st Pod Cast Question 2 (Rock Art) – tombeetlebailey

  3. Pingback: 1st Pod Cast Question 3 (Drums) – tombeetlebailey

  4. Pingback: 1st Pod Cast Question 4 (Hope to Accomplish) – tombeetlebailey

  5. Pingback: 1st Pod Cast Question 6 (Rhonda B’s Bath Remedies & me) – tombeetlebailey

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