Hi everyone!! It’s Jillian’s mama Peggy, and I am SO excited to be back on here today! A few weeks ago, I shared my mental health and wellness journey with all of you and the positive messages and comments were overwhelming! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each one of you that took the time to read my very first post!
I was initially planning on sharing this post earlier in the week, but I recently learned that September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day! I thought it would be very fitting to share this mental health Q & A today instead! To give all of you some hope that you can overcome any obstacle, I wanted to share a list of 15 celebrities that are also faced with Bipolar disorder!
Before we dive in, it was brought to my attention from one of Jillian’s readers, who is a counsellor, that we should refrain from referring to mental health disorders as an illness! The word “illness” attaches a stigma to mental health in many ways.
Today, I’m back answering some of the questions that I received on my first post!
1. How would you approach someone who has a bipolar diagnosis but refuses to admit that they are struggling?
Unfortunately, without someone’s willingness to admit that they have this diagnosis, they can sometimes hit rock bottom before accepting help. If this person is unwilling to acknowledge that they have bipolar disorder, simply just showing them that you care for them is very helpful! What helped me through some of my darkest days was my family showing me their unconditional love!
2. As someone who believes their mother struggles with mental health (undiagnosed), it is so hard to watch someone go from up and down in a matter of minutes/days. What do you recommend that we can do to help? How do you kindly approach a woman who is easily offended by the littlest things, let alone ask her to seek professional help?
In this situation, since your mother may be unwilling to go and seek professional help, what if instead you sought out a professional to help you assist her? A psychiatrist can provide you with some amazing tools to help your mother!
3. What are some ways to support someone with Bipolar and/or depression that is actually helpful and meaningful?
Without personally knowing this person and if they are taking any medication and how severe their Bipolar/ Depression is it is a difficult question to answer. But having a supportive and loving environment goes a long way. Another way to help this person may be by facilitating CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This can be done with a family member, friend, or psychologist! Click here to learn more about CBT!
4. Curious if you have any helpful tips for employers to help staff through this journey?
As an entrepreneur who struggled with depression and bipolar, I was very empathetic to other’s feelings and their discomfort. Something to keep in mind is that Bipolar or any other mental disorder does not define as you may not experience these symptoms every day of the year. If you are in a position where you can provide your employees with a health spending account, I would highly recommend it! The employer can set a customized amount that an employee can spend on mental health expenses, whether that be seeking out a psychiatrist or psychologist!
5. Did you experience postpartum after you had Jillian?
Luckily, I did not experience any signs of postpartum depression after having Jillian. My heart goes out to all of the women who experience postpartum! I’ve linked a helpful resource explaining what postpartum is and various treatment options, you can find that here!
6. Do you find it any harder to “deal” with life’s circumstances (COVID, riots etc) that are out of your control right now? Are you amping up your coping skills during these uncertain times? How so?
In 2001 I felt very depressed after the events took place surrounding 9-11. However, when the COVID pandemic first hit, I luckily did not experience the same depression. I think what has helped me cope differently during this time is that I am consuming much less news, and I set a limit to only updating myself every few weeks!
7. How have you been able to overcome your past and possible dark moments mentally? Did you deal with shame at all?
Right before I opened my Home Decor and Gift shop, I experienced a very traumatic event, and what helped me move forward was not allowing myself to be the victim anymore. After that dark moment, I set a goal to open my store and never looked back! A quote that I often refer to help me overcome some dark moments is “don’t look back; you’re not going that way”!
8. Can you tell us how you lost your weight? What did you do?
What sparked the initial weight loss was a change in the medications that I was taking! From there, I implemented daily walking into my routine, slowly working up to 45 minutes a day, I downloaded and followed the Noom app and have my smoothie every morning! I think adding those three things into my daily routine impacted my weight loss!
9. Is a psychiatrist the best type of therapist for anxiety and depression. Have you tried any other therapy?
The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication while a psychologist can’t. First of all, don’t ever give up; I know that finding the right medication, finding the right person to help support you can be overwhelming, but you will find the right professional, and it will click! I did try CBT with a psychologist, and I did find it very helpful, and once I moved to Kelowna, I started seeing a psychiatrist!
10. How do I get past the embarrassment and start advocating for myself?
If you ever have an opportunity to speak out about your mental disorder, do so! I would suggest learning as much as you can about your condition, you will find that this will allow you to help others on a similar journey! It is also important to come to terms with the fact the brain is an organ and is just as susceptible to become ill just like any other organ in your body!
11. How did your depression and bi-polar affect Jillian?
I think my bipolar and depression affected Jillian by making her more empathetic and caring for others! Jillian is extremely strong and resilient. I believe that her watching me go through some difficult times has given her so much empathy for others struggling!
We had so many questions come through and while I wanted to answer each one of them, I picked a hand full of them that I believe will help many others in a similar situation!
Until next time!
These are my personal thoughts and suggestion, however I would always suggest seeking professional assistance before implementing any of these suggestions!