EROTOMANIA, HYPERSEXUALITY AND BIPOLAR DISORDER || MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

Is Erotomania another name for hypersexuality? And how does erotomania and hypersexuality play out in bipolar disorder?

“Erotomania is a type of delusion in which the affected person believes that another person, usually a stranger, high-status or famous person, is in love with him or her. The illness often occurs during psychosis, especially in patients with schizophrenia, delusional disorder or bipolar mania. During an erotomanic episode, the patient believes that a secret admirer is declaring his or her affection to the patient, often by special glances, signals, telepathy, or messages through the media. Usually the patient then returns the perceived affection by means of letters, phone calls, gifts, and visits to the unwitting recipient. Even though these advances are unexpected and often unwanted, any denial of affection by the object of this delusional love is dismissed by the patient as a ploy to conceal the forbidden love from the rest of the world. The term erotomania is often confused with obsessive love, obsession with unrequited love, or hypersexuality.” - educalingo.com


“Hypersexuality is extremely frequent or suddenly increased sexual urges or sexual activity. Although hypersexuality can be caused by some medical conditions or medications, in most cases the cause is unknown. Mental health problems such as bipolar disorders can give rise to hypersexuality, and alcohol and some drugs can affect social and sexual inhibitions in some people.” - educalingo.com

Here are my thoughts:
Bipolar disorder can influence a person’s libido and determine their response to sexual intimacy; this can either result in a spontaneous rush into intimacy while throwing caution to the winds or to a cautious approach to matters of the heart while ensuring that the decision to get intimate is well thought through.

Yes, a bipolar patient may be attracted to someone and for no reason feel compelled by their desires to stick with that person, but it is the increased libido that comes with manic episodes that triggers hyper sexuality in bipolar patients. It is the responsibility of the support team to identify when this happens and seek immediate intervention. If you think that a person’s sexuality is being influenced by a manic episode, it is wrong to tell them that they are promiscuous. Or use words or imageries that suggest same. If you do so, you are stigmatizing them. SO what can you do? If you are an influence in that person’s life, you can encourage them to stay out of dating and go back to the psychiatrists to review their medication.

Also, people who manage bipolar disorder can train themselves to say NO and mean it. I believe that sex outside marriage spoils a good relationship. A relationship held in tact with sex will break down no sooner or later because sex on its own is not the only requirement that makes a happy marriage. Love and mutual respect, good communication and understanding are vital for a good relationship that can lead to marriage. So, please stop giving it out for Free. You are worth more.

Choose the person who loves you enough to wait for sex till the wedding night. I made that choice 8 years ago, and every day, I’m thankful to God that I didn’t let hypersexuality ruin my relationship with my finance who is now my spouse. Somehow, I waited.  Sex is worth waiting for.

My name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a full life

Once Psychotic isn’t always Psychotic || Mental Health Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

 
Psychosis can accompany a severe manic episode of Bipolar disorder.  When a mentally ill person becomes psychotic, literally, it means that there is a loss of contact with reality and that the person’s sense of reality is highly distorted.  Most of the people we see roaming the streets homeless started with psychosis that didn’t receive prompt professional medical attention or psychosis that wasn’t managed well with a refined bed rest in a Neuro- Psychiatry hospital.  Whatever the cause, in any case, psychosis isn’t good for a mentally ill person. It must be identified early – it is easily identified in the display of unusual behavioral patterns - and given prompt medical attention.
Another reason why Psychosis must be treated promptly is that, the longer a mentally ill persons stays in a psychotic state, the further away from reality they are. The person descried as ‘mad’, roaming the streets naked and not in the right state of mind, might just be in an advanced phase of a mental illness that started with psychosis. Sometimes, as a result of the prolonged delay before treatment, even when they have been treated, there may still be a slight loss with reality displayed in certain behaviourial patterns when some life issues occur. This is one reason why psychotic patients are treated as an emergence and are monitored to take their medication as at when due.
That said, it is important to note that a mentally ill person can recover from a psychosis and learn how to manage their mental health, to identify triggers and to avoid getting into a psychotic state of mind.  Often, the sad reality is that the people who witnessed a psychotic patient, hardly ever forget the scene because it is usually accompanied with a lot of drama.
Some of these people find it difficult to adjust their mindset and accept the fact that 'once a mentally ill patient was psychotic, doesn’t mean that they will always or that they are always in a psychotic state of mind.' This attitude from some people fuels mental health stigma in subtle sad ways.
You are stigmatising a mentally ill person if you feel that they don’t deserve love and attention.
You stigmatise them when you whisper into your friend’s ears and laugh out loud and ignore them as they approach, you may not be talking about them; but when you don’t make the effort to make them understand that, you leave them feeling STIGMAISED. You stigmatise when you give them a disdainful look and nurture hurtful thoughts in your heart. You stigmatise them when you are overly careful in your speech with them because you feel that they can respond with violence.
You stigmatise them when you keep seeing them through the lens of the mental illness they are bravely managing. You stigmatise when you refuse to give them the job because you are afraid they can become psychotic and make a mess of your work space….No! No! No! Psychosis isn’t automatic.  It doesn’t appear unannounced; there are always signs. Always. Hopefully, when my book is out, you would read how psychosis was for me. But for now, please #curethestigma of #mentalhealth by not treating persons who had previously been psychotic as if they are still psychotic. ONCE PSYCHOTIC ISN’T ALWAYS PSYCHOTIC.
My Name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full Life
 
 
 


 

Love and Acceptance || Mental Health Awareness Month

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-



I know that it is not easy to love someone who is mentally ill. Still, you can try. I can try. We can try.

If we try, we can.

We can love and accept them regardless of the diagnosis.

A smile goes a long way.

A phone call goes a long gone way.

A hug is huge.

Even though we live in a world that seems to be hurting, we can still spread love. Spread joy, #curethestigma and #endthestigma associated with a mental health diagnosis.

 We can choose to understand them and help them by creating an enabling environment for them to strive. With love, support and professional help, the mentally ill persons can live beyond the limitations of a mental illness.
 
My Name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full Life.

Mental Health Awareness Month || A Way Out of Negativity

Monday, May 21, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-


 
Taking POSSIBLE POSITIVE ACTIONS is a way out of Negativity….

Sometimes, when depression hits, it hits really badly....
For me, the worst part of  being depressed is a lack of interest in the beautiful and simple things around - laughter, a smile,  the scent of the flowers,  the colourful butterflies,  the sunsets and sunrise, the love and support from good people, the possibility of good things in abundance, the self-centeredness...

But then, I also know that the only way out of a negative mood like depression is to engage in possible positive actions. This starts with identifying what you can do. What can you do?



I can choose to smile
I can choose to laugh
I can choose to let go
I can choose to speak up
I can dance
I can focus
I can....
I can....

 


Beyond ‘I Can’, I must make a decision to do or to be.

Are you making empowering decisions?

 

 

I choose to be happy
I choose to live beyond depression

I choose to positively affirm myself

I choose to focus on the good in every situation
I choose to combat depression
Beyond daring to blossom, I choose to blossom. And I blossom!

 


The essence of this post is to remind us that, we all must take a stand by our words and actions to create the life we desire. Wishing won’t do it. Engaging in positive self-talk and taking positive steps while making ourselves accountable to our support team can help us achieve emotional stability regardless of our peculiar circumstances.

 

My name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full Life.

 

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the grace to be called a child of God. Thank you because, as your child, I know without a shadow of doubt that your ability is at work in me. Lord, give me the grace to always remember that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Help me to remember that in your presence there is fullness of Joy. Help me to be conscious of your presence always. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

Mental Health Awareness Month || What is it like to live with a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis?

Sunday, May 20, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

 
 
 
Have you ever felt a relieving sense of peace because you confided in someone you can trust? Thats how I feel each time I get an opportunity to share about my journey with bipolar polar disorder. It isnt so much about confiding in someone I can trust but much more about sharing to demystify the stigma associated with mental illness. A stigma that suggests that, silence is golden, even when it is at the detriment of ones mental wellbeing. Every time I get to share about my sixteen years plus journey with bipolar disorder, I feel relieved, peaceful and freed! This wasnt always the case with me. LOL!

In 2004, by the time I went back to the university to study Theatre Arts, after completing my Diploma-in-Law certification, I was one year plus into my journey with Bipolar Disorder. I was advised to keep the diagnosis to myself and try to cope. I was told that even if I didnt meet the mark, I will still be loved and I will still be my parents child. I was reminded that God is with me always and that He would help me. I was told to be strong. Being allowed to continue my education the face of the intense psychotic episode I was recovering from was a huge step of faith from my parents. In retrospect, they gave me the permission to blossom. And, I DARE TO BLOSSOM.

I Dare To Blossom even on the days when it seems as though my manic seasons are dominating and trying to make a mess of my character.

I Dare To Blossom even on days when depression pays an unannounced visit in the company of a low mood swing.

I Dare To Blossom even though Im aware that Bipolar Disorder is, a mental condition marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.

Now that you have an idea of what Bipolar Disorder is about, please can some of us stop using bipolar as an adjective to describe our thoughts of how unreliable Politicians are or how inconsistent a person is? Bipolar Disorder is a Noun NOT an Adjective.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that requires love support, understanding, medication in some cases and definitely the professional services of a psychologist, psychiatrists, or clinicians.

Now that you know, please #curethestigma by giving persons living with bipolar disorder the permission to Blossom. Stop labelling them!

 

Mental Health Awareness Month || Is parenting really difficult for the mentally ill?

Saturday, May 19, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-


I am blessed with two adorable children. Together, they make my world beautiful and often times I find myself caught in the middle of how to discipline them and love them without being too soft or overly strict.

I have since learned that parenting is one skill you don’t pick up from a shop or borrow from a loved one. It is my firm belief that it is a skill many are not born with and a lot of people are lacking in that gifting. If parenting can be overwhelming for persons who have never been mentally ill, how do you think it would be for parents who have been mentally ill in the past or who are managing a mental illness? Being a mother of two young children and also a person living with bipolar disorder, I have had to accept the challenge and remain committed to being a better parent each day. Being a parent makes me a better person. I know that two people look up to me and I am determined not to fail them.

For me, the toughest part of being a parent and living with bipolar disorder is the misunderstanding I sometimes receive from friends and loved ones when I do not meet their expectations of who a good parent is. This sometimes results from my ignorance of the ‘generally accepted parenting myths’ or from my inability to manage my emotions and manage the children during a mood swing.

Usually, my first instinct is to ask for help when I find myself in a mood swing situation. In asking for help, I gain time to recover and get back to the right state of mind to manage my children.

So please the next time a parent disclose their mental health status to you, please know that it is not because they want to abscond from their responsibility or because they need your pity, they disclose because they need your help. They need you to understand their struggles so that you can offer creative solutions for them. These solutions are met to be stigma free and have the wellbeing of the child/children at its core.

We all have a role to play to #curethestigma of mental illness in our world.

 

Mood Swings, Strength and Weakness!

Monday, May 14, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

Strength or weakness is a function of how we feel. Our feelings can determine how motivated or demotivated we are. If we do not bring our ‘feelings’ under the control, we can ruin our lives with hasty decisions made from unchecked feelings.

As I write this, its 3:10 am on a Monday morning. The previous week had been coloured with a feeling of weakness, fatigue, pain in my joints, headaches and I felt unmotivated to carry out simple home chores. By Friday of the same week, I made up my mind to go to the hospital for a medical review. I did a few tests, and was given medication for malaria fever. Interestingly, over, the years, I have found out that in dealing with malaria fever, I get to deal with depression. I have observed this in several scenarios so when the feeling of despondency set in with a weakness I could not understand; I kept saying a simple prayer:

“Lord, I receive your strength with thanksgiving. Your strength is made perfect in my weakness because, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

I started the Malaria medication on Friday Morning when I returned from the hospital. I put off my phones and work tools. I slept. I rested. When I picked my children from School, I explained to them that mum needed to rest, and somehow, they permitted me to rest some more by not making me to raise my voice unnecessarily.

By Saturday Morning, when my son woke me up at about 7: 45 am to say, mummy, I’m hungry! I motioned to him to go to daddy. In my sleepy state, I could hear my Precious Ruby saying to him, ‘mummy needs to rest, come let’s go to the kitchen and make you something to eat’. 

By Sunday Morning, I still felt tired; I noticed that the ripening boil behind my right ear felt bigger when I touched it. I spent Sunday at home. I got an inspiration for mother’s day and shared it with one of my ‘motherhood’ photos.

By evening, my Precious Ruby encouraged me to accompany him to an evening love fest organized by his service unit in Church. I was glad I attended. Apart from the food, I enjoyed the question and answer time, the jokes and the walk outside. By the time I got home, I felt so good. Yes, ‘Feelings’ again.

So, what caused the difference in how I felt down and how I felt so good now?

I felt so good that I began to sing with gratitude in my heart. I was able take the clothes out of the washing machine, I washed one of the bathing rooms, Bathed my children and dressed them up, I guess I felt happy also because, there was no need to prepare dinner because we had so much to eat at the love fest! LOL!!! But really, I felt good. This feeling of goodness came with strength to do the little things that mattered that I mentioned above. As little as they sound to you, being able to do them is a sign of victory over a possible depressive phase. Writing about it now makes this victory even better. I am grateful to God, because He heard my prayer and made a way for me stay emotionally stable over the weekend regardless of my ‘feelings’.

The essence of this post is to make you recognize that,

1.    Even though the mood swing that accompany a bipolar disorder diagnosis can show up without prior notice, understanding yourself and knowing your triggers can help you identify the subtle appearance of a mood swing.

2.      Try to express how you feel to your support team.

3.      If you are seeing a Psychiatrists or a clinical psychologists please discuss your mood swings with them so that they can help you adjust your medication. Don’t adjust your prescribed medication without their approval. Wrong Step!

4.    Rest. Rest. Rest.

5.      Don’t be so hard on yourself about the things you are unable to achieve/do because of the demotivation of a low mood swing.

 

6.      Ask for Help.

Ask God for help by praying. Ask your loved ones (your support team) for help by being sincere about how you feel and by making an effort to get better regardless of how you feel.

 

7. Celebrate your victories.

In this Mental Health Month, it is important to note that to many people, waking up, taking a bath, doing house chores, and interacting are common, easy to do things. For a person who is in a low mood swing, these are huge tasks. If you see them doing it, please celebrate them. Don’t judge them as been lazy or as practicing helplessness.

Dear Mental Health Warrior/Survivor, please celebrate your victories, you have come a long way, I celebrate your dear!

 

Thanks for being a part of my space, I appreciate you.

 

My name is Precious, I was Bipolar, and I live a Full Life.

 

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 13, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

 
 
 
 
I'm a better woman because I have great mothers besides my biological sweet mum. If you have looked out for me, prayed for me, scolded me - corrected me - instructed me in love, called me to order and given me an opportunity to blossom, then you are not just a woman in my life; you are a mother, one who has helped in nurturing me into the quality of woman I am today.
 
As I look up to God for the gr...ace, strength and wisdom to be the Mother He has designed me to be to my children and to the lives around me, I am conscious of four pairs of eyes that are always looking up to me for succor, counsel and hope - my children.
 
They make me a better person, and I am forever grateful to God for the gift of their presence in my life.

Thank you Mothers and a joyful Mother's Day Celebration to you all!

Mental Health Awareness Month || Reduce Mental Health Stigma by being Productively Engaged

Friday, May 04, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-


Dear Mental Health Warrior/Survivor,

It is my firm belief that depression and all those things that plague the mind will be stranded, that is; they will not have an opportunity to fest on our minds or gain access into or lives if we are productively and proactively engaged.

So get productively engaged! By working with your gift and maintaining your mental health, you are reducing mental health stigma in your own way. By identifying your strength and in born natural abilities to add value to the society, you are creating an empowering narrative for persons who live with a mental health diagnosis.

I believe that we all have something unique to offer. Being diagnosed with a mental illness doesn’t reduce your value; it only presents an opportunity for you to rise above the limitations, develop your gifts and use them to serve humanity. If you are consistent in doing this, you are on the way to creating a source of livelihood for yourself. The good thing about having a source of livelihood as someone who lives with a mental health diagnosis is that, you can afford your medications, hospital appointments and other necessaries of life. Another advantage is that you are better equipped to manage more responsibilities and you earn respect which in turn boosts your self-esteem.
I know that as a mental health survivor/warrior, one question on your mind as you read this will be, 'I do I secure a job?' Please read Can Disclosing Your Mental Health Status Prevent You From Getting A Decent Job?
 
 

She Writes Woman’s 2nd Anniversary | April 28th, 2018

Wednesday, May 02, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-


She writes Woman was founded by Hauwa Ojeifo with the objective of normalising the conversation on mental health and illnesses by giving mental health a voice in Nigeria.  Even though I had resulted to writing about my bipolar journey as a way of creating awareness for mental health and reducing the stigma, when  I first came across the She Writes Woman Facebook page I was excited. And I am still very excited as I write this. Why? Because, when I was diagnosis in 2003 with Bipolar Disorder, the first thing I did was to search for a platform here in Nigeria, where mental health issues were discussed, more like a support group, and in the absence of non, In 2014, I started blogging about my journey. My blog became my safe place.  

There is so much discrimination and stigma about mental health in Nigeria, and I’m beginning to understand that globally, mental health stigma is a real concerns because the society has little or no understanding of mental health issues. This is why Hauwa must be applauded for her courage in ensuring that Nigerians have a safe place and a confidential 24/7 help line for mental health first aid.

Again, Hauwa must also be applauded for taking me out of my shell to be a speaking guest at the She Writes Woman’s 2nd year Anniversary. My session had the title: Single To Married: A Woman’s Mental Health. Mrs MOFOLUSADE SONAIKE, the Founder of Mumpreneur.ng  was also a speaking guest on this session.

From sharing, to dancing, to the music, and to learning from the other speakers, I had a really refreshing time.

 Here are a few highlights from some of the speakers.

KEYNOTE SPEECH BY MRS UDO OKONJO
Embrace your reality. That's the first step to finding your voice.
As human beings we were born to inspire. 

Usually, the only way you can inspire is to be yourself, your real self.
Find your voice and live your biggest dreams
. Each of us has what it takes to succeed on their own Lanes. 

There are no extra-ordinary people but people who apply extra ordinary principles.

Who are the people you admire?
Why do you admire them? In some cases, it’s the power of resilience they display.

The people we admire are people we want to become.

Pay attention to the people you are attracted to. 
Your voice is important. 

Allow yourself to be.
Enjoy who you are.

The most powerful expression of your brand is to be who you are.
Every message has an audience. 
Embrace your personal power. Embrace yourself!

You matter.

Your voice matter.
You rob the world when you refuse to express yourself. 

WHAT I LEARNED FROM IN THE MINDFULLNESS SESSION
Mindfulness is paying attention to the moment without being judgmental.
One way to practice mindfulness is to positively affirm yourself. There's so much power in positive affirmations.

 WHAT I LEARNED FROM MRS PRECILLA BENJAMIN-OLAOYE
The moment your story begins to feel stale to you then you know it's time to check your motives again. Properly, it's time to evolve.

 
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MRS MOFOLUSADE SONAIKE
As a woman, you need to run you home and still your business. You need to learn to delegate and you need to continually improve yourself. Before you got married, what were you passionate about? You need to discover yourself before you get in to marriage. And in marriage don’t forget yourself. Add value to you home and pursue your dreams.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM MYSELF AS I SHARED MY STORY?
Sharing our stories makes us vulnerable but if we are certain that the motive of sharing is to encourage another person and not to seek attention, then we are good to go.

Honesty with ones’s self and one’s future spouse about a mental health diagnosis, gives the future spouse and opportunity to make an informed decision of whether to marry or not to marry.

Your mental health is a priority. So, rest when you need to rest without feeling guilty of being lazy.

People are responsible for what they say, not how what they say make you feel. Take responsibility for your emotions without disliking yourself. Love yourself regardless.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2018: Understanding Mental Health Stigma

Wednesday, May 02, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

May is a special Month for me.  Apart from the fact that it is my birth Month, May is also a Mental Health Awareness Month.

Mental simply refers to the mind and the intellectual process. Health, according to Wordweb.com, is a "the state of being free of physical or psychological disease, illness, or malfunction". Awareness can simply be described as having knowledge of a situation, being knowledgeable. That said, If you agree that we all have mental health, my question to you will be, 'how much do you know about your mental health?'

I am passionate about mental Health issues because I know that there is a dearth of information on the subject especially in Nigeria. There is a gap between what Mental Health disorders mean and what the society understands about people living with these diagnoses. In this gap lies, MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA .

Not many people would understand how it feels like to wake up in the morning with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion from just trying to think through how the day would unfold. Sometimes, it is the side effects of the medication that needs to be deal with.
 
Not many would understand that the unplanned naps during the day are as a result of a new medication which the body is still adjusting to. Sometimes, the mood swing comes without any prior notice and then the snapping at the closet person without truly understanding why!

I believe that educating the society about mental health issues can make a positive difference in the way mentally ill persons are perceived. Mentally ill persons can add immense value to the social economic structure of any society IF professional treatment, love and counselling are made available to them.

Sharing my bipolar story is my own way of educating Nigerians and contributing globally to ending the stigma around mental health.

Welcome to Mental Health Awareness Month!

 

 

 

Image: Google