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Mental Illness Letters, Vol. 3

Dear Medical Assistant,

Thanks for giving me a laugh as you were reading off my prescriptions before my recent physical. Your pronunciations were so wacky I couldn't help but giggle! I am so happy that you aren't familiar with the drugs that make up my home pharmacy. May you continue in mental wellness and entertain the other patients.

Miz Bartle


Dear lady in the grocery line,

You are correct. Our city has recently experienced a shift in weather. It felt like summer a few weeks ago and now fall has arrived. Do you know that exclaiming, "This weather is SO BIPOLAR!" with annoyance could be offensive to someone struggling with that significant mental illness? Here are some other adjectives that would convey the same meaning without degrading innocent bystanders: erratic, vacillating, capricious, unpredictable, arbitrary, fickle, helter-skelter, unusual, surprising, exciting, beautiful.

Yours in mental health education,

The other lady in the grocery line


Dear October 10,

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't realize you were hosting World Mental Health Day this year. I really should have celebrated, or marketed, or blogged, or something. I didn't. I'll put you on my calendar for next year.

You did some heavy lifting with a bunch of holidays this year: Indigenous Peoples Day, National Hug a Drummer Day, Squid and Cuttlefish Day, and Powers of Ten Day. Sheesh! You must be tired.

A clueless groupie


Dear Garbage Guys,

Yep, we forgot to put our garbage can out on the curb this week. Dang it. The guys who used to drive your route were known for finding our missing garbage cans in the side yard, dumping their contents into the truck, and returning them. They got a Christmas bonus.

Anyway, as I took a bag of kitchen trash to our overflowing bin the other day, I thought about how going to therapy is like regular trash collection. In this analogy, you're the therapist and the trash is my crazy thoughts! The moral of both stories is: Don't Miss Trash Day!


Resident of the gray house with the yellow door


Dear Brain,

After months of excellent sleep (thankyouverymuch!), a switch has flipped and you like being awake in the wee hours. What is up with that? I'm keeping an eye on you, because poor sleep is the first trigger for a manic phase. Maybe I should stop typing this and get back in bed.

Your Body


Are you looking for a great tool that will help you talk about mental illness? When Mommy Feels Sad is an illustrated children's book that teaches about depression and the difficult feelings and experiences that go along with it. Start a conversation about depression with your loved one today.

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