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Sunday, January 20, 2013

DBSA Jackson -- Link to the recording of interview on The Stigma of Mental Illness

I enjoyed my interview by Lillian Brummet.  The topic was The Stigma of Mental Illness, the link to the archived recording is below. We attempted to cover several aspects of the topic but time did not permit. Hopefully, she and I can pick up on our conversation in the near future.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Live radio interview on The Stigma of Mental Illness

Conscious Discussions Talk Radio 
This Thursday, January 17th at noon, I am the quest on a radio program available online. Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: owners of the Brummet Media Group (, will have me on their Conscious Discussions Talk Radio: and the Brummet's Conscious Blog: 
Description of the hour-long show airing at noon on Thursday, January 17th - -
    The Stigma of Mental Illness  -- an interview with Steve Brannon,
    Author of: The Two Agreements
    President/Founder of: Depression Bipolar Support Alliance of Jackson and the
    State Director of Depression Bipolar Support Alliance Tennessee
    Find our featured guest @: …& you can find the                     Brummets @

You will find the announcement of the show on their web site at the following link --

You can listen in on the show by being online at the show's URL:
Hey, I hope some of you can listen in and pull for me as I work to educate others and push back against stigma. Thanks.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Routine is Good!!!

We need routine in our lives.  In fact, it is our daily routine that is first distroyed at the time of an episode or relapse in our mental illness. And it is one of the most difficult parts of our life to reclaim and maintain, especially in the first days of recovery. 
The following blog made a great case for the merits of routine. I knew, immediately, I wanted to share these words with as many people as possible.
Jerry Malugeon

Sometimes routine gets a bad rap…one that it doesn't always deserve. Oh, I can think of a few drawbacks it might have, but only a few. By far the pluses outweigh any negatives by what could be a wide margin. Just think of these few activities most of us are regularly involved in which require a number of routine actions: meal preparation, bathing, brushing teeth, rest, sleep, exercise, grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, bill paying, leisure, doctor and dentist visits, automobile maintenance, income tax filing.

If we lack a routine to accomplish these tasks, we can run into difficulties that we may come to regret later. Some will be simple, of course, like running out of milk for our cereal or not having any clean socks. Other problems could prove more costly in consequences like when the car stops for lack of oil or we get an eviction notice for not paying the rent or mortgage. Even more serious circumstances may arise, unfortunately, when we've failed to take proper care of ourselves and our doctor has just given us some bad news. These situations, as varied in scope and severity as they are, might all have been moderated to some degree and others even prevented if routine had been implemented and in place earlier on. So how does routine help us out…how does it work?

Activities that must be done regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or at specified times or intervals) usually are easier to accomplish and more thoroughly and accurately completed when a routine procedure is in place. People busy in an emergency room are all expected to follow established procedures to maximize proficiency and eliminate error. Successful teachers following well-developed guidelines use proven techniques and equipment that train young minds to think and learn. Bus, taxicab and truck drivers--along with airline pilots and ship captains--all follow maintenance procedures and operating routes and patterns to reach each destination safely. World class dancers practice particular routines that require specific movements in hopes of having acceptable if not perfect performances.

As dedicated caregivers, family members and companions to loved ones who have mood disorders, we might want to take a closer look at routine as an even more valuable tool than we might presently realize. To get started, here are a few routines we and our loved ones just might want to give additional thought to:

  • Give our diet greater attention: regular nutritious meals with smaller portions; include fruit, vegetables, home prepared meals (not fast food), restrict sugar and fat, avoid caffeine.
  • Exercise routines daily (Sunday visit the park, Monday an hour stroll, Tuesday softball, etc.)
  • Treatment program compliance. Take medication at regular times, plan for refills, no changes without a call to the doctor first and keep your doctor informed about the ups and downs of your medication. Regular visits to the therapist and your support group are important, too.
  • Healthy leisure including reading, playing and visiting (in person or on the phone) supportive friends; stay away from known button pushers; avoid trying to change others, you really can't.
  • Stay out of the past; limit time each day for thinking about past challenges to 15 minutes; limit time absorbed in future thoughts also to 15 minutes; spend your quality time in the present where you can make some pleasant choices, enjoy good fun and experience a lot of love.
  • Rest and sleep are very important. Make bedtime the same each day to form a positive sleeping routine. No TV an hour before lights out, minimum. For some, a glass of milk helps to fall asleep. A dark, quiet bedroom works best. The better the routine, the better the sleep.
  • Get up at the same time each day. Begin the daily routine.

There are times to "think outside of the box" and there are times that established procedures and routines are best to follow. Knowing when to do which is of vital importance

  Jerry Malugeon