More than once in life I've closed one chapter and opened another. I like to think I learned valuable lessons each time. I bet you feel much the same about your life too.
We are still working for our brothers and sisters to receive the mental health care they desperately need ~
Senator Denies 280,000 People Health Care, Calls Advocate 'Asshole' For Asking Him To Give Up Same
Posted: 04/01/15 02:38 PM ET Updated: 04/01/15 03:59 PM ET
On Tuesday night, a Tennessee Senate committee voted to deny some 280,000 state residents access to health care, rejecting a plan to expand Medicaid that would have cost the state nothing.
Following the vote, advocates for expansion ran into state Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R), a wealth manager at Morgan Stanley who sits on the committee. One activist, Damien Crisp, asked Gardenhire if he would be willing to give up his own state-subsidized health insurance.
Gardenhire, in a video of the incident taken by another activist, turned around and said something along the lines of "Not giving it up, asshole" or, perhaps, "Why don't you give it up, asshole?" ("Asshole" is the clearest part of his rejoinder.)
Gardenhire's health coverage has been an issue in Tennessee before. He had previously claimed not to receive state-sponsored coverage, but the Associated Press, through an open records request, revealed that he does.
"I have it, but I don't use it," the lawmaker told AP after the revelation. "I use Morgan Stanley's insurance, which is far greater."
He vowed to cancel the state insurance, which led to the activist's question Tuesday, which led to the cussing
The Medicaid expansion that Gardenhire voted against would have been covered by federal dollars and contributions from state hospitals.
While Gardenhire did not return an email or call from HuffPost requesting comment, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that he said, "When a guy follows you into the bathroom and starts shouting at you, he's lucky I only called him by his first name."
The person who filmed the encounter, Trae Haggard, is a constituent of Gardenhire's, which she said he was aware of. Crisp was heading into the same bathroom as Gardenhire, she said, but did not yell at him. "As an eyewitness, I can say that is false," she said.
Crisp, another Gardenhire constituent, also said he never yelled at the senator. Instead, he said, he and his colleagues were getting coffee when Gardenhire came out of the men's room. Upon seeing purple shirts and apparently realizing he'd run into protesters, Gardenhire did a 180 and went back inside.
"We were waiting outside the bathroom for like five minutes and he didn't come out, and I'm like, well, I have to use the bathroom anyway, and when I go in, he's coming out and we're right there face to face. I didn't yell since he was right there in my face," Crisp explained. He later provided a longer video (watch above) that backs up his version of the encounter.
"We drove all the way up to Nashville and tried to engage in the process," Crisp said, "and this is the democracy we get, being called an asshole." Crisp said.
8 Things People With Hidden Depression Do
Though public understanding of depression has improved somewhat over the years, we as a society still frequently misunderstand or overlook depression and its symptoms.
Because of the continuing stigma, we don’t always recognize when people in our lives are struggling with this illness. Worse, too many people go undiagnosed because of erroneous assumptions about how depression manifests and what to look for.
This results in a number of people who’s depression is hidden, either from others or from themselves. Especially when a person with depression is undiagnosed, they may develop ways of coping with their problems that conceals their illness from those around them or keeps the person from recognizing their symptoms for what they are.
We need to unlearn the assumption that suffering is always clearly visible to us, so that we can better understand and help those who struggle with illnesses that go unseen. Here are some signs that someone might have hidden depression.
1. They might not “look depressed”
Due to media and cultural stereotypes, most of us have assumptions about how someone behaves and looks if they’re struggling with depression. We imagine someone who rarely leaves their room, doesn’t dress themselves well, and constantly looks miserable, but people with depression do not all behave in the same way.
All people are, of course, different from each other, and the symptoms and coping abilities of people with depression also differ. Many are able to keep up a facade of good mental health to protect themselves, but they aren’t suffering any less simply because they can do this. Similarly, those who are unable to keep up such a facade are not “weaker” than those who can.
2. They may often seem exhausted or complain about always being tired
A prevalent side effect of depression is constant exhaustion. Not everyone with the disorder struggles with it, but it’s extremely common. For those who experience this symptom with their depression, it’s often one of the hardest side effects to cope with.
Also, if someone is living with an undiagnosed depression disorder, the cause of their exhaustion can be baffling. They can get plenty of sleep each night and still wake up every morning feeling like they only slept a few hours. Worse, they may blame themselves, believing it to be laziness or some other personal fault that’s causing their low energy levels.
This is also a symptom that’s difficult to conceal for those who have been diagnosed with depression but are attempting to keep it from their peers, as it often affects their workload and personal relationships.
3. They can be unusually irritable
A depressed person’s behavior might be interpreted as melancholy even if that’s not what they’re really feeling. Irritability is a frequently overlooked symptom of depression that is also very common. This should be understandable, since depression is a health problem you can’t “see” or strictly measure, making it hard to combat.
The constant work it takes to keep up all the necessary aspects of life while dealing with depression also drains the person, and leaves little room for patience or understanding.
If someone you know discovers they’re clinically depressed and shares this with you, you may initially be confused if their previous behavior didn’t fit the common misconception of the shy, silent depressed person. If they tend to have a short temper and are quick to annoy, that’s actually a side effect of depression.
4. They could have a tough time responding to affection and concern
The main misconception about depression, which has been hinted at in the paragraphs above, is that it’s about “feeling” sad.
On the contrary, depression is mostly not feeling anything, or only partially and briefly experiencing emotions. It depends on the individual, but some people with depression report feeling almost “numb,” and the closest thing to an emotion they experience is a kind of sadness and/or irritation.
Because of this, appropriately responding to gestures or words of affection will be difficult for them, or they just don’t think about it any more.
They may even get irrationally irritated or annoyed with you over it, because it may simply be too difficult for their brains to process and respond to your loving gestures.
5. They might frequently turn down activities they used to love or would otherwise enjoy
Unless other explanations could equally be possible, an uncharacteristic lack of interest in activities over an extended period of time could be a sign that someone has depression. As mentioned above, depression is just as physically draining as it is mentally draining, which makes enjoying all the things you usually do difficult.
Previously-loved activities can even lose their appeal in general, because depression also commonly makes it difficult to enjoy or feel fulfilled by much at all. If you have no other way of explaining their decreasing interest, it could be a symptom of clinical depression.
6. They can develop abnormal eating habits
Abnormal eating habits mainly develop for two reasons: as a form of coping, or as a side effect of lack of self-care. Eating too little or too much is a common sign of depression. Overeating is often shamed the most, when food can be the one source of pleasure a depressed person is able to give themselves and thus causes them to eat excessively.
When a depressed person is eating too little, it’s often because their depression is affecting their appetite and making eating unappealing. It can also be a subconscious need to control something, since they cannot control their depression. If someone is undiagnosed or has not shared that they have depression, people will assume their eating habits are a personal fault and judge them for it, making the person feel worse.
7. They may start needing more from you
A depressed person legitimately can’t function like a mentally health person. There will be things they will no longer be able to do as much of, as often, or at all. Pestering or shaming them about it will only hurt, not help. If they’ve been keeping their depression private, it will be that much harder to deal with others getting irritated with them because they can’t perform at the level that’s expected of mentally healthy people.
This is why it’s always best to be understanding with those in your life, both work and personal. You don’t know if someone isn’t just slacking off, but is struggling with a real health problem.
8. They can have bad days, and “better” days
Depression can have its ups and downs. If someone has hidden or undiagnosed depression, they might seem like they get random mood swings, depending on if their depression is consistent or not. To you (and to them, if they are undiagnosed), the changes in mood seem without cause, but it’s simply how some people’s depression manifests.
If you know the person has depression, it’s possible to falsely believe they’re permanently better because of a few “good” days. While it’s always great if someone has a day that’s better than the one before it, you should always let them tell you what they’re ready to handle and when.
Assuming they’ve completely recovered and pushing them too quickly into things might overwhelm them and make them retreat into themselves again. Be supportive of your friends and family who have depression, but let them make the calls.
The fight for Insure Tennessee
Insure Tennessee has resurfaced, thanks to some courageous senators in the Tennessee State Senate. In an hour it goes before a Senate Health Committee trying to survive the next step in the process. The papers today say it still faces serious obstacles. It is time for everyone to redouble their efforts and push even harder. In the end it is about whether or not justice will be found for so many Tennesseans that have waited so long. It is about so many lives unnecessarily ruined and so many more that need not be ruined.
The argument in Tennessee is not about competing models of care. Despite all the high sounding rhetoric there are no competing models. It is an argument for care versus a feverish search to make abandonment a political, financial and moral value. It is not about how to care, but rather or not to care at all. In the end it is about making turning your back on the more needy and more vulnerable amongst you a virtue and political necessity.
If it is about abandonment it is about the everyday, deep in the pit experience of terror. It is terror not just of the sickness or challenges you face, but a terror borne of the spirit killing certainty that when you are the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the most needy that no one will be there. It is in the recognition that because of your poverty, because of where you live, because of many things, most of which you have no control that for some inexplicable reason it is against the rules for you to get the help you need.
It is about a system that says because of your financial status you will most likely die earlier than your fellow citizens.
It is about a system that says that ordinary and expected illnesses that medical science can treat or cure may go untreated for you even if it should mean your unnecessary death.
It is about a system in which any sickness may present you with financial catastrophe that you can never get past.
It is about a system that threatens your ability to keep a job and provide for your family if you cant get the medical care you need to stay healthy enough to keep that job.
It is about a system that tries to tell you that you are the cause of why it doesn't work well rather than the victim of how it does work.
It is about a system that threatens the safety and security of your family and that in the end tells your children something is wrong with them.
It is about a system that attacks the heart and soul of its members as much as it ignores their bodies.
It is about a system that treats poverty as a crime and a moral failing.
It is about a system that in abandoning its most vulnerable would have each of us abandon something of the best of ourselves.
It is about a system long past time to change.
Your voice matters. Speak loudly and more loudly. Do not stop or turn around.
I'm writing my story in hopes that it will inspire others to share their story. I don't know if there is a "book" in everyone but I know for certain there is a story in there. I encourage you to share your story of overcoming some of life's challenges. Someone needs to hear what you have to say. They are waiting!
I appreciate this report a great deal. We with mood disorders live everyday to keep ourselves up and going. We work hard to "pass" as just another face you meet on the street. The ADA is not proving to be very helpful in keeping the disabled in their employment. At least, it seems that way to me.
People With 'Invisible Disabilities' Fight For Understanding
MARCH 08, 2015 5:18 PM ET
Some disabilities are more obvious than others. Many are immediately apparent, especially if someone relies on a wheelchair or cane. But others — known as "invisible" disabilities — are not. People who live with them face particular challenges in the workplace and in their communities.
Carly Medosch, 33, seems like any other young professional in the Washington, D.C. area — busy, with a light laugh and a quick smile. She doesn't look sick. But she has suffered from Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition, since she was 13. There have been times, she says, when she's "been laying on the floor in the bathroom, kind of thinking, 'Am I going to die? Should I jump out in front of traffic so that I can die?' Because you're just in so much pain."
More recently, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that leaves her in a state of full-body chronic pain and intense fatigue.
For Medosch and others who struggle with an invisible disability, occasional hospital stays and surgeries are not the hard part. Mundane, everyday activities can be more difficult.
"Washing my hair, blow-drying my hair, putting on makeup — those kind of activities can exhaust me very quickly," says Medosch. "So you kind of blow-dry your hair and then you sort of sit down for a little bit."
Walking to the subway or even bending down to pick something up can take a lot out of her. But that isn't apparent from the outside.
"I kind of call it being able to pass," she says. "So I can pass as a normal, healthy, average person, which is great and definitely helps ease my everyday life — especially in interactions with strangers, getting your foot in the door in a situation like a job interview."
It is hard to pinpoint the number of Americans with an invisible disability, but it's estimated there are millions. Their conditions may range from lupus to bipolar disorder or diabetes. The severity of each person's condition varies, and the fear of stigma means that people often prefer not to talk about their illnesses.
But in employment disability discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2005 and 2010, the most commonly cited conditions were invisible ones, according to analysis by researchers at Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute.
"You know, it's that invisible nature of an illness that people don't understand," says Wayne Connell, the founder and head of the Invisible Disabilities Association. He started the group after his wife was diagnosed with Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis.
"We'd park in disabled parking and she didn't use a wheelchair or a cane, and so people would always give us dirty looks and scream at us," he recalls.
"When they see someone in a wheelchair, OK, they get that they're in a wheelchair. But what if they have chronic pain, what if they have PTSD — anything from cancer to peripheral neuropathy to autism?"
Medosch has had similar experiences with her handicapped parking tags. She also says that she faced challenges obtaining accommodations from a prospective employer.
Joyce Smithey, a lawyer who specializes in labor and employment, says that's not uncommon. When people with invisible disabilities request accommodations, Smithey says, some employers respond, "We don't do that as a policy."
"And that's a problem," Smithey says. "Because that person is not asking to partake of a benefit that's offered in a policy; that person is asking for an accommodation they're entitled to under the law."
When a disability isn't immediately obvious, others — at work, school or even at home — sometimes doubt it exists and accuse those who suffer from invisible conditions of simply angling for special treatment.
Medosch says she's comfortable being vocal about her disability now because she's well protected at her current job. She hopes discussing her own experience will help boost understanding, but acknowledges invisible disability can be hard to fathom — especially when so many people who live with it seem, outwardly, at least, to be just like everyone else.
The big payoff of well-chosen words
By Stephen Propst
You may think that talk is cheap. But, when words are used thoughtlessly, carelessly, or hurtfully, they can take a heavy toll. Like an arrow, “wrong” words can be sharp, piercing a person’s spirit, ripping away at self-esteem, and making a person feel belittled or even betrayed. Ill-chosen words can strain friendships and create stress. And especially vulnerable are people who have bipolar disorder.
Now, let’s be honest. Dealing with bipolar disorder is not only tough for the people who have the illness, but it’s also a challenge for those who live with them. Taking time to consider the impact of what you say before you “fire away” makes it easier. Choosing your words carefully can strengthen relationships, fuel recovery, and make for a better quality of life for everyone.
“Never tell anyone that he looks tired or depressed,” says H. Jackson Brown Jr., in his book Life’s Little Instruction Book (Rutledge Hill Press, 1991). That’s good advice! Now, let’s look at 10 more comments to avoid making to someone who has bipolar disorder. These observations come from more than two decades of dealing with the illness and from years of leading support groups and consulting with families. The goal is to help family and friends to more peacefully coexist with those of us who have bipolar.