David Granirer’s take on Stigma

David Granirer doing stand-up comedy about the stigma people with mental illness face.

The Bi Polar Buddha Set

Big Daddy Tazz performs at the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival’s “The Best Medicine” series in 2006.

Dare To Be Happy

By Candy Czernicki June 27, 2011

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. ~ Frederick Douglass

Let’s get this out in the open: I am bipolar II. That means the mania is really low-key and infrequent and the depression, at least in my case, for most of my life, has been pretty much nonstop.

There are degrees of depression, of course. Mine gets severe relatively quickly and stays that way a relatively long time. Yes, I have been an inpatient at psychiatric hospitals. Yes, I have self-harmed. Yes, I have been on every psychotropic medication known to man, and failed most of them. The two that I’m on right now combine for one really annoying side effect.

I have even, since about New Year’s, been undergoing a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). My memory is shot, along with many other things, but the suggestion to do it came up in month 6 of an unrelenting depressive episode. Nothing else was working.

Despite all this, I’ve managed to push through as best I can. I’ve found work, and a work schedule, that works for me, as well as a compassionate employer.

It’s still hard, though, and most people still don’t understand. They tell me to snap out [...] continue the story

My Parkinson’s journey and art

By Anne Atkin March 16, 2010

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and straight away there was this persistent voice in my head that was saying the same thing over and over, “You’ve got Parkinson’s. You’ve got Parkinson’s”.

So I sat in the neurologist’s room trying to cope with what was happening, still thinking that the diagnosis was wrong. I couldn’t have Parkinson’s. That was something elderly people got, elderly people who shook a lot and I didn’t shake. The diagnosis must be wrong. My frozen shoulder was just that, a frozen shoulder. Admittedly I had had it for years but maybe mine was stubborn. As for the other symptoms – the weakness on my left side, the drooling, the pins and needles, the fatigue, the aches and pains – there was a perfectly logical explanation. “it’s menopause, it’s because I’m middle-aged, it’s anything but Parkinson’s.” I was scared and as far I was concerned, this was the end of my life as I knew it. All my plans had just flown out of the window.

But the voice in my head knew what it was talking about. I did have Parkinson’s. The twenty eight 11 year olds in my [...] continue the story

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