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The importance of suicide awareness. We are all more alike than we think

by Tammy Ozolins

I recently watched the movie Dear Evan Hansen and I want to share how I related so much to this movie with my mental health journey.

One of the movie’s characters named Connor does die by suicide and I felt like he suffered in silence. When I was in high school, I had a good friend Brian Rini with whom I was very close. I absolutely loved him, and he was such a great guy. During our college years, he took his own life and it rocked my world.

I was devastated and always wondered why. I … Read more...

Tips for checking into the psych hospital. Checking yourself in or someone else

by Tammy Ozolins

The Mental Health epidemic is on the rise and I know many people of all age ranges are dealing with mental health issues. I know trying to get help can be quite challenging and this unfortunately is a reason why some people do not seek help. The realization of this came true when I was helping a friend who needed to check into a facility.

I have been hospitalized twice in my life due to bipolar disorder. One was for a suicide watch and the other time because I was having a manic episode and had been … Read more...

Young Adults, I have been in your shoes

By Tammy Ozolins, Middle School Teacher

It is such a cliché I know; your world feels like it is crashing down, you have no energy. You even feel like your world is getting darker and darker and all you want is to see a little glimmer of hope. Your days are long, and you are tired of it all. The walls are closing in on you and you cannot breathe.

Does this sound familiar at all?

That is exactly how I felt when I was at my lowest point of depression (I manage and cope with Bipolar Disorder-which was not … Read more...

What does Mania look like for me?

by Tammy Ozolins

In case you were not aware of what Bipolar was, the medical terminology is called manic depressive disorder. This means the person can experience mania (extreme highs) and depression (extreme lows). Now, everyone varies on the extreme, and keep in mind some may also only have manias or depressive episodes.

What do I experience? I experience mixed episodes

So, for me what happens is sometimes I will experience mania symptoms then later that same day I will experience symptoms of depression. Other times it will be one or the other.

I have mentioned before after accepting the … Read more...

Tammy: Fighting the Stigma of Mental Health- Video 1

by Tammy Ozolins, for Mental Health Awareness Month

Tammy will be doing at least three (maybe four) more videos for mental health awareness month.

Transcript- “Hello my name is Tammy and may is mental health awareness month and I’m here to share my story and I’m also here to help fight the stigma against mental health because we should be very open about it and we need to talk about it especially nowadays we need … Read more...

I am in charge of my recovery from bipolar disorder

by Tammy Ozolins

Tammy is a middle school teacher who contributes regularly to this blog on subjects related to mental health

Being diagnosed with a mental condition called Bipolar Disorder (I do not call it an illness anymore, because my brain is not sick, it is just different) has been challenging at times but it has made me such a stronger person in so many ways.

When I was first getting medical treatment I would go into the psychiatrist’s office and just nod my head, yes, and say Uhm, and not say much, even if I felt like the medicine … Read more...

Why?

by Tammy Ozolins

Tammy Ozolins

Why me? I often would ask
Why did I have to deal with all this pain in the past
Surgery after surgery, sickness after sickness
it all happened so fast

But now I must deal with a mental disorder that is here to stay
You see Bipolar Disorder just doesn’t go away
Another illness I must deal with
More meds I must take every day

Why me? Have I not gone thru enough?
Now, I must deal with this mental stuff
Going through days of highs and lows can take its toll
But I always … Read more...

Strength means having the courage to ask for help

by Tammy Ozolins

I have four brothers and no sisters. So, as you can imagine I had to be very tough at a young age. This is what I truly pride myself on, my toughness. Well, even though this is a great quality to have, it did have some negative to it. See, everyone expected me to be this tough woman all the time. Well, deep down inside that was not the case all the time.

When I was I high school I was just starting to deal with Bipolar Disorder

I was not medically diagnosed until my mid-twenties. So, … Read more...

How other medical conditions affect my mental health

by Tammy Ozolins

Coping with a mental illness like bipolar disorder can be tough and I have had to make some hard decisions in my life as a result. I’ve also have had to deal with other medical problems on top of this which can add to my rollercoaster of emotions.

When I first started my cycle, I would get severe cramps and would often throw up the first day. I remember missing school for a day or two when my cycle would start and lie on the couch with a heating pad to calm down the cramps. My cycle … Read more...

Why I decided to tell my students about my Mental Illness

by Tammy Ozolins

When I started to accept my mental illness diagnosis, managing, coping, and recovery began.  I also said I was going to make sure the road I took would help fight the stigma and help others dealing with a mental illness.

Our counseling department asked if any staff member wanted to make a video about something our students would probably not know about us. That’s when I decided to tell them about my struggle with the depression part of my illness. I actually cope and manage with Bipolar 2, but I teach middle school so I did not … Read more...