Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Calling All Mental Health Grunts

You know who you are, even if other people don’t. You’re the one who arrives before everyone else to turn on the lights. You’re the last one to leave to turn them off. Whatever it takes to get the job done, you’re doing it. Maybe you’re the spark that animates a local NAMI. Maybe you’re the glue that keeps a DBSA group going. Maybe you’re that reassuring voice on the phone ...

You’re the grunt in the trenches. Everyone depends on you. No one thanks you. No one pays you. People even abuse you. That’s the deal. You knew it when you signed on for it, and you keep signing on, anyway.

I know who a lot of you are. I’ve met many of you personally. There’s no adequate way I can show my appreciation. But I do have five books to give away, and it’s a no-brainer who they should go to. Read on ...

Therese Borchard was written a terrific new book, Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes.

Here is part of the endorsement I sent to Therese’s publisher (they used another part):

This is The Book of Job as Art Buchwald might have written it, had he been as talented as Therese. Wise, compassionate, and funny beyond measure, Therese ultimately offers up healing. This is a book for the ages.

Here’s the deal: Tell me who you are and what you do. Wait - you’re a grunt, that’s not your style. So it looks like I’m going to have to depend on those of you who know a grunt - you do the talking.

Okay, grunts and friends of grunts alike: Send me an email. A few paragraphs, something much longer - whatever you feel does justice to your story. Please include a mailing address.  Five of you will get Therese’s book. All of you will get acknowledged in this blog.

Note: This is strictly for individuals (or local groups) who have served others, with no thought of recompense or thanks or acknowledgment. So, if you were helped out by attending say a DBSA or NAMI group, this is your chance to show your appreciation. Tell us about the individual who made you feel welcome and not alone. Or, tell us about the whole group.

Let’s make this a 10-day deadline. Emails to me by midnight PST, Jan 15. Note: Only US and Canadian residents eligible (sorry, those are the publisher’s rules) and no PO box addresses.

Purchase Beyond Blue from Amazon


Anonymous said...

Okay...I'm sending you an email.

:) GMG

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna send an email as well. I hope I get lucky.

Sheri Jo said...

Thanks for the post John! I see by your Welcome Message (video) and this post that you are the type that doesn't sugar-coat anything. I like that. "Life has a way of reducing you to nothing." (your quote) I love it... Have a super new year my friend.

Sheri Jo

Brittany said...

I hope to win the book! Thank you for your blog.


Ryan Howes, Ph.D. said...

Hi John-

Need some more Therese? Take a look at her interview over at my blog. Keep up the good work!

Fellow endorser, Ryan Howes

Liz de Speville said...

Thank you for your blogs....I so enjoy them

Deb said...

Hey John,
Boy - you sure do know me - the first paragraph above describes me already. Ironically. I am at work right now. The first one here - turned the lights on. Will be, if course, the last to leave - to turn the lights off. The one that everyone calls when they need reinforcement, someone to depend on. I could go on - but you have got me pegged. Anyway - I could use teh book for sure. Hope I win. Thanks for considering me.

Debbie Dennis
1541 Short Rd.
Shickshinny, Pa. 18655

iyrse. of ih

Holly Scott said...

Thanks for your blog. Your words provide wonderful and much-needed support.

Willa Goodfellow said...

I'm not a grunt yet -- still too fragile to take on responsibility for more than walking the dog. But let me express my own undying gratitude to them. If it weren't for NAMI introducing me to the concept of recovery, I would still be in despair that my medication was not giving me my life back.

Anonymous said...

Therese was right -- you do have a good blog. Well written and it speaks to me.
I hope I win her book! That would be icing on the cake!
- Jacqueline Rodriguez

Anonymous said...

Really need to read the book, interesting.

Anonymous said...

I have a 9 yr old that is depressed badly and is on Prozac for anxiety and this book will be a great sorce of knowledge aside from her Dr's. I read you every day in hopes of finding the best way to help her and I have gotten so many great ideas from you that I am hoping to get this book before she becomes a number in the long list of stats you quoted on your site today. A

Anonymous said...

I was going to enter to win but after reading some of the needs here of others I will just thank you for making this book available to 5 lucky people...and go buy one for myself and pass it along when finished!

John McManamy said...

Hey, Willa. Why don't you recommend one of the grunts who helped you? Or the local NAMI chapter? It doesn't have to be a person. I can honor local DBSAs and NAMIs and the like.

Black Cloud said...

My 8 year old scared the hell out of me when he started talking about killing himself. He was so miserable (at 8 years of age)and was totally down on himself for being unable to focus in school. I took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with ADD. He was put on Ritalin and he was able to focus much better. At 37, he is still on Ritalin today. His wife does not trust him to drive unless he is on his meds. I understand that 60% if children diagnosed with ADD carry it through to adulthood. Bio feed back has proven to work well with some children. In any case it is not only a medication issue, but a counseling and learning coping abilities. There is no one answer and it is still trying one thing at a time until you find the right thing or combination of things that work. Until that happens, give him a lot of love, understanding and support. Listen to him no matter how bad it makes you feel. He needs to know he is OK.

phyllis dearmond said...

I'm a member of a group called Anxiety & Depression at a local Mental Health Facility! I think this book could help us so very much! Thank you so very much for giving it away!
Phyllis dearmond
416 1/2 2nd. st.
Lawrenceburg, Tenn. 38464

shack said...

I have been diagnosed with depression/anxiety since the birth of second child 20 yrs ago. I have yet to truly accept it and come to terms with it, somehow still hearing the voices that say "suck it up, you're fine." "It's all in your head." "I think people that have depression choose to be that way."
Some people have stressful lives. It's just the way the roll of the dice goes, circumstance prevents us from having a less bumpy road, as does choices we make.
I have been searching for years for a book that could offer some insight, some assistance, some light at the end of the tunnel and the brief piece I read of this really speaks to me.
I don't envision myself a "grunt" but have for years put other people first, they are family and so it seems the right thing to do. Also, circumstances being what they are what choice do we have.
My son suffers from Crohn's and has since he was 12. My daughter had a child at 15. At the same time as I was trying to deal with this (as a single mom, with no help from dad)I got a call that if I didn't take in my niece and her son, he would be put in foster care. She has some developemental disabilities and is not able to live with him independently. I couldn't bear the thought of them being torn apart, and the utter devastation that would cause both of them as he was three. My mother is also in poor health.
We trudge on though as that is what we need to do. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other finding what we can that's positive to focus on.
Many times however you just want to give up. It all seems too much. In the last few years I came to the realization or an aha moment for me that suicide wouldn't be a wish for death as much as a wish for the mental anguish, and daily struggle to end. It becomes overwhelming and too hard to deal. When I get those thoughts I just remind myself I don't want to die. I don't want that to be my "swan song" And I have children and grandchildren that are genetically presdisposessed to anxiety and depression and they need to know that there is hope, that there is help and that suicide is not the answer.
I have written a few letters to the editors of the local papers in regards to the lack of support for mental health, in regards to the fact that depression is in fact a "fatal illness." When you word it that way people tend to take more notice, though still not near enough. If I could quit my job and just do public speaking about the severity of depression and anxiety I would as I think it's desperatly needed.
Oh yeah, off the soap box already. Sorry !
I would so appreciate a copy of the book. I would like the opportunity to get my life back. To go out for dinner, or a two hour drive or heaven forbid a train ride or plane ride. To go on vacation outside my comfort zone (which is only two places within two hours drive.) I am tired of feeling controlled by fear, by panic, by my moods. Please help me help myself.

Sincerely yours,
There are many times I am told I take on too much and have to take care of myself more, which I am working on. When it comes to your family though