Mental Health Advocates to Washington- Letters

obamaTo President Obama: I am doing my part and you have been totally ignoring me and in the process have really caused a mess. I watch Fox News. I voted for you the first time and didn’t the second time because after numerous attempts to contact you, the “transparent” President, I was unsuccessful. Tax dollars pay your salary and the people who you work for. Although I am on disability, I did pay taxes and most people I know pay taxes. Money is being wasted in a lot of areas, but if you are going to let your “fellow citizens” know that you are there for them and will listen to them, then you need to do so. If you have to throw letters in the trash then hire more workers. Our forefathers set up the constitution so that everyone would have a say. Then, in 1920 women had a right to vote. So, I have a right to vote because I am a female. Apparently, however, because I have a mental illness, I don’t get something telling me that my letter that was sent certified mail was even received. There is no other way to look at it than I have been discriminated against. Blacks and gays have it easier than the mental health community. I wanted you to be aware of my project as it impacts the next election. I welcome you to Winston Salem where I reside and use some of your campaign money and what Fox News likes to tell people all your free time to come speak to the mental health advocates.

clintonTo President Clinton: I wrote a letter to you you about a year after you left the presidency. I received a letter back from you that I think you personally wrote. I mention that a lot in speeches, etc. What you wrote made me feel special and it was a relief to get something other than a form letter. I quoted you in a recent blog and wanted to give you the opportunity to read it. I would love to talk to you and Hillary at some point before 2016. I called Hillary before she went up against Obama and left a message that said that I did not want her to be the first female president because God had told me when I was 13 that I was supposed to be. I am sure that it was dismissed as some nut job. However, I am passionate about mental health advocacy and love my country and at the age of 43 know that I am ready to enter the political arena and would really appreciate your guidance. I find good in everyone and although I am struggling with how the country is heading, I know that Hilary would do a lot better than Obama. I don’t know that for sure, but things can’t get any worse. I don’t talk bad about people unless they give me a reason to. I have emailed, called, sent a letter certified mail, emailed again, filled out forms, etc over and over and in 6 years, I have never heard from anyone on his staff. Taxes pay his salary and the people he hires. I may have a mental illness, but that does not mean he can ignore me. Mental health needs to be on the forefront of this election. I am hoping that you can help to make that happen. I hope to hear from you or your wife soon. Congrats on being a grandfather. I am sure out of all the things you have accomplished in your life, raising Chelsea the way you did to make her the person she has become and holding that baby in your arms are your proudest moments. 

hillaryTo Hilary Clinton: Congratulations on becoming a grandmother. I remember watching Chelsea entering the White House with braces and now she is a wife and mother. I know that you and President Clinton are proud and I am sure out of all the wonderful things you have done in your life, holding that child has to be the most rewarding thing someone could experience in life.  So, have you decided when she will be running for President yet? :)  I just wrote President Clinton a message on his page, but I also wanted you to be aware of some things I am doing that will hopefully impact the next election.  Mental Health: Hagan vs Tillis Project

 

bush 2To President Bush: I have contacted Obama, President and Hillary Clinton, President Jimmy Carter and am now letting you know that I would like to run for President. I have a house, car and some money in the bank, but am hoping that I can get the support of the former presidents to either run with Hillary or instead of her in 2016. When I was 13, God told me that I was supposed to be the first female President. I even told Hillary that in a message left on a phone before she ran in the election against Barack Obama I am serious about this. I am 43, an American citizen, born in Germany because my dad was in the Air Force, was a teacher and was born on January 3, 1971. I love my country and can’t think of anyone who I have ever met who would tell you that I was a bad person. I do have bipolar disorder, but that has not stopped me from being Teacher of the Year and with the proper treatment, can accomplish great things. I know that the presidency is stressful and that is why I would insist that there is some checks and balances before I were to say press the button to launch a war. Besides that, I am a hormonal female. lol Please call me at 336.201.2390 or email me at MichelleLandeHughes@gmail.com as soon as you are able. I really would like to hear any advice you can give me and am hoping that you will offer my support.

carterTo Jimmy Carter: Please pass this on to President Carter and let him know that I am trying to talk to President Clinton about how I told Hilary Clinton when she was running against Obama that I wanted to be the first female President and it was something God told me he wanted me to be when I was 13 years old. I am currently living in North Carolina where Hagan and Tillis are fighting for a seat in the Senate and as you know this election is crucial.  Our fellow citizens (Congress) need to listen to what their voters are saying and do the right thing. Lobbyists and Big Companies can no longer influence the politicians. The constitution was set up where I, as a voter, elected a President, senator and congressman(woman), and that person was supposed to represent me at the White House.  Part of that is listening. My experience is that politicians don’t want to listen. Their minds are made up and out of courtesy try and talk to a few people living in their area for publicity sake.  They then go to DC and vote how they want (with their party) and nothing is accomplished.  Tax dollars are being wasted and I am not just talking about all the overspending that has our national debt where it is. I am talking about paying politicians to golf, have parties, not be held accountable, be allowed to not return phone calls or emails and get free health insurance when the rest of America struggles to get by and can’t afford to pay medical bills for their dying loved one. It is sick! I was born in 1971 so pretty much the thing I remember about you is that you liked peanuts. I almost went to your library a few weeks ago, but my mom is dying of cancer so I was not able to.  I want to learn more about you and talk to you. I believe that we can learn a lot by listening to our elders and hope that you will take some time to give me a call or email me.   336.201.2390 or MichelleLandeHughes@gmail.com

bush 1George Bush I can’t figure out a way to contact your dad. Please let him know that I would like to write him a letter or talk to him on the phone when he gets a chance. 336.201.2390 or MichelleLandeHughes@gmail.com

To Fox News: Please read and convince me I should not stop watching Fox News.  Mental Health: Hagan vs Tillis Project

glenn beckGlenn Beck: My fiance worships you. I used to watch your show, he got me into watching Fox News, and he even went to see you speak when you came to Greensboro, North Carolina. I am amazed at what you do and am thankful that you shared your struggles with alcoholism/drug addiction. You are a mental health advocate in my book even if you don’t claim to be. I REALLY want to talk to you. I know that you would really be able to help me get accomplished what I want to do. I need some celebrities to help me with this. Please don’t disappoint me. My phone number is 336.201.2390 and my email address is MichelleLandeHughes@gmail.com I am holding you accountable by writing this to you on your FB page. If I do not hear from you this time, you deserve to go down in the history books as the president who did not care about the mentally ill. http://bipolarbandit.wordpress.com/…/mental-health…/

To Fox News: Please read and convince me I should not stop watching Fox News.  Mental Health: Hagan vs Tillis Project

Please come back as I will be adding more as I write them. ~Michelle “Bipolar Bandit”

Mental Health: Hagan vs Tillis Project

hagan

I registered as a democrat when I turned 18 and pretty much voted down the party line until about 4 years ago when I changed my affiliation to INDEPENDENT. I have been a movie manager, grocery store clerk, cast member at Disney, and a teacher. I have lived in Germany, ND, SD, MN, CT, NY, and FL.

I have bipolar disorder and had to go on disability about ten years ago. This has given me time to focus on mental health advocacy.

I have been mistreated, taken advantage of, discriminated against, and made sicker by the current mental health system. I have specific examples that are horrific, unethical, and inhumane that I would like to share with Senator Hagan. After I share my side, I would like her to share with me what her personal beliefs are about mental illness, any experiences she has had with someone with a mental illness and what her plans are to erase stigma. Does she support the Murphy Bill? Has she met Patrick Kennedy? I would come with a list of questions gathered by the mental health advocates in the state. I also plan to bring some of them with me.

If you would rather just have me talk to her on the phone on the behalf of the mental health community, I can do that. It was suggested by The Managing Editor of the Winston Salem Journal that we have a demonstration. I can arrange for hundreds of advocates to show up at her office or I can create an event that she would attend. I will do what works the best for her as I know this is a very busy time.

My original idea was to talk to both Hagan and Tillis and let them know that how they answered would determine who I would vote for.  However, at this moment, I will be voting for Hagan.  I called your office and I called his office. I spoke with someone briefly from your office and left a message for Tillis. When his office called back, I was told that they could not fit such a meeting into their calendar because mental health is not important. I can give you the name and number of the person I spoke to so you can confirm that.

Last night when I came up with this idea, I was going to keep my mind open. However, I was planning to vote for Tillis because I watch Fox News and I don’t see much hope for our country if we don’t shake things up in Washington. Having another Republican in the Senate would help and that is the only reason that I would vote for him as of right now. I admit I don’t know much about either candidate and am not sure if I need to. However, now that I have decided that I am going to vote on the candidate who has the best mental health plan, I vote for Hagan.

I voted for Obama the first time and didn’t the second time. Unless I hear from Tillis that what the female on the phone said was false, I won’t vote for him. Please don’t think you have my vote won because I might not vote at all.

I am a strong mental health advocate who has a following all over the world. I am quickly learning that when you are an advocate you are forced into the political world. I love my country and the good people in it. I also see that the people with mental illnesses in our country and around the world are suffering and this should not be the case. Bill Clinton said, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” When someone has a mental illness, they endure a lot and the stigma adds so much more to it. We need to raise awareness, educate people about the various illnesses, let them know what symptoms to look for in others, where to go for support and let them know that there is hope and recovery when it comes to mental illness.

With Hagan’s help, I hope that we can make North Carolina a place where other states go to find out how to deal with the mentally ill. I look forward to talking to her or whoever is reading this. To reiterate, I would like to have several mental health advocates meet with her at her office in Greensboro. I also want to either have an event in her honor or have a demonstration or both. If she convinces me that she will make mental health a top priority, I will do everything in my power to get the voters to attend the demonstrations and events and would even try and raise enough money for an ad saying that the Mental Health Advocates NC support Kay Hagan.

To see what I have done:
EmbraceLifeDay@wordpress.com Event for Mental Health Awareness
Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/494927813883917/
Mental Health Advocates United FB page: https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthadvocatesunited
Bipolar Bandit Blog (some blogs are very political) http://bipolarbandit.wordpress.com/

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Positive Things Can Come From Amanda Bynes’s Extended Hospital Stay

bynes

When I read an article by ABC News that Amanda would be required to stay at the psychiatric hospital for another two weeks, I was relieved and am really hoping that good things can come from this.

I wrote a blog yesterday that talked about how I was disappointed in her mother that she after trying to get help for her daughter, denied that she had a mental illness after Amanda was discharged.

Being admitted is good for Amanda, it is helpful to others who know nothing about mental illness, and is important for those who have a mental illness to hear that even celebrities struggle with mental illness.

Although Lynn, Amanda’s mother, said that the marijuana made her do all the bizarre things back in May, I am not convinced that this is true and explained that in my other blog.

As I discussed in my other blog, so many good things can happen from this all.  Most importantly, Amanda will get the help she desperately needs.  In addition, others will see her struggles and hopefully learn things from it all.

However, why I think good can  happen from this, other than her having a chance to get treated, is that by having these experiences, she can share her story and help others.  Yes, she had a successful childhood career. Yes, she could turn her life around and act again or work in the fashion industry (what she was going to school for).

What I hope for is that she becomes another person who uses their fame and misfortune of having a mental illness to join the other celebrities who have been coming forward and using their experiences to raise awareness, educate others, and do their part in erasing the stigma.

For a complete list of Famous People with Mental Illnesses or Famous People with Bipolar Disorder, please check out my Pinterest boards.

You will be amazed at how many celebrities have a mental illness.  This goes to show that mental illness can affect anyone and that just because you have a mental illness does not mean that you won’t be able to make a difference or accomplish great things.

Although so many celebrities have come forward, I especially am impressed with Demi Lovato, Glenn Close‘s family, Patrick Kennedy, and Brandon Marshall.

Amanda could  deny that she has a mental illness or she could show the world that there is nothing to be ashamed of.   She could contribute to the stigma or she could become part of the solution when it comes to mental illnesses.

She could use her mental illness as a platform and I guarantee that more people will respect her especially in the mental health community. I believe that would help her career gain momentum. She would be known as an actress with a mental illness rather than a “crazy” former actress who denies she has a problem and does not care about other people who have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD, autism/aspergers, PTSD, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, drug addictions, etc.

What do you think she will decide to do?  Do you feel strongly enough about letting her know what you believe she should do? If so, contact her.  One way would be to tweet her.  Support her and encourage her and let her know why you think she should do the right thing.

I hope to be writing a blog in the near future about how much I admire her and add her to the list of people who are making a difference when it comes to mental health advocacy.

In conclusion, I truly believe that no matter what happens, that her being in the psychiatric hospital for two more weeks is a good thing and a lot of good can come from it- I hope.

Picture found at: www.starpulse.com

 

 

 

Does Amanda Bynes’s mother regret telling everyone that her daughter does not have a mental illness?

del10Amanda Bynes’s tweets and recent actions show that she is obviously not doing well.

In May, when the stories first were breaking that Amanda Bynes had done some “crazy” things, was arrested for DUI, and then was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, it prompted me to write “My Opinion on Involuntary Commitment and Conservatorships (For example, Amanda Bynes)”   There is a serious problem in our country that parents can’t get their children admitted if they are obviously mentally ill and in trouble. This was the case for Amanda’s parents. They had to wait until she was arrested and ordered to go to the hospital.

When stories kept coming out that she most likely had bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, I hoped that Amanda and her family would use their experiences to help others and  help to erase the stigma.

However, the total opposite happened.  Amanda’s mom, Lynn, denied that she had a mental illness like they were all ashamed of it.  They caved into the stigma and did not use her mental illness in a way that so many other celebrities have recently.

Instead, they contributed to the stigma like it was something to hide and would ruin her career.  Having a mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.  Dealing with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses shows that your strength.  If they are trying to not ruin her career  maybe they should admit she needs help and for what. They could use  her mental illness as a platform.  If they don’t and she continues on this path, not only her career will be over, but her life could possibly be too.

Now that she is back in the hospital due to her bizarre behavior, does her mom finally get it?  We may never know the truth and since mental illness information should be confidential, maybe we never should.   I don’t know if her doctors were so incompetent that they could not see she had a mental illness or if her mom was trying to hide it and lied.  What I do know is that I am happy that she is back in the hospital where she needs to be.

Was she diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?  Was she prescribed medications that aren’t working or is she not taking them?  Is she in denial?  Is she ashamed?  Will she get the help she needs this time or will she say it is because of marijuana why she has been doing strange things?  We might not ever know the answer to all of these questions if any.

Her mental health and medical problems should be confidential. However, when you are famous and do bizarre things, the public is going to speculate.  In my opinion, it would be better to be honest, proud, educate others, raise awareness, and get the help you need than to continue on the path she has been taking.  I hope the hospital keeps her long enough so she is able to get the help she needs.

Amanda and Lynn Bynes- Please don’t deny that she has a problem and make sure she gets treated so she can tell the world that you can recover from mental illness, there is hope, and that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.  Denying that you have a problem, feeds the stigma by showing you are ashamed.  Use these experiences to educate others and let them know what the symptoms are of the various mental illnesses and where people can go to get help if they or someone else is exhibiting the signs of a mental illness.

del11

 

 

 

 

Writings from Bipolar Bandit’s Father Part 2: Privileged to be a Bipolar Dad

dad and meThis post is long overdue. As the Dad of a daughter with bipolar disorder,  I experienced many heartaches, sleepless nights and long road trips to bail her out of many crisis situations. I would do it all again. I will do it again and I am thankful that this daughter chose to stand and fight and is now fighting for others.

Bipolar disorder is a terrible illness. It took away our daughter’s teenage years, yet she managed to not only graduate from high school, she stayed with it to get her college degree. and taught school for over 10 years before the illness finally took her out of the workforce altogether. She fought that eventuality with everything she had. She had debilitating dystonia, long bouts of depression, multiple hospitalizations and much more before finally realizing she just could not longer work.

Her mother and I are very proud of how she continues to battle back, stays alive, stays on her medication and has finally found her own soul mate.  So here are some of the joys of being a Bipolar Dad:

  • Cards out of the blue saying “I love you Dad”
  • Special gifts that express thoughtfulness and love – Don’t Quit, Eagle, and more
  • Special hugs and knowing smiles
  • Our own special language – eye luv ewe too
  • The moon
  • Sharing with family
  • First of our daughters to graduate high school and college
  • Some very special and dedicated friends that became a part of us
  • Unbelievably dependable in times of stress for the family
  • Helping to heal damaged relationships
  • Smart as a whip – she could be a doctor in different circumstances
  • A great editor
  • Caring, devoted to her family and friends
  • An advocate beyond belief – helping others deal with this terrible illness

I truly could go on forever and will come back and add more things as I think of them, but this should give anyone who reads this an appreciation for my belief that being the Dad of a Bipolar is a blessing and not a curse. I am thankful that my wife and I stayed with her through all the trials and tribulations and we are now very proud to be the parents of a wonderful daughter.

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country are bringing awareness to mental illness. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger.

This week provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI

These are some pictures I created in honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week for my Mental Health Advocates United Facebook page that aim to educate and raise awareness of some of the mental illnesses.

MIAW day 1

miaw day 2

MIAW day 3

miaw day 4

miaw day 5

miaw day 6

miaw day 7

Thank an Advocate Challenge

MHAU thank an advocate challengeI am the founder of Mental Health Advocates United and Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses. Yesterday, I challenged both my group and followers of my page to thank a mental health advocate.  As the day continued, the idea developed into the Thank an Advocate Challenge.

I have taken the challenge on myself and have thanked several advocates including ones I know personally, politicians, musicians, FB page and Twitter page owners that have accounts that deal with mental illnesses.

Please take a few moments to thank at least one other advocate. Make sure you let them know that it is part of the this challenge by simply using the hashtag #thankanadvocatechallenge. In addition, help spread the word about this challenge.

Let’s encourage each other. By doing so, we will be helping and encouraging other advocates, but also those who have a mental illness.

As mental health advocates, it is important that we encourage other advocates to continue fighting the fight.  The discrimination and stigma that come with mental illness is only going to change through education and awareness.  Advocates, working together, can show that there is hope and recovery when you have a mental illness.

Thank an Advocate Challenge hosted by Mental Health Advocates United
1. Contact someone you know who is a mental health advocate and thank them for what they are doing.
2. Use Twitter, email, Facebook, phone, snail mail, etc
3.We need to encourage those who are advocating for us.
4. It would be helpful if you let others know the contact information of who you have contacted in case they want to thank the same person.
5. Share this with your fellow advocates and on your page to spread the word.
6. Use hashtag #thankanadvocatechallenge

If you are looking for some people to thank:

Mental Health Related Facebook Pages

Brandon Marshall NFL Borderline Personality Disorder

Senator Creigh Deeds Politician/ son committed suicide

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy

Bring Change 2 Mind

Patrick J. Kennedy Politician Bipolar Disorder

Demi Lovato Singer/ Eating Disorder/Bipolar Disorder

Black Dog Tribe

HealthyPlace

Psych Central

United States’s National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Famous People with Mental Illnesses

Keith O’Neil NFL Bipolar

Carrie Fisher actress/bipolar

Congressman Tim Murphy

DBSA

Mental Health America

Rethink Mental Illness