Often times when the topic of health comes about, we tend to focus on the physical. We are reminded to exercise regularly and eat healthy so that our bodies can be well-maintained. Mental health has frequently been left out of the conversation of individual’s overall heath. Defined as a person’s condition with regards to their psychological and emotional well-being, mental health has an endless impact on our day to day lives. Generally speaking, mental health becomes the focus when there is an ‘illness’ involved. When an individual is unable to maintain their emotional wellness is when we become more aware of the importance of mental health, but this does not have to be the case. Your mental well-being can be exercised, similarly to when you would go on a run to maintain your cardiovascular health. The more time you spend proactively insuring your mental well-being, the more prepared you will be when life deals you a difficult situation. Stress tolerance, coping skills, and self-care are areas that you can become more well versed in, so as to maintain your emotional well-being. Take some time to find ways to be proactive about your mental health, avoiding having to be reactive in situations to come. – Nancie Ferdinand, LAPC
Since 2007 Manna Fund has been dedicated to “fill the funding gap” for individuals treating eating disorders. Manna Fund is a tax deductible 501(c)(3) non-profit and we focus on those needing the most immediate and critical level of care. Most people are unaware at the costs associated with inpatient and residential treatment. Scroll to see ways you can help.
Inpatient Treatment Costs (average treatment costs, not specific to any hospital)
- One Month …. $30,000
- One Week …. $7,500
- One Day …. $1,000
Residential Treatment Costs (average treatment costs, not specific to any facility)
- One Month …. $12,000
- One Week …. $3,500
- One Day …. $500
Optional Funding Costs (towards other Manna Scholarship Fund costs)
- Psychiatric Consultation …. $250
- Individual Psychotherapy …. $130
- Group Psychotherapy …. $75
- Gift Basket …. $50
There are three levels of donation programs available: Individual Sponsorship, Corporate Sponsorship and Manna Sponsorship. To ask questions about these programs please call 770-495-9775 or email email@example.com.
In addition, there are great ways to support Manna Fund by designating us with companies you use regularly such as Amazon and Kroger.
Amazon Smile – Designate Manna Fund with Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase. To register:
- Visit http://smile.amazon.com.
- Select “Manna Scholarship Fund, Inc.”
- Shop on Amazon.com (Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to Manna Fund!)
Kroger Community Awards – Have a Kroger Plus Card (loyalty rewards card)? Support Manna Fund by going grocery shopping at Kroger (Kroger will donate a percentage of your purchase to Manna Fund). To register:
- Visit https://www.kroger.com/communityrewards
- Existing Plus Card users: “sign-in” with your current card to choose “Manna Scholarship Fund, Inc.”
- New users: select “create an account” if you are a new Kroger Plus Card user!
The death of Robin Williams this week has stimulated a lot of buzz about depression and mental illness in general. Many ask “How could he do that? Why? What was going on in his mind?” Truth is, no one can really tell who has a mental illness, or why they decide that death is better than the pain they feel.
I’ve dealt with many people who have varying levels of depression – in my office, in my personal life, and at times, personally. I really don’t even like the word depression, because I have learned that it is a combination of factors that interact and can take on a life of their own.
Compare depression to the structure of a house:
- The cement foundation = genetics. Some are predisposed to the genetics of emotional instability.
- The truss (main support beam) is equivalent to negative beliefs, which supports the rest of the structure.
- The floors are akin to negative feelings, which may be wobbly or uneven.
- The walls are like the negative actions, which is what we see, cover up, and observe most readily.
Once this structure has been created, an internal cycle emerges. This cycle can range in intensity, which, when severe enough, can cause negative thoughts and feelings to feel like a black hole. This is when reality becomes vague – to the point that the depressed person loses touch with him/herself and what is truth. I’ve had clients tell me that they get into an emotional fog and lose memory, and become desperate to make the pain stop. Some people act out their pain (self-injury, gambling, drinking, e.g.) others act inwards, towards themselves. Suicide is an act which involves both.
The negative cycle in depression is a part of why people develop eating disorders. They have the underlying structure and cycle that results in bingeing, purging, restricting or any combination thereof. I want to educate others about the “why” of eating disorders, and believe that the words of a recent 16 year-old client beautifully illustrate her experience of how her depression and Binge Eating connect:
After my friend read my private journal, which had my most private thoughts in it, she told my school counselor, who then told my parents. She also told some of my friends, which caused me to feel really uncomfortable, because I wanted to be “off the radar.” I felt that I was treated like I was retarded, that everyone was walking on eggshells around me. I pretended that I was happy, and hid behind my smile and “party” behavior. I began to drink excessively to cope with the lies, pain, and depression. I ate in order to smother the tears that tried to come out – and to help myself feel my body again. I really don’t remember much about my life during that time because was in a mental and emotional fog. My life became a blur – I don’t recall situations that my friends would talk to me about. I felt disconnected from myself and my life – like I wasn’t in my body, but I was watching me from above. When I found out that it wasn’t normal, that’s when I became more angry, scared, hurt, and felt like it [my pain] was bubbling out all over the place. That’s when I decided to come and see you.
Fortunately, she is now well on her way to recovery. She has learned to use her voice and communicate the unspeakable pain she’s kept inside. She continues to develop new beliefs about who she is, versus believing that she is unlovable or unimportant. She is learning how to manage her racing thoughts and overwhelming feelings. She is growing by leaning into her pain.
If you are an “Average” Robin Williams, and have been stuffing, avoiding, or acting out your pain in destructive ways, please seek a professional that you trust. Talk to them like you’ve never talked before.Find your voice. Take your medication, if it’s warranted. Keep trying.
You can restructure and redecorate that house without tearing it down.
Manna Fund, Inc. announces the development of a new interactive website for those with eating disorders:
Use Your Voice, Not Your Body!
- Read More (about the disorder)
- Find Professional Resources
- (the most detailed search engine out there!)
- Create a Safe Space
We have taken a brief hiatus while expanding our local services, but promise to put the updated website online as soon as it is possible. This website’s function is to help with understanding your or your loved one’s disease, as well as providing ways for you to obtain support if you are not receiving treatment.