Photo Series: Visualization of the Manifestations of Mental Health Disorders

Hey y’all,

When I began this Mental Health Awareness Month series, I wanted to include as many different diagnoses as possible. Along those same lines, I wanted to convey the messages through different mediums. This series, shot by Kesley Moorefield (@justkesley), with hair and makeup provided by Jonathon Sierra-Weaver (@jonathon_sierraweaver) and Mirna Andrade (@mirnamaybe) of J Alexander Beauty Team, is a visual representation of some of the ways mental health disorders can manifest. With out them and the other models (credited below their respective photos), this series would not have been possible. I won’t be writing much to go along with these photos other than a brief snippet of what they mean to me, as I think there is more power in them than anything else I could write.

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Continue reading “Photo Series: Visualization of the Manifestations of Mental Health Disorders”

Why I Started The Pete Foundation

Aside from being a lifelong friend and one of the strongest people I know, Michelle Jones is one of the founders of The Pete Foundation. The Pete Foundation aims to spread mental health awareness and “stomp the stigma” surrounding mental health. 

 

Why I started The Pete Foundation
Michelle (third from right), and the rest of the Jones family at the inaugural PeteFest.

 

After losing my brother and best friend, Pete, to suicide about a year and a half ago, the grief, shock, confusion, and enormous mix of all other emotions nearly blocked out any other logical thoughts, behaviors, or reasoning. One of the few things that peeked through that cloud of darkness was this penetrating realization that there exists a whole other world where mental health is a thing and suicide in your family isn’t so unthinkable. It was always one of those things that everyone thinks would never happen in their family. It took my brother’s suicide for me to realize how bad his depression really was, or that suicide can happen in even the most loving families, or that no matter how close you are to someone, our society’s view of mental health could keep you from saving them. In this other world, there are people desperately trying to raise awareness about mental health, because they know the things it can do.

Continue reading “Why I Started The Pete Foundation”

Being a Mom With Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Leah McNally of Life as Leah, (lifeasleah.net)  is a millennial mom turned blogger and social influencer. She created her instagram account @life.as.leah_ and the page @honestmommin to connect deeper with other mom’s. Leah and her family moved to New Jersey from Florida, when her daughter was 6 months old. This move was the catalyst into connecting more with moms on social media, because she didn’t know anyone in the area. This is her journey with Postpartum depression and anxiety.

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I want to start this off by saying if you’ve been struggling with

postpartum issues, you’re not alone.

Continue reading “Being a Mom With Postpartum Depression and Anxiety”

Mental Health: Body Positivity and Eating Disorder Recovery via Food Photography

JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food writer, blogger, instagrammer, and social media influencer. Originally raised on the family farm in Russell County, which was homesteaded in 1798, he now calls Louisville home. He holds a BS in Economics and Finance from Centre College, a MBA from the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University, and is a 2021 candidate for a JD at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. Find his work online at @jcpeats and at www.jcpeats.com.

Mental health is often framed as solely consisting of the mind; however, I incessantly contend that it’s so much more than that. To me, it’s mind, body, and soul – three separate, yet highly correlated, facets of one’s being.

From anxiety, depression via the death of my father, suffering from three eating disorders at different points in my life (bulimia, anorexia, binge eating), enduring eating disorder recovery, obsessively losing weight – I’ve had my fair share of struggles in maintaining my mental health. My journey has been centered around my body, or, rather, body positivity. This is that story.

Continue reading “Mental Health: Body Positivity and Eating Disorder Recovery via Food Photography”

Mental Health Awareness Series: Intro

Hey Y’all!

I’ve been busy orchestrating and planning this blog series for the past few weeks and I’m so excited to see it come to fruition. I just wanted to hop on here and give an overview of what’s to come and the idea behind the series.

When I learned that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I started thinking of a topic for one blog post. I quickly realized that that wouldn’t cut it. Mental health is consistently put on the back burner and deemed less legitimate than diagnoses related to physical health. I would be contributing to the issue if I thought that mental health awareness could be summed up in one post.

I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, even before I could give it a name. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was in 8th grade and began going to therapy. This was when I realized that I, and a lot of people around me, knew next to nothing about mental health. I was constantly being told by other kids,  and even some adults, that there’s no way I was truly OCD because of how messy I kept my locker, binder, desk, etc. It took me a long time to realize that how mental health is portrayed in pop culture isn’t how it laments in everyone it effects.

Remembering these feelings of thinking that each mental health diagnoses had to fit neatly into a box also made me think that one single blog post would be a disservice. Because of this, I reached out to other bloggers, influencers, artists, and friends to share their own personal stories, struggles, triumphs and advice related to mental health. What I have gone through with anxiety, OCD, mood instability, and countless prescriptions is such a small sampling of what mental health can mean. I am so happy with the roster of amazing people who will be sharing over the next month. Hitting mental health from as many angles as possible will hopefully make it clear that every single case will be different, and that’s ok. No matter what you’re going through, you’re never alone and your feelings are valid.

I can’t wait for this series to progress and for everyone to gain something from this. Whether you’ve struggled with mental health your entire life, known someone who has struggled, feel completely removed, or this is all new to you, I think we can all benefit from trying to better understand how other the humans around us see the world. Learning more about others never hurt anyone.

The next post in the series will be by artist Victoria Roman with a focus on her artistic series “My Friend Anxiety”. Stay tuned!

Kya Cheese