140.6 Miles for Cutting-edge Mental Health Research

140.6 Miles for Cutting-edge Mental Health Research

From Amanda McDonald

Donate today, to be part of a team that is raising awareness for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and show your support for someone you know living with a mental condition.

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1 in 5 of Us Lives With a Mental Illness.

Be it depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, PTSD, bipolar, OCD or another form of mental illness, everyone's struggle is unique.

Join me as I bring awareness to these conditions while racing 140.6 miles at IRONMAN Wisconsin on September 8th, 2019

Read on to learn about my own mental health condition and this cause that I'm passionate about. 

My own struggle started around age 11, and at that time I told my parents I didn't want to live.

Throughout my teenage years and in college, I coped with my mental health but continued to feel like there was something wrong with me.

As I was finishing college, my ability to cope on my own and was no longer an option. The campus psychiatrist put me on medications that only made things worse, making it difficult to trust her. At the same time, I didn't feel like I was getting anything out of counseling sessions.

At that time, I was admitted to a hospital in Chicago, a traumatizing experience that resulted in me coping on my own for another two and half years after this hospitalization.

At the age of 24, I knew I needed help if I was going to live.

When I talk about my experience getting help, I say it's a miracle that I found a psychiatrist who could relate to my love for travel, adventure, China, and living for challenges.

He saved my life by providing me with a diagnosis that made sense to me. He saved my life by educating me on what medications are most likely to keep me stable.

He saved my life when he told me that nothing was wrong with me but that I live with bipolar II. He saved my life by empowering me to utilize the strong emotions I feel rather than letting my highs and lows defeat me.

While I have been fortunate to find the right combination of diagnosis, physician visits, medications, and self-care, many others have yet to find the right "treatment" (for lack of a better word).

At this point in time, diagnosis of all mental illness continues to be based on observed and reported patient symptoms rather than our genetic makeup or bio-markers.

It’s my hope that someday, mental illnesses can be diagnosed earlier in people’s lives so that no one question’s their existence, and instead we are all able to live with an understanding of our own mental health and the unique abilities that stem from the wide range of mental illnesses we are aware of.

Donate today, to help me continue building awareness for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and find ways to alleviate the suffering of mental illnesses!

--- If you or someone you know has been struggling with their mental health, use these resources to find help for yourself, your friends, your family, or your students.

Emergency Medical Services—911If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911, available 24 hours a day.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Live Online ChatIf you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.


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