Tag Archive | Agnes B. Levine

It’s LOP Live! February 25, 2014

Get your H1N1 shot and more when you watch the video!



Let’s Move! — First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation — just turned 4.

We’re celebrating all week, and we want you to join us.

The First Lady wants you to share how you’re moving by using the hashtag #LetsMove on social media to share a photo of your favorite activity or healthy snack. If enough people get involved, President Obama and Vice President Biden will share how they get moving, too.  Watch the video


Then Spread the word and get involved!


Please enjoy this week’s community newsletter.

This month LOP begins its Black History Month celebration with an interview with a former U.s. Marshall, Mr. Robert Moore. Discover some little-known tings about law enforcement in America.

Did you know about the National Read-In activities especially this month. You can get your family, community involved because it’s not too late!

LOP pays tribute to Dr. biden, and lots of college preparation news inside.

Have you enrolled in Obamacare yet? It’s a must before penalties are imposed. GET COVERED and have peace of mind!!


Thank you and have a blessed weekend!picture063

LOP Weekly Community News Update

The National Alliance on Mental Illnesses in Maryland prepares for ADVOCACY Day. What is ADVOCACY DAY? Do you participate in your state?

Want to start a business? Subscribe to SCORE!
What is Educational Excellence?
How will attending community college fulfill your dreams?
Want to write a book? Get an affordable Consultant.

It’s all inside because our Dreams Don’t Die, Labels do!

Twitter (LOP1936)

LOP’s Community Keeping Dreams Alive ~ 01/23/2014

LOP’s Community Keeping Dreams Alive ~ 01/23/2014


It is happiness to know that despite living with a mental illness in recovery, I can still pursue my dream of owning my own business.  I invite you to join my community of mental illness recovery success by e-mailing me at levineoliverpublisheer@gmail.com

I thank you for your support and as I prepare to release my new e-book next month, I hope you will join the e-mail contact list and stay connected.  Together we can do a lot to raise awareness about life with a mental illness and bring down the stigma, stereotypes in society that often prevent us from fulfilling our purpose!

My weekly videos are on Youtube so please check them out.

See, ya on Twitter, too!  (LOP1936)




Informal mingling is a great way to overcome anxiety and get back in the swing with social skills.  One of the benefits I learned from participating in a mental illness recovery program was getting away from feeling the need to isolate myself to avoid those labels.  I wonder how many of you feel that way now?  It’s scary, frustrating, and humiliating when other people are not compassionate or sensitive to the new you.  The new you has a mental illness to live with and they know it in most cases.  Be encouraged that your hope and dreams can still be realized.  You will find that perfect balance between socializing and having alone time.  Some tips that helped me were:

Participating in NAMI events (seriously) such as Tell-Your-Story classes and workshops;

NAMI Advocacy day (after meeting with Legislators)

Not being ashamed to go out with my peers (restaurant, crab feasts, bus trips, just hanging out) and inviting friends to my place for tea. 

When you meet with peers who have a mental illness, too, you find  yourself exchanging coping skills for those disturbances you cannot necessarily get over on your own, but do not need to make an appointment.



When we have setbacks that we cannot control, it is good to talk to a friend who understands the unique struggle of getting the negativities out of your head and finding your balance.  A lot of time a simple misunderstanding can be a monumental trigger. Your peers who know  you well are the ones to help you find that center again.

Finding that perfect peer group is part of the journey to mental wellness recovery.  We have to remember that and stay in a loving and caring mindset to help those coming behind us.  I am thinking today of a family member who was battling Depression badly.  All the symptoms were there including:  sadness, crying spells, loss of appetite, substance abuse, complaints of pain, and even threats of ending it all.  It was frightening and I ended up calling the local Crisis Prevention hotline.  I spent 45 minutes to an hour with a compassionate woman on the other end.  She told me everything I should look out for and do if the situation escalated and the person became combative.  She counseled me who by then was at my wits’ end because nothing I said or did was helping the person.  At the end of the call, I checked on the person and he was sound asleep.


In the morning, we both arose refreshed, but emotionally drained.  Tenderly, I tip-toed around the subject when it seemed appropriate and asked one more time about making an appointment.  I was asked a question that we sometimes lose sight of then and there.  “Who is going to pay for it?”


Well, I’ll jump ahead to say that a few years ago, I let it drop because it was a valid question that I had no answer to.  Now  change has come.  Today we have affordable and quality healthcare with access to mental healthcare services.  This is very important for young adults especially.  Mental illnesses are brain disorders that have no cure.  They can be treated.  Untreated mental illness such as Depression can lead to more serious mental illnesses or physical injury because when persons are depressed, they will make reckless decisions.  Depression also causes unexplained aches and pains.  These are just a few reasons why young adults, who are not invincible, need to have health insurance.  They need to understand that poor health stops dreams, not labels (stigmas, stereotypes, etc.).


The next deadline for applying, shopping, and buying affordable and quality health insurance is January 15, 2014.  This will mean insurance coverage on February 1, 2014.  The premiums must be paid in order for the application process to be complete.  Young adults should please GET COVERED at Healthcare.gov by January 15, 2014. 

Personal Dev.


Grandiose Blues:  in a nutshell, Depression/Bipolar Disorder can cause one to go into extreme debt.  This is caused by the belief that you have lots of money if you have Bipolar Disorder.  You may believe you are rich, famous, wealthy, etc.  Based on that false belief, you spend like crazy on stuff, trips, luxuries, gadgets, gifts, etc. and you cannot realistically bail yourself out.  You may have to keep borrowing and/or file bankruptcy.

Depression can cause you to buy ‘feel good items’ or comfort stuff much the same way.  In both scenarios, your spending is or will become reckless.

In both cases, it is time for professional help.  A change in medications.  Therapy.  The situation is beyond being able to stop on your own.  If you see this pattern in a loved one, it will cause you to be frustrated and angry.  You vent, fuss, argue, etc.

The problem does not go away using those tactics.  The problem, issue, side effect, if you will, can be solved with professional intervention with mental healthcare services and a plan.  When a person with mental illness is stabilized, then the behavior can be discussed with a bona fide plan to prevent it from happening again. 

It ends those monthly fights over social security benefit checks, too! (barring drugs, gambling, extreme circumstances requiring intense intervention strategies and NEVER violence).

For example:  BUDGET

taking bank cards, credit cards, check book,

making a list before shopping, using coupons, sale items only, etc.

cash only,

delay going to store or online shopping until mood swings have passed, stabled. 

BEFORE spending money, discuss why a persons wants to shop or feel the need to shop without judging. 

Participate in the shopping trip to avoid a spree!  Can you have popcorn and a home movie instead?  Will a trip to the theater work?  How about an afternoon window shopping trip!  One of the ways I learned to not spend money I didn’t have (w.i.p.) was to window shop with the idea/commitment that if it is there when I return, it is meant for me.  What about lay-a-ways…they are still en vogue in my book.  My favorite store was/is Burlington Factory.  I could lay-away items and pay in increments when I worked outside my home. 

Recognize when YOU are influencing a vulnerable person to spend money he/she doesn’t have;

Do not bail him/her out every time and know the cut-off point;

Know when to contact the person’s doctor/pastor/therapist respectfully and ask for help.  This should not mean calling social services and demanding checks be placed in your name, etc. which leads to all sorts of hatred, resentment, hurt, harm, disrespect, accusations, allegations, profanity, bullying, oppression, low self-esteem, serious/Chronic depression, fear, anxiety, panic, etc. and does very little, if anything at all, to help a person achieve mental wellness recovery success. 

Mental wellness recovery success is unique to each individual and it will not happen overnight because you say so like with any other illness or behavior modification.  I am suggesting meeting with the person and his/her doctor/pastor, etc. together and working as a team understanding stabilization must happen before persons can see, understand, accept the problem and work to solve it.  This is moving towards recovery success with a goal.

Enforce responsible spending with compassion;

Do not make continuous loans to a vulnerable person causing debt he/she cannot repay you;

Have something old, but good as new? — bless him/her with it from pots, pans to shoes to earrings, etc.  You will be amazed how that cures reckless spending and quenches that urging desire to spend. 

Did you know ‘Monday-morning-quarter-backing’ includes spending, gift-giving, etc.  the same way ‘normal’ people agonize when those Christmas bills start rolling in? 

Do we want to sacrifice after-Christmas sales/bargains and purchase health insurance?  YES we must!

Affordable healthcare is the goal for every person by the end of the year.  Persons who receive monthly benefits, may have dependents who do not.  Access to affordable healthcare IS access to mental heal services.  Preventing mental illness in your family means one more healthy person in the community to build it up. 

There is nothing embarrassing about applying for Medicaid for all members of the family in MDHealthConnection.gov or going into a local social services office.  There are Navigators (health ambassadors) available to help persons apply for and/or purchase affordable healthcare.  There is nothing wrong with receiving mental health services, too! This is the best way to break the cycle of mental illness in families and not continue the cycle of mental illness and poverty. 

In 2014, NO name-calling is allowed!!!

amen, Amen?

Personal Dev.