Memoirs of Mental Health: Margaret Trudeau

I recently added a new category to this blog, Memoirs of Mental Health. Other articles in this series include mental health insights gained from:

Today, I want to share some insights that I gained from mental health advocate, Margaret Trudeau. She’s the former first lady of Canada and the mother of the current Canadian Prime Minister.

Trudeau shares her story in a very unique way: through a one-woman comedy show titled, Certain Woman of an Age.

What’s Trudeau’s story got to do with mental health?

Margaret Trudeau has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has struggled with the extremes of both manic and depressive episodes. She shares how she’s been psychiatrically hospitalized at least three times, one of which was involuntary; thus, normalizing that even famous people struggle with mental illness. Trudeau shares about her experiences with manic episodes when going off her bipolar medications (against medical advice) or when medication changes were made.

Noteworthy insights

I appreciate Trudeau’s candor and humor because raising awareness about mental health doesn’t always have to be so doom-and-gloom. In her memoir, Trudeau discusses other life dynamics such as marriage, divorce, grief, and self-medicating.

  • She does a great job applying the 5 Stages of Grief (anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) to a person’s experience of receiving a mental health diagnosis.
  • “If you’re an old hippie like me and you think your body is your temple… GET OVER IT! [Mental health] Drugs are good now and you might need them to get through the rough parts. They can really help you.”
  • “Our anger is important, so don’t suppress it. Love is the driving force that keeps life flowing. Love is our best renewable resource.”
  • “Resilience is a superpower.”

Conclusion

I’ll conclude with a behind-the-scenes of the writing of this article. Thanks to COVID-19, Mya Jayn has gotten superb at catching grammatical errors and typos.

Stay tuned because I will be adding more to this Memoirs of Mental Health series over the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

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