Mental Health Stigma

Below is what I learned many decades ago about how to handle the idea of going for professional help. Has anything changed since I was taught this? Do we still need to hide these facts from people we know as well as the new people we meet?

“I can be engaging and fool people. That’s what you learn when you first hire a mental health pro. They say don’t tell anyone you see them or have mental health issues. Like it’s something to be ashamed of. You learn to fake it. You learn to hide your true feelings, your deep shit, revealing nothing behind a face that appeals to others yet doesn’t tell the whole story. The real story.”

Have you ever seen the movie, “Ordinary People” (1980) with Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Timothy Hutton? Judd Hirsch plays the psychiatrist well, and is very real and very human. How about, “Good Will Hunting” (2000) with Robin Williams and Matt Damon? Very human.

What do you think? Comments anyone?


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Just My Opinion: The People will Win!

Hello, World!

To all who reside outside of our country, the United States of America, our current federal government does NOT accurately represent the majority of The People. We are all good people. We’re made up of the same really great stuff you and your children are made of! Don’t think for a minute we are lacking in honor and integrity, as individuals or as a people.

I’m sure it will all work itself out here in the US. The sooner the better, wouldn’t you agree? We, The People, might not always agree with one another. But such is the nature of human relations, as well as that in a family we each might belong to or come from. We just need some time to sort things out. Don’t give up on us! But I have to say, for the first time in a long time, I actually have faith that it will all get worked out.

All I ask, from those folks out there beyond our borders, is to keep us in your minds and in your heart, as well as in your prayers if that is something you do. That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Many people in my country say we are the greatest country in the world. Don’t all countries feel the same way about theirs? The truth is, and I firmly believe this, is that all the people of the world are also equally as great. Let’s face it! We have more in common than what sets us apart.

Here’s a mantra we can all use right now: Every Global Citizen is Equally Great.

That’s it! One little mantra and we’re on our way to world peace. Thanks so much for listening once again.



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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today brings great meaning to me, to hear the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. I celebrate his birth and his life today, as I’m sure you do, too. Imagine what more he could have mlk-dreamaccomplished had his life not been cut too short. But let’s not dwell on such things, because we are blessed to have had him for as long as we did. And he accomplished greatly to say the least.

Dr. King says the only way to rid ourselves of hate is through love. And it takes light to rid ourselves of  the darkness. Let us find love and light, and rid ourselves of the hate in the darkness. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is a great day with great timing. Not only am I proud of those folks of all races I know personally, as well as those whom I admire from afar, I am proud of the black people I know directly and indirectly. If this past election is truly the last one, my president forevermore will always be President Obama for as long as I shall live. There is a great deal of light and love in his heart. He leads by example and honor, and with a calm to be admired. He often copes with a warm and friendly smile, and possibly a chuckle, when he know that oftentimes the only way to relieve the discomfort and stress of difficult times, it takes just that. Need I say more?

You may not be with us today in body, Dr. King, but you live on in our hearts. I recognize a good heart when I see one. You have one to cherish that will live on. Humanity has you forever! I have you until the day I die. But who knows! One day I may have the honor to meet you. I hope to see you on the other side! With that, I shall say that this day is worth celebrating.


Love and light,

Mindy Ogg

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Changes to Come

There are at least two ideas I am pursuing. One is Worldly Thinkers with the hashtag #WorldThink, and the other is Dignify Choice with the hashtag #DignifyChoice. It’s all about worldly issues, the good and the not so good. This blog is about The World in a Different Light. Ideas here you might approve of, while others might be considered unconventional. But, such is life in this world of uncertainty.

#WorldThink is about cumulative thoughts of worldly thinkers who report on what is happening in the world that is actually good. The idea isn’t to make the world into what it is not. It’s a scary place! It’s especially unsettling here in the United States as a result of the recent elections. But there has to be good out there that we can report on. Today’s media does not provide such balanced focus. So I’d like to hear what people have to say, and I can publish it on my blog. I’ve also been thinking about talking to people here in my city and publishing their stories. Also, with #WorldThink we might be able to come up with positive outcomes to difficult problems. Or we could look at things a little differently, so that just maybe some good can come out of bad situations.

The other is Dignify Choice. This idea is rather controversial, so you might not like what you hear. But your thoughts and feedback on this are so important! Please leave comments on related posts. Please? I may or may not continue with Dignify Choice, so I will need your help. There is so much suffering in this world, and the human population is over 7.4 billion and counting. People are living longer because of advances in medical science. And, as we all know, it can get expensive. We euthanize our pets when they suffer. So which is it, we show value in a life by eliminating the suffering or by extending a person’s suffering so that they can live longer? We all die eventually. Dignify Choice is more about the quality of life, not the quantity of years. The idea is that an individual be given the right to decide when the end of their life is, and thus has a legally dignified choice as to how they choose to proceed. This choice isn’t to be made by anyone but the individual! But the idea might be, for example, to have a lawyer draw up a legal document like one would have a will written up. It could be more formal and more legal than a DNR or a Directive to Physicians, and maybe could be planned out by a certain age and updated every year or every 5 years, or whatever.

So, look for these changes as they are implemented on the site (like under “About” on the menu bar) and in future posts.

Sound a little idealistic? Perhaps so. I just worry about where humanity is taking this planet. Money and power are in the hands of the few. (I have more to say but I will bite my tongue.)

Thanks for listening.


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Can you feel the love?

Politics just isn’t my thing, at all. But I’ve got to tell ya, this year’s presidential election is frightening — to say it mildly. Voter fraud? Revolution? Hitler? Russian hacking? Sexual misconduct? Espionage? WWIII? It’s never-ending! It’s scary stuff!

Can you feel the love? No, wait! Stay with me, folks.

There are certain protocols of conduct and behavior that leaders expect of us in the workplace as well as in job interviews. Shouldn’t these protocols apply to our leaders as well? One of the candidates (I really don’t like naming names) ought to learn how to be and to know how to act after all these years. I know one book that might help: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie. Success! Yes! Let’s talk about success! Let’s all be friends!

Just in Time

Have you heard about the new hashtag in social media, #TellAmericaItsGreat? I love what the Canadians are saying about our country. They are saying such nice things about us. We need that boost of morale, don’t you think? I know I do.


Can you feel the love, now? I can! Thanks, Canada. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Now. Anybody want a hug?

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My Story with Breast Cancer

Reposted from October 7, 2014.

It’s that time of year again. Young or old, be sure to do routine self-exams of your breasts, make that annual appointment with your doctor, and get your routine mammograms. I was one of the lucky ones who’s breast cancer was caught early via a mammogram. A breast-cancer-wallpapers2routine screening mammogram found something which required a followup diagnostic mammogram. Thereafter I had a double stereotactic biopsy on my right breast.

I had to wait 10 days from the day of the biopsies for the test results. On July 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM, I received the call from my doctor telling me I’d been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). In less than 2 weeks, I had blood work, a mammogram on my healthy breast, an MRI on both, a CT Scan, a bone scan, and a lymph node survey. After the bone scan my surgical oncologist wanted me to get a PET scan. He said there were lesions on my bones. Yikes! Thankfully, the PET scan showed no evidence of cancer. Breast cancer can be deadly when it spreads to your bones, brain, lungs, or liver.

After all of that was said and done, I saw a medical oncologist to discuss surgery because I was opting out of it. I didn’t want to live with a mutilated body. Not having surgery meant certain death and I accepted that at the time. In the end, I did opt to have surgery after all.

Bilateral Mastectomy

On August 30, 2010, I had a bilateral mastectomy to remove both breasts and two lymph nodes. As it turned out, no lymph nodes were involved. If there had been involvement, it would have been easier for the cancer to spread to more distant sites in the body via the lymphatic system. My staging was determined to be Stage I. So I was one of the lucky ones.

Chemo, You Ask? The Oncotype DX Test

There’s a test to see if one would benefit from chemotherapy. It’s called the Oncotype DX test. If you are being treated for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about this test. They test the breast tissue from your surgery. Luckily I didn’t need chemo or radiation. All I have needed is this little pill every morning for 10 years, a hormone blocker since my cancer was hormone receptor positive. That means that my cancer needs estrogen in order to grow. But since I was positive for hormone receptors, the hormone blocker would starve any cancer that might be left. Looking back now, I do think it would have given me peace of mind if I had undergone treatment. I worry about a recurrence.

Genetic Testing

If you can, especially if it runs in your family, get a genetic test to see if you have a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes which raises your risk for cancer. If tested positive, there are ways of being proactive to avoid developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers.  I had the test and tested negative.

Be Mindful of your Breast Health

If you’ve run across irregular changes in your breasts, be sure to go for the followups that are recommended by your doctor. Even if your doctor has not made any such recommendations, trust me, you want to get checked out 6 months later. In December of 2009 I went through the screening mammogram, diagnostic mammogram, and stereotactic biopsy, in the right breast. There was benign tissue the size of a pea that was removed. Six months later in June, I had a followup mammogram which led to the cancer diagnosis, in my right breast. So I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to your breast health. I’m not saying something like that always leads to cancer. It’s just better to play it safe.

As far as you guys are concerned, although rare, men can develop breast cancer. So if your doctor suggests a mammogram, it would be wise for you to follow his advice.

Be well.

 Note: since August 30, 2016, I’ve been cancer free for 6 years! Yay!
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Poetry: 9/11 Never Forget — Fifteen Years Later

024_FromJersey_ImagebyDboxCurrent Manhattan Skyline
© Silverstein Properties, Inc., All Rights Reserved
Edited and reposted from September 11, 2015.

Fifteen years ago our world changed. Every anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we remember. People everywhere say, let’s always remember and never forget. I will never forget that day. I remember where I was, what I was doing, and the deep trauma I felt after having watched it all unfold on TV. Never forget? Why not look at things differently instead of focusing on tragedy and loss? Why center on planes and buildings, and on death?

I’d like to share how I coped when my parents died in recent years. There’s always the good stuff left behind that we never lose, things that should never be forgotten. It’s where our hearts are.

Never Forget

Let’s never forget what happened that day
yet dwell not we shall do;
the pain, the void, the emptiness
let’s fill with hope anew.
They were here one day and gone the next
it all just happened so fast;
those we cherished, fond memories we hold
great moments forever that last.
They left their footprints in the sand
we had them for a time;
all is not lost, the gifts we have
of what they left behind.
Let’s never forget what happened that day
yet dwell not we shall do;
we’ll remember before, things as they were
the rest we bid adieu.

©️ Mindy Ogg

decorative-lines2 copy

Check out the renewed World Trade Center and see how lower Manhattan has evolved over the years.

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Education: Where Success Begins, Or Not (Revised)

Revised 8 AM.

littlegirlI’ve been listening to elementary school teachers say, that no matter how much time they put into their work as teachers, it isn’t enough. From the very beginning, in Kindergarten, there are many troubled kids out there who aren’t interested in learning. They are damaged* from the very beginning. So these teachers can only focus on those kids who want to learn, or can at least be helped so they can learn. I understand that. Teachers are teachers. They teach. It’s what they do. They are only human and can do only what is humanly possible. There is no fault and no blame here. It’s just fact. We humans need to take care of our own selves first or we’re no good to anybody, including ourselves. We must be there for us first, develop self-love, self-respect, develop an effective support system, and maintain all of that in order to be effective in our dealings with people of any age. In order for us to be any good in any of our pursuits, all of the above must be achieved. One needs to keep it going, and it takes work.

Damaged* Five-Year-Olds; Damaged Parents?

On the other hand, I can’t help but think of those damaged 5-year-olds who are on their own, fending for themselves, and with no real support. It’s not the teachers’ fault. Parents have the responsibility to these kids, they say. But some parents have no business being parents! They aren’t equipped to handle the needs of children. I can only guess that the parents’ needs aren’t being met, either. Like I said before, if one doesn’t take care of themselves first, they are no good to anybody else. So these parents are failing, not only their kids, but themselves. They are probably damaged as well. So how much do we know about the parents? And what are they equipped to do?

Self-love and Self-Respect; Nurturing a Self-Concept

Without love, can a child learn to love themselves? Can they learn to love others without self-love? Can they develop self-respect if they don’t get the nurturing needed to develop their self-concept? If a child can’t listen, couldn’t it be because no one listens to them in those early years? How do we as children learn listening skills, workable listening skills?

I Was A Damaged Child

I’m 50-something, and I never had children of my own. But I can relate to being a child myself. I was one of those damaged children who entered kindergarten, not being able to speak clearly and not being able to listen. I didn’t understand what people were saying. I was a constant daydreamer, developing into a C student in my career as an elementary school student. It gets worse as you develop if things don’t go right from the very start. I just wasn’t a curious kid. I wasn’t interested in learning. I didn’t care about anything. I was emotionally deprived. My parents were emotionally unavailable during the most important years of my life. The teacher’s comments on report cards were ignored.

What Can Come Later for a Damaged Child

Junior high school got worse, and by high school I was in trouble. I was extremely depressed, skipped classes, and was failing most of my classes. Who makes Fs in Gym class, my dad asked at the time. The only thing my parents did right was send me to one of the best psychiatrists in our city. He was good, but he still couldn’t get through to me. I’m probably his only failure. It wasn’t his fault. I trusted no one. I was a tough problem to crack. So I ended up dropping out of high school on my 17th birthday.

Developing Interests

I worked for a while with a career path to restaurant management. I learned to hate it because food is messy and I hate messy. So I got my GED and attended a community college. I took tests to see what job I would be interested in doing. I was interested in nothing! So I just took the required courses.  I did well in English composition and enjoyed playing with words, punctuation, and expressing myself. It was then that I began keeping a journal. I had a really great American History teacher. I took music classes and did well at that. After a year of that, I transferred to a university. Me! I was on top of the world. The rest is history and can be found on LinkedIn.

Curiosity! What a Concept

Many people these days tell me how highly intelligent I am. Really, I’m no different from any other person. They say I’m very knowledgeable and ask where I went to school. Funny! In my youth, I felt like I totally lacked in smarts. Everyone else I knew back then was way above me. But now, I do feel I’ve made some gains in intelligence. I’m incredibly curious now, googling every single question that enters my mind. Each answer leads to more questions which leads to more answers, and to more questions… It’s never ending! It is incredible how intuitive Google Search is. And there are so many reputable sites and articles out there. I’ve learned what sites to trust and what to question. Through what I’ve explored, I’ve developed many interests. There’s writing, science, education, technologies, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, worldly things, … I’d also like to learn chess.

Chess. I’ve learned that chess is a great tool for teachers to help their young students develop critical and creative thinking. They become more disciplined and better thinkers. Check out First Move Chess to learn more about how the game benefits young minds. On this site, it’s targeted to 2nd and 3rd graders. But I’ve also read that many children begin playing chess by the age of 5.

Teachers Teach. How About A Second Person In The Classroom?

I’m 56! It shouldn’t take this long to get to this point! The 5-year-olds of today need attention now! But teachers are teachers, they teach! So what can be done today? I’ve been thinking about this. I’m no person of influence, so I’m in no position to implement change in the world. But I like to think of what world problems need changing and imagine the desired outcome. So, beginning with kindergarteners, what if there was a second person in the classroom? The teacher teaches, and the second person in the classroom nurtures and is a guide. I don’t know. What can you come up with?


If you were one of those kids once and are 50-something now, you look back at your youth and wonder where it went. This doesn’t have to happen to the children of today. This is the 16th year in the 21st century. We’re investing in space travel before elementary education? Military science before elementary education? Where are our priorities? In my opinion, primary and secondary school teachers are the most valuable resource we have when it comes to the future of the human race.

Something needs to change. There ought to be a second person in the classroom. Who should that person be? And what could they do? Any ideas?

Intrapersonal Intelligence. Do Parents Have This?

In closing, I’d like to tell you about Howard Gardner, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education. On, he talks about how there are eight different intelligences, one being intrapersonal intelligence. (I bring this up because many parents may not know themselves very well which could impact their effectiveness as parents.) Here’s what he has to say about intrapersonal intelligence:

The seventh kind of intelligence is difficult to assess, but it’s very important. It’s intrapersonal intelligence. It’s understanding yourself. If we go back a way in history and prehistory, knowledge of yourself probably wasn’t that important because people did what their parents or grandparents did whether they were hunters or fisherman or craftspeople. But nowadays especially in developed society, people lead their own lives. We follow our own careers. We often switch careers. We don’t necessarily live at home as we get older. And if you don’t have a good understanding of yourself, you are in big trouble.

To view Howard Gardner’s video and transcript, visit While you’re there, you might want to check out some of his other videos on intelligence. Interesting stuff!

*Are damaged kids the result of child abuse, neglect, emotional deprivation, or all of the above? For the purposes of this article, these potential reasons are implied in this article. (This may not be the case for all “damaged” children. They may very well come from loving environments yet have other issues going on.)
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