My interests vary. I love fitness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, the social phenomena, philanthropy, dogs, traveling, and my first love – gaming.
I love all sorts of games; outdoors, video, tabletop, etc. When it comes to video games my passion began on the consoles Turbo Grafx-16 and Turbo Duo, which were very unpopular in the United States. There was no region lock on the Turbo Duo, so towards the end of this consoles life both Japanese and English video games became dirt cheap on it. I hoarded TONS of Japanese video games. I did not know a single word in Japanese.
It is because of this I wish I heard of Justin Carmical, aka “Jew Wario” before his recent death. His expertise was in helping English speaking players enjoy Japanese games before they came to the West. Like him, I “suffered” through an era where console video game manufacturers had a bias towards Japan. Some of us passionate enough did not want to wait for the game to be translated, if it was to be at all. I would have loved to follow this man. I wish I had a dialogue with him, but he’s gone now.
I will not presume to know whether or not he suffered from some serious mental illness, but the circumstances around his death make one wonder. Instead of jumping to conclusions, I thought it would be appropriate to share my mental illness, and that of my mothers.
Without going too into detail, my mother suffered from Schizoaffective disorder and I from Depression and Anxiety. My mother is now dead, and while my illness is under control I have to remain vigilant, because I too could… fall off, if I don’t continue to take care of myself. I go to the gym, I eat properly, take my meds, but most importantly I try to mind what I think.
Medical experts continue to struggle with the correlation between mental illness and obesity, but it’s no secret that they often do go hand in hand. It might be easier to draw a correlation between a persons socio-economic status and obesity, but it’s no stretch of the imagination that someone sixty-plus pounds overweight will have behavioral problems, if not a mental disorder.
How did I lose one hundred forty pounds and keep it off? I corrected habits through cognitive-behavioral therapy; my fitness and diet were incorporated either simultaneously or after the fact.
There is no question that proper nutrition and your mental well-being are connected, but if you constantly barrage yourself with cognitive distortions, or you suffer from poor self-esteem, you will not be able to sustain a healthy diet. It is also true that a poor diet can hamper your ability to break the cycle, but equipped with one or the other as your first tool? I’d be willing to bet cognitive behavioral therapy mixed with a gradual diet change is more sustainable than simply a diet change. I cannot tell you how many times i’ve heard dieters say “i’ll reward myself with that cheeseburger later down the road” as if it’s acceptable to return to that lifestyle! Sure, once in a while is fine, but do they really mean once in a while?
I know how painful it is to be overweight. Being obese is probably one of the few things that match the social stigma associated with being mentally ill. You are caught in a vicious cycle and must surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable, keep you honest, and make sure you escape this purgatory.
I believe everyone should have a person who will say beautiful, cathartic, and uplifting words to them, as Justin Carmicals did in this video.
Rest In Peace, Jew Wario. You seemed like a kind soul. I am sorry you are gone.
If you are interested in contributing to non-profits who advocate for the Mentally Ill you can read this blog entry at my website, The Angry Philanthropist.