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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: stress

Suicide Prevention Week

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Yesterday marked the first day of Suicide Prevention Week!

There is no single cause of suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk of suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.

Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.

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#suicide  #depressed  #mentalillness #loss  #semicolonproject #prevention #reachout #warningsign  #endstigma #mental  #awareness #bethe1to #veterans #anxiety #trauma #stress #coping

Stroke Awareness Month

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May is Stroke Awareness Month!

Guess what time it is, ya’ll? That’s right, it’s time for another edition of the awareness blog! I know you’ve all been waiting anxiously and refreshing the feed every hour, on the hour, since the last one. Nothing more exciting than learning about illnesses and diseases, I know.

Today’s blog will discuss Strokes, because guess what… there’s a lot you need to know about them in order to prevent them or recognize them. But first, I gotta give you my schpiel at the beginning of each blog (feel free to skip to the good part if you already know our deal) until people get the hang of our blog and our business.

Personalized Cause is an awareness ribbon company that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. We are the #1 source for personalized awareness pins in the United States, for personal orders (rather than bulk orders). We carry an assortment of other awareness ribbons and awareness wristbands. We decided to start this blog in order to raise awareness for all of the causes out there. Obviously, we know we probably won’t get to all of them, as there are more causes in the world than we could possibly cover. We hope to cover as many of the big ones as possible, though, in order to raise awareness, educate the public, and help to prevent any disease, illness, or event that we can. Our goal is to make all of our readers into advocates, and socially aware people, who just might pass that knowledge onto someone who needs it. We’re trying to do a pay it forward thing with medical and social knowledge. We’d like to save the world, but we know that task is more than we can achieve, so we’re doing the next best thing within our scope. We are empowering you all to go forth with what you learn here and make a difference where you can with the information we give you.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! (People skipping our little intro, start reading here.)

Stroke is a terrible, awful, no good disease. If you’re thinking, a stroke isn’t a disease, you’re not alone there. Most people think of it as an event, like a heart attack, more than a disease. It is in fact classified as a disease, though.

So what exactly is a stroke? We’ve all heard of them, but we may not know exactly what they are, aside from the fact that they are bad. A stroke affects the brain. They occur when blood vessels or arteries in the brain become blocked or clogged by a clot, or when the blood vessel ruptures as a result. When a blood vessel (or artery, from now on when I refer to blood vessel, that includes arteries) becomes clogged or blocked by blood clot, pressure builds behind the clog. The body continues to pump the blood, causing the pressure behind it to build and build. That pressure eventually becomes strong enough to force through the wall of the blood vessel. Whether the clot causes a rupture of the blood vessel, or is simply blocking off the blood flow, it causes the brain to stop receiving oxygen and nutrients through that pathway. When the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the brain cells begin to die. As a result, brain damage occurs, and permanent damage can be done. This is the reason that Stroke is the #5 cause of death in the United States, and one of the top causes of disability. Every 40 seconds that pass, somebody has a stroke, and every four minutes someone dies of a stroke. If you think it can’t happen to you, think again, because they can happen to anyone, and at any age, and that includes during childhood. But, here comes an important point… as much as 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, and the severity of the damage that is caused by a stroke can be dramatically reduced if the warning signs are recognized and the person gets treatment immediately.

Not all strokes are the same. There are hemorrhagic strokes and ischemic strokes. Lets take a closer look at each of them, shall we.

First up, hemorrhagic strokes are when a blood clot (also known as an aneurysm) bursts, or causes a leak. Think of a pipe. If a blockage occurs in a pipe, one of two things will happen. Either the pipe will completely burst, or the pipe will slowly leak. In both scenarios, you’re looking at a serious problem that requires professional attention immediately, in order to minimize the amount of damage done. The buildup of pressure from the excess blood in the brain (from the burst or leak) results in swelling and pressure in the brain. When swelling or pressure build up in the brain, it damages the cells and brain tissue. Only about 15% of strokes that occur are hemorrhagic, however, they account for around 40 percent of deaths caused by a stroke. They’re less common, but they’re more dangerous.

Now, there are two kinds of hemorrhagic stroke, and they are called intracerebral and subarachnoid. The first and most common kind of hemorrhagic stroke is intracerebral hemorrhage. This kind of stroke is most commonly caused by high blood pressure and weakened blood vessels due to age, but it can also occur due to a genetic condition that causes an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain or spine. This condition is called AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, and can be treated. Intracerebral hemorrhage is when the blood leaks or pools in the brain, causing cell death and the affected area of the brain stops working. The second kind of hemorrhagic stroke is the subarachnoid stroke. This occurs in the area between the actual brain itself, and the tissue that covers the brain. It is most commonly caused by an aneurysm that bursts.

Next up, the ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when the affected blood vessel is blocked. The blood clot that creates the blockage prevents blood from travelling to where it needs to go in the brain. When the blood is prevented from reaching parts of the brain, the cells die. Ischemic strokes account for the vast majority of all strokes. Again, blood pressure is the biggest cause of this type of stroke. These types of stroke can happen in two ways, called embolic and thrombotic. An embolic stroke is when either a blood clot or plaque build up forms in the body somewhere else, but usually in the heart, and then makes it’s way through the blood vessels into the brain. Because the blood vessels go from large (in the heart) and get smaller and smaller as they move into the brain, the clot or plaque buildup eventually reaches a point where it gets stuck and cant move any further, and causes an ischemic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when the blood clot develops inside one of the arteries leading to the brain. Thrombotic strokes are usually caused by high cholesterol or atherosclerosis.

Okay, now that you understand exactly how they work and the differences in kinds of stroke, lets look at the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke. Remember, especially parents, a blood clot can be formed from a run of the mill injury, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs in children, too.

There is a trick to being able to remember what symptoms to look for to identify a stroke. It’s called “act FAST.” A lot of people panic in emergency situations and don’t remember what they’ve learned, so this trick helps people remember what to check for. If you identify these symptoms, call 911 immediately! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just get an ambulance there as fast as possible. The faster medical attention is received, the better the outcome will be.

F- F stands for face. Is the person experiencing facial drooping? Ask them to smile to assess.

A- A stands for arms. Have the person raise both arms out in front of them. Are they able to keep both arms level?

S- S stands for speech. Ask the person to repeat a sentence or phrase to you. Do they sound strange or are they slurring?

T- T stands for time, as in there is none to waste. So, if the person is exhibiting any of the symptoms above… call 911, as fast as humanly possible.

It is also important to write down what time the first symptom or signs appeared. Think back on the day, did the person experience any unusual muscle weakness, or perhaps fall? Try to remember if anything unusual happened, even if it didn’t seem like a big deal. Write it on your arm, text it to yourself, repeat it to yourself over and over like a mantra until the paramedics arrive. The timing can determine some treatment options and decisions.

That’s all she wrote. (I hope at least one of you laughed at that total dad joke.) Thank you for reading and I sincerely hope none of you ever need to use the information we discussed today. Better safe than sorry, though, am I right?!

There are two versions of awareness pins for stroke. Red awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for stroke, but there is a special pin designed to raise awareness for childhood stroke (or pediatric stroke.) Purple and blue awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for pediatric stroke.

Here are links to both of the custom awareness pins. For custom awareness pins for stroke (the red awareness ribbon), visit:

For custom awareness pins for pediatric stroke (the purple and blue awareness ribbon), visit:

#stroke #actfast #strokes #strokesurvivors #awareness #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons #pediatricstroke #childhoodstroke #strokeawareness

Mental Health Awareness Month

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Hello friends, thanks for stopping by for our latest blog entry! I appreciate you all taking the time to read my posts and learn a little more about health and wellness. A big thank you to all the readers who emailed in with follow up questions and feedback! Our mission here is to raise awareness for health issues and educate people so that they may take proactive and preventative steps in their own life to improve their health, or improve the understanding surrounding the issue in their community. If you’d like to read a little bit about why we do this and how our business got started, check out our first blog.

HAPPY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, aka Mental Health Month! Okay, so I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s appropriate to wish someone a happy Mental Health Awareness Month. If you ask me, the attitude surrounding mental health seriously stigmatizes those who suffer and discourages people from being upfront and honest about their struggles. The world could use a little more celebration of those who put themselves and their struggles out there, and those who practice good mental health habits. Mental health is just like physical health in that there is constant maintenance and self care habits required to keep us all feeling our best. So, yes, HAPPY Mental Health Awareness Month to each and every one of you!

Every May, we celebrate Mental Health Month by raising awareness, fighting stigma, encouraging mental health screenings or assessments, and educating the community about the importance of making one’s mental health a priority. Mental health can have a profound impact on our lives, and may also have serious consequences, especially for those who have mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety.

I know right now you’re wondering, “So, who started Mental Health Month, anyway? Is this some new age holiday or what?” I’m super glad you asked! Mental Health Month was first observed in 1949, so, no, this is not some observance millennial’s came up with in order to justify following their bliss or their self-importance (and I use that as an example because people roll their eyes at millennial’s for those two attributes all the time, and in this case in regards to mental health, I think they’re actually onto something.)

Mental Health Month was established by Mental Health America, and every year since 1949, they have fought to educate the public on warning signs, symptoms, risk factors, and consequences of poor mental health. They highlight the correlation between mental health and mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia, and educate those who suffer from mental illness and their families on coping mechanisms and strategies for attaining and maintaining mental wellness.

People tend to assume that they know what the term mental health refers to, but haven’t really given it a whole lot of thought. That’s okay! The term “mental health” seems pretty self-explanatory, but I would bet that there’s a lot more involved than you realized. People also tend to assume that if they don’t suffer from depression or if they are successful and well liked, then they must be mentally healthy. This is not always the case. Mental health is a combination of our psychological (thoughts), emotional (feelings), and social well being (meaningful relationships and interactions with others that contribute to our self-worth and self-esteem). All three factors are essential in achieving mental wellness.

Think of your mental health like a car. I know it’s kind of a stretch, but go with me on this for a second. Let’s say mental wellness is like a Tesla, or whatever luxury vehicle is currently popular amongst rappers, and poor mental health is like a… broken down two-door Acura from the 80’s with the bumper and side mirrors duct-taped on, Now think of your life as a long road, with twists, and turns, and hills, and valleys, and potholes. There will be unpredictable weather, and obstacles. One of those vehicles will clearly handle the road much better than the other, when confronted with the same bumps in the road. This is how mental health can dictate how we lead our lives. Mental health affects the way we react to stress, choices we make, our behavior and actions, and our relationships with others.

Mental health issues affect about one in five American adults, which means it’s very common, but people don’t realize that because so many of the people suffering don’t talk about it. People suffering often feel their struggle is a sign of weakness or are too embarrassed to ask for help. Some people think that mental health is private and should not be discussed in public. Some people may not know how to seek medical help or are unable to find adequate healthcare (because healthcare gaps are very real in this country). Some people feel ashamed. Some people feel scared of judgment. This is why people suffer in silence, and suffer alone, too often. The stigma surrounding mental health issues perpetuates the isolation experienced by those who are suffering and prevents them from getting the help they need, and DESERVE. It makes us think that something is wrong with us, and everyone else is fine. It makes us feel different than everyone else, when we are not. In fact, statistically speaking, experiencing mental health issues makes us more similar to others than not.

One in ten teens have experienced a stage of severe depression. One in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness. Half of all Americans who experience major depressive periods don’t seek medical help. The tenth leading cause of death in the United States is suicide, and men are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women. I don’t share these statistics to scare anyone or to be morbid. I share these statistics with you to highlight how essential it is for us to eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental health, and embrace healthy and accepting attitudes in order to prevent unnecessary and undeserved suffering.

Mental health can be influenced by many factors. Some people are predisposed to mental health issues due to biological circumstances, from things such as hereditary predisposition, physical health problems like chronic or acute illness, brain chemistry, or an injury. There are also environmental factors that can result in mental health issues like abuse or experiencing trauma. The point is, experiencing mental health issues is not your fault, and it is not a failure. Mental health is a complicated recipe and any number of things can influence the outcome.

But, guys, guess what?

Treatment for mental health issues can drastically reduce symptoms. Many people who seek help from a medical professional even recover completely. By recovery, I mean that people report significant or complete improvement of negative thoughts or feelings. They are able to go back to lead fulfilling lives, and maintain and develop healthy meaningful relationships.

There are more treatment options available now than ever before, especially on the Internet. There are even apps for your phone that enable you to speak with a professional at all hours of the day, whenever you need them. And, yes, they actually help if you truly give them a shot. Therapy and support groups have been found to significantly help those who are struggling. There is also an arsenal of medications designed specifically for each different kind of mental health issue. Don’t be afraid to try them! Worst-case scenario, that particular medication isn’t right for you and you discontinue it. In most cases a combination of talk therapy and medications is tried.

If you are looking for resources that can assist you in finding or getting help, start here:

SAMHSA, which stands for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has a hotline that will connect you with treatment providers in your area. You can also get general information about mental health here. The hotline number is 1-877-726-4727 (or 1-877-SAMHSA7, if that’s easier for you to remember.) The hotline is open Monday – Friday, 8am-8pm.

For emergency services, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The operators are trained crisis workers, and the conversation is confidential. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, every day. They can also refer you to a nearby treatment provider. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with mental health, please save the number to your phone in case of an emergency. The hotline number is 1-800-273-8255 (or 1-800-273-TALK).

There is absolutely zero shame in needing to reach out for help! You wouldn’t be ashamed to need a cast if you broke your arm, and this is no different. Health is health is health, no matter the source of the issue.

Lime green awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for many mental health categories. A few of the causes represented by lime green awareness ribbons are childhood mental health, maternal mental health, minority mental health, and mental health in a general sense. Lime green awareness ribbons are also used to raise awareness for mental illness, which I mention because in some cases mental health can contribute to mental illness, either positively or negatively. Mental health is crucial to our health, happiness, and success.

To order a customizable ribbon for Mental Health Awareness, visit:

#mentalhealthawareness #awarenessribbon #cancerribbon #mentalillness #ribbonpin #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #awareness #advocacy