TRURO - A local chiropractor confessed to more than 200 women about living life with a mental illness.
Dr. Celina Spence told the Women and Wellness attendees that she can't imagine her life without attention deficit hyper-activity disorder, or ADHD.
"I think it's a privilege ... a gift," said Spence, who owns and operates Well Within Chiropractic in Truro with her husband, Mike.
"Thomas Edison had ADHD. So did Beethoven. Steve Jobs."
This is Spence's third year at the event held at the Marigold Cultural Centre in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association and the local Colchester East Hants branch, but it was her first time speaking at it. She talked about ways to improve mental health, as well as to embrace those with a mental illness.
"Love people for who they are. They provide value to somebody," she said, adding it goes for anyone, regardless of what mental illness they are living with. "They are a gift and it's our job to recognize that."
Spence said she had first gotten an insight to living with ADHD when she was at a seminar with 49 other chiropractors from around the world.
They were listening to psychiatrist Dr. Ned Hallowell speak about the characteristics about ADHD.
"When he started talking about ADHD, you could hear some of the other chiropractors snickering and laughing," she said. The more Hallowell continued, however, the less snickering went on.
"He started listing the characteristics: impulsivity, creativity, thinking outside the box, an abundance of energy and the need for gratification.
"I had a virtual epiphany and I can't imagine my life without (ADHD)."
As a chiropractor, Spence said she cares about wellness for herself.
"If I can't be healthy, how can I take care of anyone else?" she asked.
She told the women that the central nervous system is crucial in all health and healing and that optimal performance is an expression of who we are.
Chemical, physical and emotional stresses play a part, and mental injuries don't just hit once.
"We replay those mental injuries over and over again," she said. "The body doesn't know the difference between an emotional and a physical injury."
Following Spence's talk, Truro's Pat Loughead said the event was "unbelievable."
"I don't know where (the CMHA) gets their speakers, but they are so amazing," she said, adding she's been to all three of the events. "These women are trying to spread the word (about mental health and illness), it really is a learning experience. The event does its purpose."
Betty Davis, also from Truro, said it was her first time attending the event and would support it again.
"It was a very good evening," she said. "It was very interesting. It seems like every woman in Truro was here and it's nice to see."
The women attending the event helped raise more than $9,100 for the Canadian Mental Health Association's local branch, and Scotiabank contributed $5,000.
Dr. Celina Spence's tips to support optimal mental health:
- Get off your butt and get active: If you can't quiet your body, you can't calm your mind - it means you have to move.
- Affirmations: Start with something small, every day. If you said the things to your friends that you say to yourself, you would have no friends.
- Eat less crap and eat more food: You are suppressing who you are with what you eat.
- Rhythms and rituals: Build them daily and make sure you're going in the right direction.
- Do one brave thing each day.
- Do what you're good at and delegate the rest
- Wake up your senses: Listen to your favourite song every day, or smell your favourite scent.
- Be around those who