It can be hard to stop negative self-talk from consuming your mind, but it’s possible. The more you become aware of your sneaky inner critic and fight back the easier it will become. Extinguishing negative self-talk is vital  in  the quest for happiness and building unbreakable self-esteem. It is a concept we are constantly fighting against in a society that perceives self-worth by race, status, youth, sex, power, money, attractiveness, attention on social media, and other external factors.  Keep reading »

It seems like there are 1000 things I can’t do because of bipolar disorder, but what I’ve learned is that I need to focus on what I can do with bipolar disorder, not what I can’t. Because there are things we all can do. We often take those things for granted – but they are still there. We all have a “can” list and a “can’t” list. We, with bipolar, need to focus on our “can” lists. Keep reading »

Even though you hear more about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) now than ever before, there are still a lot of things that you may not know like these 10 things you should know about PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that affects over seven million people in the United States, but despite that number, stigma and ignorance still exist. The only way to combat that is to talk about it and educate those who have not experienced it. To that end, I have put together a list of 10 things I think you should know about PTSD.  Keep reading »

Beating anxiety is an active process that is not unlike participating in a triathlon. To truly beat anxiety and live the life you desire takes commitment and dedication to the greater goal of living an anxiety-free life (Stop Avoiding Anxiety! Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)). For athletes who participate in triathlons, these events really aren’t merely single events. “Triathlon” describes a lifestyle. Similarly, beating anxiety isn’t just an event but instead is a lifestyle. Just as completing a triathlon requires action, so does beating anxiety. The following approach will help you beat anxiety the triathlon way.  Keep reading »

Loneliness and isolation can tear apart your happiness, but you can prevent it.  I work as a peer specialist and I often hear people concerned about feeling lonely or isolated (Mental Illness Is an Isolating and Lonely Disease). Today, I want to share three tips that have helped prevent loneliness and isolation in my life. Keep reading »

People so often assume that those of us with mental illnesses like schizoaffective disorder (SZD)or schizophrenia are violent. The fact is that people with a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the perpetrator (Appleby, et al., 2001). In the wake of the horrific Orlando shooting, once again mental illness is blamed as a cause for the attack. And, once again, stigma regarding violence among those with mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, is reinforced. Keep reading »

Self-injury can be addictive but you can recover from self-harm using the 12 steps, among other ways. Because self-harm helps us feel better, even if it is a negative coping skill, it can become a habit. We can become powerless over self-injury. But, like any addiction, a 12-step program can be useful in fighting self-harm behavior and aid self-harm recovery. Keep reading »

“If you can’t be honest you won’t recover from an eating disorder,” the woman said while leading group therapy during my inpatient stay at the hospital.

Honesty is a foreign concept to eating disorders. They have a fantastic ability to spin lies. They tell us we’re fat, that we’re rejected, isolated, and alone. They tell us that they’re our best friends and that they’ll never leave us. At first, the statements might fill us with joy – hurray, a best friend who never leaves. But soon, it’s torture – an abusive friend who won’t ever leave. The problem with lies is that they grow with silence. The best way to mute them is to bring them into the light of honesty. Without honesty, you just won’t recover from an eating disorder. Here are three vital things to be honest about in your eating disorder recovery. Keep reading »

Parents with mental illness, expect summer transition behaviors from your children. We often underestimate what a huge transition our children experience as they finish up the school year (Help Your Child Feel Confident at the End of the School Year). Their routines change dramatically, as do ours. It is normal for kids to be grumpy, overly tired, and even combative as they work through major transitions in their lives. Parents with mental illness expecting these transitions into summer may have an easier time working with their kids and avoid mental health triggers.  Keep reading »

Developing emotional resilience does not exempt you from life’s stressors. It helps you maintain hope when you have to face those stressors (Resilience: Getting Up When Mental Illness Knocks You Down). If you can learn how to bounce back from difficulty, you will adapt rather than succumb to adversity. Learn how to develop your emotional resilience. Here’s how. Keep reading »