My depression goes hand-in-hand with anxiety, which leaves me feeling paralyzed with fear. For years I hid from life, until I started using my feelings of anxiety and the hopelessness of depression to convince me that I had nothing else to lose. I learned to make my own luck to defeat depression-related anxiety.

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I got a comment on a previous blog about gastric sleeve surgery for my binge eating disorder about how my recovery went. Here is a quick post about my recovery and the immediate diet following it. It wasn’t easy, to say the least, but by following doctor’s orders and taking it easy, I had a complication-free road to recovery and a great start to my new life as a sleever. Stay tuned for more of my experience with gastric sleeve surgery recovery and how it helped me with my binge eating disorder. Keep reading »

Many people claim that marijuana is not addictive and steadfastly promise that their recreational marijuana use does not harm anyone. Results from a recent lab study may shed new insight on the effects of marijuana that has, until now, been unexplored. This study indicates the offspring of recreational marijuana users may be more susceptible to heroin addiction than children of non-marijuana users. In other words, recreational marijuana use may correlate to heroin addiction.

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I had been in outpatient therapy for six months. I was seeing a dietitian. I was made to attend an eating disorder support group. Even given all those interventions, if you asked me, I didn’t have an eating disorder. I was a healthy eater who maybe had a few “funny” things around food. It’s hard to tell the difference between a diet and an eating disorder for some. Keep reading »

When someone lives with anxiety, it can seem that life is anxiety. It often feels that anxiety is the rule and that there are no exceptions to anxiety. It can be overbearing  and consume our entire being, creating anxious thoughts and anxious emotions and restricting what we do. While this feels very real, the truth is that anxiety is not always as strong as it wants us to believe. There are exceptions to anxiety, times when our anxiety isn’t as intense as it usually is.  Keep reading »

Anxiety triggers are pesky things and they can be difficult to avoid. As a person living with an anxiety disorder, I don’t intentionally put myself in a position to trigger an anxiety or panic attack. Some triggers are easy to avoid. If snakes trigger anxiety, a pet boa constrictor isn’t for you. But what about happy memories? Is it possible for a happy memory to trigger anxiety?

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I was in college when Columbine happened and the university grew concerned that one of their students with mental illness might decide to copycat the shooting. So they treated me to a no-knock, no-warrant search of my dorm room while I was out of state out of concern I might become violent–even though I had no history of violence and no warning signs. The director of the counseling center, my therapist and even the dean said I was no threat, and I was allowed to graduate, even though I was kicked out of the dorm. The university was worried about me–or more accurately, about my conduct–because I was a mental health consumer. But are people with mental illness more violent than people without mental illness? Keep reading »

In last week’s post, I talked about some of the reasons why anxiety disorder makes you so tired. The sheer weight of the tiredness that often goes with anxiety disorder can be very discouraging, and solutions for that weariness can sometimes seem impossible. But, there are ways to manage it, that, while not a cure-all, can make living with the exhaustion of anxiety doable. This week, we’ll talk about ways that you can manage your anxiety disorder exhaustion. Keep reading »

Everyone has anxiety, including teens and tweens. Anxiety is important. It’s a natural reaction that our body has to a new situation. It serves as a basic survival function – like a warning system that alerts us whenever we perceive a dangerous experience. For some, it works over time and needs to be controlled. Techniques including visualization and mindfulness can help tweens or teens with anxiety. Keep reading »

Some years ago, the notion of peer support for the mentally ill became an important component of mental health recovery. The mental health community has embraced peer support as crucial to mental health recovery but how valuable is it?

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