Sometimes I ask for advice, but pretty much never about my bipolar disorder. (Unless you include my doctor. Him I tend to listen to.) This is because the people around me don’t have the expertise or experience to advise me about a mental illness. It’s not personal, I’m just not friends with any psychiatrists. But what really ticks me off, is unsolicited advice about bipolar disorder (particularly from people who act like experts but are not, in any way, qualified to do so). Keep reading »

The holiday season can bring forward many positive and negative memories. You may laugh over childhood traditions and remember certain gifts you were given and gifts you gave. Certain holiday songs may spark flashbacks of good times, but some can also bring you back to unsafe moments. Even the taste of a holiday sugar cookie can bring forward memories and even though many holiday memories are positive ones, there are always going to be some negative. Keep reading »

Having quality friendships is important for your wellbeing and it affects self-esteem in a big way. The sad truth is that there are many people without real friends. They may not have any friends at all, or the friends they do have may be toxic. People without real friends are often judged harshly either by others or themselves. They may be seen as outcasts or they may be bullied. Internally, they may feel shame, loneliness or depression.

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Many individuals that live with major depressive disorder decide to pursue a career despite their sometimes debilitating illness. If you are interested in working, you should consider several things regarding your choice in employment. In order to increase the likelihood of success, it is imperative that you choose a job that best suits you and how your depression manifests. Keep reading »

I have a new neighbor who scares me.

He likes to wander the halls, yelling at nobody and at least once threatening criminal activity. I’m scared it could turn violent. I lock my door, keep a knife handy and try to ignore his rants. People have told me to call the police and try to get him admitted to the psych ward. But the staff at my apartment assure me he’s sick, not violent, and there’s nothing they can do. Which means there’s nothing I can do.

How sick is too sick to be in public? Keep reading »

Many people living in abuse and people who left their abusers experience triggers related to what they saw, heard, smelled, touched or tasted during abusive attacks. The trauma triggers are different for everyone, but fortunately we can handle trauma triggers similarly despite their diverse causes. Keep reading »

The holiday season makes people crazy. Plain and simple, that is the truth. This craziness often consists of anxiety overload, feeling overwhelmed due to tight budgets and having difficulty prioritizing. From deciding what to buy for loved ones to deciding what to cook for holiday gatherings, life can become one big ball of stress and, at times, it can be hard taking a moment to focus on you. Keep reading »

Every day, situations present themselves that require you to communicate with confidence. You may have to speak up, ask for help, or simply engage in small talk, which can be hard for many people. Some situations may even be uncomfortable, like talking to a boss or a person you don’t get a long with. This makes communicating with confidence a challenge. This post will give you the steps for communicating confidently in any situation.  Keep reading »

Patricia also made a great video about a year and a half ago about how to prepare for triggers in social situations. And while the food is panic-provoking, that is only half the battle. You also have to deal with people. I see family every year (which I look forward to) but because I only see these folks once or twice a year, I drive myself crazy wondering if I’m fatter or thinner than they saw me last. And, being well-meaning, loving people, my family want to tell me all sorts of supportive things about how great I look now that I’m in recovery. But, please, don’t say these things about my eating disorder.

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Recently, I’ve spoken to two survivors who are just discovering (after years of invested time and work) that their therapists are not equipped to work with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This breaks my heart to hear. You’re struggling enough to cope through the day without being stuck in a treatment approach that can’t truly do its best to help you reach your recovery desires.

But the two stories I recently heard don’t surprise me. In fact, it was my story too.

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