After a bad day (or year) it can be hard to raise your self-esteem and confidence. As you may know, there is no single event or experience that will make you a confident person or have high self-esteem, it’s a process. And even if you usually have pretty high self-esteem, life can make it difficult to sustain at times. Setbacks can sneak up on you and really hurt your sense of self.  Keep reading »

There is a lot of stigma when it comes to living openly with mental illness. When I was a child, HIV/AIDS was the bogeyman. The stigma, driven by fear, was strong, which kept people from talking about it and contributed to the spread of the disease. People were afraid you could get the virus from a toilet seat, and the thought of touching, let alone kissing, someone with the disease was unthinkable. It was worse than a death sentence; it meant that you died a leper. Mental illness is where HIV/AIDS was 30 years ago. Living openly with mental illness equals feeling stigma.

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Handling a job with a mental illness can lead to stigma. To say that mental illness can make a job more challenging would be an understatement. Not only are there the challenges of actually completing a day’s (or night’s) work, of deciding how open to be about your mental illness with your boss or supervisor, and trying to figure out how many sick days are acceptable before you’ll get fired, but there are also a number of work-related challenges outside of the workplace. There is mental illness stigma around handling a job. Keep reading »

If you undergo weight loss surgery, you need to set realistic expectation. When I first started considering gastric sleeve weight loss surgery in order to help treat my binge eating disorder, I didn’t have realistic expectations for the weight loss surgery. My goals and my thinking had to be adjusted to suit reality.  Keep reading »

Did you know you can reduce anxiety be getting out into nature? If you experience anxiety, chances are, you want anxiety to get out of your life. You can actively take charge of removing it from your life in a very pleasant way. To reduce anxiety, get outside and into natureKeep reading »

Coping with a new borderline diagnosis can be challenging. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to accept your borderline diagnosis and start healing.

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I used to think my accomplishments would bring me the most joy in my life, but now I know that it’s the moments and memories that I treasure most. I cherish those moments I spent rocking my daughter when she was a baby. And I love the memories of late night card games and shenanigans during college. These moments are like a collage imprinted on my heart. I always try to treasure the moments and memories of life. Keep reading »

While the experience of alters becomes the norm when you have dissociative identity disorder (DID), it can be difficult for those without the disorder to understand what the experience of having alters in DID is like. To continue with Mental Health Month and the #mentalillnessfeelslike campaign, I asked a group of people with DID to describe how it feels to have alters. Here is a glimpse of what it feels like. Keep reading »

Moms with mental illness: we need a summer survival guide. At first, the lazy days of summer seem like a Godsend to the routine-weary mom. But sooner than we can run out of Otter Pops, the kids are screaming and hitting each other and using the b-word. If I’m not careful, this mama’s losing her cork before we even light the sparklers for the fourth of July. Here is a summer survival plan for all of us moms with mental illness who need a little extra help to survive so much family togetherness this summer. Keep reading »

Do you know how to handle repeated suicide threats? Princola Shields did not have to die. The 19-year-old mentally ill woman was serving a sentence at Indiana Women’s Prison when guards moved her into temporary confinement in a shower stall no bigger than a hall closet, according to the Indianapolis Star. For three hours she screamed for help, begging to know what she’d done wrong, then threatening to kill herself and yelling that she was dying. Guards allegedly told her to shut up and ignored her. She was later found hanging from the shower stall. Cleary, her suicide threats were not handled properly. Keep reading »