Kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from playing in the sand; adults and kids alike can reduce anxiety when they play with sand. Play therapy, which involves many different techniques including sand play, is a legitimate therapeutic approach to treating a multitude of mental health issues. When people think of play therapy, they often think it’s something for children and issues unique to childhood struggles. While play therapy is used largely with children, it is used with adults, too. And beyond official play therapy, kids and adults benefit greatly when they, on their own and outside of a therapy session, simply play with sand to reduce anxiety. Keep reading »

One important skill to acquire when you you have anxiety is learning how to avoid future-tripping. “Future-tripping,” aka anticipatory anxiety, is part of the human condition of peering into the imagined future and anticipating the outcome. Everyone does this to some degree or other. It’s one of the blessings (or perhaps curses) of having a human brain with a frontal cortex. Being one of the only animals on earth that can even envision a future longer than a few moments, I suppose it’s only natural that we believe we know what’s going to happen. A person without anxiety disorder may see a pleasant outcome, while an anxious person will likely imagine the worst outcome possible. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s why future-tripping when you have anxiety is a good thing to avoid. Keep reading »

Is there a need to regulate group homes for adults with severe mental illness? Recently, I was living in a privately run group home, and to make a long story fit the word count, witnessed abuse and reported it. I’m now living in a transitional housing program for adults with mental illness run by a public community mental health center, and life is considerably better there. It made me think about the need to regulate group homes for the mentally ill. Keep reading »

People with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are no strangers to taking medication. Often, they take multiple medications, like me. I take so much medication I have trouble keeping track of it. But I take medication for my schizoaffective disorder, because it’s part of my treatment plan and it means I can live a full life. Keep reading »

Expecting too much from yourself is damaging to your self-esteem and overall wellbeing. It’s good to have high standards, but it’s important to be reasonable with yourself. Expecting too much from yourself can be associated with disappointment, burnout, anxiety and depression, as well as low self-esteem. It’s therefore in your best interest to stop expecting too much from yourself. Keep reading »

I have been thinking a lot lately about having a sense of worthiness and belonging. Researcher Brené Brown has discovered that worthiness and belonging are key traits in living a blissful life. Keep reading »

Language can stigmatize people with mental illness, and I am quite sensitive to noticing all of the words that seem to counteract society’s movement toward destigmatizing a world for people who live with mental illness. Do you ever cringe when you hear the word “crazy” or “psycho?” I do. I feel that we have come so far in many respects in shaping our stigmatizing language for the good of many groups such as the terms, “gay,” “retarded” or “lame,” so why are we still so stigmatizing with language when it comes to mental illness? Keep reading »

Do you know how to report abuse of an adult with mental illness? Sadly, I’m currently in this situation. I am living in a short-term group home for disabled adults, and, recently, I heard a staff member yell, “I’m going to punch the next person who says [expletive].” Under Indiana law, I’m obligated to report that. This made me research how to report abuse of an adult with mental illness. Keep reading »

If you have binge eating disorder then you know compulsive hunger. This is not just hunger. It’s binge eating disorder’s hunger. This need to eat is not average, normal, or everyday. It’s an insistent, controlling, demanding order to eat food and not stop. Compulsive hunger is part of binge eating disorder. Keep reading »

Your time on social media messes with your confidence whether you’re aware of it or not. You may think surfing Facebook, scrolling through Instagram or chatting with friends online is harmless, but recent research, and my own personal experience, says social media can be damaging to your self-esteem.   Keep reading »