Many people who self-harm use it as a way to distract themselves from the stressors surrounding them. By focusing on the physical harm they are doing to their body, they do not focus on what was emotionally or mentally draining them before. However, self-harm is not the kind of distraction people should use when trying to redirect their negative thoughts. Keep reading »

There are a lot of Catch-22s when it comes to managing anxiety. For example, many people with anxiety would feel a lot better if they could avoid anxiety triggers altogether. It is simple to say, but harder to do. Avoiding anxiety triggers isn’t always possible. Another common suggestion is to join a support group. But what if a person has too much anxiety to join?

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Recently, someone visited my website asking the question, “What do I talk about in bipolar therapy?” I suspect this person hadn’t started therapy yet and was trying to psyche himself/herself up to do so by gathering background information. I understand this. It’s something I might do myself. But it is a good question, what are you supposed to talk about in front of a degree-laden stranger? This question actually comes down to two answers and it depends on what type of bipolar therapy you’re getting as to what you’re likely to talk about during a therapy appointment. Keep reading »

While not one of the nine criteria for a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), selfishness can be a symptom of the disease. Selfishness interferes with healthy relationships, worsens risky behavior and worsens addiction–all symptoms of BPD. How do we know when we’re being selfish? There are three questions to ask. Keep reading »

In the throes of a mental illness episode, especially psychosis, the theme of God seems to appear and reoccur amongst many people, often leaving us wondering, why is that? This also causes a lot of people to sneer and stigmatize the spiritual experience of someone who has a mental illness. Is there a logical explanation why people have such life changing spiritual experiences during this time? Many people are funny about religion/spirituality and are very often put off by people that become intensely committed to God, but I often contemplate the meaning and significance behind these experiences.

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Every year it happens — people start talking about the holidays, complaining, planning and worrying. It seems like starting in October, the curmudgeons start to become more vocal. Personally, I enjoy the season, although it can certainly be stressful. Most of us field a lot of expectations, invitations and obligations in November and December. For those of us in addiction recovery, all these events can bring addiction triggers, especially when others are drinking around us and staying clean and sober can become a challenge. Keep reading »

The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day. ~ Billy Graham

Have you ever thought about your legacy? What does legacy mean to you? Do you associate legacy with money or personal property? Keep reading »

Like many average people that we share the world with, people with depression have good days and bad days. However, when you have depression, your bad day can turn into bad days, weeks, months, etc. Depending on the nature of your depression and depressive episodes (frequency, severity and length), it can sometimes feel impossible to manage your life in any area, much less a job. In very extreme cases where safety and health is involved, there is not much you can or should do other than focus on getting well. Beyond those severe circumstances, I believe there are strategies that you can employ to help your odds of meeting the demands of your career while going through a depressive episode. Keep reading »

It took four hours to admit my 15-year-old son, Bob, to the psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. It had been a long stressful day since Bob told his therapist he almost killed himself the night before. She had made Bob sign a safety contract then released him to me. I tried to keep him busy and distracted, but by late afternoon he could fight no more. Bob asked me to take him to the hospital. Keep reading »

We all struggle with insecurities and maintaining confidence. Even the most confident individual feels flawed and anxious from time to time. It’s difficult to constantly look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are without finding something to bring you down. For those who have self-harm scars marking their skin, it can be more than difficult to accept the person you are and to see the strengths you hold. Keep reading »