Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex disorder that can be hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it first-hand. Even those of us who suffer from it sometimes have difficulty explaining it to others. We don’t all have the same PTSD symptoms, and we don’t all respond to the same kinds of PTSD treatment. However, while there can be a lot of differences in the way people with PTSD respond to past traumas and to their recovery, there is one thing that I think most of us can agree on: we wish others could better understand PTSD and the feelings and behaviors that come with it.

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There are three things besides treatment mental health consumers need. I have an interesting life. I am a low-income mental health consumer, and most of the people I know are either treatment professionals or low-income mental health consumers (Reach Out To The Right People For Mental Health Help). We have many needs–obviously treatment is one of them–that people may not consider. So here are three things mental health consumers need (besides treatment). Keep reading »

Recovery from alcohol addiction, while challenging, is bolstered by alcohol addiction recovery support sayings, inspirational messages and supportive friends. Desperate to change and recover from my alcoholism, I sought advice for regaining control of my life in early sobriety. In the first few months most people advised me on how to manage overwhelming anxiety and cravings. Twelve-step alcohol addiction recovery support sayings, slogans and motivational messages shared at treatment centers correlate to common suggestions for recovering addicts. Keep reading »

When eating is your coping mechanism, suffering trauma can trigger devastating binges. Although the conclusion to binge eat following upsetting events might follow naturally to someone who suffers from binge eating disorder, this is not a viable coping skill and will only lead to more problems. Keep reading »

A concept known as shoulding contributes greatly to social anxiety, and an entirely different concept called shoshin, or beginner’s mind, contributes to the fading away of social anxiety. Social anxiety involves fear and worry that we’re doing everything wrong; thus, we should be acting, feeling, thinking differently so people don’t judge us negatively. Social anxiety prejudges so much of our lives. Before we even interact with someone, we often assume that we’re inadequate, that we should be better. Practicing shoshin can help stop the shoulding and reduce social anxiety.  Keep reading »

Anxiety can get tangled up with relationships and self-esteem. It’s Valentine’s day this week which will also mark me and my partner’s six year anniversary as a couple. I’m lucky. We have a very close, equal and happy relationship. However, the process of falling and being in love has been tricky, and I have been hounded all the way by my depression and anxiety. Anxiety affects relationships and self-esteem.

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People do a lot of things to help with their schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, including journaling. I believe taking medication and seeing a therapist are the most important strategies. But there are other things to do for self-care besides that. I know a lot of people swear by meditation. I swear by exercise for schizoaffective disorder, as I’ve written about previously. But something new has come into my life that helps with my schizoaffective disorder that I’d like to share with you. Well, it isn’t exactly new. It’s something I’ve been doing on and off since I was five. Recently I’ve decided to get serious about it. I’m talking about journaling with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Keep reading »

Empaths are often anxious. Empathy is described as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. All humans have the ability to empathize in moments of tragedy, even if they have not experienced a similar situation. However, empathy is an innate trait that is more acutely developed in certain members of the population (Intense Anxiety And The Highly Sensitive Person). Empaths are individuals who are unconsciously affected by other people’s moods, desires, thoughts, and energies. They can, literally, feel the emotions of others in their bodies and attempt to carry these emotions on their shoulders without ever being asked. It’s for this reason that there are often anxious empaths.

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Mentally ill spouses often feel that finding ways to give to your spouse is impossible. When it takes all the will you have just to get out of bed in the morning, tending to someone else can seem laughable. And yet, the more I have shifted my focus off of my own suffering and onto the needs of my husband, the stronger my marriage becomes and the better I feel about myself. I think it’s important for mentally ill spouses to give what they can to their marriages. Keep reading »

Some of us believe eating disorder lies. A teacher of mine likes to say that we all have an 18-year internship. That internship teaches us the models from which we view the world. These models of relationship, love, family, connection, etc., are the ones we blindly replicate unless something intervenes. For thousands of us, something did, in the form of an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder). We can either be upset about that, or we can see it as a sign that something is awry. We have the opportunity to take a closer look at eating disorder lies, if we choose.  Keep reading »