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Goodbye and Thanks for Everything

Goodbye and Thanks for Everything

It is with great sadness that I am announcing the end of my stint as the stigma blogger for Healthy Place.

Over the past year and a half, I have gotten to meet a great deal of people involved in de-stigmatizing mental illness. I have had the privilege of engaging many of you in discussion surrounding mental health stigma and by the conversations we have created, I know we have made a difference in fighting stigma.

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Is There a Right to Be Mentally Ill?

Is There a Right to Be Mentally Ill?

Involuntary treatment is controversial, but sometimes necessary. While the rights of the patient are important, how far down the functionality scale should we let the patient go? Should we make it easier to hospitalize a patient who is severely impaired but not suicidal or homicidal? More Than Borderline’s Becky Oberg explores this issue.

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Adult ADHD Medication Benefits and Drawbacks

Adult ADHD Medication Benefits and Drawbacks

As I believe I’ve said in the past, ADHD medications have really improved the quality of my life. I can still remember the first weeks of taking them in college and reading my first book cover to cover – and it wasn’t even a great book! I remember how the thoughts in my head had a different flow and how much longer I was able to stay on task. I also remember some bad parts. ADHD medications can have an amazing effect on your life, but they’re not all magic.

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Eating Disorder Coping Skills – Mobile Edition!

Eating Disorder Coping Skills – Mobile Edition!

Having a list (or shoebox) full of coping skills is awesome — if it’s nearby when an urge strikes. So what happens when you’re driving home after work? Or hanging out at the mall killing time? Those coping skills you have on your shelf at home aren’t going to do you any good — which is why you have to have go-to coping skills for on-the-go, too.

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Depression Roller Coaster

Depression Roller Coaster

It’s surprising how quickly depression can get you. It’s almost as if, you’re going along feeling pretty good and then WHAM, depression slams into you and says, “Now, now… you have chronic depression, remember? You’re not allowed to feel too good.”

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The Importance of Talking to Kids about Mental Illness

The Importance of Talking to Kids about Mental Illness

Mental health isn’t something that only exists in adults, the mental health of kids and teens is crucially important too. Educating kids about mental illness early is critical.

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Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Psalm 27 and Domestic Abuse

Recently I had the opportunity to converse with a woman, Cathy, who lives with an abusive man. She didn’t know exactly where to start her story, but I noticed that “psalm27” was part of her email address.

I am familiar with the prayer because it gave me comfort during my days of living with an abusive man. Initially, Psalm 27 seemed to tell me to stay on track, that God sent trials my way for a reason. I came to understand it differently, and I’d like to share with you the email I sent to Cathy (with her permission of course, and with a few edits for clarity).

I don’t usually delve into religion or my lack of religion on this blog. I do not pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, God (by whatever name) and I are tight. I listen to The Voice – but sometimes my human mind doesn’t want to hear the real message at first.

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Your Mental Health Toolbox: Journaling As Self-Care

Your Mental Health Toolbox: Journaling As Self-Care

A mental health diagnosis carries with it both distress and blessings.

Distress emanates from the depression, stigma, the delicate balance of medication, therapy and building a positive support system.  Blessings come from learning passionate self-care and finding expressive outlets for the sometimes overwhelming emotions and triggers.

Enter journaling.  Journaling can take many forms:  Old school on paper, digitally in journaling programs such as Penzu, a password protected journaling app (penzu.com) or Day One, an app for your mobile device (http://dayoneapp.com/) or art journaling, which combines text, color and a multitude of available mediums for self-expression.

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Erasing Unwanted PTSD Memories

Erasing Unwanted PTSD Memories

If you’ve survived a trauma you know that your mind records various experiences in images as vivid as a high-end digital camera. When I first started working as a PTSD coach one of my clients came in with a specific request: “I want to erase all of the memories associated with my trauma,” she said.

I understood her desire. All of us who have or do struggle with symptoms of PTSD have those moments when we wish we could just forget. If only we could hit the ‘delete’ button in our minds as easily as we do our pieces of technology!

At the same time, I also believe that we are the sum total of the things we’ve experienced, so what happens if we no longer remember?

Interesting research is coming out that suggests there may be a way to remove the unwanted memories while keeping others intact.

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Psychotherapy and Your Special Needs Child

Psychotherapy and Your Special Needs Child

Yesterday was National Psychotherapy Day according to Twitter.com. After doing some research, I discovered that it was the 2nd annual celebration and was founded by a group of clinicians, graduate students and supporters of psychotherapy in California (NationalPsychotherapyDay.com). The designation was designed to spread awareness about psychotherapy and reduce the stigma of seeking mental health treatment.

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