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An Open Letter To My Former Church About Mental Illness

An Open Letter To My Former Church About Mental Illness

Sometimes houses of worship are not the sanctuaries we need them to be. Many people of faith believe that mental illness is a spiritual problem, which hurts everyone involved. More Than Borderline’s, Becky Oberg, endured two exorcisms at the hands of a charismatic non-denominational church, eventually leaving when she realized they would not accept her mental illness or her.

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Finding a Role Model Can Lessen Self-Harm

Finding a Role Model Can Lessen Self-Harm

It’s important to have people you look up to in your life. Some people look up to certain family members or friends. Maybe you looked up to a positive celebrity such as Maya Angelou, who sadly left us recently. Some people may find comfort in teachers or therapists who have positively affected them.

By having a role model, you have someone who can guide you towards becoming a role model yourself. Maybe this person was a self-harmer in their past and they overcame the uneasy battle. It’s impossible for them not to have stories that can help you overcome your own struggles with the addiction to self-injury.

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Mental Illness and the Caregiver Double Standard

Mental Illness and the Caregiver Double Standard

Two weeks ago, I went back on antidepressants. I say “back” because I took them during a protracted period of depression several years ago, but weaned myself off of them after about six months because I didn’t think they were doing much for me. But two weeks ago, after weeks of urging by my husband and a close friend, I went back to my psychiatrist and he felt I should try an antidepressant. I am beginning to feel better, I must admit, and if I’m being honest with myself, I white-knuckled it through the winter and early spring, knowing I was in depression, and refusing to do anything about it other than hide and eat (food is my self-medication of choice). But I felt defeated, walking into the doctor’s office, as if I was a failure. So after putting on 25 pounds and crying every day for a month, I gave in and got myself some help.

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How to Learn From Your Past and Gain Self-Confidence

You can gain self-confidence by freeing yourself from past experiences that no longer serve you. Learn three powerful ways to learn from the past and start feeling confident about yourself.

How to Learn From Your Past and Gain Self-Confidence

The past is our biggest teacher in life. If you have the courage to look back, you can truly use the experiences and memories to help you uncover what you’ve learned, accept the past, and let go of things that can be contributing to your lack of self-confidence and keeping you stuck in patterns that aren’t serving you.

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Take Shelter From The Storm of Anxiety

Take Shelter From The Storm of Anxiety

Living with an anxiety disorder can make us feel very miserable. Naturally, we want the anxiety, no matter the type, to just go away. So we find ways to treat it and to manage it. There’s medication, therapy, or various alternative treatments. Sometimes, though, this just doesn’t feel good enough.

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About Jennifer Tazzi, Author of the Coping with Depression Blog

About Jennifer Tazzi, Author of the Coping with Depression Blog

Seeing the World Through the Eyes of Depression

For as long as I can remember, I’ve seen myself and the world around me a little differently than the average person. There was a lot of negativity and fear inside me. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I realized that anxiety and depression were a big part of this type of warped perspective. At the age of 28, I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder. For years I fought my diagnosis, not believing that it could apply to me.

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Hope – the Foundation of Mental Health Recovery

Hope – the Foundation of Mental Health Recovery

Mental health recovery is an exercise in hope. Hope—the earnest expectation of coming good. Hope is indispensable to our recovery. Hope can help us move away from the terror of defeat and despondency. It’s not an abstract idea that makes no real difference in our recovery. It’s the cornerstone upon which the entire recovery foundation is built. There can be no recovery without hope.

Despair on the other hand, is a hellish pit we can find ourselves in if we are not careful.

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Surviving Stigma On All Fronts

Surviving Stigma On All Fronts

As many walk by the people that inhabit the streets as a home, many of us consider that because someone is homeless that they must have a mental illness. I teach in the classrooms that this is not the case, but, ironically, it is the situation a lot of the time. As we are approached by people begging for change, wearing no pants, or screaming relentlessly in the streets, we are often correct in assuming that these individuals have significant mental health challenges.

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How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

A few weeks ago I wrote about how to stop PTSD anxiety, flashbacks and panic from the perspective of putting mindfulness and intention into action. My colleague, Megan Ross (Trauma Therapy Coordinator at Timberline Knolls) and I had a whole conversation about this and I wanted to share her insights with you.

But there was a cliffhanger: Once you understand PTSD symptoms and how mindfulness can help change your physiological experience, the question arises, “What do I do now?” Specifically, what can you do to interrupt or stop flashbacks?

Megan Ross and I talked about this too. See what you think about the tips that we covered.

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Co-Occurring Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders

Co-Occurring Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders

Mental illness is a complicated medical diagnosis in the “best” of circumstances. All people have a variety of emotions, thoughts, and habits that make up their personalities. Determining that something rises to the level of disorder and needs medical intervention isn’t always straightforward. For me, the effects of co-occurring bipolar and anxiety disorders make understanding what was happening to me difficult.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been paranoid, anxious, depressed, and manic. In fairness, I didn’t realize I was manic; I just thought I was extremely happy. But I ended up in the psychiatric ward because I was suicidal, which is a byproduct of the extreme depression. It was during that visit that I was diagnosed with mental illness for the first time.

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