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Our Mental Health Blogs

Concluding Two Years Of Writing This Blog. . .

Concluding Two Years Of Writing This Blog. . .

I started writing this blog exactly two years ago–August, 2011. It was a time in my life largely defined by change: the end of long-term relationship, a new home in a new location, a memoir being published about mental health and addiction; I was sober after years of drug and alcohol abuse. I was more fragile then than I am now–a little more frightened of the world. Writing this blog–sharing my experiences and you sharing yours– made my life a little easier. I felt less alone.

I have moved four times within the past two years. I have struggled to stay sober and repair relationships and practice the self-care I preach in these blogs. Change is difficult, particularly when you live with a chronic mental illness, but this blog remained stable. It was one of things I could count on when life seemed to get crazy as it invariably did.

I learned more about myself by writing this blog—more about recovering from mental illness–then I have living with it since I was diagnosed at the age of twelve. I also learned more about others. I owe much of this to the wonderful people that have read this blog, who have shared their experiences and made us all feel less alone, and also to healthyplace.com for providing me with the opportunity to delve into issues that are important.

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A Cocktail For Disaster: Connecting Mental Illness to Addiction

A Cocktail For Disaster: Connecting Mental Illness to Addiction

Initially, the title of this blog was “A Recipe For Disaster…” But I used to really (stress this) enjoy a few cocktails. Or an entire bottle of cocktail mix. And that nearly killed me.

That aside, in this blog I want to focus on why those living with mental illness may abuse substances, what some of these substances are, and the impact this can have when we are working to recover from mental illness.

Why Might People With Mental Illness Abuse Substances?

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A Recipe For Disaster: Addiction and Mental Illness

A Recipe For Disaster: Addiction and Mental Illness

This may be a dark post– an angry post. Like that ugly picture which makes perfect sense to me. But I cannot paint this topic in pretty colors; I can paint it in black.

I hate addiction. I despise it. In all of its forms. Addiction is insidious. It sneaks up on you slowly and with intent. Before you can pull away it’s already walking beside you: walking beside you even though you want to run the hell away.

Yes, I am describing addiction abstractly because its tremendously hard for me to put words to that which nearly killed me. And that which does the same to many people struggling with it.

It’s not for the faint of heart–not when it can stop your heart.

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Mental Illness, Stress…And Relapse

Mental Illness, Stress…And Relapse

Oh…This is hard. I don’t think I have ever slept this much in a very long time. I can sleep 20 hours a day. I can drag my ass out of bed to complete important articles, walk the dog and feed the cats and…fall back into bed. And by accident! I just cannot stay awake. My bed and I have become best friends. The books on my night-table keep me company and I try to eat. My life, pretty good just a month ago, has bloody well crumbled and I cannot even find the pieces to put it back together.

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Publishing a Book on Mental Illness and Addiction

Publishing a Book on Mental Illness and Addiction

This July, I published a book, The Third Sunrise: A Memoir of Madness. It was a long three-year process sprinkled with bouts of depression and anxiety, but happiness as well. I had always wanted to write a book about my experience with mental illness and addiction. The reality of it–exposing my life on paper–was much harder than I had originally thought. I suppose I was a little naïve?

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Being a Mental Health Patient: Swallowing Your Pride

Being a Mental Health Patient: Swallowing Your Pride

I was not sure what to title this post but the word pride came to mind. So, what is the theme here? Well, I was on my way to visit my lovely psychiatrist and I started thinking…

What Is It Like Being a Mental Health Patient?

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Is There a Connection Between Creativity and Mental Illness?

Is There a Connection Between Creativity and Mental Illness?

I could present you with thousands  of research papers on this topic. All of them usually mention artists such as Van Gogh and writers like Sylvia Plath.

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Easily Irritated? Well, You Must Be Mentally Ill

Easily Irritated? Well, You Must Be Mentally Ill

 

I'm easily irritated but it's not because of mental illness. Little things in life, things that irritate a person make mental health recovery more difficult.

I’m easily irritated right now. I’m easily irritated by the noise, the dog drool, and the pissy cat. Yes, I have a mental illness or two, but I’m not irritated because I’m mentally ill. But I am irritated, okay? And again, not because I live with a mental illness!

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Mental Illness and Disordered Eating

Mental Illness and Disordered Eating

Last week, I wrote a blog focusing on the connection between mental illness and addiction. I defined “dual diagnosis,” a term focusing on a person living with a mental illness and an alcohol or drug problem. In this post, let’s talk about mental illness and disordered eating.

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Recovering From Mental Illness and Addiction

Recovering From Mental Illness and Addiction

Mental illness is a difficult thing to live with. Sometimes, it feels impossible. To make things even more complicated, the diagnosis of mental illness often comes with “dual diagnosis”, a fancy term for  living with more than one illness.

Part I of this blog will focus on addiction and Part II, later this week, will focus on eating disorders and anxiety disorders.

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