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Our Mental Health Blogs

Heat Can Affect Psychiatric Patients

Heat Can Affect Psychiatric Patients

If you're taking meds for a mental illness, the heat can negatively affect your illness and your body. Find out more - don't be caught unaware. Read this.

Did you know that the heat can affect psychiatric patients? Recently I moved into an apartment with no air conditioning–and Indianapolis has been hotter than usual. I noticed that my mental illness symptoms are worse than usual as well, so I researched how heat can affect psychiatric patients, both physically and mentally. I found that heat can affect psychiatric patients by interfering with their ability to sweat, increasing depressive symptoms, and increasing suicidal ideation.

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How to Express Anger Safely

How to Express Anger Safely

Do you know how to express anger safely? Recently, my laptop charger stopped working. My father, an agricultural engineer with no computer expertise, attempted to fix it without my permission and after I warned him not to mess with it. Needless to say, he broke it even further and I’m now writing my posts at the library for the next few weeks. I was angry, but both parents told me to be quiet when I expressed said anger. This made me think of how to express anger safely, especially when you’re not allowed to show any anger.

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Savor the Small Victories in Mental Health Recovery

Savor the Small Victories in Mental Health Recovery

Those of us in mental health recovery are often faced with the hardships our symptoms can cause us. It can be easy to get discouraged, to look at our progress in recovery and tell ourselves, “I’m never going to overcome this mental illness.”

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Anatomy of a Mental Health Relapse

Anatomy of a Mental Health Relapse

This week my life closely resembles one of those old country and western songs. You know the ones. Basically everything that could go wrong has, and even the dog doesn’t want to get close to me.

I’m sitting alone in my four bedroom home, contemplating the condition of my life and wondering just where this is taking me.

I’m very fortunate that I have people in my life, specifically my wife and kids, who truly love me. They love me enough to tell me I need help and they want me to get it. Until I do, they’ve decided that for their own well being, they think living apart from me is the best thing for them right now.

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Mental Health 101: Developing Coping Strategies

Mental Health 101: Developing Coping Strategies

Coping with symptoms of mental illness can be a daily struggle for the mentally ill. Each person develops his or her own strategies to cope with these painful experiences. These strategies can be as unique to each person as people can make them. What works for you to battle your mental illness symptoms might not work for me, and vice versa.

We learn these coping strategies over time in the crucible of our illness and the ways in which we gain insight into our symptoms and how they uniquely affect us. That’s why it’s not very helpful to say to a mentally ill person struggling with their symptoms, “Just do this,” or “Just do that.”

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Good Communication and Mental Health Support

Good Communication and Mental Health Support

Communication is challenging for many of us from time to time. For those with a mental health diagnosis and his or her support team, good communication is imperative.

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Grief and Mental Health Part 1: Anger

Grief and Mental Health Part 1: Anger

Grief is a curious thing; especially when the mourner has a mental illness.  My mother died a month ago today from a combination of COPD, heart failure, diabetes, brain and bone cancer.  Her breast cancer had metastasized to every organ in her body.  I found out via my aunt 5 days after her death.  I wish that I could say that I was surprised, but my mother had chosen a hard life for years.  The surprise was how quickly she died after the brain cancer diagnosis.  She was diagnosed in May and given a year to live; she was dead in less than 3 months.   My mother and I had what could best be described as an awkward relationship:  abandonment as an infant, a lengthy court battle before my grandparents got guardianship and very limited contact throughout my life.

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People With a Mental Illness Are Not More Angry!

People With a Mental Illness Are Not More Angry!

I feel like I am doing a lot of apologizing lately. I am sick of saying: “I am sorry”, “Sorry, I did not mean it”, “Please forgive me” or this one is creative: “Please, let me steam clean your carpets because I am oh so sorry I called you a choice word when we were fighting…Did you need to borrow any money? Like my new leather boots? Take them. Because, dammit, I am so sorry!”

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The ‘Two Masks’ of Mental Illness: Depression vs Stability

The ‘Two Masks’ of Mental Illness: Depression vs Stability

When I think of mental illness–my journey sprinting through life alongside it– I think of the image below. The famous Two Masks. I painted a picture of it, framed it, and gave it to my mother a couple of years ago. The irony was not lost on her. It hangs in the hallway; laughing at me. The masks represent bipolar disorder to me. They represent emotion on a whole–the entire spectrum. Like many people living with chronic mental illness, it’s hard to find the parts that define the middle; the sort of happy bits that made us smile but were fleeting.

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Acting on Impulse When Relapsing in Mental Illness

Acting on Impulse When Relapsing in Mental Illness

When you live with a mental illness, acting on impulse when you are relapsing mostly has negative affects on your life. My life. Here's what happened to me.

Acting on impulse, mental illness or not, rarely turns out well. So, this is, unfortunately, a post about my situation, formed by acting on impulse. I focus on myself not out of some form of narcissism (I might enjoy writing this blog if that were the case) nor because I feel particularly obligated. I write about it because I have become a damn good example of acting on impulse when life gets dark. Right. Here we go.

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