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Our Mental Health Blogs

Is It Age-Related Behavior or Mental Illness Symptoms?

Is It Age-Related Behavior or Mental Illness Symptoms?

Sometimes we don’t know if a child’s behavior is age-related or a mental illness (Brain Disorders: Mental Disorders vs. Behavioral Disorders). For example, how do you know if your two-year-old is hyperactive or just high-energy? Yet according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, half of all chronic mental health conditions manifest by age 14, and three-fourths by age 24. In this video, I discuss the difference between age-related behavior and mental illness symptoms.

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Call the Police in a Mental Health Crisis as a Last Resort

Call the Police in a Mental Health Crisis as a Last Resort

We should call the police in a mental health crisis only as a last resort. I spent some time at a psychiatric hospital that used off-duty but uniformed Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies as security. I thought this was a bad idea because many mental health consumers have had bad experiences with the police. Even though I have no criminal record, I have a mild fear of police officers, especially when in crisis, because I’ve seen confrontations end badly (Mental Health Crises and Calling the Police). For example, one night a patient refused to go to his room, and security was summoned. One deputy pulled out his can of pepper spray and yelled, “You want some of this?” That’s one reason why calling the police during a mental health crisis should be a last resort, especially in hospitals.

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Orthorexia Nervosa: Restrictive, Obsessive Healthy Eating

Orthorexia Nervosa: Restrictive, Obsessive Healthy Eating

Obsessively healthy eating has a name, it’s orthorexia nervosa. While not clinically recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), orthorexia nervosa–literally fixation on righteous eating–is no less real to those who suffer from it. Recently I interviewed a doctor about this condition and asked her the question many people with it ask–“When did eating right become bad?” The answer–“When it becomes excessive . . . When it interferes with activities of daily living” (Eating Disorder Facts: Who Gets Eating Disorders?). For example, skipping meals because the “right” food isn’t available is not uncommon. Obsessively healthy eating — orthorexia nervosa — can be very unhealthy.

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Drug Abuse vs. Drug Experimentation: There Is a Difference

Drug Abuse vs. Drug Experimentation: There Is a Difference

There is a difference between drug abuse and drug experimentation. When I was in the state hospital, I was questioned extensively about my use of substances. I admitted to using marijuana twice, both times for medical reasons. So according to my file, I abuse marijuana (Using Marijuana to Manage Mental Health Symptoms). I argued that there’s a big difference between drug experimentation and drug abuse. In experimentation, one can take it or leave it. Drug abuse occurs when the person has to have the substance in question despite negative consequences. Drug experimentation does not always equal drug abuse. In this video, I discuss the difference.

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How to Cope with Self-Harm Thoughts

How to Cope with Self-Harm Thoughts

Do you know how to cope with self-harm thoughts? Self-injury is a highly stigmatized behavior that is common among people with borderline personality disorder. Self-injury is never a healthy coping skill, and people thinking of self-harm should fight against it by using healthy coping skills. But what healthy coping skills should one use? Here are ways to cope with self-harm thoughts.

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Abuse and Consent–Donald Trump and 50 Shades

Abuse and Consent–Donald Trump and 50 Shades

Can you consent to abuse? Donald Trump’s recent comments about grabbing women have sparked a question: “If his comments are such a big deal, why is 50 Shades of Grey a bestseller?” The problem is that in the novel, the main character consents to the mistreatment (Abusive Relationships – Why do victims stay?). Whether or not Christian Grey’s conduct is abusive is a subject for another post, but it raises a valid question–Can you consent to abuse?

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Faith and Mental Health Stigma

Faith and Mental Health Stigma

It is always sad when faith and mental health stigma go hand in hand (Abused for Christ: When Religion Becomes Painful). Recently I was interviewed by a reporter about the stigma attached to mental health in a faith community.

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Mental Health Stigma Is Discrimination

Mental Health Stigma Is Discrimination

Mental health stigma is discrimination. According to the US Surgeon General, stigma is the number one barrier to treatment. This stigma can lead to people with a brain disorder being denied jobs, housing, and services. For example, I was once asked about my mental illness during a job interview and was denied the job even though I had two years of experience and excellent references. I also was discharged from the military after being diagnosed with mental illness. Stigma is really a fancy word for discrimination.

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Staying Hydrated Is Important to Mental Health

Staying Hydrated Is Important to Mental Health

Staying hydrated is important to mental health. After a bout with dehydration, I wondered how staying hydrated could affect mental health. After researching the subject, I found that staying hydrated is important to mental health.

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Recovering from Mental Illness and Homelessness

Recovering from Mental Illness and Homelessness

How does one recover from homelessness and mental illness (Mental Illness and Homelessness)? I spent some time in a homeless shelter on two separate occasions–once fleeing an abusive relationship and once seeking safety from an abusive group home. Both times my mental illness could have easily worsened had I been on the streets, but I went to a shelter that was equipped to treat mental illness. Recovery is possible and real. One can recover from homelessness and mental illness.

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