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Our Mental Health Blogs

Understanding the Mentally Ill: Fighting Stereotypes with Facts

Understanding the Mentally Ill: Fighting Stereotypes with Facts

There are many mentally ill stereotypes such as mentally ill people are lazy or stupid. Let's take a look at these mental illness stereotypes.

One of the worst things about having a mental disorder is the symptoms the mental disorder causes. These symptoms are the cause of much suffering for those of us who have received a mental health diagnosis. We face our symptoms every day, sometimes every minute of the day. They can cause us to see the world and the circumstances of life very differently than people who aren’t mentally ill.

Because we sometimes perceive things this way, we occasionally come into conflict with people. It’s often family who don’t comprehend our behavior, especially since they see us at our worst. Misconceptions can, and do, happen, frequently, on both sides. Of course, it’s not only we who misperceive. Misperceptions can lead to stereotyping, part of mental health stigma. Let’s look at some examples of these stereotypes.

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PTSD Triggers: Rewriting Our Truth Lessens Their Power

PTSD Triggers: Rewriting Our Truth Lessens Their Power

PTSD triggers. For those of us with a mental health diagnosis (diagnoses), the definition of a trigger is far more than a level with a catch or means of releasing it. Triggers are a response to stimuli and a result of past trauma. PTSD triggers can include certain odors, a particular tone of voice, certain objects, places and so much more. The brain creates a physiological response: increased heart rate and respiration, sweating, a need to escape, a need for silence, sleeplessness, hyper vigilance and so much more. Responses to triggers are unique to each individual. No cookie cutter responses here!

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Five Reasons Why Living With a Mental Illness Makes Us Exhausted

Five Reasons Why Living With a Mental Illness Makes Us Exhausted

I came up with this topic when I was in a state of serious depression–less than a month ago. I was certain I would never become well. Those of you who live with a mental illness understand this on a very deep and personal level.

While I was glued to the couch I started thinking about how much time I spend exhausted–some days less and some more. Mental exhaustion and physical (or both) can define a large part of our lives.

Without further explanation (coffee in hand) let’s explore this topic.

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Please, Do Not Tell Me To ‘Have a Hot Bath’ When I Can’t Sleep!

Please, Do Not Tell Me To ‘Have a Hot Bath’ When I Can’t Sleep!

WARNING: A decent amount of sarcasm within this post. But it’s relevant, I promise you, sort of—I do.

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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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The Connection Between Anxiety and Insomnia

The Connection Between Anxiety and Insomnia

Mental illness is often connected to anxiety and its best bud insomnia. Often, it is believed to be a concurrent illness–connected to the primary diagnosis– bipolar disorder for example. In my life it is hard to separate anxiety from insomnia. They invade my life together. Sometimes they hang around for a night or two and leave me in peace, and sometimes they signal something bigger. Relapse.

An Example of Insomnia and Anxiety…

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Mental Health Relapse: Depression

Mental Health Relapse: Depression

In my last post The Experience of Depression: The Flip-Side of Mania I focused on both depression and, you guessed it, mania. I have a secret: I’m not feeling so great. I am clinically depressed.

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Mental Health Recovery and Oversleeping

Mental Health Recovery and Oversleeping

In my last article, I talked about insomnia and the impact it can have on mental health. I talked about the importance of sleep in our recovery. It can spur feelings that we might be inching close to relapse. Often, insomnia is just insomnia. But oversleeping is different. A lot different. Night and day different–Pardon the horrible pun!

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Sleep And Mental Illness: Stop Staring at the Clock!

Sleep And Mental Illness: Stop Staring at the Clock!

Easier said than done! I recognize a pattern in my posts: I seem to be telling you what you probably already know. I write that recovering from mental illness is exhausting and that taking psychiatric medication leaves something to be desired. But these topics are important and they need to be discussed.

So, let’s talk about sleep.

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