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Our Mental Health Blogs

Three Ways Dehydration Can Impact Your Mental Health

Three Ways Dehydration Can Impact Your Mental Health

Dehydration can impact your mental health even if you don't have a mental illness. But if you do live with mental illness, dehydration can trigger its symptoms.There are three ways dehydration can impact your mental health. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and for a lot of us that means heat and humidity. We already know that psychiatric patients are effected by the heat, but there are also three ways dehydration can impact your mental health?

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Staying Sober in a Bar When You’re an Alcoholic

Staying Sober in a Bar When You’re an Alcoholic

How does one go about staying sober in a bar if you’re an addict? Recently, my travel writing job assigned me an article I probably should have declined–review the five best sports bars in Indianapolis. This is a problem for me because I am an alcoholic, and I’m putting myself in temptation’s path (What Is Your Reason To Stay Sober?). So recently I’ve been thinking about staying sober in a bar when you’re an alcoholic.

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Don’t Wait: Prepare for Mental Health Triggers Beforehand

Don’t Wait: Prepare for Mental Health Triggers Beforehand

Last week brought me a lesson in the need to be prepared when mental health triggers come, as they inevitably do in our recovery. These triggers can be dangerous because they can instantly transport us to a place of emotional turmoil and intensify our symptoms. In order to manage our illness, we must be prepared at all times. We never know when we can be triggered and we need to take steps to ensure we and others around us are safe.

This past week, there was a national firestorm with the release of American POW Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan. I had not known the story prior to this, but when I heard the circumstances of his experience, I was triggered in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time.

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Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud

Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud

Noise sensitivity can be a mental health trigger, but there are things you can do to lessen noise sensitivity (hyperacusis). Get tips here.
Noise sensitivity can be likened to nails on a blackboard. The constant buzz and whir of music, technology, the buzzing of Facebook notifications, ringing phones and loud conversations can be overwhelming. This sensitivity to noise is known as hyperacusis, a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain processes noise.

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When Physical Illness and PTSD Triggers Collide

When Physical Illness and PTSD Triggers Collide

Let’s face it: Depression and mental illness hurt. The exhaustion, the effects of tension upon the body, the headaches, the list goes on and on. Mix in the flu or virus and between the two, it can feel as though you are boxing shadows. I recently experienced this and while I feel a bit better, there are observations that I made that I hope will help others.

I developed a case of the sniffles and some sinus fun a couple of weeks ago. I began treating it as I always do, with morning and evening rounds of nasal rinsing, lemon/ginger tea, rest and OTC sinus medicine. Things appeared to be improving until the coughing and wheezing appeared. Things culminated with a trip to the hospital this weekend and being admitted for 24 hours for breathing treatments, testing for influenza and other infectious lung diseases. I ended up having a positive result for RSV, a highly contagious respiratory virus.

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Halloween: More Trick Than Treat for Those With Mental Illness?

Halloween: More Trick Than Treat for Those With Mental Illness?

Halloween and Dia De Muertos (The Day of the Dead) can be child’s play. Ghosts, goblins, superheroes, Disney princesses and more bring both smiles and horror. For those with a mental illness, PTSD or panic, Halloween can conjure up very intense negative responses.

Sometimes horror flickers on the TV screen or in the movie theater, sometimes horror is found behind a mask, sometimes it comes to visit wrapped in “Trick or Treat!” Potential triggers lurk everywhere: black cats, oversized spiders, masks, horror movies and even costumes that perpetuate mental health stigma, domestic violence and much more. Ahhh, the midnight hour.

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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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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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Put Your Mental Health Recovery First

Put Your Mental Health Recovery First

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of putting my mental health recovery first? “Just Do It!” Yes, that horrible Nike campaign.

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Is It Life Stress or Mental Health Relapse?

Is It Life Stress or Mental Health Relapse?

High stress levels increase the chance of a mental health relapse, but life stress reactions don't always mean you're in a mental health relapse.

Part of mental health self-care involves identifying potential triggers and avoiding them or, at the very least, preparing for the impact they may have on your life. Those of us who have a mental illness have a harder time adjusting to life changes: relationships, starting a new job or losing an existing one, changing locations, the loss of a loved one. It is ironic, but positive life changes can also have an adverse influence on mood. It’s hard to find balance among all of the different cards that life deals us, but it’s crucial to be able to distinguish circumstantial stress from signs and symptoms of relapse.

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