In my experience, anxiety and binge eating disorder (BED) go hand-in-hand. Through years of treatment, I have learned how to manage my anxiety and properly and to use positive coping skills which have freed me from the need to binge eat. I’ve found you can cope with anxiety with binge eating disorder. Keep reading »

What causes anxiety (Anxiety Causes)? It’s a question nearly all anxiety sufferers ask. Anxiety can range from mild to debilitating; it can be a vague and general experience like existential anxiety, or it can be one of many different types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be temporary, intermittent, or feel like it’s permanent (that feeling that it will last forever is one of the lies anxiety tells you). Regardless of anxiety’s nature and type, it’s natural to want to know what causes anxiety. Anxiety can indeed have causes. Does it matter what they are?  Keep reading »

Did you know you can use humor as a mental health coping skill? I dabble in stand-up comedy, using stories combined with sarcastic comments from my life as part of the act. Recently, I did a show about my time in rehab in the state hospital system. The entire time was traumatic; I refer to it as the worst four months of my life (What the State of Indiana Doesn’t Want You to Know). But using humor as a coping skill for mental health got me through it, and enabled me to look back on it and see the funny things, such as the control freak staff member who posted a sign that read, “If you fart in the dayroom you will be marked for disrespecting staff and peers!” Keep reading »

Do you know how to start recovery from a mental illness trigger event? Ever since Katrina hit and I served as a relief worker, I have had a fear bordering on terror of drowning. My city, Indianapolis, just got hit by a minor flood. I do not have the words to describe how I felt as I sat on the table of a friend’s business and watched the water rise to the lugnuts of a car across the street. Let’s just say I’m agnostic and I was praying like my life depended on it (Pushing Aside Daily Mental Health Triggers is Tough). Events such as these trigger psychiatric symptoms and are called mental illness trigger events. The good news is there is recovery from a mental illness trigger event. Keep reading »

Is there an addictive personality? The most recent research involving the addictive personality concept indicates no single, addictive personality type exists (Addiction Symptoms: Signs of an Addict). However, certain groups of traits seem to indicate predisposition to addiction. Keep reading »

When a parent is affected by mental health stigma, there are unique problems that occur (Issues for Parents With Mental Illness). These difficulties can range from a neighbor or friend commenting on your fitness of being a parent while living with a mental health issue, to having to battle for your children during a divorce hearing, or even facing losing your children as a result of a breakdown. The important thing to remember is when you are a parent affected by mental health stigma, there is always hope and you have to focus on getting yourself better first.
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Do you know how to use coping skills in an emergency situation? Recently, while I was at a mental health facility, a series of tornadoes touched down and forced us to evacuate to the basement, three times (How to Create an Emergency Anxiety Toolkit). Unfortunately, several of the other mental health consumers had claustrophobia (literally). We had to know how to use coping skills in an emergency situation. Here’s what I learned. Keep reading »

Functionality is important in anyone’s life but I would argue functionality should not be the sole measure of quality of life in bipolar disorder. Quality of life is so much more than just whether one can make it through the day or how many pages a writer can produce. Quality of life in bipolar, and in everyone’s life, is complicated. Functionality matters in quality of life in bipolar but it’s not the only thing (Bipolar Disorder and Decreasing Functionality). Keep reading »

Going on vacation with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is mandatory for those of us with the disorder. We can’t just leave it at home. We bring it along. But that doesn’t mean you can’t unwind, relax, and have fun while on vacation with a mental illness. Sure, there will be tough moments, as there always are with any illness. When you vacation with a chronic illness like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, the key is to focus on the fun times and not expect everything to be perfect. Keep reading »

Although stopping a panic attack can feel impossible, it isn’t (How to Stop Panic Attacks). Panic is an extremely intense experience of anxiety that comes on suddenly and grips us in a terrifying vice, like a gigantic boa constrictor snake that winds itself around its prey. It’s a natural instinct to thrash against the snake that is a panic attack. Unfortunately, fighting against it only worsens panic attack symptoms. So what helps? Here are eight ways to stop a panic attack in its tracks.  Keep reading »