I wrote previously about my experience with gastric sleeve weight loss surgery for binge eating disorder. Now I’m going to go into a little more detail about my experience and how this changed my prognosis of binge eating disorder. Although gastric surgery is a huge decision and certainly not right for everyone, it can be an awesome tool used to treat this very serious eating disorder. Keep reading »

There are many facts about anxiety that we can use to our advantage. Anxiety has become a household word in our society, and for good reason; together, the anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses. Indeed, in the United States alone, approximately 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety facts are important for these millions of us to know. Keep reading »

I find the harsh winter weather we’ve been having tends to exacerbate my depression symptoms. The shorter days and winter weather leave me feeling depleted. Looking out my window, there is a sea of white. Everywhere I go there are piles of snow and ice. I am tired of bundling up in a long coat and snow boots just to go outside. I am tired of the cold. I want to hibernate until spring. But hibernation isn’t the answer to surviving winter and depression.

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Americans love to eat. We have foods to celebrate, comfort foods, and even foods for specific events like popcorn at the movies, cake at birthdays, and is there really anyone amongst us who doesn’t feel pizza just tastes better during our favorite TV shows? Considering our culture of food, is it really a surprise to discover we are eating to relieve anxiety? Have you ever stopped and wondered why do we eat to relieve anxiety?

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Many of those who self-harm feel trapped inside their own skin. It can be difficult deciphering what your body is telling you when your own behaviors are unrecognizable. These mood highs and lows can make those struggling with mental illness turn to destroying the skin they feel trapped inside of, hoping those feelings will disappear. However, it can be tough ignoring a fresh self-harm scar and forgetting what brought you to that point of recklessness when it is right in front of you. Even after a quick glance at a recent self-injury mark, a terrific day can turn into a nightmare because of the emotions locked inside the wound. Mood highs and lows affect self-harm behavior. Keep reading »

When I was at church yesterday, I struck up a conversation with a visitor. She mentioned she had a son with mental illness – Asperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder. I said I was a mental health consumer who also had Asperger’s Syndrome, and we began to talk about life with a severe mental illness. She said several things which stood out to me, all of which could help mentally ill children. Here are three ideas that could help mentally ill kids, through the eyes of a mom. Keep reading »

How should you deal with a loved one who is actively addicted? For friends and family of addicts and alcoholics, this heartbreaking question constantly presents itself. Guidelines are helpful, but many instances will need to be addressed on a case by case basis. Keep reading »

Yesterday, my teenage son, Bob, told me he was depressed. This is not earth-shattering as Bob lives with bipolar disorder. What is remarkable is how he was able to identify his teen bipolar depression and share how he was feeling with me. Now I can get him the medical help he needs. Keep reading »

Many people have experiences with dissociation, and at its most extreme, one may be diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). Sometimes dissociation is a pleasant alternative to dealing with the anxiety or fear that triggered it. Other times, however, dissociation itself may be very scary and cause anxiety. One tool for coping with frightening dissociation is to use a safe object. Keep reading »

When you are smack in the middle of a ridiculously frigid winter, you are bound to have health issues thrown at you. Cold weather brings forward the flu, sinus congestion and severe agitation with trying to stay healthy (especially when nothing seems to be working). When you are sick and struggling with stopping self-harm urges, it can be a battle trying to switch the focus from harming your body to helping it. But you need to remember that your health is important. In the battle of self-harm versus sickness, healing the sickness needs to win. Keep reading »