There are three things Sarah Palin needs to know about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Palin showed her amazing ignorance about PTSD when she blamed President Obama for her son Track’s PTSD. Palin said Track’s recent domestic violence arrest was due to PTSD, and as horrible as that is, it could be true. However, Palin’s “party of personal responsibility” is shifting the blame from themselves (Republicans have blocked every veterans’ mental health bill and every mental health bill in general) to people who have nothing to do with it. So here are three things Sarah Palin–and every politician gutting our mental health system–needs to know about PTSD. Keep reading »

Aloha. I’m Z Zoccolante, an author, actress, fairytale dreamer, born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. I’m excited to be joining the writing team on Surviving ED. My eating disordered past began with anorexia the summer I was 15, and shifted to bulimia soon after. Anorexia brought crippling anxiety, while bulimia sunk me into depression. On the outside I smiled, but for 11 years the voice of my eating disorder ruled my internal world like a vicious dictator. Although I wanted to be free and happy, I was terrified that getting help meant getting fat. Through recovery I realized that the eating disorder had me believing lies. Today, I live recovered from all eating disordered thoughts and patterns, and food is a non-issue. I fully believe complete eating disorder recovery is possible. I know the recovery journey because I’ve battled it, on my terms, and emerged on the other side. I’m fully recovered and I’m committed to helping others fully recover and get their lives back. Keep reading »

Antidepressants can help people going through a variety of mental health challenges and illnesses and you can come off antidepressants safely and without fear. Some people can remain on them for months and sometimes years. In some cases, the antidepressant medication can be temporary. Once feeling well and strong again, it’s up to the individual to decide when, and if, they want to stop taking the medication. However, although the individual can be well enough, it can become too daunting to stop the medication just in case he or she slips back into the headspace they were in when starting it (My Depression Feels Unreal). This is certainly the case with me. In this video I express my thoughts and fears about antidepressants and how I want to come off antidepressants safely and without fear, eventually. Keep reading »

You can use social media to combat mental health stigma. In today’s day and age, the Internet provides us with memes, cat videos, celebrity news, and Facebook plus other social media platforms, among other things. A lot of people would scoff and say some people spend too much time online and not enough time interacting with others. I can agree with this to some degree – that we see more online interaction than face-to-face interaction sometimes – but I think people who demonize the Internet are failing to see the amount of good it can do if we use social media to combat mental health stigma. Keep reading »

When you have binge eating disorder, one of the ways your disorder manifests might be through keeping binge eating disorder a secret. Sometimes it’s keeping  your eating hidden, other times it might take more deceptive forms, including outright lying about what you’ve eaten, when or how much. It’s important to realize that keeping secrets can be part of binge eating disorder and needs to be addressed with a medical professional. Keep reading »

Avoidance and agoraphobia come from fear, and they involve someone removing him/herself from a problematic situation. Neither avoidance nor agoraphobia is a sign of failure or weakness. They’re coping mechanisms. Why do people avoid anxiety-provoking or otherwise uncomfortable situations, and more, why do they develop agoraphobia? Some myths and stereotypes say that people living with agoraphobia are weak or lazy, failures at various things (Fear and Anxiety; The Meaning of Fear). Here’s why that’s wrong.  Keep reading »

There are three things I wish I knew about alcoholism before entering treatment. Maybe if I’d known these three things about alcoholism sooner, I would have realized I had a problem and entered treatment sooner and spared myself a lot of pain. But I’m an alcoholic, and most of my lessons I learned the hard way. So here are three things I wish I knew about alcoholism; may you learn from my thick-headedness. Keep reading »

I understand age-related anxiety. I’m going to turn 25 on the 21st of January. This is, of course, hardly an advanced age but, still, it feels like kind of a landmark birthday. The Internet is littered with lists of things that you should do and places you should travel to by this age, almost as if it is some sort of cut off date for being young and reckless. And I’ve never, in all honesty, been all that good at being young and reckless. I’m incredibly cautious and am terrified of most things so the thought of dropping everything and going backpacking in some faraway country is beyond my comprehension. This is, of course, difficult, as photographic depictions of youth in the media generally focus on perfectly slim, young things with seemingly limitless bank accounts leaping from waterfalls and laughing in exotic locations (Body-Image Distortion a Growing Problem Among Women and Men). Age-related anxiety is something I’m experiencing.

Keep reading »

It’s likely you want to feel confident and happier this year right? Who doesn’t? Whether you’ve set a New Year’s resolution, decided on a goal or simply want to feel confident and secure more often, getting clear on why you want these things can help. These 15 questions will help you get clear on what you want and how to feel confident now.

Keep reading »

It’s officially wintertime and a lot of people ask me how they can continue binge eating disorder self-care when they can’t do things like go for walks, go to the beach, and enjoy being outdoors. Just because you’re inside doesn’t mean you can’t practice self-care. When you have binge eating disorder, it’s important to not only avoid your binge eating disorder triggers, but to take care of yourself as well. Add some new items to your routine and have fun while practicing wintertime self-care for binge eating disorder. Keep reading »