I have been in schools as a teaching assistant sub over the past couple of weeks and one thing I have noticed is the overuse of cell phones in class and in the halls. For many of you, this is common and not out of the ordinary. However, when I was in high school, cell phones had just become popular and not everyone had one. There wasn’t a need to check Facebook every two minutes and barely anyone texted.

By constantly checking social media and “Snap Chatting” friends throughout the day, the possible level of stress and anxiety can rise. Why? Because by checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every few minutes, you could read or see something that could bring you down. Keep reading »

Hello, my name is Samantha U’Ren and I am a 22-year-old college student who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. I enjoy going to the gym, thrift shopping, and trying to live as much of a “normal” life as possible. I am also pleased to announce that I am the new blogger for the Mental Health for the Digital Generation blog.

Being in college is challenging; I think everyone can agree to that. However, my journey through college is a little different because I am a recovering alcoholic who also suffers from major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Keep reading »

I’m Chrisa Hickey, mom, wife, writer, and accidental children’s mental health advocate. I say “accidental” because I never intended my writing to be about childhood mental illness. But in 2009, after spending several months in therapy myself, trying to process raising a child with schizoaffective disorder, my doctor suggested I journal as a way to process the severe ups and downs our family was living through. Since I spend 40+ hours a week on the Internet as a full-time eCommerce professional, I started my journal as a blog. Keep reading »

Had you asked me three days ago what I had in common with L’Wren Scott, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to say beyond our matching hair and eye colors. Now that New York City officials ruled Scott’s sudden death Monday a suicide, I have a different perspective. L’Wren Scott’s suicide was preventable; her death is a major tragedy.
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One of the most exhausting things about having an eating disorder is the non-stop racket in your brain. And while some of that chatter is about calories, food, and exercise – a lot of it is how you compare with other people.

Is s/he skinnier than I am? She’s eating a salad – she must think I’m so fat for eating a sandwich. So-and-so used to spend X hours at the gym – I only spent Y.

More than anything, I just wanted my brain to shut up.
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One of the most important things you can do for mind and body is take a break once in a while. That may mean taking time to stop and smell the roses or a more realistic approach–making it a mandatory part of your day. Why wouldn’t you add self-care into your daily routine? Science shows it makes you more productive, reduces the stress that leads to debilitating and fatal illnesses and can make you instantly happier. Purposeful self-care is proven to build awareness to listening to your body and developing a better relationship with your self, which leads to higher self-esteem. Keep reading »

Fear. Terror. Worry. Obsessive thoughts. Anxiety and all of its manifestations can be crippling. The mind races with worst-case scenarios, and the anxious thoughts can be unrelenting. As if the thoughts themselves aren’t bad enough, it’s common for another worry to bubble to the surface of the mind plagued by anxiety: are these thoughts real, and can I trust them?
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In the first part of this post, we established three fundamental things:

  • You are healed from PTSD if you no longer meet the criteria for the diagnosis.
  • Psychology, as a science, proposes hypotheses which can be tested in the natural world.
  • Religion also proposes hypotheses, but fundamentally about the supernatural world, where hypotheses cannot be tested.

Let’s add one more fundamental idea: religious traditions can, and do, propose many things about the natural world. Some of their most notable propositions are ethical in nature, and in this context one finds the idea that forgiveness is a good thing.

Forgiveness as a value has a long and honored tradition in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity). If we consider that religion, like all traditional culture, functions in part as a kind of “memory” for a people – identifying and preserving important ideas, understandings, and directives, then a reasonable case can be made that we should seriously consider the idea of forgiveness. Keep reading »

Every person is unique in their own way and as such, treatment for alcohol addiction should never use a cookie-cutter approach. Using one type of therapy for alcohol addiction is not guaranteed to help all individuals who are struggling to get sober. This is why, first and foremost, if you have made the decision to seek help for your alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction (alcoholism) you should take the time to research different treatment options so that you can determine which one may work best for you. (Not sure if you have a drinking problem, take our alcoholism test.) Keep reading »

Last week I discussed the fact that combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be transmitted to children from their parents in cases where a parent suffers from combat PTSD. This intergenerational transmission of trauma, or secondary PTSD, can drastically impact a child’s behaviors. Symptoms of combat PTSD in children can range from hyperactivity to extreme withdrawal. Keep reading »