As I walk through the day hospital to attend a new cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, I feel a sense of embarrassment and shame. I wonder and search within myself to only ask, “How has it come to this?” As I stop by the nurse’s station to ask for directions to find my way to the group, I cannot help but sense that they must be assessing and judging me. There is a great deal of mental health stigma when accessing mental health resources for the purpose of rehabilitation and I believe a great majority of us have felt it at one time or another. Keep reading »

It’s hard to believe it’s almost 2015; the year has gone so fast. But now comes a challenge–staying sober for New Year’s while everybody but me will be drinking. Fortunately, therapy, medication and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have helped me prepare a plan. Here are three things I plan to do to stay sober–feel free to use them or to add your own. Keep reading »

New Year’s is almost upon us. That means it’s resolution time. This January 1st will mark four years since I’ve smoked a cigarette or consumed any other form of nicotine. Here’s how I broke my nicotine addiction. Keep reading »

It seems more often these days that celebrities are coming out and admitting to the world that they have a mental illness (Celebrities and Famous People with Bipolar Disorder). Some people feel that celebrities are glamorizing the issue and not demonstrating the realities of a person who lives with a mental illness (Is Having A Mental Illness A Gift?). However, I consider this act of honesty to be both empowering and courageous because their voices are not only prominent, but most importantly influential. Keep reading »

We’re right in the midst of the holiday season, and lots of people are coping with holiday anxiety. During times like these, sometimes all we can do is hunker down and manage chronic anxiety symptoms by putting one foot in front of the other. During these times, I exist in terms of hours and minutes instead of days. Often, I exist moment by moment, sometimes, breath by breath. Keep reading »

Anxiety isn’t funny. It is, instead, rather humorless. When my head pounds and spins, when my chest constricts and spasms in a fit of coughing, when I feel worried and afraid for reasons too vague to wrap my mind around and simultaneously too specific to pull my mind out of, the last thing I feel like doing is laughing. Nothing seems remotely funny. Finding humor can be difficult when we live with anxiety; however, if we can begin to look for our laughter, we can find that humor can be a great coping skill.  Keep reading »

Are you dealing with holiday depression? The holiday season is upon us and with it, an almost obligatory sense of wellbeing is put forth by just about everyone around us, from advertisers to co-workers, friends and family. But what about those of us who suffer from just such a lack of wellbeing at this time of year? How can those who are depressed, better make it through the holidays? Keep reading »

Since the beginning of time, people have used objects, people, food, and the like to distract themselves from uncomfortable situations. Children are the masters of this, using their favorite blanket or stuffed animal to reduce their anxiety about pretty much everything. Clearly, the average adult doesn’t want to wander around with a stuffed tiger, but what healthy things can we put in an anxiety toolbox and why should we bother in the first place?

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When I first embarked on the long road that is recovery from anorexia, I did so half-heartedly. It was something I thought I “should” do, so I just went through the motions. I saw my therapist. I saw my dietitian. I went to a support group. But aside from that, very little changed.

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There are many mental health myths such as mental illness only affects a few people or mental illness is caused by personal weakness. However, some mental health myths, especially myths surrounding suicide, can be particularly dangerous. Keep reading »