It’s clear that anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) laws negatively impact mental health. Recently several states have passed laws harmful to the LGBTQ community. These laws reinforce the stigma attached to being LGBTQ and hurt people. Rooted in fear, these laws contribute to the higher rates of mental illness and suicide in the LGBTQ community. In this video, I explore these laws. Keep reading »

There is a stigma around suicide that says suicide is selfish. Despite all the conversations everyone has started about mental illness, despite any awareness campaigns and openness from people who have struggled, suicide is still a touchy subject (#SU4MH). It’s avoided and it’s looked down upon. Most commonly, suicide is called selfish. How can someone kill themselves and not think about the people left behind? How can someone only think of their own pain? But the idea that suicide is selfish is a product of stigma. Keep reading »

To focus on anxiety is not typically people want to do. To focus on anxiety is not typically advised to people who want to overcome anxiety. Of course, to successfully overcome anxiety and find inner peace, it’s wise to focus on anything but anxiety. Ignoring anxiety — paying attention to what anxiety isn’t – is a powerful way to train the brain to think about other things. However, there are times when it’s actually helpful to focus on your anxiety; seriously.  Keep reading »

Multiple studies link generosity to happiness.  So, if you want to use an evidence-based approach to finding bliss, be generous and get happy. Keep reading »

Mental illness and addiction runs through my family alongside codependency. Mental illness is hereditary, flowing through families, from parent to child, from uncle to nephew. Where there is mental illness in a family there is a heightened instance of addiction (Substance Abuse and Mental Illness). But we don’t acknowledge enough that where there is mental illness and addiction in families, codependency is often passed down as well. Keep reading »

There are three things mental health professionals don’t know about their clients. Sometimes we’re lucky and get a mental health professional who understands us, but many times we get a mental health professional who believes myths about mental illness or about mental health consumers. I’ve met many mental health professionals, and I would like for them all to understand three things: one, we’re not children, two, we have an illness and not a character disorder, and three, each case is unique. Keep reading »

How do you go about mourning a therapy pet in a healthy way? On Wednesday, my precious therapy rat Annabelle was diagnosed with pneumonia and abscessed lungs. I made the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep. Now I am mourning the loss of a therapy pet (Coping With Loss: Bereavement and Grief). The loss of a pet can be just as painful as the loss of a human. In this video, I talk about what to do to mourn the loss of a therapy pet in a healthy way. Keep reading »

We all need to heal the shame associated with trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. Trauma survivors and those of us with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often have a heavy feeling of shame attached to our trauma. Shame related to trauma is especially common in survivors of domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, and rape. I have experienced shame related to the trauma that led to my PTSD, and it has been difficult to make sense of. It is something that I continue to work on in my PTSD recovery even now. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to deal with the shame that accompanies trauma and PTSD.  Keep reading »

Anxiety lies to mask reality, but there are certain truths about you and anxiety that show that you are stronger than your anxiety. That you are stronger than your anxiety is actually another truth. In the last post, I exposed 12 lies anxiety tells you. The following 12 truths counter those lies. Read them. Ponder them. Believe the truths about you and anxiety.  Keep reading »

I believe that positive actions will lead to positive thinking. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, what you think ultimately determines your actions. With depression, however, sometimes you have to consciously choose actions in order to change your thinking. Positive actions will lead to positive thinking. Keep reading »