Anxiety disorders can seem to shut people down, bound by too much worry and frozen in fear. “Fake it ’til you make it,” is a piece of friendly(ish) advice meant to motivate and encourage. At its essence, “fake it ’til you make it” assures people that they don’t have to feel confident in order to move forward. “Fake it ’til you make it” says it’s possible to get up and go no matter what. Is there truth in this, especially when it comes to anxiety disorders? Keep reading »

Hi. I’m Silke, a new contributor to Living a Blissful Life. I am a mother, wife, writer, reader, runner, educator, scientist, and woman who lives with clinical depression. I wrote “lives with” because I have spent more than half my life “battling” depression, which is a constant struggle. Despite the battle, I withdrew from the world, attempted suicide, and was hospitalized – more than once. Waging war against depression clearly wasn’t working for me. Keep reading »

I have found that depression, in my case bipolar depression, amplifies physical pain (Mental Illness Means Physical Pain Too). Yes, depression brings about its own pain, to be sure, but additional to that, I believe depression amplifies the physical pain we already feel in our normal, daily lives. Stubbing your toe hurts, but stubbing you toe with serious depression feels like it could kill you. Keep reading »

We need improved access to substance abuse treatment in the United States. Ludicrous wait times and addiction treatment prices are costing Americans too much in every way. Improving access to substance abuse treatment would save lives, money, and countless intangible types of loss.

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Recently I was Googling something and the phrase, “how to overdose without dying” appeared. I was surprised and concerned–how bad of a place does one have to be in to Google that, and why is it common enough to appear as a search term? This made me think of other red flag searches. When we are not aware of how bad off we are, searches like, “how to overdose without dying” can alert us to danger (Suicide Hotline Phone Numbers). Here are some phrases that should cause you to check your mental health if you find yourself or a loved one typing them–and some words of encouragement from someone who has actually Googled, “how to kill yourself” and gotten annoyed that it led to anti-suicide pages. Keep reading »

It’s important to know when to let someone with a mental illness be upset. The phrase, “It’s okay not to be okay” is commonplace among the encouragements from the mental health community; and rightly so since the message is more than true and something that we all need to realize (With Mental Illness, It’s Okay To Create Your Own Normal). Unfortunately, the phrase seems to stop there and “okay” means only certain types of okay. What I mean is, while people are happy to say that phrase and feel like they mean it, letting someone with a mental illness be upset isn’t considered “okay.” Keep reading »

A very effective way to reduce anxiety is to do more of what works in your life. However, any type of anxiety disorder can seem to completely take over someone’s entire being, his/her very life. Anxiety can consume our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, making us feel trapped, isolated, agitated, worried, and afraid. When living with an anxiety disorder, it can be hard to see past all of the struggles and all of the things that aren’t working in life. It’s possible to get around that, and in the process, significantly reduce anxiety. To reduce anxiety, do more of what works. Keep reading »

Do you know how to spot a sexual predator? It is a sad fact of life that some people prey sexually on others–and it’s not always the weak and helpless who are victims. Strong, capable people may be targeted by a sexual predator as a “conquest,” and a sexual predator preys on whoever is available. So how to spot a sexual predator? In this video, I talk about three warning signs of a sexual predator. Keep reading »

“How are you?” is a commonly asked question, but for those of us living with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the answer is not so simple. A person may seem alright on the outside, but can be hiding a tremendous amount of despair on the inside. One part may very well answer, “Great!” while another part wants to answer, “Horrible!” Most times, when living with DID, we end up telling people we’re okay — but are we really okay? Keep reading »

When I feel overwhelmed by emotions, sometimes the difference between misery and bliss is nothing more than a healthy perspective. You can manage overwhelming emotions with healthy perspectives. Keep reading »