I have borderline personality disorder (BPD), and I usually cringe when I hear someone say, “Choose to be happy.” First I feel angry at the whole world for not understanding me. After I realize that I’m being a victim and blaming others for my pain, I then shift the blame to myself. I punish myself, and think, “It’s my fault I can’t choose to be happy. Something is wrong with me. I’m defective. I’m not trying hard enough.” Keep reading »

What do you do when the bumpy road to bliss seems too difficult? After all, even as you work to cultivate happiness in your life, that doesn’t mean unfortunate circumstances automatically become fortunate ones. Difficulties don’t disappear. Instead, life continues as it did before, with its ups and downs. Yes, it is a bumpy road to bliss, but you can rely on your internal compass to guide you there. Keep reading »

The phrase “get over it” is something the mental health community has heard and spoken out against many times (What Is Stigma?). In particular, we hear it applied to depression and anxiety, but likely because those are the two mental illnesses that are most spoken about. The problem is, even though we’ve discussed the phrase and the problems it presents, it’s still something we hear over and over again, which, to me, means it’s something we need to continue speaking out against. “Get over it” just isn’t helpful advice for a person with a mental illness. Keep reading »

In my experience, anxiety and binge eating disorder (BED) go hand-in-hand. Through years of treatment, I have learned how to manage my anxiety and properly and to use positive coping skills which have freed me from the need to binge eat. I’ve found you can cope with anxiety with binge eating disorder. Keep reading »

What causes anxiety (Anxiety Causes)? It’s a question nearly all anxiety sufferers ask. Anxiety can range from mild to debilitating; it can be a vague and general experience like existential anxiety, or it can be one of many different types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be temporary, intermittent, or feel like it’s permanent (that feeling that it will last forever is one of the lies anxiety tells you). Regardless of anxiety’s nature and type, it’s natural to want to know what causes anxiety. Anxiety can indeed have causes. Does it matter what they are?  Keep reading »

A relaxed mind is a happy mind. It took me two months full of busyness and stress to realize that simple truth. I relaxed my mind and found it to be happy. Keep reading »

The stress of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the impact on women’s mental health is a topic that applies to women who fear this time of the month due to extreme emotional behavior and discomfort (Hormones and Women’s Mental Health). A mental disorder, such as my diagnosis of bipolar, consists of high ups and low downs — a disorder filled with extremes. The combination of PMS and a mood disorder is riskier than PMS without a mental disorder. Recently, I have noticed as I near menstruation, depressive thoughts and emotions intensify to an extent that concerns me. To add to the apprehension of this monthly upheaval, there are serious disorders related to PMS that have major impacts on women’s mental health. Keep reading »

When a parent is affected by mental health stigma, there are unique problems that occur (Issues for Parents With Mental Illness). These difficulties can range from a neighbor or friend commenting on your fitness of being a parent while living with a mental health issue, to having to battle for your children during a divorce hearing, or even facing losing your children as a result of a breakdown. The important thing to remember is when you are a parent affected by mental health stigma, there is always hope and you have to focus on getting yourself better first.
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There is no doubt that it’s often hard to recognize the progress in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery. The symptoms of PTSD can be overwhelming and seem to be never-ending. Many times, in my own PTSD recovery, I feel like it’s one step forward, two steps back — and my focus is usually on the two steps back. But when I actually choose to look at the one step forward instead, I find that I am making progress, and that recognizing progress in PTSD recovery is important.

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Going on vacation with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is mandatory for those of us with the disorder. We can’t just leave it at home. We bring it along. But that doesn’t mean you can’t unwind, relax, and have fun while on vacation with a mental illness. Sure, there will be tough moments, as there always are with any illness. When you vacation with a chronic illness like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, the key is to focus on the fun times and not expect everything to be perfect. Keep reading »