I don’t believe in rejection, at least not anymore. I now think that rejection isn’t real and shouldn’t harm your self-esteem. Rejection is a false belief that makes you insecure. You may believe that if someone doesn’t accept you than you’ve been rejected. For some, it’s feeling like they don’t fit in with the norm or that they didn’t get the outcome they wanted in a situation. Either way rejection weights down your self-esteem and ability to feel confident in a profound way. The truth is, not being accepted or chosen, isn’t about you at all, it’s about the box you are trying to fit in. Rejection should really be called a blessing in disguise. Keep reading »

When you’re struggling with self-harm and the symptoms of depression, finding motivation to do anything can be a daily battle. For those battling mental illness, rolling out of bed in the morning can often cause more anxiety than the minutes leading up to a big test or interview. It can be difficult to imagine this intense lack of motivation if someone hasn’t experienced the draining, pulling force self-harm, depression and other mental illnesses can have on a person but what I’ve learned is that focusing on fitness can help prevent self-harm. Keep reading »

Within five years of the start of my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms I was deep into self-destructive food restrictions that caused me to drop an enormous amount of weight. My parents had tried to get me into therapy after my trauma but I flat out refused to discuss it. With the weight loss, they forced me to see eating disordered specialists, none of whom knew what to do with me. I wouldn’t eat and I wouldn’t talk. Back in the early 80s the clear connection between PTSD and eating disorders wasn’t well documented or understood. Now it is and the data is clear: the link between PTSD and eating disorders is real and very common.

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I wrote previously about my experience with gastric sleeve weight loss surgery for binge eating disorder. Now I’m going to go into a little more detail about my experience and how this changed my prognosis of binge eating disorder. Although gastric surgery is a huge decision and certainly not right for everyone, it can be an awesome tool used to treat this very serious eating disorder. Keep reading »

There are many facts about anxiety that we can use to our advantage. Anxiety has become a household word in our society, and for good reason; together, the anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses. Indeed, in the United States alone, approximately 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety facts are important for these millions of us to know. Keep reading »

I find the harsh winter weather we’ve been having tends to exacerbate my depression symptoms. The shorter days and winter weather leave me feeling depleted. Looking out my window, there is a sea of white. Everywhere I go there are piles of snow and ice. I am tired of bundling up in a long coat and snow boots just to go outside. I am tired of the cold. I want to hibernate until spring. But hibernation isn’t the answer to surviving winter and depression.

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Americans love to eat. We have foods to celebrate, comfort foods, and even foods for specific events like popcorn at the movies, cake at birthdays, and is there really anyone amongst us who doesn’t feel pizza just tastes better during our favorite TV shows? Considering our culture of food, is it really a surprise to discover we are eating to relieve anxiety? Have you ever stopped and wondered why do we eat to relieve anxiety?

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In my history with bipolar disorder I have experienced many sleep problems. Typically, I can’t get to sleep at night and require sleep medication nightly to induce sleep. And while, historically, I have slept through the night after this medication, more recently, I’ve had trouble with mid-night awakenings. And I consider bipolar wellness to be highly correlated with sleep duration and quality. So what is the deal with sleep and bipolar anyway? Keep reading »

Many of those who self-harm feel trapped inside their own skin. It can be difficult deciphering what your body is telling you when your own behaviors are unrecognizable. These mood highs and lows can make those struggling with mental illness turn to destroying the skin they feel trapped inside of, hoping those feelings will disappear. However, it can be tough ignoring a fresh self-harm scar and forgetting what brought you to that point of recklessness when it is right in front of you. Even after a quick glance at a recent self-injury mark, a terrific day can turn into a nightmare because of the emotions locked inside the wound. Mood highs and lows affect self-harm behavior. Keep reading »

When I was at church yesterday, I struck up a conversation with a visitor. She mentioned she had a son with mental illness – Asperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder. I said I was a mental health consumer who also had Asperger’s Syndrome, and we began to talk about life with a severe mental illness. She said several things which stood out to me, all of which could help mentally ill children. Here are three ideas that could help mentally ill kids, through the eyes of a mom. Keep reading »