Everyone with an eating disorder believes in one, sacred lie. This lie is the superficial reason that the eating disorder started. This lie is the reason that girls and boys, women and men, will turn their lives into a confetti of chaos. This lie is the reason that every moment is rife with obsession or shame and the reason that we torture and destroy our bodies in unhealthy ways. It’s the reason we distance ourselves from our friends and family and isolate in our own personal hell. This is the eating disorder lie that destroys us Keep reading »

Halloween can be a fun holiday, but Halloween can also spread myths about mental illness. The main ones all have to do with stigma–that we are violent and unpredictable, that hospitalization is traumatic and abusive, and that there is no such thing as recovery. Mental illness is the only medical condition shown for shock value on Halloween–you never see haunted cancer wards, for example. Here are some myths Halloween spreads about mental illness and how to combat them. Keep reading »

There are plenty of ways stigma surfaces around Halloween (Mental Illness Stigma And Halloween: A Teachable Moment) and this include stigmatizing Halloween costumes. Typically, we hear about costumes that are promoting hurtful stereotypes for cultural or racial groups and the posts start asking people to not wear those costumes because of the messages they send. Brock University in Ontario, Canada has even banned these types of costumes, as well as costumes that make light of mental health issues, and those costumes certainly are cropping up, too. So far I’ve seen one costume that is supposed to be a “skitzo” and then there is the widely spoken-against self-harm costume that was listed on Walmart’s website before it was taken down and an apology was issued. Here’s how you might responde to these stigmatizing costumes used for Halloween. Keep reading »

Can you consent to abuse? Donald Trump’s recent comments about grabbing women have sparked a question: “If his comments are such a big deal, why is 50 Shades of Grey a bestseller?” The problem is that in the novel, the main character consents to the mistreatment (Abusive Relationships – Why do victims stay?). Whether or not Christian Grey’s conduct is abusive is a subject for another post, but it raises a valid question–Can you consent to abuse? Keep reading »

Living with social anxiety and jumping to conclusions is like perpetually bouncing on a crowded trampoline: We must be watchful so we don’t cause harm to others; we must avoid bumping into, and thus annoying, others; we know if we do it wrong we will surely ruin things for everyone; and we jump, jump to conclusions that we’re being judged negatively. Social anxiety is exhausting (Social Phobia [Social Anxiety Disorder, SAD]). You don’t have to remain stuck on the social anxiety trampoline, jumping to conclusions that you are somehow lesser than others. To stop jumping to conclusions and soothe social anxiety, to find some peace of mind, you must understand some of the effects of social anxiety.  Keep reading »

Comparing yourself to others is not beneficial while coping with depression. I live by the phrase, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It means that comparing something of yours to someone else’s can steal good feelings. And while it can certainly eliminate joy or gratitude, a comparison can also steal validation (Mental Illness Validation: Tell Me ‘I Believe You’). Mental health is a vast and varied experience that features ups and downs and pushes and pulls that I can guarantee are not the same for any individual. So comparing your mental progress and experience while coping with depression against someone else’s progress and experience can create massive setbacks in your coping. Keep reading »

It is always sad when faith and mental health stigma go hand in hand (Abused for Christ: When Religion Becomes Painful). Recently I was interviewed by a reporter about the stigma attached to mental health in a faith community. Keep reading »

Your marriage is something to consider before a bipolar pregnancy. When you live with bipolar disorder, whether or not you should get pregnant is a difficult decision (Why I Chose to be a Mother Despite My Bipolar Disorder). There is a lot to consider before a bipolar pregnancy, and the stability of your marriage needs to be at the very top of this list.  Keep reading »

Finding the right therapist in tough times can be challenging. Making the decision to go to therapy is often one of the first steps people take on the road to recovery from mental illness. Mental health therapy offers a wealth of helpful resources that can help you cope with depression, anxiety, or even situational issues like grief. Understanding what to look for in a therapist with these three tips will help you find the right therapist for you. Keep reading »

Do you know how to recover from perfectionism or perfectionistic standards? Perfectionistic standards are one of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD), according to schema therapy, which I found tremendously helpful in recovering from BPD. Basically, perfectionistic standards are standards set so high that no human can meet them. When we fail to meet these standards, we begin to think we’re failures and bad people, and that triggers our symptoms such as self-injury. But the good news is we can recover. Here are some suggestions on how to recover from perfectionism or unreasonably high standards. Keep reading »