I have a mental health Christmas list. There’s a popular Christmas song called My Grown-Up Christmas List. In the song, the musician sings about a desire for healing, peace, and friendship. In keeping with that spirit, here is my mental health Christmas list. Keep reading »

It takes a lot of courage to confront posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When my PTSD symptoms flare up, I feel weak and unable to cope, but I keep going – by moving forward to make my life better. I exhibit courage when confronting PTSD — more than I could acknowledge for many years. Keep reading »

It can be frustrating learning how to cope with triggers from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Triggers seem to be all around, yet it often feels like they have come out of the blue when they hit. Because so many different things have the potential to be a PTSD trigger, it may seem like an impossible task to prepare for them before they occur (When My PTSD Gets Triggered). The good news is, there are some effective coping strategies that can help deal with triggers during PTSD recovery when they do come up.

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There are so many reasons why I hate having bipolar that I could have a whole blog just on that alone and I’m sure other people could join me in their hatred of bipolar disorder, too. I do realize that hating an illness is normal and that enumerating the reasons why one hates a disease is a bit of a rant, but, what can I tell you, this is my space and I’m going to tell you why I have having bipolar disorder (Bipolar Is Unfair). Keep reading »

Managing our anxiety about terrorist attacks is hard. It’s so abhorrent and baffling that it’s difficult to get our minds around it. It’s extremely upsetting. Terrorist attacks in Western countries like France and the United States are a very recent phenomenon. Here in the West, we’re still adjusting to the fact that terrorism has become part of our experience, too. It’s no longer something that only happens in far-away places that we’ve never heard of, or know very little about. As we’re managing our own anxiety about terrorist attacks, we’re also having to learn how to discuss war and terrorism with our children. Keep reading »

Winter is upon us and while we can expect snow, holiday lights, and carols, a lot of people might find themselves falling victim to winter weather binge eating. What is winter weather binge eating? What are some tips and tricks to avoid it? How can you make it through the holiday season without having your binge eating disorder triggered? Read on. Keep reading »

Whether alcohol addiction is innate or a learned condition, it is stigmatized as affecting only “bad” people (The Stigma of Addiction). In reality, substance abuse and alcohol addiction is pervasive, affecting people of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic stature. How is this possible? Some believe the condition of alcohol addiction exists from birth whereas others disagree, feeling that it is developed over time. Personally, I know that I was an alcoholic long before I ever took my first drink (take the Alcoholism Test). I know where I fall  in the big debate over alcohol addiction as an innate vs. a learned condition. Keep reading »

Does caffeine affect anxiety? Studies continue on the notion of the side-effects of caffeine and whether or not they include anxiety, and at this point, there isn’t a definitive answer. Some studies indicate that, yes, caffeine does impact anxiety; indeed, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the authority on mental disorders published by the American Psychological Association, acknowledges the existence of caffeine-induced anxiety disorders. Other studies fall short of proving a real link between caffeine and anxiety. The question that matters most is this: what are the effects of caffeine on your anxiety?  Keep reading »

Anxiety symptoms can sometime come across like we’re lying. In my third year of university I was accused by a flatmate of stealing a five pound note from a collection that, as a flat, we had scraped together for a group Easter meal. I may have been mistaken for lying because of my anxiety symptoms. Not a huge amount, but this incident continues to hurt me long into my graduate life.

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Making the decision to take psychiatric medication to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be difficult. Even though PTSD is most commonly (and successfully) treated with a combination of therapy and medication, some of us are reluctant to take psychiatric medication as part of our recovery. There are many valid reasons for and against using medication as treatment for PTSD, and careful consideration and education are needed to weed through them. Talking to your psychiatrist openly and honestly is important in making the decision whether or not to use psychiatric medications as part of your PTSD recovery.

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