Sarah Sharp
In the middle of some of the hectic days I've had with my child and his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I've often wondered: what causes mental illness in children, and what does that mean for me as a mother?
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
One frequent trap I fall into when I become too complacent in eating disorder recovery is an urge to romanticize the past. I reflect on all those years I was consumed by anorexia with a kind of nostalgia that whispers, "Remember how in control you felt back then? Remember the rush of satisfaction that came each time you skipped a meal? Remember how proud you were to have a small, narrow body? Don't you want to feel like this again?"
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Living with mental illness or mental health challenges can be frustrating. It can complicate the stuff of life, such as making and keeping friendships. In the post Friendships and Mental Illness: Start by Befriending You, we explored some obstacles mental illness throws in the way of friendships as well as a vital first step in friendships: becoming a friend to yourself. Now we'll turn to some practical tips for making friends when you are dealing with mental health difficulties. 
Mahevash Shaikh
Have you ever pretended to be someone else at work? I don't mean faking confidence or competence, I mean faking your personality. For example, you like to spend your breaks listening to music by yourself but everybody else in your workplace likes to hang out and chat. Even though you don't like it at all, you join them day after day merely to fit in. It may seem harmless but behavior like this can cause as well as worsen depression. Let me explain with a real-life story. 
Megan Griffith
I know it might sound crazy, but sometimes I miss being sick. I've gotten so much better over the past few months, and there is a small part of me that misses being sick, and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who's ever felt this way. So let's talk about it.
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
If you build confidence, you can reduce your anxiety. This is because anxiety is often characterized by feelings of fear and worry. When you experience chronic anxiety, these feelings of fear and worry may persist, and it can be challenging to overcome. Chronic anxiety can continuously affect the person experiencing it, and the individual may find that they periodically experience panic attacks and other physical symptoms of anxiety.
Juliana Sabatello
Trust is important in any relationship, but it is especially critical in your relationship with your therapist, and it can be hard to recover from a bad therapy experience when that trust is broken. Therapy requires allowing someone we barely know to access our deepest fears and insecurities and trusting that they will treat this information with respect and sensitivity. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and receive empathy and understanding from our therapists, therapy can be healing and fulfilling. When we feel unseen, invalidated, or misunderstood after sharing deep parts of ourselves, it can open emotional wounds and make us feel even worse. A bad therapy experience might even turn us off to the whole idea of therapy, but if we never try again, we might miss out on a transformative relationship that allows us to achieve our goals and live happier lives.
Nicola Spendlove
Supporting someone in denial about their mental health can be a very delicate situation. A friend of mine is living this reality at present -- her partner is exhibiting clear symptoms of mental illness but is not able to have a conversation about it just yet. Supporting my friend has reminded me of when my brother was also in denial about his mental health before he received a diagnosis. Here are some of the things I learned through that experience.
Kate Beveridge
Today is the seventh anniversary of the day that I was raped. In the early years after the assault, I used to feel retraumatized and upset on this day.  However, time, healing, and therapy have helped me change the meaning of my rape anniversary and view it differently. 
Meagon Nolasco
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. (LGBTQIA+) community faces mental health challenges specific to their gender and sexuality. Transgender and non-binary individuals (TGNB) experience mental health challenges such as increased acts of rejection or violence and microaggressions by mental health providers and the general public. 

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Hi Aislinn, I’d continue to check in every now & then if you truly care about him & would like a relationship with him. My ex (relationship of 3yrs) has ghosted me in the past & ended our engagement just before Christmas in an angry reaction which I considered to be an overreaction. He has regularly blown normal relationship discord into huge issues & has been unable to acknowledge his over reaction. I do understand this is part of his illness, despite how difficult it is to cope with his behaviour. When he ended our engagement & then quickly bounced into a rebound relationship I found it very difficult to cope with. Got myself into counselling to save my friendships, & I’m still on my healing journey. What I’d like to say to you is that committing to someone with bipolar is an enormous loving & giving thing to do. It is not the persons fault that they behave in challenging ways. It stems from emotional trauma usually. What you need to do, to protect both yourself & him from further emotional harm, is determine whether you think you can cope with the challenges long term xx
Linda Rodriguez
I have DID my name is Linda my Host is a male! We are bisexual from disorientation. I am the one who is more in love than all and I am the one who gets the most rejection! I spend most of my time alone. When our relationship started there was a natural flow a beautiful balance! We let her know about our condition so she would have a choice sand she chose to be with us! She incouraged me and the other female Cristina to be and got us dressed up! An intimacy was just as beautiful as she is also bisexual! 6 months into the relationship all of that changed! She started to reject me an Cristina an especially me! She can be the sweetest person but after about an hour or two with me I get the cold shoulder! It has been really painful!and I am one of the most dominant, so it has even caused two of the male alters to lash out in my defense! And triggers uncontrollable switches! It has me at times feeling suicidal! Our family doesn’t acknowledge or deal with us, I have very few friends, I face constant hate and stigma outside my house an now I face rejection an loneliness in my own relationship! The sad thing is she is our high school sweet heart! We have been together for almost two years, an before that we were all n a 15 year marriage which was so painful it’s a miracle we are still standing! Only to be with our true love an be experiencing the same things but a ten times more painful because she was always our true love!
I had a terrible experience with a therapist. I started seeing after being sexually assaulted. I had made a police report and they had charged the guy and so there was an ongoing criminal case. My therapist didn’t like a decision the judge had made on the case so she went to her own attorney (without my knowledge or consent) and got him to investigate the judge after telling him all about me (including many identifying details).

This therapist also ignored and invalidated suicidal ideation I was having. I told her in a session I wanted to die and had a plan. She responded with “I don’t want to talk about that.” She then flatly refused to discuss anything regarding suicidal ideation with me again, didn’t assess me for risk and later made fun of me for it, calling me “delusional” “crazy” etc.

She also was chronically late, sometimes up to 25mins late. She never arrived earlier than 10 minutes late. She also often had her daughter interrupt our sessions to bring her McDonald’s or coffee or whatever.

More than once she spent the entire session telling me about her problems. I know all about her various trauma’s, her political and religious beliefs, her negative religious experiences, her child’s bully etc. Once she even became “triggered” in a session and I had to become the therapist and take care of her.

The last session we had she didn’t approve of a decision I made about my life (that had nothing to do with therapy). She started yelling at me calling me “delusional,” “unfixable,” “selfish,” “damaged,” etc.

I’ve since found out I’m not the only one she’s done this to. I’ve heard about similar incidents from other clients of hers and I know quite a few therapists in the area are refusing to work with her because of behavior like this. I filed a complaint with the state licensing board (and tried to with the national accreditation board she claimed to be licensed by but in doing so found out that she wasn’t nationally accredited and was just saying that) but I’m not sure if anything will come of it. She is unbelievably dangerous and damaging and shouldn’t have a license. The terrifying thing is that she’s very well known in the city I live in and well known nationally within the eating disorder and trauma fields.
Kate Beveridge
Hi Terry,

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I'm glad to feel that you're feeling encouraged but sorry to hear that you're passing through such a difficult time.

If you feel suicidal or you're in a crisis situation and need immediate assistance, people at these suicide hotlines in the U.S. are there to help. We have additional suicide information and resources here.

1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) - National Hopeline Network
1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4.U.TREVOR aimed at gay and questioning youth)

You can find further resources in the Resources section of the HealthyPlace website.

Sending you kind thoughts!
Natasha Tracy
Hi Paige,

Technically, Lamictal (lamotrigine) is FDA approved for the maintenance phase of bipolar disorder. That said, some people do find it useful in treating bipolar depression as well -- that seems to be quite individual.

Keep in mind that just because something isn't FDA approved for your specific use, doesn't mean it doesn't work for you for that use. We're all unique.

(Also, drug manufacturers have to apply for FDA approval for a specific use. The overall process for this is very expensive. They may not always do that if it won't make them enough money.)

I hope that helps.

- Natasha Tracy