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Our Mental Health Blogs

Concluding Two Years Of Writing This Blog. . .

Concluding Two Years Of Writing This Blog. . .

I started writing this blog exactly two years ago–August, 2011. It was a time in my life largely defined by change: the end of long-term relationship, a new home in a new location, a memoir being published about mental health and addiction; I was sober after years of drug and alcohol abuse. I was more fragile then than I am now–a little more frightened of the world. Writing this blog–sharing my experiences and you sharing yours– made my life a little easier. I felt less alone.

I have moved four times within the past two years. I have struggled to stay sober and repair relationships and practice the self-care I preach in these blogs. Change is difficult, particularly when you live with a chronic mental illness, but this blog remained stable. It was one of things I could count on when life seemed to get crazy as it invariably did.

I learned more about myself by writing this blog—more about recovering from mental illness–then I have living with it since I was diagnosed at the age of twelve. I also learned more about others. I owe much of this to the wonderful people that have read this blog, who have shared their experiences and made us all feel less alone, and also to healthyplace.com for providing me with the opportunity to delve into issues that are important.

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‘Crazy People’ Never Know They’re Crazy!

‘Crazy People’ Never Know They’re Crazy!

When typing the title of this blog, I immediately picture Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The ‘crazy’ one locked inside the 50’s-inspired psychiatric hospital. The character considered less crazy than the rest of the patients. But I’m pretty sure his character—based on the glorious book of the same name—probably thought he was sane.  Sort of like how I think I’m stable when I can’t move from bed.

Side-Note: Yes, that’s a brilliant-in-my-humble-opinion image from the film below.

First, an Apology. . .

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Depression When The Sun Shines

Depression When The Sun Shines

Many people do not know that depression occurs in the summer months as well as the winter.

If there is one thing I can count on in my life it’s October. Yes, it’s obvious that October arrives each year, but when you live with a mental illness, months can represent moods. And that can be scary. That said, I want to focus this post on a conversation I had with a relative who lives with depression in the summer, and thrives in the winter.

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Exposed: A Nasty Trip to the Pharmacist

Exposed: A Nasty Trip to the Pharmacist

When you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it can feel like your life is suddenly on display. You can feel sort of like an exhibit at a museum – one your family and friends and psychiatrist want to tend to. It’s not easy getting used to this, but what about when you encounter people, situations, on your road to recovery that make you feel exposed?

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Is Recovery From Chronic Mental Illness Possible?

Is Recovery From Chronic Mental Illness Possible?

What does recovery from chronic mental illness mean? Mental illness doesn't heal like a broken bone, so can you ever really recover?

I know–I know--the title of this blog, the entire premise of it, is based on recovering from mental illness. But it is not titled anything along the lines of “How I Recovered From Mental Illness!” So, is full recovery from chronic mental illness possible?

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After The Mental Illness Diagnosis: Getting on With Life!

After The Mental Illness Diagnosis: Getting on With Life!

After diagnosed with a mental illness, it's easy to forget that we need to have a life outside of the diagnosis. A mental illness diagnosis isn't the end.

So, you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness. Now what? You have–perhaps without much grace but with much persistence–come out on the other side. Life is, presumably, better than it was before the diagnosis. But it isn’t easy and you are still trying to figure the whole thing out: medications, your new mental health care team, and the future. On the understanding that we have a future outside of mental illness, and it’s important to get on with life, to the best of our abilities.

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You Don’t Have A Mental Illness! It’s All in Your Head!

You Don’t Have A Mental Illness! It’s All in Your Head!

I would bet my prized record collection that if you live with a mental illness you have heard those words. Probably more than once. Probably more times than you care to recall. But stick with me on this one and keep reading. . .

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Does Technology Impact Mental Health Recovery?

Does Technology Impact Mental Health Recovery?

I am certain that my grandfather-diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his early twenties-was not affected by technology. He was probably not bombarded by an onslaught of information available at our fingertips. This poses the question: How does rapidly evolving technology influence our mental health recovery?

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A Cocktail For Disaster: Connecting Mental Illness to Addiction

A Cocktail For Disaster: Connecting Mental Illness to Addiction

Initially, the title of this blog was “A Recipe For Disaster…” But I used to really (stress this) enjoy a few cocktails. Or an entire bottle of cocktail mix. And that nearly killed me.

That aside, in this blog I want to focus on why those living with mental illness may abuse substances, what some of these substances are, and the impact this can have when we are working to recover from mental illness.

Why Might People With Mental Illness Abuse Substances?

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Have a Heartbeat? Well, You’re Crazy Too!

Have a Heartbeat? Well, You’re Crazy Too!

OK. First, I am not insinuating that those of us living with a mental illness are crazy. Usually, we are not. What I am stating, is that too often it is assumed we are crazy. People hear the words “mentally ill” and sometimes they instinctively picture things like: homelessness, drooling, talking at inappropriate times or not talking at all, dirty bathrobes, dark hospital corridors and a trembling body.

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