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Our Mental Health Blogs

Mental Health Stigma: Airing our Dirty Laundry

Mental Health Stigma: Airing our Dirty Laundry

It happened again the other night. A person that I largely respect asked me about my Mental Health Awareness ribbon. Happy to have an opportunity to discuss mental health, I explained that the lime green ribbon represents bringing mental health into the limelight.  This person retorted:

“There are so many crazies.”

“Why talk about it?  Lock them up and end the threat to society.”  

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Are Depression and Exhaustion the Same Thing?

Are Depression and Exhaustion the Same Thing?

There is a connection between depression and exhaustion. But how do you tell the difference between depression and being overly tired? Find out.

I lost a friend to suicide last week.  A friend who struggled, triumphed and sadly, lost the battle with his mind.  I have witnessed many of my friends and loved ones struggle with mental illness and it is heartbreaking on many levels.

Yet a *blessing* appeared in the form of a friend who experienced watching another friend’s depression and wanted to understand the cycle of depression better.  I will share with you what my response was.  

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Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud

Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud

Noise sensitivity can be a mental health trigger, but there are things you can do to lessen noise sensitivity (hyperacusis). Get tips here.
Noise sensitivity can be likened to nails on a blackboard. The constant buzz and whir of music, technology, the buzzing of Facebook notifications, ringing phones and loud conversations can be overwhelming. This sensitivity to noise is known as hyperacusis, a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain processes noise.

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When Physical Illness and Mental Illness Triggers Collide

When Physical Illness and Mental Illness Triggers Collide

Physical illness can trigger mental illness, and so can going to the doctor where they poke and prod. Medical emergencies are scary but here are ways to cope.Let’s face it: physical illness and mental illness don’t mix. Dealing with mental illness symptoms of exhaustion, tension in the body, headaches (and the list goes on and on) is difficult. Mix in the flu or virus and between the two, it can feel as though you are boxing shadows. I recently experienced this and while I feel a bit better, there are observations that I made that I hope will help others.

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The Fix: The Self-Help Addiction

The Fix: The Self-Help Addiction

Are Self-Help Books, Videos The Answer?

Whether the “problem” is mental illness, low self-esteem, feeling unfulfilled or any other “malady”, there is a book, problem or savior for you! Walk into your local Barnes & Noble, Half-Price Books or independent bookseller and take note of how much real estate is devoted to the self-help titles.  You Can Change Your Life, The Secret, The Law of Attraction. . .the key to a happy life is contained within.  Can’t you hear the harps playing as you crack it open?  No?  Me neither.

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The Delicate Art of Grieving

The Delicate Art of Grieving

Death and Grief are Costly

Mentally, emotionally, physically and financially, death and grief are costly. In third place behind the purchase of a home and weddings, funerals are one of the costliest purchases a family will make. The average funeral costs $7-10,000 with a casket; a cremation service typical runs $3000. Yes, death can be quite a racket.

What Fuels the High Cost of Grief

In many instances, it’s guilt and a sense of doing right by the deceased. A morbid sense of “keeping up with the Jones’ also takes over when death comes to call. No one wants to envision his or her loved one in a pine box, lacking flowers, lacking music, a eulogy and the niceties of a departure. Yet the realities of relationships may be far different from the warm tones of rubbed oak, hushed tones, loving remembrances and glorious notes. We do our best and wonder if it is enough – perhaps if we are enough. Guilt keeps us up at night, gives us migraines, creates waves of grief while standing in the grocery line and can interfere with our cognitive abilities.

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Rocketing Mania vs Bone-Crushing Depression: Bipolar Moods

Rocketing Mania vs Bone-Crushing Depression: Bipolar Moods

Bipolar mania rocks until the depression crash crushes the life from you. Learn how to maximize the bipolar highs to offset the effects of the depression lows.

Life doesn’t halt simply because a mental illness exists, as much as I might wish the world would occasionally stop and let me off. How can you maximize the highs and offset the lows of bipolar disorder?

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Poverty Mindset? Poverty and Mental Health

Poverty Mindset? Poverty and Mental Health

Poverty Mindset

Poverty mindset is a term that comes up from time-to-time as a root cause of inner-city violence, lower standardized test scores, lower IQ and many other maladies. Can poverty in childhood also lead to changes in adult cognitive abilities?

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Social Anxiety: The Power of Anyway and No Way!

Social Anxiety: The Power of Anyway and No Way!

Once upon a time, a woman confident upon the stage, attended a TEDx event.  The woman wove her way through the crowd to find her seat and settled in.  The speakers were engaging, the topics diverse and she sat at  rapt attention. At the 1st break, the woman stepped out for fresh air.  Except that it wasn’t fresh and there was no air.  Everyone else was taking all of the air.  She found herself swallowed up in the crowd and each time she re-established her personal space, the school of fish moved in again like a moving wall.  She spent every break wishing for a few moments of silence.  Even going outside the building brought no piece, the fish simply found another route to the “food”.  The woman in this story is me and the story is about social anxiety, panic and the effects of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) on the ability to persevere.

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Halloween: More Trick Than Treat for Those With Mental Illness?

Halloween: More Trick Than Treat for Those With Mental Illness?

Halloween and Dia De Muertos (The Day of the Dead) can be child’s play. Ghosts, goblins, superheroes, Disney princesses and more bring both smiles and horror. For those with a mental illness, PTSD or panic, Halloween can conjure up very intense negative responses.

Sometimes horror flickers on the TV screen or in the movie theater, sometimes horror is found behind a mask, sometimes it comes to visit wrapped in “Trick or Treat!” Potential triggers lurk everywhere: black cats, oversized spiders, masks, horror movies and even costumes that perpetuate mental health stigma, domestic violence and much more. Ahhh, the midnight hour.

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