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What Makes Recovery from Mental Illness Possible?

What Makes Recovery from Mental Illness Possible?

Recovery from mental illness is possible any day of the year. Recovery is a recurring decision to make every day--not just a New Year's resolution that fizzles.Recovery from mental illness is possible, but it can be surprisingly more difficult than expected. Many may believe that the new year is an ideal time to recover from mental illness as it can be a time of reflection, goal setting, excitement and new beginnings, but it can also be a time of pressure to change, share what is going to be new and believe things you may not necessarily agree with. We hear, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” hundreds of times during the months of December and January and we may think it is going to motivate us to overcome our mental illness. But a time of year doesn’t determine if recovery from a mental illness is possible, a decision does.

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Recovering from Mental Illness During the Holidays

Recovering from Mental Illness During the Holidays

Recovering from mental illness during the holidays can take some extra effort, but with awareness and planning, you can continue in your recovery. Read this.Recovering from a mental illness during the holidays can be more difficult than recovering at any other time of year. The holiday season can bring additional financial, personal, and emotional stress as well as a sense of overwhelming anxiety. Seeing family members, having to purchase gifts, and juggling the added responsibilities during the holidays are all not conducive to recovering from mental illness. But recovering from mental illness over the holidays is possible with a plan and awareness of what the holidays may bring up for you.

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Caring for Your Mental Health While Traveling

Caring for Your Mental Health While Traveling

Caring for your mental health is a full-time job, even if you're traveling. Here are three travel tips to make caring for your mental health easier. Read this.

I’ve been thinking about caring for your mental health white traveling as I’m writing this on a train, traveling from Montreal to New York City as part of a vacation. While travel within the country is much simpler than travel out of the country, the following vacation tips are good advice for caring for your mental health while traveling.

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Holiday Making You Depressed? Here Are Three Things to Try

Holiday Making You Depressed? Here Are Three Things to Try

If your holiday is making you depressed, you should know this is actually pretty common. While it is a mental health myth that the suicide rate goes up during Christmas, that does not negate the fact that many people find the holidays to be a drag. It’s okay to feel that way–holidays are a stressful time, and our culture demands a “perfect” holiday so anything that falls short may seem like a personal failure (What Is Holiday Depression?). But the good news is you don’t have to have a “perfect” holiday, and there are things to try if your holiday is making you depressed.

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Myths Halloween Spreads About Mental Illness

Myths Halloween Spreads About Mental Illness

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.

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Fireworks and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Vets July 4

Fireworks and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Vets July 4

Fireworks and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are a problem July 4th. I enlisted in the Army during the height of the Iraq War and was high on the list to go. Long story short, a health condition forced my discharge, but not before I watched people suffer nervous breakdowns and try to piece themselves back together in a hostile psychiatric system (What Is Combat PTSD?). That’s one thing that weighs heavily on my heart as the Fourth of July approaches–the number of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder who will be triggered by fireworks.

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Three Ways to Deal with Holiday Depression

Three Ways to Deal with Holiday Depression

There are many ways to deal with holiday depression. While it is a myth that the suicide rate goes up during the holidays, holiday depression is no joke. Between the lack of adequate sunlight, the stress of being with our loved ones (I have four nephews and one niece age five and under), and loneliness at the absence of loved ones (my grandfather died on Christmas Eve when I was a child), we have a perfect storm for emotional over-stimulation. So, here are three ways to deal with holiday depression.

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My Mental Health Christmas List

My Mental Health Christmas List

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.

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Mental Illness Stigma And Halloween: A Teachable Moment

Mental Illness Stigma And Halloween: A Teachable Moment

Mental illness stigma and Halloween go together like hand and glove–we’ve all seen the “haunted asylums” and the “mental patient” costumes. Rather than trying to censor this mental illness stigmatization at Halloween, we should use it as a teachable moment. We should educate people that psychiatric patients are no more violent than the general population and that we’re more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrators. While there is mental illness stigma around Halloween, we can use it to educate others.

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Dealing With Holiday Depression

Dealing With Holiday Depression

Christmas is a tough time of year for me. After my maternal grandfather died on Christmas Eve when I was a child, my mother became emotionally abusive. In addition, the often overcast weather prevents me from getting enough sunlight. Add that to the fact that everyone expects me to be cheerful and you have a perfect storm for symptoms of mental illness.

So how do we, as people in recovery from mental illness, deal with holiday depression?

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