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Our Mental Health Blogs

Recovering from Mental Illness Can Feel Impossible

Recovering from Mental Illness Can Feel Impossible

Recovering from mental illness may seem impossible, but you can do it. Here are tips for your first steps in recovery that make the impossible feel probable.

Recovering from mental illness can feel impossible. It seems like an uphill battle, leaving you feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Finding a place to start when recovering from mental illness is a daunting task. I’m here to tell you that by finding and reading this blog you are well on your way toward an “impossible” recovery from mental illness.

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Volunteering Aids Your Recovery From Mental Illness

Volunteering Aids Your Recovery From Mental Illness

Volunteering aids your recovery from mental illness in many ways. Here's how volunteering can get you through tough spots in mental illness recovery.

Volunteering aided my recovery from mental illness when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bulimia in my early 20s. I volunteered for my local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter, and it soon became a great opportunity that helped me take back my life and even lead to an internship. Here are five ways that volunteering can aid mental illness recovery that I discovered during my time at NAMI.

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Recovery from Mental Illness When You’re Young

Recovery from Mental Illness When You’re Young

Becoming aware of mental illness when you're young is the first step to recovery. Now that you're aware, what's next? Read this for support in finding help.

Suffering a mental illness when you’re young is extremely difficult and debilitating. When you’re young there is an immense amount of pressure to fit in as well as to act and to look a certain way. Judgment and stigma from peers can run high and be openly expressed. Many times, those who suffer from mental illness when they’re young believe that something is wrong with them and don’t know how to “snap out of it.” As difficult as it can be to live with a mental illness when you’re young, it is also hopeful to know that the suffering doesn’t have to last forever.

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Introduction to Nancy Zacharakis, Author of ‘Recovering from Mental Illness’

Introduction to Nancy Zacharakis, Author of ‘Recovering from Mental Illness’

New author of "Recovering from Mental Illness" blog Nancy Zacharakis talks about her experience recovering from binge eating disorder, anxiety and depression.My name is Nancy Zacharakis and I’m excited to be joining the Recovering from Mental Illness blog at HealthyPlace. I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for about three years, from the ages of 21-24. My mental illness began after competing in a bikini bodybuilding competition and suffering with binge eating disorder. The unhealthy relationship with food and my body during my 16-week competition preparation was a catalyst for an eating disorder. My binge eating then led me to feel depressed about my life, my body, my relationships, and my career. I suffered from anxiety as well, feeling anxious about what was happening to me, what my future was going to look like and how I was going to deal with this abnormal behavior.

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Coping with a Diagnosis of Mental Illness

Coping with a Diagnosis of Mental Illness

Coping with a diagnosis of mental illness can be scary. I felt fear and eventually relief when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Here's how I cope.

Coping with a diagnosis of a mental illness can be scary, but if you’ve made it to this point, it means you’ve reached out for help. That’s a great first step. You’re on your way to receiving treatment and most likely feeling better. It’s important to cope with mental illness, and it’s important to cope with the diagnosis of mental illness–accepting the illness–too.

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Working While on Disability Should Not Be Penalized

Working While on Disability Should Not Be Penalized

Working while on disability can cost you a lot. You can't live on disability, but you can't work while on disability either. We need disability reform.Working while on disability should not be penalized. I used to work in a restaurant for $8.25 an hour for 20 hours a week. I reported this income to Social Security, and my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits were terminated. Not only that, but the government told me they overpaid me and I had to pay the money back–all at once. This is not right. Working while on disability should not be penalized.

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Three Reasons People Self-Injure and How to Resist Self-Harm

Three Reasons People Self-Injure and How to Resist Self-Harm

The reasons people self-injure vary, but there are many ways to reign in self-harm to develop better coping skills. Learn reasons for self-harm and how to stop.

Many people with mental illness have their reasons to self-injure but it’s important to resist self-harm urges. While most commonly associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD), self-harm can occur with any mental illness. There are three reasons people self-injure: to punish themselves, to feel something instead of nothing, and to feel stronger.

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Using Emergency Rooms as Mental Health Wards Doesn’t Work

Using Emergency Rooms as Mental Health Wards Doesn’t Work

Sometimes the emergency room becomes a mental health ward. Frequently there are no beds available in psychiatric hospitals so the emergency room is the one place a mental health consumer can be kept relatively safe and under supervision. This has happened to me a few times, and it’s such a problem that USA Today mentioned it in an article series.1 But this is ineffective at best and makes things worse at worst. Here is why using emergency rooms as mental health wards doesn’t work.

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It’s Time to Reform the Mental Healthcare System

It’s Time to Reform the Mental Healthcare System

It’s time to reform the mental healthcare system. It’s been time for years. While the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations made great strides, all that progress could be lost under the new administration (Mental Health Care [In A Perfect World]). Already, Congress voted to reinstate pre-existing conditions (which prior to the Affordable Care Act many insurance agencies used to refuse to cover an individual with mental illness or refuse to cover mental healthcare). Congress also voted to prevent Medicare from negotiating with drug companies to lower prices. And legislation that would have lowered drug prices was shot down–you may have seen the meme naming which politician voted against it and how much money they’ve received from pharmaceutical companies. President-elect Donald Trump needs to take action and reform the mental healthcare system.

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Lack of Treatment for Dual Diagnosis with Substance Abuse

Lack of Treatment for Dual Diagnosis with Substance Abuse

There is a serious lack of treatment for dual diagnosis with substance abuse. A dual diagnosis is two co-occurring mental health conditions, in this case, one of which is a substance abuse disorder. The use of substances as a way to cope with psychiatric symptoms is so common there’s a term for it: “self-medicating.” Treatment for dual diagnosis with substance abuse is critical, but few get treatment.

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