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Our Mental Health Blogs

Three Ways Dehydration Can Impact Your Mental Health

Three Ways Dehydration Can Impact Your Mental Health

Dehydration can impact your mental health even if you don't have a mental illness. But if you do live with mental illness, dehydration can trigger its symptoms.There are three ways dehydration can impact your mental health. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and for a lot of us that means heat and humidity. We already know that psychiatric patients are effected by the heat, but there are also three ways dehydration can impact your mental health?

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Staying Sober in a Bar When You’re an Alcoholic

Staying Sober in a Bar When You’re an Alcoholic

How does one go about staying sober in a bar if you’re an addict? Recently, my travel writing job assigned me an article I probably should have declined–review the five best sports bars in Indianapolis. This is a problem for me because I am an alcoholic, and I’m putting myself in temptation’s path (What Is Your Reason To Stay Sober?). So recently I’ve been thinking about staying sober in a bar when you’re an alcoholic.

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What to Do When the News Triggers Mental Illness Symptoms

What to Do When the News Triggers Mental Illness Symptoms

The news can be informative but news can also trigger your mental illness symptoms. Here's what to do if your mental illness symptoms are triggered by the news.

Does the news trigger your mental illness symptoms? I guess you could say early on there were signs I was going to be a reporter when I grew up–I read the newspaper as soon as I learned to read. Then, as today, there were some very disturbing things going on. I remember having a nightmare about the Neighborhood of Make-Believe being bombed when Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya. I never outgrew this, either–I am currently coping with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) flashbacks caused by the coverage of a high-profile rape case and a disgusting child abuse case. It made me wonder–what can I do when the news triggers my mental illness symptoms? Here are three ideas.

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Don’t Wait: Prepare for Mental Health Triggers Beforehand

Don’t Wait: Prepare for Mental Health Triggers Beforehand

Last week brought me a lesson in the need to be prepared when mental health triggers come, as they inevitably do in our recovery. These triggers can be dangerous because they can instantly transport us to a place of emotional turmoil and intensify our symptoms. In order to manage our illness, we must be prepared at all times. We never know when we can be triggered and we need to take steps to ensure we and others around us are safe.

This past week, there was a national firestorm with the release of American POW Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan. I had not known the story prior to this, but when I heard the circumstances of his experience, I was triggered in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time.

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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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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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PTSD Triggers: Rewriting Our Truth Lessens Their Power

PTSD Triggers: Rewriting Our Truth Lessens Their Power

PTSD triggers. For those of us with a mental health diagnosis (diagnoses), the definition of a trigger is far more than a level with a catch or means of releasing it. Triggers are a response to stimuli and a result of past trauma. PTSD triggers can include certain odors, a particular tone of voice, certain objects, places and so much more. The brain creates a physiological response: increased heart rate and respiration, sweating, a need to escape, a need for silence, sleeplessness, hyper vigilance and so much more. Responses to triggers are unique to each individual. No cookie cutter responses here!

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Acting on Impulse When Relapsing in Mental Illness

Acting on Impulse When Relapsing in Mental Illness

When you live with a mental illness, acting on impulse when you are relapsing mostly has negative affects on your life. My life. Here's what happened to me.

Acting on impulse, mental illness or not, rarely turns out well. So, this is, unfortunately, a post about my situation, formed by acting on impulse. I focus on myself not out of some form of narcissism (I might enjoy writing this blog if that were the case) nor because I feel particularly obligated. I write about it because I have become a damn good example of acting on impulse when life gets dark. Right. Here we go.

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Put Your Mental Health Recovery First

Put Your Mental Health Recovery First

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of putting my mental health recovery first? “Just Do It!” Yes, that horrible Nike campaign.

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