advertisement

Mental Health for the Digital Generation

Annabelle Clawson
I've always had a complicated relationship with my body. I've carried this discomfort with me everywhere I've gone. I've been conscious of how my shirt fell across my stomach, critical of how my jeans fit after a meal. I've wanted my body to be different, so I could feel different. I've counted calories in secret, avoided looking in the mirror, and exercised obsessively. And when nothing changed, my hatred for my body increased. But I don't hate my body anymore. What happened? How did I get here?
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Being in a relationship with someone, whether it's a romantic connection or a close friendship, can feel good and boost mental health. But can you have too much of a good thing? Is it wrong for someone to want to spend a lot of time with you, or is it just a sign of love or friendship? There is a line between enjoying time together and being possessive. Knowing that line can help you keep your relationships--and yourself--mentally healthy.
Annabelle Clawson
I don't deal well with uncertainty. I like to feel prepared. I like to expect a particular thing, and I like when that particular thing happens. I don't cope well with sudden changes in plans, and I don't remain calm when disaster strikes. The unknown is a major source of anxiety for me--often, my fear of the unexpected future is debilitating. I've been working on living with uncertainty, though, diving into the unknown with curiosity instead of anxiety. Read on for two of my favorite ideas for dealing with uncertainty.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
The most important relationship you'll ever have is the relationship you have with yourself, so it's important to be true to yourself. Other people are important, of course, but you are the person you spend the most amount of time with. You are the person who deeply feels your ups and downs. You are the person who has the strongest insights and connections to your hopes, dreams, and passions. It is you who takes actions, even when those actions involve others, toward your mental health and wellbeing.
Annabelle Clawson
A couple of weeks ago, my therapist suggested a change in my medication. I'm currently on my fifth antidepressant in two years. No matter how much a medication seems to work to treat my depression and anxiety symptoms, it seems that there always comes a time when I need to try something else. And at this point, I almost want to give up on antidepressants.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
We're entering summer, a season often celebrated for its bright, sunny days, warm nights, and relaxed, carefree existence. That's the advertising and greeting card image, anyway.  In reality, your summer wellbeing can suffer under new or heightened mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression. Mental health struggles in the summer are a very real thing. If you experience them, know that you're not alone, nor are you making it up. Here's a look at why and what to do about it.
Annabelle Clawson
With the widespread success of COVID-19 vaccines, we're inching closer to the normal we've been dreaming about for over a year. I can't wait to gather freely with friends, family, and strangers again. But some of us are experiencing anxiety about post-pandemic life. The question is: Will it really be back to normal, or will we have to adapt to another new normal?
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Living with mental illness or mental health challenges can be frustrating. It can complicate the stuff of life, such as making and keeping friendships. In the last post, we explored some obstacles mental illness throws in the way of friendships, as well as a vital first step in friendships: becoming a friend to yourself. Now we'll turn to some practical tips for making friends when you are dealing with mental health difficulties.
Annabelle Clawson
Whether it's a relationship that ended or a job that fell through, dealing with rejection is a huge part of life. More important than rejection, though, is how you handle it.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
If you have difficulties with friendships and mental illness, you're not alone. Friendships are trickier than TV or movies make them seem. Also, living with mental health challenges--whether it's a diagnosed mental illness, personality disorder, or anxious thoughts and low mood that aren't diagnosable but still bothersome--adds a layer of difficulty to things that other people take for granted. You don't have to be forever frustrated by friendships or the lack of them. By starting with yourself and gradually moving outward with purpose, you can have quality, meaningful friendships no matter what mental health challenges you may face.