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Our Mental Health Blogs

Holiday Stress with Schizoaffective Disorder Coping Tips

Holiday Stress with Schizoaffective Disorder Coping Tips

Do you struggle with holiday stress and schizoaffective disorder?Here are some things I do to keep my schizoaffective disorder in check to avoid holiday stress.

Experiencing holiday stress with schizoaffective disorder is understandable. Most people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder have a hard time around the holidays. There’s just so much pressure—to find everyone the perfect present or even to just weather holiday parties. But you can take charge. Here are some things I do to beat holiday stress, cope with schizoaffective disorder, and have fun, too.

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Gratitude Helps Anxiety So Play This Gratitude Game Today

Gratitude Helps Anxiety So Play This Gratitude Game Today

You can use gratitude to help anxiety when you Know what gratitude is and is not. Discover a gratitude game that helps anxiety and teaches thankfulness here.

Mental health experts agree: feeling and expressing gratitude helps anxiety. However, when you live with anxiety, it hardly seems possible that gratitude can lower or help anxiety. For one thing, it can be challenging to find things for which to feel grateful when you’re living in the grips of anxiety. For another, how can being grateful for something help anxiety? Once you know what gratitude is and is not, you can use thankfulness to improve your mental health. Even better, you can get light-hearted (something refreshing when you have anxiety) and play a gratitude game to reduce anxiety.

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Correct Negative Thoughts and Self-Talk with Positive Truths

Correct Negative Thoughts and Self-Talk with Positive Truths

Negative thoughts and self-talk commonly plague those with depression and they will keep you depressed. Use positive truths to manage them. Here's how.

Negative thoughts and self-talk are the most frequent symptoms of depression I’ve experienced. Sometimes, it would take one seemingly small comment or event to propel me back down into the despair of an endless cycle of negative thoughts and self-talk from which it could take weeks or sometimes even months to fully recover. I got so tired of other people, situations, and depression having that kind of power over me. I asked my therapist for some depression coping skills and tools that would allow me to be better equipped to fight this battle. And they’re working.

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Use These Writing Exercises to Tackle Low Self-Esteem

Use These Writing Exercises to Tackle Low Self-Esteem

Writing exercises and my self-esteem journal helps me to refute negative self-talk and build self-esteem. Try these writing exercises for self-esteem.

Writing exercises for low self-esteem can help when we get trapped in failing to see how the judgments we make about ourselves are inaccurate. It is helpful, therefore, to use certain techniques that allow you to untangle yourself from your thoughts, to take a step back, and see that you can’t possibly justify the self-critical thoughts you’re having. Making notes about your thoughts is one way to gain this healthy perspective. In this way, you can use writing exercises to tackle low self-esteem.

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Personal Rituals Can Protect Trauma Survivors from Stress

Personal Rituals Can Protect Trauma Survivors from Stress

You can create personal rituals that protect you from traumatic memories often triggered by holiday stress. Discover why personal rituals can be powerful.

Seasonal holidays involve many inherent rituals, but have you considered creating your own personal rituals to protect you from holiday stress and anxiety? I had the opportunity to discuss rituals–both helpful and harmful ones–with psychologist Stanton Peele while researching an article about addiction for Vice.1 He describes the ways in which some rituals actually protect people from developing addictions–such as Jewish customs of drinking wine only during certain occasions. He finds that Jews who associate wine in that religious context often find it odd to think of alcohol as a “party drug.” This conversation made me think of the routine rituals we encounter during the holidays. Can trauma survivors intentionally create personal rituals as a means of coping with some of the extra stress associated with holidays?

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Sharing Your Mental Health Story If You’re Afraid of Stigma

Sharing Your Mental Health Story If You’re Afraid of Stigma

Many want to share a mental health story, but are scared to talk openly about mental illness. Read this for 5 ways to start talking even if you're scared.

You may want to share your mental health story, but feel afraid even though many people have opened up about mental illness. We know that talking about mental health encourages others to do so as well. That sense of community and having a precedent of someone else talking about mental illness may have paved the way for you. However, seeing the negative reactions stories about mental illness have a habit of getting can be a deterrent. Mental health stigma can cause a lot of fear and anxiety. Here are some tips on how to get past that fear of stigma when you want to share your mental health story.

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Mental Health Lessons I’ve Learned–Goodbye to HealthyPlace

Mental Health Lessons I’ve Learned–Goodbye to HealthyPlace

I've learned strong lessons in mental health while writing for HealthyPlace, but it's time to say goodbye. Discover what I've learned and share your progress.

The mental health lessons I’ve learned while writing for HealthyPlace will serve me well as my life changes. I am not a stranger to major life changes. I’ve undergone quite a few in the last few years, and there are about to be a few more. For this reason, I have to say goodbye to HealthyPlace this week, but not before sharing my mental health lessons and asking you for yours.

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A Daily Journal Helps You Heal in Mental Illness Recovery

A Daily Journal Helps You Heal in Mental Illness Recovery

A daily journal benefits mental illness recovery in many ways. Processing your thoughts and emotions via mental health journaling can help you recover sooner.

A daily journal becomes a powerful tool when it comes to mental illness recovery because it allows you to get out of your head and onto paper. Oftentimes when someone is recovering from mental illness, they spend a lot of time alone or feeling lonely (even if they are around other people), and he or she is usually in his or her head with his or her thoughts. When you are able to write down your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, and what you are going through, something magical happens. You find so much clarity and peace in that practice, one of the many mental health benefits of journaling. Keeping a daily journal will aid your mental illness recovery.

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5 Things Parents of Children with Mental Illness Don’t Do

5 Things Parents of Children with Mental Illness Don’t Do

Parents of children with mental illness don't do 'normal' things. It's surprising, and often devastating, to decide what we just can't do to and for our kids.As a parent of a child with mental illness, there are many things I wish I could do. My child’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors, or my own anxiety, often get in the way. Parenting a child with mental illness is intense. I often feel like a snowball of anxiety rolling down a snowy mountain of anxiety towards an icy river of even more anxiety, and if I type “anxiety” one more time, you’ll start to feel as anxious as I do. Because I am a parent of a child with mental illness, there are some things I just don’t do.

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Being a Mom with Mental Illness: My Questions and Concerns

Being a Mom with Mental Illness: My Questions and Concerns

Being a mom with mental illness adds additional concerns to my role as a parent. Soon my daughter will have questions or we'll face stigma. What will I do then?

In 2016, my life changed forever when I became a mom for the first time, but my mental illness has made my new role as a parent sometimes challenging. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder 10 years before giving birth to our daughter, and I have been doing really well with medication for the last several years. Being a mom with a mental illness comes with additional parenting concerns specific to mental illness.

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