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Mental health therapy can seem faulty at times. Even with the best therapist and treatment plan, mental health relapses can happen. New problems can arise. So it can be really easy to doubt the benefits of therapy. Before giving up on mental health therapy altogether, here are some things you should consider.
Making doctors listen to you is actually a tall order. I know it seems like it shouldn't be, but it is. If you read my piece last week, "Psychiatrists Won't Listen to Patients -- 8 Reasons Why," (applicable to any type of doctor) then you have an idea as to why. So while last week I focused on the problem, this week I want to focus on the possible solutions. Here is what you can do to make doctors listen to you.
Hello, my name is Mahevash Shaikh and I am thrilled to join the "Work and Bipolar or Depression" blog at HealthyPlace. I was diagnosed with major depression in 2018 at the not-so-tender age of 27. But way before an official diagnosis, I always knew in my gut that I was suffering from this mental disorder. Gut feelings like these have a way of coming true, don’t they? Also, it was the only reasonable explanation for why I felt so inexplicably low at times. It was either that or teenage mood swings. Irrespective of the reason, I definitely did not buy into the theory that I was “being ungrateful.”
How's your body image? Are you attractive? Do you like the way you look? Do other people think you're beautiful? It's hard to talk about body image without sinking deep into our most vulnerable places. As standards of beauty become progressively less realistic (hello Instagram filters, goodbye pores), being able to have an honest conversation with ourselves about our looks becomes increasingly difficult. Yet we each live within our own, unique bodies every day–being able to look at them in a realistic (and non-damaging) way is a valuable tool towards understanding who we are, developing a healthy body image, and ultimately towards building self-esteem.
My schizoaffective disorder makes it hard for me to clean my home. I do little things here and there, though. I regularly take out the garbage and the recycling and I do a bit of dusting. But it’s not enough. My apartment is still very messy. It’s messy to the point where my husband Tom and I don’t have people over. It’s really embarrassing to say to friends, “We can’t have you over because our apartment is too messy.” We just don’t invite friends over.
Clutter and disorganization in your personal space and surrounding area can be worse than annoying: they can make you anxious. While clutter doesn't directly cause anxiety to begin, a messy area can cause your sense of anxiety to flare whether you live with an anxiety disorder or experience anxiety but not a disorder. Here's a look at how clutter can affect anxiety and anxiety-friendly ways to fix it.
Is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a gift or a disability? There is much debate about this topic. People feel very strongly about this ADHD issue, perhaps because the question is tied to our identity. In my opinion, there is no easy answer, and it very much depends on the circumstances. 
If you are like me, then you might have asked yourself the question: "What are some eating disorder recovery podcasts worth tuning into?" I am a major advocate of professional counseling—in fact, I see my therapist once a week—but I also endorse other supportive resources outside a counselor's office too. The hour I spend in therapy each week is sacred and beneficial to me as a person in recovery for both anorexia and trauma-related issues, but when I'm not directly across from my therapist, the intervention I reach for most often is my arsenal of podcasts. So in this article, I want to break down the eating disorder recovery podcasts that I consider worth tuning into as therapeutic adjuncts—to reinforce not replace clinical treatment—and why I find them useful in my own healing process.  
I've struggled a lot with getting a good night's sleep. Almost every night I laid awake with my racing, anxious thoughts. I was exhausted physically, but couldn't quiet my mind. Once I finally fell asleep it wasn't for long. I would get up several times throughout the night. Some days I couldn't keep my eyes open at work. I would find a way to take a nap if at all possible. My situation felt desperate so I have been on a quest the past several months to discover ways to get a good night's sleep.
To all those reading this blog: if there’s one thing I’d like you to take away from it, it’s how important developing empathy really is. This is something that is applicable far beyond just anxiety – I would argue that it’s essential if you want to be anything resembling a decent human being in general. But because we are focusing on mental health, I will devote this time specifically to why being an empathetic person is so important to those who are struggling with mental illness.

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Comments

Marni Charm
I too have suffered from an eating disorder (binge eating/restricting) and depression for over 20 years. I’ve also had diabetes, failing kidney, dialysis, 2 transplants, ADHD and a son with serious behavioral issues, I hope to find recovery in my near future. It all has just beaten me down and makes living exhausting,
Val
My son is 33, diagnosed 2 weeks before his 24th birthday with schizophrenia. He has his own apartment, is on SSD, has medicare, supplemental insurance paid through the state and he has EBT. He lives in St. Louis, MO. I fought for everything he has... he also gets an injection of Invega Trinza 4 times a year... he won't take pills so no anxiety or depression meds. He drives, buys his groceries, smokes like a chimney, hardly showers or brushes his teeth, sleeps in his clothes and shoes during the day because he paces at night. It's been rough, but we are making it with family support. It's hard to believe that there is so little help out there... thankfully Missouri is a pretty good state for him to live in.
Elizabeth Caudy
Dear Juan,
Thanks for your comment. I am glad you are stable on your medication. You should really ask your doctor for tips on how to sleep less since he/she knows you and knows your lifestyle.

Thanks again,
Elizabeth
Natasha Tracy
Hi Susan,

That is such a hard question. I feel like you never accept crippling illness. I feel like there are always more choices. I feel like there are always new medications coming out and there are always new combinations to try. I know seven years feels like forever -- that's very reasonable -- but you still have so much life left. Don't give up on getting better. Find a new doctor. Find a new treatment. Find a new combination. There is always the chance of getting better. Always.

- Natasha Tracy
Kristen Milstead
Hi Peggy: I'm so sorry that you've experienced this. You're definitely not a failure because of the things that have happened to you that aren't your fault and you had no control over. I do understand what you're saying about feeling as if you have failed or having sabotaged many things in your life. I still find myself doing this at times. I think awareness of why is the first step and you're already there. Kindness for ourselves unconditionally (which we never had) is a big part of helping to get rid of the messages we received--but it takes a long time to relearn it, as you know. It sounds as if you are working through this and are on a path toward getting somewhere but I agree, it is a struggle! You're definitely not alone. Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. Stay strong! Kristen

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