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We need a mental health stigma holiday survival guide to make it through this time of year. Learn how to deal with mental health stigma during the holidays here.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. This is a very important topic that needs more awareness because it is more common than people realize. According to the article called “What is Epilepsy?” from the Epilepsy Foundation website, epilepsy is “the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages.” Read this article to learn about how epilepsy is linked to mood disorders, ways those diagnosed with the condition can cope, and how you can support a loved one with epilepsy.
How is anxiety like an alarm clock? They're actually very similar, but one is more active than you need.
Rejection just because you have bipolar disorder sucks. Even I, who have been publically bipolar for almost a decade still find it hurtful when someone rejects me because of my bipolar disorder. I know that rejection hurts everyone, but I think many people would be amazed at how hurtful it is to be rejected because of something that isn't your fault and that you can't control. It's like being rejected because of your height or your mother tongue -- these are things that are just part of you and being rejected because of them feels incredibly, personally painful.
The rate of eating disorders in the transgender community is an epidemic. While it has been estimated that over 30 million people in the United States alone suffer from eating disorders1, how many of these individuals conform to the heteronormative standards of body and gender—and how many don't? The research into this question is sparse, but there is enough to infer that eating disorders in the trans community are both epidemic and overlooked. While the archaic notion that eating disorders tend to primarily affect those who are female, white, and cisgender has been dismantled in recent years, the transgender population is still marginalized—or worse, excluded—from this conversation. Their stories of body-centric violence, trauma, prejudice, and exploitation have caused untold numbers of transgender people to fall into a cycle of disordered eating behaviors. But it's time society is made aware of these men and women in the transgender community who suffer—and recover—from eating disorders, so this epidemic will not be overlooked anymore.
Explaining depression to friends and family isn't always easy. Many people seem to lump sadness and depression in the same group, but they are very different. Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, while not everyone goes through depression. For those without depression, understanding the difference can be confusing. In this article, I'll be sharing my take on explaining my depression with loved ones.
Sexual verbal abuse can have a lasting impact on your relationship. When verbal abuse occurs in a mostly healthy relationship, it can be hard to catch. This can be especially true when it interferes with your sexual experiences with your partner--sex is supposed to connect you, to be positive, and create unique trust between partners, and when verbal abuse finds its way into sex, it can be difficult to heal from.
Are there any activities to build self-esteem? Yes, there are. In fact, the most common question I get asked about building self-esteem is where to start. Often, we can clearly picture the version of ourselves we desire to embody, yet we struggle to take the first few steps towards it. Self-esteem starts to feel like a massive undertaking, something we can see in the distance but never gets any closer. To help, here are a few fresh new activities to build self-esteem that have worked for several of my clients.
Depression takes its toll on us, and our brains certainly deserve a break. While we know this to be true, how can we put this knowledge into practice?
Talking to my sister helps my schizoaffective disorder so I'm grateful that several years ago, my sister Laura made the perfect request for a Christmas present—we would get together for a weekly phone call throughout the year. “No long lines waiting at the mall,” she said. She knows crowds exacerbate my schizoaffective disorder. But the weekly phone calls help my schizoaffective disorder in other ways too—in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

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Natasha Tracy
Hi Julie,

Thank you for saying how hard it is but that you never give up. That's amazing.

- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Nicole,

I, too, get overwhelmed with making plans and goals. Maybe there's an idea for the next article?

I'm honored you would find this helpful enough to share with others. Good luck and I hope it helps.

- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Dean,

Thank you for your comment and your kind words about the article.

I very much hope people will read this and hear something new and honest and it will help.

- Natasha Tracy
Julie
Preach, Natasha!

With bipolar disorder, my experience is that feeling good is inevitably followed by some level of depression. I can’t ever just have a good day and not pay for it later. That’s the nature of bipolar disorder. I’m doing everything I can to keep those swings from happening, but so far it’s what I live with.

The perspective of “hey, it always gets better” comes from a place of privilege, and from those who don’t understand. MLK said, “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

People with bipolar disorder don’t always have bootstraps. It doesn’t always get better. I do the best I can with what I have, and I don’t give up.
Nicole
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have chronic depression and chronic pain conditions and I too struggle so much with hope and even making long term goals or plans. It completely overwhelms me. But it is so hard to explain to friends and family and even doctors. So, I plan to share this article with them to help them understand how I'm feeling a little more. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!