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Nicola Spendlove
The partnership between families and mental health professionals is often a key component of adequately supporting a loved one with mental illness. I see this every day in my working life as an occupational therapist -- when there's no buy-in from the family, chances of an intervention being successful are dramatically reduced. When my brother developed chronic anxiety and depression seven years ago, I had to practice what I preach and actively foster a good relationship with his medical team. Here are some points about that experience that I wanted to share.
Meagon Nolasco
My mental health caused me to visit a psychiatric hospital when I was 19 years old. I had never experienced hospitalization for my mental health, nor did I have adequate coping skills going in. In addition to my mental health deteriorating, I had just come out as a lesbian. I was searching to find my place in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. (LGBTQIA+) community. I found ways to cope once in the hospital, though. Read further to see what helped me cope during this dark time in my mental health past.
Martha Lueck
Mood tracking makes understanding your mood triggers or patterns and talking to mental health professionals easier. If you see a therapist, one of the questions they might ask you is how you would rate your level of anxiety and/or depression. Answering this question can be difficult, as moods change all the time. An effective way to rate your moods accurately is to track them every day.
Brandy Eaklor
I never realized how many mental health benefits of having a dog there were until I couldn't see my dog regularly. Once my ex and I broke up, I moved to an apartment where I couldn't have dogs. Now that I am moving out, I know having my dog is a must for my mental health. In this article, I will go over all of the mental health benefits of having a dog.
Natasha Tracy
Going off bipolar medication is a bad idea -- well, it's almost always a bad idea. I know why people want to do it. I would suggest that pretty much everyone on bipolar disorder medication has wanted to go off of it multiple times during treatment. This is completely normal and almost unavoidable. In spite of this strong desire, though, going off bipolar medication is almost always a bad idea.
Mahevash Shaikh
We are two weeks into 2021, so it's safe to assume that most of us are back at work. But instead of healing you, what if the holidays made you realize you want to hibernate until the pandemic is over? In other words, if you're too depressed to work, here are some tips from someone in the same boat as you. I promise you will not find the usual suggestions to meditate, exercise, or journal; I'm sure you've already tried those.
Cheryl Wozny
Verbal abuse in work relationships happens regularly. After all, haven't you heard the cliche that employees leave bosses, not jobs? In many situations, this is quite true, especially when the person you report to is verbally abusive in the workplace. Unfortunately, I was the victim of verbal abuse at work on more than one occasion. Thankfully, I was able to pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and leave for a better career path.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety advice is fairly easy to find. One of the advantages of our modern era is the plethora of information available to us wherever we are and whenever we want it. Self-help books abound, and in them, you can find incredibly useful techniques for managing anxiety. Websites like HealthyPlace are wonderful resources. Videos are great resources for anxiety tips, and social media platforms offer pages, groups, and posts from individuals working their way through anxiety and eager to share success stories to help others. This is very positive, of course, but it can also be daunting, overwhelming, and exhausting. It can be helpful to know how to manage all this information once you have it so you can actively begin reducing your anxiety.
TJ DeSalvo
One of my many hobbies, aside from reading and listening to music, is playing video games, and playing them helps my anxiety. I’ve been a video game fan for almost as long as I can remember when I tried playing Sonic 2 on the then cutting-edge Sega Genesis. Even today, if I’m not feeling well, I’ll put on a favorite game and spend the day immersed in its world.
Nori Rose Hubert
Ah, self-employment, it's a dream that many aspire to -- and that many succeed at with enough time, patience, and grit. For folks with bipolar, self-employment offers a number of advantages as well as challenges. If you struggle with work and bipolar disorder, self-employment may be an option worth exploring.

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Celeste
I am dealing with the suicide of a kind 43 year old male neighbor that I spoke with 3 days before he died. It seems that most people I speak with can't understand the pain that I feel and suggest I try to forget/not feel this horrible pain. Even though I was not a part of his family, this loss is immense since he had begun to interact and spend time conversing and texting me. No other neighbor had taken interest in my plight as a single woman taking care of her 98 year old mom. He was incredibly intelligent, and don't understand why he would do this.
Debra
We live in such a fast paced go go want it now drive through world most people don't want to talk about the depression let alone try to understand and just judge label you asc razy how does one go about generally have no idea my work though
Kris R.
Hellooo. Im Kris, 15 yrs old, almost 16. Ive been really obssesed with DID since i read a book abt a boy with DID about 3 or so months ago. Ever sense i realized that theres a lot abt the main character, Ian, that i relate to. In the book, hes different at school, at home, and out with his friend. All slightly different versions of him. He also has a main alter, who can take over, and when he does Ian loses consciousness. I have similar things, except i dont think ive ever been exactly taken over. The thing is, i have this voice in my head, but im very confused if its just my voice or an alter. I call her Alexis. She sounds the same as me, which is why its confusing, but her voice is one i cant control. Sometimes i feel like i can manipulate her into saying something specific, but most of the time it doesnt work that way. Shes often extremely rude and judgemental of other people, and criticizes them, when i myself like the person. She criticizes me as well, but sometimes really helps me feel better about myself in ways. Shes the main voice in my head. I actually gave her the name Alexis when my little sister and i were playing a game. Anyways, shes never, that i know of, taken over me. Moving on, i sometimes randomly do a little kid voice, mostly around my girlfriend. Ive only heard the little kid voice in my head maybe once, but i do it in person out of nowhere. Today, i was on call with my gf, and i spaced out and then started laughing uncontrollably, and did the little kid voice. I was aware of everything happening, and i was confused if i was in control or not. I kept acting silly and wanting to say "kris" instead of "i". Id eaten a lot of chocolate and drank soda and my gf said im sugar high and i kept saying "no no just silly". At some point she said "its funny how this only happens when youre out of school" and i wanted to say "kris very careful at school" instead of "im careful at school". So im not 100% sure if its another alter, because im conscious while all this happens. When i do the little kid voice, i feel very childish, silly, joyful, loving, and playful. I eventually spaced out again and i was back, but still extremely confused if i was controlling it all. As far as trauma goes, i know that usually, you have to have had a very traumatic experience to develop DID. Ive had many traumatic experiences, but im not sure if theyre traumatic enough to cause DID. Last year, i was sexually assaulted by a boy i thought i could trust. That still effects me and im trying to get therapy. In middle school, i was hated by a lot of people just for being myself. I often had to help people almost everyday, talking them out of killing themselves. Ive self harmed before too. And i have many issues with my biological and step father. Ive almost ran away about 5 times, and ive always had a packed bag just in case. Theres a lot more ive been through as well. I kinda feel like im going insane, and i feel like maybe im making all the alters up in my head. Not sure if theyre real or not. Its all so confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Ive mentioned Alexis to my gf a few times before, and pointed to my head when i said "the child is being very stubborn", but i think she thinks im talking about an actual person, and not the voice in my head. Im kinda scared to tell her, scared she'll leave me thinking im insane, or hate me and think im lying and making it all up. I dont know what to do with myself anymore.
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Hi Lizanne,

Great point that this takes practice. I know that personally, this is something that I have to constantly work on. It can be easy to allow yourself to be swept away by those thoughts that increase your anxiety. I absolutely agree that it is important to practice self-compassion as you make these adjustments in your thought process.

Stay safe,
Rizza
Juliana Sabatello
Lizanne,

Thank you! It took a long time to come to that realization, so I am happy to share it. Breaking longstanding habits takes so much work.

Juliana