I started writing about depression in 2017 on my blog, "Mahevash Muses." Then in 2019, I got the opportunity to write about it here at HealthyPlace. The experience has been cathartic, and I wouldn't want to trade it for anything else (other than not being clinically depressed). That said, there are some things I wish I had known before I became a depression blogger.
One of the most damaging misconceptions about mental illness, anxiety included, is that it’s somehow necessary to produce something creative. This could not be further from the truth – the reality is often the exact opposite. Anxiety can often be crippling to creativity, for reasons that are, when they are given even just a little thought, more than obvious.
Is there a right time to share your eating disorder story? And if so, when do you know the time is right? I have been thinking about these questions lately with regard to my own eating disorder story. A few months ago, I heard vulnerability researcher Brené Brown state in a podcast interview, "If there is a part of my story that I feel compelled to seek external validation for, then I am not ready to talk about it publicly."
I'm not great at mental illness recovery. How do I know I'm getting better? A lot of the time, I can't even see progress. I think I'm improving, and then my mental health takes a dive. It feels like this will never end. And maybe it won't. I will probably deal with mental illness for the rest of my life, so I've found some useful tools for measuring my progress in mental illness recovery.
I love validation. I need it so much all the time, and sometimes I lose sight of the bigger picture. I stop seeing it as part of my healing and recovery, and I start seeing it as the end goal—the destination. Really, validation is a journey; it's something that's always ongoing, and I will never reach a point where I feel fully, 100 percent, in a way that will never fade or waver. Plus, even though validation is an essential aspect of healing, it is not the same thing as healing.
Today is my birthday. I usually travel somewhere and pretend the day doesn't exist. However, this year I'm in lockdown, so I have to face the fact that I got a year older. I decided to practice gratitude and celebrate all the little achievements that made me who I am today. For instance, I feel grateful that I can write for HealthyPlace as it helps me (and, hopefully, my readers) stop self-harm.
It is common got people with mental illness in their family to help care for and provide support for mentally ill family members. The same is true for me, but I had to learn how to take care of my family from far away when I decided to move to a new state. Keep reading to find out how I do it.
Laura A. Barton
Conversations and awareness efforts for mental health and mental illness do talk about certain disorders, but there are still many mental health conditions we generally don't talk about that we need to destigmatize. Because there is this narrowness of conversation and the heavy stigma around many mental illnesses, there's some work to do when it comes to even approaching how we can tackle the stigma they face.
Seeking therapy for your mental health is a huge step in treatment. In order to reap the full benefits, you must trust your therapist and be honest. This might sound obvious, but it's worth emphasizing that trust and honesty won't always be easy. Here are five things to remember when you have a hard time trusting your therapist and being honest during your appointments.
It's not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder (and other mental illnesses) to think they're fine and they don't need bipolar medication. There are several reasons for this, and it can happen at any time during treatment. This thought pattern can truly hurt people. So, let's take a look at why some people with bipolar disorder think they don't need bipolar medication.