Our attitude towards our mental health issues has a massive impact on how well we cope with them. Other people can help us by saying supportive things, so raising mental heath awareness is important. But, the most vital thing is actually what we tell ourselves.

Photo by Thomas Wolter on Pixabay

As a therapist in recovery from a range of mental health issues, the things I think every mental health sufferer needs to hear are based on both my personal experience and my studies. If you aren’t telling yourself these four things now, please start. …


If you had told me 20 years ago that I’d now be siting peacefully in a hall listening to a bald guy in saffron robes, I’d have called you crazy. Firstly, I didn’t expect to live another two decades. And secondly, if I had somehow managed to survive my mental health issues, I certainly never expected to be peaceful. Or listening to Buddhist monks.

Yet, here I am, grateful to be alive, happy, and relishing the wise teachings of Buddhist monks. Yes, I am a Buddhist. It’s not an overstatement to say Buddhism helped save my life. …


Suicide never just happens. No individual emotion causes it. No single event is responsible for it. People are driven to suicide when they reach a state of extreme hopelessness. This despair is so awful that people believe only suicide can relieve it.

But the recipe for suicidal despair requires a mixture of ingredients, which combine to form a toxic stew. The ingredients are emotional, social, and environmental. By understanding all the components, we can help prevent people from reaching suicidal states.

The Emotions of Suicide

Many people equate suicide with overwhelming feelings of depression or sadness. But sorrow alone does not prompt someone to…


Sober-curiosity is a “thing” now. With folk becoming more open about struggling with alcohol and liver disease levels rising, more people are trialing abstinence. Searching Twitter on the final day of Dry January, I found that people expressed their experience of sobriety in one of three ways:

1. Why the Hell didn’t I get sober sooner? This is awesome!

2. I’ve had my break. Now bring on the beers!

3. I appreciated sobriety. I’d love to stay sober, but…

This piece is for the third group, those whose sober-curiosity was rewarded but who have reservations about long-term sobriety. So let’s…


I’m not a heartless bully and I don’t recommend becoming one. But caring too much is a form of cruelty, albeit one disguised as a virtue. It’s good to care, to an extent. But when you care too much, you end up being unkind to yourself. As a recovering alcoholic, author, and a reformed “over-carer”, here is what I have learned about not caring.

Not Caring Gives You Confidence

Caring too much is a surefire way to drain your confidence. Worrying about whether you’re doing things right, or about what other people might think, is paralyzing. …


Horrid brain, always trying to put a downer your day, throwing up troubling feelings, flashbacks, and fears. From depression to anxiety to PTSD symptoms, is there nothing the brain won’t do to make you feel bad?

Don’t get mad at your brain for the pain it causes. It isn’t deliberately being a nuisance; it’s doing something very intelligent. If you understand the purpose of mental health symptoms, you can befriend your grey matter rather than treating it as an enemy. And you should value your brain, because it is part of you, and you are not the problem.

Trust Your Brain

When you…


Mark Twain devised a clever way of looking at worries and was able to banish 92 percent of his anxieties. We’re going a step further than the literary behemoth, aiming for 100 percent deletion of your worries. This is not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re willing, I will give you the truth and the tools.

First, think of everything you tend to worry about: persistent worries, past worries, everything. Make a long “worry list”. If you’re not too depressed after doing that, assign your worry thoughts to the following categories:

  1. Worries about future disasters
  2. Worries about past decisions
  3. Worries…


What if I told you that I have recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, bulimia, self-harm, Social Anxiety Disorder, and alcoholism - and that there was one tiny thing that was the key to recovering from them all?

You might think I had become a magician, “discovered” religion, or was a compulsive liar. But none of those things played a part (although becoming a wizard might have been cool.)

It may surprise you to learn that it was neither therapy nor medication that helped me to start and stay on my path of recovery and self-development. …


When I was in my early teens, I started traveling along a Highway to Hell that would probably make AC/DC blush. The seeds for my perilous path were probably planted much earlier than that, but around the age of 14, they started to sprout, setting me off on a terrible, self-destructive journey that would last for well over a decade.

My car crash of a life was hidden under my sleeves, on my arms, in cuts and burns.

If you’d been able to peek behind closed doors, you would have caught a glimpse of a girl throwing up everything she…


People make some really crazy choices. I know I have. And I’m not talking about buying those eye-watering two-tone pants that I thought were pretty funky when I was 14. Or the time I decided to ‘bleach’ streaks in my hair using actual toilet bleach.

I’m talking about how people make terrible decisions about the way they allow their lives to unfold.

Anyone who knows me will attest to me having been The Worst Decision-maker In History, especially when I was an alcoholic. Lindsay Lohan may (or may not) wish to fight me for the right to that title; but…

Beth Burgess

★Wellbeing & Wisdom ★Therapist @ www.smyls.co.uk ★Thinker @ www.wiseism.com ★Award-winning, Bestselling Author @ http://amzn.to/1soSY56 ★Human ★Friend ★Namaste

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