As a carer for someone with a mental health illness, I’m constantly debunking the misconceptions surrounding treatment.
Among other things too.
But there is significant misunderstanding surrounding treatment. Those that understand seem to be those dealing with it, or caring for someone else.
The problem is that false information about mental health treatments hurts everyone. Not just those suffering and needing treatment.
For the people seeking help, it can feel disappointing when our expectations don’t meet reality. When the promise of medical intervention doesn’t pan out as we’re led to believe.
For the support systems, it can feel like we’re…
The room was dark and was illuminated by the light coming from the television. I had just come home from my last field trip in high school. I rested at the edge of my parents’ bed while my second sister was watching. She saw me scratching my arms — or at least that’s what she thought. Bothered by my rapid scratching, she turned on the light and saw me… I’ve turned pale blue and was having my first seizure attack.
It was then that my life changed forever.
From being the third in the batch, I dropped down to 11th…
There’s a relationship between the things we do and our mood. When we feel positive, we’re likely to engage in enjoyable activities which make us feel even happier.
On the flip side, when we find ourselves feeling depressed, it becomes difficult to do things that will bring enjoyment in our life, making us stay in a depressed mood.
Instead, a way out of this negative cycle is to proactively seek out opportunities and increase our activity to bring pleasure into our life. Here’s a simple approach that may help you do just that.
In a nutshell, when our mood is…
“Do you have a mask?”
I ask my boyfriend as we get out of the car, ready to walk to the restaurant.
He pats his back pocket.
“I don’t think we actually need them,” he says, shrugging.
“I think we do — at least while we walk to our seats.”
From the quarter-mile walk to the car to the restaurant, I saw one mask on an elderly man.
As I took my own mask off — wanting to fit in with the masses as much as I did when we were all wearing masks by some human design — I…
“It ain’t perfect but I don’t mind,
’Cause on the surface I look so fine,
But really I’m bugging, bugging,
Making something out of nothing”
— “Perfect” by Rapper Mac Miller —
For many creative people, our work is often inspired by pain and trauma. Art often has a way of channeling pain as much as it does creating beauty, an escape pod for our trauma and mental anxieties.
However, in living with so much darkness, it can also blind you from happiness. While humanity loves to indulge in good art, we rarely acknowledge the creative process behind our favorite…
Imagine receiving some tough personal news at work. Perhaps a close friend or relative is ill or worse. Or imagine working overtime for days on end and feeling extremely burnt out. Either way, you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a safe space to face your emotions and calm down.
What can you do? Go to the bathroom and cry at the risk of running into your colleagues? Take the elevator down to the first floor and escape outside, only to have strangers surround you?
Attempt to go to your building’s “wellness" room, which is more fitting as a sick room? One…
One of the hardest things to do is to get help.
As a carer of someone with mental health issues, I know this well. It can be an eternal struggle to convince them that help is a positive step. That there will be benefits from speaking with the right people. And that there is only so much we can do without medical intervention.
I spent many days and nights in heated arguments about the idea of help. It’s a scary prospect, telling your innermost feelings and hardships to a complete stranger. Yet, more so, it’s admitting there is something wrong…
“Lighting new cigarettes,
It has been a beautiful
― Charles Bukowski
They say smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit because of how addictive nicotine is. Going without nicotine causes the smoker to crave smoking intensely and powerfully, so they say, creating a situation where only nicotine can bring them relief from their suffering.
Any bad habit works like that, from nicotine to alcohol to shopping to binge-watching Netflix. The longer you go without it, the more you want it, and the sweeter the relief is when you finally get it.
It’s May, and mental health awareness month has started. Every year I look forward to the social media programming: the people who share stories of recovery, those receiving support for their current struggles, and the community of providers on social media sharing amazing mental health content. I feel so much solidarity with all of these groups because I’ve been one of them at some point in my life.
As a psychotherapist and someone who identifies as a wounded healer, I feel so honored to witness others’ stories, especially on social media. Even just a few years ago, some people wouldn’t…
I always hope I could help others feel more normal by sharing my mental health confessions.
After all, normalization is exactly what I needed as a younger transgender girl. The stigma ran deep against my gender identity and the ways I wanted to express myself.
Before the transgender tipping point, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable writing this. Like being queer, trans identity was once classified as a mental disorder. I didn’t want to reinforce that association by talking about all the other, loosely related ways I’ve struggled inside.
We don't talk enough about mental health.