As much as we want to believe it’s gone, it isn’t

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…


Different strokes for different folks

Introduction

In the psychiatric community, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) tend to be spoken in the same breath. Diagnosed with BPD? Then you need to enter DBT treatment. I was one of those individuals for whom DBT was the first-line treatment when I was diagnosed with BPD in 1990, following my second suicide attempt.

According to the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD), “BPD can be defined as a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively. …


Finding connection in a lonely world.

Since the beginning, humans have needed others — regardless of gender, ethnicity, or geographic location, we are social creatures. Quality relationships make us happier, healthier, and more productive. Social support buffers stress and fulfills an important psychological need to belong and feel accepted by others.

In an ideal, harmonious world, we would all enjoy plenty of health-protecting relationships, but that is not the reality for many. A startling number of people struggle with loneliness. …


MENTAL HEALTH

7 steps to feeling less anxious and more at ease

My travel bug and I have been loyal friends for a long time now – we truly love and need each other.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours on and in crammed airplanes, stinky busses, wrecked trains, sinking boats, dirty motorbikes, overpriced taxis, dodgy Ubers, colorful tuk-tuks, and squealing rikshaws to calm that hyperactive bug down for just a few weeks each year.

But I do have a problem. There is another companion who has been following me for as long as I can remember. I don’t want it in my life. I’ve tried everything to get rid of it but…


Always check the rules before going on holiday

I read a news article recently about a man travelling to Dubai being sent to prison for not having the correct documentation for his anxiety medication. I’ll spare you the horrific details of the treatment he had to endure, but it got me thinking, how many other countries have strict rules on medication that we aren’t aware of?

Anxiety and depression medication is a very common prescription, with 17.3% of the U.K adult population thought to be on antidepressants. As such, you would assume there would be no problems when it comes to going on holiday.

Chances are if you…


We need to change our perceptions entirely

I remember sitting in a doctor’s office about ten years into my mom’s addiction, and the doctor turned to me and said, that your mom will die if she stays in her current state. She made it a bit more devastating when she said that my mom would be lucky to live past the end of the year.

What do we do as a family? How do we figure out a way to save our mom’s life within that time? At that point, I made the mistake of starting to look up cures.

There’s nothing wrong with searching for a…


After 6 lockdowns in 2 years, the usual practices stopped working. Here’s what I did instead

The other day I came across an article that said Melbourne’s on track to become the city with the most number of days in hard lockdown due to COVID. We’re talking 267 days of staying home with limited reasons to go out and a radius limit of three miles for exercise. 267 days?! Let’s be honest, I stopped counting after the third lockdown.

This time last year, I wrote about the psychological impact of lockdowns and documented all the ways I tried to cope including the well-known practices of gratitude and meditation. …


It isn’t over, just because the pain is gone.

What most consider a “migraine” is actually just one stage in a complicated neurological illness. The other stages can play out invisibly but still negatively impact quality of life.

There are four stages of a migraine: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome (what most of us migraineurs refer to as the “hangover”).

For each migraineur, each stage plays out differently. For some, the early stages go unnoticed; others have visual displays that rival LSD, facial numbness, or audio hallucinations. As someone with a migraineur in their life, it is important to understand that the “attack” isn’t the whole story.

Prodrome — the beginning

Prodrome can…


She got a COVID-19 breakthrough case this summer

So, during this past August, my wife got a breakthrough case of COVID-19. She’s okay, but she lost her sense of taste and smell. It’s slowly coming back as of this writing.

Now I know there are lots of stories out there about autistics having empathy, and most of them are written by women autistics. A 2005 study noted women are more empathetic than men. This could explain why early ASD suffers were labeled as lacking empathy since many were males.

But there are two major kinds of empathy; cognitive empathy (“the capacity to understand another’s perspective or mental state”)…


And you should be questioning the intentions of those that try to convince you otherwise

Trigger Warning: this article contains mention of suicide and disturbing facts about social media and mental health

Based on what I have heard from other people’s experiences, I do not think I have mental illnesses at all. But a lot of my experience on social media is not different from many people’s experiences.

Even with hardly anyone that follows me (if we are to consider significance as being an influencer), I still have times when I have gotten into my head over social media. I constantly think about whether or not I should post, when I do post, I get…

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

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