Addiction

Two Sides of My Anxious, Depressive Soul

Yesterday


Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t make it to the end of my block while I walked the dog before this overwhelming, out-of-the-blue panic hit me. I immediately turned around and could see my house but I felt like I could not get there fast enough. I began to run, trying to match my movement with my heart rate. When I got home there was both a sense of relief and of disappointment. My home is my comfort zone, and that is sometimes disappointing.

As the day went on, I had bouts of crying. Five or six times I broke down as I watched my husband sit there not knowing what else to say other than “You’re going to be okay, you’re just going through a bad time right now.” He held me in the bed as I cried again. He has known me for six years and he has not seen me go through this before. But I have, many times. I warned him about these times. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think he ever thought the vibrant, happy, and full of zest for life woman he married could be the same person sitting in front of him telling him “I promise I won’t kill myself, but I just feel like I am dying.”

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Depression

Maternal Mental Health Screening: What I Wished I’d Had

When I was pregnant back in 1997, I wish my doctor had told me I might be at risk for postpartum depression. Her words wouldn’t have alarmed me. They would have prompted me to get treatment when the darkness did indeed hit.

During my six-week postpartum checkup when I was at my worst, I wish my OB/GYN had handed me a mental health screening and explained the difference between the “blues” and depression.

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Depression

Suicidal? 10 Tips for Keeping Yourself Alive

I remember having my first suicidal thought at the age of 13. At that time, I had discovered that my brother was gay and my sister and father completely abandoned him because of it. I had been molested by a female when I was young, and this revelation about my brother made me wonder if I was going to be gay, too. At the time, I had no clue how a person became gay.

I went on to have tragedy after tragedy arise in my life. To name just a few, I have lost two children and both of my parents; breast cancer at the age of 40, double mastectomy, chemo, two reconstruction surgeries, discovering at the end of my treatment that my husband had been living a double life for many, many years which led to my divorce, and an almost-successful suicide attempt.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: July 16, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I must say, I hope you've all had a better week than I. During a quick getaway last weekend, I managed to catch a nasty summer cold (isn't getting sick during the summer the worst?) and, suffice it to say, I've spent a lot of time couch surfing with a box of tissues and all manner of cold medicine that doesn't. work. at. all.

Cue sneezing fit.

Still, I managed to scour the interwebs for some of the latest in mental health news just for you! Read on to find out the psychological benefits of writing, why time seems to go faster as we age, and -- oh yeah -- why the new all-the-rage app Pokemon Go is actually good for your mental health!

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Depression

When Symptoms of Depression Strike in the Summer

Most of us are familiar with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). During the short, cold, dark days of winter, 4 to 6 percent of people feel depressed, lethargic, pessimistic, and even hopeless. They may eat more and sleep too much.

But you might be less familiar with another type of seasonal affective disorder: depression that sparks in the summer, which about 10 percent of people with SAD experience.

Summertime depression is essentially the opposite of wintertime depression. “People tend to lose weight and feel more agitated and irritable, more likely to be suffering from a ‘
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Anxiety and Panic

Pokemon Go Reportedly Helping People’s Mental Health, Depression

Pokémon Go is a new mobile game app that is based on the popular Pokémon game that was created in 1995. It uses a person's smartphone camera and GPS to place Pokémon characters in the real world in proximity to the player. In order to earn points, these characters need to be "caught" by the player. Players can see the characters in their real world surroundings by looking at their screen, and use the game to capture the Pokémon character.

Although not even out for a full week, many players have already taken to Twitter and other social media to share how Pokémon Go has helped their mental health, mood, social anxiety, and depression.

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Depression

4 Ways to Deal with Depression During Your Academic Career

One of the greatest temptations in college is to keep everything moving and shaking on the outside with little thought for the toll it might take inside. It’s so easy to get caught up in a flurry of collegiate activity -- from coursework to bonding with new friends to feverishly clocking elliptical time and spending every spare moment building a life on campus.

At first, the activity may be a welcome distraction from financial stress, homesickness, fear of failure, and a host of other struggles, but many students find that being busy does not keep them from feeling the roller coaster of emotions that seem to be part of the package deal.

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Antidepressant

A Journey to a Diagnosis

I knew that I had a mental illness. I had for a very long time. Ever since I was 15 and tried to kill myself I knew that I had a mental illness. But I wasn’t very accepting of it. Don’t get me wrong, I tried all of the meds. I always took them. That was, until I got manic and stopped taking them. Nobody knew that I had bipolar disorder. They thought that I had depression or schizoaffective disorder.

In all fairness, I didn’t tell them all of my symptoms, but then, I didn’t know, either. I thought that mania was normal. I thought that that was how normal, happy people were supposed to be. I didn’t think anything else of it.
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Bullying

Recovering from Childhood Abuse: The Past Keeps Getting Clearer

In trauma recovery it is said, “You’ve done the hardest part -- you survived the abuse.”

After a year of accepting that I was sexually abused as a child, I’m finally starting to understand that recovery isn’t the hardest part. The shame is less automatic now, and the past is getting clearer.

As a child suffering abuse we don’t understand exactly what’s happening to us. Sex and sexuality is a mystery, so it’s not easy to recognize sexual abuse. Physical abuse is also confusing. We are tricked into thinking we’ve done something to deserve maltreatment. And in the end, we give in to this naive hope: “Everything is normal. No one would let abuse happen to me. I’m not in an unsafe situation.”
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Depression

Project Semicolon: For Lives that Could Have Ended But Didn’t

There was a girl in front of me in yoga class yesterday with a long piece of text written on her side. I was squinting to see what it said. I almost pulled out my readers, but then I realized we had mirrors in front of us so she could see me struggling to try to read her skin. I thought I’d better return to tree pose.

I find all tattoos intriguing. Even the tacky ones that cover an entire body. They always tell a story that I want to hear.

I am especially intrigued when I see a semicolon, because I know, without having to utter a word to the person who has that specific kind of tattoo, that he or she is a kindred spirit.
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Bipolar

Rating Mental Health Apps: Does Self-Monitoring Even Help?

With more than 165,000 health apps available -- most of them monitoring stuff related to your health in some manner -- you might assume there's a ton of research demonstrating the effectiveness of such self-monitoring. But you'd be wrong.

In the world of mental health apps, there's virtually no research demonstrating that monitoring your moods will benefit your treatment outcomes.

So why do so many companies and developers offer apps that simply spit back the data you put into them? Is there a rating organization that can help you make sense of all the mental health apps available?

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Anxiety and Panic

A Bigger Deal than the Freshman 15

I was (Carolina) blue. Unlike my beloved Tar Heel hoops squad, my unstoppable opponent was bludgeoning me into submission. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety nearly toppled me during my college years. The issue is bigger than my beloved alma mater: On university campuses, mental health issues affect 25 percent of the student body.

I bleed Tar Heel blue. I founded a student organization on campus, graduated with a shiny GPA, and studied abroad in Australia. I rejoiced on Franklin Street when the Heels upended Duke. From riveting seminars to proud traditions, Chapel Hill provided the quintessential university experience.

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