Disorders

Poison Pills? When Meds Strike Back

This narrative details my personal experience with medications. Medications impact each person differently; please consult with your psychiatrist if side effects persist.
The medication bottle gravely intones, “May cause drowsiness, use care operating a vehicle, vessel, or dangerous machinery.” If only.

Over 15 years ago, a well-meaning nurse at UNC-Chapel Hill prescribed an antidepressant. “It will make you feel better,” she soothed. Capitulating to her, I begrudgingly placed the tiny capsule under my tongue.

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Anxiety and Panic

Why It’s Important to Be Positive About Mental Illness

I love hope-filled stories of recovery from mental illness. Living with bipolar disorder has led to many instances of triumph over my circumstances and I often write about them. As anyone who lives with or knows someone with mental illness is aware, it’s a horrible disease.

Do Positive Experiences Glorify Mental Illness?


As a writer and speaker about my experience with bipolar and
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

10 Ways to Cultivate Good Gut Bacteria and Reduce Depression

We are all born with genes that predispose us to all kinds of things -- in my case, most of the psychiatric illnesses listed in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

While we have some control over the way our genes express themselves or “turn on” -- a new science called epigenetics -- we are more or less stuck with our human genome. But we are by no means permanently attached to a diagnosis of Major Depression Disorder (if that is what Mom and Dad kindly handed down).

Each of us also has a complex collection of bacteria living in our guts -- our distinct microbiome -- that also has genes. And THOSE genes we can maneuver in any way we want.
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Anger

Best of Our Blogs: August 9, 2016


Anxiety can be crippling, but you can learn to manage it. Grudges might hurt you more than the "guilty" party, but you can let go of past grievances. Sometimes, it's easy to let others dictate how they'll treat you in a relationship, but you can set boundaries and show people what you expect -- and won't tolerate -- from them.

Get ready to explore new paths you can take

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Caregivers

Good Qualities of Adult Children of Mentally Ill Mothers

There isn’t really a huge trumpet blowing for the qualities that blossom in the children of mentally ill mothers. Not even much of a toot. But there’s a whole orchestra booming about the downsides: the lack of self-esteem, difficulty forming relationships, trusting people, or most uplifting of all: the inevitability of developing your very own mental illness.

Just for once, let’s not go to that particular concert. Because maybe, if you’re the child of a mentally ill mother, you also have the capacity for things like this:

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Depression

Depression and Men: Why It’s Hard to Ask for Help

Fans surprised Supernatural star Jared Padalecki at Comic-Con on Sunday, July 12, by lighting candles in the audience -- over 7,000 of them -- as a thank you for opening up about his struggles with depression and as a tribute to his Always Keep Fighting campaign that supports people struggling with depression, self-injury, addiction, or suicidal thoughts. You can see Padalecki's Tweet here:

View from stage. #ComicCon pic.twitter.com/aIy04Cf6ak
— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) July 12, 2015
During filming of the third season of Supernatural, Padalecki broke down in his trailer after shooting an episode. A doctor soon diagnosed him with clinical
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Bullying

Family Matters: Self-Preservation Tips

“Maybe when he is older, he will understand mental health’s impact. He will have a girlfriend and, one day, he will get it,” my late mother whispers to me.

I nod, more to appease my weary mother. Her eyes glow when discussing her three sons. With an infectious cackle and mischievous smile, she would tease me about my eccentricities. When I absentmindedly misplaced that night’s homework assignment, she would endearingly refer to me as “Barnacle Breath.”

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Brain and Behavior

Life with Borderline Personality Disorder

Do you know what borderline personality disorder (BPD) is? Many people have never heard of it, despite the fact that more than three million people are diagnosed with it each year in the United States alone. Symptoms include but are not limited to: depression and anxiety; an extreme fear of abandonment; black and white thinking; reckless, impulsive behavior; uncontrollable rage at situations that do not call for it;; and suicidal ideation. This condition is usually (but not always) the result of abuse.

There are a number of reasons you may not have heard of BPD. It often is seen as a “fake” disorder, made up by those seeking attention. This is ironic, because needing attention is a symptom of BPD. However, studies such as this one have shown that BPD is a real disorder, and affects those who have it just as much as any other disorder.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Stop Emotions from Controlling Your Life

Emotions are designed by nature to be fleeting. Biologically, emotion is meant to prompt us to action, give us important information about our surroundings, motivate us, and help us communicate with others. However, most of us have learned to ignore this internal guidance system and avoid negative emotions altogether.

We have learned to unconsciously shut down our body’s internal processing system when we start to feel any signs of vulnerability, fear, or rejection. We stop our bodies from allowing these natural emotions to rise up and convey their message. We do this when we overuse television, social media, alcohol or drugs, or partake in any addictive behavior. We also avoid emotion by distracting ourselves with meaningless activities.
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