Addiction

What if They Find Out?

A regular worry that I've had as of late is about people finding out I struggle with mental health issues.

Although I have been casually open about having “anxieties,” there are few people who know the depth of what that means in my case. My recent coming out of the mental health closet has been attempted before, through previous blogging that I quickly halted before “they” might see.

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Bipolar

Bipolar Lenses

Explaining utter darkness to someone who has only lived in the sunlight would be a difficult task. They would have to believe you and trust in something they have never experienced. If you haven't experienced the darkness, perhaps after reading this you can help someone out of it.

Mania


When my eyes open in the morning, my mind goes from slumber to 100 mph. "I don’t know why I haven’t thought that! I need a (brain singing the Three’s Company theme song) new car! If I sold my current car and (dang I need a burger) sold my Xbox and TV I could afford the down payment and if I sell those baseball cards in the attic I can still pay rent! Wow! I am so handsome today! I know that I flunked out of college, but I am smarted than 90 percent of people so does it really matter? I want donuts. What DVDs do I have that I can sell to afford them?"
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Addiction

8 Healthy Reasons to Ditch Your Bad Habits

There comes a time of self-reckoning in everyone’s life. After months and possibly years of indulging in known vices and allowing yourself to slip into bad habits, you realize that this isn’t what your life is supposed to be. While you’re not quite sure where to begin, you know that you need to do something different. Consider these reasons for changing things up.

1. Feel better about yourself.
The decision to change is never easy. The pros and cons for doing so will occupy a lot of time at first. But once you commit to a decision to make a change, you will start to feel better about yourself. The fact that you’re taking proactive steps is reinforcement that only builds over time. When you start seeing improvement as a result of the actions you take, your mood lifts and your perspective changes. It’s no longer a corner you’re backed into, but a wide open path that beckons.

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Anxiety and Panic

Dear Friends: Why My Anxiety Ruined Our Relationships


It's not for the reasons you think.

Dear Ex-Friends,

You might have remembered the first time we met. More than likely we instantaneously clicked and thought we would become BFFs. We probably called each other almost every other day and planned out life events together. We probably really loved to be in each other's company because we were just "so much alike," and I couldn't speak highly enough of you.

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Children and Teens

5 Tips for Reducing Ever-Growing Mom Guilt

Moms tend to feel guilty for all sorts of things. They feel guilty for working full-time or part-time. They feel guilty for not breastfeeding or for stopping too soon. They feel guilty for not being able to join their child’s field trip. Again. They feel guilty for taking time for themselves. For not cooking from scratch. For the dirty clothes in the corner and the dirty dishes in the sink. For not making enough money. For making mistakes. For being too tired. For anything.

As psychotherapist Krysta Dancy, MA MFT, said, guilt “begins in pregnancy and childbirth -- all the different ways to give birth -- flows through infancy -- feeding choices, sleeping philosophies -- and never lets up.”
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Ethics & Morality

How to Keep an Open Mind — Even During an Election Year

The presidential election is less than six months away and we’re all starting to feel a little fed up. Judgment, opinions, shaming, and finger-wagging are happening all around us. The news media can pump into our homes 24/7. We’re all left thinking, “Can’t we just vote already?”

You know how you feel. You know your values. You’re capable of digesting information and making a decision -- you do that all day long. And you’d definitely be more open to hearing new perspectives if people were respectful of that.
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Anger

6 Tips for De-Escalating an Argument

Arguments are a part of most relationships, friendships, and workplaces. Humans are social creatures, and inevitably we will come across a person's perspective or a topic area with which we disagree. While we try our best to be respectful, it can be difficult keeping things neutral.

If arguing is a normal part of life, how do we do it better? How can we de-escalate an argument, keeping a minor disagreement from turning into a major blowout?

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Children and Teens

Fear of Missing Out Affecting Your Family? 7 Tips to Help

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a trendy term today. Which might lead us to dismiss or minimize its influence. But for many families, FOMO is a real problem that impedes their connection.

According to psychotherapist Rebecca Ziff, LCSW, FOMO depletes the quality of family time. She’s worked with kids and teens who aren’t able to enjoy downtime with their families because they worry they’re missing out on social functions with their friends. Which means they aren’t fully engaged or present with their families. Understandably, this leaves parents “feeling undervalued and ignored.”
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Anxiety and Panic

6 Incredibly Effective Ways to Love Someone with Social Anxiety


How to nurture your relationship with your socially anxious partner.

What is social anxiety disorder? It's a type of anxiety disorder characterized by fear of negative evaluation or humiliation, concerns about the judgments of others, and worry that one will be rejected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it's one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting around 15 million people in the United States.

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Friends

Having Trouble Making Friends? Stop Obsessing Over Yourself


It's actually pretty simple. “If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested.” These are the famous words of my husband’s grandmother. She took conversation making seriously, and understood the golden rule of friendships -- put into people what you want back.

When it comes to making friends, we all pretty much understand the same principle applies: to have a friend, we know we have to be a friend. But sometimes this isn’t so straightforward, and is harder than it seems.
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Bullying

Kill Them with Kindness

“Matt, you are too sensitive,” a family member said.

I chafed at the label. Sensitivity, within my immediate family, is disparaged as a sign of weakness. Stoicism, with the occasional angry outburst, reigns. Feelings? According to my family, Oprah and I should schedule couch time to discuss them.

In my world, feelings predominate. My mood and emotion vacillate based on a heart-warming compliment or stinging rebuke. When feeling well, I exude confidence and joy. When feeling down, I ruminate and question. Feelings -- and a willingness to experience raw, unfiltered emotion -- define me.
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