Mental Health and Wellness Articles

Dealing with Insults: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

P3270051My friend is waiting for a table at a local restaurant. She is one of those table stalkers, who intuitively knows who is getting up when. She’s been hovering over a certain table for a good half hour. She is most certain the table is hers until some guy comes out of left field and starts talking to the couple who is leaving. Then he sits down with his girlfriend.

This does not deter my friend from her mission. With the confidence of Marilyn Monroe, she plops down at the table with the guy and his girlfriend and unfolds a napkin over her lap.

Turning Worry into Productive Action

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Don't Panic! 7 Ways To Overcome AnxietyMany of us worry. A lot. We worry about anything and everything — from work to the weather to money to appearance to social situations, according to Andrea Umbach, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders at Southeast Psych in Charlotte, N.C.

We also “ruminate about things that happened in the past, usually experiencing guilt or regret,” and “about what might happen in the future — the ‘what ifs.’”

We assume that our worrying helps us to plan and prepare. However, “real preparation requires action,” Umbach said.

Worry only paralyzes us.

3 Ways to Cultivate Hope

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

P2200022I’m not a mental health professional. I’m a hope builder. I feel like that, more than anything else I do on this earth, is my purpose. Because hope, when you really think about it, is the only thing you need to get better (besides lots of drugs, exercise, fish oil, probiotics, friends, self-help books, doctors, sleep, therapists, nutritionists, support groups, meditation, yoga, divine intervention, etc.). Once you stop believing in a better tomorrow, you’re in trouble.

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarThis past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

A Zen Approach to Depression

Monday, August 25th, 2014

chinabuddhismencyclopedia.comIn his book, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, psychiatrist Mark Epstein, M.D. tells …

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

How to Be Diligent in Your Recovery

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

3 Ways to Develop A Spiritual PracticeRecovery is a long process. It takes time and it takes patience to achieve a relative balance and to find a measure of health after you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

When I was diagnosed eight years ago with schizophrenia I was so riddled by delusions and paranoia that I could hardly step foot outside. I was constantly worried that people were thinking things about me, talking behind my back and conspiring against me. In the thick of it, it was me against this horrible evil world, and to say it broke me would be an understatement.

8 Steps to Like Yourself (More)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

87a01aa040aa5b1967988e93a55a8c9cNotice the word “like.” I’m not going to be so bold as to introduce eight steps that will have you love yourself. Baby steps, right?

For some, self-love is a no-brainer. They grew up in homes where LOVE was the predominant four-letter word. Some possess too much, and like Vanity Smurf, are most comfortable with a mirror in hand. These are the loud talkers, who think that everyone 20 feet behind and ahead of them should hear what’s on their mind.

I have been working toward self-like for 25 years now and think I have about 25 more to go before I’m truly comfortable in my own skin.

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in PsychosisIn the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things.

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About Depression

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About DepressionDepression is one of the most common conditions in the world. It affects all segments of society and virtually all cultures, said Constance Hammen, Ph.D, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California.

And yet many people don’t know much about depression or tend to misunderstand it. Some misconceptions “persist because depression has tended to be stigmatizing and people don’t learn about it, discuss it, or recognize it.”

Is Counseling or Self-Help the Route for You?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Is Counseling or Self-Help the Route for You?Both counseling and self-help tools can be invaluable in living with mental illness. They can contribute to your recovery.

Over 15 years of illness, I have experienced both. Counseling has been demanding yet deeply rewarding. Self-help has taught me to be loving toward myself and my family.

But how do you know which will work best for you? Are years of trial and error inevitable?

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