Mental Health and Wellness Articles

When People Don’t Understand Your Mental Health Condition

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

When People Don't Understand Your Mental Health ConditionYou have just been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through.

Here are four ways to deal with this situation.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Make Good Decisions

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

difficluty-making-decisionsWe make countless minute and monumental decisions on a daily basis.

What time will I wake up? What will I eat for breakfast? What tasks will I tackle at work? Should I say yes or no to this commitment? Do I want the promotion? Do I want this person for my partner? What doctor should I see? Where should my kids go to school?

Psychotherapist Alison Thayer, LCPC, helps her clients navigate all sorts of decisions — “from how to handle a difficult situation at work or a disagreement with a loved one, to life-changing [decisions], such as quitting a job, ending a relationship or even doing both and relocating to another state.”

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just to get through our daily routines. Our bodies become just as blunted as our spirits. Happily, though, there are three easy and inspiring activities that can help us beat the blues and increase our general well-being.

When You Feel Shame About Your Mental Illness

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

When You Feel Shame About Your Mental IllnessA mental illness affects everything from your thoughts to your behavior to your relationships. It may sap your energy, mood and sleep. It may distort your beliefs about yourself and sink your self-esteem. It may feel like your days are regularly filled with a series of obstacles.

Navigating life with a mental illness is tough enough. But many people also feel an overwhelming sense of shame.

“Nearly all of my clients have struggled with shame about having a mental illness, or even about having feelings that are inconvenient or that seem out of sync with what others seem to feel,” said Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco. She focuses on helping clients relate to themselves and their lives with greater self-compassion.

On Hating Yourself Less

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Child punishmentIn her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story:

Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by now, not teaching fourth grade. I was supposed to have made earthshaking discoveries. It was expected of me. And I failed.

How to Find a Good Mental Health Counselor

Friday, August 8th, 2014

How to Find a Good Mental Health CounselorMany people have a difficult time finding an effective mental health counselor. The key is to find one that will help you solve your current mental health problems. If you do not know what you are looking for or where to start, then here are a few ideas:

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

healthtap.comThe more medications and supplements I try in an effort to minimize my symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more I realize that every edible item you place in your mouth has a risk associated with it. Even the natural ones that are supposedly made from cats’ claws, wild yams, or some organic plant. Moreover, you need to read about its potential side effects and inform yourself before you place the thing on your tongue, because chances are your doctor won’t be well-versed in all the strange reactions it could cause.

Key Questions for Couples to Consider before Baby Arrives

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

right-way-feed-babyThere’s no shortage of advice and to-do lists for parents-to-be. There are articles on do’s and don’ts; information about things you should and shouldn’t buy; and books you must read right away. The sheer overload of information can be dizzying.

Pausing can help. In fact, one of the best things parents-to-be can do is to look within and reflect together. Not surprisingly, communication between partners is key when you start expanding your family.

6 Conditions that Feel Like Clinical Depression but Aren’t

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

2e503ef3c30738e85e847238e0c34babIf a person went to his primary care physician and complained of symptoms of fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of interest in regular activities, persistent sadness, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, I am pretty sure he would leave that office with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and a prescription for Zoloft, Prozac, or another popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). After all, the guy has just cataloged the classic symptoms of clinical depression.

However, those same symptoms belong to a variety of other conditions that require treatments other than antidepressants and psychotherapy, the two pillars of conventional psychiatric recovery today. They may certainly look and feel like clinical depression to the outsider, but they may require just a small tweak in diet or hormones. Here are six conditions that fall under that category.

Relearning How to Relate to People After a Major Trauma

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

IsolationWhen I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, it was almost impossible for me to talk to people, let alone relate to them.

If it wasn’t the constant anxiety and paranoia keeping me from engaging, it was the burden of having an 800 lb. gorilla that nobody understood hanging over my head.

How could I possibly get on anyone else’s level when there was this immense self-stigmatizing diagnosis of being crazy sitting on my shoulders?

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

When You Regularly Feel Insecure in Your Relationship

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

When You Regularly Feel Insecure in Your RelationshipDo you tend to feel insecure in your relationships? Do you often feel worried, lonely or jealous? Have partners commented on how clingy you get? Then you might have an anxious attachment.

“Anxious attachment is a way of describing the way some people connect with others — especially emotionally significant others — in their lives,” said Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and speaker. Individuals with an anxious attachment believe they’re flawed, inadequate and unworthy of love, she said.

Recent Comments
  • normalguy: I think number 1 and 2 cover it the most. I love my wife thoroughly, no other woman has ever come even...
  • Anna: Saint Theresa. I too have depression and have to fight it all the time with exercise and surrounding myself...
  • Granny Flee: James, do you know anything that can help bipolar cycles. Usually I experience a Mania cycle caused by...
  • Survivor of people with BPD: I consider myself of a survivor of BPD. I grew up with a mom who was a really bad BPD....
  • Alpha: I would monitor him closely over the next year to see how he progresses. If he doesn’t improve, I highly...
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