Mental Health and Wellness Articles

The Truth About Anxiety

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The Truth About Anxiety When you feel panic washing over you, the sweat collecting in your palms and dripping down your knees, heartbeat blaring through your chest, the inner shakiness and shallow breathing, the butterflies stomping inside your stomach, all you want to do — desperately —  is to make it stop.

In those moments anxiety feels dangerous. It feels like something is terribly wrong. Or maybe we know that we’re not in real danger, that we’re experiencing a panic attack, but our bodies are in such a state of terror that we don’t care. The panic is too persuasive, and we yearn to escape. We yearn for anxiety to go away forever.

You Can’t Force Things

Monday, October 13th, 2014

You Can't Force ThingsIt’s been tough getting to sleep the last few nights.

I’ll go to bed and turn off the light and then the thoughts start pouring in. I’ll worry that I didn’t do the right thing in any number of situations during the day. I’ll worry about the work I have to do the next day. I’ll worry that no matter what I do, I’ll never be closer to my dream of buying a house in the mountains.

It occurred to me last night while I was lying there, though, that you can’t force sleep. If you try to fall asleep and see that you’re not, that’s just one more thing to worry about. The sleep will come; it always does. There’s no point in trying to force it to happen.

Sidestepping Depression Stigma

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Sidestepping Depression Stigma According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. These figures aren’t too dissimilar to those for cancer; it is estimated that more than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Despite these statistics regarding the prevalence of mental health issues, they haven’t been addressed with nearly the same attention or support as physical illnesses. This could have to do with the stigma surrounding mental health.

Why Depression and Sadness Are not the Same

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Why Depression And Sadness Are Not the SameDepression and sadness are often viewed as the same thing. Part of the confusion is that the most recognizable symptom of depression is sadness, according to Stephanie Smith, PsyD, a psychologist in practice in Erie, Colo.

Many people use the words interchangeably. “It’s just part of our popular culture. ‘I’m so depressed!’ to most of us actually means ‘I’m so sad!’ — except maybe it sounds a bit more sophisticated,” she said.

Sadness is a painful emotion. At times, it can feel utterly agonizing. But it’s “a normal response to difficult life events,” said Elaine Ducharme, Ph.D, a board certified clinical psychologist in private practice in Glastonbury, Conn.

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

misery joyMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Living with any mental illness is never easy. Nowhere is this more true that when a person has to deal with the likes of schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder.

Sometimes treatments don’t seem to work as effectively as promised. Other times we run into friends or family members just not really knowing how to act around you. It can be overwhelming, challenging, and frustrating — all in the scope of one day.

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health Day

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health DayOctober 10 is World Mental Health Day and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2014 focus to be schizophrenia. The people at the William Glasser Institute – US (WGI-US) took to heart Dr. Glasser’s mandate that society treat mental health as a public health issue. When we do that, the focus is on prevention and mental health rather than treatment, psychopharmacology and mental illness.

Most people understand the steps they can implement to improve their physical health. WGI-US is geared toward helping people understand the habits they can develop that will improve their mental health. So on October 10, while other organizations are focusing their efforts on raising awareness for mental illness, WGI-US will be providing 24-hour programming on prevention, mental health, resilience and happiness.

Introducing Mixed Bag of Mental Health

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Introducing Mixed Bag of Mental Health

Our lives are complex things. We sometimes forget to stop and wonder at how we keep it all together.

Many people suffer from various mental health concerns throughout their lives, oftentimes they may even occur together at the same time (like depression and anxiety). Living with these things, or with something like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), can be a challenge.

What happens when you have a mixed bag of life experiences — and mental health diagnoses?

That’s what this blog, Mixed Bag of Mental Health with Kelley Smith, will explore.

Top Reasons Couples Fall Out of Love

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Top Reasons Couples Fall Out of LoveYou’ll hear many people say “we just aren’t ‘in love’ with each other anymore.” But relationships don’t naturally fall apart, according to Susan Orenstein, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

Other reasons often underlie a relationship’s breakdown. Below, you’ll find these common reasons along with several helpful suggestions if one hits close to home.

6 Absolute Must-Haves for Relationship Compatibility

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

6 Absolute Must-Haves for Relationship Compatibility

Romantic relationships can be a lot of fun! The start of a new relationship is nearly always one of the most exciting times, as you each explore one another’s hopes, dreams … and bodies.

But what happens if you want to turn that short-term fling into a longer-term thing? Will those same characteristics you found exciting and different in your romantic partner work long-term?

You don’t have to be 100 percent compatible in order to make a long-term relationship work. But there are a few areas that you’ll find it beneficial to have partner compatibility.

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Counteracting Negative Self-Talk with Supportive Statements How we talk to ourselves affects everything. It influences everything from how we feel about ourselves to the decisions we make. Negative self-talk can sabotage and undermine our efforts in any part of our lives.

For instance, if you keep telling yourself you’re unworthy or incapable — “I can’t do this! I’m not smart enough!” — you might not pursue a promotion or ask for a raise at work. If you keep telling yourself you’re undeserving of love — “I have too much baggage!” — you might not date or date people who mistreat you. You might stay in toxic relationships, and let others walk all over you.

Compare and Despair: On Losing Jealousy

Monday, October 6th, 2014

PointeShoesWhen I was 11, I auditioned for a ballet school. Miss Jo, the founder of the program, and of The Dayton Ballet Company, came to the auditions and sat next to my mom.

“Your daughter has beautifully arched feet,” she told my mom. “Although we wish all dancers had high arches, it will make it more difficult for her to learn pointe. Keep her out of the advanced classes so that she doesn’t become discouraged.”

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