Creativity

Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 2

This is part 2 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1.

Hear the Rattle and Click as the Door Slams Home. Welcome to Prison.


Without true understanding of how many people were touched by mental illness and what actions needed to be taken to help care for their personal welfare upon release from healthcare facilities, a concurrent rise in homelessness and surge of patients into correctional facilities began to unfold. (11) In a 2013 report to Congress...
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General

Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 1

If you go into your internet browser’s search bar and type in the word “asylum,” a host of terrifying images of dirty hallways, rusty beds, and screaming faces will pop up. Let’s face it -- asylum is mostly known as a negative word, a place where unspeakable things occur in the movies that keep us awake at night. Regardless of its roots in providing protective safe haven, the concept of asylum receives a bad reputation mostly because of historical documentation of the awful and dehumanizing conditions of psychiatric hospitals.

"It's not easy to talk about. You don't want people to think you're 'nuts' when everyone in there is not nuts," Ann explains while sipping a cup of coffee. "During certain stays I had dignity, but there was one hospital where there were bed bugs all over. They had to keep changing my sheets and the staff would come in to clean them out of the lights." Now in her fifties, Ann has experienced many years of hospital stays at different institutions while combating major depressive disorder (MDD).
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Children and Teens

ER Beds for Kids Lacking, But School Programs Can Help

Everyone who is a front line clinician in an emergency room (ER) knows the hard reality of the lack of psychiatric services available. Discharging someone from an ER into inpatient mental health treatment is virtually nonexistent for adults. For kids, the situation is usually far worse.

The good news is that if we focus more on preventative care in school -- helping kids and preschoolers long before they have a full-blown diagnosis -- we may be able to stop them from ever having to use an emergency room. All we need do is start making mental health a funding priority for both the states and the federal government.

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Anxiety and Panic

Mental Illness Is More than ‘Worried Wellness’

“So what kind of work do you do in your private practice?” asked a colleague.

“I specialize in depression, anxiety, relationship problems, work-life issues, and low self-esteem,” I explained.

“Ah,” he said with a knowing smile. “The worried well.”

I cringed when I heard this. My patients would cringe, too, if they heard themselves referred to in this dismissive way. But it happens all too often.
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General

Psychological First Aid for Mental Health: World Mental Health Day

When we think of first aid, we typically think of the kind of aid administered to someone when they've experienced a scrape or bruise, requiring use of a bandage or some other aid to help the wound begin to heal.

But what do people think of when they hear the term, "psychological first aid"? I imagine it's a foreign concept for most people -- that we could provide some sort of psychological help to someone in need. Today, on World Mental Health Day, it's important to better understand this concept as it catches on with people around the world.

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Addiction

6 Signs You’re a Productivity Addict

Do a search on Google for “productivity” and you’re served up almost 18 million results.

Dive in and you’ll find blogs, websites, apps, op-eds, subreddits, consulting firms, podcasts, and scientific studies devoted to the art of efficiency.

Our obsession in modern society with doing more is rivaled only by our preoccupation with doing it harder, better, faster and stronger. We’re gunning the engines at max speed, cramming our work days full of tasks, then feeling guilty if we steal a quick second to call a friend or read a book for pure pleasure (gasp!).
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Motivation and Inspiration

OCD: “The Bow that You Have to Keep on Tying”

“It just doesn’t feel right. I have to fix it until it is just so!” “I need to figure it out, and once I do, I’ll feel free to move on!” “I have to check all the windows, then I’ll be able to sleep peacefully.” “I have to repeat my prayers until I know God has really heard them.” “Not knowing whether I may hurt my child makes me anxious. I waste too many hours reviewing my behavior to ensure I haven’t harmed her.”

What do those statements have in common?

When individuals experience OCD, accepting uncertainty seems to be the greatest challenge. They have extreme difficulty moving on with their day unless they feel 100% sure the answers to their doubts have been resolved. Whether it is doing something until it feels right, checking or washing, or questioning one’s behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, uncertainty is a main cause for compulsions.
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Bipolar

Stop Blaming Stigma: Take Responsibility for Yourself

Stigma: A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something (Merriam-Webster).

Let’s get the full disclosure out of the way first: I have bipolar disorder (type II, leans far more toward the depressive side than the manic) and borderline personality disorder (would take too long to explain; look it up if you like). I have been on disability for four years because of a nine-month depressive episode for which I received nine months of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It pretty much destroyed my brain. I no longer have a short-term memory of which to speak.

I can’t function in a lot of ways like I used to. I work part-time, for a psychologist who understands my many limitations and helps me work around them. But I could never go back to what I used to do in any aspect of life and expect to handle it like a normal adult.
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General

7 Tips for Coping with Life After a Hurricane

Life after a hurricane or other natural disaster is rarely easy. Not only do you have to meet your basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, but such events also take a significant emotional toll. Losing your home or coming back to a home full of water, or that's been significantly damaged, can be devastating.

Six years ago, I wrote some helpful tips on how to cope with a hurricane. I'm updating and expanding upon that list now, as Hurricane Matthew threatens Florida and the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. Here are some helpful ways to cope with life after a hurricane.

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General

Join Us for World Mental Health Day on October 10 #WMHD

Next week on October 10th, we’re celebrating World Mental Health Day. If you're a blogger, we'd like you to join us for our 6th annual blog party.

World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year's theme is psychological first-aid, but you're welcomed to blog on any topic in mental health you'd like.

This year, we’re inviting you to join us for the 6th annual blog party on Monday, October 10. Mental health is important to all of us, and we need your help to spread that message! So how do you join in on the party?

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