Guest Post: Key Ways to Cope With Severe Mental Illness

Today’s guest post comes from Mio, who is the fantastic blogger behind Mentally Ill in America. Mio’s primary goal with blogging is to share with others his lived experience with schizoaffective disorder. In addition to blog posts, Mio offers up many diverse forms of writing like poetry and puns! I hope you can visit his space and continue to learn about mental health through the many different perspectives that are offered. A big shoutout to Mio for sharing today.

I have come up with three key ways to cope with severe mental illness, that help me with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

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An Encouragement Post – Just for You

Sometimes when I think about what I want to accomplish with this blog, my brain gets all turned around. One important part of my anxious-riddled brain is thinking that every single decision I make is an important one, and that manifests itself more in this space than anything else. Every word I type and post I publish must be the best, most enlightened piece of content ever shared. Which means that sometimes I don’t focus on what I’d like to. I get too worried about how it will be received. And while that’s a long-term issue I’ll have to solve, I thought I’d face it today by posting exactly what I want: an encouragement post just for you. Because however you found this, whenever you’re reading it, and wherever you’re at in your mental health journey – a little positive encouragement can’t hurt!

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Healthy Ways to Cope With Depression

Earlier this week, I wrote about some healthy ways to cope with anxiety, and I dove into the relationship between coping strategies and what we’re mentally dealing with. I thought that I’d continue that today by talking about healthy ways to cope with depression. Just like earlier in the week, it’s not just about the specific coping strategies we use, but our relationships with those strategies, too – and making sure that unhealthy strategies don’t turn into habits.

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Healthy Ways to Cope With Anxiety

If you’re new to the blog, you might have missed some of the ways I’ve discussed depression and anxiety in this space. Most of my posts come from one of two places: 1) statistics and data that I find or 2) my personal experience living with clinical depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve written about managing anxiety before, as well as what to do when depression hits. But this week, I want to talk about coping strategies – namely, how to make sure we find healthy ones, and understanding our relationship with these strategies.

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More Than ‘Why’: Learning to Live With Depression and Anxiety

In some of my recent discussions about current events, antiracism and white supremacy, I’ve found that many people are doing a lot of self-reflection on their own thoughts, biases and actions. As they’d continue to speak, I would think to myself: this is nice, but have your actions changed? Do you treat people differently? Do you live your life differently now? And those thoughts led me to the realization that in the past, I’ve done that same thing about my depression and anxiety. It was a good thing to realize my own mental health issues, but did anything change?

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A Look at Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

As I wrote last week, it’s extremely difficult to understand some of the nuances and differences of mental health outside of my own cishet male experience. In some cases, it’s near impossible. But in looking at looking at statistics and data, it’s also clear that certain groups and demographics of people are at a higher risk of mental health issues. Last week, I wrote about the male demographic because it was Men’s Health Week. This week, as we reach the end of Pride Month, I wanted to dive into some statistics and data surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. And though it won’t be news for our siblings in that community, it presents a harsh reality as we look to understand how LGBTQ+ persons are affected by mental health disorders and mental illness.

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Guest Post: A Mental Health Reflection

This post was written by Stephen A. Harris, who was asked to reflect on his experience with mental health and masculinity in his life. He is a dear friend of mine who has agreed to share his story. Thank you Stephen!

It Started From the Beginning

“You weak, cuz.”

“Why you cryin’ like a bitch?”

“You need to man up, that’s how females talk.”

These were common phrases when showing emotion around family growing up, especially my cousins around the same age as me. I was raised to believe real men don’t cry, real men are tough and real men don’t show weakness. What I didn’t realize was the damage that was being done that affects me to this day.

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A Look at Mental Health During Men’s Health Week

As I’ve leaned more into the mental health space and got to know people in the community, I’ve recognized subtle differences and undertones when certain people discuss mental health. I’ve also recognized less subtle differences in part of this discussion, and that usually involves how men talk about mental health. I can’t understand some of the nuances and differences of mental health outside of my own cishet male experience, but by looking at statistics and data alone, something is clear: men need help with mental health just as much as any group of people.

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Better Understanding the Term ‘Mental Health Crisis’

I’ll be honest, friends. I liked my post on Tuesday about what to do in a mental health crisis, but I think there was one thing I glossed over that I’d like to return to. The reason I wanted to share about what to do in a mental health crisis was that I wanted to stress the importance of knowing where to turn, who to call and how to be safe. But one thing I should’ve considered more is figuring out what it means to be in a ‘mental health crisis’ – so that’s what I’m doing today.

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How Are We Handling a Mental Health Crisis?

I’ve hinted at this on the blog, but I’ve been in a mental health crisis before. More than once, actually. This isn’t the time or place to discuss those crises in detail, though, because I want to focus on how I felt, what I did, and how all of that made me feel safe and secure. Based on my personal experience, I’ve had to basically teach myself how to have a mental health crisis. It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s what I had to do, and I think I am better for it. So now I want to share my experience.

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