My Attitude on Mental Health, Explained

For one reason or another, I’ve been thinking about the word optimism for the past weeks. I’m thinking about it in a lot of ways – what it means to practice it, what it looks like in my life, and what it looks like for my mental health, just to name a few. Whether this is purely in my own imagination or something evident in my writing, I feel like sometimes my posts can seem overly optimistic about how to approach mental health and mental illness – and in months like September, suicide prevention. I truly do believe in the idea that ripples in the pond can raise awareness, reduce stigma, and help people learn that it’s okay not to be okay. But I also know how impossibly frustrating it can be to exist that way. At the end of the day, I think I’ll always end up opting for the glass half-full when it comes to mental health, but I don’t think I’ve ever really explained why. There are a few key reasons for why I write the way I do, and I thought I’d share them with you today.

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How Can We Use Metaphors to Describe Mental Health?

Getting through the day while struggling with mental health is difficult. Trying to be productive isn’t easy when you’re dealing with negative thoughts, a lack of energy or any one of the many symptoms that make existing hard. Nevertheless, millions of people do their best every single day get through things, and one of the best ways to explain that is through metaphors.

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Hitting a Mental Health Wall – and How to Respond

It feels like every few months, I have to write a reminder post of some sort. Sometimes, they’re reminder posts about my own mental health journey – reminding myself that progress is a process, and that when I have a bad mental health day, all of the progress I’ve made isn’t undone (even though it feels like it). Other times I’ll write an encouragement post that’s for anyone who happens to come across it, because we could all use some encouragement now and then. So I’m back today with another reminder post to remind myself (and anyone who reads this) that the physical toll it takes to maintain mental health and fight against the stigma has a breaking point – and that it’s okay to hit that point.

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Intrusive Thoughts, Part One: An Overview

One aspect of my life with anxiety and depression is constantly dealing with intrusive thoughts. It doesn’t matter the time or place, and it doesn’t depend on the activity I’m doing, but every so often, I have unwanted thoughts that become stuck in my brain. And I’m not alone – more than 6 million people are estimated to deal with intrusive thoughts in the U.S. every year, and those are just the people who feel comfortable telling their doctor about it. But what exactly are intrusive thoughts, and how can we recognize when we have them? Let’s break it down.

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Five Ways to Channel Your Nervous Energy

After acknowledging that managing my mental health during a pandemic hasn’t been easy, I noticed some other things as I continued to reflect on this topic. While it’s good to know that we need to make mental wellness a priority during this difficult and strange time, that doesn’t mean much without a few ideas and strategies for how that looks in real life. That’s when I realized that one way to make mental wellness a priority is to figure out what to do with the nervous energy we’ve created this year. How can we get rid of this nervous energy, and how can we do it in a way that makes us feel better?

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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 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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Becoming a Mental Health Advocate

One of my favorite things in the world is writing about mental health. In the two and a half years since I started this blog, a lot has happened. I started writing this because I felt that I was finally in a place where I was comfortable enough to share my experience living with anxiety and depression. And while I’ve had my ups and downs, I’ve continued to grow as a writer, person and mental health advocate. Which leads me to the fun news that I’m here to share! Continue reading