How Mental Health Challenges Can Lead to Success

You know, it hasn’t even been two months since I wrote about how amazing Naomi Osaka is for looking out for her mental health, and here we are again. Our hero this time? Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast of all-time. Putting aside the fact that Biles doesn’t owe us anything (and in fact, has already given us more than we deserve), her decision to withdraw also shows us how important our mental health is – and how severe the consequences can be when we ignore it.

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Guest Post: Seeking Mental Healthcare is Hard. There Are Ways to Make It Better.

Good morning! Today on My Brain’s Not Broken we have a guest post from the team at Prairie Health, a company founded to make mental health care more accessible and effective, about some of the ways that mental healthcare can be improved from their perspective. We discussed some of these things during our recent conversation on Instagram Live – up on my Instagram page now!

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A Reflection During Men’s Health Week

After learning about Men’s Health Week for the first time last year and sharing an experience on mental health from one of the best men I know (thank you again, Stephen!), I decided to use the space this year to reflect on men and mental health. There are many aspects of men’s health that should be talked about more, and mental health is no exception. But how do we have that conversation, and how do we turn that conversation into action?

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I Can’t Always Do More – And That’s Okay

In a surge of excitement earlier this week, I decided I’d go get a haircut in-person for the first time in more than a year. The pandemic and my anxiety are the main reasons I haven’t done so already, and while I didn’t regret that at all, I got excited because I found a place to go that I might feel more comfortable in, that wasn’t as busy and didn’t have as much going on. But then things shifted.

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Life Update: February 2020

Since it’s been almost two years since I gave any sort of life update, I figured now would be as good a time as any. I’m notoriously bad at talking about myself or sharing any interesting information about the things I do, and I’m trying to be better about that. I know that I’ve alluded to a few decisions (and non-decisions) that I’ve made throughout this blog’s run, and I’d like to be clearer about them. I challenge my readers every week to be their best self, to show the world that they’re more than their mental illness. How can I challenge someone if I’m not showing the world that I’m more than mine?

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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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What’s the Right Level of Anxiety to Feel?

After the events of the past few months, I feel comfortable saying it’s a nervous time right now – to say the least. And rather than tell you why that is, pretending I’m any sort of medical expert (I’ll just point you to the CDC), I want to focus on the anxiety that many of us feel right now surrounding the situation.

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The Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness

I talk about mental health a lot, I write about it a lot and I read about it a lot. It’s a big part of my life (if you haven’t guessed that already). When you’re learning about a new aspect of yourself, you want to learn as much as possible about that aspect so you can understand how to deal with it. In doing all of that, early on I learned about a few common misconceptions about mental health, and anxiety and depression in particular.

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Common Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

The first time someone brought up the term ‘symptoms’ in connection with mental health, I was confused. All my life, I’d been told that symptoms are diseases and chronic conditions. If something feels off, it was understood that you hit up WebMD to find out which symptoms could match up with what you’re feeling. So when this therapist brought up several physical symptoms to describe my chronic (which I didn’t know at the time) anxiety, I was put off. But once they explained further, I began to understand that certain physical symptoms can indicate other types of anxiety disorders past my own.

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We’re Heading Into Winter

So it’s October! While September is a little less in your face about it being fall, by the time we reach October people are pretty much in full-on Jack Skellington mode or sending Dwight Schrute’s pumpkin head to their friends. But for me, October can signal a lot of changes – the most important one being that summer is over, and this year it’s especially important to me.

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