Intrusive Thoughts, Part Two: How to Deal With Them

This post is the second of a two-part series on intrusive thoughts. You can find the first post, where we broke down intrusive thoughts and talked about what they look like, here.

Having intrusive thoughts tends to feel like an everyday struggle. By their very nature, these types of thoughts can work their way into our subconscious and fool us into thinking we put those thoughts there ourselves. But even though this might be something we deal with on a daily basis, there are ways to manage intrusive thoughts with how we acknowledge and deal with them internally. Here are some of the most effective ways to deal with intrusive thoughts.

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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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Managing Mental Health in a Pandemic

Back in March, I wrote my first post about the coronavirus pandemic. Like most of us, I had some naievete about the situation (to be fair, what’s happened in the United States isn’t very surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing). Regardless, my first post about mental health during this pandemic was focused on how you define success at this point in time. I hadn’t thought about it in awhile but after hearing a friend recently bring up feeling like she was in a COVID slump, it clicked. Those questions still remained. What does it mean to be successful during a pandemic? How do we define what it means to be productive? I didn’t know much at the time, but there’s one thing I knew then that remains to be true: finding those moments during a pandemic continue to matter, especially when it comes to our mental health.

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Dating With Depression: To Love and Be Loved

This post is the last part in this “Dating With Depression” series. You can read the first post about putting yourself out there here, the second post about talking about mental health with your partner here, and the third post about what your partner should know about your mental health here.

As I’ve gone through this series, I’ve been looking at different stages of a relationship in chronological order, and that was done for a specific reason. Every part of a relationship requires different advice, knowledge and tips, and having romantic interests while living with mental illness can make those parts even more complicated. But to wrap the series up, I want reflect on something for the readers, and it’s this (potential hot take coming up): for people living with mental illness, it’s possible to give and receive love in a romantic relationship. Not only is it possible, but being who you are can actually improve the relationship.

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Dating With Depression: What Your Partner Should Know

This post is the third part in my “Dating With Depression” series. You can read the first post about putting yourself out there here, and the second post about talking about mental health with your partner here.

Dating someone while dealing with mental health issues, or living with a chronic mental illness, isn’t easy. It’s not easy for the people who are living with these issues (obviously), but it can also be very difficult for the other person, the other half of the relationship. It’s great that people want to help care and support their partners who live with mental illness, and it’s beautiful to see relationships thrive even though one (or both) people are dealing with mental health issues. But if someone wants to be as helpful and supportive as possible, what am I supposed to tell them? Even though my experience is specific, there are a few things you could tell your partner that might help them understand what you’re dealing with.

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Dating With Depression: Talking About Our Mental Health

In the first post of my Dating With Depression series, I wrote about how to put yourself out there and be open to meeting someone. I don’t think I’d have been able to put myself out there if I wasn’t prepared to handle what was next, which is how I’d like to segue into the next post in this series – how to bring up that mental health conversation with someone you’re dating. Obviously every relationship and person is unique, but there are a few bits of advice I’ve learned (and heard from others) about more approachable ways to bring up mental health that everyone can shape for their own needs and relationships. Let’s dive in!

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Dating With Depression: Putting Yourself Out There

I’ve written on the blog before that living with mental illness can impact daily life in so many ways. One of those ways that has the biggest impact is with the relationships we form. My entire adult life, I wasn’t really sure how I’d approach dating with depression, and it was something I was afraid of. I’ve written in the past about some types of relationships, but I’ve never really had the courage or knowledge of how to write about romantic relationships – until recently. From putting yourself out there, to opening up and having those conversations about your mental health and figuring out what comes next, dating when you live with mental illness – and dating someone who lives with a mental illness – isn’t easy to navigate. Where do we even start? Well friends, I’m here to help (with the limited personal experience I have). Welcome to Dating with Depression – told with the help of a wonderful woman I’ve been fortunate to get to know this year.

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Mental Health Terms to Avoid – And What to Say Instead

Earlier this week, I wrote about the daily work involved in reducing the mental health stigma. There are things we can do every day to normalize mental health discourse, seeking help and talking to other people about our own mental health. One thing I mentioned specifically is to work on limiting the language that contributes to the disrespect and distrust of mental health issues. These words and terms make mental health issues out as something to be ashamed about, something to fear, instead of something to be open and honest about. Time to change our vocabularies!

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The Constant Work of Shrinking the Mental Health Stigma

As I thought about what to write on this week (I have some good posts coming up, so stay tuned!), one thing I kept coming back to was the work I’ve been doing as a Mental Health Advocate. When you’re in a space where people are so open to hearing your own mental health experience and sharing their own, it can make you think that there still isn’t a major stigma out there surrounding mental health. But there is, and in the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of why it’s important to always challenge that stigma wherever we see it.

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