What Is Crippling Depression?

depressed man in bed dark room

Sometimes popular phrases used to describe mental illness do not come from research, universities or mental health organizations. Instead people who live with certain disorders use unofficial terms to express levels of severity and describe how symptoms are affecting their functioning.

Because many sufferers are therapy clients and use this language during sessions, mental health professionals gradually adopt new labels into their clinical lexicon. This acceptance gives the language more weight and credibility. Various definitions spread via word of mouth and the internet until there is a collective sense of meaning.

“Crippling depression” is a perfect example of this phenomenon. People invented the phrase to stress the fact that depression can be more than a source of pain and discomfort. The illness can limit the will and capability to uphold a basic standard of living. Now that the term has become more popular, both the curious and afflicted are trying to understand it. Continue reading What Is Crippling Depression?

10 Songs About Addiction That Capture the Experience

addict siting with others drugs on table

Shame, guilt, desire, regret — these are only a few of the emotions people experience when they are dependent on a substance. This anguish has been fuel for thousands of beautiful, moving, raw and intense songs about addiction. For many decades artists have used their lyrics and melodies to tell stories of relationships with drugs and alcohol. Their songs have satisfied the curiosity of the sober and eased the loneliness of those who are struggling with the mental illness.

Rather than using subjective rankings to form our list, we thought about which songs most vividly describe the experience of addiction, how the illness can destroy lives and bonds. We looked for tracks that detail the mindset and behavior of someone who is falling into the void of substance abuse or realizing they have a problem (Keep in mind that recovery is the other side of the coin and deserves its own list).

Use our playlist to sympathize with those afflicted with addiction or remind yourself that millions of others carry the same burden. Here are our picks for songs about addiction (in no particular order): Continue reading 10 Songs About Addiction That Capture the Experience

Meet Our Therapists: Melissa Moreno

Melissa Moreno Talkspace therapist illustrated head shot quote

Name: Melissa Moreno, LCSW-R

Licensing Info: Licensed Clinical Social Worker Psychotherapy “R” privilege [LCSW-R] in New York

Where You Live: Ellenville, NY

Amount of Time Working at Talkspace: 1 year

Time Working as a Therapist: 11 years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I have always been drawn to helping people improve their quality of life. Having overcome many personal challenges, I know first hand how important it is to be able to help others and have someone available when support is needed. I knew as a child that I wanted to be a therapist and help people with their mental health. I am grateful for having the ability to touch the lives of so many people through the process of therapy. Continue reading Meet Our Therapists: Melissa Moreno

How a Legendary Psychiatrist Became a Supporter of Text Therapy

irvin-yalom-headshot-text-therapy-feature_1320W_JR (1)

Even the most wise and open-minded professionals in the world sometimes have a skeptical or critical perception of new developments in their field. Several years ago Talkspace co-founders Oren and Roni Frank reached out to renowned psychiatrist Irvin Yalom to discuss their texting therapy platform and invite Yalom to become an official clinical advisor. His initial reaction to the new medium was not positive.

Yalom contributed to the approach of existential psychotherapy and was a pioneer in group therapy. As a therapist and professor, he spent decades working with clients in-person. He wrote “Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy,” a book that chronicled some of his traditional counseling sessions with patients who were grappling with issues of existence and death.

Far from a technology enthusiast or early adopter, Yalom had been resistant to forms of therapy that were not strictly in-person, including phone and video-based sessions. In his memoir, “Becoming Myself,” he admitted to being judgmental and priggish when one of his colleagues mentioned she had been practicing teletherapy. Continue reading How a Legendary Psychiatrist Became a Supporter of Text Therapy

Meet Our Therapists: Alyssa Lentz

Alyssa Lentz Talkspace therapist illustrated head shot quote

Therapists are as unique as the clients who seek their help. Talkspace’s “Meet Our Therapists” series offers intimate access to the mental health professionals who provide care. It’s a view of their passion for making therapy more accessible. Check out our latest interview below!

Name: Alyssa Lentz

Licensing Info: Licensed Professional Counselor [LPC] in Wisconsin (6329-125) and Texas (77669)

Time Working With Talkspace: 6 months

Time Working as a Therapist: 3 years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I started working in the mental health field because, as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to help people. It’s not fun to battle mental health alone. I have struggled with anxiety and know how difficult it can be. I wanted to provide a nonjudgmental, safe place where people can open up and stop hiding. Continue reading Meet Our Therapists: Alyssa Lentz

Meet Our Therapists: Matt Lawson

Matt Lawson Talkspace therapist head shot quote

Therapists are as unique as the clients who seek their help. Talkspace’s “Meet Our Therapists” series offers intimate access to the mental health professionals who provide care. It’s a view of their passion for making therapy more accessible. Check out our latest interview below!

Name: Matt Lawson

Licensing Info: Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois

Where You Live: Chicago, Illinois

Time Working With Talkspace: 4 years

Time Working as a Therapist: 7 years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I got into therapy as a second career and went back to school in my early 30s. I had my own personal training business at the time and was seeing more and more people with eating disorders, body image issues, and a lot of other problems they were using exercise to escape from. To provide a deeper level of service, I needed more education and insight. Continue reading Meet Our Therapists: Matt Lawson

How Borderline Personality Disorder Impacts Relationships

black and white masks on stairs

Ben learns he is not allowed to take personal calls during business hours at his new job at a strict government agency. His supervisor gives him an emergency number so family members can reach him when absolutely necessary.

The news immediately fills him with dread. Ben’s daughter, Lisa, has borderline personality disorder. She calls him a few times a week, often while he’s at work. A supportive and understanding father, Ben was happy to chat with her at his old office where there were no limitations on phone calls.

Now he has to inform his daughter that their mid-week check ins will need to be less frequent and occur only in the evening. With noticeable reluctance, he provides the emergency number to Lisa.

Continue reading How Borderline Personality Disorder Impacts Relationships

How You Can Help People With Depression

women friends hugging black and white image

More than 300 million people in the world are living with depression, according to the World Health Organization. Chances are you know someone who has struggled to cope with this often debilitating mental health condition. They might be a friend, co-worker, family member, even your significant other.

If you want to support them, the first step is ensuring they actually have the illness. A classic mistake is confusing normal sadness or grief with clinical depression. People need support in both situations, but helping someone with depression requires different methods. Continue reading How You Can Help People With Depression

How Online Therapy Can Help You Reach Your Goals

mountain checkpoints paper airplane illustration

John was having trouble managing his impulses. Whether it was blurting out vulgar language during a dinner with his girlfriend’s parents or crossing a line and insulting his boss in the middle of a meeting, he was constantly getting in trouble. To advance in his career and maintain a healthy relationship, he needed to change. Eventually he decided to set a goal: control what was coming out of his mouth.

This strategy failed miserably. John realized that the goal was vague and there was no one to help him reach it. It did not seem fair to burden his girlfriend and co-workers with his behavior. He needed the help of a neutral party but wasn’t sure where to find one.

One of the biggest benefits of therapy is working with a professional you are paying to help set goals that are realistic and measurable. A therapist keeps clients accountable and pushes them to pursue what they want. Continue reading How Online Therapy Can Help You Reach Your Goals

The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy

man holding smartphone on couch

The majority of clients at Talkspace are trying therapy for the first time. With only online therapy as a frame of reference, they can’t draw comparisons to in-person treatment. This fact demonstrates, however, that online therapy removes barriers — high cost and inconvenience — that typically deter people from seeking professional mental health support.

Nonetheless, many users have extensive experience inside a therapist’s office. Some commuted to weekly therapy sessions for years before switching to online therapy. Others have continued their in-person treatment and used Talkspace as a complimentary service.

To illustrate what it is like to navigate the differences between in-person and online therapy, we surveyed our clients who had been open about their experiences with both. Here is what they taught us: Continue reading The Experience of In-Person Versus Online Therapy