How We View Mental Health Differently Than Our Mothers

Mother and child outdoors

When I began to develop panic disorder in my late teens, it took me a few years to get help. First, it was difficult to even understand what was going on. I’d heard of panic attacks, but I pictured someone rapidly hyperventilating into a paper bag and acting nervous and twitchy.

My panic attacks were much more private than that: I felt absolutely terrified, my heart would race, and my gut would turn itself inside out. But to all outward appearances, I was just daydreaming or lost in my own little world during a panic attack. Continue reading How We View Mental Health Differently Than Our Mothers

What is a Sapiosexual?

Brain and heart made of string

Only recently did I find out that there is a term to describe the type of attraction I’ve always experienced with my husband. It turns out that I am sapiosexual – i.e., I’m attracted to someone based primarily on their intellectual prowess. Who knew? Continue reading What is a Sapiosexual?

32 Surprising Mental Health Statistics

Graph on a piece of paper

Mental health statistics may not always be at the top of your mind, even when you’re going through a crisis of your own. Some of us get headaches when we even think about math – especially statistics. Yet, hard data based on empirical research helps us better understand the world around us and the people in it. When it comes to mental health, so many of us feel isolated and utterly alone in our struggles. Looking at mental health statistics can put our challenges into context, help us understand the pervasiveness of certain conditions, and offer some bit comfort and solace knowing we’re not alone.

And when you look at the stats about treatment for mental health — such as the fact that mental illness affects tens of millions Americans each year, but only about half of people receive treatment — you can see how these surprising mental health statistics necessitate additional education, awareness, and funding for mental health services.

Ready to take a deeper look at some of the most relevant mental health stats? Continue reading 32 Surprising Mental Health Statistics

What ‘I Don’t Feel Good’ Means For A Person With Mental Illness

Silhouette of person with head down

I have dealt with generalized anxiety and panic disorder since I was about 10 years old. Like many people who battle mental illness, I have my good days, and I’m grateful for them. But I have other days, weeks, and months where my mental illness incapacitates me to the point where it becomes very difficult to function.

But I’m good at hiding it. Sometimes the only words that come out of my mouth during those dark times are “I don’t feel good.” I say it to my kids, my friends, my co-workers, even my husband. It’s not that I don’t want to be candid about my struggles, but sometimes it feels too heavy and painful to share what is actually going on. Continue reading What ‘I Don’t Feel Good’ Means For A Person With Mental Illness

Men’s Surprising Relationship Needs

Neon lights

Growing up with a single mother and a sister, I spent most of my life feeling a bit intimidated and cautious around men. And the fact was, many of the stereotypes I’d heard about the male gender turned out to be true. Most of the boys and men I met were macho, tough as nails, and it was rare to meet a man I felt I could open up to and feel emotionally safe with.

Then I met my husband, and all that changed. He was candid about his feelings, and forthcoming about communicating his needs. His father was the same way, and I soon learned that there was a whole world of men out there who weren’t closed off, misogynistic jerks. What a revelation! Continue reading Men’s Surprising Relationship Needs

What it Means to Be “Neurotic”

Woman staring

As a New York Jewish woman, I am more than a little familiar with the term “neurotic.” It has been used to describe me – along with several of my family members – more than once. Sometimes the word makes me cringe – and I definitely think that it has negative connotations in our culture. At other times, though, “neurotic” feels endearing. After all, some of our best comedians use “neurotic” as a badge of honor, and find the self-deprecating humor in all their many neuroses. Continue reading What it Means to Be “Neurotic”

Everything You Need to Know About Online Counselling

People looking at their phones

Online counselling may sound like a relatively new, modern concept, but patients have been communicating with their therapists via phone, electronic messaging, and video for decades. Now that we are all walking around with electronic technology at our fingertips, modalities like online counselling have become even more popular — and with good reason.

In this busy, stressful world, it can be tough to feel like you have the time or ability to address your mental health. Yet it’s so vital to do so. For many of us, online counselling — which offers flexibility, anonymity, and key financial advantages — is the missing piece when it comes to finally getting the help you are seeking. Continue reading Everything You Need to Know About Online Counselling

Why Parenting is the Biggest Challenge to Maintaining My Mental Health

Little girl playing video games

This morning, I was woken up at 5:13 am by my six-year-old, who desperately needed a drink of water — and who apparently needed to whine at the top of his lungs to tell me so. This would not have been such a big deal had I not been up half the night with a bad head cold…the same cold my son had kept me up all night with two days prior.

Needless to say, I spent the morning with a pounding headache, a full day’s work ahead of me that I couldn’t put off, and a good deal of resentment.

This small snapshot of my life is not unusual. As a working mother of two, there is always a lot on my plate. It seems as though someone is always sick, in need of food or drink, or emotional support. And because they are my children and I love them to the moon and back, I find myself putting my children’s needs about ten miles ahead of my own. Continue reading Why Parenting is the Biggest Challenge to Maintaining My Mental Health

Am I Depressed?

Girl sitting

All of us feel sad and upset at times. When that sadness seems to last longer than usual, or feels more extreme, you might ask yourself, “Am I Depressed?”

The question doesn’t always have a clear-cut answer, especially because the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. But it’s a question worth considering, especially if your emotional state is making it difficult for you to function in your day-to-day life. Continue reading Am I Depressed?

Understanding the Five Stages of Grief

A woman cries while looking into the mirror.

There are few things more devastating in life than losing a loved one. Unfortunately, in our hectic culture, many of us don’t get much time and space to deal with the aftermath of loses like these. Yet it is inevitable that we all go through a process of grief after losing someone we cherished; in fact, psychologists have identified some universal stages of grief commonly experienced after loss. Continue reading Understanding the Five Stages of Grief