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?

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating with Depression

Couple holding each other in the dark

If you struggle with depression, it can seem impossible to start or maintain relationships. But don’t let your depressed brain convince you that you can’t date!

In fact, dating and being in a loving relationship is a wonderful way to make you feel like depression isn’t taking over your life. You feel you’re alive again..

Before you rush into dating though, keep in mind some of the ways that dating with depression can be very different than dating without. Continue reading 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating with Depression

6 Ways to Make Positive Change Before You Hit Rock Bottom

A man approaches the end of a ladder with a large drop beneath him

If you’ve hit rock bottom before, you know how much it sucks…and you probably want to make sure you never get to that point again. Maybe you remember the warning signs you felt the last time, and now you’re sitting here thinking, “Oh crap, I feel a breakdown coming on!” Well, that’s your sign that you gotta protect yourself and prevent that nervous breakdown from actually happening.

Unfortunately, it’s not so effective to just sit around and wish rock bottom away. When we feel ourselves declining, we have to be proactive and take steps to make positive changes and pick ourselves up — before the worst actually happens. Here are 6 ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

Continue reading 6 Ways to Make Positive Change Before You Hit Rock Bottom

What’s It Like to Lose Someone to Suicide?

A person looks outside a hole in the wall

My adult life could be easily divided into two very distinct segments: BAD (before Adam died) and AAD (after Adam died). To anyone who doesn’t know me or Adam, that may sound a bit dramatic; I was only 24 when he died, which is a very early age to have your life virtually divided in half. But his death had a profound effect on me.

Continue reading What’s It Like to Lose Someone to Suicide?

Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?

A rogue potato tries to escape into the tomato bin

Anxiety and depression are intricately linked, which is why the same types of therapy and the same classes of medications are often used to treat both disorders.

In my practice, I have noticed that many clients that have self-diagnosed as depressed are actually experiencing anxiety. Similarly, many clients who identify as anxious are often depressed. Here, I will explain the connections between anxiety and depression, and why one can lead to the other.

Continue reading Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?

How a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Affects Your Mental Health

A woman's hand covered in dried pink paint

Everyone affected by breast cancer knows the physical hardship it can bring. What’s less commonly talked about, but also important, is how breast cancer affects patients’ and survivors’ mental health.

A history of mental illness can be exacerbated by a breast cancer diagnosis, and the rigors of treatment — while life-saving — are difficult, leaving many women depressed, anxious, or feeling alone.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to recognize women affected by breast cancer and raise awareness about breast cancer prevention. Many breast cancer survivors have spoken up about their struggles with mental illness. To honor their voices, here’s what you need to know about breast cancer and mental health.

Continue reading How a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Affects Your Mental Health

4 Vital Tips for Parenting With Depression

A mother holds her baby in a low lit room

If you have children, you know raising kids presents challenges on your best days. Parents with mental illness, however, have it even harder.

In particular, parental depression can wreak havoc on a child’s psyche. What’s worse, when children develop problems related to parental depression, the added stress can make that parent’s depression worse. Thus, parental depression can turn into a long-lasting cycle of negative outcomes for the entire family.

Continue reading 4 Vital Tips for Parenting With Depression

You Deserve to Live

A man and woman hugging

You Deserve to Live” originally appeared on To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.

This piece discusses the topic of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Please use discretion.

My childhood and adolescence were marked with milestones of self-destruction.

When I was 13 years old, I swallowed a handful of pills; when I was 16, I did the same thing again, but this time an even larger dose, chased down with mouthwash. The first time I was sober; the second time I was drunk. Both of those incidents lead to me being hospitalized, and the latter lead to my spending month of inpatient rehab for substance abuse.

Continue reading You Deserve to Live

I’m Worried About My Friend’s Suicide Risk. How Can I Help?

A man sits by a mountainous beach

I don’t know who she was.

It was the early 2000s, the height of the AIM craze, when middle schoolers rushed home at the end of the day to log on and start chatting. These were the early days, where we could hardly distinguish an LOL from a G2G and emojis had yet to replace emoticons (I know, (☉_☉)!).

One day, I was chatting with my friend when I started panicking: She had seen an apparent suicide note on someone else’s AIM profile, and didn’t know what to do. All of 13 years old, we called our respective parents to help save the day. Our parents called the police. But this was the early days of social media, when it was next to impossible to figure out where someone was or how to reach out to them.

To this day, I still wonder if that person is alright.

Continue reading I’m Worried About My Friend’s Suicide Risk. How Can I Help?

Why It’s Healthy To Lower Your High Expectations in College

A woman stands over a balcony with a graduation cap and gown on

A group of us were getting together for the first time since graduation, reminiscing about our earlier selves.

“We were all horrible in college,” my friend said recently over drinks. “We were so status-obsessed and trying to keep up with everyone else who was status-obsessed.”

Another friend, sipping his beer, put it more succinctly: “We were all so depressed in college.”

He meant this literally.

Continue reading Why It’s Healthy To Lower Your High Expectations in College