What Flaking on Plans Says About Your Mental Health

Woman watching tv on couch messily eating popcorn

I can’t lie — I love how good it feels to flake on plans I really didn’t want any part of in the first place. Sweet relief! (But I swear, I really don’t do this often.)

However, I’ll be the first to admit that my plan cancelling is usually the result of something that runs a little deeper than the desire to stay in my PJs and be lazy on the couch. In fact, flakiness — especially sudden-onset flakiness — can sometimes be an indicator of something going on with your mental health.

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3 Simple Ways to Bust Out of a Summer “Funk”

A plastic flamingo in the sand

It seems almost everyone talks about how depressed they feel during short, dark winter days, but very few people discuss feeling down during in the summer. Even though your friends may not talk about it as openly, plenty of people experience a funk in the warmer months as well. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression that strike in the summer.

For those who feel lonely or isolated, the summer can feel like a time when everyone else is having fun. It seems like everyone except you is hosting or being invited to pool parties and barbecues, using vacation time to travel to exotic destinations, or meeting new people to date.

Of course, this is rarely the case, just as it isn’t the case during the rest of the year. In the summer, though, social activities are much more visible, because they often occur outside and are blasted across social media. This can make people who are already anxious about their social lives feel left out and friendless.

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Attempting to Understand Suicide

Hands reaching out to each other with a sunset background

In light of the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, and headlines that suicide rates have climbed in the past twenty years, suicide has become a topic that is widely covered in the media.

Many sociologists and epidemiologists attribute increased suicide rates at least partially to economic variables. Suicide rates often rise in times of economic uncertainty, like the most recent recession, since this makes people feel more scared and hopeless. The opioid crisis may also play a part. You can read more about these theories here.

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Speaking Openly About Suicide: A Talkspace Therapist Roundtable

Suicide hotline numbers

Since 1999, suicide rates in the US have increased by more than 25%, a harrowing statistic that points to a growing public health emergency. With the loss of two bright stars in a single week — iconic fashion designer Kate Spade, and celebrity chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain — to suicide, we wanted to bring together three Talkspace therapists to discuss and answer questions about one of the most taboo topics in Western Culture.

We remind you that there is no shame in asking for help and if you’re in crisis or know someone who is, don’t wait. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 –– call them: 1-800-273- TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

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4 Ways to Know if it’s Sadness or Depression

Woman sitting on ground with head in lap

It’s normal to feel a little down, stressed, or anxious every once in a while, as career and social pressures can fuel momentary bursts of sadness and make you feel a bit “off.” And while you can’t expect to feel your best every single day, if you are gripped by an unrelenting sense of hopelessness that prevents you from enjoying the experiences you love the most, it may be time to take a closer look at your feelings.

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Is Drinking Making You Depressed?

Woman on chair holding bottle of wine to her temple.

Drinking has a firm foot in our culture, and it seems to fit any occasion.

Having a birthday and turning 21, 30, or 50? Have a round on the house!

Getting married? Crank up Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” and throw one (or five) back while grooving on the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning.

Going on a first date? Why not meet at the bar for a classy cocktail or glass of wine?

Had a hard day at work, bad week, or even a rough month when you just can’t seem to shake that sinking feeling? Nothing a drink to lift the spirits can’t solve…

And that’s where we begin to run into trouble — self-medicating our depression through alcohol consumption.

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Is Depression Genetic?

Mother holding child's hand

By now most of us know the symptoms of major depression well: Loss of pleasure in favorite activities, irritability, significant weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping habits, loss of energy, feeling worthless, an inability to think clearly, indecisiveness, hopelessness, and at its most severe, recurring thoughts of suicide.

The impact of depression is debilitating. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people globally suffer from depression — approximately 5 percent of the world’s population — and it’s the leading cause of disability. What’s worse, even in high-income countries nearly 50 percent of those with the illness don’t seek treatment.

And while depression reaches the lives of so many worldwide and is arguably one of the most studied mental illnesses, we still know little about its origins. Is depression genetic? Is it environmental? Short answer: It’s complicated.

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Negative Thinking Got You Down? Here’s How to Shift Your Thoughts

Pensive young woman deep in thought

What would you do if you were in a relationship with someone who constantly criticized, second-guessed or belittled all of your choices, behaviors and decisions?

Hopefully, you would leave immediately, or at least take major issue with being the victim of emotional abuse.

But what if … that critical person was you?

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3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing

Young employee frustrated at her desk
Photo credit: AdobeStock/anyaberkut

3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women.

In the past few years, there has been an uptick in people being more open about mental health issues, and for that, I will forever be grateful. For too long, people felt ashamed to admit when they were battling anxiety or depression, even though they are two of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., alone.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few irritatingly persistent stereotypes and misconceptions about depression around. Here are a few things that your coworker with depression wants you to stop believing.
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A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months

sad penguin alone looking down at feet

Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder or another kind of depression, it’s absolutely possible for you to feel the winter blues. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold and shorter days, you may have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t slip into a dark place…and I’m not just talking about the lack of daylight hours!

As the winter barrels ahead, use it as an opportunity to really get in tune with your feelings. Take note of your emotions and evaluate if the holiday season and the colder weather have been affecting you negatively. If they have been impacting you, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of things you can do to cheer up, even just a bit.

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