Why Is It Important To Be Vulnerable?

man in bathtub

Opening up can be frightening. Sure, maybe you can share your struggles with your partner or spouse — but your friends and family? That can be much harder. Even opening up to a trained and licensed therapist can be tough, if you’re not used to it. But you’re not alone: many people grapple with vulnerability.

If you tend to keep things bottled up or ignore problems, it’s important to learn how to be vulnerable. Not only is it key to emotional change, but vulnerability can also help you make friends, learn new perspectives, and succeed in therapy. Don’t shy away from overcoming your emotional shyness. Here are four reasons why vulnerability is important — and how you can work to overcome the fear of opening up. Continue reading Why Is It Important To Be Vulnerable?

5 Ways to Combat Burnout

matches burning

Have you ever felt incredibly fatigued? Maybe you notice you are getting a lot of migraines as of late? You are finding it difficult to concentrate, and are irritable and unhappy. You could be suffering from burnout: chronic workplace stress that you’re not successfully managing.

Burnout is not considered a psychological disorder, however that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated with sensitivity and care. Continue reading 5 Ways to Combat Burnout

Preventing Compassion Fatigue When Caring For Your Partner

Living with the Ghost of Anxiety

Tons of people in the United States and beyond cope with moderate to severe mental health disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In addition, 1 in 13 people globally suffer from anxiety. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated, making mental illnesses one of the most prevalent health issues worldwide. It goes without saying that the impact can be widely felt by those who surround them.

If your partner is struggling with their mental health on a daily basis it can feel like you’re living with the ghost of that illness.

For people that support a loved one with a mental illness, the impact of that disorder can be extremely difficult to deal with.The stress resulting from consistently supporting a loved one can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. This is what psychologists refer to as compassion fatigue, a condition that can be as debilitating as the illness your partner is battling, if you don’t take steps to prevent it.

Continue reading Preventing Compassion Fatigue When Caring For Your Partner

What is Attachment Theory?

many locks attached to fence

As we make our way through our grown-up lives, we don’t always consider how the first few years of childhood might still be affecting us. Yet according to attachment theory, our earliest experiences — most notably, our earliest relationships — have a profound and lasting effect on all aspects of our lives, in terms of our personalities, mental health struggles, and adult relationships. Continue reading What is Attachment Theory?

How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health

couple standing front to back loosely holding hands

I will never forget the fertility struggles my husband and I faced as we attempted to conceive our first child. We were both young and healthy. I had regular menstrual cycles, no reproductive issues (that I knew about), and always assumed that getting pregnant would happen instantly. Each month we tried to get pregnant, I was shocked that the little plus sign on the pregnancy test never appeared – not even once.

But my shock turned to despair when – after 18 months of trying and a million, sometimes very invasive fertility tests – we were told that my husband had a low sperm count. The first doctor we saw told us that his count was so low that our only hope of conceiving would be to use IVF, which we could not afford. I remember lying in bed, looking at the ceiling, feeling a level of hopelessness in my bones that I had never experienced before. Continue reading How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health

What I Wish My Father Had Told Me (About Mental Health)

father hiking with son pointing upwards

Fathers are one of the biggest influences in our lives. Whether you are close to your father or have a distant (or non-existent) relationship with him, the role of a father in one’s life is hard to capture succinctly. As we approach Father’s Day, here are some ideas that I wish my father had told me about men and mental health. Continue reading What I Wish My Father Had Told Me (About Mental Health)

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 Moms Need Most is Their Mental Health

Mother and daughter

Lacking mental health support, too many American women experience emotional crises as they navigate contemporary motherhood. As founder of ESME.com (Empowering Strong Moms Everywhere), every day I witness mothers who are lonely, exhausted, anxious, depressed, suffering from PTSD, and pushed to their psychological limits. “Sexism is making women sick,” warned Jessica Valenti in her now-classic column for The Guardian. The constant threat of being attacked, insulted, and dismissed instills in women a sense of hypervigilance that’s associated with psychological distress.

Motherhood taps out women’s depleted psychological resources, making them especially susceptible to mental health issues. Many moms don’t have the time or energy to understand why they feel so awful. As a result, they internalize their feelings and do the best they can, day after day. Continue reading What Moms Need Most is Their Mental Health

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