What is Life Like After a Mass Shooting? Parkland’s Lizzie Eaton Shares Her Mental Health Story

Lizzie Eaton

As time passed, I kept squeezing more and more into my hiding spot thinking that I could be next. Despite the news and confirmation of what was happening, I could not wrap my mind around the reality.

As the story kept updating, the number of casualties went up and up. I couldn’t fathom that my friends were getting shot, that there were videos of bodies on the floor flooding social media. I just kept thinking this could not be real. While I waited in my classroom, I sat not knowing if I would be the next victim, if my friends were hurt, or if I would ever see my family again.

You never think it will happen at your school, in your community, to you and your friends. And then it does. Continue reading What is Life Like After a Mass Shooting? Parkland’s Lizzie Eaton Shares Her Mental Health Story

Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Talk About Suicide?

community vigil

Content Warning: This article discusses suicide and contains examples of hurtful or outdated language sometimes used when discussing suicide. While this content might be triggering for those directly impacted by suicide, we believe difficult conversations around how best to discuss mental health in respectful and non-stigmatizing ways is imperative. If you are in a life threatening situation, please call +1 (800) 273-8255 or use these resources to get immediate help.

During my senior year of high school, a student two years younger than me died by suicide. The school was stricken with grief and wanted to do everything in their power to help the community overcome this loss. School was cancelled the following day, the guidance department opened their doors to anyone who wanted to talk, and a mass was held in his remembrance. It was the only thing that anyone seemed to talk about. Yet, just three weeks later, another student followed in his footsteps.

The school realized that they were not equipped to handle the situation and called in help from a few outside psychologists, who instructed them to not glorify the victim. They were told that talking about suicide in the wrong manner may only exacerbate the situation, a phenomenon known as the “Werther” effect. As a result, the school decided to be more tight lipped about the deaths.

While I am glad that there was no third victim, I still feel that the community could have benefitted from more closure. I want to explore how we as individuals could reframe the way we speak about mental health, and suicide in particular. Continue reading Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Talk About Suicide?

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

My Mental Health Ritual: Self-Compassion and Setting Boundaries

a stick of incense burns in the jungle

“Daring to set boundaries is about the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brené Brown

All humans share a desire to be seen, loved, and accepted. Sometimes this longing is so strong that we sacrifice our own sense of self in hopes of receiving validation from others that we matter. Without daily rituals to help me recenter and set strong, loving boundaries, I can become lost in a sea of other people’s feelings, needs, and opinions.

Continue reading My Mental Health Ritual: Self-Compassion and Setting Boundaries

Therapy Helped Me: Learn to Share My Feelings

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


Teenage years can be some of the most difficult and stressful times of our lives. With exam deadlines and social pressures, it can leave many of us struggling to focus and see a life outside of the school halls. There are many who are made for education, flying through their school years with ease, but for some of us, our mental health can be compromised.

I found myself often confused and unable to make decisions. I was always worrying about rejection and causing problems. Stress was consuming me. Although I had friends, a boyfriend, and a family, I still could not tell them the truth, or at least not the full truth. Choosing to begin therapy was the first time I had put myself first in a long time. The term “it feels like a weight has been lifted” really resonates with me.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Learn to Share My Feelings

Therapy Helped Me: Stop My Panic Attacks

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


The panic attacks escalated during my senior year of college.

Once, I was sitting on the side of the freeway. I abandoned my car a mile back and called 911, convinced I was having a heart attack. Confused, I gave the 911 operator the wrong location of where I was. The longer I waited for help the more I struggled to breathe.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Stop My Panic Attacks

Therapy Helped Me: Identify My Anxiety

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


In my early twenties, I was lost. I could tell something was wrong with me. My friends were all away attending universities, learning and excited, actively participating in being alive. I was living with my parents, playing hours of World of Warcraft and having panic attacks in my car before attending local community college classes.

I had always been a bit of an odd duck. It took me longer to reach the same milestones as my peers: I learned to drive later, I got my first boyfriend later, I attended college later, and I got my first job later as well. And worse, I was not interested in a whole lot. I did not find my existence to be meaningful or my life to be particularly enjoyable.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Identify My Anxiety

Therapy Helped Me: Be Myself

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


When I stop to think about the role of therapy in my life, it is not difficult to realize how essential it was for me to become the person I am today. I met my current therapist five years ago when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. I had panic attacks and could barely get out of the house, so my therapy sessions were the only time I socialized with anyone — and it was like that for a few months.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Be Myself

Why We Took a Break From Drinking: A Talkspace Co-Worker Chat

Bartender pouring a drink at a dive bar

At the end of last summer, I had an existential crisis. I was about to turn 35, at a career crossroads, and on the verge of leaving the U.S. for good. I reflected back on how my adult years had been spent. They were self-serving, blurry and distant, and lacking deep personal connections with others. And myself.

I’d been living unhappily as a “man-child” — a lifestyle fueled by excessive partying and minimal commitment — for most of my adult life. Ashamed and disappointed I hadn’t accomplished more, I dwelled on squandered time and people I’d hurt along the way. I wanted to run from it all.

Rather than bouncing to Bangkok, however, I decided to clear my head. I was going to try an long-overdue experiment: a break from drinking. Half a year later, I’m still enjoying the positive benefits of that decision.

Continue reading Why We Took a Break From Drinking: A Talkspace Co-Worker Chat

How I Overcame Loneliness

man alone in bed dark room blinds shut

One of the darker times in my life came after the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. It was the end of Albuquerque’s Pride weekend, a celebration of togetherness and community, but I quickly found myself feeling more isolated than ever. In times of tragedy, healthy people lean on others for support. I didn’t do that.

After a year of shutting out everybody who tried to care about me, I had nobody left to talk to. My best friend was in another city and my parents were in another state. All my friends were seeking solace with their families, their close friends, and their lovers, while I was attempting to drown out the collective sobs of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters with my one true love — work.

But misery doesn’t just love company, it needs it to heal. After a couple days of denial, I fell apart. All I wanted was a hug. I chose to seek comfort in people I thought were sure to know exactly how I felt: other gay men. Not quite finished with my poor life choices, I chose to connect with them on Grindr. I can say with great confidence that one-night flings with strangers will do nothing to fix loneliness. Continue reading How I Overcame Loneliness