Is Being Pessimistic Always a Bad Thing?

upset cat frowning

What does it mean to be pessimistic? Well, I come from a long line of pessimists and can tell you. Being pessimistic means that you tend to see the worst parts of things or think the worst will happen. A pessimistic person is one who is often seen as lacking hope and joy and is marked by disbelief or distrust. Basically, to be pessimistic means expecting the worst in all situations. Continue reading Is Being Pessimistic Always a Bad Thing?

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

brain

Experiencing sadness and grief is a normal part of the human experience. While many of us have those feelings on occasion, major depression is something far more significant. It is a condition that 16.2 million adults in the U.S. experience in a given year, and it can have long-lasting symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, low energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in things that once brought joy. Over time, depression can lead to serious health conditions, so finding a treatment that works is essential for long-term mental health.

One such treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, helping to improve the symptoms of depression. This form of treatment is best considered when other treatment options for depression — like medication and therapy — are not proven effective. There are also some key considerations to keep in mind before exploring the option. Continue reading What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

What is EMDR Therapy?

light on eye

If you’re struggling with trauma, you might consider checking out EMDR therapy. This unique therapy helps you process traumatic memories.

EMDR — or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing — was originally developed for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often, people with these experiences have triggers that can cause them to relive their most frightening moments. For example, a war veteran may struggle with fireworks on the Fourth of July, with each blast making them feel like they’ve returned to combat.

With EMDR, patients can halt that trigger-reaction to stressful past events. With a therapist’s guidance — unfortunately, this isn’t something you can DIY — you can re-process that stressful past experience, eventually bypassing the anxiety and fear associated with that memory. Essentially, just like with physical wounds, you’re building a protective barrier over emotional pain. Continue reading What is EMDR Therapy?

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?

Is “Climate Despair” Making People Depressed?

polar bear

Over time it has become increasingly clear that climate change is taking a toll on our planet — but what about our mental health? To start, more people than ever believe that climate change is an issue to be concerned about. According to a 2018 survey administered by Yale, about six in ten Americans (62%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming and about one in five (21%) are “very worried” about it, nearly double the number who were “very worried” in a similar study conducted in 2015. Today’s generation is experiencing more mental health issues than ever – some of it is attributed to uncertainty about the future of the earth. Continue reading Is “Climate Despair” Making People Depressed?

What Does It Really Mean To Be Sober Curious?

man and woman drinking juice

After a summer of rosé all day, you might be feeling like it’s time to take a break from alcohol. Even if you’re not fall-down drunk, you still might be sick of hangovers or too many days when you just feel a little off.

You’re not alone. The “sober curious” trend is quickly gaining traction thanks to books like Sober Curious and This Naked Mind. “Sobriety influencers” are sharing the ups and downs of what a sober or “sober curious” life looks like.

Continue reading What Does It Really Mean To Be Sober Curious?

How Neglecting Physical Health Impacts Your Mental Health (and How to Improve Both)

Large pug on a stool

Sunny days, warmer temperatures, barbecues and pool parties are just a few things you might think of when someone mentions the month of June. However, did you know June also happens to be Men’s Health Month? To honor this time and raise awareness of the issues men face, we’re sharing some tips on how to listen to your body when it’s telling you something’s not right. The reason? Failing to care for yourself physically, or not encouraging others to care for themselves, can result in poor mental health outcomes. It’s been estimated that 1/3rd of those with chronic illness suffer from depression. Keep reading for ways in which you can stay physically and mentally healthy and spread this positivity to other men in your life. Continue reading How Neglecting Physical Health Impacts Your Mental Health (and How to Improve Both)

Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson

You can’t compare the practice of self-care to cats. At least, not according to Mara Wilson.

“Cats are weird, alien creatures, and I’m surrounded by them as we speak,” she said.

Instead, the actor/storyteller/playwright/author/voice-over actor/performer would equate self-care to taking care of dogs — or even small children.

“Self-care isn’t about spoiling yourself,” she said, “It’s about disciplining yourself. It’s like how you need to train dogs. You do it out of love. If they make mistakes, you don’t hate them forever — you love them.” Continue reading Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

The State of Mental Health

The state of mental health

Talking about mental health isn’t easy — but that’s starting to change.

More employers are investing in mental health programs, increasing access to care, and helping to decrease stigma in the process. Governments are beginning to approach mental health as a public health issue. Celebrities like Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson, and Lady Gaga (among many others) are coming forward about their mental health journeys to raise awareness. The tides are turning.

Continue reading The State of 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