The Top Five Most Common Mental Illnesses

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The number of individuals experiencing mental illness around the world continues to grow. Characterized by what people experience in their mind, but sometimes involving physical symptoms, and their emotional well-being, the cause of many mental health disorders is yet to be discovered. Many of the symptoms are scientifically understood, however.

Below you’ll find a high-level overview of the most common mental illnesses as well as common treatments. The list is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to be a guide to frequently occurring conditions, some of which can present simultaneously.

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3 Reasons Why Comparing Your Mental Illness to Others is Damaging

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It is human nature to compare yourself to others, whether favorably or unfavorably. Favorable comparisons enhance self-esteem and make people feel better about their life circumstances, while continually comparing yourself negatively to others can have the opposite effect.

People compare themselves to others in all arenas of life. Mental health is no exception. Unfortunately, comparing your own mental health issues to those of your friends, family, colleagues, or celebrities can lead to a worsened emotional state. Here are three ways that people compare their mental illness to others’, and the negative effects of these comparisons.

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Is It Okay to Be Angry at Someone with a Mental Illness?

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Being the friend or loved one of someone with a mental illness can be emotionally difficult. While you wish to remain open, objective and compassionate, sometimes your reserves of patience become too drained and make it difficult to maintain a reciprocal relationship. You may even begin to feel taken advantage of.

You may feel guilty for being angry at someone who is suffering. But, if you’re wondering if you can feel both compassion and anger at someone suffering from a mental illness, the answer is yes. Here are some steps to help you through these difficult and conflicting feelings.

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Trust Me, Having a Mental Illness Isn’t Fashionable

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I lived most of my life in shame of who I was — diagnosed with conditions I’d never share even with some of my closest friends. Labels I’d never dare think about wearing across my chest or around my neck out of embarrassment. But now, these same labels I avoided for years have become *deep inhale* A FASHION STATEMENT! *sharp exhale* What in the world has changed?

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Unable to Take a Compliment? Here’s Why…

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My husband and I spent last weekend with our families. On our way out the door from my parents’ house my mom complimented my new blazer.

“This thing?” I said about a blazer I had been eyeing for months, saved for, and finally splurged on after refreshing the retailer’s site 722 times over Labor Day weekend in hopes of my size restocking.

“It’s not that nice. It’s too heavy. And shorter than I thought it would be. And it was on sale,” I said, listing its flaws.

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Why Other People’s Accomplishments Sometimes Make You Feel Terrible

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Have you ever become spiteful after hearing about someone else’s accomplishments, and felt like a complete jerk? Maybe you’ve felt your heart sink a little bit when someone shares their own good news in the form of an “I’m so excited to announce…” Facebook or Instagram post. Chances are, yes, you’ve felt a little terrible at least once when you’ve watched someone’s success from the sidelines. You find yourself looking at your phone, feeling like a failure, even though you’re not!

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What’s It Like to Lose Someone to Suicide?

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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.

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Do Things Truly Get Better When You Come Out as LGBTQ?

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Coming out is the process of acknowledging both internally and socially that you are LGBTQ.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which “coming out” is still demanded of LGBTQ folks, as heterosexuality is seen as the default (read: normal) sexuality. As a result, we often push people to come out, especially publicly.

Let’s explore some of the nuances of coming out, and how this important step in an LGBTQ individual’s life can be both beneficial and challenging.

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Why World Mental Health Day 2018 is Especially Important

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Today is World Mental Health Day, an opportunity for organizations and individuals around the globe to bring awareness to mental health and surrounding challenges.

Each year, the World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH) selects a theme that facilitates discussion around a growing mental health epidemic or challenge. This year’s theme is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.”

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How to Help Someone Who is Avoidant of Their Mental Illness

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Often in therapy, clients come in prepared to discuss a single issue, and one that’s relatively minor in their eyes. However, it can quickly become evident they are struggling with severe mental health issues they likely aren’t aware of.

Relatedly, people may come in with a family member or partner who urges them to get help for a specific issue, but the client is defensive about the very idea of having this issue.

To better assist those we feel should seek help for mental illness, it helps to understand common examples where the potential client may not understand our concern for them.

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