On January 17, 2010, Joshua R. Beharry stood on a British Columbia bridge, attempting to end his life.
Luckily, his attempt failed, and today Beharry is a mental health advocate and Project Coordinator of HeadsUpGuys, a British Columbia-based campaign to support men who have depression. He tells his story so that men, and all people with depression, can feel empowered to reach out.
“I didn’t really start out trying to reach men more specifically,” Beharry wrote to Talkspace in an email interview. “But through my work at HeadsUpGuys I’ve come to realize that a lot of guys go through similar issues and face similar barriers to reaching out as I did.”
Beharry is not alone. While more women than men attempt suicide, more men than women — 3.53 times more, in fact — complete it. This contradicts the widespread notion that depression, and other mental illnesses, are women’s diseases — and points to a serious gap in mental health resources for men. Researchers have found that while factors like racial discrimination and cost of mental health care prevent men from reaching out for mental health help, there’s another culprit: toxic masculinity, or harmful stereotypes about what it means to be a man.
Continue reading Why Don’t Men Ask for Mental Health Help?
Whether it is a looming work deadline, pressure at school, or a case of FOMO brought on by social media, stress and anxiety are, unfortunately, a normal part of this modern age. But, just because you experience these uncomfortable feelings, it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about it. In fact, practicing mindful meditation is a low-cost, scientifically proven way to help reduce your anxiety ― and anyone can do it.
Continue reading How Science Says Meditation Eases Anxiety (and 4 Simple Ways to Begin)
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.
Continue reading Attempting to Understand Suicide
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.
Continue reading Speaking Openly About Suicide: A Talkspace Therapist Roundtable
While talking about mental health, therapy, and mental illness is still relatively taboo, there are some incredible trailblazers out there who are helping to break the stigma. The more we speak up about these topics, the less taboo they become. What better way to openly talk about mental health to a large audience than through a podcast?
Here are 11 examples of mental health-related podcasts that are informative and entertaining!
Continue reading 11 Mental Health Podcasts to Subscribe To in 2018
The hallmark of many anxiety disorders is the presence of irrational fears. Some people who suffer from anxiety disorders know that their fears are irrational, and some don’t.
Continue reading What Makes Irrational Fears Different (and What to do About Them)
Whether you’re waiting for a train, commercials to end or the oven to finish preheating, you likely kill those brief moments by mindlessly scrolling or swiping across your phone screen. You’re not alone in this new normal. During our day-to-day lives, most of us live with our cell phones perpetually within close reach — mostly to Google a dinner spot, text a friend, or scroll through Instagram. But those who constantly reach for their smartphones might be doing so due to anxiety or depression.
Continue reading Why Do You Constantly Reach For Your Phone?
It’s a regular Tuesday evening when I realize my Talkspace therapist, who consistently answers twice a day, didn’t respond a second time that night. A fleeting thought darts through my head: “What if she died?” With my life-long history of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I am no stranger to such macabre thoughts, so I dismiss it. It’s just a thought without evidence.
Soon the thought pops back into my mind. I open the Talkspace app on my phone. No message, but it’s probably nothing. I answered her too late in the day, she’s busy, she’s taking a well-deserved night off, her app isn’t working…All reasonable explanations.
Not two seconds later, the thought’s back, and even with all my years of therapy and an arsenal of coping skills for moments just like this, that thought grabs me hook, line, and sinker. I launch into a full-blown panic, which eventually proves to be unfounded when my therapist messages me as usual the next morning.
Does this anecdote sound familiar? It’s just one example of obsessive thinking, and I’m confident we’ve all had a version of this experience at some point. These types of thoughts are unhelpful at best, and debilitating at worst.
Continue reading How to Stop Obsessive Thinking
While there’s plenty about modern life that makes our day-to-day easier, there’s also a lot of aspects that can cause and perpetuate anxiety. Sure, we’ve got a world of information and thousands of apps at our fingertips, but is that really a good thing? Did people in the olden days, in a way, have it easier than we do? I mean, anxiety was a thing in 400 BC, just ask Hippocrates. But did the ancient Greeks have to deal with Instagram or deciphering cryptic text messages (or lack thereof) from a someone he went on a date with last night? Nope.
Here are some common modern life stressors — and more importantly, what you can do to cope with them.
Continue reading How Modern Life Causes Anxiety (and What to do About It)
Keeping a laundry list of tasks and to-dos in order can be a headache for anyone, but for some people, the difficulty goes beyond mere annoyance. Starting work each morning can feel like wrangling a bear — and often, that bear is your mind. No, work won’t always be easy (it’s called work for a reason), but it doesn’t need to be the bane of your day-to-day existence.
It’s important to understand what about task management pains you. Is it stressful? Are you overwhelmed? Are you so nitpicky that you get stuck on tasks for days? When task management turns from an annoyance into a daily struggle, step back and examine your mental health. Understanding the blocks your brain puts up during working hours will help you — with the help of a therapist if you choose — create a plan of attack.
Continue reading Struggle with Time Management? Here’s What It Says About Your Mental Health…