How I Knew I Had Bipolar Disorder, Not Depression

mentally ill young woman double exposure

In 1997 I was a happy person. I had recently moved to a new city with my then-boyfriend, gotten a little distance from my family, and started attending university. I was working toward a bachelor’s of computer science. It was challenging, but I was handling it and feeling uplifted by the challenge.

I was used to a roller-coaster of moods through my earlier teenage years, but I thought that turbulence was behind me. I had no idea anything was brewing in my brain.

Unfortunately, by the end of 1998, my mental health had reached its breaking point. I had slid, little by little, into the vortex of a severe depression. By that time I was wishing for death every day, could barely get out of bed, and had turned to self-harm for some small measure of relief. I had no idea why these things were happening to me as nothing notable had preceded them, but they were obviously happening — brutally.

Continue reading How I Knew I Had Bipolar Disorder, Not Depression

Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

man with depression dating woman

When you date a man with depression, it can become a struggle to maintain a relationship with him and protect your own mental health. The experience is not fundamentally different than dating someone without a mental illness, but there are issues that are more likely to arise.

By understanding these issues and knowing how to respond, you can support the man you love without threatening the relationship or your emotional wellbeing. Continue reading Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

5 Celebrities Who Battled Depression and Came Out Strong

Halle Berry depression

People with millions of dollars, academy awards, platinum albums or a ubiquitous name may have the “good life,” but that doesn’t mean they are happier. Celebrities are not immune to depression. Fame can actually make you more vulnerable to mental illness.

Fortunately, their stories of battling depression can be insightful and enlightening, at least for those of us who aren’t in the headlines every week. They show how celebrities are fundamentally the same as any other person who deals with mental health issues. Continue reading 5 Celebrities Who Battled Depression and Came Out Strong

The Mental Health Effects of Social Media Use

woman dealing with body dysmorphia

Social media has transformed our culture into one of over-sharing. As we spend more and more time online, it is important we look at how this may affect our mental health.

#NoFilter? Not Really: The False Reality of Social Media

Through Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos, we peep a snippet of someone’s edited life. Sometimes we find ourselves judging our own lives with these updates, tweets and photos. The comparisons we make to our realities are unfair, because these snippets are a #filtered perspective of someone else’s life. There is no such thing as #nofilter. The comparisons we make can cause feelings of inferiority that lead to low self-esteem. Continue reading The Mental Health Effects of Social Media Use

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.” – Brendan Behan

– by Anonymous Talkspace User

Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

I’ve always been pretty educated about the health benefits of exercising and eating right. Having doctors in the family resulted in my having way too much knowledge about various health issues, and the impact of maladaptive behaviors that can cause them. But, strangely enough, I was never taught about the overwhelming health hazards of not drinking enough of plain and simple water.

The fact is the brain requires proper hydration to function properly, because brain cells have to maintain a delicate balance between water and other elements. If that balance is disrupted, cognitive health may be negatively affected. Continue reading Dear Therapist: Can I Drink Myself to Mental Health?

Social Media For Good: 15 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Social Media For Good: 17 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Depression, one of the most common and most stigmatized mental disorders of them all, has had a rare moment in the spotlight this summer as Twitter users spoke out and banded together over the illness.

– by Molly Enking / Talkspace Social Media Manager

Their tweets offer a rare glimpse into the world of those who struggle with depression daily, but may not speak up – even to their loved ones.

Using the hashtags #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs (trending August 7th), #MHDignityMarch (trending August 18th) and #EndTheStigma (used by most mental health organizations), users are bravely opening their hearts and minds to the Twittersphere—and promoting a conversation that very much needs to happen in this country. Continue reading Social Media For Good: 15 of the Best Tweets About Depression

Summertime Blues: Making Sense of Summer Depression Stemming from Seasonal Affective Disorder

Summertime Blues: Making Sense of Summer Depression Stemming from Seasonal Affective Disorder

Most of us have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and associate it with the winter months. This makes sense since it’s dark and cold during that time of year. And though it is, indeed, more common to feel depressed during the winter, there’s more to SAD than simply that. Read on.

The days are longer, it’s warm and sunny, and everyone is relaxing and having fun. So then, how is it still possible to feel blue? Summer Depression resulting from Seasonal Affective Disorder is hard to wrap our minds around, and it’s mainly because of cognitive dissonance. Continue reading Summertime Blues: Making Sense of Summer Depression Stemming from Seasonal Affective Disorder

Living with the Ghost of Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million Americans live with anxiety related disorders in United States each year, making anxiety one of the most prevalent mental health issues nationally.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million Americans live with anxiety related disorders in United States each year, making anxiety one of the most prevalent mental health issues nationally.

– by Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC / Talkspace Therapist 

Tons of people in the United States and beyond cope with moderate to severe anxiety issues. It goes without saying that the impact can be widely felt by those that surround them.

Continue reading Living with the Ghost of Anxiety

The Inner World of Robin Williams In Three Films

The Inner World of Robin Williams In Three Films

Robin Williams was born on July 21st, 1951. During the next 63 years, he would become one of the world’s most esteemed and respected actors, comedians, and storytellers. To me, however, he would become a symbol of hope, compassion, and genuine human kindness.

– by Liz Campese / Staff Writer 

It’s strange to feel a connection to someone I’ve never actually met, but there’s something about Robin Williams that felt so warm and familiar, I believe I didn’t have to meet him to get a sense of who he was. He revealed everything about himself in the roles he chose and the characters he played. And what I learned about him from his onscreen performances was that he was an indescribably beautiful human being. These are the three films I believe revealed a lot about his personal history and struggles with mental illness.  Continue reading The Inner World of Robin Williams In Three Films

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

Simply put, anticipatory anxiety is a discomforting and disquieting mind game you play on yourself. Do I have your attention yet?

You’re going to the dentist and you feel anxious. You’re about to go take a test and you feel anxious. You’ve been asked to have a meeting with your supervisor and you feel anxious. Do you see a pattern forming?

Anticipatory anxiety is a common discomfort experienced by millions of people. Continue reading The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety