How to Survive Depression

I have lots of practice dealing with depression, and I hope I can help you with what I’ve learned. When you’re depressed, not much appeals. Nothing sounds fun. Nothing seems worth doing. When that happens to me, I know I’m depressed. Losing interest in things you usually care about is a normal and typical symptom of depression. For many very lucky people, sadness passes in a day or so. For those of us whose sadness lasts weeks and expands into full depression, we need a plan. Deep depression can lead to suicide or suicide attempts. If you’re going to stay alive, you need tools to help you do so. Suicide happens when the pain you experience exceeds your ability to cope with it, so if you’re going to stay alive, your options are to lower the level of pain or increase your coping ability. This explanation is not original to me, so don’t credit me for it. I use it because it’s a clear and simple analysis of a messy state of mind…

How To Support To A Mentally Ill Loved One

One of the biggest worries of a mentally ill person is that they are a terrible burden on their friends and family. As an outsider, most of what you can contribute is verbal. Regularly remind your loved one that they are not a burden, they are not going to lose you, you love them, and […]

The Coping Skills You Didn’t Know You Needed

There Is Always Hope Of Reducing Your Pain You can calm and soothe yourself when you hurt. It takes a long time, some training, and a lot of practice, but you can learn how to calm yourself during a depressive episode, an anxiety attack, a panic attack, a bipolar episode, or something similar. When I […]

How and Why Mental Illness Is Misunderstood

The brain is incredible, in the true sense of the word. Our whole selves are housed up there in that small mass of cells, nerves, and electricity. Our every sensation, thought, emotion, decision, and feeling are determined by the functioning of that squishy, 3-pound organ behind our eyes. The brain is complicated and misunderstood. If […]

The Abnormal Life

  A person with multiple severe mental illnesses, like myself, will never lead a “normal” life. We are not neurotypical, and cannot lead neurotypical lives. We live our own special brand of abnormal lives. These lives can be worthwhile, rich, and rewarding, even though they do contain immense suffering. Of course, trying to get as […]

Staying In A Psychiatric Hospital: A Story In First Person

(Quick! Take a 4-question quiz to let me know how you feel!) It starts out scary and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to go to the psychiatric hospital. I didn’t want to be there. I was already suicidal, and here I was voluntarily giving up every comforting thing I had in my life: people, places, and […]

How Mental Illness Affects My Life

I am disabled because of my mental illnesses. I have bipolar II, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. I was diagnosed when I first presented my bipolar symptoms at age 19, 12 years ago. I also dealt with major depression as a child. I am disabled because I have mixed-state, rapid cycling episodes with […]

Can Two People with Mental Illness Be Friends?

  It can be excellent for people with the same mental illness to be around each other or be friends. This is beneficial is because those two people will have something in common that most people are not familiar with. They will be able to share coping skills, insights, affirming words of wisdom, and empathy. […]