Can Mental Illness Ever Get Better?

Most mental illnesses cannot be cured, but treatment has the goal of putting the illness into remission, which means you are healthy for a while, sometimes a long while, before you relapse. I am currently in remission for Major Depressive Disorder, which means that depression is not preventing me from functioning, and I’m in partial […]

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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…

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Suicide; The Perpetual Question Mark

The truly tempting thing about suicide is that it’s a solution to pretty much everything. Not a constructive solution or a solution other people want you to use, but still a solution. We can opt out. Once you realize you’re strong enough to end your own life, that knowledge will never go away. When you’re happy and engaged in life, that knowledge makes your life better because of the profound meaning there is to be found in the awareness of death and the empowerment of choosing to live. But when you’re feeling awful and you get to feeling awful enough that you think you’d do anything to change the way you feel, the knowledge that you could kill yourself becomes lethally dangerous…

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5 Quick Fixes for Panic Symptoms

I’ve learned a few small, quick actions that help me during extreme anxiety, panic attacks, and episodes. They don’t cure, but they help.

Splash your face. Cold water on your face jolts your system and tries to reset your body to a calmer mode. It also gives you a chance to be by yourself for a minute if you’re in a public situation and need to calm down.
Take a mindful shower. Trying to tap into the reality of the present moment is the most powerful tool (outside of medicine and professional help) that I’ve found so far. Finding the present moment is an ancient Buddhist practice that western civilization has appropriated and renamed “mindfulness”. To take a mindful shower, do everything in slow motion and take time to notice everything you see, smell, and feel. Do not rush…

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You Can Get Better. Don’t Give Up Yet.

Skip To Articles You can get better. Don’t give up yet. The Big Picture It feels like mental illness keeps us captive. When you are first diagnosed, not much is within your control. When someone offers you a coping strategy, you scoff, saying they just don’t get it. It’s a problem in your brain. It’s […]

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How To Help Yourself When You Hurt: 11 Skills to Self-Soothe

Everyone struggles sometimes, and often they feel alone; only you see through your eyes. Feeling alone can be very hard. For whatever kind of pain you have, you’ll need tools to cope with it. Family and friends are a good place to start, but for many that’s not an option. Instead you have to rely on yourself to get through your rough times. The biggest benefit of therapy I’ve gained is learning the things I can do to help myself. I’m going to share with you some of the tools that have collectively saved my life…

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About Me

Mental illness is real, and it hurts. My name is Emily Katherine Harrington, I’m thirty-three years old and live with multiple mental illnesses. I want to share my story and my paintings with you in the hope that you can benefit from my struggle, either by learning how I cope or simply finding out that […]

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