Running from the Urges

What do you do when you have the urge to use a symptom? When suddenly, you feel like you must cut or you will die? When purging seems like the only option? When isolating for a week sounds like the only thing that will keep you safe?

You have to run. Run to a coping skill. Run to a loved one. Run to your recovery.

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Sometimes You Just Need to Voice Your Needs

Be quiet. Do not complain. Remain strong like nothing is wrong.

Those are voices in my head. Sometimes those messages are helpful. Usually, however, these words create more drama and pain in my life. Instead of being honest about difficulties, I try to manage by myself until I end up sobbing, feeling alone and defeated.

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Ten Signs Your Medication Is Not Working

Stone gargoyle at Be Our Guest

You can feel miserable with the wrong medication.

Medication for depression or other mental illness is a tricky thing to manage. Everyone responds differently to it. Some people find that Prozac allows them to think clearly while others have racing thoughts with that medicine. Others love Zoloft despite the fact that others dislike it.

Just like our bodies are made differently, our illnesses have different remedies. Finding that right medication is the key.

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Is There One Cure-All for Mental Illness?

Sloth on tree

This sloth is sometimes how I feel when I am down.

Today I started a new one type of therapy. Although I am feeling optimistic, some apprehension has already taken root in me. The therapist stressed the fact that her treatment would help me heal from past trauma. With that vampire bat gone from hanging in the corner of my mind, I would heal from the rest of my mental illness – depression, eating disorder, and anxiety included.

Can that really happen? Does one type of therapy cure mental illness? For that matter, does one medication?

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Letter from a Support Person

My father and my sister Maria years ago

My father and my sister Maria years ago

I recently received a beautiful comment on this blog. An anonymous support person wrote a letter that was much more powerful than anything I could write trying to understand that point of view. Thus, I wanted to share this letter from a family member or friend of a person struggling with mental illness. Hopefully, it will touch you as much as it impacted me.

Plus, if you ever have something that you want to bring to my attention or think that I should share, let me know in a comment. I cannot promise to always blog it. However, know that I am open to hearing your voice and what you would like to see more of on this blog.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone on Antidepressants

Much debate surrounds medication including antidepressants. Some people say that diet and other holistic methods are better than Western medication. Others argue that mental illness is not a true disease but can be overcome by willpower. While medicine is over-diagnosed at times, neither of these responses helps those who are struggling with depression or another such disorder.

For the past few days, I have not taken my strongest and most helpful medication. As explained in my post yesterday, my mood has been very low. Last night, my mother convinced me to take my medicine again. Although life is still not rosy, I feel much better today if sleepier. This just proves the importance and potency of medication.

Still, as shown above, people continue to judge those who take antidepressants. Here are some comments that people have made which is hard for a person taking medication for mental illness.

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Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Black and white photo of me

Opening up and saying your story are not an easy tasks.

Writing is simple. Just type words onto a page, and there you are. Writing.

Good writing is more difficult. Character, style, grammar, inspiration, humor, honesty, clarity, research – there are so many components to creating any type of written work – fiction or nonfiction, creative or academic, comedic or tragic. Still, with proper training and natural skills, people can begin to type on a blank document with their brain dials only turned to 50 percent.

Telling your story, however, is much more difficult. More frightening. More time consuming. And more rewarding.

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What to Do When You Don’t Trust Your Doctor

“You did gain weight since I last weighed you.” My dietitian finally admitted this morning. “What has been happening differently?”

I wanted to scream. For the past months, she has listened to me moan about my fear of gaining weight and heard me say that I have put on more than my goal amount. However, she never believed me.

“That is just your eating disorder talking,” was her typical response. However, I am not stupid. My clothing feels different, my body looks different, and people talk about my appearance differently. Sure, I am paranoid about my weight, but something is certainly happening. Now she acts surprised when I have been trying to tell her this every meeting.

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Thoughts after Taking a Day off of Medication

Laughing with friend

Even with friends, I know that part of me is different because of my medication.

Because I saw the late night premier of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last night, I did not take one of my evening medications which makes me very sleepy. The lack of it kept me riled up and awake until a bit after 4:00 A.M. Still, my alarm was set for 8:30 because I have so much work to do.

When I awoke this morning, I felt strangely perky. “You will crash in a few hours,” a friend warned. But I did not.

Without my medication, I sprung through the day with a strange energy. For the first time in a long time, liveliness pulsed through my body. It was almost like I was a new person.

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My Whole Being Aches: Body, Mind, and Spirit

My friend Kelsey with a coin in her eye

Whether it is with joy, fear, or depression, our whole selves react to our feelings.

Each morning for the past few days, I have awoken wondering how I am going to make it through the next few days. School, work, medical appointments,  honor society commitments, and friendships are all weighing down on me. Although these are all good things, the amount of everything in my life is so much that I feel like I am going to break.

Our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits are more attached than we realize. When in pain, every bit of ourselves aches. Joy radiates throughout our beings when we hear good news and makes us think good thoughts and feel well. Thus, it would make sense to see our whole self as connected.

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