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Tag Archives: mental health

How to Talk to a Loved One about Depression

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Spiritual Assistance by H. Grobe

When someone we love is suffering, we want to help. But when he or she is suffering from a mental illness, that help can be hard to give.

Depression alters a person’s sense of reality and makes other people’s perceptions difficult to believe. Read the rest of this entry

5 Things to Say Instead of I’m Sorry

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Mary Magdalen in Penitence by El Greco
This post is a follow-up from our Month of Self-Reflection.

I am a chronic apologizer.

Because I suffer from depression, I often apologize because I think I am genuinely at fault. I want to accept responsibility for all the bad things that happen.

But even I have to recognize that sometimes things aren’t my fault. And some things that are my fault just aren’t a big deal. Everyone makes little mistakes. Bad things just happen. Read the rest of this entry

What Is Psychotherapy Really Like?

At the Ball via WikimediaAbout six months ago, a few days of self-reflection showed me something I didn’t want to see: I needed help. Life had gotten to overwhelming and I just couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I started looking for psychiatric care.

There had been many difficult weeks and months over the past decade or so in my life when I’d asked myself, “Do I need to see someone?” But the idea of therapist made me nervous. I didn’t know what to expect from psychotherapy, and I wasn’t sure what being in therapy would mean about myself.

Read the rest of this entry

Zombies, Hope, and Living with Depression

Death and the Maiden by Adolf HeringI recently finished reading Warm Bodies, the 2011 “zombie romance” novel that inspired the recent number one box office hit.

R, the first-person narrator and protagonist, is one of the Dead, victim of a mysterious curse plaguing most of the world. He’s happy with his brain-and-essence-eating self until he meets and rescues Julie, a rosy-eyed, Living human. Their budding friendship—and romance—slowly returns R’s desire to live, his conscience, and his empathy. Other zombies take notice, wondering whether the same can happen to them, too.

Great literature it is not. But this story about the things that separate the dead from the living did have something to teach me about myself, my life, and my depression. Read the rest of this entry

Twelve Months to a Better Woman

Catching a Dream by Charles Lennox WrightMany of you know that I was diagnosed with post-partum depression late last summer. But as I’ve delved into my past with my therapist, I’ve discovered that depression has been a part of my life much longer than I thought.

I didn’t know that depression contributed to the mood swings that made me feel unlovable. I didn’t know that depression distorted my reflection into something deeply unattractive. And I didn’t know that depression made me truly believe that I didn’t deserve anything nice.

With things finally looking up for me, I’m ready for a change. I’m ready to accept the love of friends and family. I’m ready to feel beautiful. And, at twenty-seven years old, I’m finally ready to treat myself right. Read the rest of this entry

How to Make Working While You’re Pregnant Work

Graffiti in Lebanon via Wikimedia CommonsBy the time I found out I was pregnant, my high school students already had their suspicions. How could they help it? I was missing first period classes and running out of the room to throw up. While I eventually learned to handle both pregnancy and work, I learned the hard way how difficult those two facets of life can be to balance.

Pregnancy is never easy, but working through a pregnancy creates a unique set of challenges all its own. Luckily, with a little bit of planning and foresight, you can learn to live with the changes in how you feel, what you can do, and where you’ll invest your time. And learning to cope with these changes during pregnancy means you’ll be better prepared for your life post-delivery. Read the rest of this entry

How to Have a Happy Holiday When You Aren’t Feeling Very Happy

Songs, movies, magazines, and advertisements all tell us that the holidays are the happiest time of the year. But, for millions of people, the focus on friends and family is just another reminder of what they have lost. I am one of them. And maybe you are, too.

My beloved grandmother died just days before Christmas–I have vivid memories of a terrible Christmas Eve spent opening the gifts she had already bought. The holidays have never been quite the same for me because, amidst the joy and fun of Christmas, I can’t forget that a piece of who I am is missing. Read the rest of this entry