General

I Didn’t Choose To Have A Mental Illness


I've dealt with depression from the time I was a child. It goes so far back that I can't point to an age or a moment when I realized something was different about me; it has always been there.

As a child, I spent many nights sitting on the floor beside my bed, a cassette tape crackling on the stereo in the background, thinking about the vastness of the universe and how tiny and isolated the...
Continue Reading

Advice

Is Your Cat Making You Depressed?

As I write this, my cat is bumping her head up against my leg and purring. That doesn't make it any easier to write what I'm about to write.

Mommy loves you, baby. Forgive me. For those of you who think cats are the devil me add to your arsenal.
A new study has found an unusual link between cat bites and depression.
According to the study, published online at the journal PLOS ONE, Over the...
Continue Reading

Advice

Depressed? Be Compassionate Toward Yourself


There's a fine line between prioritizing personal space and becoming a hermit. I seem to toe the line all the time. I can say with great certainty that I think life would be easier if I could just hole up in my apartment and ignore the rest of the world.

Ah, but that's just depression talking. 'Tis the season. I don't know where you live, but here in Pennsylvania, we haven't seen green , no grass...
Continue Reading

Adolescence

Sinead O’Connor and How NOT to Prove You’re Emotionally Stable


It was a twerking working weekend for me, but I did get to catch up on a Miley Cyrus' Saturday Night Live appearance, and Sinead O'Connor's not-so-motherly advice to the former Disney star.

The two have been haggling back and forth like middle school girls in love with the same boy. Here is a link, but proceed with caution because Sinead's favorite word starts with an "F." To summarize, Sinead wrote an open...
Continue Reading

Advice

Triggers


As I write this, I've got a lot on my plate.
A husband facing a health crisis.
Financial struggles.
A book project I can't seem to dream into existence.

I don't know how it is for you, but around here life is a delicate balancing act between trusting...
Continue Reading

Bipolar Disorder

Which Matters More: Brain or Body?


By day, I write for a large law firm that deals primarily with personal injury litigation. These aren't the small, ridiculous cases you hear Stephen Colbert making fun of on The Colbert Report, these are huge cases that often involve injuries, illnesses, and deaths caused by medications. I never cease to be amazed at the way pharmaceutical companies will put millions of lives at risk to earn a profit. I've come to the conclusion that...
Continue Reading

Advice

Talking Faith and Mental Illness: Suicide


Blogger and former psychiatrist Adrian Warnock is hosting a "broad conversation about faith and mental illness" and last week I responded to his question about the way my own faith community has historically viewed mental illness, and how my own faith shapes my views of it. This week Warnock touches on the very sensitive subject of suicide.
Research suggests that religious faith protects against suicide. Why do you think that is in light...
Continue Reading

Advice

Family: Trading Understanding for Acceptance

Mothers Day is a touchy holiday for some people. I know it was for me.
I didn't always get along with my mother and, actually, there was a time in my life when I wanted to disappear without a trace because I was sick of all the fighting and painful feelings. But that was many years ago and now I have a pretty good relationship with Mom. It's not perfect, but no relationship is. I'm just happy...
Continue Reading

Advice

Mental Health Frustrations and Rethinking Church – Kinda

The Mental Health Grace Alliance published a blog post last week entitled 3 Frustrations of Mental Health and the Church; 3 Ways to Re:Think Church.

The post covers:

Spiritual Stigma
unfortunately, pastoral staff members grow frustrated when they don’t understand why their ministry methods are not working.  In response, they unknowingly go into “religious default” mode, which places the blame on the individual, rather than the ministry. Like Job’s friends, it’s assumed that this hardship/ problem...
Continue Reading