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General

The Difference Between Delusional and Wrong

Every Christmas, my cousin, Athena, and I have a competition of sorts. We give each other gifts that we believe help establish who is our grandmother’s favorite grandchild.  (There is a picture further down the page from a year I “lost.”) It’s a delightful family tradition that started up innocently enough five or so years ago and just keeps. . . growing.

The general premise is simple enough: Athena maintains that she is our grandmother’s favorite and I know I am our grandmother’s favorite. The yearly battle for Granny’s love has caught the attention of friends and neighbors, and members of the family who can’t be in attendance for the official exchange are quick to inquire about it.



General

Have Questions About Living with Mental Illness? Submit Them!

My name is Gabe Howard and I live with bipolar and anxiety disorders. I’m an award-winning writer, a professional speaker, and I do mental illness advocacy work all over the country.

In addition to being an associate editor for , I’m also the host of The Psych Central Show.  I write for bipolar magazine online, have been published by the Stanford University School of Medicine blog, and I’m the author of this column, Don’t Call...


Anxiety

MailBag: Social Anxiety Causes Me To Miss Family Events



Hi, Gabe. I need some advice. I have bipolar depression and high anxiety. I say yes to doing things and back out at the last minute. I just let my Goddaughter down last night, backing out of her singing concert. She is 12. Her mom and I have a rocky friendship. But she messaged me this morning on how I let her little girl down again. I know I did, many times. But I don’t know how to get over this last-minute panic feeling. And I also don’t know how to explain how I feel when this happens. I try very hard not to make it about my illness, but she also doesn't even try to understand me, either. Her child gets hurt by me and nothing else matters to her, and I understand that. One thing is her mom makes me a nervous wreck when I am around her. What do I do? Thank you, A Fan



Anxiety

The High Price of Your Untreated Agoraphobia

Guest Blog by: Greg Weber, who is the creator of Driving Peace.

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that's very common. There are about 200,000 new agoraphobia diagnoses per year in the alone. It's defined as having unreasonable fear of places or situations where you might lose control and become trapped, unable to get help. Derived from ancient Greek,...


Depression

Can Someone Without Depression Understand It?

I spend a lot of time struggling with how to describe what depression feels like. Partly because I’m a writer and partly because I want my loved ones to understand me, I’m constantly trying to find the perfect explanation. I feel as though I’ve come close using darkness as imagery and trying to build on what people understand about sadness and grief.

I’m always left wanting, though. The intended audience appears to have some level of sympathy, but I never really feel like they have any understanding.



General

Their Son’s Suicide: “We Did Everything Right.”

A few weeks ago, I gave a speech at a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) fundraising dinner. The event was designed to give different perspectives on the challenges our society faces related to mental illness and suicide.

I was there to speak about living with bipolar disorder. Additionally, there were a couple family members, a comedian who lives with depression, a public health official, and a man running for local political office.

I attend many of these types of functions and...


Depression

Does Depression Physically Hurt?

Over the past couple months, I’ve been suffering from depression. I’m managing, but it takes a mental toll. People aren’t surprised to learn about the mental effects of depression. After all, it’s a mental illness.

What people are surprised to learn – and I often...