It’s that time again! Another batch of stories about OCD and other mental health issues has come out lately. I’ve rounded up a few of the more interesting items on the list behind the cut.
Workaholics Likely to Suffer From OCD and Other Psychiatric Disorders
Are you a workaholic? A group of researchers sat down and came up with a self-assessment that included items like “Thinking about how to free up time for more work,” “Deprioritizing hobbies and leisure activities to work more,” and “Work has negatively affected your health.” They then gave this self-assessment to more the 16,000 people along with a psychiatric assessment, and found that workaholics are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and, of course, OCD! Some interesting stuff in this story by Tech Times.
Likely Connection Between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and the Gut Microbiome
Turns out, if you think OCD is a load of something that rhymes with map, you may be partly right. A group of researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada studied the gut microflora of volunteers with untreated OCD as well as healthy volunteers, and found that many of the volunteers with OCD had lower populations of helpful gut bacteria, as well as fewer varieties. Food for thought.
We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High-Functioning’ Depression
Do you guys follow The Mighty? It has stories from a number of people sharing how they live with their illnesses and disabilities, mental and physical. This story really struck me recently, because I could have written it. Every time I share my mental illness with people, they tell me they never would have guessed. No one except my therapist had any idea how bad it had gotten before I went on medication. And I was almost non-functional in my day to day life, late on all my bills, never cleaning my apartment, and more. About the only things I was keeping up with was feeding and petting my cats, and going to work, where I (usually) put on a competent front and got through every day. A lot of people with mental illness are functional or can fake it very well, but that doesn’t mean we’re not in crisis! If you need help, you need help; you don’t have to feel guilty because you’re better off than some people.
Why It Is Important To Speak Up (in your own special way)
Do you read the other blogs on PsychCentral? I try to read entries when I can, and I follow a few, although I am not very good at commenting. (I get very self-conscious! Weird, I know.) One of those is Being Beautifully Bipolar, which I began reading right after my own mood disorder diagnosis. Elaina J. Martin’s words about why she writes — such as this new entry — were part of what inspired me to give it a try myself. Give it a read, and think about whether you want to speak up and reach out to others with mental illnesses, and how much, and how. It’s OK if you’re not ready for that yet, or if you’re never ready. But if you think it’s something you want to do, give it a try. Even though I’ve had a little negative feedback, choosing to write for PsychCentral has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve received a ton of support, and had the chance to give a little back, I hope.
5 Ways to Weather the Storm and Find Lasting Peace
One other blog to check out here at PsychCentral is their main blog, World of Psychology. It offers everything from summaries of new research, to life advice from therapists and psychiatrists of all stripes, to first-hand stories from fellow people with mental illnesses and what they’ve learned. This article by Gul at Tiny Buddha is one of the latter; it’s a summary of her experiences with anxiety and depression, how she found help through therapy and medication, and how she has deepened her own meditation practice to help deal with the remaining storm. This is something I’ve been trying to do. I’m on medication but I’m not a fan of the concept, so while I’ve accepted that I will likely need it for the rest of my life, I’ve stubbornly insisted on the lowest effective dose possible. That means I get some break-through symptoms of OCD and mood issues, and I’ve been using mindfulness meditation to help deal with them. I’ll definitely be taking Gul’s advice in this article and applying it to my own self-care routine.
That’s it for now, but expect another one of these in a few weeks. I’m really enjoying the opportunity to share some interesting facts and life experiences from amazing people here.
Photo by mindfulness