Mental Illness is… a Lifestyle?

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and I’m not done talking. Stay tuned for my post on suicidal ideation.

Every time you read a blog post or watch a YouTube video about someone’s new diet or fitness regimen what do they always say?  “You see this change is gonna stick because this isn’t about just going on a diet. This is about a lifestyle.”

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I love working out, but GTFO fitspo!

When I was religious it was always “Christianity isn’t about religion, it’s about a relationship.”

Folks are always trying to prove that what they’re doing or experiencing isn’t some fad, they aren’t doing what they “should” and they’re not being forced to suffer against their will. No they’re doing this thing because this is what they love. Now this is who they are.

It Feels Like Mental Illness is My Lifestyle.

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Antidepressant Weight Gain

Don’t you just love weight loss articles that start with pictures of sweets?

Let’s Talk Antidepressant Side Effects

Since I started on Lexapro a year and a half ago and added Wellbutrin six months ago I’ve put on about 20 pounds. Thank goodness I’m an aspiring powerlifter and I still use my Fitbit or who knows how much more I would have gained.

I went to the doctor a few months (and pounds) ago and for the first time in my life I was told that I was a few of pounds overweight (according to the admittedly bogus BMI chart). I couldn’t believe my ears!

But I shouldn’t have been surprised.

This past winter I was trying to zip up my favorite black sheath and I guess I was too much woman for it. The zipper tore away from the seam of the dress and I found myself trapped. The zipper wouldn’t go up or down. I was stuck (kind of like this girl). I had to wake Fred to cut me free! Continue reading

Anxiety Running Your Life? Don’t be Ashamed to Get Help #imnotashamed

I remember the precise moment I decided it was time to go on anxiety medication. It was at the end of what I’ll refer to as a month’s long, anxiety bender.

Life With GAD. Business As Usual.

If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) I suspect it’s quite common to not really notice that there is something wrong. You have probably been the one friends and family say “thinks too much” for as long as you can remember. You may even view this as somehow making you superior to your peers.

I rarely viewed my anxiety as problematic. In fact, I viewed it as my secret sauce for success: my anxiety motivated me to give a damn.

When I was experiencing panic attacks in college I started to suspect that something was wrong, but that only went on for a semester or two. Many of the panic attacks involved me panicking about how I would fail at life if I stopped being anxious. Without the anxiety to motivate me I would surely fail!

Don’t ask.

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Want to Make Your Brain Less Anxious? Try Optimism

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The human brain is marvelous. Research is showing that there may actually be feedback loops between what we think/do and the physical structure of our brain. Astonishingly, those structural changes could affect the way we think going forward.

Your brain keeps changing. It may be possible to harness that power for good!

Neuro-Acrobatics?

Ever since childhood I’ve been awe struck by the adaptability of the human brain.

My mother’s Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations and subsequent complete (or near complete) recovery always blew me away. One month she would lose her sight, be unable to use her left side, have difficulty speaking, feel that her legs were leaden. Then, a few months later, following a course of medicine and therapy, she was good as new.

I learned that her autoimmune disorder caused her body to attack and destroy the insulation for her nerves thereby weakening or completely disrupting signals from her brain to her body. But with time, her brain would find new ways to get the message out. The scars on her brain remained, but she recovered.

Incredible!

This is but one example of the brain’s neuroplasticity.  Continue reading