Mental Illness and the Holidays.

Christmas is not my favourite time of year, in fact I kind of dread it.  Aside from the well deserved break from the craziness that is school, it’s a time of year when I wish I could just quickly skip over it and start the new year fresh. I used to love the holidays, but the past few years have brought about some negative memories that I now associate with the holidays. Particularly the last two Christmases were especially emotional and hard to get through, it triggers my PTSD and anxiety similar to how I experience the same symptoms in…

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The Depression Mask

The depression mask. What I would define as a defence mechanism because if you looked like you felt, no one would ever want to be around you. Depression has levels that is hard for people who don’t have it to understand. It makes me angry when I come across comments calling people like Chester selfish. To me, it’s a suicide is a failure of society to protect individuals for for letting them down to feel like this was the only viable option. Depression IS a disease. Sometimes medication can help and sometimes they don’t similar to any other sickness. The…

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Ph.D. students face significant mental health challenges.

Approximately one-third of Ph.D. students are at risk of having or developing a common psychiatric disorder like depression, a recent study reports. Although these results come from a small sample—3659 students at universities in Flanders, Belgium, 90% of whom were studying the sciences and social sciences—they are nonetheless an important addition to the growing literature about the prevalence of mental health issues in academia. One key message for scientific trainees that are struggling with these types of challenges, write co-authors Katia Levecque and Frederik Anseel of Ghent University in an email to ScienceCareers, is that “you are not alone.” Beyond…

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Why we all need to practice emotional first aid.

Mental wellness does not just impact us as individuals, it impacts our whole society. If we all took steps to take care of our emotions and care for ourselves in this way the world would be a lot healthier. Emotionally injured people hurt others and as I have gotten older I have learned how important it is to take time to heal. “When people started practicing personal hygiene, life expectancy improved by almost 50% in a few decades”, mental hygiene can have a similar impact. Fighting loneliness, equipping yourself with tools to handle failure, and protecting your self-esteem can make…

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Trying To Understand ‘What Made Maddy Run’.

Madison Holleran ran track at the University of Pennsylvania. She was popular and beautiful — and raised in a big, supportive family in a New Jersey suburb. “By all accounts, Madison in high school was this young, happy, vibrant, wildly successful human being, who was destined — according to everyone around her — to do amazing things with her life,” says sportswriter Kate Fagan. And from the outside, Madison appeared to be thriving in college, too. But inside, she was struggling with anxiety and depression. Then, in the middle of her freshman year, Madison ended her life by jumping from…

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Depression and Art.

Why hello there! It sure has been awhile, but man has this summer flown by (thanks to full time work, summer school, running, and well more school stuff!). I haven’t had time to blog much or think about stuff besides physiology and finishing my dissertation. But luckily things are slowly wrapping up…just in time for more school to start…HAH! Luckily i’ve received word i’ve passed my physiology course but that gives me little time to celebrate since I still have to tie up the lose ends of my dissertation, prepare for my next runs and moving back to school…. Tis…the…

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Meet the ‘doctors’ who will talk to you whenever you like.

Could health apps and chatbots eventually replace your traditional doctor? “Let’s talk about how you’ve been feeling over the past 30 days,” says Joy. “This will help me get a sense for your current state.” Joy probes a bit deeper, asking a series of questions: Do I feel hopeless? Do I feel restless? When I respond that I’m a bit stressed, Joy offers me several de-stressing techniques. Joy might appear to be my counsellor or my life coach, but the conversation I’m having is actually with a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to track emotions and provide…

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‘A little bit OCD’: the downside of mental health awareness

It’s mental health awareness week. So that’s good. Well, mostly. There are downsides to increased awareness of mental health, it turns out. You ever met someone who is needlessly cold or even outright rude to those who deign to engage with them? I used to work with someone like that, and eventually one of his superiors had to call him out on it. I was within earshot, and happened to hear his defence, which was something like “It’s just the way I am. I think I’m on the spectrum.” He didn’t specify which spectrum. Maybe he meant the visible spectrum?…

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A Day in the Life of a Student With an Anxiety Disorder.

Every day is a challenge. I wake up with a nervous stomachache. I get dressed and put on my mascara, trying to hold the brush tightly with shaky hands. I try to eat something, but I can’t. Everything makes me feel sick. At school I greet my friends with a fake smile and try to appear as calm as can be. It doesn’t last long. I spill out my worries in a stream of chatter. They are all irrational, so nobody understands. They tell me to “just calm down” and “it’ll be OK.” I don’t understand why it’s only me fearing…

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Empathic People and Protecting Themselves.

The empathy trap: therapists and counsellors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients’ recovery — but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call “apaths”.  The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it. People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should’ve listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath’s superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he…

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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau Opens Up About Her Former Struggle With Bulimia.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau spoke at an event for Eating Disorders Awareness Week and shared her own struggle with an eating disorder. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, while struggling with bulimia years ago, used to ask, “Why me?” “I remember feeling ashamed, thinking, ‘Why am I suffering from this?’ On the surface I had it all,” she told a crowd at an event on Parliament Hill for Eating Disorder Awareness Week on Thursday. “I kept reading about what it was to be a bulimic and saying, ‘This is the last time I’m doing this to myself.’ I started to tremble because of too…

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9 Inspirational Quotes from Carrie Fisher Fighting Mental Health Stigma

Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s and was very open with her struggles throughout her life, including battles with addiction. Since her death, fans have taken to social media to share stories of how Fisher’s honesty helped them come out about and cope with their own mental health struggles.Here are some of the most memorable and powerful of Fisher’s quotes on mental illness, delivered with the sharp wit and unflinching honesty that we will always love her for.   “I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple – just someone who could not…

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The First Steps.

To be honest, it’s crazy to think about how far my mental health journey has taken me over the past 4 years that i’ve been able to share my experiences. It hasn’t been an easy 4 years and I realize this is going to be a life-long journey in how I learn to manage, adapt, and cope with my depression and anxiety. It’s not easy being a student on top of everything. The amount of stress that is placed on me at times is incredible when it comes time to balance work, nursing school, finishing my master’s, community service, and…

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