Laugh in the Face of Anxiety

Anxiety occasionally visits us all. When we give an important presentation, take a test, go on a first date or walk down a dark alley our minds and bodies naturally respond by going on high alert and attuning to the potential dangers and risks of these endeavors.

A healthy amount of anxiety prevents us from falling victim to those dangers and risks. Choosing not to go down that dark alley could be a life-saving response. But an excessive amount of anxiety can increase our risk of suffering negative consequences.

The millions of people who suffer from social anxiety disorder, panicdisorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders experience debilitating degrees of anxiety and fear that can significantly limit their functioning in daily life. The natural instincts designed to help protect them from the dangers they fear have become sources of danger themselves.  more

Untreated Anxiety Is a Gateway to Other Mental Health Problems

Here’s how parents can help kids in the early going, rather than waiting until issues snowball.

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF kids suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, according to the latest data. This is problematic for multiple reasons.

First, there’s the functional impairment that goes along with having an anxiety disorder. Anxiety interferes with kids being able to go to school, do the best they can while there to learn, make and keep friends, love their families and engage in activities they enjoy. When kids suffer from an anxiety disorder, they might be too scared to raise their hand in class, and some will refuse to go to school altogether. Others will have an extreme fear of play dates and friendships will suffer, while some will be too embarrassed to try playing a sport or engage in the arts out of fear that they’ll be terrible at it.  more

5 Borderline Personality Disorder Signs That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Is it hard to maintain a relationship?
If borderline personality disorder (BPD) were a relationship status, it would be “it’s complicated.”

Despite being in the spotlight lately via TV shows like The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriendand celebrities like SNL’s Pete Davidson, there’s still a lot of unknowns about the mental health condition

That’s in part because BPD is characterized through different personality-based trends and patterns, which are very hard to nail down, says Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., executive director of Innovation 360, an out-patient clinic in Dallas, Texas. And those patterns can show up in almost every aspect of a person’s life, from how they act in relationships, to how they handle work situations, to even how they handle their own inner thoughts.  more

13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an often profoundly misunderstood mental health condition commonly conflated with bipolar disorder. In reality, it’s an entirely different mental illness. Take a few minutes to read the facts below and better understand borderline personality disorder, along with the people who live with it.

1. Borderline personality disorder often causes symptoms like extreme mood shifts and uncertainty in how a person views themselves and others.  more

Adults on the autism spectrum prescribed mental health drugs without diagnoses

Adults on the autism spectrum are being prescribed mental health drugs in instances where there is limited supporting evidence to do so.

This was one of the findings of a UNSW-led study that looked at the use of psychotropic medication – or medication for  – by adults on the .

The research, which used data collected by The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)’s Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism (ALSAA), found that 14 per cent of mental health medications were being taken by adults on the   without a relevant diagnosis.  more

Will your therapist go on strike? 4,000 mental health workers protesting Kaiser Permanente

Thousands of psychologists, therapists, social workers and psychiatric nurses will begin a five-day strike Monday against Kaiser Permanente at more than 100 facilities across California, demanding one of the nation’s largest non-profit HMOs devote more resources to mental health services.

The shortage of mental health professionals is a growing problem nationwide.

“These clinicians are making timely access to mental health care the civil rights issue of our time,” said Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which organized the strike of approximately 3,600 Kaiser mental health professionals and 400 support staff, including dietitians and health educators.  more

7 Myths You Might Believe About Antipsychotic Medications

When mental illness is depicted on TV shows and movies, it’s not always kind. While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend got a lot right, for instance, 13 Reasons Why, not so much. And when it comes to medications, like antipsychotics or antidepressants, realistic depictions are often lacking. For instance, they may show a character whose antipsychotics make them act like an entirely different person (not the case), or they’ll show someone who is immediately “cured” after a day on antidepressants (also not the case).

These media stereotypes—mixed with the lack of quality information online—contribute to misinformation and myths about mental illnesses and the drugs used to manage them, particularly antipsychotics, David Brendel, M.D., PhD, a psychiatrist based in Boston, tells SELF. “Many of these mental health conditions have been treated as problems with people’s personalities rather than as medical conditions, and so there’s been a lot of resistance and judgement about many of these medications,” he says.  more

What people taking antidepressants, psychiatric medication want you to know

Telling people that they’re ‘crazy’ or they’ll become an addict if they take psychiatric medications does more harm than good.

A family member notices you taking an antidepressant and suggests that if you smiled a little more you’d be able to beat that depression without drugs. Other well-meaning friends or family don’t hesitate to share their opinions — often based on myths or misinformation — about psychiatric medications with you, or anyone else. It’s pill shaming and it’s simply another way of stigmatizing mental illness, doctors say.

One in six Americans takes some kind of psychiatric drugs, mostly antidepressants. Many people who have a prescription for psychiatric medications also use talk therapy, mindfulness or exercise to manage their symptoms. But it’s the prescription pills that typically bring out the judgy comments.  more

Substance use for coping can lead to mental health issues

Before Charles Miller got into the car he quickly popped a small tab of 25i — fake acid. It seemed that during the first eight holes of golf everything would be normal, but it wasn’t until after the ninth hole that yardsticks started moving out of nowhere and the fairway turned into a waving ocean. This was an uncomfortable high for Miller that led him to experience severe anxiety for months after, and he coped by drinking alcohol and popping Xanax for a year of his college life.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” Miller, using a pseudonym to protect his identity, said.

The use of alcohol and illicit drugs is more common among young adults than any other age group, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Illicit drugs originally focused on the use of marijuana among college students, but has recently incorporated the use and misuse of prescription, over-the-counter drugs and harder drugs such as LSD. The administration found that 1 in 17 full-time college students aged 18-22 met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2015.  more

Incarcerated Black Men and Mental Health.

Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by African Americans today. Socioeconomic status, in turn, is linked to mental health: People who are impoverished, homeless, incarcerated or have substance abuse problems are at higher risk for poor mental health.” – (Mental Health America, 2018)

African American men, incarceration rates are continuously questioned and our current criminal justice system for years now, has been labeled the New Jim Crow.  Most African American men who have a history of incarceration, suffers from some type of mental health disorders.  Our prisons and jails continues to be overcrowded and understaffed, which leads to more stress and violence from the inmates and the staff.  African American men who are incarcerated are exposed to traumatic and violent experiences not only while they’re incarcerated, but even once they’ve been released, and are discriminated against, thereafter.  more