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about 4 hours ago

As someone who deals with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, Rachel Griffin is all too familiar with these insensitive interactions. The New York University graduate student made a video about all of the ridiculous things she's heard from other people about mental illness. The phrases range from confusing to downright frustrating.

The worst thing someone ever said to her came from a friend: "'After you told me you have depression I had a dream you were chasing me with an ax,'" Griffin recalled her friend telling her. "I was so hurt because I am such a gentle, compassionate person. I don't even kill bugs!"

While the video is meant to offer a humorous take, it also perfectly highlights the isolating social struggle so many people with mental illness face on a daily basis. Approximately one in four people will experience some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization.

about 22 hours ago

This is an opinion piece from the UK, but I think the same could be said for the US, or many other places as well. We simply don't provide for mental health care the way that we should, and we pay the price.

Sep 30, 15

"Sixteen million Americans are diagnosed with depression. Around the world, this condition affects around 350 million people. However, there are still so many negative stigmas and false knowledge about depression prevailing in the modern society.

The first most important thing to remember is that nobody “wallows” in depression as if it’s a cozy hot bath tub. Depression is not a choice. It’s a severe physical condition that needs special treatment and attention."

Sep 30, 15

"Encountering someone who deals with mental health issues is a lot more common than one might think, seeing as nearly one in five American adults — 43.7 million — experiences mental illness every year. If that seems overwhelming, consider:

● One in 10 Americans is affected by depression.

● More than 80 percent of people who are clinically depressed are not receiving treatment.

● The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by about 20 percent every year.

● An estimated 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

● In 2013, 41,149 suicides were reported in the United States, which was the highest rate of suicide since 1987.

How we respond to those individuals can truly be the difference between life and death, and the way we interact with someone who struggles with mental health issues must be taken with extreme caution and empathy.

We must not lower our understanding of the severity of depression and mental health issues to “just feeling bad” or “having a bad few months.” This is an issue rooted deep within the heart and mind of those affected. We must come to the aid of those who are hurting and in pain and truly value the sanctity of life."

The numbers always amaze me. Everyone knows someone dealing with mental health issues, for a wide variety of different reasons. Given that, you'd think people would want to make sure they knew the proper way to respond, and support people around them. And yet, that is not the case.

I hope by sharing this types of articles, we can help teach people how to be supportive, and that more people will recognize the need to be.

Sep 27, 15

This is really good advice. As with anything, I may not agree with every detail, and certainly every detail may not be realistic or work for you as an individual, but I think these are all good things to think about, and communicating with your partner when dealing with something like depression is always a good idea!

Sep 25, 15

During National Suicide Prevention Week (September 7-13), Michael opened up about his experience and the messages of hope that got him through. “The first thing you need to understand, and this can’t be overstated enough, is that you are not alone.” He understands how experiencing a sexual assault can feel lonely or isolating, but wants all survivors to know that others have also gone through this, and that opening up and confiding can help. “If suicide seems the only way out, find counseling or contact an organization, like RAINN, and talk to somebody about what you’re going through. Someone who understands will listen to what you’re feeling and what you’ve been through.”

I cannot stress it enough either, you are not alone.

Sep 25, 15

"Survivors of abuse often live a life plagued with scarcity. We were taught at a young age that we weren’t enough, there wasn’t enough and life would not provide enough for us in the future. When we suffer financial abuse or trafficking, things are often worse. We can believe we have a finite worth, we are a commodity, and we have already expended that worth. All these beliefs leave very little hope for an abundant future.

My relationship with money has been a struggle for my entire life. I always made enough to survive when I worked in the corporate world. As I have started working for myself, I have come face-to-face with my monetary dysfunction. The lack of stability, the self-doubt and the intense commitment required make it scary on the good days."

I think these beliefs come into play when you work for yourself, but also when you work at all. It can be difficult to truly excel t your chosen profession, or to handle constructive criticism well when we are struggling with these beliefs. If we don't see ourselves as good enough, even the slightest suggestion from a coworker can feed that doubt and prevent us from being successful.

Dealing with these beliefs is an important part of living up to our full potential professionally, and personally.

Sep 25, 15

"When Gayathri Keerthana, a Coimbatorebased child counsellor, was talking to a group of Class 6 children about good touch and bad touch, one of the girls broke into tears.

She said she was being abused by her father's friends for a long time. This is not an isolated case. A study conducted by Aram Foundation, an NGO working for child rights, has found that about 29% of students studying in 71 schools and 56 colleges in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tirupur and Dharmapuri have suffered sexual abuse. The schools include corporation, government as well as private ones."

These numbers are startling. This article makes clear that sexual abuse is at epidemic levels in India. That is unacceptable.

Sep 23, 15

Dr. John Grohol adds his expert opinion to something I've written before, a long with some quotes by some other experts on the subject. If you're looking at using one of these apps, this would be a great article to take a look at before you get into something that isn't helping.

Sep 21, 15

"Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records."

I'm sure many of you saw this article somewhere online over the weekend after it was posted to the NY Times site. It is absolutely appalling, but for some reason, not surprising to me. As a society we seem to be unwilling to "judge" other cultures, or to say anything bad about any Muslim culture in particular. In many cases, that's a good thing.

In this case, clearly it is not. In our rush to be cooperative to a potential ally, we've apparently lost sight of the fact that any culture which violates basic human rights like this, cannot be viewed as acceptable.

Sep 19, 15

"Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with almost seven people taking their life every day."

As a US resident, I don't have any first-hand knowledge of what is going in in Australia. Do any of my Aussie readers have more insight into this statistic? It is alarming, to say the least!

Sep 19, 15

We talk about stigma for folks dealing with mental illness, but probably no one get stigmatized more than children with mental illness. This a great story about how bad it can be for those kids, but also how, with the correct, treatment, these same kids can go on and lead great lives.

Sep 18, 15

"When we build a bridge of communication between our children and us they know they have our support. They know they can run to us and share the good, the difficult, and the scary things they will encounter in this life.


Because we have cultivated a relationship with them that they can count on."

As I've said many, many time, raising strong kids with open, honest relationships with their parents won't necessarily prevent all sexual abuse but it sure makes a kid a much more difficult target. Predators target kids who do not have these things. They are vulnerable and more likely to keep secrets.

Sep 17, 15

"This week, mental health professionals are marking National Suicide Prevention Week, offering advice on how to respond to someone who may be on the verge of killing himself or herself.

“You can make a difference, especially if you can get somebody to talk about it,” said Elsa Ronningstam, a psychoanalyst, McLean Hospital psychologist, and board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Many completed suicides, people don’t talk about it — they just go and do it.”

Anyone who takes the time to listen — calmly, sympathetically — can save a life, said Dr. Christine Moutier, the foundation’s chief medical officer."

Some really useful advice, to help get beyond just asking "Are you OK" to help have caring conversations with someone who is troubled. Whether they are suicidal or not, couldn't we all do with trying to have more caring conversations anyway?

Sep 16, 15

"The problem with the “you were molested and that’s why you’re gay” line of thinking – besides that it isn’t true – is that it dismisses people and their experiences. It neatly wraps up a version of people, labels them, and puts them in a category. There they can be filed away and forgotten. Otherwise, we might need to spend more time with them to find out that their lives are nothing like we thought they were."

I've been on the other side of this same coin before, as a male survivor of sexual abuse, people assume that I am gay when they interact with me online. The sad thing is, it's not just religious people who do that, it's also been gay men who see a male talking about sexual abuse and just assume that the author is gay as well.

It's quite awkward to have to correct them, but the reason I don't appreciate it is exactly what Tim says here. Don't take one fact about my life and assume to know me. It's rude.

Sep 15, 15

"In this magnificent digital age there are so many avenues to be a peer mentor or a healthcare product reviewer that don't begin and end with Yelp or Amazon.

You want to make a difference and help change the world but don't know how? Share your experience by starting a blog, sharing a post on Facebook, writing an oped for your local online newspaper. Tell us what you think of Sir Thumps-A-Lot brand pacemakers, how to deal with your ostomy bag when going to the prom, or which new upstart in-home healthcare service is the best.

You will eventually find a tribe -- be it minuscule, moderate, or gargantuan in size -- who will appreciate your honesty and your voice."

So true, especially for something like mental health where the symptoms are invisible. It's important to know there is a tribe, however small, of people going through the same types of things that we are.

Sep 11, 15

Oh look, more lies about depression, this time specifically about men and depression.

I know many of you are not surprised by the truth, but we have to keep spreading these out as far and wide as we can. There are still too many people struggling with depression who believe these things, and too many people who believe them about others who are struggling with depression.

Please help spread the truth!

Sep 10, 15

Lies. Lies. Lies!

You can get better, you are not weak, and you you deserve to overcome it.

Go read the rest of these lies and then reread it again when you feel like any of these might actually be true.

Sep 10, 15

"Do you think that sexual abuse couldn’t possibly happen in your family? Do you think that only the children of neglectful parents are abused? Do you think your children are too sensible to place themselves in a position where they could be abused?

If so, I have an uncomfortable truth for you: 20 per cent of girls and 8 per cent of boys under 18 experience some form of sexual abuse - and one of the reasons why sexual abuse is able to be so prevalent is because of those kinds of assumptions. "

Lots more where this start off, but really, if you truly think that abuse can't happen in your family or community, please go read the rest of the article.

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