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Showing posts from April, 2014

"Choose Joy"

If you believe the research, it ain't looking good for me. Nope. Not at all.

Studies show that for every major depressive episode that a person experiences in life, the chance of experiencing another grows significantly. In fact, recent research from the Institute for Mental Health Care in the Netherlands shows new factors that influence recurrence such as length of time between episodes. Interestingly, the longer time that elapses between episodes, the higher chance of relapse.

Super. So just when you think you are out of the woods, the darkness can come sweeping back over you. Have I ever mentioned that I have three major depressive episodes under my belt? Super duper.

I think this is something that most people who have experienced chronic, recurring mental illness have come to take as a given: that cumbersome, weighty, dark cloak is never far away. And with that understanding can come a pitfall - we fall into the trap of letting illness define our lives and dictate how we liv…

"Progress Not Perfection"

In my last post I said something that isn't true. I said that I am getting better at managing stress in my life. Wrong.

My body sent me a reminder of this recently - frequent lightheadedness and some heart palpitations thrown in for good measure, just in case I didn't get the hint from the dizziness. Message received, loud and clear.

The diagnosis? Physical symptoms of anxiety. Doctor's orders were to take a week off from work and focus on slowing things down and creating more balance and quiet in my life. And to make sure that I heeded his advice, the universe also threw in a rough bout of the common cold. I had no choice - I was forced to slow it down and focus on my health.

So why do we ignore what we know to be true when it comes to our physical and mental health? Why do we avoid doing what we know is healthy and good for us? With mental illness it is frequently a battle between the negative dialogue of depression (you aren't good enough; work harder - you have …