All posts filed under: Mental Illness

#Fearless Family: It’s The Little Things In Love

By Cheryl Fazio #Fearless Family Writer I used to attach a great deal of significance to grand gestures.  I was in an abusive relationship and always waiting for my ex to make some unequivocal declaration of love that would dispel all my doubts; I was waiting for something that would somehow make the cheating, manipulation, and lies all magically okay.  Now I’ve been married almost a year and I have a new perspective on grand gestures. My relationship with my spouse, Senia, progressed incredibly naturally.  We met blogging about George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Specifically, we met blogging (and writing erotic fanfiction) about probably the most objectively villainous family in the ASOIAF universe, House Bolton.  Most infamous for their practice of flaying their enemies, and occasionally wearing cloaks made from the skin, “Bolton fandom” was understandably a very niche subgroup of the larger ASOIAF fandom.   I found this subset at a fortuitous time. Apparently, I’d just missed a lot of drama involving clashes between Bolton fans and some …

#Fearless Family: What To Expect From US Healthcare

By Lindsey LaForge #Fearless Family Writer Interacting with the healthcare system can be a daunting and anxiety provoking experience, especially if you’ve never done it on your own! Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help lessen some of that anxiety and uncertainty. This article discusses some of the common healthcare settings (in the United States) and answers some general questions to help you prepare! Doctor’s Offices How do I get a doctor? Do a quick internet search for your area or use your insurance company’s website to search for covered providers. Then, call and see if they are: a) accepting new patients, and b) accepting your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, some offices have programs in place to provide free or lower cost care. Don’t be afraid to call and ask! My doctor’s office has a doctor and a nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant. Which one should I see? In a primary care setting, either is fine! Nurse practitioners or physicians assistants can do most of the same things a doctor can do (do …

#Fearless Family: How Substance Abuse Affects Mental Health

By Sonia Tagliareni of DrugRehab.com #Fearless Family Writer Mental illness and substance use disorders go hand in hand. People struggling with drug use disorders are twice as likely as the general population to struggle with mood and anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 7.9 million Americans suffered from a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. People suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and personality disorders are more likely to experience addiction, according to MentalHealth.gov. Substance use disorders and mental health disorders share similar risk factors, including: Genetic risk factors that make a person vulnerable to substance use and mental health disorders Environmental risk factors, such as stress, trauma and early exposure to drugs They also have similar traits, such as: The ability to change similar parts of the brain The ability to disrupt development, especially during early childhood People who use drugs may experience symptoms of mental illness. For example, people who abuse marijuana are at an increased risk of …

#Fearless Family: Recovery Is A Lifelong Journey

By Cristy Hernandez #Fearless Family Writer “Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is.” That’s the powerful phrase that I came across a couple of days after I decided to restart therapy this April. These words may seem simple and self-explanatory to most, but to me those words resonated so strongly. Even though I did not understand why that phrase was important at that moment, it remained very present in my mind. Starting therapy again meant I was back in therapy full-time. Full-time meant I was not only in therapy in my literal 1-hour sessions, but in all aspects of my everyday life. I listened to my therapist and applied the skills I had learned with her. I took my medications and stopped fighting my psychiatrist. I took care of myself; my hygiene, my eating and sleeping habits, and I worked on the problems I have that kept me from moving on with my life. Not even a week later? I burned out. I was exhausted. I didn’t leave my room for 2 weeks. I was down …

#Fearless Family: Physical vs. Mental Addiction

By Trey Dyer Writer for DrugRehab Most people are familiar with the term addiction. It’s the nonmedical term for a substance use disorder, which is a chronic brain disease that induces compulsive activity despite health, social and legal consequences. Addiction is more prevalent in American society than ever before. The country is facing the worst drug epidemic in its history. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 7.7 million Americans ages 12 or older have a substance use disorder. Though the majority of people know what the concept of addiction is, most do not realize the complexity of this disease. Substance use disorders do not solely affect individuals on a mental level. Physical dependency often plays an important role in the development of a substance use disorder. Physical and mental symptoms contribute to an individual’s substance use disorder, though there are some key differences between mental and physical addiction. Mental Addiction: Behaviors and Substances Mental addiction is characterized by the brain’s drive to use drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol …

#Fearless Family: There’s Always Light In The Dark

The following post contains content that could be triggering to those currently struggling with self harm and/or depression. If you ever in crisis or need hope in a time of darkness, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) or, for those not in the states, to a Suicide Hotline in the UK. By Ches Powell #Fearless Family Writer It’s easy to say I have an addictive personality. As well as an expressive one. For me it’s natural to slip into dangerous patterns of behaviour. Follow the loop round from a trigger to a full blown breakdown. That’s how I lost six months of my life that I will never get back. It was September. There were leaves still on the trees, although they were starting to fall by then. I was obsessed with some song that I’ve forgotten the name of now. It was one of those songs that pretty much sucked except that one line you really identify with. I don’t even remember the line now, but I remember singing it to myself …

#Fearless Family: Overcoming Self Harm

The following post could be triggering to those currently struggling with self harm and/or depression. If you ever in crisis or need hope in a time of darkness, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) or, for those not in the states, to a Suicide Hotline in the UK. By Amanda Grace #Fearless Family Writer This is the first time I ever wrote about this, so bear with me. I never imagined that one day I’d make a conscious choice to intentionally hurt myself. Yet, almost 9 years ago, at age 30, I found myself doing just that. It was confusing; what was I doing? What had I done? How did this happen? How did I let it? One of the phrases that I cannot get out of my mind is, “I know better!!”. I’m a Social Worker, a Christian, a mentor; I’ve written safety contracts with children and here I was acting as if none of that mattered. It was and still is beyond frustrating. Since that first time, I have learned so …

#Fearless Family: Light At The End Of The Emetophobia Tunnel

By Jessica B. #Fearless Family Writer I might be one of the luckiest emet’s in the world. That is, if you consider having photographic evidence of the moment your phobia first physically manifested to be “lucky.” Can you tell which one I am? If not, well maybe this helps. Still not sure? How about I just tell you. I’m the one standing as far away as possible from the other kids, and judging by the haircut, I’m going to say this photo was taken sometime during second grade – the year it all began… To say I’m a lucky emet goes deeper than the possession of these photographs. I consider myself lucky because I know exactly how I got where I am today. What started as extreme avoidance of a black t-shirt and staying up way past my bedtime, gradually evolved into an adolescent, and eventually even an adult, who struggles on a day to day basis with an irrational fear of vomiting. I’m sure every single person who lives with emetophobia could fill the …

We Are #Fearless: The Imposter

By Julia Miller #Fearless Family Writer I’m a sophomore at a small, liberal-arts women’s college. When I went back home for winter break, predictably one of the first things I was asked about were my grades. How were they? Were my classes going well? Was I struggling? When I replied that I had received all A’s last semester, the other person would often smile, and say something along the lines of “Well, of course you did well,” or “that’s hardly a surprise.” While they were often happy for me, they never seemed surprised. And although that’s flattering in one sense, my reaction was rarely a positive one. Because for me, there was no “of course you did well.” When I was in the library at 2 AM for the third time that week, there was no “of course” about my success. My grades, although not a surprise for the other person, were a surprise for me – especially when earlier in the semester I had spent an hour crying over a C. Doing well in …