Brighter Days – Get Up

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When depression hits, it is easier to spend the days laying supine on the couch instead of facing the day and accomplishing your daily responsibilities.
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Some simple advice: Get up anyways.
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Do what you need to do, force yourself.
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It is hard, seemingly impossible task. I know.
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BUT…
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Being left alone with your thoughts only allows more negative thoughts to transpire. If you break the cycle by forcing yourself to get up, you may be able to find a bit of beauty throughout the day… beauty you would have otherwise missed. Small changes like this, over time, can pull out of the darkness.
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This is why I always stress the importance of ‘self-care’.
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Self-care is doing ‘anything’ for yourself that makes YOU happy.
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Even in your darkest moments, there will allows be something that can bring a bit of light.
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It could be as much as indulging in your favorite bowl of sorbet (Mango for me please), allowing your creative nature to flow through art, completing a DIY, a candle lit bath, snuggling with your furbaby, reading a self-help or a favorite book, getting dressed up to stay in (and perhaps take a bunch of selfies)…..
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I just rambled off a bunch of things that bring a bit of happiness into my life, now it is your turn to think of the things that could make your day a little bit more enjoyable. Think about the things that once brought you joy before the depression hit? Perhaps you write poetry, draw, paint, crafts, do it yourself projects, writing, cooking, hiking…
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Even if you don’t want to do it, do it anyways.

The second most vital part to ‘feeling your greatest’ is getting enough sleep.
7 to 8 hours is ideal.

If your having difficulties falling asleep, there are many remedies to help. For example, sleep routine, sleepy tea, rest and relaxation an hour before bed (no phone), a bath, stretching or mediation etc… and if all else fails, talk to your doctor. Perhaps a prescribed medication may help temporarily.

Have faith in yourself.
You can do it.

Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: mindovermood.ca
FB Page: /mindovermood1
FB Profile: /rachelpage
FB Group: Mind Over Mood | Mental Health Support
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: mindovermood
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Relationships | Depression

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My depressive mind was my own worst enemy. It became a master manipulator and distorted my perception of life, including my relationships, in a more negative way.
My low days made every aspect of my life look bleak.
It caused me to pay less attention to my then partner, I become disconnect and uninterested. I was less involved, more irritable, and some days it seemed impossible to enjoy our, what was supposed to be quality, time together.
Unfortunately that relationship didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean future relationships cannot.
People come into your life for a reason. It could be for a day, a season, or a lifetime. Whatever the reason, their purpose is to teach or guide you on your journey through life. There was a lot I learned from that relationship. I learned that I am ‘enough’. I (or you) shouldn’t have to feel the need to change in order to live up to someone else’s expectation. Either they love you for who you are, or they are not deserving of your love. Simple. Trying to live up to unrealistic expectation created a storm of uncertainty and conflict in my mind. Who I was trying to be was not my true self. It was conflicting with my self-identity, and my mind started to work against me.
I would like to note that my previous relationship did not cause my depression or anxiety, it just complicated it. It has been a long term illness that I mistakenly never reach out for professional help at the most appropriate time. I relied independently on helping myself through self-help books, and journaling, but it took me until recently to discover that those methods never truly helped. Over the years, instead, I learned maladaptive coping techniques.
When it comes to a partnership, you need to be upfront about your depression, and your partner will have to be willing to ride those highs and lows with you. Relationships take patience, commitment, mutual effort, honesty and a whole lot of love.
Be Kind. Be Humble.

On to the educational part now….

NEGATIVE AFFECTS OF DEPRESSION
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP

IS YOUR SEX LIFE DIMINISHED OR IS NON-EXISTENT?

A long term lack of sexual connection in your relationship may signal that depression is present. Lack of sex drive can manifest from a variety of causes related to depression: hidden resentment, shame about sex, poor body image, feeling exhausted, taking medications, performance anxiety, and so on.

By addressing these problems, couples can use their sexual connection to reignite their passion and strengthen their relationship.

DO YOU FEEL HOPELESS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

A sense of hopelessness is one of the central predictors of depression and suicidal thoughts. A cognitive distortion that so often comes with depression may be manipulating your thoughts into believing the future looks hopeless and that things will never get better.

Instead be mindful. When you feel your mind drifting to predetermined thoughts of the future, bring yourself back to the present moment. Acknowledge the negative thoughts and feelings for what they are (just thoughts and feelings), and fill your mind with positive past or future memories.

ARE YOUR EMOTIONS BECOMING YOUR WORSE ENEMY?

Most of us have a hard time dealing with negative emotions, but people who are depressed have particular trouble in this area. They tend to become overwhelmed by the intensity of their emotions and therefore shut them down when strong emotions arise. With depression, you may react to strong emotions by becoming ruminative (thinking about the same problems over and over), denying or ignoring your emotions, or by becoming overly self-critical.

This means that in a relationship when conflict arises–as it always does in a relationship– you’re less equipped to deal with problems that elicit strong emotions. You may withdraw from you partner altogether, or you may push the issue and explode.

ARE YOU TEMPTED TO ACT OUT?


Men, in particular, who are depressed, are more likely to express their depression outwardly. If you’re a depressed man, you’re more likely to act out your depression through drinking alcohol, becoming aggressive, having affairs, or shutting out your loved ones and withdrawing. In addition, men have more somatic symptoms–backaches, headaches, and low sex drive. Men also have a more difficult time identifying their own depression, and are less likely to get help for it because they may not even recognize their behaviors indicate an underlying depression.

DO YOU FEEL ANXIOUS?

The problems that come with mixed anxiety and depression–sleep trouble, concentration difficulties, low energy, high irritability and worry, expecting the worst, and being constantly on guard, can also present a challenge to your relationship.

When you encounter the everyday relationship problems that arise, you often perceive that there’s grave threat to your relationship. It feels like the relationship is doomed to failure. This perceived threat can trigger heightened anxiety and excessive reassurance seeking–which can place your relationship under even more stress. This false alarm of danger to your relationship can be stressful for both of you, and leaves you with constant feelings of uncertainty.

Credit: Scientific America

DO YOU DOUBT YOURSELF?

Depression breeds self-doubt, which can color how you view your partner and how you think they view you. Someone with lower-self-esteem and depression may have a bad time with their partner and think. Self-doubt says you’re defective, worthless and filled with flaws.

Because self-doubt can be paralyzing, looking for evidence of moments you felt empowered or overcame adversity. Look for small ways to affirm that you are capable of affecting your path in life. Pick one small thing you can do right now to feel better, and do it.

DO YOU CRITICIZE YOURSELF?

Depression minimizes the positives in your life and magnifies the negative. So when your partner leaves their clothes out or doesn’t wash the dishes, you automatically think they’re inconsiderate and clearly don’t care about you.

When depression manifests as criticism, your partner might feel like they’re walking on eggshells and worry about being condemned.

What helps to counter criticism is noticing your partner’s positive traits and realizing that their less-than-stellar qualities don’t cancel out their positive attributes. Appreciation begets appreciation. When you show your appreciation to your partner, and they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to do the same in return, creating a stronger bond.

DO YOU HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS?

You may have an internal script that dictates the right things your partner should say and how they should support you. The problem with that is your partner hasn’t read your script. When the other person inevitably deviates from your script, the depressed part of you may react with dissatisfaction, disenchantment, or feelings of failure.

Remember that your partner isn’t a mind reader. Communicate clearly and directly with them about how you’d like to be supported.

Credit: Psych Central

Making it Work|Supporting Each Other

BE HONEST

Honesty is so important in a relationship. If we suffer from depression, it’s important to be open about this with our partner – even though this can feel daunting. Being honest helps our loved one understand us, and enables them to support us when times get tough.

HAVE EMPATHY

Although we can’t live in our partner’s head, we can put yourself in their shoes. If we are in a relationship with someone with depression, we need to remain mindful that although we cannot see it, they are ill, and their difficult behaviour often comes from their illness, and not them

COMMUNICATE

Good communication is incredibly important in a relationship. We need to feel able to express our thoughts and feelings, explain our behaviours, and advise on how we’d like our needs to be met. Encourage each other to talk – and LISTEN objectively.

If our partner struggles with depression, be patient. Remember mental illness isn’t logical, and our loved one may be just as confused by it as we are.

We might feel the need to offer advice, but this isn’t necessary: most likely they just want a safe place to voice how they’re feeling, and comfort in return.

SUPPORT EACH OTHER

There are many different ways we can support a loved one with depression. Here are some suggestions from the Blurt Community:

Kind gestures, reassurance, spend time together, listen actively, be there physically and emotionally, have patience, and practice the art of touch,

Remember support from outside of our relationship can be incredibly helpful too – we don’t just have to manage this between ourselves. Connecting with people in a similar situation can be very enlightening.

SHOW A UNITED FRONT

Healthy relationships are partnerships – in the truest sense of the word. When one person in the partnership is struggling, the other is there to unquestionably offer support. When you’re in a relationship, your depression is not just your problem, it’s both of yours.

Credit: Blurt It Out

Please Comment, Like and Share – It is always greatly appreciated ♥

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Mental Health | Online Resources

Alcohol & Drugs

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Anxiety Disorders

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Borderline Personality

BPDVideo

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Cutting

Teen’s Health

Self Abuse Finally Ends

Depression

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Families for Depression Awareness

Teen’s Health

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

National Alliance on Mental Illness

HeadsUpGuys

Eating Disorders

Eating for Life Alliance

Teen’s Health

Overeaters Anonymous

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

National Eating Disorders Association

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Proud2Bme

Understanding Eating Disorders

Emotional Health

Let’s Erase The Stigma

Love is Louder

Half of Us

Veterans United

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

Active Minds

OK2TALK

Make The Connection

Inspire USA Foundation

National Dialogue on Mental Health

Each Mind Matters

Befrienders Worldwide

Veterans Affairs Training

Veterans Affairs Mental Health Toolkit

Veterans Affairs Mental Health

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenics Anonymous

Schizophrenia.com

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Stress

Veterans United

Stress Management-HelpGuide.org

Teen’s Health

Suicide Prevention

American Association of Suicidology

Crisis Text Line

Didi Hirsch Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors

The Dougy Center – The National Center for Grieving Children and Families

How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family (Rocky Mountain MIRECC)

The Jason Foundation

The Jed Foundation

Lifeline Chat

Man Therapy

Mental Health America

My3 App

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Now Matters Now

Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies United with LGBTQ People (PFLAG)

Safety Planning Tools

SAVE

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

StopBullying.gov

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Teen’s Health

The Trevor Project

The Tyler Clementi Foundation

Veterans Crisis Line

Wounded Warrior Project


Additional Online Resources
and Organizations


FeelingBetterNow

FeelingBetterNow is a confidential, comprehensive mental health assessment tool and resource toolbox. Anonymously complete an assessment in 5 – 20 minutes and receive evidence-based resources for self-management and support for 13 most common mental health problems.
Visit website

Logit AI

Logit AI is an Intelligent Health platform that decodes how daily life impacts the body and how behaviors lead to overall health and wellness. Using scientifically validated questionnaires, wearables, and other life data, the platform analyzes and interprets this information to accurately forecast precursors to injury, illness, burnout and other ailments such as depression and anxiety.

Visit website

There For You

There For You is a quiz game encouraging you to ask those important questions you’re never sure how or when to raise. It is a simple social experiment, a fun way to break away from everyday conversations and engage in mindful conversations with the people we love. Some of the questions featured in the A.I.-powered app are for deepening bonds, others are designed to help deal with specific mental health issues, such as stress, depression, and low self-esteem.

Addictions

THE ADDICTION GUIDE

The Addiction Guide was created to provide the most comprehensive up-to-date information about various addictions and how to overcome them. It is not a treatment center and is an American organization (so you can only locate US based treatment centers on it), but there are lots and lots of useful links here none-the-less.
Their team is comprised of a diverse team of recovering addicts, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates.
NOTE – this is a US resource.

Visit website

EDGEWOOD HEALTH NETWORK

The Edgewood Health Network is an umbrella group of a few Canadian treatment centers including the Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC, Bellwoods Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, Waterstone Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, and a host of outpatient clinics across Canada.

Visit website

Anxiety Resources

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

An American national nonprofit organization dedicating to promoting the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders through education, practice, and research. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

A registered Canadian non-profit organization whose aim is to promote the prevention, treatment and management of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of people who suffer from them. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ASSOCIATION FOR BEHAVIORAL AND COGNITIVE THERAPIES

A multidisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of scientific approaches to the understanding and improvement of human functioning through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to the assessment, prevention, treatment of human problems, and the enhancement of health and well-being.

Visit website

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association established in 1984.

Visit website

MASTERS IN PSYCHOLOGY GUIDE

General information about a variety of anxiety disorders, including GAD, phobias, SAD, PTSD, and panic disorder, as well as links to additional online resources.

Visit website

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PTSD

The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD, working to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma.
Visit website

INTERNATIONAL OCD FOUNDATION

An American national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, support, and funds for research into OCD. Many OCD-specific resources available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.

ADAA is an international nonprofit organization which helps people
to find treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression, obsessive-
compulsive and trauma-related disorders through education,
practice, and research. ADAA is unique because they bring together
clinicians, researchers of different fields to advance science and
treatment, even they engage those who suffer from these disorders
to work together toward the goals.

visit website

Autism & Autism Spectrum Resources

AUTISM SOCIETY OF CANADA

ASC puts special focus on providing information, referral and resources for parents and other family members who are seeking support for children with autism. This site also provides news, resources and links for youths and adults on the spectrum. An exciting feature of our new site is Autism Junction – a searchable Canada-wide Directory of ASD services and related supports.

Visit website

GLOBAL AUTISM COLLABORATION

A multinational nonprofit dedicated to Autism research, awareness, and information.

Visit website

CANADIAN AUTISM INTERVENTION RESEARCH NETWORK

The only Canadian web site dedicated to posting the best available evidence-based findings on autism.

Visit website

THE GRAY CENTER FOR SOCIAL LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING

The Gray Center is a nonprofit which cultivates the strengths of individuals with autism and those who interact with them, and globally promotes social understanding. Their vision is to assist all individuals in the shared challenge of building and maintaining effective social connections.

Visit website

YALE CHILD STUDY CENTER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES CLINIC

The Child Study Center is a department at Yale University School of Medicine which brings together multiple disciplines to further the understanding of the problems of children and families.

Visit website

ADHD

CADDAC

CADDAC (The Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada) is a resource for parents of children with ADHD to learn how to better care for and advocate for their children, as well as providing support for the parents themselves.

Visit website

Bullying/Anti-Bullying Resources

BULLYING EPIDEMIC

This bullying prevention blog has tips for recognizing and dealing with bullying in schools, workplaces, sports, and at home. Blog articles, bullying in the news, radio and TV interviews, infographics, and links to books and online resources encourage discussion and early intervention.

Visit the website.

CYBER BULLYING: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS, PARENTS, FAMILY MEMBERS

A lengthy, comprehensive article detailing what cyberbullying is, signs of cyberbullying, and how to stop it.

Visit the website

AMANDA TODD LEGACY SOCIETY

A website dedicated to Amanda Todd that includes her story and a variety of anti-bullying and mental health awareness issues, as well as information about the Amanda Todd fund and additional related anti-bullying resources.

Visit the website.

NELSON THE GIANT

The Story of Nelson the Giant: A Heart as Big as His THUMP! is a unique story-song with a gentle approach to bullying awareness and prevention, through imagination, music, and art.

Visit the website.

WITS PROGRAM (WALK AWAY, IGNORE, TALK IT OUT, SEEK HELP)

A Canadian youth violence prevention program that has been implemented in over 400 schools in Canada and the US.

Visit the website.

STOP A BULLY

A Canadian bullying website that includes an incident-report section, which encourages students to report instances of bullying (important note – this website is NOT a crisis line), which are then forwarded anonymously to school principals.

Visit the website.

BEAT BULLYING

A charity that deals strictly with the issue of bullying and offers many resources on the subject, including a live-chat and digital helpline.

Visit the website.

STOP BULLYING

A US government-run website offering advice to parents, teachers, and students about various aspects of bullying, including preventative measures and coping strategies.

Visit the website.

PREVENTING BULLYING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Article outlining the role of teaching emotional intelligence as a harm-reduction technique in schools in an effort to reduce bullying behaviour.

Visit the website

PARENT SUPPORT CONNECTION

A GTA based organization that provides education and peer support to parents of troubled youth (adolescents to young adults).
Visit the website.

Borderline Personality Disorder

BPDWORLD

An international organization and website dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness, with a focus on borderline personality disorder.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Borderline Personality Disorder information, support, Ebooks, Audios, Vidoes, A.J. Mahari’s Free BPD Inside Out Podcast, and over a decade worth of articles, an almost 300 blog posts.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER RESOURCE CENTER

A wide variety of information on BPD including treatment options, stories, DVDs, signs & symptoms, and other information.

VISIT WEBSITE
BPD CENTRAL

An American website with a variety of information on BPD tailored towards families.

Visit website

NATIONAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE FOR BODERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (NEA-BPD)

An American nationally recognized organization dedicated to building better lives for millions affected by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Visit website

Depression

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention resources.

Visit website

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

Visit website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

Visit website

CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit website

LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

Visit website

Eating Disorders

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a Canadian non-profit providing resources on eating disorders & weight preoccupation.

Visit website

EATING DISORDERS FOUNDATION OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit specializing in awareness, treatment, and research of eating disorders.

Visit website

HOPE’S GARDEN

A London, Ontario-based support group for those suffering from eating disorders, offering individual and group support sessions as well as resources for friends and family members of affected individuals.

Visit website

SHEENA’S PLACE
Located in downtown Toronto, Sheena’s Place is a non­institutional, non­residential centre where people with similar issues and concerns come together in groups to share experiences, thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies. There are groups for young adults, adults, mothers, women over forty and families, friends and partners of those with eating disorders.

Visit website

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA AND ASSOCIATED DISORDERS

An American nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of eating disorders. Phone and email helplines offered here.

Visit website

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER ASSOCIATION (NEDA)

An American nonprofit that provides information on eating disorders and offers a toll-free helpline.

Visit website

LIFE WITHOUT ED: HOW ONE WOMAN DECLARED INDEPENDENCE FROM HER EATING DISORDER AND HOW YOU CAN TOO (BOOK)

Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed for far too long. He controlled Jenni’s life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then, in therapy, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.

Purchase this book

Gambling

ONTARIO PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE

The Helpline provides information about and referrals to problem gambling counselling services, including telephone counselling and organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon.

Impulse Control Disorders

A.D.D. WAREHOUSE

An online store consisting of a variety of ADD/ADHD books, videos, games, training programs, and more.

Visit website

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ASSOCIATION (ADDA)

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.

Visit website

CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (CH.A.D.D.)
In addition to an informative website, CHADD also publishes a variety of printed materials to keep members and professionals current on research advances, medications, and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD.

Visit website

CONDUCTDISORDERS.COM

“a soft place to land for the battle weary parent.” A forum-based site connecting parents with children who experience a variety of behavioural challenges.

Visit website


General Resources

BP CANADA MAGAZINE

This site profiles a Canadian magazine that offers hope and harmony for people with bipolar disorder. The magazine, which can be subscribed to, is produced by the same publisher as Schizophrenia Digest magazine.

Visit the website

CANADIAN CENTRE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

A non-profit organization working to minimize the harm associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Visit the website

ONTARIO THERAPIST DIRECTORY

Psychotherapymatters.com is a free, online directory of professional therapists in Ontario. We can help you quickly and easily find a counsellor, therapist, or mental health provider in your area who meets your needs and your budget.

BRITISH COLUMBIA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

An online tool to help connect you with psychologists in British Columbia, Canada.

Visit the website

CANADIAN HEALTH NETWORK

“Health info you can trust”. This site provides access to the resources of leading Canadian health organizations and international health information providers. Search the A-Z index or see the Mental Health section under Topics.

Visit the website

CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH

CIHR is Canada’s major federal funding agency for health research. Its objective is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

Visit the website

CANADIAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION

The national voluntary professional association for psychiatrists in Canada. This site links to CPA publications, programs and resources.

Visit the website

CENTER FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH (CAMH)

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit the website

INKBLOT

Inkblot is a completely secure and confidential video counselling app. As an Inkblot user, all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. Clients are matched up with counsellors (registered psychotherapists, psychologists and social workers) based on their needs and preferences. Counselling takes place any time, any place and it’s affordable.

Visit the website

INTERNET MENTAL HEALTH

A “free encyclopedia of mental health information”, this site, maintained in Canada, contains information and extensive links to global mental health resources.

Visit the website

MINDYOURMIND.CA

Mindyourmind.ca is an award-winning, innovative Internet resource for youth who are looking for relevant information on mental health and creative stress management.

Visit the website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

Visit the website

MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

Visit the website

NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR RESEARCH ON SCHIZOPHRENIA AND DEPRESSION (NARSAD)

An American organization which raises and distributes funds for scientific research into the causes, cures, treatments and prevention of brain disorders, primarily the schizophrenias, depressions, and bipolar disorders. The site contains resources for researchers and for the public.

Visit the website

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

The mission of this American organization is to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. The site has sections for funding opportunities, for researchers, for practitioners and for the public.

Visit the website

SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

This national Canadian organization is dedicated to alleviating the suffering caused by Schizophrenia. The site provides access to the publications of the Society, and links to provincial and local chapters.

Visit the website

SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
Visit website

TORONTO ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (TAPE)

TAPE, in affiliation with the Continuing Education Division of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, provides learning opportunities for those working in any aspect of mental health and human services. The TAPE home page provides a link to their popular “Summer Institute” which is designed to provide an opportunity for caring professionals to learn from recognized experts in their fields of expertise. Some of the topics addressed in TAPE programs include: Maximizing Learning for Challenging Children; Critical Issues in Clinical Supervision; Trauma and Resiliency; and Enhancing Leadership Development for Social Agencies.

Visit the website

WELLIN5: ONLINE COUNSELLING FOR WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH

Wellin5 is an accessible and easy to use online booking and resource platform that allows member users to access a wide range of online counselling / therapy and coaching services by certified and licensed service providers for improving all aspects of their mental health and wellness.

Visit the website

WOMEN’S CLINIC FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA

The Women’s Clinic for Schizophrenia recognizes the special ways in which schizophrenia presents in women and the importance of careful management of psychological, cultural, and reproductive issues.

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GIVING TUESDAY CANADA

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

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ONLINE SUICIDE HELP

An alternative crisis site that offers support via web chats and forums (not emergency care)

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THE SANDBOX PROJECT

The Sandbox Project’s vision is to help make Canada the healthiest place on earth for children and youth to grow up. Their ambitious but achievable goal is to make measurable progress against international health indicators within the next five years. In particular, they are focused on improving health outcomes with respect to injury prevention, obesity, mental health, and the environment.

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BELL LET’S TALK

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

In 2010, Bell announced the launch of an unprecedented multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Over the next several years, this multi-million dollar initiative will support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding and treatment of mental illness and promote access to care and research across the country.

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Mood Disorders

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

An American nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people who have mood disorders. Many of the DBSA’s staff live with a mood disorder. This site provides a variety if information with regards to living with a mood disorder.

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MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Best Masters In Counseling – PTSD

A useful infographic with some quick statistics on PTSD.

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Schizophrenia

SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit working to improve the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy and research.
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SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
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BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH FOUNDATION

A research foundation that converts donations to grants awarded to projects leading to discoveries in understanding causes and improving treatments of disorders in children and adults.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA.COM

A long-running informative website with article written by researchers and academics on the subject of schizophrenia.

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Suicide

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention resources.

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LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Information and resources provided to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour.

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Telephone Resources and Crisis Lines

For emergencies please dial 911 or contact your medical health care professional.

EMENTALHEALTH.CA

Please click here for a complete list of location-specific crisis phone lines in your area, all Canadian provinces and territories can be found here.

KIDS HELP PHONE

Organization with the mission to improve the well-being of children and youth in Canada by providing them anonymous and confidential professional counselling, referrals and information in English and French, through technologically-based communications media.

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Credit: Healthy Minds Canada

Stop The Stigma – Mental Health

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There’s seems to be so much buzz around mental health awareness lately, and I couldn’t be more proud to hear about it. It is making my heart, and mind so happy. Everywhere I look there seems to be a meme, poster, or post related to mental health.

Time To Change launched their February 1 2018 awareness campaign, then soon after Bell’s Lets Talk followed suit. (In case you are wondering where it is all coming from).

Both campaigns are working towards a similar goal to put an end to Mental Health stigma and discrimination. They are providing people with an abundance of resources, and empowering people to Speak Up. I encourage everyone to get involved. Every effort made leads to results, so let’s all stand up and make one ginormous impact together.

I am sure at some point we (Mental Health Conquerors) have all felt the negative effects of stigmatization at some point, including myself.

I went many years without seeking professional help because I was trying to do the impossible by braving it out. I was forcing myself to just ride the highs and lows the best I could, but eventually it led to maladaptive coping techniques and major mood instability. I was extremely fragile at my lowest point, and when my partner couldn’t deal with my withdrawn and disconnected state…. He left. This sent me spiraling into a bottomless pit of darkness, feeling utterly empty, dazed, and alone. (With that being said, my heart and mind forgave him, not every relationship is meant to work out. He came into my life to teach me something, then his purpose was done.) The weeks that followed are a blur, I remember feeling numb, and lacking a significant amount of energy that I couldn’t even bring myself to do the simple everyday things that took little to no effort to do before. I knew I couldn’t survive like that; I reached out to my doctor for professional and medical help. Bless her soul. After trial and error with medications, and psychotherapy, I started feeling like myself again, and I am back stronger than ever. What was my point of me telling you all of this? Oh ya, it had to do with the stigma surrounding psychiatric medications. It’s the main reason why I never reached out for help after all this time.

I was afraid of what people would think. I knew some important people in my life would disapprove of medication therapy mainly due to ignorance and/or lack of education. All it took was a little research on my part, and teaching about mental health to start changing people’s views.

Taking medication is not the “easy way out”, it requires commitment and effort, but more importantly it helps me to really live each day. It is absolutely no different than taking medication for a physical illness. I take it because I have a chemical imbalance, and you possibly take medication for a biological (or chemical) reason related to the cardiovascular, respiratory or any other related body system. Just because I have a bad day, it doesn’t mean I forgot to take my medication. I will have ups and downs just like anybody else in this whole wide world. Medication has and will not change my identity or who I am as a person, instead they have helped to relieve the symptoms of the illness. No, they are not a “happy pill”, in-fact they don’t make me happy at all; they decrease the threshold of the low state and help prevent future relapse. Sometimes you just have to face the fact that I (or you) might have to be on medication for a lifetime. Sometimes there is no “fixing” it, instead it is a matter of learning to function and survive with it. Regardless, it is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. Taking care of yourself is the most rewarding thing anyone can do for their mind, body and soul.


| Now lets talk – education |

What is Stigma and Discrimination?

Stigma is a negative stereotype. Stigma is a reality for many people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.

Stigma differs from discrimination. Discrimination is unfair treatment due to a person’s identity, which includes race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability, including mental disorder.

Stigma is the negative stereotype and discrimination is the behaviour that results from this negative stereotype.

Credit: CMHA

What can we do to STOP the stigma?

  • Know the facts – Educate yourself about substance use and mental health problems
  • Be aware of your attitudes and behaviour – We’ve all grown up with prejudices and judgmental thinking, which are passed on by society and reinforced by family, friends and the media. But we can change the way we think—and see people as unique human beings, not as labels or stereotypes.
  • Choose your words carefully – The way we speak can affect the way other people think and speak.
  • Educate others – Speak up. Find opportunities to pass on facts and positive attitudes about people with substance use and mental health problems.
  • Focus on the positive – People with mental health and substance use problems make valuable contributions to society. Their health problems are just one part of who they are.
  • Support people – Treat people who have substance use and mental health problems with dignity and respect. Think about how you’d like others to act toward you if you were in the same situation.
  • Include everyone – People with mental health and substance use problems have a right to take an equal part in society. Let’s make sure that happens.

Credit: CAMH

Bell’s – Lets Talk (Stopping Stigma)

Language matters – Words to watch out for: “Schizo”, instead say a “Person with schizophrenia” or “Crazy”, instead say a “Person with a mental illness

Educate yourself – Stigma has been around for a long time, and knowing the facts and myths about mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma. Read about facts and myths, and become a stigma buster.

Be kind – Simple kindness can make a world of difference. Whether it be a smile, being a good listener or an invitation for coffee and a chat, these simple acts of kindness can help open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them. Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can minimize how a person is feeling. Instead offer your support and say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.” Ask what you can do to help.

Listen and ask – Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help, sometimes just even being there for people you care about, can be the first step in recovery.

Talk about it – Break the silence.

Credit: Bell Lets Talk

Did you know?

  • 1 person in 5 in Canada (over 6 million people) will have a mental health problem during their lifetime.
  • 1 in 7 Canadians aged 15 and older (about 3.5 million people) have alcohol-related problems; 1 in 20 (about 1.5 million) have cannabis-related concerns; and some have problems with cocaine, speed, ecstasy (and other hallucinogens), heroin and other illegal drugs.
  • Mental health and substance use problems affect people of all ages, education and income levels, religions, cultures and types of jobs.

Why do people develop mental health and substance use problems?

There are many reasons why people develop mental health and substance use problems:

  • Some are genetic or biological—people are born with them.
  • Some come from people’s experiences—such as stressful situations in their childhood; at school or work; or in places where they lived with injustice, violence or war.
  • And sometimes we simply don’t know why a problem has developed.

Regardless of why and how they develop, mental health and substance use problems are health problems—just like cancer, arthritis, diabetes and heart attacks.

So why are people with substance use and mental health problems looked upon differently?

Stigma refers to negative attitudes (prejudice) and negative behaviour (discrimination) toward people with substance use and mental health problems.

Stigma includes:

  • having fixed ideas and judgments—such as thinking that people with substance use and mental health problems are not normal or not like us; that they caused their own problems; or that they can simply get over their problems if they want to
  • fearing and avoiding what we don’t understand—such as excluding people with substance use and mental health problems from regular parts of life (for example, from having a job or a safe place to live).

What are the effects of prejudice and discrimination?

Prejudice and discrimination exclude people with mental health and substance use problems from activities that are open to other people.

This limits people’s ability to:

  • get and keep a job
  • get and keep a safe place to live
  • get health care (including treatment for substance use and mental health problems) and other support
  • be accepted by their family, friends and community
  • find and make friends or have other long-term relationships
  • take part in social activities.

Prejudice and discrimination often become internalized by people with mental health and substance use problems.

This leads them to:

  • believe the negative things that other people and the media say about them (self-stigma) have lower self-esteem because they feel guilt and shame.
  • Prejudice and discrimination contribute to people with mental health and substance use problems keeping their problems a secret.

As a result:

  • they avoid getting the help they need their mental health or substance use problems are less likely to decrease or go away.


Additional Resources

Bells Lets Talk – Ways to help; Speak Up
Bells Lets Talk – Ways to help – Tool Kit (How to Speak Up)
Mental Health Commission – Information about Stigma and Discrimination.
CMHA – Information about Stigma and Discrimination.
Mental Health . org – Information about Stigma and Discrimination.
Psychology Today – Information about Stigma
Time To Change – Time to Talk
Mend The Mind – Myths about Mental Illness
CMHA – Myths about Mental Illness
Disordered Living – Myths about Mental Health Medication
Mental Health . gov – Myths about Mental Health Medication

Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness (Article): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1489832/

Mental Health Stigma: Society, Individuals, and the Profession (Article) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248273/


Please Like, Comment, and Share – It is always greatly appreciated.

Rachel Page ♥

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Lets Talk – Therapy

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My Personal Experience with a Therapist.

Therapy. The idea was quite daunting to me; confiding in a complete stranger made my social anxiety meter rage with fear. When things started to spiral out of control (or so I thought), I was desperate to try anything.

It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.

She has helped me in an abundance of extraordinary ways. She has helped me make connections between my thoughts and reality. She always knows exactly the right questions to ask. She really seeks to understand, and challenges my thought processes. She opens my eyes to new perspectives, and provides me with valuable insights. She has made a significant impact on my life, and I am internally grateful for her guidance and support.

Keep in mind – sometimes finding a therapist, that is right or you, can be a bit of trial and error. You have to find someone you can trust wholeheartedly, and feel comfortable enough to fully open up to and allow yourself to be vulnerable with.

I understand that there may be financial constraints that may hinder your ability to access this type of resource or service (which is a big part of why I created this blog – a project that will hopefully come to light in the next couple of months, so stay tuned), but there is are many organizations that help connect you with “non-profit support services”. Just do a quick google search of the Mental Health Association or Organizations in your location! Hospital websites also provide information about available services that are located in their district. I will also list a few websites at the end of this Post.

Here are a list of common questions I had when I was debating
seeking help from a therapist.


WHY should I seek help from a Therapist?

  • You’re experiencing unexpected mood swings
  • You’re undergoing a big change.
  • You’re having harmful thoughts.
  • You’re withdrawing from things that used to bring you joy.
  • You’re feeling isolated or alone.
  • You’re using a substance to cope with issues in your life.
  • You suspect you might have a serious mental health condition.
  • You feel like you’ve lost control.
  • Your relationships feel strained
  • Your sleeping patterns are off.
  • You just feel like you need to talk to someone

Credit: Huffington Post

WHAT can therapy help me with?

Therapy helps individuals, couples, and families address personal difficulties by allowing you to talk openly and confidentially about concerns and feelings with a trained professional.

Therapy may be useful if:

  • You’re facing situations causing you stress, anxiety and upset.
  • You are experiencing intense or uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, frustration and depression.
  • You are behaving in ways that don’t fit your normal pattern, don’t serve your needs, or are problematic to you or others.
  • You are thinking thoughts that are peculiar, hard to understand, out-of-control or disturbing.
  • You’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, a serious accident or a criminal injury.
  • You are dealing with a relationship issue or family conflict.
  • You’re going through a difficult life transition, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, divorce, separation, or a mid-life crisis.
  • You are challenged by family issues, such as parenting, child-rearing, adolescence, and aging parents.
  • You need help with an addiction such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling.
  • You have an eating disorder.
  • You are facing difficulties with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, racism and oppression.
  • You wish to explore spiritual issues, questions of meaning or matters of faithCredit: Psychotherapy Ontario

HOW can therapy help me?

  • Understand your mental health condition
  • Define and reach wellness goals
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences
  • Separate your true personality from the moods caused by your condition
  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Establish a stable, dependable routine
  • Develop a plan for coping with crises
  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

WHO provides Therapy or Counselling?

Many kinds of mental health specialists may provide talk therapy. Some common professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Psychologists (PhD, PsyD, EdD, MS)
  • Social workers (DSW, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, CCSW)
  • Counselors (MA, MS, LMFT, LCPC)
  • Psychiatric nurses (APRN, PMHN).

Your ability to talk honestly and openly with your therapist, set
clear goals and make real progress are the most important things. Think
of your relationship with your therapist as a partnership. The two
of you will work together to help you feel better. You do not need
to feel ashamed or embarrassed about talking openly
and honestly about your feelings and concerns.

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

HOW do I get the most of my Therapy?

When you first begin therapy, make a list of the things that are bothering you and the issues you would like help with. Bring it with you to your first appointment. You might include:

  • Issues in your family or other relationships
  • Symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Additional Resources:

Ontario Society of Psychotherapist : Why choose psychotherapy?

American Psychiatric Association: Psychotherapy

Canadian Mental Health Association: Getting Help

American Psychology Association: Understanding Psychotherapy

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Institute of Mental Health: Help for Mental Health

Mental Health America : Find Help

Please Comment and Share Mental Health
Resources available in your Country.