Ashley L. Peterson, Blogger & Author
Welcome! Mental health has played a huge role in both my work and personal life for many years, and I like to write about it. In particular, I write a lot about depression (my own illness) and mental illness stigma.
A person living with chronic mental illness
I have treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, for which I’ve been hospitalized multiple times. I’ve had several suicide attempts, which I write openly about. I’ve tried multiple forms of treatment, including electroconvulsive therapy. Medication plays an important role in managing my illness.
While I was once able to achieve periods of full remission between episodes of depression, that’s no longer the case. Now, I’m continuously affected by depressive symptoms, and it’s a matter of just trying to manage as best I can.
A former mental health professional
I worked as a mental health nurse for 15 years, working primarily with people with serious and persistent mental illness in both hospital and community settings, before retiring due to mental illness-related disability. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN) from Brandon University. For my master’s thesis, I used a research method called autoethnography to explore my own experience as a nurse with a mental illness within the broader context of nursing culture. Three papers based on my thesis work have been published in peer-reviewed nursing journals; these are listed on my Publications page.
I’m a former pharmacist, and I have a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPharm) from the University of British Columbia. I believe medications are an important tool to have available in the toolbox when it comes to managing mental illness, but medication use should always be evidence-based and approached as a partnership between the prescriber and the person taking the medication.
Mental Health @ Home began in October 2017 when I wasn’t working much because of my illness, and I wanted something to do that would give me more of a sense of purpose. I started with no real idea of what I was doing, but I was quickly hooked by the therapeutic power of writing and the amazing online mental health community.
My blogging approach is to be genuine and cut through BS, with a mix of personal and informative posts. I’m very pragmatic; I’m not interested in shoulds, I’m interested in what’s workable. I have a strong science background, and I’m pretty skeptical of things that don’t have anything solid to back them up.
It’s important to me that this blog is a safe space both for myself and for those who visit it, regardless of disability, gender, race, or any other characteristic. Comments that attack or discriminate will not be tolerated.
Mental Health @ Home is listed on:
- Choosing Therapy’s 15 Best Mental Health Blogs for 2021
- Disability News Wire disability blogs
- Nerve 10’s Ultimate Mental Health Blogs List of 2019
- OnTopList‘s best medical blogs
- The Psychreg Index of mental health blogs
- Twinkl’s list of Top Mental Health Blogs 2020
I also contributed a chapter to The Silent Scream: An Anthology of Despair, Hope, and Struggle by Maria Alfieri.
More of my work is listed on my Publications page.
A stigma warrior
A big part of why I’ve chosen to share my own experiences is to help raise awareness about mental health issues and combat stigma. Our voices are the strongest weapon we have in the fight to stop the stigma. Let’s start this conversation and keep it going strong!
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