This index provides an overview of the posts that appear as part of major recurring theme on the Mental Health @ Home blog. The weekly MH@H blog schedule includes:
- Guest blogs may show up on
- Wednesdays are mental health book reviews
- Fridays are the What is… Insights into Psychology series, which looks deeper into the meaning of a variety of psychology-related terms
- Saturdays are weekend wrap-ups, a look at what’s going on in my world each week
- Sundays are about blogging – find out more on the Blogging & Writing Tips page.
There’s also lots of info on the resources pages, including suggested posts on MH@H relevant to each page’s topic.
Blog Index Sections
My book Managing the Depression Puzzle has lots more info on depression. Given that my own illness is depression, it makes an appearance in many of the posts on MH@H, but these are the posts that are focused primarily on depression and effects.
- Depression and My Cooling Relationship with Social Media: I’ve stepped even further back from social media, and it’s probably because of overall restricted functionality due to depression
- Estrogen and Depression: An Unhappy Dance: female hormonal fluctuations and depression can be a messy combination
- Letting Go of a Life Before Depression: releasing the possessions from a life that I used to live when I was well
- Living in fear: The tsunami of depression: dealing with fear of not getting better
- Master of my domain? A look at depression and masturbation: can masturbation actually help with depression? Science says it might.
- Travelling with depression as a carry-on: dealing with illness as a travel lover
- What Depression Looks Like: depression has changed how I dress and present myself to the world
Types of depression
- Melancholic depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: an emerging blogger guest post
- Seasonal affective disorder
- A heart of ice – Apathy and Depression: emotional non-response to news of tragedies
- Decreased Positive Affect & Increased Negative Affect: the loss of positive feelings, as with anhedonia, can be more subtle than increased negative feelings, but either one can potentially cause significant harm
- Depression giveth and depression taketh away: Anhedonia and apathy
- Compensating for Depression Brain: some of the strategies I use to compensate
- I am Actually Getting Stupider: The THINC-it Test in Depression: the THINC-it test is a research tool that measures common cognitive effects of depression
- If it’s not in front of me then it doesn’t exist: if I don’t see it, I don’t remember it
- “You Can Be a Real Bitch” – Is It Me or My Mental Illness?: a look at irritability as a symptom of depression
- Becoming a Hermit: how depression has isolated me
- I admit it – I’m a ghoster: while some people use ghosting as a weapon, my depression uses it as a shield
- Pandemic Life as a Pre-Existing Hermit: it wasn’t hard to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic given that I was already essentially a hermit
- The Cave My Depression Built: struggling with people from a previous life trying to contact me
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT):
- I Wish ECT Was More Accessible: ECT has worked well for me in the past, but making it happen in the community is logistically challenging
- Somatic Treatments for Depression: this post covers treatments that involve applying energy to the brain, including ECT, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and other less commonly used treatments
- This one flew over the cuckoo’s next: ECT in real life: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a well-known portrayal of ECT, but it has nothing to do with ECT as a treatment now
- Supplements for Depression that Actually Work: vitamins don’t cure depression, but there are some supplements that research has shown can be helpful
- Botox for Depression and an update: Botox in the frown line area has shown some positive results for treating depression
Potential causes of depression
- Is Depression Anger Turned Inward?: Freud thinks so; me, not so much
- Is There Ever Only One Explanation for A Mental Illness?: I say no
- Should We Be Looking for a Root Cause for Depression?
- Why Did I Get Depressed?: depression isn’t consistent with my personality, and I had no early life trauma, so what gives?
- Are You Your Illness?: mental illness can influence every area of your life, but is it who you are?
- Depression and Closet/Identity Thinning: the interplay between depression and wardrobe, and the identity shifts that may be required
- How genuine are you online?: how much of the real you comes through in your online presence?
- Mental Illness Disability & Identity Shifts: it can be hard to grapple with disability that results from mental illness
- Were You Always Depressed or Anxious?: Did depression/anxiety show up in your life unannounced, or were they always present to some extent?
- What Is It That Makes You, You?: a look at some of the defining parts of me
- What Does the Self Consist of?: what actually is this thing we call the self?
- Book reviews: The Year of the Introvert and The Introvert Advantage
- Confessions of an Introvert
- How Common is Introversion?
- How Do You Feel About Your Own Company?
- What’s the Difference Between Introversion, Shyness, and Social Anxiety?
Negativity & Toxic Positivity
- How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?: positive psychology has some good ideas, but they may not all be a good fit for mental illness
- Happiness Is a Choice, My Ass: it can’t be a choice if mental illness takes it off the menu entirely
- It Gets Better… Or Does It?: some things do get better, but some things simply don’t
- “Should” You Avoid Negative People?: and how does that relate to people with mental illness?
- The “Toxic Person” Label and Mental Illness: why should symptoms of mental illness be considered “toxic”?
- Where’s the line between pessimism and realism?: is negativity pessimistic if it’s actually realistic?
- You Don’t Need to Be Positive: other emotions are just as valid
My book Psych Meds Made Simple has plenty of info about psych meds all in one place. The book and these posts draw on my training and experience as a mental health nurse and former pharmacist.
Psych Meds 101 Series
Med info posts
- Do We Know How Psych Meds Work?: some people say psych meds aren’t valid because we don’t know how they work – except that’s not really true
- I dream of ketamine: ketamine for treatment-resistant isn’t universally available
- Medication Use in Pregnancy
- Medications in borderline personality disorder: they can help, but only so much
- Naltrexone – An Opioid Blocker That Gets Around: this medication has a variety of uses, including for dissociation
- Treatment resistant depression: what to do when what’s supposed to work doesn’t
- Where did our meds go?: dealing with medication shortages
- Do antidepressants work? What a new meta-analysis says – some people insist antidepressants just don’t work, but overall, this study shows they do
- Evidence-based treatment of anxiety: treatment guidelines for anxiety
- Evidence-based treatment of bipolar disorder: the CANMAT/ISBD guidelines
- What the STAR*D study means for depression treatment: STAR*D was a large study that looked at antidepressant use in real-world conditions
- Antidepressants and Suicide Risk: a look at what the research evidence actually shows
- Dead if you do, dead if you don’t?: psychiatric medications can cause some serious side effects, but the effects of untreated mental illness are also significant
- Do I look fat in this Seroquel?: psych meds and weight gain
- Do you tend to blame your illness or your meds?: when you’re experiencing something negative, do you tend to think of it as a symptom of your illness or a side effect of your medication?
- Meds that can make you crazy (literally): medications that can have psychiatric side effects
Experiences taking meds
- My experiences of going off meds: I’ve stopped taking meds a couple of times in the past; this is what it was like for me
- My Version of Being Pro-Medication: the MH@H stance on medication
- Our complicated relationships with medications: psych meds aren’t simply something we take; they almost become a moral issue
Suicide is a huge issue for people dealing with mental illness. It’s important that we talk about it, and that conversation needs to address a range of different experiences with suicide as well as the need for more effective mental illness treatment to mitigate risk.
The MH@H Store has a free Safety Plan resource to guide you through planning ahead of time to cope when thoughts of suicide are getting bad.
- Cognitive deconstruction: a mental narrowing that can occur in the lead-up to suicide
- No regrets? Surviving attempted suicide: not everyone regrets the attempt afterwards; for some, the regret is not dying
- Privacy and completed suicide: a look at whether it’s ok to share the writings of someone who died by suicide
- Stigma and How the Public Views Suicide: results from an Australian study
- Suicide is not selfish: a reminder on World Suicide Prevention Day
- Up close & personal thoughts about suicide: a look at my own suicide attempts, and acknowledgment of the fear of “failing”
Language and suicide
- How picky should we be about suicide-related language?: Some mental health advocates are very narrow regarding the language related to suicide that they consider acceptable. But perhaps being nitpicky actually decreases the likelihood of social change.
- Is “Committed Suicide” Worth Making an Issue Out Of?: Is “committed suicide” something worth making an issue out of? Does it make a difference that it’s a term that continues to be used by many people who have a mental illness?
Suicide, the media, and social media
- How Should Social Media Platforms Handle Reported Suicidal Posts?: what happens who you report a suicidal tweet to Twitter or any other social platfrom?
- Media reporting of suicides: suicide contagion is a real phenomenon, which is why there are media guidelines for suicide reporting
- What goes too far on social media?: is it useful to widely broadcast suicidal messages?
- What if a stranger tells you they’re suicidal?: how would you handle getting a suicidal message via social media from someone you don’t know?
- Barriers to help-seeking: when help is available, what stops people from reaching out?
- Crisis resources: has a listing of suicide crisis lines and crisis text/chat services
- Guilt Is Not a Suicide Prevention Strategy: trying to make someone feel guilty for how others would feel if they died is not effective
- Will suicide ever be 100% preventable?
- Mental health workbooks: links to sites that have free therapy-based workbooks and worksheets
- Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)
- Psychotherapy alphabet soup: an overview of several types of therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- ACT life compass: the life compass looks at how you’re doing and where you want to go in important areas of your life
- Book review: Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life: this book gives a great grounding in ACT
- Exploring values
- Thoughts as leaves on a stream: this is a commonly used ACT metaphor to represent de-fusing from thoughts
- Thought suppression: if I tell you not to think about a white bear, guess what you’re suddenly going to start thinking about?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- CBT for insomnia and for chronic pain
- Cognitive distortions
- Drilling down to core beliefs: the deeply held beliefs that fuel our automatic negative thoughts
- Exposure and response prevention: this technique is often used to treat OCD
- Safety behaviour: behaviours that you might think make you safer but actually just reinforce your anxiety
- Defense mechanisms
- Psychoanalytic theory
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Transference & countertransference
The Mental Health @ Home Store has a mini e-book PTSD Treatment Options: An Overview.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences study: the ACEs study was pioneering research about the effect of childhood trauma on health in adulthood
- Complex PTSD: why isn’t it in the DSM-5?
- Creating a trauma account: this post is about trying to process my experience of workplace bullying using the style of trauma account that’s part of cognitive processing therapy
- EMDR therapy (guest post by Johnzelle Anderson LPC)
- Intergenerational trauma: the effects of collective trauma can be passed down through generations
- SKIDS: Traumatized Kids and the School System: the documentary SKIDS shows an alternative school that operates with a trauma-informed model
- Stockholm syndrome
- TED Talks on trauma
- The neurobiology of traumatic fight/flight/freeze: looks at the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and the tonic immobility response
- Trauma-informed practice: this approach to mental health care recognizing the enduring impact trauma can have on relating to others
I’ve faced negative attitudes at work related to my mental illness, and I’ve also experienced workplace bullying. It’s important to talk about these things since they can be so isolating.
Know what your rights are based on disability laws in your area. Workplace Strategies for Mental Health has some useful information on supportive performance management.
- Adapting ambition: changing career goals as a result of mental illness
- Disclosing mental illness at work: the good, the bad, and the ugly
- Is that my career going down the toilet?: getting closer to being unable to work due to mental illness
- Managing working (or not) with disability
- Mental illness and the dreaded job interview: mental illness can create some significant challenges when approaching a job interview