Mental Health

Is it a problem to talk about successful suicide or failed attempts?

Failed/Successful Suicide: Do Words Matter? What’s the Real Failure?

I’ve written before about the issues with language policing, but this is probably one of the more controversial areas where I believe that words matter less than people might think. We aren’t “supposed to” talk about successful suicide or failed suicide attempts. Sara of Surviving Sara brought this up recently, and I told her it’s …

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Creating serenity-promoting spaces - image of flowers and butterfly

Creating Serenity-Promoting Spaces for Mental Health

I got thinking about this a while back when reading a post by MJ about being put in a seclusion room while on a psych ward as a teenager. While seclusion is sometimes necessary for safety, I think serenity-promoting spaces could be more useful, at least in some cases. In my last nursing job, which …

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How effective are awareness campaigns? - graphic of a megaphone

How Effective Are Mental Health Awareness Campaigns?

We’re surrounded by awareness campaigns, particularly health awareness campaigns. In the US, the number of designated national health awareness days had reached 200 by 2015 (Purtle & Roman, 2015). In 2017, the Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article titled Stop Raising Awareness Already. Pointing to the great many awareness month designations all for a …

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Mental illness and medical assistance in dying

Medical Assistance in Dying for Mental Illness

Should people with mental illness have access to medical assistance in dying? In Canada, that’s going to happen in the near future, but exactly what it will look like hasn’t been decided yet. This is something I support, but a lot of people don’t, so I thought I’d write about it. A bit of background …

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Recovery-oriented practice and mental illness stigma

Recovery-Oriented Practice and Mental Illness Stigma

Unfortunately, mental health professionals are a major source of stigma towards people with mental illness. Recovery-oriented practice is one possibility for transforming mental health care into a less stigmatizing place, so let’s talk about what that might look like. What recovery is Personal recovery, also known as psychosocial recovery, is a different can of tuna …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Manic Man

Book Review: Manic Man

Manic Man: How to Live Successfully with a Severe Mental Illness by Jason Wegner, with a foreword by Dr. Kerry Barnes, is a memoir of a first episode of bipolar mania and subsequent recovery. The book’s prologue opens with the author’s parents having called paramedics to take him to hospital. It then shifts back in …

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Is it useful to talk around mental illness?

Is It Helpful to Talk Around Mental Illness?

Mental illness can involve feeling really crappy and having a lot of difficulty functioning. That’s not the experience of everyone with mental illness all of the time, but it’s there in the mix somewhere. Yet sometimes it seems like people want to avoid the ugly bits, and talk around mental illness rather than talking about …

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Seasonal affective disorder (depression/bipolar with seasonal features)

What Is… Seasonal Affective Disorder

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a subtype of depression or bipolar with symptoms that occur based on a seasonal pattern. It was first described in 1984 as the result of an American study of mostly …

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Conversion disorder: Functional neurological symptom disorder characteristics

What Is… Conversion Disorder

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is conversion disorder, now known as functional neurological symptom disorder. Conversion disorder is a type of somatic disorder that involves the conversion of mental illness into neurological-type symptoms, involving sensory and/or motor impairments. In the DSM-5, the name …

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