Instagram’s New Mental Health Feature

Instagram is a picture-sharing social media site created to allow you to share your life through pictures and videos with the world.   But the new norm of constant sharing can create a sense of loneliness if you begin to compare your life to those you witness on your feed.  Good.health.is.com talks about a new feature of the app that can be helpful for individuals with mental health concerns. The website states the following:

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Photo Credit: P3 Marketing Strategies Flickr via Compfight cc

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Adding Music to your Daily Routine to Alleviate Stress

Intertwining music into your daily routine is a simple way to help reduce stress in your life. Helpguide.org gives several ways to incorporate music into everyday situations that can be used to reduce your stress.

You can implement music starting first thing in the morning. Waking up to an alarm clock that is blaring a horrendous beeping sound can be a rude awakening! Try waking up to a familiar song that you enjoy.  You could create an entire morning playlist to get yourself in the right mindset to start your day.  To go the extra mile and really increase the positive effects of music, it is time to start singing.  Who knew that singing in the shower could actually be helpful?  “Singing is one of the best ways to shift the vibrations of our thoughts and the very cells of our body, helping slow and regulate breathing and promote relaxation.” When choosing your music, be mindful that the songs suit and benefit your mood, inspiring you or helping you to relax.  While doing this pay attention to how you feel when singing and after to help keep in mind the songs that lift your spirits the most.

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Photo Credit: torbakhopper Flickr via Compfight cc

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Sleep Disturbances and Depression

There is a relationship between depression and changes in sleep patterns.

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) Flickr via Compfight cc

One of the symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder is “insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.” Insomnia and hypersomnia are two sleep disorders, described below. Because disturbances in sleep are such a prevalent symptom of depression, we thought it would be important to talk about sleep disorders, sleep patterns, and what “normal sleep” looks like.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that only a professional can diagnose individuals with mental health disorders. We want to warn against the dangers of self-diagnosis, especially relating to mental illness. If you or someone you know is experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s okay to investigate further by educating yourself on the disorder, but important to get a professional opinion before drawing any conclusions. Continue reading Sleep Disturbances and Depression

Proud2BMe

Positive body image, especially during adolescence and young adulthood, can be difficult to keep up. Society is chock full of “standards” for beauty and the “perfect body.” But while these standards are very public in nature, body image is a very personal thing.

So what is body image anyway? Body image is the way one visualizes their own body through mental image.  It’s really common for teens and young adults to struggle with keeping up a positive body image. We have a wonderful resource to offer for you today: Proud2BMe is an online community focused on “promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.”

http://proud2bme.org/
                           http://proud2bme.org/

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Being Discerning with your Facebook Friends

We recently found this article on WikiHow about how to cultivate a really supportive friends list on your social media accounts – Facebook is specifically mentioned, but this could be used for any Social Media outlet. The steps they list are all detailed on the website but we’ve included the main points of them here:

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Tips for Telling Others About Your Depression

Depression is often times misunderstood. This can often cause apprehension surrounding sharing  your feelings of depression with others, compounding with the symptoms of depression that a person is already feeling. When preparing to tell someone about your mental illness it’s important to maintain appropriate expectations. The people you tell will likely be concerned and want to help you but at the same time lack the knowledge to understand what it means. Telling those how they can support you can be helpful.

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Photo Credit: All I want for Christmas is a Leica via Compfight cc

Understanding the Scope of Depression shared some tips on how to tell your loved ones about your depression and your children. Continue reading Tips for Telling Others About Your Depression

Q&A with a Mental Health Therapist

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask a local therapist some questions about therapy. The therapist’s name is Shannon Toomey, MS-CP. She works at a local outpatient mental health clinic. The range of clients the clinic accepts vary from adults to children ages 2+ with mental health concerns that are treatable in an outpatient setting.


Why does therapy work?

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Photo Credit: All Reverse Mortgage Flickr via Compfight cc


Ms. Toomey spoke about the trusting, professional relationship the therapist and the client build together. This aspect of therapy is the foundation for accomplishing the client’s goals. Ms. Toomey also talked about the uniqueness of the therapeutic relationship. She stated that in therapy, the client can “gain skills they might not get otherwise.” Lastly, Ms. Toomey spoke about the outsider’s perspective that the therapist can provide for the client. This perspective is unbiased and nonjudgmental. This third party view can provide a different look at the situation and how things are. Continue reading Q&A with a Mental Health Therapist

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Depression

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been really open about his experience with depression during his early adulthood. Check out this video where he breaks down “having faith” that depression can be managed.

The Rock was 23 at the time and had just been cut from the Canadian football team he was playing for, after being rejected from the National Football League. He moved back in with his parents and worried that things wouldn’t turn around for him. With hindsight, Dwayne Johnson had this to say about depression:

“And often times it happens, you just, you feel like you’re alone and you feel like it’s only you, and you’re in your bubble, and I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and say ‘Hey, its gonna be okay, it’ll be okay’…”

Dear Black Women

This open letter featured on Huffington Post was written by Minaa B. the founder of Respect Your Struggle.  “Respect Your Struggle is a digital magazine that focuses on real life issues experienced by the ordinary individual who is set out to turn their struggles into their strengths.”  It was created to de-stigmatize mental health within the minority community and empower people. The articles are centered on self-care, mental health and life challenges.

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http://www.respectyourstruggle.com/p/about.html

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