Hypersexuality and Bipolar Disorder

Let’s talk about sex and bipolar! In my experience as a single young adult, with or without a mental health condition, sex can complicate any friendship or relationship. When you have bipolar disorder, there are a couple more complications you face due to your emotional extremes. I have the ability to feel everything, however, also the capacity to be completely disconnected. This is heavily present when I am in a manic episode and engaging in sexual relations. In my new HealthyPlace video, I talk more in detail about my experience with hypersexuality living with bipolar 2 disorder.

Share your comments or do a response video and send it into info@healthyplace.com!

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Resources for Our Veterans Fighting a War at Home

Sometimes the war does not end when a soldier steps back onto American soil. For many veterans, the war continues at home. As Americans, we are obligated to serve these soldiers. Thank you to all those who have served this country. You are the root of America.

Below are a few online resources (blogs, articles, jobs, social media, apps) to check out. If you know of any more resources please comment below and share the link and/or information. I will add it to this post.

1. Download the Mobile App PTSD Coach

2. The Soldier Project: Resources for Veterans & Their Loved Ones 

3. Healing Combat Trauma

4. My Story of Survival: Battling PTSD 

5. PTSD Chick Blog 

6. Veterans Seeking Jobs: 6 online resources for Veterans who are seeking jobs 

7. FaceBook Page Dedicated to Supporting Veterans 

Sending love to all our Veterans!

Why People Feel Uneasy Taking Meds for the Head

Treatment plans for mental health care differ from situation to situation.  In some cases, it calls for therapy and in other cases medication is needed.  This doesn’t mean that when you wake up feeling sad, you call the doctor and start popping pills.  However, when depression or severe emotional behavior begins to affect your daily life, work and relationships, it is time to seek help.  There is no shame in taking medicines if needed.  If you get the flu do you take meds?  Yes.  So what is the difference when it is the flu of the mind.  There is none.  Would you blame someone who lost her husband in war for seeking out medication for anxiety?  Would you judge a woman for taking antidepressants who lost her child 2 months shy of his 1st birthday to cancer?  We all want to end up at the same place, but some need to take a different route to the intersection of happy and healthy.  There is no shame in that.

Reasons why people feel uneasy taking meds for the head…

I don’t need a pill to make me happy.

Lets do a word replacement, instead of happy, lets put healthy.  I don’t want to take a pill to make me healthy!  Make sense?  Happy and health go together like PB&J.  Think about people from the past, who would have done anything to receive treatment to help them maintain a stable life with a mental disorder.  Virginia Wolf is shaking her head.

I feel like I am weak if I have to resort to medication.

Are people who have diabetes weak because they have to resort to insulin in order to survive?  It is all about how you frame it.  You are not weak, you are honest about your situation and health.  A strong person acknowledges their pain, and does something about it.

I am afraid people will judge me.

Okay, write out those people who you think will judge you.  Now delete them from your phone.  People who love you won’t judge you.  I hate to tell you, but when you get a prescription you are not the headline on the 10’oclock news that night.  If you fear judgement…dont tell anyone.  You will be pleasantly surprised that over half the people you fear in opening up to, are going through a similar situation.

I don’t want people to think I am crazy.

What is crazy is having the available resources to receive good mental health care, and not taking advantage of it.  Reaching out for help is far from crazy.  People will get wasted, and have sex without a condom with the first person they meet at a bar (no judgement) and that is not considered crazy.  However, taking anti-depressants for depression, YIKES that is insanity!  Think about it.

I don’t want to stay on medicine long-term.

Okay, do not jump the gun.  Get to Point A before jumping to Point Z.  You may not be on medicine for the long-term, but if you are so what?  If you feel like your life, relationships and your day to day has improved since taking a medication than why would you stop.   Again, everyone has to take a different route to happiness sometimes.  Do not be ashamed of the route you take.

 

5 Reasons Why Traveling Helps Your Mental Health

This summer, I decided to take a road trip (via air) from east coast to west coast.  Flying from the South to my hometown in Boston, MA to the sunny San Diego, and ending in Chicago.  I felt it necessary to take a step back, and explore.  With Bipolar 2 disorder spontaneous ideas can be frowned upon, which is understandable.  However, ridding myself of all my spontaneous characteristics is unreasonable.  In my travels, I feel refreshed.  It has lead me to wonder why traveling has this impact on us.  Here are 5 reasons why traveling helps your mental health.

You gain perspective.

We are each a single droplet in a huge ocean, and this is something you learn on the road.  To see people around you from different cultures, in different positions, and situations, it allows you to realize that in the end everything is going to be okay.

You learn more about yourself.

Through your interactions with other people, you may find out things about yourself that you never knew before.  There is an inner strength that is needed when you travel, especially on a solo adventure.  This maybe the key to making you feel good about yourself, and realizing you are stronger than you think.

It gives you a chance to breathe.

The pressure and stress of life that you may be facing are silenced when you travel.  It gives you a chance to reflect on your life, and breathe.  Take a step back from social media, and live in the moment.

You feed off others energy.

You meet people on spontaneous adventures, and create unique connections with others.  When you are down in the dumps, there is nothing better than feeding off the energy of other people.

Its a confidence booster.

Traveling encourages you to be self-efficient and independent.  You create memories that are interesting, and that add excitement to your life.  Traveling is a great way to turn your dull attitude into a fabulous one.

9 traveling quotes…

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8 Strategies To Improve Your Body Image

I look fat in this”  “I would die for her body” “He thinks I am fat” “I have no boobs” “I am on this new fad diet…again” “I look like a boy.”

Have you ever said statements like this?  I know I have.  Instead of spending time trying to accept our body, we waste time comparing ourselves to others, beating up our bodies, starving ourselves and place obtaining the ‘perfect body’ at the top of our priority list.  This is a tragedy in modern day society.  In the moments when we are suppose to be celebrating life such as, your child’s birthday, your graduation, your wedding day, I mean damn even at your funeral, the most important thing on the agenda is ‘looking good.’  Skinny, but not too skinny.  Boobs, but not too big.  Round medium sized ass, but no cellulite.  Perfect skin, but no stretch marks.  Toned, but not too toned.  It sounds like the children’s book “Goldie Locks,” not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

As someone who struggled with body image, and an eating disorder, majority of my life, I understand this conflict.  I missed out on proms, high school dances, and immature movie dates with guys all due to a lack of acceptance of my body.  One day I told myself that there was no point.  No matter how skinny or overweight I would be, people would find some way to discourage me.  So I said, ‘Fuck it! I am going to be healthy, but enjoy my life!”

There is no genuine definition or equation to obtaining ‘beauty.’  Do not waste one more minute.  The sexiest thing a woman can be is confident.

Here are a personal strategies to help in developing a positive body image.

1. Self-talk.

Communication is not only important between two people, but also with yourself.  Every morning write a note to yourself, put it on the mirror, and say it aloud or in your head while you brush your teeth.

“I love myself just the way I am”

“I believe in myself”

Go to this link, 14 Mantras To Help Build Positive Self-Talk…, to get some extra help in self-talk.

2. Switch Up Role Models.

If majority of the figures you follow on Instagram or Facebook are accounts that make you feel even more inadequate, hit the ‘unfollow’ button for now. Follow accounts who encourage positive body image.

Here are some of the accounts I follow promoting positive body image on Instagram: @positivebodyimage, @end_body_shame, @mybodynoshame, @bodyposipanda

This gallery  of images portrays female figures, from Greek Mythological Goddesses to Amy Schumer, who give a realistic and positive outlook on the female body.

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3. Exercise your mind and body.

Try out a class like yoga or zumba, workouts that are centered on embracing your body, not about burning as many calories in a short amount of time.  Eat something healthy everyday, get creative and switch it up.

The two links listed below are easy at home exercises that help strengthen mind and body.

Yoga For Complete Beginners

The No-Equipment Workout You Can Do at Home

 

4. Reach Out.

Talk to friends & family about your body image issues.  Ask them if they have insecurities.  It is surprising to hear some of the people you admire have insecurities as well, and makes you realize you are not alone.

5. Meditate to Appreciate.

Body is just as important as mind.  On days I am feeling insecure, I sit and take ten minutes to reevaluate my insecurities.

This is a great video I listen to, called Guided Mediation: Positive Body Image.

 

6. Role Play.

This is not dressing up like a naughty officer!  Play the role of someone helping a young teenager with body issues similar to yours.  Write a “pretend letter” to them discussing  your struggle with body, and ways to overcome this challenge.  This is a letter to the “insecure you,” and acknowledges your insecurities.  It is a creative way to take an outside perspective on your personal feelings.

Use this alternative link, 20 Ways to Love Your Body, to write some helpful tips in your letter.

7. I love myself, because I am…I love my (blank) because he/she is…

Grab a pen and paper.  Write down, “I love myself because I am…” List alteast 5 things you love about yourself and 2 personal accomplishments.

       …I am positive, kind, strong, intelligent and creative.  I have graduated from college and I have a good job.

Then write “I love my (family member, close friend and/or peer) because he/she is…”  Write a list of what you love about them.

Now look at the list, and ask yourself:

Do these your personal positive character traits have to do with your body?  

Would you have been able to accomplish these things without having the perfect body?

Would you not admire this family member or friend if they were too skinny or overweight?  

This gives you an outside perspective about how people view you, and how you view others, separate from body.

8. Set a Goal & Stick to It.

Pick out an outfit you have been dying to wear, but have felt self-conscious in.  Bring the outfit, and only one, to a friends house where you get dressed before you go out.  This way you are forced to wear the outfit.  As time goes on, your insecurities will slowly fade.

I had an obsession with my arms and refused to wear anything that showed them.  Recently, I bought a few sleeveless shirts, and took majority of my other shirts to my moms house.  I was forced to wear a sleeveless shirt the next day.  In the beginning I was nervous, and then I realized no one was looking, or pointing at me.  I looked good…I looked damn good!  It is something that has to be practiced in order to be mastered.

End note:

 I know that feeling, when you look in your reflection, and criticize every part of your body.  The thing is, we are women, are bodies are a work of art, and deserve to be loved.  Do not waste anymore time, be the Goddess you were destined to be.

 

 

 

 

45 Self-Love Quotes

A person who knows their value is a powerful being.  Trust me, I know how hard this can be at times.  For years, I could not look in the mirror without criticizing everything in my reflection.  Day by day, I learned to talk to myself like I would to anyone one else in need.  I still have moments of insecurity, but overall I love every part of me, especially the parts which are flawed.  Be kind to yourself.  Here are 45 of my favorite quotes about self-love!

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‘Creating Instead of Cutting.’ An Artistic Alternative To Self-Harm

Self-harm is an emotional, and misunderstood topic.  It is difficult to comprehend the logic behind people inflicting intentional pain on themselves.  It is part of the struggle for many people suffering from mental illness.  Self-harm is not commonly done with the intentions of committing suicide.  More so, as a way to release internal pain.   You are thinking, Isn’t that backwards?  Inflicting pain to reduce it?  

When you are a kid, and get a scrape, your parents probably said at one point to, “let it breathe,” before covering the wound with a bandaid.  Self-harm is a way to uncover an invisible wound, and “let it breathe,” in hopes it will heal your mental pain.  Obviously, this is not the case, and this form of coping does more damage than good.  It is a major goal of the mental health community to find healthy alternatives to self-harm.  With that being said, you can imagine my excitement when I came across this artistic alternative on Instagram!

The Butterfly Project is featured on the Tumblr account of a woman, known as “momma butterfly.” A simple concept with extremely healthy benefits. Drawing, or painting, instead of cutting.  The image gallery below depicts people using their body as a canvas to express their emotions. It allows for people living in a moment of deep despair to turn pain into artwork.

Do not be ashamed of your struggle, your pain.  Find the art in feeling emotions so deeply.  You are not alone.-Halfway2hannah

It is important we share this information with individuals struggling with self-harm, past and present.  Below is a list of helpful links and information pertaining to self-harm.

Help Stop Cutting: 146 Things To Do Instead

Distractions & Alternatives to Self Harm

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7 Inspirational Books To Improve Your Mental Health and Inspire Your Imagination

The older I get, the more reading has become a daily habit, along with dying my grey hairs (just kidding).  Finding a book that suits your needs and/or current situation helps in more ways than you could imagine.  After time spent in the hospital, reading became a positive outlet that allowed me to use my imagination, while expanding my mind.  The following are my personal suggestions for some reads that you might enjoy.  Some are entertaining, interactive and deep.  These are great for when your feeling down, in need of some inspiration or just looking for a good read.

 

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I take time every morning to sit in silence and read a page. Every time I flip the page I find a tip or quote that relates to exactly how I am feeling.                                         Don’t self-medicate—self-meditate. In a book of thousands of entries, written in the abundant, winningly positive way that’s helped her books sell over 1.5 million copies, Barbara Ann Kipfer shows just how we can—and should—meditate anytime, anywhere, and reap the ever-growing list of mental and physical benefits associated with this practice.-Amazon

 

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, was the first book I read…I mean really read. My mom handed me the novel a few months after I returned from the hospital. I had two jobs, but was still struggling to find my place in the world. This book changed my life. I think every woman, young or old, should read this book. It is the story, told from the eyes of Dinah, a young women trying to find her place in a harsh world. It takes place in the time of the 12 Tribes of Israel. It is not a religious book, but a beautiful story about women, children, sisterhood and love. You will not regret this read!
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I know this much is true…this is the best book I have ever read.  It is hard to put into words, the impact this book has had on my life. How much? I have not, to this day, read the last chapter.  Why?  I do not want it to end. This is a great book for both men and women, at any age, especially if you are someone who has struggled with a brother or sister with a mental illness.  I could not put it down. I would go to the gym and sit on the bicycle for hours reading it.                                                                    On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable. . . .-Amazon
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At first it seemed silly, but I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed these coloring  books. Whenever I am stressed, or have a lot going on in my head, sitting down and reverting back to my five-year-old self is really helpful!

 

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Add a little humor to your color. Ordered this one a couple days ago!

 

 

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Its part of Oprah’s Book Club…enough said.  She’s Come Undone gave me strength in overcoming my fear of failure, by looking through the lens of the main character, Dolores.  It is great for women, whether your 18 or 80, that are struggling with their own personal battles.                                                                          Meet Dolores Price. She’s 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.-Amazon

 

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Everything That Can Happen In a Day by David Horvitz Okay this is the only book I have not entertained myself with yet, but it is en route to my house. I have heard such amazing reviews. If you have read it, please let me know how it is. Artist David Horvitz knows how to transform the mundane details of everyday life into unexpected quirks that inspire people to action. Over the course of 2009 he posted a new initiative on his blog every single day, enjoining readers to follow his lead and insert some art into everyday life. The popular blog not only inspired people to act; they also documented their actions. Everything That Can Happen In A Day features some of Horvitz’s favorite ideas as well as an astonishing array of images that document people following Horvitz’s cues.-Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When It Is Time To Take Your Child To Therapy

If your child had a high fever would you take him/her to the doctor?  If he/she was diagnosed with the flu, would you get them the help they needed to heal?  I am hoping the answer to these questions is Yes, otherwise you might be the one who needs therapy.

The stigma around mental illness not only affects adults, it affects children as well. I stumbled upon this article,7 Red Flags That Your Child Needs Therapy,  and was happy to see that people are acknowledging the idea that kids need therapy too.  A lot of people ask my parents if they knew I had a mental illness as a child.  The answer is a bit complicated, being that it is difficult to diagnose a child with a mental illness.  My parents were told by my kindergarten teacher, “Hannah is so kind and sweet, but she wanders and has trouble really paying attention to what we are saying.”  I was in therapy two days later.  My parents, who are the opposite of sensitive hippies, took no chances when it came to their kids.

When a tragic situation occurs, or your child is feeling emotions that are overbearing it is difficult to for them to reveal these emotions.  As a parent, or any family member, it is hard to be the therapist, and lets be honest, do we ever reveal the whole truth to our parents? Not always.  In most cases, it is not to be malicious, but children know that their sadness or pain will hurt you, and they are nurturers by nature. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children.  If your in this position, do not be afraid to reach out.  I am not a mother, but I ‘am the aunt of 8 nieces and nephews (yeah my brothers and sisters cant keep it in their pants).  You know what this means?  Statistically, one of them will have some type of mental illness, which is part of the motivation for my blog.

Read up on this article, and understand that mental illness, whether long or short term, is very real.  I have met many parents who waited too long, let their own biases get in the way of getting their children help, and trust me, it is a road that eventually turned into a parents worst nightmare.  You are not alone, there are many parents in the same position, so please reach out.  Link below.

“7 Red Flags That Your Child Needs Therapy”