Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Art of Losing Myself in Bringing You Praise

It’s funny how nothing else seems to matter when you worship God fully. I’ve recently been making prayer shawls and blankets. I made one last winter, but I had forgotten how amazing they are to make. The one I made last winter took a little over 30 hours to complete, and I can honestly say that every minute of those 30 hours was filled with joy. The reason? I was worshipping. I was shifting my focus off of myself and onto someone else by simply opening up a conversation with God. If you don’t know much about prayer shawls, they are simply shawls that are prayed over while they are made, which are then given to someone who needs a little hope and encouragement. They are often given to someone with a major illness but can really be given to anyone going through something difficult. The beauty of making a prayer shawl is that it not only is a blessing to the recipient, but I believe it is also a blessing to the maker. As I make a prayer shawl, I sometimes feel like I am the one being healed. When I am praying for someone in need, I am redirecting my focus from myself and my own problems to pray for healing for another person. It’s a beautiful thing, if you ask me.

My thoughts are often very negative and damaging to my self-esteem, so it is great to intentionally force myself to not only think about someone else, but also to think positive thoughts in general. My goal in making the prayer shawls is that it would bless someone else in some small way. It’s the art of losing myself in bringing Him praise. I think making prayer shawls could be a key to unlocking the prison I’ve locked myself inside of.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Heaven's Gain.

My beloved grandmother passed away on September 26th, 2014 at 2:30am. Her death brought with it a wave of pain that words cannot express. Every time I think about how much I miss her, I cry (cue waterworks), but I haven't fallen into a depression. I think I'm learning. Granted, it's been a much slower process than I would have liked, but I have learned so much. I've learned that depression implies a sense of hopelessness and despair and as long as I look to Christ in the midst of sorrow, however great, I can never lose hope. Without Christ, we have nothing to hope for, but with Him, we have everything we need.

I sometimes feel emptier inside now, like a part of me is missing. I think she took hold of a piece of my heart and now that she's gone, I only have memories. But her legacy will live on through those beautiful memories I (and the people who had the joy of knowing her) have. What a strange thing death is. One moment there's a human there, with a story and a heartbeat and a soul and the next minute, only the story remains. It reminds me how precious life is. It shouldn't be taken for granted, but we all inevitably fall into the trap of becoming so... comfortable with the way things are. We think we have so much time left, but the truth is, every day is a gift.

We often miss opportunities to do simple acts of kindness, like smiling at a stranger passing you by, or calling an old friend that you haven't talked to in a while, or giving a gift to someone for no reason at all. But we need to do those things, because you never know what someone might be holding inside. Everyone has something that causes them pain in their life, or something that makes them feel alone and you or I could be the one to make them smile, even if only for a moment. What are we waiting for? Tomorrow is not guaranteed. All we have is today, so let's make the most of it, remembering that each and every day, every breath, is a gift.

Friday, September 19, 2014


As some of you know, I have been helping with caring for my Grandma for the past several months. My Grandma was diagnosed with ALS (also called Lou Gehrig's Disease) almost four years ago. ALS is a fast-progressing, and ultimately terminal illness that attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. When the nerve endings begin to die off, the muscles in the affected person's body begin to atrophy until they eventually become completely paralyzed. In the early stages of the disease, a person affected by ALS experiences muscle weakness, especially in the arms, legs, and throat. The muscle weakness in the throat causes difficulty swallowing, speaking, eating, and even breathing.

ALS is an awful, ugly disease.

My Grandma has been on a feeding tube for almost three years now because she can't swallow anymore. She has been faithfully feeding herself five times a day, a process that takes about a half hour each time. Without the ability to swallow, she is also unable to speak, so she uses an iPad with text-to-speech technology to communicate with others. She receives Botox injections in her salivary glands every three to six months to help with excess saliva, but she still needs a tissue box and some wash cloths close by at all times to wipe up any excess saliva. She also has a suction tube that gets rid of the mucus that would normally just coat the inside of her throat if she still had the ability to swallow. Instead, it gets caught in the back of her throat, cutting off her airway until she can manage to clear her throat, which is, no doubt, a painful and scary process. She uses a nebulizer four times a day to help keep her lungs open and clear so she can breathe more easily. She also uses two types of eye drops and countless other medications, vitamins, and supplements to help slow the progression of symptoms.

Several weeks ago, I had to take my Grandma to the emergency room because she was feeling increasingly weak and we weren't sure what was causing it. After an exhausting 36 hour hospital stay, they determined that there was no infection or any new illness, but that it was just a progression of the ALS. Since that time, she has spent most of her days in bed. She really only gets up for necessities: feedings, nebulizer treatments, and bathroom breaks.

Another symptom of ALS is depression, which has just recently been affecting my Grandma. She was living mostly independently, other than visits from home health aides in the morning and evening to help her when she has the least amount of energy, visits from me three (0r more) times a week in the afternoon to help her around the house and with running errands, and sporadic visits from her children and grandchildren. The loneliness she must feel lying in bed all day, unable to sleep because of the activating medications she is on and the need to constantly get up to use her suction, go to the bathroom, or feed herself and take her medications, is unimaginable. 

She was recently moved to a nursing home (the same one where her husband, my Grandpa, is receiving care). The nursing staff there quickly determined that it was time to transition her into hospice care. We don't know how long she has left, as it is always difficult to tell with ALS; it could be days or it could be weeks. All we know is that she is very anxious when she is awake for fear of choking, and she is very tired most of the time.

To say her life over the past four years since her initial diagnosis has been incredibly difficult would be an understatement. I can't even imagine what it's like to live with an illness like that. However, her strength and courage shine through every single day. And I am so blessed by her words of wisdom and witty grins and comments in the face of an unending battle. I think we've been good for each other. I have been able to help her stay mostly independent for as long as possible and she has helped bring me back to life. I've learned from her that life isn't always easy, but there are always things we can be grateful for. She has taught me that family is meant to be there through thick and thin, when we are sick and when we are healthy, when we are filled with joy and when we are inexplicably sad.

My Grandma faces an illness, which will eventually take her home to Jesus, with unfathomable strength and dignity. She rarely complains and is grateful for each new day she is given, even though each day is filled with pain. And because of this, my Grandma is my hero.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dancing on the Rocks.

You often hear people say (especially in faith stories) that they hit "rock bottom" and then their life turned around from there and things got better. Which makes be wonder: Where is/was my rock bottom? I thought it was the time I first attempted to take my own life, but things only seemed to get worse from there because I made a second attempt shortly after the first. After my third suicide attempt, I started to wonder if I would ever hit rock bottom. When would things start to get better? When would I begin to want to live? It seemed as if every time things began to look hopeful, something terrible happened and I ended up feeling even worse than before. Wave after wave, storm after storm, I felt increasingly weak and powerless. So I kept asking the question: What is my rock bottom?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine and I asked him what he thought about it. He said something like, "Maybe you're at rock bottom and you've just been there for a while. Maybe life for you right now is about learning to dance on the rocks." I liked that a lot. Life seems so relentless--everything keeps coming at me, regardless of whether I am prepared for another trial or not--so it was very reassuring to hear him say that. It helped to hear someone say that life sucks, but I can still find joy in it.

I had always thought that rock bottom was a turning point--the worst point in your life before things start to turn around--and that you don't stay at rock bottom for very long. Maybe my lowest point in life isn't a single point, but a few (or maybe many) years of trials. But that shouldn't affect my ability to find joy in the little pieces of life that make me smile or the times when life doesn't seem so bad, even if it's only for a moment.

Maybe my life is about learning to dance on the rocks.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


People often ask me about my dreads. They wonder how I put them in, how I maintain them, why I got them, how I'm ever going to get them un-dreaded when I'm sick of them. I felt that it was high time to tell the story of my life as a dreadhead.

Why did you get dreadlocks?
I had a life-changing experience a few years back. I had been extremely depressed for many years and had hit rock bottom. My last hope was an intensive outpatient program in Colorado. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I hopped on a plane and headed out to Buena Vista to try and get my life turned around. I met with a counselor for three hours a day for two weeks. When I wasn't in counseling, I spent my time watching late-night movies, eating ice cream and way too much pizza, and rock climbing with a wonderful Australian couple I met through the counseling center. I climbed mountains both literally and figuratively and I found a peace that passes all understanding. I began to notice changes in myself that I never thought possible. I was letting go of pain, anger, and stress that I didn't even know I had been carrying and I finally began to surrender my life to Jesus in a new way. When I came home, I felt like a new person (some people even said I looked like a new person... apparently I had previously looked like someone who was very depressed). Not only did I have a new set of tools to help me deal with intense emotions, but I also had a new outlook on life. A few days after I got back, I was on Pinterest looking at pictures of people rock climbing and I saw this picture:

Aren't her dreadlocks the coolest ones you've ever seen?! It was then that I knew I wanted dreads. I wanted an outward change to reflect the inward change that happened during my time in Colorado. The only problem was that I wasn't sure if I could pull off the look. I didn't know what other people would think or if I would ever be able to find a job. So, naturally, I went on Facebook and asked my friends to vote: Should I get dreadlocks? Why or why not? A friend of mine who happens to be quite a famous drummer said that I should. He told me that he would get a mohawk if I got dreads. I agreed and I've been rockin' the dreads ever since.

How long have you had them?
Exactly one year and five months. I started them on December 18th, 2012 and it took four days and lots of help (shout out and a big thank you to my amazing family!) to get them all finished.

How did you start your dreads?
Good question! There are several ways to start dreads. I did a TON of research and decided the best method was backcombing. If you are ever considering taking the plunge into the world of dreadheads, I HIGHLY recommend for information on all things dreadlocks (they provide information on starting and maintaining dreads, sample letters you can give to your parents and employer to convince them that you NEED dreadlocks, and an online store full of awesome products to keep your dreads looking great). First you have to separate your hair into awkward little ponytails all over your head where you want each dread to be. Then you start the backcombing process. Backcombing, if you don't know, is exactly what it sounds like; instead of combing the hair from root to tip, you do the opposite, which creates lots of loops and knots. The tighter the better. When each dread is finished, you roll it between the palms of your hands until your arms feel like they're going to fall off to get each lock to tighten up. I also used wax from DreadHead HQ to help speed up the dreading process. I was fortunate enough to have lots of help from friends and family.

Does it hurt to put dreads in?
Yes. It feels like your hair is being pulled out. It is especially painful when someone is backcombing a lock and the comb accidentally slips and hits your scalp. Not only do you get whacked in the head with a comb, but you also get your hair practically pulled out. However, I knew it would be painful going in, so it wasn't that bad (mind over matter, mind over matter...). When it's all done, you can expect to have a sore spot at the root of each dread for a day or too, but hey, beauty is pain, right? Don't worry though, I would imagine it's about the same level of pain as getting a tattoo, if not less painful than a tattoo.

How long do you plan to keep your dreads?
I haven't decided. When I put them in, I promised myself and the ones helping me put them in that I would give it at least a year. Dreads change so much throughout the first year of having them and there are some phases where your hair looks just terrible. Loops and twists pop up everywhere, parts of dreads come un-dreaded, the dreads get really skinny and then really fat as the knots tighten, and you wonder what you've gotten yourself into. It took mine about 14 months to look how I wanted them to look. The thing I love about dreads is that I don't have to do much to change up the look and satisfy my need to try something different. I just put in a new bead or add some wool roving to color a dread or two and bam! A new hairstyle.

What are you going to do when you want to get rid of them?
I will probably (try to) comb out at least one dread, just to see how long my hair is. When you dread your hair, the dreads are only 1/2 to 2/3 the length of your actual hair, which makes sense if you think about it. Dreads are just a bunch of knots and loops in your hair so--just like if you had curly hair--they would be shorter than if your hair was straight. So, I'm hoping to comb out a dread or two because I'm sure I'll be curious to see how long my hair really is. I know it will be a lot longer than when I started my dreads because I haven't gotten a haircut in almost two years! After seeing how long my hair is, I will probably just cut my hair short--I want it to be about two inches long so I can spike it up. I think that would be fun too :) So I'll cut the dreads so they're about two inches long, then use a ton of conditioner and comb, comb, comb!

Do you ever wash your hair?
Yes! This is a very common misconception among non-dreaded folk. Disclaimer: some dreadheads would disagree with me, insisting that natural is the way to go and that dreads should never be washed. But I believe that for dreads to be as healthy as they can be, it's best to wash them at least twice a week, although I try to wash mine every other day. This is because oily hair tends to make the knots not want to knot (now there's a tongue twister for ya!). Think of it this way: if you had a piece of fishing line that you were trying to knot, it would be a lot easier to do it if the line was not slippery and slimy. It's the same way with hair; it doesn't knot as easily if it's not clean. But the thing about dreads is that they take FOREVER to dry because the hair is so tightly knotted. Mine usually take almost 24 hours (and that's if I blow-dry them for 20 minutes after my shower!), so if I want to shower the day after I wash my dreads, I have to wear a shower cap so they don't get wet again. If you don't allow dreads to dry fully between washings, you can get "dread rot" (I know, pretty gross...). Also, you have to use a special shampoo that doesn't leave residues in your hair like normal shampoo does. Most dread shampoo is made from natural oils such as tea tree oil, rosemary oil, olive oil, peppermint oil, etc. The reason for this is that if you have residues in your dreads, like ingredients designed to make the hair feel silky or smell good even after you have washed it out, you can get dread rot because the residues tend to build up over time and hold in more moisture.

How do you make the new growth dread?
I use a technique called clockwise rubbing. You take the dread put it between your pointer and middle finger about one inch from the roots and rub it against your head in a clockwise motion. Why clockwise, you ask? Simply because consistency is important. You don't want to undread what's already been dreaded.

What do dreads feel like?
They're kind of rope-like. Early on, my dreads were fairly soft, then they got pretty scratchy (to the point where my brother would hold his head as far away from mine as possible whenever he hugged me so they wouldn't touch his face... that habit hasn't stopped yet). Now they're starting to soften up again, which is apparently normal for dreads to do. In case my description isn't good enough and you want to see for yourself how they feel, just ask and I would be happy to oblige :)

Do you ever get weird looks or comments because of your hair?
ALL THE TIME. Especially from kids. One thing I love about kids is that they have no shame. They just stare blatantly. I usually smile and keep walking. Sometimes I tell them, "This is what happens to your hair if you don't comb it when your mom tells you to!" Other times, if they seem genuinely curious, I ask if they want to touch my hair because let's be honest, we've all wanted to know what dreads really feel like! 

One time a little boy took one look at me and then proceeded to point and scream until his embarrassed parents shushed him. I'm assuming it was because of my dreads, although I could be wrong, but I don't know what else he would have been screaming at.

Do you have dreads because you're a Rastafarian?
No, I am not a Rastafarian. And no, I don't smoke weed. If you don't know what a Rastafarian is and you're really confused about why anyone would ask me if I smoke weed, here's the Wikipedia link. I'm not going to try to explain it all on here :P

Is there anything you don't like about your dreads?
I don't like how long they take to dry. It can get really annoying to have wet hair for 24 hours every time I shower. I don't like that I can't headbang or flip my hair around because it hurts when my dreads (and beads) whack me in the face... Not that I did that very often before, but you often don't notice things until you can't do them anymore. I don't like that my hair doesn't smell good because I can't have any wonderful-smelling residues in my hair anymore, so it just smells like hair. Which is lame.

What is your favorite part about having dreadlocks?
Oh gosh, lots of things. I love the way they feel. I love to play with them; I can tie them in knots and they are really easy to braid. When they get long enough, I won't even need hair ties... I'll be able to just loop one around the others and tie a knot when I want to put them up! I like putting new beads in them. Especially ones that have a story. I have one bead that was made by a woman in Duluth who takes copper sleeves and covers them in powdered glass then fires them in a kiln inside her chicken coop to melt the glaze (C-Koop Beads, Duluth, MN).

How has your life changed since getting dreads?
This might surprise some, but getting dreads has changed my life in so many ways. I think they have made me a better person. I don't worry as much about what others think of me. Some people think I look like I have a mop/animal on my head, some want to comb them out, and some just think they look really ugly (yes, I have been told all of those things). I have learned that what others say of me is not important. What God says of me is what matters. He says I am beautiful, I am unique, I am valuable, and most importantly, I am loved by the Creator of the universe. Which, if you ask me, is pretty cool. Oh, and by the way, I'm not alone in that... He thinks you're beautiful, unique, valuable, and loved too! Pretty great, huh?

I have also formed a new definition of beauty since getting dreads. Pre-dreads, if you had asked me if I think dreads are beautiful, I would have said they're not. They're gnarly, intriguing, unique, and awesome, but I would not have said beautiful. Getting dreads has redefined beauty for me. I now believe that beauty is not simply physical attractiveness, but something deeper than that. It's a mystery, a puzzle that needs to be solved, a question that begs an answer. It's something more than what it appears to be at first glance. Beauty is something that has depth and purpose. Something that tells a story or reveals something. Like the way that facial wrinkles or gray hairs show that someone is full of life and has a long history of adventures and heartaches and memories. Or the way a painting shows the long hours the artist spent, brush in hand, writing down a story that could not be explained with words alone. Beauty is something that doesn't leave the beholder where they are, but transforms them in some way. With my new definition of beauty, I would say, "Yes, my dreads are most definitely beautiful."

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Disclaimer: I wrote the first part of this post back when the pain was very strong, so it seems quite dark at the beginning, but rest assured, it gets better and there is hope at the end of the post, so keep reading even when it seems like it couldn't possibly get better! Also, I debated for a long time if I should even post this, but I feel like God is calling me to post it. Even if it gives just one person hope, it will be worth the trouble.

Pain can be difficult to describe, but everyone knows what it feels like. With depression, you're in (extreme) pain constantly. Not physical pain like what you feel when you stub your toe or even when you break a bone; emotional pain, like what you feel when someone breaks your heart or you lose a loved one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing anyone's pain or saying one type of pain is worse than another. They're all just different. The kind of pain I'm talking about is one that can seem unbearable. It's the kind of pain that drives people to suicide because they can't find any other escape from it. I once wrote in my journal, "This meaningless, empty life slowly drags on as the days drift by. Sleep is my only escape from the state of nothingness that has consumed my world. Everything seems faded. Edges are blurred, colors have dulled ever so slightly, even sounds seem a bit fuzzy. My tired eyes fight to stay open; my brain seems to have shut down. I don't want to fight it anymore. I want the darkness to consume me. I'll take anything over this dull, gray existence." It is a tragic kind of pain. The pain of depression makes it feel like your soul is bleeding. And the worst part is that there is often no apparent cause for the pain. On another occasion I wrote, "This pain is like ice cold water welling up within my soul. It's only a matter of time before it overflows. And when it does, the icy water consumes me as I struggle to stay afloat in this bitter cold sea of depression. When will this end?" For those who have never experienced depression, it can be hard to imagine (I had no idea what it was like to be in such pain until I experienced it firsthand). It's as if the pain is consuming you slowly, devouring you from the inside out. And even when I was having a good day (or week or month), I would still worry that it was going to get worse again, which prevented me from even enjoying the fact that the pain had lifted a bit.

But one thing I have only recently begun to realize is that there is a purpose for the pain. That it is in our moments of deepest pain and weakness that Christ's power is made manifest (2 Cor 12:5-10). So know this, that when we feel depressed or anxious or when life seems unrelenting, this is when Christ is most actively at work, refining us as gold purified through fire to shape us into exactly who He made us to be. When people ask the common question, "If you could change anything about your life, what would you change?" I never say that I would change the struggle with mental illness or make the pain go away. That's not because I enjoy the pain or because I want people to feel bad for me. It's because in those moments of weakness, I felt the mighty hand of God move in more powerful ways than I ever dreamed possible. So if you feel the weight of emotional pain weighing heavily on your life right now, I pray that you might hold on to the hope that Christ's power is being perfected in you even in your moments of weakness and that you are being refined as gold purified by fire. You will come out on the other side and you will have a story just like mine: Christ has made me strong and I am as valuable to Him as pure gold.

Monday, January 20, 2014


It was so freeing when I finally realized that I was never going to live a life without mental illness playing at least some small part in it. When I was in high school and early college, I would cry out to God each night and ask Him to heal me of my depression and every morning I woke up disappointed. That is, until I realized that I am not my depression. I am more than my depression. I recently read an article from RELEVANT Magazine that said, "Don't miss today because you are imagining that tomorrow will be 'better.'" I think it's so important to remember--especially in the midst of life's struggles--that each day is a gift and that there are things to be grateful for each day even when life seems really difficult. Looking back, I can see God working every single day to bring me back to Him. He worked through friends, pastors, mentors, and even strangers to show me that I was worthy of His love. And He showed up in nature-- in every animal's eyes, every beautiful mountain range, every perfect sunrise. I slowly began to realize that there were three constants that I could point out in my life: God, pain, and morning. I knew (or at least was told) that God is always with me. Because of my depression and the prison I had locked myself in, I was always in pain. And each day, no matter how hard the night had been, morning would come and the sun would rise to bring a new day. I now know that I get a "new bucket of mercy" each day, as the pastor from my home church would say. God chooses to wake me up each day and pour His mercy on my life, regardless of whether or not I acknowledge it. I now have a great job working in the gift shop of a local restaurant where I can crochet for most of my shift and sell the things I make online to earn some extra money on the side, I have a roof over my head each night because of my wonderful mother who has so graciously allowed me to live with her for the past year, I have a full tank of gas in my car (thanks, Dad, for the Christmas present!), and I have access to the medications and therapy I need to help me deal with my mental illnesses so they don't negatively affect my life as they once did. I am grateful for these things and so much more (it would take much more than a mere blog post to write about all that I have been blessed with). Each day is a gift and today I choose to be grateful. Praise the LORD!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I owe my Dad some money. Ok, a lot of money. Like 300 dollars (mostly for phone bills that I haven't been able to pay and gas money that I couldn't afford for the last nine months of unemployment). It's a terrible feeling to be in debt. Whenever I think about it, I get that awful sinking feeling in my gut. That how-am-I-ever-going-to-pay-him-back sort of feeling. But then it got me thinking of how much debt we all have, really. The Creator of the universe took the time to create each one of us with unique characteristics not found in anyone else who has ever lived on this planet, which, let me remind you, is a lot of people. We owe Him a great deal.

You see, He desired that we would love Him with the same kind of love that He first showed us. A perfect love free from jealousy, greed or ulterior motives. But for that love to be perfect, He had to give us a choice. Without a choice it wouldn't be love. We could choose Him (life, goodness, love) or we could choose the opposite (death, evil, hate). But we chose the opposite. We choose the opposite. Everyday we choose to lie, cheat, steal, lust, idolize, and live like the entitled hypocrites that we are. And so we are in debt. I'm not talking about 300 dollars worth of debt. I'm talking about lifetimes of unpayable debt. We cannot by ourselves pay back our debt because we are imperfect creatures. Now think about that sinking feeling in your gut again. It just got a thousand times worse, right? But then imagine Someone coming along to tell you,

"Your debt has been paid in full."

What?! Are you serious?! Suddenly all your fear and anxiety is washed away as you embrace that new feeling of relief; the same feeling with which you had become so unfamiliar. No more feeling like someone is watching you, waiting for you to pay back what you owe. You're finally free. And that's what Jesus did for us. Because of Him, we. are. free.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Hope. It's something I haven't had for a long time. Depression has a tendency to take all your hope away. The moment you lose hope is the moment you feel like life is no longer worth living. It's been a long road, both for me and for everyone in my life. I am profoundly grateful for the support I have received over the last ten years of battling this (especially to the ones who stuck with me when no one else would--you know who you are). The battle isn't over and it won't be won until I see Jesus face to face and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." But I know I will win with Jesus on my side. 

Right now I'm in a good place. The episodes of depression aren't the life-threatening abyss of despair that they have been in the past. And I'm learning the skills I need to conquer the times of mania as well. I've also stopped cutting, hopefully for good, and I'm learning how to manage stress in healthy ways too. Someone said that healing from an episode of depression comes slowly, then suddenly. I think they're right.

And with this newfound stability, I can honestly say that I have hope again. A hope like this can only come from God. I think hope is something we take for granted, but when hope is suddenly stripped away, you realize how much you need it. Although I will never live this life without depression, aside from a miracle (which I haven't stopped praying for), I can be certain of this: 'He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). One day I will never have to wake up in the morning feeling hopeless. I won't have to wonder if I can make it through the day without another crying spell. I won't spend the day wanting only to die. And I will never have to go to bed terrified of waking up the next morning only to do it all over again. That day isn't here yet, but it's coming. Oh yes, it's coming.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dealing with Mental Illnesses: How to Help.

Here are a few websites you can go to for some information on helping people with different mental illnesses:

Helping Loved Ones With Bipolar Disorder 

Teen Depression: A Guide For Parents

Depression: Supporting a Family Member or Friend

Helping a Loved One With Anxiety

What Not to Do When Someone You Love is Psychotic

Helping Someone With an Eating Disorder

Supporting a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder

I read through each article and from what I read, they all seem fairly accurate. This is by no means an exhaustive list; it's just a list of the mental illnesses I am most familiar with, so I will also provide some additional resources that may be helpful in learning about mental illnesses and how to help loved ones dealing with a mental illness.

Breaking Bipolar Blog (Scroll down a little to the "Blog Categories" on the left to navigate easily through different blog topics) - Natasha, the woman who writes the blog, has Bipolar Disorder, so she writes mostly about Bipolar

National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI has lots of great resources for people with mental illnesses and their loved ones. They have support groups and seminars across the nation to educate and help people with mental illnesses.

National Institute of Mental Health - NIMH has education, statistics, and help for those who struggle with a mental illness.

To Write Love On Her Arms - Links to lots of great places you can find help in dealing with mental illness

Healthy Place - They have tons of great information on mental illnesses and they also have their own brief online tests that can help determine whether or not a person has symptoms that could indicate the presence of a particular mental illness