mental wellness

Trying To Work When You’re Mentally Ill

Finding a job is hard, but finding a job when you’re mentally ill is even harder. When you go in for an interview the last thing you want to tell your potential employer is that you have a mental illness. If an employer has two people applying for the same position do you think they’d choose the person who suffers from mental issues or someone who is mentally stable? Due to the stigma around mental illnesses, the fear of being rejected makes most people unable to talk openly about their diagnosis. When going into an interview you may be filled with anxiety and come across as inadequate to the interviewer. Because of this, many highly qualified people don’t get the chance at a job they want or get so scared that they won’t even try for it at all. Mentally ill or not, the bills still come every month and we have to find a way to take care of ourselves if we do not qualify for financial help.

In a sense people like us “wear a mask” to work, this doesn’t mean that we are lying. You can show that you are qualified through your work ethics, but you do have to try and hold your composure during tuff times, especially if you work with the public.

Before your interview it’s a good idea to partake in some confidence building tactics like self affirmations, TED talks, Pinterest and Youtube advice, etcetera. Try to calm your nerves with an at home remedy like lavender oil, CBD oil (ask your doctor before taking this product and buy from a pharmacy for your own safety), or anxiety medication if you have a prescription. Go in with your head held high and know that your mental illness does not define you and that you are worthy of this job.

Speaking from my own experience I do think that it is important to eventually let your employer know that you are mentally ill, just not right off the bat, show them your worth first. The reason I find it important is because if you’re anything like me, eventually something or someone is going to trigger you and you may break down. If your manager is aware of the situation then they will be prepared, have understanding, and be able to intervene (if they are a good manager).

Being mentally ill does not mean you can’t be an excellent employee, it just means you may have a harder time some days. If you happen to be a manager reading this article, I encourage you to educate yourself on people with mental illnesses, don’t shut the door on them before they have a chance to show you what they are capable of. People with depression/anxiety/bipolar disorder could become some of your most compassionate workers. Those who suffer from OCD could turn out to be the most organized and brilliant people on your team. Illnesses are a hard thing to deal with, but in some cases there is a silver lining that shines so brightly that it will make the set backs worth your time and patience. Give us a chance.

At some point in your work journey you are more than likely going to hit a very low point. It may be due to being burned out on the job, or in extreme cases it could be due to a loss (divorce, death, issues with your children, etcetera). During times like this I find it very important to have a one on one with your manager and be honest about your feelings. You may need to take a little time off to go see your doctor or get counseling. If you have proven that you are a valuable worker and you have a good manager this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you have a manager that is not understanding, you have to do what’s right for you. Your health has to come first, it’s like the phrase I’v mentioned before “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.

If you end up losing your job due to your mental health, see your psychiatrist/doctor, get therapy, and do what you have to do to get back up and get back in the work force. Just because you stumble doesn’t mean it’s all over for you. You are important, you have a lot to offer, and you are worth fighting for yourself!

If you are someone who is completely unable to work due to your mental illness this does not mean you are any less valuable. You may be a phenomenal stay at home parent, house wife/husband, caretaker of your elderly parents, and more. And even if you are not married, don’t have kids, or close relatives you still have so much to offer the world.

I’m at the point where I am only able to work part time but does that make me less valuable? No, because I’ve found my purpose in blogging- just like you will find your purpose in whatever passion God has given you. It’s okay not to be ok! If your mental health has disabled you from working completely, there is no shame in reaching out for financial help. Mental illness is an illness, just because other people can’t physically see your sickness doesn’t mean that it’s not real. If you need help don’t be ashamed to apply for it.

I hope this post encourages you to see your self worth and go for the job you want. I also hope that it shines a lot on the stigma against mental illness. Again, I highly recommend employers to seek education on mental health, a person suffering with a mental illness can still be a valuable coworker, we just need a chance.


Escaping A Narcissistic Relationship

How to spot a narcissist

Often times narcissist will wear a beautiful mask so it’s hard to decipher who they really are. The last thing you want to do is get caught up in a narcissistic relationship, it can become mentally damaging. Here are some red flags on how to spot a narcissistic person.

• They will often play the victim when something has gone wrong. No matter what they will blame someone or something else for the situation. They do not own up to nor apologize for when they are wrong.

• They like being the center of attention, they will tend to talk about themselves a lot. They also like to talk down about others to lift themselves up, if it means throwing someone else under the bus to gain some spotlight, they will do it. Be careful who you trust with information.

• They lie and twist the truth. They want people to believe their version of a story and will usually create false statements or make things out to be way more dramatic than they really are. If they get caught in a lie they will either create more lies to back themselves up or turn the tables on you and make you out to be a bully.

• They put themselves before anyone else most of the time. All they care about is what they want and will do anything to get it even if it hurts other people. Consequences do not matter to a narcissist in the moment.

• If you try and cross them, you have become a target. Narcissistic people are not good at letting things go, if you try to stand up to them they will get defensive really quick. It’s very common for them to talk against you to other people and make you out to be a villain to make themselves feel better.

How to escape a narcissistic relationship

From personal experience, it’s not going to be easy. Unless they dismiss you from their life get ready for all hell to break lose before you are set free. When you reject a narcissist or call them out on their wrongs they are going to get extremely defensive and fight dirty. They are going to want everyone to know that you have hurt them so get ready for slander. They will say anything they can to try and turn the table on you and make the ending all your fault, but do you know what? It’s going to be ok.

I stayed in narcissistic relationships with people for years due to fear of how they would react. The longer you tolerate it, the longer you will live without peace. I advise trying to quietly and peacefully “fading” yourself out of the relationship. However, if it’s a romantic relationship, it’s going to be a lot harder to leave quietly.

In romantic situations the best thing to do is bite the bullet and cut it off cold turkey, run! Yes they are going to go crazy, they may try to turn your friends against you (but real friends will realize the truth), and they may even relentlessly try to contact you. Do not respond and do not let their tactics of retaliation get to you. Time will pass and eventually they will give up, but if you feed into them you are giving them exactly what they want, attention.

How to heal from a narcissistic relationship

• The best thing you can do is cut all ties with this person. Block their number, block them from all your social media accounts, eliminate all forms of contact with them.

• Don’t entertain the gossip. If you’ve made them mad people probably know about it by now. Do not bring this person up in conversation, and if they are spoken about to you avoid the topic. Don’t feel like you are being mean or rude if you clearly say “I’d rather not talk about them” and change the conversation. If someone is super nosey and persistent about the topic, leave the conversation immediately. Talking about it will only make things worse because words are easily twisted.

• Move on with your life with your head held high. Don’t worry about what other people are saying, I know it’s easier said than done, but over time this will pass if you don’t entertain it. They have already stolen enough of your peace, don’t let them have anymore.

The longer you stay in a toxic relationship with this type of person the more of a toll it can take on your mental state. It may take time to overcome some of the mental abuse (because in my opinion that’s what it is). I have heard that you can pick up traits from the people you are around the most. In order to recover from the mental toll this relationship has taken on you I high recommend practicing positive behaviors. Look for the good in all things, help people other than yourself, and aways try to be positive. It will take time, but time itself can heal you from any damage done by that person.


When Your Spouse Has Depression

When a spouse has depression it can effect the whole family. I myself struggle with anxiety and depression and there have been times when my symptoms have impacted my marriage. Many times a struggling spouse doesn’t know how to express what they need, therefore the other person doesn’t know how to care for them. In this post I want to give my personal insight on how to care for your partner (Disclaimer: this is based off personal opinions and experience, I am not a doctor).

When your partner is struggling with depression they may show many signs and sometimes no sign at all. Here are some of the common things to look for when your spouse is hurting:

• anger/ short temper/ aggression

• frequent crying and sadness

• reclusive behavior- not leaving the house much and staying to themselves often

• weight loss due to nerves / weight gain due to using food as comfort

• confusion and excessive forgetfulness

• lack of intimacy and romance

• being clingy and needing a lot of your time and attention (I know it can be annoying but please don’t lash out at them, this is a big sign they really need you right now; Talk to them).

Aside from aggression I have experienced all of these symptoms at some point in my life. Now to the important part: What you can do to help ease their pain:

• Let them know you’re there for them and actually be there when you say you will.

• Show compassion, try putting yourself in their shoes. If they’re too paralyzed with depression to get the housework done don’t get angry with them, even offer to help out if you can.

• Be a good listener. Even if you don’t know the right things to say, just listening means the world to someone who’s mentally struggling. And please, if they start to open up pause the television- they need your upmost attention right now

• Ask questions- find out what’s making them feel this way. This is going to give you a better understanding of why they’re experiencing symptoms and how they are feeling internally. Mental illness causes all kinds of havoc in the body, from muscle aches to stomach pain and so much more.

• If they recluse themselves don’t try to force conversation out of them. Simply let them know you’re here for them, that you love them, and give them a little space if they need it. Let them know when they’re ready that you will be right there to listen.

• Go the extra mile- hold them for a little while. When I can’t pull myself together my husband holds me as I cry into his T-shirt; I feel the weight of the world melt off my shoulders. Let them know you love them.

Severe depression is nothing to take lightly. I have personally lost a friend and a family member to mental illness, my family almost lost me a few months ago. Here are 5 red flags that indicates it’s time to insure that they get professional help (no person handles things the same, there are defiantly more than 5 signs, however I’m covering the ones I personally know all too well).

1. Self Harm / Talking About Self Harming

2. Expressing signs of total despair, devastation, or trauma

3. Cutting ties with people, things, and hobbies that normally bring them happiness

4. Turning to bad habits that may be life/health threatening (drugs is a good example)

5. Participating in reckless activities because they no longer care about their life and what could happen to it

It is very important to keep in mind that not all people are going to have the same symptoms, some may show no signs at all. When you hear people quote about how “the happiest people being the saddest” it is normally true, they wear a mask and that’s the most dangerous thing of all. I really hope you will take this blog to heart and always remember to be kind, you don’t know what someone else is going through. I hope Iv shared good insight to those who love someone with mental illness, maybe this will help you see their situation in a different light. My last piece of advice: Sit down and have a loving conversation with your partner, let them know they are very loved, and ask them what you can do to help them.


How Media Can Affect Your Mood & How To Fix It

Modern media has taken over the world! it’s like our little escape from real life. But when does it start to become “too much”? In this article I want to explore the possible effects that different types of modern media may be having on your emotional well-being.

1. Social Media

Social media can be an amazing thing, I mean how else would you remember everyone’s birthday?! Social platforms offer some pretty handy features that can really brighten your day, such as:

•Reconnecting with lost loved ones

•Keeping contact with your friends and family

•Seeing photos of Betty Jo’s new baby or Billy Franks new puppy

•Memes, videos, recipes, and more!

Unfortunately the internet isn’t always paradise. The internet has the potential to put a damper on someone’s day, especially those who are dealing with strong emotions. If you’re looking to improve your mental state you may want to consider:

• unfollowing any page or person that radiates negativity. Drama pages are an absolute no go. And then there are those people who are constantly posting sad/controversial things all day long…we all have that one person who comes to mind haha! You don’t have to unfriend them but if it’s taking a toll on your mental well being you might want to consider the handy dandy unfollow button.

• quit comparing yourself to other people online! No one has a perfect life, not even your beloved favorite lifestyle vlogger on YouTube or Instagram. More times than not someone isn’t going to post the “bad parts” of their life online. The next time you feel yourself getting a little frustrated that you’re not where they are, remember: things are not always what they seem AND everyone’s journey is different! If you need to take a break it’s ok to unfollow them for a while, I had to do that temporarily to allow myself to see my own journey clearly.

• stop snooping! Yeah we all do it, don’t lie! If you’re secretly digging deep into people’s profiles it’s usually not for the best reasons. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, especially if they’re not your friend. It’s time to let the ex best friends, boyfriends, and high school bullies go.

• Limiting time on your phone, especially when you’re around your friends or family. And please for the love of GOD don’t be on your phone during family dinner. There is so much life to be lived outside of a phone screen.

2. Television & Video Games

TV and video games… people can spend HOURS, plopped down on the couch, starring at a TV screen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to watch the tube maybe an hour or two each day, but here is when it could become a problem:

• when the free time in your relationship is spent mainly in front of a screen. Watching tv together can be nice and relaxing especially after a long work week, however it’s not the best form of quality time. When you’re in tv land you’re not really talking or listening to the other person, it’s not the ideal way to really spend time with someone. My advice, dedicate some time out of each week to do something interactive and fun like taking a walk or playing a “non-digital” game together.

• Certain tv/movie genres can make an individual feel a certain type of way. If scary movies give you anxiety and make you lose sleep, stop watching them. If chick flicks make you cry and resent life, don’t watch them. Only take in what is going to make you feel good, I personally stick to comedies and action flicks.

3. Music

Music is EXTREMELY powerful, it has the ability to change or enhance the mood in seconds. Lyrics can deeply impact the way we feel because they express strong emotions we experience but don’t know how to put into words. Music can also bring back memories, good and bad.

When you’re going through hard times music can either help you or hurt you, here are some of my personal tips on music vs. moods:

• When you are depressed do not listen to sad music, it’s only going to make you feel a million times worse. Instead try listening to upbeat motivational songs. It will lighten the mood and possibly empower you with the lyrics.

• If you’re feeling anxious try toning the tunes down a bit. Put on something soft and soothing, maybe even try searching “rain sounds” on YouTube (this is perfect for sleep as well).

• When you’re angry it’s probably best to stay away from songs containing negative lyrics. Listening to negativity is only going to fuel the fire. Instead maybe cut the music off for a little while, take a moment to breathe, and meditate.

To sum things up, modern media has the strong ability to shift a person’s mood. Be cautious of the things that you take in, especially if you suffer from mental illness. I believe if you surround yourself with positivity and good vibes it will bring you peace; if you take in negativity it will cause chaos in your mind.

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