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Showing posts from September, 2019

3 Ways To Use Creativity To Cope

Utilizing The Connection Between Creativity And Health
While adult coloring books for stress and anxiety relief have been on the rise, art therapy has actually been around for quite some time. How much of these claims are true, though? Is art therapy a bunch of mumbo jumbo? Sure, there's definitely a connection between creativity and health. For instance, writers Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway were highly creative but both victims of suicide. But can this connection between creativity and health be utilized to our benefit?
According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine, it can. A study done in 2007 showed that visual art helped cancer patients improve their focus on the positive, increased their self-worth and helped with their social identity. Likewise, a study done in 2008 showed that writing helped patients with a chronic illness express their anger and elevate their mood. Creative programs related to health are popping up everywhere, from yoga classes to art workshops i…

6 Tips For Writers With Bipolar Disorder

Like many bipolar writers (and neurotypical writers), my writing life has been filled with doubt and indecision. I had my own set of rules that constituted what it meant to be a "real" writer. Even after being published in anthologies and starting my freelance writing career, I felt like a fraud, mentally keeping a list of what it meant to be a "real" writer:

Real writers write every day.

Real writers have a book published.

Real writers make money off their writing (even after I did this, I told myself that "real" writers LIVE off the money they make from their writing... I was never going to stop adding reasons that made me feel like I wasn't a legitimate writer.)
What Makes A Real Writer?
Sure, I write often, but not every day. If I do, it might be just a few sentences, and that's not enough, right? And having a book published? I've been working on my book on and off for two years. Who knows when I'll finish it? I'm still growing as a wri…

What To Do When No One Understands Your Mental Illness

One thing every single person who has experienced mental health issues can agree on is the loneliness. From depression and anxiety to the more stigmatized disorders on the psychotic spectrum, our symptoms cut us off from others, especially neurotypicals. Neurotypicals have simply never experienced life through our eyes, so they usually have a hard time understanding what we're going through. However, individuals who do have mental health issues still might not understand because everyone is different and how their symptoms manifest is unique to each person.

Mental Health Issues Are Isolating
I have friends with anxiety and depression. I feel like I should be comfortable discussing my mood disorder with them, but I just don't. I've tried and each time, the conversation falls flat, my cheeks redden. I feel like a freak, and they obviously don't understand how I feel. How could they? How can I expect them to? Having bipolar disorder with symptoms of schizophrenia is vastl…

Book Review: January First by Michael Schofield

Even though I was diagnosed in 2015, I am still learning about myself and my brain illness, schizoaffective disorder. Schizophrenia books like Ben Behind His Voices and The Center Cannot Hold help me understand my symptoms. That's why I picked up January First by Michael Schofield a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble. I was drawn to the story of a child with child-onset schizophrenia because I had my first hallucination around ten years old. My partner cautioned me against the purchase because he told me it got terrible reviews, but I decided to buy it because of the positive review of Elyn R. Saks on the back of the book:

Riveting and compelling... She is my hero, so I took her word for it. This review is not spoiler free, although I did leave out the incident at the end of the book.
January First Book Review - 2 out 5 stars Characters:Michael Schofield - Author, narrator, and father of Jani.Jani Schofield - Daughter, 4 years old when the book begins.Susan Schofield - Mother an…

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down By John Green

Not all John Green novels are created equal. In Turtles All the Way Down, we are immersed in the portrait of a young woman deep in the throes of mental illness. Like Green himself, Aza has OCD, and it has completely taken over her life. She lives in constant fear of C. difficile colitis and other infections, a terrible mismatch with her compulsion to keep opening a wound on her finger. Aza's life is something that happens around the focal point of her obsessive thoughts, a perspective that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has been through major mental health trauma. 


Ostensibly, the book sets up a mystery to be solved: where did billionaire Russell Pickett run off to? Aza and her best friend, Daisy, set out to solve the mystery and get the substantial reward for information related to his whereabouts. Along the way Aza reunites with her childhood crush, Davis Pickett, who, in his father's absence, is caring for his younger brother in a massive estate. 



The strength of thi…