The Day My Psychosis Changed

When I was 23, a friend asked me to come see a horror movie with him. Seems simple enough, but after dealing with hallucinations for six years from being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, scary movies weren’t really my thing. That wasn’t always easy to explain to people, so I went. The first 30 minutes of the movie were basically every hallucination I’d ever experienced in my life. Voices calling from all over the theatre. Shadows following people. The lead character getting chased. A tormented person lying in a fetal position paralyzed by fear. I was overwhelmed. I wanted to leave, […] Read More

Stop Telling Students They’re Messed Up and Start Doing Something About It

Every week I read new studies, reports or articles letting us know what’s wrong with young people today. They’re stressed out more than ever. They’re being bullied. They’re killing themselves. They’re not sleeping. They’re abusing prescription medications. They’re overweight. They’re depressed. The list goes on and on. In some ways it’s like society is normalizing these problems for young people instead of giving them skills to deal with what’s happening. They hear that there are problems, but where are the solutions? In response to these studies, an endless amount of mental health, mental illness and suicide awareness campaigns address these […] Read More

Mars and Venus in Mental Health

We are two different people, but we have a lot of similarities. We are the same age and race. We were both diagnosed with bipolar disorder in our teens. Both of us are overachievers who were highly involved in high school and not necessarily on anyone’s radar for developing bipolar disorder. Our biggest difference is our gender. We thought we would do a bit of a comparison and look at how a similar struggle with bipolar disorder presented itself differently in each of us. Obviously, we are only two people, and there are a lot of ways these issues can […] Read More

A Reason to Applaud Johnny Manziel

I’m not going to lie. I never thought I’d write a blog with this title. I’ve been annoyed by Johnny Manziel through his college career and into the NFL. His “signature” money sign that he uses even before establishing any credibility as a pro player bothers me. His overconfident attitude in a game that demands respect is insulting. I could go on and on with a list of things about him that are all over social media, but my view on Johnny Football immediately changed when I saw he entered rehab. Here’s why. As a guy who has bipolar disorder […] Read More

5 Things Movember Taught Me

This was my first year taking part in Movember. For those that don’t know Movember is an organization that asks men to grow moustaches in order to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. I was excited that they included mental health and wanted to use the power of my moustache to see if I could get guys to open up about their emotions. Stereotypes of men lead a lot of people to believe they just don’t talk about feelings. Well, my moustache must have had some magic in it, because I found a lot of guys willing to share. […] Read More

Moustaches and Mental Health are Manly

Imagine a world where men are openly embracing, laughing, crying and expressing all of their emotions. Weird, right? Nope. This is what men do at nearly every sporting event or sports bar in the world. Unfortunately, that openness and comfort to express their feelings doesn’t always translate away from sports. The good news is that this November, one organization is working to change that by focusing on bringing awareness to men’s mental health. And they’re doing it by asking men to grow moustaches. Movember is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. During November, they challenge men to grow […] Read More

The Age of Loneliness

I really like this article in the Guardian today. It speaks about how we may be in a current age of loneliness. I see how this is affecting so many people that are struggling with their mental health. The bottom line is humans need each other. Technology, competition, socioeconomic status and myriad of other factors are cutting us off from what we need most. If you’re feeling lonely please make an effort to see someone. Don’t text, don’t post, don’t tweet. Physically go and see someone. Touch them. Laugh with them. It matters. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/14/age-of-loneliness-killing-us

7 Tips for Mental Health Advocates

I started speaking about my experiences with bipolar disorder with anger control problems and psychotic features when I was 17. At that time, I knew almost every other advocate in the country. There weren’t many of us. Now there are thousands. There’s been an extraordinary leap in mental health advocacy over the last 19 years. I’ve trained a lot of speakers with Active Minds, Minding Your Mind and the Born This Way Foundation. I’ve also worked with hundreds of advocates at other events. In honor of mental health awareness week I wanted to offer some tips to help advocates maintain their mental […] Read More

Let’s Stop Assuming People Know What Mental Health Is

Yesterday, the White House had a briefing on mental health and suicide prevention in honor of Suicide Prevention month. Advocates, professionals and organizations often use the words, “mental health,” in a way that assumes everyone knows what mental health is. Unfortunately, that’s not true. If we’re going to decrease stigma and have an honest conversation about mental health, then we need to take a step back and make sure all of us are on the same page. Here are three things to clear up the confusion. 1. Mental Health is not having a mental illness.  Oftentimes when people hear the words mental […] Read More

3 Reasons Greek Life is a Great Place to Address Mental Health

Fraternities and sororities have a lot of stereotypes that they are constantly fighting. To the outside world these organizations can come across as superficial cliques that are unnecessarily selective and just want to party. There is a lot of attention paid to individual chapters that are involved in hazing, substance abuse and racism. Greek life tends to only get publicity when a chapter does something negative, which furthers the stereotypes. Members of fraternities and sororities know that their organizations are a lot more than what they are perceived to be. Sororities raise millions of dollars for cancer research. Fraternities do […] Read More