This is about #mentalhealth and about the real way to stay mentally fit. Please share with anyone you feel could benefit from this.
Some disclaimers:
1. This isn't a substitute for legit MH services.
2. In an emergency, call 911.
3. Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
4. Bookmark this website:

5. This is based on my masters in clinical mental health counseling, 8 yrs of professional field exp., 41 years of personal exp.
6. I specialize in co-occurring disorders. I'm licensed in both mental health and substance abuse. I use CBT, Motivational Interviewing...
6. (cont) Reality, and Person-Centered Therapies. Like most counselors, I'm eclectic, meaning we pull from various theories.

7. Finally, I'm not sure this applies to severe, pervasive mental illness. Schizophrenia, for example. But here goes:

1. All things being equal, we all know what we need to do to solve our own problems. We just need to be empowered to trust our judgment.

2. Terrible things happen to all of us. How well you cope depends largely on whether you see yourself as a victim or a survivor.

2a. The Victim Mentality will get you killed dead. Knock it off. Period. Full stop. End of sentence.
2b. Consider a terrible trauma, such as a rape. While you can't change the event, you can absolutely change how you see your "role."
2c. By role I mean, are you a victim, or are you a survivor? I'm not saying anyone deserves to get raped. Talking ab after.
2d. BL: to see yourself as a victim is to believe you have no control over anything. You're a leaf in the wind. Things happen to you.
2e. The victim invites emotional chaos. The survivor invites emotional control and health. Pick the latter.
3. You can judge a person's mental wellness by the degree to which they are connected to the society in which they live.
3a. Addicts are a great example of this. Addiction = disconnection. Here's a great TED Talk ab this:

4. If you want to be mentally healthy, make connecting to the world you live in a priority. This is Adler's Social Interest Theory.
5. Pretty much all known mental disorders are built on anxiety. Anxiety stems from a false belief that we can/need to control our world.
5a. PTSD, Anorexia, Phobias, Panic D/O, Oppositional Defiance, Substance Use D/Os, etc. - all rooted in anxiety.
6. Medication is helpful to many. But there is no pill that fixes bad jobs, abusive relationships, debt, obesity, crappy friends...
6a. The point is, you're gonna actually have to change some things to become mentally well. And change is hard.

7. Are your kids whiny, defiant brats? Guess what - you need to be a better parent. Quit blaming your children. Be an adult.
8. If you are clinically depressed, seek professional help. Ever noticed how your family and friends are no help?
8a. If I break my leg, I don't talk to my mom. I go to a doctor. Because my mom does not know how to set a broken leg.
8b. Most people have no idea what to say to help clinically depressed people. That's why you're getting terrible results.
9. Invariably, if you're having relationship issues, with a lover or a spouse or a family or your kids, it is a problem with 2 things:
1. Ineffective Communication
2. Boundary violations.

Don't chase rabbits. Focus on those two themes.

10. Eliminate toxic relationships.

11. Don't underestimate the power of service. 12-step programs bang this drum for a reason. Find a way to serve others.
11a. Volunteer. Mentor. Donate. Be polite to servers. Hold doors for people. Ask others about their day. Matter to others.

12. If you are depressed, get the Hell of Facebook. It will absolutely make things worse.
13. Be careful what you feed on. This includes food and drink, but also drama, toxicity, even music and TV and movies.

If you're reading this + going "yeah, but" + "yeah but" - congrats, you *totally* need to heed what I am saying. Ask ppl who know you.

14. ADHD is a bunch over diagnosed bullshit.

15. Also, the most serious and over-diagnosed d/o is bi-polar. My pet peeve. Just FYI.
16. Do not ever - *EVER* - try to diagnose yourself. Mental Health D/Os are more than a checklist. See a professional.
17. Best Practices when it comes to diagnosis is to find one diagnosis that best explains all symptoms.
17a. If you've been told you have like 5 diagnoses, you need to get a new therapist. There are some exceptions, but not many.

18. You are NOT a label. Just remember that. MH diagnoses primarily exist for billing purposes.

19. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility. This is not about assigning blame. It's about assuming control.
20. Last one, for now.

Mentally unwell ppl, universally, have internalized what we call "negative core beliefs." This is a huge deal.
20a. Examples:
1. I'm too stupid.
2. I'm not good enough.
3. People don't like me.
4. God hates me.
5. I'm not worthy.
6. I'm unlovable.
20b. Identify your negative core beliefs and make it your business to dispute them. They lie and they are keeping you ill. Be well. /END
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