Join Mental Health America as we have open conversations about mental health. We're a group of people who want to change the way our communities talk about mental health. On this podcast, we share our lives, fight in the open, and work together to just figure things out.
Theresa and America discuss their own personal battles with attempting to get motivated and how they try to push past that lack of desire to get anything done. In order to get motivated you need to have a desire, ability, reason and needs. What are yours? Getting motivated is a mixture of taking action and dealing with the thoughts that get in your own way.
Theresa speaks with Princess Asia and Mario to talk about their personal experiences with pressure and expectations. As former athletes, these two best friends found commonalities in their sports backgrounds and consistently connect their struggles and experiences to their playing past. They talk about mental health in sports and just everyday life plus they give insight on how they developed the confidence to overcome their personal pressure and expectations.
Theresa is joined by Nathaniel who is the Associate Vice President of Policy at Mental Health America and also a person who lives with insomnia. They both discuss their current and past relationships with sleep and how anxiety and depression play an integral part in sleep patterns. They chat about sleep recommendations and what techniques work for them and what doesn’t; it takes time to find your sleep solutions but it is also important to let go of your sleep expectations.
Theresa and America are not having a good day so they use this platform to try to talk out their feelings. They are both working through some raw emotions on some recent tragedies while also dealing with their own personal troubles and it all seems like too much. They pose the question: how can you get mad at the world when you’re the one setting the expectations? Bad feelings come from some misalignment with expectations so they both are just trying to take one thing at a time and talking it out on the podcast helps.
On this episode we discuss the feeling of not belonging, not fitting in or having trouble connecting with people. Making friends at any stage of life can be difficult so Theresa and America talk about their own personal struggles to develop friendships throughout their life and how they’ve tried to be better. The process of beginning to feel like you belong is the process of trying to identify who you are.
There is a common comment about how people struggle with having an open dialogue about their mental illness because those who are close to them don’t believe them. People might have difficulty with their diagnosis or might not even know what is specifically going on within them which makes it hard to articulate that to other people. The way in which you communicate is important when speaking to others about your mental illness and no matter how the other party might react to it, we believe you.
Last episode Catherine took us through her mental health journey and on this podcast she shares her experience of what it’s like to go to the hospital. She describes the events leading up to her hospital visits, what it was like during her stay and the benefits of the entire experience. Catherine gives her opinion on when it is a good time to go to the hospital and the importance of setting up these small day-to-day goals for her mental well-being.
In this episode Theresa and America are joined by Catherine Reynolds who “thrives with” Bipolar Disorder. She talks about what it’s like living with Bipolar and how she has succeeded in spite of it. Catherine shares her mental health journey including how she first revealed it to her family, how she got connected with a therapist, weighing her treatment options and ways in which she tries to identify her triggers.
Theresa and America tackle a topic they are passionate about because they personally struggle with stress eating. They explore the cultural significance and emotional relationship around food and also the rituals people have around eating. America gives her tips on how she tries to curb the stress eating, the importance of portion control and why it’s key to identify what your triggers are and build in protective factors against them.
America and Theresa take on the topic of differentiating between a person who is bipolar or just being moody. They discuss two important factors which is mania and euphoria and they break down what each mood might look or feel like. If you think you may have a problem you should talk to a professional to figure out what your next steps might be and seek help as early as possible.
What is the difference between being sad and being depressed? America and Theresa discuss the warning signs when your sadness crosses over to depression. They also give some advice on what you could do if you are in these unhappy states, how they deal with their personal bouts of sadness and how you could attempt to turn it around.
On this episode we talk about the internal question many struggle with about their mental illness: why me? Negative thoughts can be destructive because mental illnesses happen for countless reasons so sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint an answer. You have to come to terms with it, understand and accept it and allow yourself to feel it so seek help and get support.
It’s a scary topic for a lot of people but it’s a necessary conversation to have for Theresa and America. There is a difference between thoughts of death and contemplating suicide; it’s vital to find that line that separates the two. Theresa finds comfort in being open about her thoughts on death and why they suggest checking in with someone is important.
Theresa is joined once again by Kelly Davis to chat about cognitive distortions or as they put it: "stopping stupid thoughts." They both share their personal familiarity with thoughts that are personally damaging and ways in which they’ve tried to improve on their process when those feelings occur. Recognizing the patterns is important but it’s not easy, it’s definitely a process.
This show topic is for those who are seeking help and how you might want to take that next step. Theresa and America discuss what that journey might look like and how every case is unique. They lay out a few different approaches to getting help on your own like self-care pieces, monitoring diet/exercise and how they affect your mood and ways to work through your emotional and environmental triggers.
America returns with Theresa to have a conversation about what people might mean when they say something like “I destroy everything.” The “destroying” action could be about coping skills or the act of lashing out but there are other ways of getting that release. They discuss their personal experiences with self-destruction and ways to attempt to curb that “rage monster.”
On this episode Theresa is joined by Kelly Davis, a member of the Peer Support & Peer Advocacy Department, to discuss the popular comment – “I Hate Myself.” They talk about where that comment stems from, the shame that follows those thoughts and their personal experiences with that feeling of hating themselves. They both give examples of how they’ve worked to get better by differentiating which voice is which, getting to know the pathways of the brain plus why trying to change is a brave action.
There is a connection between people that may use drugs and mental illness and also how mental illness may be impacted by the use of drugs; we talk about all that on this episode. The conversation is about some people’s state of mind and how they try to make themselves feel better by self-medicating. If and when you begin to see signs of a problem some of the most important steps are recognizing them and trying to accept them.
Mental Illness can take its toll on a person and some are looking for when it will ever stop, it's definitely not easy but it doesn’t have to last forever. For those that feel like their mental illness will never end America and Theresa offer some advice and explain that there is always an opportunity to get better. They talk about ways to find support, why there is no quick fix and the positive aspects of just accepting your "junk."
On today’s show, Theresa and America talk about how to approach the topic of your mental health problems with others and the importance of not feeling alone. Choosing who you talk to is key and finding out what you need is dependent on who you talk to. They also discuss how to prepare yourself for that conversation, some advice on how to have that talk but emphasize how finding support is vital on the road to getting better.
Once someone realizes something is going on inside of them that is outside of their “normal”, what’s next? Theresa and America go over some possibilities to help you get to that next stage of making the choice of trying to get better. Who can you talk to...Friends? Family? A Therapist? Whatever decision is made you ultimately have to choose you every day.
We discuss an article that was written for the website about the popular question people often ask: “Am I Crazy?” We explain what that evens means, why people might google that phrase and if that’s a normal feeling to have. We talk about mental health problems, signs of reoccurring issues and we try to give our best answer to the question.
Join Mental Health America members America Paredes (Associate Vice President of Partnerships & Community Outreach) and Theresa Nguyen (Vice President of Policy and Programs) for our premiere episode of the “In The Open” Podcast. They give a brief overview of the organization and describe what they try to accomplish with their work. We get to know the co-hosts as they share a little bit about themselves and how they both got involved with MHA.