Mental Health Awareness Week: Mind & Body
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week. You may ask yourself why I didn't post this introduction to our mental health sites a week ago and my only defense is that I have a severe attack of foggy brains. My apologies. I'll try to make up for it.
We have three terrific mental health sites with wonderful Community Leaders and Experts who will help answer any questions you might have. The community members are also there to give you support and a shoulder when you need it.
Merely Me is the Community Leader on our Depression site. She wrote a post on mental illness awareness that has links to important tools and resources. This site also has a depression test that you can take to explore the likelihood that you have depression or perhaps something else. For those of you who are into tablets and iPods, there's a post about apps that can help you manage your depression.
Chronic illness has a strong connection to depression, as does chronic pain. It is estimated that between 25 and 60 percent of people who have chronic pain are also dealing with depression. We have several interviews that delve into this topic. Merely Me interviewed me about RA and depression and I returned the favor and interviewed her about depression and RA. It might sound like we talked about the same thing, but the posts complement each other for a full discussion of the topic. As well, Merely Me interviewed Karen Lee Richards, the Community Leader of our Chronic Pain site about the connection between chronic pain and depression. For those darkest of dark days, Lisa Emrich has posted about suicide prevention.
Anxiety can also be a frequent companion to living with R and other chronic illnesses. Eileen Bailey looks after the community on our Anxiety site and they have lots of good information on the topic that can help you manage how you feel. There is an area on the site dealing with the basics of anxiety, helping you understand the condition better, as well as a section for the newly diagnosed. The site also has a lot of interesting slideshows about different aspects of living with and managing anxiety.
Want to learn how to stop worrying all the time? They have a post about that, as well as one about free or inexpensive anxiety medication, an area that collects information about stress and how to manage it and much more.
On our Bipolar site, Marcia Purse and John McManamy take care of the community. Bipolar is what used to be called manic depression, a condition that alternates between depression and very high episodes. This a great section on the Bipolar site with the nuts and bolts about this condition that can help you better understand what is involved. If you had just been diagnosed or know somebody who has, their section for the newly diagnosed has numerous very helpful posts both for the person affected, as well for their loved ones. There is also a page that collects all the different slideshows this site has created for different topics related to being bipolar.
Christina Bruni is the Community Leader on our Schizophrenia site. There's a terrific area where you can learn more about the basics of schizophrenia, as well as a very helpful area about the very important first 48 hours after being diagnosed. At the lower part of the front page of the main site, there are videos on the topics of building a support network, how to support a family member with schizophrenia and learning more about what happens in the brain with this condition.
If you or someone you know has a mental health condition, you may want to check out Mood 24/7, an app that can help you track your daily mood, which can help manage your condition. Mood 24/7 was developed by HealthCentral based on technology licensed exclusively from Johns Hopkins University. You can sign up for free and share your results with doctors or loved ones.
Lene is the author of the award-winning blog The Seated View.