What would you give up for safety?

We can always come up with a rational reasons to excuse self-destructive compulsions while we chase safety. But chasing...

Mental Illness Recovery Q&A with The Mighty

For OCD Week, I joined The Mighty for a live Q&A on their Facebook page all about my journey...

There are no OCD sub types or themes. Only OCD (and llamas).

It’s very popular in OCD patient communities, and in mental health communities in general, to get stuck on labeling...

Want to succeed with your New Year's resolutions? Build the boat first.

If you’re starting off the new year with plans to make changes that will support recovery from mental illness, be...

Beliefs, judgments, desires, compulsions...

When we’re struggling with mental illness, it’s often the compulsions that get all of the focus, both when we’re...
Be yourself
What would you give up for safety?
Media
Mental Illness Recovery Q&A with The Mighty
Blog
There are no OCD sub types or themes. Only OCD (and llamas).
Be yourself
Want to succeed with your New Year's resolutions? Build the boat first.
Blog
Beliefs, judgments, desires, compulsions...
Personal

Overcoming stigma when blogging about health and illness.

I recently gave a keynote presentation at Diabetes Linkup, a conference for Type 2 Diabetes bloggers, on the topic of overcoming stigma to connect with peers online. I was sharing lessons learned from the past four years of sharing about my brain. Whether it’s diabetes or mental illness, the challenges we run into online and the ways we can overcome them are very similar. Here are the five lessons I shared:

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Media

Mental Illness Recovery Q&A with The Mighty

For OCD Week, I joined The Mighty for a live Q&A on their Facebook page all about my journey with recovery from mental illness. I usually keep my videos focused on mental health and where I’m going now, so I don’t often talk about the specific symptoms I struggled with but in this video I go more in-depth into what it was like deep in the mental illness hole, and what was involved with getting out of that hole:

Mark Freeman OCD Q&A

Mark Freeman is a writer, filmmaker and mental health advocate who has recovered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’s live now sharing his experiences and answering your questions as our final guest for OCD Awareness Week.Visit Mark’s blog and watch his videos at markfreeman.ca

Posted by Mental Health on The Mighty on Thursday, October 13, 2016

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Blog

The City of Brains Project

Over at the CivicTechTO meetups, I’ve started up a project with a bunch of awesome volunteers to tackle a simple question:

How do you find effective, accessible mental health services in Toronto?

The answers, however, have been anything but simple. Each answer typically comes in the form of a story. And we’re finding that these are stories full of hope, frustration, tragedy, failure, success, challenges, kindness, inequality, complexity, barriers, and perseverance.

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Blog

There are no OCD sub types or themes. Only OCD (and llamas).

It’s very popular in OCD patient communities, and in mental health communities in general, to get stuck on labeling superficial symptoms. But it becomes just another way to practice the judging and categorizing and discriminating that can fuel so many compulsions. A more effective approach to support recovery from OCD is to understand (and eliminate) the compulsive patterns of thinking and behaving beneath any symptom.

This might be easier to understand by looking at the sub type of OCD that is, without a doubt, the most horrific to deal with: LOCD. LOCD is the subtype of OCD that includes all of the compulsions related to the fear that you’re a llama. Common compulsions include:

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Draw

University Peer Health Engagement Workshop

This past weekend I was at the Toronto Peer Health Network’s annual symposium to facilitate a workshop on peer engagement. There were around 60 student leaders in the workshop who run peer health education programs at universities and colleges around Toronto. They’re working with their peers right around the age when all sorts of mental and physical health issues can emerge on top of learning to live independently and start a career–it’s a complex time for behavior change and difficult to engage somebody in making healthy changes when they’re bombarded by so many competing priorities.

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Be yourself

Want to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions? Build the boat first.

If you’re starting off the new year with plans to make changes that will support recovery from mental illness, be honest about where you are and the skills you’ll need to learn to get to where you want to be. Our goals are often the results of the skills we need to learn, so be sure to make space and spend time and energy on learning those skills.

If your destination is on the other side of a lake, you need to learn how to swim or build a boat if you want to get there!

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