MBx - Your own chatbot coach for mental health and personal change

I’m replacing myself! It’s been a wonderful time being me but robots are cool and they can make mental...

Super Pea Protein Maca Almond Chocolate Power Bars

I like to get up early and get food in me as soon as I can because I love...

Digging into intrusive thoughts to clear a way out of them

Recently, Matt and I did a couple of videos exploring intrusive thoughts or anxieties and why it’s useful to...

Why peer support is so damn useful for mental illness recovery.

We could also call this: Recovery is like rowing. You’ll be bad at both until you’re not. And then...

Overcoming anxiety at work and on the job hunt.

Recently, Daniela posted over on the Everybody has a Brain Tumblr about some anxiety challenges she tackled after getting...
Be yourself, Healthcare, Personal
MBx - Your own chatbot coach for mental health and personal change
Eat
Super Pea Protein Maca Almond Chocolate Power Bars
Be yourself
Digging into intrusive thoughts to clear a way out of them
Be yourself, Personal
Why peer support is so damn useful for mental illness recovery.
Be yourself, Eat
Overcoming anxiety at work and on the job hunt.
My name is Mark and I have mental health (because I have a brain), but it took me a long time to realize that. By the time I did, I had a bunch of mental illness labels stuck on me. It didn’t have to be that way. I could have saved enormous amounts of pain, energy, and money, if I’d taken a more proactive, preventive approach to mental health much earlier in life. The focus of the work I do now is on helping people learn skills to overcome mental health challenges and prevent them from happening so they can do what matters to them. Learn more about Mark
Events

Internet addiction workshop in Toronto, May 15th

I’m teaming up with Mind Matters to do a workshop at The Drake Hotel in Toronto on May 15th, at 6pm, all about techniques for cutting out online compulsions and learning how to make the internet work for you (instead of you just clicking away on a mouse for little hits of dopamine like you’re in some start-up’s lab experiment).

Tickets are $45 and you can get them here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1472846?utm_medium=bks Space is limited so grab tickets quickly.

I had so many online compulsions when I was struggling with mental illness but they weren’t things we touched on in therapy because internet addiction wasn’t very well understood or even accepted as a real issue at the time.

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Be yourself, Testimonials

Scott’s story so far…

I think back to when I was a pre teen and there was so much happening, not only physically but also mentally… That’s when I first recall OCD happening to me–I was around 12 years old and I began to count and touch doors, handles, count my steps, turn off the TV at the “right time”. I had no idea what was happening, it all seemed innocent to me back then, just a little quirk I had. I just wanted to get that “right feeling”, no big deal.

As I got older, into my later teen years, I will never forget this feeling… ever: I woke up one sunny morning and it was like I was hit by a bus (Which I actually was years later, lol!!). I had this feeling of anxiety/sweating/tightness in my whole body… All from one single thought: Am I homosexual because I did that “thing”?! Prior to this thought I had never been attracted to the same sex, ever. It was just a thought in my head, that’s all. But for some reason it would not leave me. It hung around for months on end, every waking minute it was there. I would try and resolve it by looking at men out in public to “check” if I was attracted to the same sex but that just made matters worse. I would sit and look at magazines with pictures of men to see if I was attracted to them. It was all so confusing and scary and stressful. Before this thought my life was going along fine. How could a single thought turn my life upside down for months?!

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Healthcare, Personal

So you want to work in mental health…

I was part of a panel discussion at the University of Toronto recently on community engagement work in the mental health sector. It was exciting to see so many people interested in working in mental health. The questions and comments from the audience made it clear that they understood the need for patient-centered innovation and they wanted to create change in the sector. But with innovation, there’s turmoil, in any industry. So here are five things to consider if you’re looking at a career in mental health as the sector undergoes transformation:

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Be yourself, Testimonials

How I Finally Recovered From OCD

I had watched Mark’s videos over and over again, especially my favorite one, “How to Deal With Intrusive Thoughts“. The end of the video was always my favorite part, it seemed to sum up what you need to do for OCD recovery (and really, recovery from any anxiety disorder) really well: Accept all the stuff in your head while DOING the things you really care about. When you focus on the things you actually care about, all the worries and uncertainties your brain was giving you (because it was trying to help you by thinking you should solve them) eventually dissipate.

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Eat

Is that juice cleanse just another compulsion?

I often get questions about the “right” foods to eat for mental illness recovery: What are the best foods to prevent intrusive thoughts? Will eliminating gluten lower my anxiety levels? Can a detox fix the chemical imbalances in my body?

But if you’ve struggled with your mental health, be very careful about searching for a magic solution by drastically restricting or changing your diet, even if it’s temporary. Before you get started on a detox/cleanse, consider these three questions:

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Be yourself

You are not your farts or your mental illness symptoms.

I got this question over on the EHAB Tumblr:

Can I ask why it’s not good to define yourself based on your mental illness? I mean I understand that I am complex and interesting beyond my depression, but sometimes I feel like people who say things like that are trying to get me to stop talking about it/get over it. Can you explain what you think the goal of “you are not your illness” mantras are?

The simple answer is: because you are not your farts. Building your identity around mental illness symptoms is no different that building your identity around farting.

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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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