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:

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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:

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

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Mental Illness is Like Drowning (video)

When I say that mental illness is like drowning and building better mental health is like learning how to swim, I’m not suggesting that mental illnesses aren’t real biological experiences. Drowning is a very biological experience. If we took some guy that doesn’t know how to swim and pushed him off the side of a boat into deep water, he’s going to have a very stressful experience. It’s going to be distressing and traumatic — for him and for those watching. He’s

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Do you know how to get to a healthy place you’ve never been?

You’re an expert in where you are now. But if you want to move to a place you’ve never been, it helps to speak with people who understand that new place. They understand the culture and the language of living in that place and the supports necessary to stay in that place. You need to participate in deciding how to get to that place because we understand where you are right now. In planning a journey, you need to know

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Get proactive with mental health issues before…

  Often we don’t pay attention to a mental illness until we’ve fed it and fed it and it’s grown so large that it fills up every room we walk into and we’re always standing in a stinking pile of symptoms it keeps shitting on top of us. It’s time to get preventative and proactive with mental illnesses. The illness-first approach doesn’t work. It’s like waiting for a heart attack before you start eating healthy and exercising. Don’t wait for

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