Control your thoughts, Control your mood.

Moods.

We seem to have so many of them.

At any given moment, our mood can be so easily manipulated by our thoughts.

Happy one moment, raging with anger the next. All because that guy cut us off on the highway. That single moment in time can drastically change our mood, from positive to negative. Cyclic negative thoughts devour our conscious mind. It can be like an endless battle for those that have difficulty getting a grip on their thoughts. Remember, your thoughts impact your mood.

How can we gain back our control?

The truth is, you were always in control.

Relfecting on your thoughts will help you to become more aware of how your thoughts influence your mood. By implementing some techniques [that I will discuss in a moment], you can learn to have better control, which will help you become ‘less’ reactive to your negative thoughts.

Acknowledge your thoughts for exactly what they are… just thoughts. They are thoughts with no action. You create the action, or perhaps you choose to take no action. Nevertheless, the choice is yours.

A few techniques that have been helpful for me:

1) Thought record

Keeping a thought record helps you to identify a trend in negative thoughts and feelings. It helps you to become more self-aware, which in turn allows you more control over how you respond to your thoughts. Ultimately you have the power. You can choose to hold on to a thought or you can disregard it. If it is causing you distress, it may be better to let it go, for now. If it is something that is worth a second look, you can always revisit it at later when your mind is more calm and clear. But before you do, ask yourself, is it really worth it?

2) Thought Challenging

Challenging your thoughts allow you to see things in more than one perspective. Ask yourself:

Is it really worth it? Will it matter tomorrow, a week, a month or a year from now? Could the opposite be true? What evidence do I have to support this thought or assumption? What level of importance does it really hold? Is it something that is needed or wanted? What advice would I give to a friend in a similar situation? Does a decision need to be made right this second, or can I give it a few days?

Take a step back and re-evaluate your situation from a different perspective. Chances are nothing is really as urgent or significant as what our minds make us believe.

3) Distraction

Sometimes all we want to do is completely forget about whatever is probing at our brains. Although at times it seems impossible, we do have the option to let it go (even if for only the time being). If it’s a feeling you just can’t shake, or if it’s causing you a lot of distress, let it go for now and distract yourself with something else. Find pleasure in activities that bring you joy. For me, hiking along the Bruce Trails, Manicures, painting, cuddling with my furbabies, journaling, going to the gym, and reading go a long way. During the process of distracting yourself, you may even come to realize that it wasn’t as big of a deal as you first thought it was. Distraction allows you to take a step back, and revisit it when you are more calm, and your thinking is more logical and rational.

4) Support

There are multiple ways to access support. Whether it be from a friend or family member, or a professional, there is always help available.

Take advantage of the World Wide Web, the internet. This valuable tool has made access to Mental Health Support easier to access. We have education and support at our fingertips. A quick google search will reveal support services available on the internet (for example, E-couselling), or services close to you in your area.

You can also checkout the list of Helplines, and Mental Health Services under the Mental Health Resources Tab. I will continue to locate and add more resources as they become known and available.

5) Self-Help Books

Self-help books make my world go round. What works for some people may not work for all. Some people prefer a more traditional one-on-one counseling approach as opposed to self-guided lessons. Find out what works for you and do that.

A few of my favorites are Mind Over Mood, Retrain Your Brain (CBT in 7 weeks), Feeling Good (The new mood therapy), You are Badass, Unf*ck yourself, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and The Secret (Law of Attraction).

6) Apps

The world seems to be going fully digital in this Era, so I encourage everyone to utilize the online resources we have available to us. Cellphone Applications are numerous, and can be of great value. Think of it as 24/7 support, available 7 days a week, including holidays.

A few of my favorites are Dailyo, eMoods, Pacifica, Talk Life, Feartools, Moodtools, What’s up, BetterHelp, Calm and HeadSpace.

For more of my favorite applications, check under the Mental Health Resources Tab.

Are there any additional techniques that work for you? Any that you have tried and didnt work? I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment.

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Panic Disorder | A personal story

Panic Attacks; unfortunetly, something I am way too familiar with. Worst moments of my life. I seriously thought I was dying every time, then the thought of dying would just increase the intensity of the attack. Out of nowhere, minding my own business and BAM. My body would start to feel really warm – hot, and I’d feel really lightheaded, like pre-syncope (pre-fainting). My heart would start to race (I could feel it pounding in my chest; I could hear the rhythm echoing in my ears). I would find it difficult to swallow, and sometimes it was like I would forget, for a moment, how to breathe. My chest would start to tighten. The world around me wouldn’t feel as “real” (very wierd sensation to explain; it’s like I’m stick inside my body, looking through these windows – my eyes). I really thought I was going nuts. I was certainly losing control, to the point where it felt like my life was being sucked out of me. Then… the impending doom. The ultimate panic. That moment of “I’m about to die, my life is now over”. Tears would start to roll down my face. What seemed like forever was probably only a few minutes, maybe 10 mins at most. They would happen at random, never triggered by anything in particular. They would keep me awake at night. For some reason, they were always so much worse at night. I would have to get up out of bed and start pacing my room. If I laid down, I’d hear my hear pounding, my body would shake with each pound. I’d often check my pulse, just to see how crazy it was going, or to see if I was dead. Worst mistake ever. Feeling my pulse, or envisioning my heart stop pumping in my chest, would freak me the (beep) out of me. Impending doom would hit me again. What is worse then dying, if you think you are always dying?

To be honest, me typing out that last part made me feel a bit uneasy, a bit on edge. My pulse started to quicken. I closed my eyes, and I took a deep breath in…

Now I am back!

This happened for almost 6 or more months, my entire last year of nursing school. I was living in hell, so too speak. They started off gradually, one every 2 weeks, but increased to almost daily. I was living in complete fear – fearing when the next one might rip through me. Eventually it started to affect all aspects of my life. The only places I felt comfortable was at home with my head in my books, or at my boyfriend’s (now ex’s) home. I never really wanted to do anything or go anywhere, because I was deathly afraid of making an ASS of myself out in public (even around my own friends). I am surprised I made it through that last year of nursing school without having to pause my studies or repeat any course(s). (I’m very proud of myself).

I reached out to my doctor, and did a series of blood work and diagnostic tests (chest xray, ECG, cardiac holter monitor). To no surprise, all came back normal.

I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder.

My doctor advised against treatment in the form of medication. I know what you are thinking (WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD SHE NOT WANT TO TREAT YOU), but I agree with her reasoning based on the information I provided to her.

She felt the medication that is used to treat panic disorders, could really attack my ability to study. Plus panic attacks come and go so quickly, the attack would be over by the time the medication would kick in, and they aren’t the type of medications you want to take around the clock. They are sedating, and make you ‘too mellow’, and very addictive. Benzodiazepines are used on an “as need” basis (unless directed otherwise by your doctor). I was also against taking anti-depressants (at the time). So really my only option was to just ‘deal with it’, and I did.

Reflecting on that entire situation, I also don’t think I ever really told her exactly how bad it got, or all the dreadful details. Probably because I was scatter brained, and too quiet and timid – I didn’t know how to ‘speak up’. This is probably when the Social Anxiety, and Generalized Anxiety started.

I isolated myself so much that social situations made me feel incredibly uneasy. I didn’t want to hang out with my friends, and I even stopped showing up to family holiday gatherings.

The sad truth, I lost some of the ‘greatest’ friends due to my illness. Well childhood friends. BUT if they were truly meant to be in my life, they wouldn’t have gave up, they would still be here.

Hundreds of people will enter your life, lots more will exit. It will sometimes be a blessing, other times it will hurt. But everything happens for a reason, a life lesson. I have learned that as you get older you meet new people and start to build relationships based on similar interests, values, beliefs, and even mental illnesses (or mental wellness). The people in my life now have a very unique understanding of mental health, and can relate either on a personal (either they suffer from a disorder, or know someone close to them that does), or professional level. I find these ‘new’ friends can truly and deeply relate, and don’t take offense to my flare ups (moments where I isolate myself, and become MIA (missing in action) or non-existent; whatever you want to call it). I am truly blessed to have such amazing friends in my life, and I am so grateful for the friends I have yet to meet.

The great news is, I rarely get Panic Attacks anymore. Maybe one or two a year if I am unlucky. They pretty much vanished once I graduated from nursing school. I was able to spend all my energy on learning how to overcome those awful attacks on my own through relaxation, diet, and excerise.

I’ll be speaking more about treatment, and specific, yet simple, things you can do to help in another blog

Disclaimer: None of my information, education or personal stories are for diagnoses or treatment purposes. Mental Health Disorders are serious, and most of the time require help from a trained medical professional. If you think you suffer from one, and find you are having a really hard time coping…. please go speak to your doctor. Do not be afraid. Truly, they are only there to help you. It is very helpful to make a mood and thought diary, and write down everything you experience. When it is time to see your doctor, make some bullet points and some questions to ask to discuss with him or her. This will shed some of the anxiety. You can do it.

Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: mindovermood.ca
FB Page: /mindovermood1
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FB Group: click the link above
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: mindovermood

Brighter Days – Get Up

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When depression hits, it is easier to spend the days laying supine on the couch instead of facing the day and accomplishing your daily responsibilities.
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Some simple advice: Get up anyways.
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Do what you need to do, force yourself.
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It is hard, seemingly impossible task. I know.
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BUT…
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Being left alone with your thoughts only allows more negative thoughts to transpire. If you break the cycle by forcing yourself to get up, you may be able to find a bit of beauty throughout the day… beauty you would have otherwise missed. Small changes like this, over time, can pull out of the darkness.
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This is why I always stress the importance of ‘self-care’.
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Self-care is doing ‘anything’ for yourself that makes YOU happy.
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Even in your darkest moments, there will allows be something that can bring a bit of light.
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It could be as much as indulging in your favorite bowl of sorbet (Mango for me please), allowing your creative nature to flow through art, completing a DIY, a candle lit bath, snuggling with your furbaby, reading a self-help or a favorite book, getting dressed up to stay in (and perhaps take a bunch of selfies)…..
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I just rambled off a bunch of things that bring a bit of happiness into my life, now it is your turn to think of the things that could make your day a little bit more enjoyable. Think about the things that once brought you joy before the depression hit? Perhaps you write poetry, draw, paint, crafts, do it yourself projects, writing, cooking, hiking…
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Even if you don’t want to do it, do it anyways.

The second most vital part to ‘feeling your greatest’ is getting enough sleep.
7 to 8 hours is ideal.

If your having difficulties falling asleep, there are many remedies to help. For example, sleep routine, sleepy tea, rest and relaxation an hour before bed (no phone), a bath, stretching or mediation etc… and if all else fails, talk to your doctor. Perhaps a prescribed medication may help temporarily.

Have faith in yourself.
You can do it.

Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: mindovermood.ca
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FB Group: Mind Over Mood | Mental Health Support
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: mindovermood
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Mental Health | Online Resources

Alcohol & Drugs

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Anxiety Disorders

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Borderline Personality

BPDVideo

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Cutting

Teen’s Health

Self Abuse Finally Ends

Depression

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Families for Depression Awareness

Teen’s Health

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

National Alliance on Mental Illness

HeadsUpGuys

Eating Disorders

Eating for Life Alliance

Teen’s Health

Overeaters Anonymous

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

National Eating Disorders Association

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Proud2Bme

Understanding Eating Disorders

Emotional Health

Let’s Erase The Stigma

Love is Louder

Half of Us

Veterans United

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

Active Minds

OK2TALK

Make The Connection

Inspire USA Foundation

National Dialogue on Mental Health

Each Mind Matters

Befrienders Worldwide

Veterans Affairs Training

Veterans Affairs Mental Health Toolkit

Veterans Affairs Mental Health

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenics Anonymous

Schizophrenia.com

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Stress

Veterans United

Stress Management-HelpGuide.org

Teen’s Health

Suicide Prevention

American Association of Suicidology

Crisis Text Line

Didi Hirsch Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors

The Dougy Center – The National Center for Grieving Children and Families

How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family (Rocky Mountain MIRECC)

The Jason Foundation

The Jed Foundation

Lifeline Chat

Man Therapy

Mental Health America

My3 App

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Now Matters Now

Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies United with LGBTQ People (PFLAG)

Safety Planning Tools

SAVE

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

StopBullying.gov

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Teen’s Health

The Trevor Project

The Tyler Clementi Foundation

Veterans Crisis Line

Wounded Warrior Project


Additional Online Resources
and Organizations


FeelingBetterNow

FeelingBetterNow is a confidential, comprehensive mental health assessment tool and resource toolbox. Anonymously complete an assessment in 5 – 20 minutes and receive evidence-based resources for self-management and support for 13 most common mental health problems.
Visit website

Logit AI

Logit AI is an Intelligent Health platform that decodes how daily life impacts the body and how behaviors lead to overall health and wellness. Using scientifically validated questionnaires, wearables, and other life data, the platform analyzes and interprets this information to accurately forecast precursors to injury, illness, burnout and other ailments such as depression and anxiety.

Visit website

There For You

There For You is a quiz game encouraging you to ask those important questions you’re never sure how or when to raise. It is a simple social experiment, a fun way to break away from everyday conversations and engage in mindful conversations with the people we love. Some of the questions featured in the A.I.-powered app are for deepening bonds, others are designed to help deal with specific mental health issues, such as stress, depression, and low self-esteem.

Addictions

THE ADDICTION GUIDE

The Addiction Guide was created to provide the most comprehensive up-to-date information about various addictions and how to overcome them. It is not a treatment center and is an American organization (so you can only locate US based treatment centers on it), but there are lots and lots of useful links here none-the-less.
Their team is comprised of a diverse team of recovering addicts, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates.
NOTE – this is a US resource.

Visit website

EDGEWOOD HEALTH NETWORK

The Edgewood Health Network is an umbrella group of a few Canadian treatment centers including the Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC, Bellwoods Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, Waterstone Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, and a host of outpatient clinics across Canada.

Visit website

Anxiety Resources

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

An American national nonprofit organization dedicating to promoting the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders through education, practice, and research. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

A registered Canadian non-profit organization whose aim is to promote the prevention, treatment and management of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of people who suffer from them. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ASSOCIATION FOR BEHAVIORAL AND COGNITIVE THERAPIES

A multidisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of scientific approaches to the understanding and improvement of human functioning through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to the assessment, prevention, treatment of human problems, and the enhancement of health and well-being.

Visit website

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association established in 1984.

Visit website

MASTERS IN PSYCHOLOGY GUIDE

General information about a variety of anxiety disorders, including GAD, phobias, SAD, PTSD, and panic disorder, as well as links to additional online resources.

Visit website

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PTSD

The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD, working to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma.
Visit website

INTERNATIONAL OCD FOUNDATION

An American national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, support, and funds for research into OCD. Many OCD-specific resources available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.

ADAA is an international nonprofit organization which helps people
to find treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression, obsessive-
compulsive and trauma-related disorders through education,
practice, and research. ADAA is unique because they bring together
clinicians, researchers of different fields to advance science and
treatment, even they engage those who suffer from these disorders
to work together toward the goals.

visit website

Autism & Autism Spectrum Resources

AUTISM SOCIETY OF CANADA

ASC puts special focus on providing information, referral and resources for parents and other family members who are seeking support for children with autism. This site also provides news, resources and links for youths and adults on the spectrum. An exciting feature of our new site is Autism Junction – a searchable Canada-wide Directory of ASD services and related supports.

Visit website

GLOBAL AUTISM COLLABORATION

A multinational nonprofit dedicated to Autism research, awareness, and information.

Visit website

CANADIAN AUTISM INTERVENTION RESEARCH NETWORK

The only Canadian web site dedicated to posting the best available evidence-based findings on autism.

Visit website

THE GRAY CENTER FOR SOCIAL LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING

The Gray Center is a nonprofit which cultivates the strengths of individuals with autism and those who interact with them, and globally promotes social understanding. Their vision is to assist all individuals in the shared challenge of building and maintaining effective social connections.

Visit website

YALE CHILD STUDY CENTER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES CLINIC

The Child Study Center is a department at Yale University School of Medicine which brings together multiple disciplines to further the understanding of the problems of children and families.

Visit website

ADHD

CADDAC

CADDAC (The Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada) is a resource for parents of children with ADHD to learn how to better care for and advocate for their children, as well as providing support for the parents themselves.

Visit website

Bullying/Anti-Bullying Resources

BULLYING EPIDEMIC

This bullying prevention blog has tips for recognizing and dealing with bullying in schools, workplaces, sports, and at home. Blog articles, bullying in the news, radio and TV interviews, infographics, and links to books and online resources encourage discussion and early intervention.

Visit the website.

CYBER BULLYING: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS, PARENTS, FAMILY MEMBERS

A lengthy, comprehensive article detailing what cyberbullying is, signs of cyberbullying, and how to stop it.

Visit the website

AMANDA TODD LEGACY SOCIETY

A website dedicated to Amanda Todd that includes her story and a variety of anti-bullying and mental health awareness issues, as well as information about the Amanda Todd fund and additional related anti-bullying resources.

Visit the website.

NELSON THE GIANT

The Story of Nelson the Giant: A Heart as Big as His THUMP! is a unique story-song with a gentle approach to bullying awareness and prevention, through imagination, music, and art.

Visit the website.

WITS PROGRAM (WALK AWAY, IGNORE, TALK IT OUT, SEEK HELP)

A Canadian youth violence prevention program that has been implemented in over 400 schools in Canada and the US.

Visit the website.

STOP A BULLY

A Canadian bullying website that includes an incident-report section, which encourages students to report instances of bullying (important note – this website is NOT a crisis line), which are then forwarded anonymously to school principals.

Visit the website.

BEAT BULLYING

A charity that deals strictly with the issue of bullying and offers many resources on the subject, including a live-chat and digital helpline.

Visit the website.

STOP BULLYING

A US government-run website offering advice to parents, teachers, and students about various aspects of bullying, including preventative measures and coping strategies.

Visit the website.

PREVENTING BULLYING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Article outlining the role of teaching emotional intelligence as a harm-reduction technique in schools in an effort to reduce bullying behaviour.

Visit the website

PARENT SUPPORT CONNECTION

A GTA based organization that provides education and peer support to parents of troubled youth (adolescents to young adults).
Visit the website.

Borderline Personality Disorder

BPDWORLD

An international organization and website dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness, with a focus on borderline personality disorder.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Borderline Personality Disorder information, support, Ebooks, Audios, Vidoes, A.J. Mahari’s Free BPD Inside Out Podcast, and over a decade worth of articles, an almost 300 blog posts.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER RESOURCE CENTER

A wide variety of information on BPD including treatment options, stories, DVDs, signs & symptoms, and other information.

VISIT WEBSITE
BPD CENTRAL

An American website with a variety of information on BPD tailored towards families.

Visit website

NATIONAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE FOR BODERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (NEA-BPD)

An American nationally recognized organization dedicated to building better lives for millions affected by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Visit website

Depression

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention resources.

Visit website

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

Visit website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

Visit website

CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit website

LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

Visit website

Eating Disorders

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a Canadian non-profit providing resources on eating disorders & weight preoccupation.

Visit website

EATING DISORDERS FOUNDATION OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit specializing in awareness, treatment, and research of eating disorders.

Visit website

HOPE’S GARDEN

A London, Ontario-based support group for those suffering from eating disorders, offering individual and group support sessions as well as resources for friends and family members of affected individuals.

Visit website

SHEENA’S PLACE
Located in downtown Toronto, Sheena’s Place is a non­institutional, non­residential centre where people with similar issues and concerns come together in groups to share experiences, thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies. There are groups for young adults, adults, mothers, women over forty and families, friends and partners of those with eating disorders.

Visit website

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA AND ASSOCIATED DISORDERS

An American nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of eating disorders. Phone and email helplines offered here.

Visit website

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER ASSOCIATION (NEDA)

An American nonprofit that provides information on eating disorders and offers a toll-free helpline.

Visit website

LIFE WITHOUT ED: HOW ONE WOMAN DECLARED INDEPENDENCE FROM HER EATING DISORDER AND HOW YOU CAN TOO (BOOK)

Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed for far too long. He controlled Jenni’s life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then, in therapy, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.

Purchase this book

Gambling

ONTARIO PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE

The Helpline provides information about and referrals to problem gambling counselling services, including telephone counselling and organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon.

Impulse Control Disorders

A.D.D. WAREHOUSE

An online store consisting of a variety of ADD/ADHD books, videos, games, training programs, and more.

Visit website

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ASSOCIATION (ADDA)

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.

Visit website

CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (CH.A.D.D.)
In addition to an informative website, CHADD also publishes a variety of printed materials to keep members and professionals current on research advances, medications, and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD.

Visit website

CONDUCTDISORDERS.COM

“a soft place to land for the battle weary parent.” A forum-based site connecting parents with children who experience a variety of behavioural challenges.

Visit website


General Resources

BP CANADA MAGAZINE

This site profiles a Canadian magazine that offers hope and harmony for people with bipolar disorder. The magazine, which can be subscribed to, is produced by the same publisher as Schizophrenia Digest magazine.

Visit the website

CANADIAN CENTRE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

A non-profit organization working to minimize the harm associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Visit the website

ONTARIO THERAPIST DIRECTORY

Psychotherapymatters.com is a free, online directory of professional therapists in Ontario. We can help you quickly and easily find a counsellor, therapist, or mental health provider in your area who meets your needs and your budget.

BRITISH COLUMBIA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

An online tool to help connect you with psychologists in British Columbia, Canada.

Visit the website

CANADIAN HEALTH NETWORK

“Health info you can trust”. This site provides access to the resources of leading Canadian health organizations and international health information providers. Search the A-Z index or see the Mental Health section under Topics.

Visit the website

CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH

CIHR is Canada’s major federal funding agency for health research. Its objective is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

Visit the website

CANADIAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION

The national voluntary professional association for psychiatrists in Canada. This site links to CPA publications, programs and resources.

Visit the website

CENTER FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH (CAMH)

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit the website

INKBLOT

Inkblot is a completely secure and confidential video counselling app. As an Inkblot user, all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. Clients are matched up with counsellors (registered psychotherapists, psychologists and social workers) based on their needs and preferences. Counselling takes place any time, any place and it’s affordable.

Visit the website

INTERNET MENTAL HEALTH

A “free encyclopedia of mental health information”, this site, maintained in Canada, contains information and extensive links to global mental health resources.

Visit the website

MINDYOURMIND.CA

Mindyourmind.ca is an award-winning, innovative Internet resource for youth who are looking for relevant information on mental health and creative stress management.

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MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

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MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

Visit the website

NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR RESEARCH ON SCHIZOPHRENIA AND DEPRESSION (NARSAD)

An American organization which raises and distributes funds for scientific research into the causes, cures, treatments and prevention of brain disorders, primarily the schizophrenias, depressions, and bipolar disorders. The site contains resources for researchers and for the public.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

The mission of this American organization is to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. The site has sections for funding opportunities, for researchers, for practitioners and for the public.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

This national Canadian organization is dedicated to alleviating the suffering caused by Schizophrenia. The site provides access to the publications of the Society, and links to provincial and local chapters.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
Visit website

TORONTO ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (TAPE)

TAPE, in affiliation with the Continuing Education Division of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, provides learning opportunities for those working in any aspect of mental health and human services. The TAPE home page provides a link to their popular “Summer Institute” which is designed to provide an opportunity for caring professionals to learn from recognized experts in their fields of expertise. Some of the topics addressed in TAPE programs include: Maximizing Learning for Challenging Children; Critical Issues in Clinical Supervision; Trauma and Resiliency; and Enhancing Leadership Development for Social Agencies.

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WELLIN5: ONLINE COUNSELLING FOR WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH

Wellin5 is an accessible and easy to use online booking and resource platform that allows member users to access a wide range of online counselling / therapy and coaching services by certified and licensed service providers for improving all aspects of their mental health and wellness.

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WOMEN’S CLINIC FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA

The Women’s Clinic for Schizophrenia recognizes the special ways in which schizophrenia presents in women and the importance of careful management of psychological, cultural, and reproductive issues.

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GIVING TUESDAY CANADA

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

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ONLINE SUICIDE HELP

An alternative crisis site that offers support via web chats and forums (not emergency care)

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THE SANDBOX PROJECT

The Sandbox Project’s vision is to help make Canada the healthiest place on earth for children and youth to grow up. Their ambitious but achievable goal is to make measurable progress against international health indicators within the next five years. In particular, they are focused on improving health outcomes with respect to injury prevention, obesity, mental health, and the environment.

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BELL LET’S TALK

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

In 2010, Bell announced the launch of an unprecedented multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Over the next several years, this multi-million dollar initiative will support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding and treatment of mental illness and promote access to care and research across the country.

Visit the website


Mood Disorders

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

Visit website

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

An American nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people who have mood disorders. Many of the DBSA’s staff live with a mood disorder. This site provides a variety if information with regards to living with a mood disorder.

Visit website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

Visit the website

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Best Masters In Counseling – PTSD

A useful infographic with some quick statistics on PTSD.

Visit website

Schizophrenia

SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit working to improve the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy and research.
Visit website

SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
Visit website

BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH FOUNDATION

A research foundation that converts donations to grants awarded to projects leading to discoveries in understanding causes and improving treatments of disorders in children and adults.

Visit website

SCHIZOPHRENIA.COM

A long-running informative website with article written by researchers and academics on the subject of schizophrenia.

Visit website

Suicide

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention resources.

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LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Information and resources provided to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour.

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Telephone Resources and Crisis Lines

For emergencies please dial 911 or contact your medical health care professional.

EMENTALHEALTH.CA

Please click here for a complete list of location-specific crisis phone lines in your area, all Canadian provinces and territories can be found here.

KIDS HELP PHONE

Organization with the mission to improve the well-being of children and youth in Canada by providing them anonymous and confidential professional counselling, referrals and information in English and French, through technologically-based communications media.

Visit website

Credit: Healthy Minds Canada

Lets Talk – Therapy

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My Personal Experience with a Therapist.

Therapy. The idea was quite daunting to me; confiding in a complete stranger made my social anxiety meter rage with fear. When things started to spiral out of control (or so I thought), I was desperate to try anything.

It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.

She has helped me in an abundance of extraordinary ways. She has helped me make connections between my thoughts and reality. She always knows exactly the right questions to ask. She really seeks to understand, and challenges my thought processes. She opens my eyes to new perspectives, and provides me with valuable insights. She has made a significant impact on my life, and I am internally grateful for her guidance and support.

Keep in mind – sometimes finding a therapist, that is right or you, can be a bit of trial and error. You have to find someone you can trust wholeheartedly, and feel comfortable enough to fully open up to and allow yourself to be vulnerable with.

I understand that there may be financial constraints that may hinder your ability to access this type of resource or service (which is a big part of why I created this blog – a project that will hopefully come to light in the next couple of months, so stay tuned), but there is are many organizations that help connect you with “non-profit support services”. Just do a quick google search of the Mental Health Association or Organizations in your location! Hospital websites also provide information about available services that are located in their district. I will also list a few websites at the end of this Post.

Here are a list of common questions I had when I was debating
seeking help from a therapist.


WHY should I seek help from a Therapist?

  • You’re experiencing unexpected mood swings
  • You’re undergoing a big change.
  • You’re having harmful thoughts.
  • You’re withdrawing from things that used to bring you joy.
  • You’re feeling isolated or alone.
  • You’re using a substance to cope with issues in your life.
  • You suspect you might have a serious mental health condition.
  • You feel like you’ve lost control.
  • Your relationships feel strained
  • Your sleeping patterns are off.
  • You just feel like you need to talk to someone

Credit: Huffington Post

WHAT can therapy help me with?

Therapy helps individuals, couples, and families address personal difficulties by allowing you to talk openly and confidentially about concerns and feelings with a trained professional.

Therapy may be useful if:

  • You’re facing situations causing you stress, anxiety and upset.
  • You are experiencing intense or uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, frustration and depression.
  • You are behaving in ways that don’t fit your normal pattern, don’t serve your needs, or are problematic to you or others.
  • You are thinking thoughts that are peculiar, hard to understand, out-of-control or disturbing.
  • You’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, a serious accident or a criminal injury.
  • You are dealing with a relationship issue or family conflict.
  • You’re going through a difficult life transition, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, divorce, separation, or a mid-life crisis.
  • You are challenged by family issues, such as parenting, child-rearing, adolescence, and aging parents.
  • You need help with an addiction such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling.
  • You have an eating disorder.
  • You are facing difficulties with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, racism and oppression.
  • You wish to explore spiritual issues, questions of meaning or matters of faithCredit: Psychotherapy Ontario

HOW can therapy help me?

  • Understand your mental health condition
  • Define and reach wellness goals
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences
  • Separate your true personality from the moods caused by your condition
  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Establish a stable, dependable routine
  • Develop a plan for coping with crises
  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

WHO provides Therapy or Counselling?

Many kinds of mental health specialists may provide talk therapy. Some common professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Psychologists (PhD, PsyD, EdD, MS)
  • Social workers (DSW, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, CCSW)
  • Counselors (MA, MS, LMFT, LCPC)
  • Psychiatric nurses (APRN, PMHN).

Your ability to talk honestly and openly with your therapist, set
clear goals and make real progress are the most important things. Think
of your relationship with your therapist as a partnership. The two
of you will work together to help you feel better. You do not need
to feel ashamed or embarrassed about talking openly
and honestly about your feelings and concerns.

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

HOW do I get the most of my Therapy?

When you first begin therapy, make a list of the things that are bothering you and the issues you would like help with. Bring it with you to your first appointment. You might include:

  • Issues in your family or other relationships
  • Symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Additional Resources:

Ontario Society of Psychotherapist : Why choose psychotherapy?

American Psychiatric Association: Psychotherapy

Canadian Mental Health Association: Getting Help

American Psychology Association: Understanding Psychotherapy

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Institute of Mental Health: Help for Mental Health

Mental Health America : Find Help

Please Comment and Share Mental Health
Resources available in your Country.