Beneath the Surface: the Things You Won’t See

Author: Val Berenshtein As I walk down the streets... stroll around campus, attend classes and interact with peers, what you will see is an outer representation of happiness, contentment, inner peace and wholeness. I do my best to hold my head up high, to participate in my classes, to get involved in conversations around me, … Continue reading Beneath the Surface: the Things You Won’t See

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Time to Start the Conversation: There Is Nothing Wrong With Asking for Help

Author: Valery B We talk about diminishing the stigma around mental health, but what about acknowledging the stigma around asking for help?  At 11-years-old, I had my first, face-to-face encounter with mental health. I do not remember exactly what led me to open the internet and look up symptoms of depression, but there I was, 11-years-old, looking … Continue reading Time to Start the Conversation: There Is Nothing Wrong With Asking for Help

I Won’t Apologize for Being Confident When Talking About My Mental Health

Author: Valery B. On the first day of my new job as a busser, I was talking with the restaurant owner's son - a man of 40-years-old, who happens to have "some knowledge" on mental health - about the various mental illnesses I had gone through in the past four years. The topic was brought … Continue reading I Won’t Apologize for Being Confident When Talking About My Mental Health

My Scars Do Not Define Me

Author: Lauren S. Many people use self harm as a coping mechanism, as it is thought to release chemicals in the brain that make us - those with mental illness - feel happier. Although there are other forms of self harm, including punching, scratching, pinching, and hair-pulling, some forms, such as cutting and burning, can … Continue reading My Scars Do Not Define Me

How to Deal with the Fear of Giving up on Yourself

Author: Valery B. For the past couple of weeks, I have been living with the fear of giving up on myself. Personally, for me, that means losing sight of everything that I have always been passionate about and motivated to do: recovering from anorexia and bulimia, leading a successful campaign, graduating from high school with straight … Continue reading How to Deal with the Fear of Giving up on Yourself

The Light in the Dark Forest of Mental Illness

Author: Valery B. We come into this world as helpless human beings, relying on outside sources for survival and prosperity. Our first breaths are marked by a screaming mother, a proud –  yet scared – father, a plethora of doctors, nurses, medications, tubes, hospital gadgets and commotion.It is as if we enter a battle field … Continue reading The Light in the Dark Forest of Mental Illness

No Matter Who Puts You down, Never Give Up

Author: Valery B. What is it like to constantly be put down, to endlessly be reminded that you are not succeeding, that you are not heading in the "right direction", that what you are doing and who you are becoming are simply not good enough?  I will tell you that it is not pleasant. Frankly, it … Continue reading No Matter Who Puts You down, Never Give Up

When Home Becomes a Major Contributor to Depression

Author: Valery B. It is not always easy living in a home where turmoil seems to be the "thing that keeps giving". When tears and angst, cruel sarcasm and disregard, screaming and door-slamming become parts of the daily routine, how do we overcome that? How do we fake a smile every time we go out … Continue reading When Home Becomes a Major Contributor to Depression