Our Latest Blogs

Strong Thinking Skills and Self-Care Saved My Dad from Mental Illness

north-carolina-barns-bill-boll

One of my most treasured keepsakes from my father is a letter he wrote me from the hospital. I was six or seven, and in his letter of just a few sweet sentences he told me that he would be away for a while and that it was up to me, his oldest son, to […]

Evaluating Outcomes: 5 Signs Cognitive Therapy is Working for Someone with Schizophrenia or Other Mental Illness

happy-in-therapy

When someone has a serious mental health disorder such as schizophrenia we always seem to know when things aren’t going well. It can be much harder to tell when things are going right. This final installment in our series on cognitive therapy looks at the results of treatment and how to know whether it is working. […]

The Anna Karenina Fallacy: 8 Things in “No Letting Go” That Happen to Families with Childhood Mental Illness

no letting go poster

In one of the most famous opening lines in literature, Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina begins: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” If that were true, families dealing with childhood mental illness would fall into the “happy” category, because so many of their experiences are alike. I […]

Cognitive Therapy for Treatment of Psychosis: Choosing the Right Provider

teen-in-therapy

  Often when young people and their families visit Laurel House, the top question on their minds is how a “psychiatric rehabilitation” program like ours can help people with serious mental illness have a better life. The concept of mental health rehabilitation can be hard to understand at first. But people usually get it when […]

7 Signs You or a Loved One Can Benefit from Cognitive Therapy

men in therapy

In my first article in this series on cognitive therapy, I explained Why Cognitive Therapy Works for People with Schizophrenia and Other Serious Mental Illnesses. In Part 2 of the series, I give some examples of problems cognitive therapy can help with and who can benefit. Key Points from last week’s post on Why It […]

Understanding & Identifying OCD in the Classroom

OCD in the classroom

Today’s blog post comes to us from one of our Family-Endorsed Providers, Carla Kenney, LMHC. She writes on the importance of both educators and family members noticing the possible signs of OCD in children. Thank you, Carla, for sharing your expertise with us at rtor.org. —Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor Children say and do unusual things on occasion, or […]

Why Cognitive Therapy Works for People with Schizophrenia and Other Serious Mental Illnesses

female-student-struggles-to study

Part One in a four-part series on the benefits of cognitive therapy for people who experience psychosis. Forty years ago, there were two basic treatments for schizophrenia: medication and long-term hospitalization. Traditional psychotherapy was not usually offered because it did not help people with the most obvious and disturbing symptoms of psychosis: paranoia, delusions, and […]

MacGyver Syndrome: Fixing vs. Helping

MacGyver

Remember secret agent, Angus MacGyver, who always knew how to fix any situation he got himself into with so much as a paperclip? Nowadays, the character is so well-known that we refer to the ability to fix anything as MacGyvering. While MacGyver made for great TV back in the 80’s, the idea of always being able to […]

Double Trouble & Beyond: Co-occurring Disorders in Our Favorite Characters from Movies, Novels and TV

Don draper

  In mental health, the term co-occurring disorders refers to the presence of two or more disorders in a person at the same time. In the past, co-occurring disorders were often confused with “dual diagnosis” (or “double trouble”), a term that was used to describe someone living with a mental illness and a substance use […]

Alcohol and Self-Starvation: The Dangerous New Trend

beer on table

  We all know that college can be a breeding ground for partying. Many parents may worry that their kids in college might drink too much and develop an addiction, yet many don’t know that young adults are also at risk for developing an eating disorder. Unfortunately the two can come together to form a variety […]

Positive Quotes on Living with Schizophrenia

mental illness quote

  Schizophrenia is among the most misunderstand of mental health disorders. This may be partly due to the origins of the term schizophrenia, which are based on the ancient Greek skhizein (split) and phren (mind). The “split mind” label has led many people to confuse schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder (now referred to as Dissociative […]

College Survival Tips: The Dorms

family helping daughter move in to dorms

  I’m sure you’re feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness as the summer counts down and the first day of college gets closer and closer. College is a huge change and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. One of the biggest adjustments you will face when you start college is living in […]

College Survival Tips: Academics

girl studying in college classroom

  College is a big transition and it comes with its own set of pressures and adjustments. One of the main areas of college life that give students the most stress is worrying about how they will do academically. Grades are no longer just a measure of how well you are doing in school; your […]

Living Well with Schizophrenia

living well schizophrenia

  There was a time when a diagnosis of schizophrenia led to lifelong institutionalization. Improved treatments and a better understanding of this disorder have made it possible for people with schizophrenia to lead productive and highly satisfying lives in their communities. The following is a list of famous people diagnosed or otherwise thought to have […]

The Wendy Way: In Memory of Wendy Champeix (1962–2016), A True Champion for Mental Health Recovery

Wendy

Laurel House, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of www.rtor.org recently lost a beloved, long-time employee, Wendy Champeix, who is honored in this post about her life as a Champion for Recovery.   The last time I saw Wendy she was conducting a walk-through of the Laurel House kitchen and café areas to make sure everything was in […]

Introvert Wellness: Getting Out There

friends-laughing

  Many of the introvert struggles I hear and have experienced myself revolve around socializing: some people are too loud and pushy, some friends don’t respect boundaries, and networking requires too much small talk. The list could go on and on. I empathize with how uncomfortable the world can be for introverts especially since most […]

6 Smart Strategies for Stress Management 

6 Smart Strategies for Stress Management

Today’s post comes to us from Dr. Alex Diaz who is a psychologist and licensed clinical social worker as well as one of RtoR’s Family-Endorsed Providers. His post highlights the toll stress takes on our well-being and how we can learn to handle stress more effectively. Thank you, Dr.Diaz, for sharing with us on rtor.org. –Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor  What is stress?  […]

No Letting Go: A Family’s Grief and Hope When Mental Illness Strikes

no letting go poster

  Thirty minutes into the family mental health drama No Letting Go 14-year old Tim (Noah Silverman) tosses aside his homework and shouts at his mother, “You don’t get it. I don’t need to go to school anymore.” He has been in therapy since he was ten and seems to have paralyzing anxiety that prevents […]

Sarah’s Scribbles Creator Talks with rtor.org: A Candid Interview with Comic Artist Sarah Andersen

adulthood-is-a-myth-cover

  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet and interview the lovely and hilarious Sarah Andersen, the creator of the widely popular Internet comic strip, “Sarah’s Scribbles.” The strip follows the main character, Sarah, as she finds herself in funny and all-too-real situations. Recently, Sarah has released a “Sarah’s Scribbles” book, Adulthood is a […]

Quarter Life Crisis: Wellness

girl-in-sunlight

  Are you a twenty-something and you’re completely and utterly lost in life? Did your original life plans change or fail and it now seems like there is no hope of ever finding the right path to take? You might be experiencing a quarter life crisis. I’m here to tell you that as confusing and terrible […]

How-Not-To Parent Lessons from Homer Simpson: 10 Episodes of The Simpsons I Wish I’d Watched Before I Became a Father

home simpson and donut

  A few weeks ago while my wife was sorting through memorabilia from our early parenting years she found a picture my son, the budding artist, drew of his beloved father.               That’s right, it’s a drawing of “Ass of the Century” Homer Simpson, AKA Jay Boll in “disgise”, […]

We Say We Want A Revolution

woman by lake

  In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are inviting different guest bloggers each week in the month of May to write about their perspectives on mental health. Today’s guest blog post comes from Lisa Scott whose post highlights the importance of gratitude and the power of speaking out about mental health issues. Be sure to check out Lisa’s […]

I Love Natural Remedies and Modern Remedies

remedies

  In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are inviting different guest bloggers each week in the month of May to write about their perspectives on mental health. Today’s guest blog post comes from The Mental Runner whose post details how a combination of living a healthy lifestyle and taking medication has helped him manage his mental health conditions and live a […]

The Dos and Don’ts of Helping a Family Member in Psychosis 

Man Helping a Family Member in Psychosis

  Have you noticed a family member beginning to act strangely? Does he seem to think that someone is trying to hurt him when there was no apparent danger? Or maybe he has started following a complex belief system that you can’t quite understand? It could be that your loved one is experiencing psychosis. Psychosis […]

Managing Depression with Gratitude and Art

debi strong gratitude heart

  In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are inviting one guest writer a week in the month of May to write about their perspectives on mental health. Today’s guest blog post comes from Debi Strong who currently has an art exhibit, 365 Days of Gratitude, that is touring several venues around the country. Her post covers her struggles with life-long depression […]

How You Can Help Someone Struggling with Mental Illness: Support Before Advice

support_before_advice_mental_illness

  In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are inviting one guest writer a week in the month of May to write about their perspectives on mental health. Today’s guest blog post comes from Farsh Askari whose post covers the need for more supportive dialogue when discussing mental illness. Be sure to check out his blog, The OCD Memorist. Thank […]

Favorite Posts from rtor.org (2015-2016)

favorite_posts_rtor.org

rtor.org Celebrates ‘May is Mental Health Awareness Month’ Last year for Mental Health Awareness Month our Associate Editor Veronique and I posted an article on a different mental health topic each day in the month of May.  This year we add some new voices and perspectives to the conversation, with 5 guest bloggers joining us on […]

Robin Williams Still Remembered and a Father’s Grief Takes a Trip to India

Maybe the worst thing about suicide is its finality. It is the one mistake that allows no second chances. When Robin Williams took his life in August of 2014 an entire nation grieved.  Our grief was of a partly selfish nature as we realized that there would be no new Robin Williams characters to move […]

Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction

Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction

  In honor of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Awareness Month, today’s guest blog post comes to us from Matt Abbasfard from Northbound in Newport Beach, CA. He discusses the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction and the importance of seeking help for a loved one who might be struggling with a substance use disorder. Heroin […]

“Out of the Ashes” by Sallie Crotty

mountain with sunset and "out of the ashes" A story of recovery and hope written over the images

  The following recovery story comes from Sallie Crotty who writes about her own experiences with a mental health disorder. Sallie takes us on a journey from her first day to her last day at the Menninger Clinic and what she learned about herself and mental health recovery in the process. We are grateful to Sallie […]

Adoption and It’s Unique Emotional Challenges

family hug

  Here at rtor.org we are dedicated to helping families and that includes the many different ways people make up a family. A large variety of families exist outside of the typical nuclear family consisting of a father, a mother and their biological children; this includes families formed by adoption. It’s estimated that about 5 million people […]

Patty Duke: Award-winning Actor, Champion of Mental Health Recovery

Patty_Duke_1975

  Yesterday, when I first learned of Patty Duke’s death (on Twitter, of all places), the first thing that went through my mind was the theme song from her hit TV show of the mid 1960s, The Patty Duke Show. If you are over 55 and grew up in America, it’s probably etched in your […]

The Bad-Habit-Breaking Wellness Card Game

Bad-Habit-Breaking-Wellness-Card-Game

  The internet is littered with people talking about goals. Whether it’s fitness goals, “squad” goals or business goals, it’s clear we, as humans, are always trying to better ourselves. Usually there is a bad habit or two keeping most people from achieving or sticking with their goals. Maybe your love of junk food is […]

Positive Quotes on Coping with Depression

Breel quote

  As a follow up to last month’s post Quotes About Anxiety I’ve selected a collection of quotes on coping with depression. Many people who experience serious depression refer to it in terms of deep emotional and spiritual pain. The writer John Styron in Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness describes his depression as an assault on […]

Four Lessons to Learn from “The Center Cannot Hold”

elyn-mental-illnes-quote

  I recently read The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks, an autobiography about the Yale-educated law professor’s life-long struggle with schizophrenia. It would be easy to write a book review, judging the work solely on its entertainment value and well-crafted prose. Yet, the core of the book contains serious messages about mental health, mental illness […]

Failure To Launch:  9 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety in Dependent Adult Children

how to cope with grown child with mental illness

  This week I call your attention to the problem of “Failure to Launch” (FTL) in young adults. I’m not referring to the awful 2006 movie Failure to Launch starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. In the Hollywood version of FTL a handsome, fun-loving yacht salesman who lives with his parents at age 35 has […]

What the British Royal Family is doing for Mental Health

Kate and Harry

The royal family of England is known around the world. While this ruling family only has a small fraction of the political power that they once had, their fame and influence seems to be at an all-time high. Even though the media frets over what Kate Middleton is wearing and who might Prince Harry marry, this family […]

Inside The Recovery Kitchen

alex with casserole

The following story of recovery and hope comes from Alex, who has found a creative way to help himself recover from an eating disorder. Alex has started the blog The Recovery Kitchen where he details both his delicious recipes as well as his own journey in recovery. Today’s post details his personal struggles and triumphs with […]

Spiritual Wellness is for Everyone

Spiritual Wellness

  Writing this blog post has not been easy for me. The trouble I’ve had with this post isn’t because I find it too much for me or the topic uninteresting, it’s because I don’t identify myself as a spiritual person and struggle with the notion that one has to be spiritual to be well. […]

Positive Quotes on Living with Anxiety

Anxiety Quotes

  A few months ago when I was researching my post on Living Well With Anxiety I came across some great quotes on the topic of anxiety which I’ve assembled here. Some are deep, like Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s statement that “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Some are funny, like editor Scott Stossel’s answer […]

8 Eating Disorder Myths

eating disorder

To honor Eating Disorder Awareness Month this February, I am busting common eating disorder myths so everyone can get a clear picture of how serious these types of disorders are.   1. Eating disorders are rare It’s estimated that 11-24 million people in the United States and over 70 million people worldwide (North Dakota State University) […]

Does Disney Princess Elsa Have Borderline Personality Disorder? Part II: Let It Go

Let_It_Go

  Anybody see this adorable home video last year? Apparently this little guy really loves the song “Let It Go” from the Disney animated feature Frozen. “Let It Go” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and quickly became one of the best loved Disney songs of all time. Columnist Yvonne Abraham called it […]

Top 5 Wellness Tips Based on DBT

wellness_tips_dbt

  Don’t you wish there was a way to magically feel better about yourself? Or that you could have less mood swings and less fights with your loved ones? There may not be any magic potions to fix everything in an instant but learning how to use Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT may be the […]

Co-occurring Disorders: Beyond Dual Diagnosis

co-occuring disorders

  Last fall for the third talk in Laurel House/RtoR’s Family Seminar Series, our featured speaker Dr. Jeremy Barowsky pointed out that we had used the outdated term “dual diagnosis” in our promotion of the event. Dr. Barowsky is the Director of Addiction Medicine at Greenwich Hospital Addiction Recovery Center. He also has a private […]

Just Right Wellness: The Wellness Blog for Real Life

  Go back to your childhood and remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Goldilocks wandered into the Bears’ home and found one bed that was too firm, one bed that was too soft and one that was just right. When it comes to choosing the type of life to lead, most people are […]

Welcome to The Family Side: A New Blog on Mental Health Recovery

family and friends sitting at a dining table

Dear Readers, Welcome to my new blog, The Family Side. For the past year and a half I have been blogging on www.rtor.org under the title of Eunoia: Thoughts on Healthy Thinking.  In my first post of May 2, 2014 I described my purpose for the blog: “to bring you news about best practices, research […]

The Healing Power of a Dog

go-fetch-wellness

Today’s wellness story comes from Jeff Fink, the founder of Go Fetch Wellness. Jeff’s story demonstrates the amazing impact animals can have on people’s lives and the importance of a holistic approach to mental health. We are grateful to Jeff for sharing his story with us at rtor.org. –Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor    Suffering, medications, […]

This Year Forget the Resolutions: New Year’s Goals That Really Work

owl on snowy branch

  New Year’s is a time when many of us stop to reflect on the year just passed and promise ourselves that we’ll do better in the one to come.  The custom of making resolutions at the start of a new year goes back to the times of Julius Caesar.  He introduced the Julian calendar […]

Family Friendly Feel Good Holiday Movies

Charlie-brown

  The holidays are all about reconnecting with your loved ones and enjoying time together. To add to your holiday cheer, here are RtoR staff picks for our favorite family-friendly movies to watch over the holidays. These films can be either TV specials or feature-length movies that don’t necessarily need to reference Christmas or the Winter Holidays […]

Alone in the Fog: A Story of Gratitude and Hope

alone in the fog

Today’s story reminds us all to be grateful for the blessings in our lives and to have hope for the future when times are hard. This story comes from Tom who used to lived in San Francisco. He experienced the traumatic loss of his mother at an early age followed by homelessness but he still made it out […]

Interview with Ginny Levy, Co-editor of “Parts Unbound”

ginny levy

  On a gloomy Connecticut morning in December, I sat down with Ginny Levy to discuss her most recent project, Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness and Health which is published by LimeHawk Books. The book contains 18 essays detailing different experiences of mental illness. The majority of the writers speak about their own experiences of […]

Living Well With Depression

living well with depression

Depression is a common mental health disorder that tends to be cyclical in nature. Some people experience a single episode after a difficult event or period in their lives, while others struggle with it over the course of a lifetime. The following is a list of notable people who have experienced major depression or a […]

“A Peer’s Recovery Ethic and Story” by Chris from Brooklyn

a peers recovery ethic and story

  The following story is written by Chris who is a Brooklyn, NY resident living with a mental health disorder. She shares her unique outlook on recovery as well as her hopeful message with us today. We are grateful that Chris is sharing her story on rtor.org. —Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor  Before I give the details of my recovery, I […]

Green Wellness: How Spending Time in Nature Can Help You

girl-in-forest

  It seems like a no-brainer that spending time outside in the fresh air while doing physical activities is good for us. Thankfully, there are many research findings which indicate that spending time in nature, especially while exercising, has many mental health benefits. From a boost in self-esteem and attention span to decreased feelings of depression […]

Family Wellness Holiday Shopping Guide

  Your purchase of any items on this list from amazon.com help support the costs of running rtor.org, a free service of Laurel House, Inc., 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization. Another Holiday Season is fast approaching and many of us are struggling to come up with gifts to give our family members. This year, give the gift […]

Avoid Family Fights this Holiday Season by Using Myers-Briggs Personality Types

avoid family fights with myers briggs

  The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation, good food and family fun, right? Well that isn’t always the case. Google searches for “family fights” and related search terms always increase right around Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays. Expectations and stress can be high around the holidays and if you or a loved […]

“Parts Unbound”: Many Voices on Mental Illness Come Together in a Single Volume

parts unbound cover

  If stories have the power to heal, then stories about mental illness have the potential to heal at the most fundamental level, touching on our sense of self and how we experience our lives.  We often think of illness in terms of its impact on the body.  But illness also affects the mind, and […]

Living Well With An Anxiety Disorder

Living Well anxiety

Your purchases of any items listed in this article on Amazon.com will help support the costs of running rtor.org, a free service of Laurel House, Inc., 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization This is the first installment in rtor.org’s “Living Well” series on notable people who have been recognized for their achievements in politics, science, and the […]

“Looking Back and Laughing” by OCD Smiles

smiley face

Let me give you an idea of who I am, what type of OCD I have and what exactly I’m doing about it. I have an annoying OCD enemy situated at the forefront of my brain. We have been together for about 8 years on and off, we disagree on everything and I have been […]

Renaming Mental Illness: Getting Your Feedback

rename mental illness

  Does the term “mental illness” bother anyone else as much as it bothers me? As a treatment provider helping people to determine if they would like to discuss their “disability” with an employer, I have been in the uncomfortable situation of informing someone that their anxiety disorder, depression,  PTSD or some other DSM diagnosis […]

6 Popular Movies that Got Mental Illness Wrong

6 movies that got mental illness wrong

This article is co-written by Jay Boll, RtoR’s Editor-in-Chief and Veronique Hoebeke, RtoR’s Associate Editor. Both of them have used their combined knowledge of mental illness, psychology and love of film to come up with 6 of the most popular movies that get both the science and the realities of mental illness wrong. Warning: This article contains spoilers.   […]

A Review of “The Visit”: An Open Letter to M. Night Shyamalan

the visit movie

This article contains spoilers for The Visit, The Village, The Happening and The Sixth Sense. If you don’t want the details of these films ruined for you, watch them first and meet me back here.   Dear Mr. Shyamalan, I want to discuss your latest work, The Visit with you. I went to see this […]

The 3 Pillars of Social Wellness

Social Wellness

  The University of New Hampshire has identified three areas that are the most important for your social wellness. Having lots of friends and acquaintances isn’t the pinnacle of being socially well. You have to take into account how you communicate, how healthy each relationship is and how you can manage your stress. Check out […]

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