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Social Media and Mental Health

Does social media cause depression? Can it make an episode of depression harder to overcome?  A recent Medium article addresses this concern. The writer, Kati Krause reports deleting her Facebook app as “a panicked intervention by reason to prevent my out-of-control animal instinct from doing further harm to myself.”
Alternatively, could social media help you detect depression? If your feelings toward “friends” on Facebook are negative, your actual connections to Twitter followers are distant, or seeing the happiness and success of others decrease your feelings about yourself; this could be a warning sign to focus on self-care.
Krause emphasizes that “depression should be something we talk about more openly—everything else just feels ridiculous at this point. Ultimately I, like many other people, Read More »

Advice On Helping A Struggling Teen

When a child struggles, the entire family is affected. Parents console, encourage and model behaviors, but for some kids struggling with mental health issues, it may not be enough. Knowing when additional intervention is required can be a tough decision. In a CNN article posted yesterday, Dr. Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers this advice:
“If your kid is going off the rails, and that means they are acting extremely bizarrely, they are totally different than they were before, they’re not functioning, it’s an emergency,” said Raison. “And the best thing you can do is push, push, push to get your kid the best care you can find and as quickly as possible.”
Parents of children with Read More »

Taking Off the Mask of Mental Illness

There are many reasons people may wear masks. They may be worn to present ourselves in ways that are socially acceptable or to shield ourselves from inspection. The reasons for wearing a mask are plentiful and the results can be both helpful and harmful.
Mental illness can also be a mask; it can mask who we are. As pointed out in the an article found on, it can be a painful mask to wear and a painful mask to take off. The mask of mental illness can separate the wearer from the outside world but removing it can be difficult. To learn more about removing the mask see this excerpt below:
“When we remove the masks of mental illness, we find people Read More »

The System is Broken by CNN

The mother who founded the Facebook community “An Addict’s Mom” to give a forum of support rather than shame to parents with children battling the disease of addiction, has lost her son prematurely. Barbara Theodosiou’s son began receiving mental health care at age twelve. By age thirteen, he was using drugs.
“It shocks me. It crushes me. It steals my soul,” she said. “There are no breaks, no holidays, there is no solace here. And I spend every second wishing I had one more moment, one more day with my son before drugs.”
But despite her grief — and perhaps because of it, she is more determined than ever to make sure that Daniel’s life was not lived in vain.
She is now committed Read More »

Peer Specialists Provide Real World, Lived Experience

By SHELLY LADDEN — for The Lufkin News
Editor’s Note: In observance of Mental Health Month, The Lufkin News is featuring local mental health stories and services throughout May.
Lufkin woman Angie Tinajero is a certified peer specialist at Burke, a mental health services provider in East Texas. And when she tells her clients “I understand,” she means it.
“The first time I met someone that not only knew what I was dealing with but had actually dealt with it herself,” she said, “it was a breakthrough moment. It was my a-ha moment.”
In order to be certified, peer specialists must have lived through the kinds of illnesses and challenges that their clients face.
Tinajero works with Burke’s mobile crisis outreach team and spends most Read More »

Saved from suicide

Jasper teenager Alex L. shared her brave story of depression and recovery with us for the Lufkin Daily News’ article about mental illness. As she prepares for college in the fall, she’s thankful that someone made a fateful call that saved her life.
Read Alex’s full story below and in the Lufkin Daily News. And please see Burke’s REAL campaign page for more information about mental illness and how you can help someone in need.

Local teen suffering from depression thankful someone reached out to help
By Shelly Ladden
Special to the Daily News
Editor’s Note: In observance of Mental Health Month, The Lufkin News is featuring local mental Read More »

How Mental Illness Affects the Friendly Skies

In light of the recent Lufthansa/Germanwings crash, much attention has been given to the rigors afforded to monitoring pilots’ health. This new concern based, at least partially, on this isolated incident, replaces the old concern about the pilot’s sobriety. The problem is these are both generalizations and stereotypes.
In this article featured on the Healthy Place website, you can read about the screening process pilots undergo to be cleared to provide travel. Per Christina Hali, a pilot and mental health advocate,
“Stigma may deter airline pilots from pursuing treatment for depression and the special medical certificate required. Pilots have a reputation for being high achievers, competent, dutiful, disciplined, assertive, confident and calm in dangerous situations. Stigma tells pilots that mental illness is a weakness, which Read More »

Depression By The Numbers

Depression, just the sound of the word is, well, depressing. Depression affects so many of us. Just how many? This article on shares recent statistics on the prevalence of depression in our country and around the world.

Over 350 million people from around the world suffer from depression.
It is most common in women aged 45-64.
Two of the major contributing factors are unemployment and a recent divorce.

But don’t let the numbers get you down. If you’re feeling depressed this article has five very concrete actions that can be taken to improve your sense of well being. Give one or all of them a try.

Evidence Shows Violence Is Extremely Rare Among the Mentally Ill

We would all like to have an answer when tragedy occurs. We look for signs that could have alerted us to the threat, sometimes they are there; other times they are not. In the case of the Germanwings pilot who recently crashed a plane with 150 people aboard, mental illness seems to have played a role. But as Jeffrey Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University who studies violence and mental illness, points out:
“It’s important not to use this direct causal language,” he says. “When there is a terrible incident and it turns out the perpetrator has a mental illness, what you find is that the general public and media seize upon this as the master explanation—‘That’s what it Read More »

Use 2-1-1 To Find Out About Local Resources

In papers across the nation yesterday, a dear friend to many, the woman known as Abby as in Dear Abby (aka-Pauline Phillips) shared a valuable resource, the availability of 2-1-1. When dialed, this phone number connects you with an operator that can guide you to local resources for a variety of needs. Make sure you and others know about 2-1-1. Find the excerpt below.
DEAR ABBY: We are writing in response to the question you printed (Jan. 13) about where to find affordable counseling. Your suggestions were helpful, but we want to share another one:
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that, where available, connects people to information about critical, free or low-cost health and human services in their community. 2-1-1 reaches about Read More »