Mental Health Month 2010: Live Your Life Well

Since 1949, May has been designated as Mental Health Month. This year's theme is Live Your Life Well, which "challenges us to promote health and wellness in homes, communities, schools, and inform those who don't believe it's attainable."

Mental Health America's Live Your Life Well public education campaign was created to help people enhance their well-being, and encourage people to take care of their mental health in times of stress and personal challenge.

Here are some links to get you started:

Additional Help:
Suicide Prevention Resources
Self-Harm Resources
Sexual Abuse Resources
Domestic Abuse/Violence Resources
Eating Disorder Resources

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Inspirational Eating Disorder Recovery Quotes: Attitude

Could we change our attitude, we should not only
see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.
Katherine Mansfield

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious.
Bill Meyer

No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it.
Ellen Glasgow

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.
Joe Clark

He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
Edgar A. Guest

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there.
Norman Vincent Peale

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
Chinese Proverb

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
Author Unknown

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them.
Elbert Hubbard

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.
Arthur Rubinstein

Your heart is a sun -
Joy its stars,
Faith a moon, shining in your darkness...
Terri Guillemets

For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain,
it's how we dance within them both that shows our love and pain.
Joey Tolbert

I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.
Abraham Lincoln

I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution.
Wernher von Braun

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
Mary Engelbreit

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left.
Hubert Humphrey

So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.
The Eagles

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
Maurice Setter

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
Maori Proverb

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.
Francesca Reigler

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.

I think, what has this day brought me, and what have I given it?
Henry Moore

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
Helen Keller

Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them.
William James

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
Robert Brault

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
Harry Truman

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr

I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm's never glum.
'Cos how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum!

You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make of you an incurable optimist. It is the open door.
Robert Collier

Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.
Nicholas Chamfort

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
Dr. Seuss

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want.
Oscar Wilde

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.
Walt Whitman

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
Hugh Downs

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
Nicholas Murray Butler

Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
J. K. Rowling

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

Whenever you fall, pick something up.
Oswald Avery

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.
William James

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
Helen Keller

It isn't our position but our disposition which makes us happy.
Author Unknown

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle

Where hope grows, miracles blossom.
Elna Rae

We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.
Kenneth Clark

I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution.
Wernher von Braun

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.
Emory Austin

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.
William Arthur Ward

This weary ol' workhorse is a unicorn, my friend.
Terri Guillemets

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.
C.C. Scott

The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
Barbara Bloom

I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue.
Author Unknown

Good fortune shies away from gloom. Keep your spirits up. Good things will come to you and you will come to good things.
Glorie Abelhas

We all have our limitations, but when we give in to our critics, we also have theirs.
Robert Brault

I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

Never, never, never give up.
Winston Churchill

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
Winston Churchill

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.
Betty Smith

We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

The only disability in life is a bad attitude.
Scott Hamilton

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
Art Linkletter

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Misery is a communicable disease.
Martha Graham

Be enthusiastic. Remember the placebo effect - 30% of medicine is showbiz.
Ronald Spark

Optimist: someone who isn't sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play.
Robert Brault

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.
Alphonse Karr

Surrounded by people who love life, you love it too; surrounded by people who don't, you don't.
Mignon McLaughlin

*Please see sidebar for more Inspirational Recovery Quotes and Quotes of The Week

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Eating Disorders In The News: April 29, 2010

Bill Aids Eating Disorder Care

By Tara Bannow

An act propelled by two Minnesota senators seeks to improve the plight of those suffering from eating disorders and prevent future cases from starting.

The Freed Act would allocate research money to the National Institutes of Health to better investigate the causes of eating disorders and improve treatment methods. The research would also seek to improve public data on eating disorders, including morbidity and mortality rates.

The act was sponsored Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and recently introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

“The fact is, we don’t know nearly enough about diagnosing, treating and preventing these diseases,” Franken wrote in a statement. “Today’s legislation is a major step forward in understanding eating disorders and how to stop them from destroying lives.”

When patients with less obvious eating disorders visit their doctors, it’s not uncommon for them to hear lines like “You look great, I wish all my patients looked like you,” said Jeanine Cogan, policy director of the Eating Disorders Coalition.

Read Bill Aids Eating Disorder Care in full.

A Better Body Image

By Molly Logan Anderson

Can you feel the excitement in the air as school-age kids enter the summer months? Free of their tight schedule and normal routine, warm weather offers kids plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun and time with friends. Unfortunately, the same activities that kids enjoy so much can also cause anxiety about their appearance.For teens, tweens and even elementary-age children, physical appearance is a top concern. If parents start early and are consistent with positive body-image messages, children will be better able to avoid disordered eating patterns down the line.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, a 1991 study found that 42 percent of first- through third-grade girls would like to be thinner. Another study that same year determined that 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Statistics like these suggest that a cultural bias toward thinness is leading our youth to value a particular size at a very young age. Parental guidance is more important than ever.

Why do kids care?

It seems as if childhood concerns regarding weight and appearance start earlier and earlier.

“I think the struggles affect kids at a much younger age,” says Kathy Kater, LICSW, psychotherapist and author of “Healthy Body Image: Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too!”

Read A Better Body Image in full.

Fairmount Performing Arts Center play examines baffling world of food and body image

Amy is a teen who is happy to bake her dad his favorite chocolate cake for his birthday, but doesn't trust herself to eat one bite. Instead, she heads to her bedroom and madly runs in place to burn the calories she consumed at the family dinner.

Fortysomething "Calorie Woman" can spout off the number of calories in the most complicated "grande" coffee drink at Starbucks -- though she only orders the nonfat, sugar-free version, and panics when she tastes whole-milk foam added by mistake.

Read Fairmount Performing Arts in full.

Portland's Zoe Yates Tells Of Battle Back From Anorexia

Dorset Echo

A TEENAGER who fought against anorexia is warning others of the dangers posed by eating disorders.

Zoe Yates, from Portland, spent five years battling anorexia and ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Her weight plummeted to under five stone as she refused to eat and spent prolonged periods in hospital.

Zoe, 19, is now well on her way to recovery and has used her savings to book an eight-week adventure in Southern India. She will be traveling with a friend who she met in hospital and together they will be going to volunteer in an orphanage.

Read Zoe's story in full

Way To Go! Rebecca Allen Of Roslyn High School

Rebecca Allen knows firsthand about the dangers of eating disorders.

Allen, a Roslyn High School senior, was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in 2006, and missed the start of her freshman year because she was admitted to Schneider Children's Hospital. Since then, Allen initiated the idea for Project HEAL, a nonprofit that gives funding to people battling eating disorders who can't afford treatment, which can be $30,000 a month, she said. So far, she's raised some $100,000.

"Insurance rarely covers eating disorders," Allen, 17, said. "I saw people firsthand being turned down for treatment."

Read Rebecca's story in full.

HBS Fashionably Fights Eating Disorders

April is the month for fashion shows with a cause, it seems, and on April 13, the Harvard Business School’s Retail and Apparel Club hosted its 7th annual HBS fashion show at Mantra, a restaurant in downtown Boston. Every year, the fashion show aims to raise awareness for a selected charity “through the lens of fashion,” according to a press kit for the fashion show.

This year, the students celebrated beautiful people, beautiful clothes, and beautiful bodies in an effort to raise awareness for this year’s charity, the Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Read HBS in full.

German school takes teenagers to see cremations of young people to warn them of the dangers of addiction


A German town has begun taking teenagers to witness cremations of young people killed through drink or drugs in a bid to wean them from a life of addictions.

Children aged between 14 and 16 in Meissen now have to go at least once to the town crematorium to see the coffins of young victims burned in the 920 degree oven.

They are also shown the ashes, a machine which grinds bones to dust and the remains of false teeth that melt into unidentifiable bits of metal in the flames.

The shock-therapy, a new concept in Germany which normally does its best to shield children from the grim realities of the adult world, is being observed by other cities and towns with a view to copying it.

This week 40 youngsters from the Ebersbacher Middle School in the town stood in the chilly cool room of the crematorium among 200 corpses awaiting cremation.

Read about the cremations in full.

*article sources linked above.
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Recovery Quote Of The Week: April 26th, 2010

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
Rabindranath Tagore

*Please see sidebar for more Recovery Quotes Of The Week and Inspirational Recovery Quotes.

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Guest Blogger Margarita Tartakovsky: Inspiring Words On Seeking ED Recovery

I am excited and delighted to introduce my first guest blogger, Margarita Tartakovsky of Weightless, a blog on, which focuses on body image, disordered eating, and eating disorders. From her Q&A interviews on through to her positive Body Image bolstering articles, her posts are informative, interesting, and very inspiring. If you haven't had the opportunity yet to visit there, I suggest you run on over and check it out. I promise you, you'll be glad that you did.

Inspiring Words on Seeking Eating Disorder Recovery

By: Margarita Tartakovsky MS

Seeking help when you’re struggling with an eating disorder might seem out of the question. Maybe you think no one can help. Maybe you see your disorder as a friend or your identity. But you are not your eating disorder. An eating disorder is a serious illness.

At Weightless, I regularly feature interviews with women who’ve recovered from eating disorders. One of the questions I ask is what motivated them to seek treatment. Today, I’d like to share with you a few of these answers.

If the idea of getting treatment for your eating disorder scares you or you’re afraid of taking the next step toward recovery, I hope the words below inspire you to talk to someone and find professional treatment. Even if you’ve already seen several therapists or been in treatment a few times, that doesn’t mean you can’t recover. Maybe your therapist didn’t specialize in eating disorders or maybe the two of you just didn’t click. None of these are reasons to give up. You may have to see several practitioners before finding the right one, but with some persistence, hard work and a desire to recover, you will find the right one. All you have to do is begin.

From Andrea Roe:

I wanted to get rid of my eating disorder and tried numerous times to recover by myself but it never worked. Even though I had read that recovery does exist, I didn’t really believe it was possible for me.

My turning point was when I met my husband. He believed in me no matter what. His love and support were what I needed to find the strength in me to reach out and do what it takes to beat this disorder. He was always there for me and never judged me. With his help and support, I felt for the first time that recovery was possible, even for me.

I could not have recovered without the help and support from others. I was close to giving up the fight many times, but my support team was there for me and believed in me, no matter what. And whenever I fell, they helped me get back up again to continue on with my recovery and healing journey. And they also celebrated my successes with me and reminded me of my successes when I was only concentrating on my failures and what was wrong with me. If it wasn’t for my support team, I would not be where I am today.

From Kate Le Page:

The first time I sought treatment I had been at school for several months with … [mono] … and had become so weak as a result that I was barely able to get out of bed. I was really frightened that my anorexia was making the virus harder to fight and decided to see my family doctor. Unfortunately, all he did was begin to weigh me every month and put me on various anti-depressants. This negative experience really put me off seeking further treatment.

By 1998, in my first year at university, my friends had begun to spot that something wasn’t right with my eating habits and they confronted me about it. My attendance was already beginning to suffer as I often felt so weak and exhausted that I would skip lectures. I had really gotten to a point where I knew the anorexia was preventing me from achieving my goal of getting a good degree.

From Kate Thieda:

A former teacher of mine who had been a mentor and second mother to me for over ten years confronted me during a visit to see her when I was twenty-eight. By this time, I had struggled with disordered eating for over eight years, and was virtually paralyzed when it came to making appropriate, healthy food choices. This was not the first time she had pushed me to reconsider my behavior, but I finally acknowledged that she was right and I needed help.

From Michelle Myers:

After a near-death experience (you can read my story on my blog here), I decided enough was enough. Though the thought of dying had intrigued me for a while, once I was almost there, I realized I desperately wanted to live – and REALLY live.

For the past four years of my life, I had merely existed. Avoiding food, pushing people away in my life, spending all of my time alone on the treadmill was no way to spend my time here on earth. I lost four years of my life, and my motivation to get better was my determination not to lose any more time.

Remember that while you didn’t choose to have any eating disorder, you can choose to get help and you can choose to fight. I hope you will.

Read why Margarita Tartakovsky blogs about these issues: Eating Disorders and Body Image Advocates & Why They Blog.

Eating Disorders Poll: My ED And My Marriage / Romantic Relationships

Please take a moment and share your experience with how your eating disorder affects your marriage /romantic relationships. Choose as many answers as apply. If you'd like to add more, please feel free to do so in the comments section of this post.
Thank you.

Click here for This and Previous Polls and Results

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Recovery Quote Of The Week: April 19th, 2010

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Lao Tzu

*Please see sidebar for links to more Recovery Quotes Of The Week and Inspirational Recovery Quotes.

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Eating Disorders In The News: April 03, 2010

Binge Eating Disorder: The Emotional Roots of a Physical Condition
Huffington Post: Sunny Gold

Something happened this morning in a nondescript "multipurpose room" on the campus of Pace University that could end up saving (literally) tens of thousands of lives. The Stop Obesity Alliance, the National Eating Disorders Association and key members of the mass media--three groups which, throughout the years have often been at loggerheads--got together for a long overdue talk. The subject? How the three groups can come together for the greatest good and talk about weight and health in a new, better way. I was there, in part, because I'm kind of a walking, breathing chimera of all three groups. I am recovered from binge eating disorder (BED) and obesity (I weighed 225 pounds during college, when my bingeing was at its worst), and I'm also a long-time health editor at Glamour magazine.

I've covered the health risks of obesity, smart nutrition and healthy weight loss--among many other women's health topics--for years. And, perhaps because of my personal history of BED, have often wondered why (oh God, why?) more obesity research and discussion of the obesity epidemic didn't focus on "disordered" eating. Of course obesity isn't an eating disorder, but it's undeniable that many people who are obese have one! Research has found that 10 to 15 percent of mildly obese individuals have BED, and it's been reported that many, many more engage in binge eating episodes. And we know from other research that binge eating creates real physiological changes in the brain that reinforce more binge eating, and therefore more depression, weight gain, obsession, dieting and ultimately, bingeing again. Except for patients lucky enough to be seen by top respected obesity treatment institutions, most obese people are treated for the physical symptoms and tangible causes of their ills--but not the emotional and mental roots.
Binge Eating Disorder: The Emotional Roots of a Physical Condition in full.

Rats Fed On Bacon, Cheesecake, and Ding-Dongs Become Addicted to Junk Food
Discover Magazine

Do you often feel the need for a sweet sugar rush or a moment of bacon-induced bliss? A new study offers evidence that that surge of pleasure is similar to a heroin high, and that eating junk food regularly can significantly change the brain’s chemical make-up, creating junk food addicts who are driven to overeat.

Lead researcher Paul Kenny says it had previously been unclear whether extreme overeating was initiated by a chemical irregularity in the brain or if the behavior itself was changing the brain’s biochemical makeup. The new research by Kenny and his colleague Paul Johnson, a graduate student, shows that both conditions are possible [Scientific American].
Rats Fed On Bacon, Cheesecake, and Ding-Dongs Become Addicted to Junk Food in full

Book and Talking Therapy Helped Binge Eaters Cut Down, US Study
Medical News Today

New research from the US found that reading a self-help book and 12 weeks of talking therapy helped binge eaters cut down for up to a year, and saved them money.

Two studies on the research, by investigators from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Wesleyan University and Rutgers University, are due to be published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Affecting around 9 million Americans, or more than 3 per cent of the population, binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the US, yet there aren't many ways to treat it.

The condition has received a lot press recently because the American Psychiatric Association has recommended it be regarded as a separate, distinct eating disorder like bulimia and anorexia. This distinction could focus more attention on bingeing and how it should be treated, as well as affect the numbers diagnosed and how insurers will cover treatment, noted the authors.
Book and Talking Therapy Helped Binge Eaters Cut Down, US Study in full.

Emily's Mother Told Her She Wasn't Welcome at Home While She Was Anorexic-So Did Tough Love Work?

After ten years of watching her beautiful and academically gifted daughter wasting away before her eyes, Sue Blackmore snapped.

Weighing less than six stone, Oxford graduate Emily Troscianko was little more than skin and bone, but she seemed determined to starve herself to death.

Overwhelmed by sadness, helplessness and anger, Sue suddenly realised she could no longer tolerate this 'ghost' sucking the life out of the family.

'Your anorexia is not welcome at our new house,' she told Emily on the phone, as they talked about the planned family move from Bristol to Devon.

Emily's Mother Told Her She Wasn't Welcome at Home While She Was Anorexic-So Did Tough Love Work? in full.

How Bristol Uni Thinks Plate Will Help Eating Disorders BBC

As Bristol University applies for funding to use a computerised plate which weighs food, Matthew Hill travels to Sweden to find out how effective it can be.

It's spaghetti carbonara and fresh salad on the menu at this specialist clinic for patients with eating disorders at Stockholm's prestigious Karolinska Institute.

Marisa Berzens is one of some 30 young women and teenagers tucking into their plate of food, perched on a pre-programmed device called a Mandometer, which tells them if they are eating enough and at the right speed.

Only weeks ago many of the patients were only able to consume, and keep down, a dangerously small amount of food.

Marisa, 23, flew all the way from Australia for her treatment. When she arrived for the seven-week course she weighed just over six stone (35kg) but she is already a much healthier weight.

Throughout her teenage years the former opera singer struggled with bulimia nervosa.

How Bristol Uni Thinks Plate Will Help Eating Disorders in full