May is Mental Health Awareness Month

I know it’s not May yet, but soon it will be. It’s never too early to start thinking about if and how you would like to be involved. Mental Health America has even put together a toolkit for those interested in getting involved. This year’s theme is centered around community. How does the community impact mental health? MHA provided other topics they plan to address during MHAM, such as safe & stable housing, healthy home environments, neighborhoods & towns, and the outdoors & nature. These are all concepts we can consider when thinking about influences on mental health.

Of course, I always find ways of bringing up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (or humanistic perspectives at least). Having a stable community is critical for the healthy psychological development of individuals, and this year’s theme of community will discuss just how important it is. Of course, there are more aspects of the hierarchy of needs than physiological needs and basic safety needs, but these two concepts are the first two needs that build the foundational grounding for development.

I’m hoping to get more involved in my community by understanding my community’s mental health needs and doing my best to acknowledge those needs within my ability. What do you plan to do for Mental Health Awareness Month?

The Bans on Gender-Affirming Care

I thought to myself, why don’t I touch base on a sensitive topic right now? I mean, there are so many things happening in legislation that it’s hard to keep up at times. So, let’s discuss why banning gender-affirming care can actually create more harm than allowing teens to receive gender-affirming care.

And, yes. Before writing this blog, I did my research. Personally, I already supported access to gender-affirming care, but I wanted to confirm that even the American Psychological Association (in a very objective way) confirms that these modern pieces of legislation that would create restrictions for gender-affirming care would be worse than allowing gender-affirming care.

Gender-affirming care includes hormone therapy, BUT ALSO mental health counseling and social support – decreasing the risk of suicide and depression.

Gender-affirming care does have consequences; the consequences being that other people are targeting/bullying the one seeking gender-affirming care. It doesn’t sound like a direct consequence of health care to me, it sounds like someone else’s kids not knowing how to respect others.

These situations of gender-affirming care are necessary to meet the needs per individual – it is not a blanket fix. The anti-LGBTQ laws are written to apply to everyone as if they were the same situation.

I know many individuals who’s lives drastically improved once they felt comfortable with who they were. I urge everyone to consider the facts and multiple perspectives before attempting to take someone’s bodily autonomy from them.

Check more information on the American Psychological Association’s website.

Mental Health and AI

Last week, the American Psychological Association release their bi-weekly issue of Six Things Psychologists are Talking About, and they highlighted an APA Monitor article about using AI as a learning tool, and why it shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a threat. Personally, I’ve tested it a handful of times for things like Tweets, personal routines for individuals with Lupus, and basic explanations when my brain ceases to function properly (dry humor joke, LOL).

So I was curious about how well ChatGPT could put together a blog about mental health and how AI can benefit advances in psychological research. The following text is a product of ChatGPT:

Mental health is a complex and multi-faceted issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While traditional approaches to treatment have been effective, advances in technology are providing new opportunities to improve mental health outcomes. One such technology is artificial intelligence (AI). In recent years, AI has shown great promise in helping researchers and mental health professionals better understand and treat mental health conditions. In this blog post, we will explore how AI could benefit advances in psychological research.

AI can help identify patterns in large datasets

One of the biggest challenges in psychological research is analyzing large datasets. Traditional methods are often time-consuming and limited in their ability to identify patterns in the data. AI, on the other hand, can quickly analyze large datasets and identify patterns that might not be immediately apparent to researchers. This can help researchers better understand the causes and mechanisms of mental health conditions, and develop more effective treatments.

AI can help personalize treatment plans

Another way AI can benefit advances in psychological research is by helping to personalize treatment plans. Mental health conditions are often complex and multifaceted, and what works for one person may not work for another. AI can analyze large amounts of data, including clinical data, genetic information, and lifestyle factors, to develop personalized treatment plans that are tailored to an individual’s specific needs. This can lead to more effective treatment outcomes and better patient satisfaction.

AI can assist in the development of new treatments

In addition to helping researchers better understand mental health conditions and personalize treatment plans, AI can also assist in the development of new treatments. By analyzing large datasets and identifying patterns in the data, AI can help researchers identify potential new targets for drug development or other interventions. This can lead to the development of new and more effective treatments for mental health conditions.

AI can improve the accuracy of diagnoses

Finally, AI can improve the accuracy of diagnoses for mental health conditions. AI algorithms can analyze a variety of factors, including clinical data, medical history, and even social media activity, to help diagnose mental health conditions more accurately. This can help reduce the number of misdiagnoses and ensure that patients receive the appropriate treatment for their condition.

In conclusion, AI has great potential to benefit advances in psychological research. By analyzing large datasets, personalizing treatment plans, assisting in the development of new treatments, and improving the accuracy of diagnoses, AI can help researchers and mental health professionals better understand and treat mental health conditions. While AI is not a replacement for human expertise, it can be a valuable tool in the fight against mental illness.

Let me know in the comments what you think about this!


I’m sure I’ve touched on this topic a few times, but here lately – I’ve noticed a few trends. Two things I want to touch base on – growth mindsets and victim mindsets.

A growth mindset is usually characterized by an individual seeing their past trauma or past experiences, and realizes they can move forward from it because they’re in control. It’s understanding that no matter how hard you try to revisit the source of the pain, nothing will change the fact that it happened. You learn to accept the experience as a part of your life. You may still acknowledge the pain, but you don’t continuously torture yourself for answers. Some answers may never appear, because the source of the trauma may never come to that realization themselves.

A victim mindset is generally characterized by an individual who uses their trauma for constant sympathy (or pity) from others. They will consistently bring their trauma up and crave the attention because it makes them feel heard and loved, and not isolated. While a victim mindset is in no way less than someone with a growth mindset, a victim mindset can be toxic. It can leave toxic footprints (sometimes unknowingly) on loved ones around them.

Sometimes, a mindset is a choice. It’s not a choice that can be made easily sometimes, but it can be if you have the support.

Women’s History Month

I wanted to make sure I got to do a blog post regarding women’s history month before it ended. In recent years, women’s history has become a hot topic of discussion.

Last year, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we saw many fears happen right before our eyes. The worries of dystopian futures riddled our anxious hearts. We knew exactly what they were doing, but the other side constantly tried reassuring us that they just wanted the state’s to have their own power. However, since June 2022, we’ve seen multiple extreme changes to our freedoms and our rights being stripped away slowly but surely. Now, Walgreens is even pulling medication abortion meds from their stock in 20+ states out of fear from extreme-right politicians and attorneys general. A supreme court judge in Texas has heard arguments and may even seek to overturn the FDA approval for mifepristone and other medication abortion drugs. It’s frightening to see how only fifty years later, women’s rights are being threatened once again. This affects more than just women’s rights though – this massive movement has spurred bans on drag shows, LGBTQ+ rights, and much more. People’s lives are on the line as places like Florida and Tennessee seek to allow people to use force to enforce these new dystopian laws.

Living in this kind of fear is enough to create psychological trauma for people who fit in these marginalized groups. Living in a state where you cannot feel safe because you don’t fit in the box that their created society wants to fit you into. If you want to fix the mental health rates, stripping away human rights is NOT the way to do it. People in America have a fundamental right to live freely and happily as long as there is no harm.

The Healing Journey

How does a healing journey look? Does it look one specific way? Does it work the same for everyone?

No. As with any journey in anything, no one path will look the same. For instance, some people find the grieving process to be very difficult to go through while others seem to handle grief as if it were a main component of their life; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t affected by it. Everyone just handles their lives differently.

Coping skills play a major role in this. If you weren’t raised in the best environment, you might not have learned proper coping mechanisms or even proper communication – which may have led you to having interpersonal relationships problems. You may have encountered counseling or therapy late in adulthood and figured it out. Or, you may not have – and that’s okay too. It’s never too late.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your own healing journey (or others):

  • At the beginning of a healing journey, it is common for an individual to cut off nearly everyone – then gradually let people back in. In some cases, these people may keep themselves cut off from everyone for what seems like forever, you can’t control their decisions but you can reach out and let them know how you feel. You may not receive a response, and that’s okay. You got your words out.
  • Boundaries are important, and sometimes, cutting people off for good is a good idea – as long as you know why you’re doing it and you understand your long-term intentions behind it. Are you doing it to hurt someone or are you doing it protect your safety?
  • A healing journey is NOT linear. It can be a maze, a cycle, or a mess. It’s okay to breakdown sometimes! Rally your support group to help you stay on track (or get back on track).
  • Support is important. You don’t need a lot of people for support. If you can find 1-3 really close individuals that you feel comfortable being 100% vulnerable around, rally them as your support group. Communicate your feelings, fears, worries, goals, and dreams with them.
  • There is no time limit when it comes to healing, and healing is never finished. Life happens, and we were meant to roll with the flow. Sometimes things will jump at us without warning; handle them carefully and with love and good intentions.
  • The healing journey is not to be used as manipulation to hurt people around you – but, you can communicate your decisions respectfully, but be open to hear the other person’s side too. Communication (and relationship healing) is a two-way street. You’re only going to make progress if both parties can express themselves.

Hope this helps!

Object Permanence: What is it? What can it affect?

I was on TikTok this weekend, and I saw a post that was reposted by a friend that made the distinction about the lack of object permanence in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being perfect for small flings because they don’t constantly bug their partners. It inspired me to look into what object permanence is, how the lack thereof can affect life, and so on. So let’s get into it.

According to the American Psychological Association [1], object permanence is the ability to know that objects exist even if they are not tangibly seen anymore. This ability usually develops by 8 months of age and strengthens by 18 months of age. This is a basic skill set that we all should develop within the first two years of life, so this potentially sets up an idea that issues within development could impact later behaviors in life.

For instance, trauma has a way of creating lapses in memory from dissociation. If an infant experiences trauma during this development of object permanence, it can create other issues later that involve object permanence, such as due dates for assignments or projects, relationships, communications, etc. This can also explain how ADHD symptoms can also mimic other illnesses, such as PTSD – particularly if there was, specifically, trauma that was experienced by an individual.

The diagnostic criteria of these types of symptoms usually depend on the onset of symptoms, such as when the symptoms began and other factors. So, if you struggle with remembering certain things, or if you find yourself having to keep things in plain sight to remember them, then you might benefit from speaking to a doctor or psychologist to see if you have ADHD or PTSD.

[1] American Psychological Association. (n. d.). Object permanence. In APA dictionary of psychology. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from

Setting Professional Boundaries

First, what are professional boundaries?

We know that personal boundaries are boundaries that mark personal comfort levels regarding emotionality, physical touch, et cetera. Professional boundaries are the same thing, just with aspects of business relationships. If you’re in the workforce, self-employed or employed by someone else, you probably have experienced the need to set some professional boundaries before.

If you’ve ever gotten sick with a virus, ran a fever, and needed to take a day off, what did you do? Did you call in? When you called in, did your manager make it seem like you were a criminal for needing to take care of yourself? Did they make it seem like it was your fault that they were about to be understaffed? How did you handle that?

Most people are likely to shrug it off, but others (myself included) struggle with internalizing other people’s actions – which likely was created by past trauma or experiences. It shouldn’t feel “criminal” to take care of ourselves.

Now, how many people forced themselves to go to work because of their bosses reaction to them attempting to call in? Or how many people came into work, sicker than a dog, because they already knew how their boss would react to a call-in?

This behavior was probably based on another past experience that taught them they couldn’t take care of themselves over their success in their position. I’ve been in a job like that before, major tech company.

Professional boundaries don’t have to be centered around your self-care practices, but if a job started to impede on your personal life, then that’s a sign that your work-life balance is becoming unbalanced… and something should change. We can normalize self-care if we all start instituting practices across the board.

Let’s do this together.

Turning Negative into Positive

What are your biggest challenges?

So, I usually ignore my WordPress back office when it recommends blog prompts, but today – I’ll be honest, the prompt just hit differently. Please excuse my borderline Gen Z lingo (it’s catchy, though).

Challenges used to be daunting to me; I almost feared failure before I even attempted to complete the task. I looked at things I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t because I was too scared. Before 2019, it never crossed my mind to move to another state until it did, and I was faced with opportunities to take it… and I’m so glad I did. I had external influences that suppressed my desire to succeed; no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I would face a setback. So, when I had a kismet opportunity to express my independence, I took it. After all, I felt like I had nothing else to lose. Now, I want to comment on something. While I say I had external influences that suppressed my success, that was my perspective – my interpretation of the situations I had created in my head. However, the decision to ascend to a whole new stage of life gave me the push in the right direction regarding my healing journey.

(*TW: implied suicide)

I’m a firm believer in events happening for reasons based beyond our comprehension (divine intervention, if you will). I truly believe that if I hadn’t made the decision to reclaim my independence from my depression, then I would be sitting in a completely different position right now – probably, not even alive.

Now, I look back on the last four years – the person I was in 2019 – and realize I even faced challenges during these last years. COVID happened at the end of 2019, made a big fuss by March 2020, lost my job, and was essentially evicted. I moved back to Oklahoma, which put me right back in a situation that put me in a depression in the first place. So, again, I was faced with choices. Did I want to slip back into the darkness, possibly never resurface again? Or do I put my all into everything and make the necessary changes? Again, another case of divine intervention. Lo and behold, I fell in love – and it wasn’t the kind we all fooled ourselves into believing. This connection felt different from any other relationship, which led to us moving fairly quickly (it was a pandemic, so why not?). We got married in 2021; honestly, it was a 10/10 experience in Las Vegas. Anyway, this gave me the stability to feel like I could pursue my dreams – and my husband supported every step. Not to mention, I received therapy throughout the whole first two years anyway.

In August 2021, I got my own LLC. In January 2022, I pursued my Master’s degree in Psychology. By March 2022, I decided I definitely wanted to pursue a doctorate when I was done. I modeled my business after the LLC’s anniversary and structured what I wanted to do to make this a more concrete distinction for what I’m pursuing. So ultimately, I use challenges to improve my situation and gain more wisdom to achieve more goals. I’m grateful for every challenge I’ve faced, as each one granted me more wisdom than the last. I’m equally grateful to learn and instill those lessons into my future.

I hope this was enlightening or inspirational in some way because my story means a lot to me – and I know it can resonate with some.

Happy New Year!

The Psychology of Appreciation

I can remember, as a teenager, that I would feel incredibly depressed. I had my reasons but couldn’t stand feeling like I did. When I reached adulthood, depression was even more daunting than before – I just didn’t know it yet. By the time I was in my mid-20s, I knew I had to make changes. This is the beginning of the most successful mental health journey I’ve had and taken seriously.

I didn’t know what I needed when I felt those dark moments, but once I had the right support, it became easier to understand.


When I would reminisce on the good moments in my life, even when I was in my darkest, I would feel the slightest uplifting sensation. When I started living each day, appreciating the smallest moments that felt good, my mood would stabilize, and I’d feel happier. Then, once I started to understand the things I went through, I started learning to appreciate the hard times too. They remind me of how much stronger I am than I think and that life is beautiful even when it doesn’t feel like it. Because of the past, I now have a deeper understanding of who I am, what I want, and where I want to go.

One study [1] pointed out that when people learn to appreciate their experiences, everything makes sense, and confidence can be gained. There is a new, fostered sense of understanding that can now link the patterns together.

Food for Thought: Learn to appreciate every moment, and life will become clearer.


Kim, J., Holte, P., Martela, F., Shanahan, C., Li, Z., Zhang, H., Eisenbeck, N., Carreno, D. F., Schlegel, R. J., & Hicks, J. A. (2022). Experiential appreciation as a pathway to meaning in life. Nature Human Behavior, 6, 677-690.