Setting Up A Bedtime Routine

September 1, 2022
a lightbox with the words "Time for Bed" sits a top of a bed in a bedroom

by Sheila O’Shea One of the things I learned from my time at Skyland Trail was how essential good sleep was for recovery from mental illness. Setting up a bedtime routine was an important part of that. Over time, I established a routine to signal to my brain that it’s time to go to bed.…


Do I Have to Take Medications to Manage My Mental Illness?

August 5, 2022
two psychiatric medication capsules stack vertically with a question mark in front

The decision of whether or not to take psychiatric medication is ultimately a decision for the patient to make in partnership with their physician. Decisions informed by the current foundation of research on best practices in prescribing, patient education, and adherence strategies will yield the best long-term outcomes for patients and likely prevent adverse reactions and side effects that make some people skeptical about the utility of psychopharmacology.


Three People Who Helped Me With My Mental Illness

August 1, 2022
Two women riding together in a car smiling

by Sheila O’Shea I’m a pretty introverted and self-contained individual, which are not always the best traits to have when dealing with mental illness. To really handle your symptoms and flourish despite them, you need help from other people. Help can take all kinds of forms, so let me introduce you to three people—who were…


Three Things I Learned From Living With Bipolar Disorder

July 1, 2022
a smiling woman embraces herself near a sunny window

by Sheila O’Shea Living with bipolar disorder has been a challenge for me—especially when I spent years with the wrong diagnosis—but I’ve learned a lot from it. I carry those lessons with me to this day. Boldness If there’s one thing hypomania gives you, it’s confidence. It gave me the confidence to book a flight…


One Way To Stay Productive While Managing Mental Illness

June 6, 2022
an image of hands holding a pick and hammer tools used to etch stone

By Sheila O’Shea There’s a New Yorker cartoon from a long time ago that depicts a sculptor at work. The statue is the stylized figure of a woman with her gaze fixed upward, and it is large enough that the sculptor needs a ladder to work on it. Just below where he holds his hammer…


Addressing the Teen Mental Health Crisis

May 25, 2022
CDC's Dr. Deb Houry on stage at podium presenting slides about protecting youth mental health

As part of the 2022 Dorothy C. Fuqua Lecture, mental health experts discuss the teen mental health crisis and what people, schools, and systems can do to protect youth mental health.


How Sharing Your Mental Health Journey Can Help

May 1, 2022
Two people sit in near one another as they share a conversation

By Sheila O’Shea Everybody has a story. People who have been through trauma and difficult times especially. They’ll often have a story that helps them make sense of what happened. Mine was the one I told about “The Unpleasantness.” It started with a beautiful morning where I felt absolutely miserable and ended with my parents…


Practicing Mindfulness Through The Senses

April 25, 2022
a woman takes a deep breath to smell the fresh cup of coffee in her mug while near a window with plentiful sun

By Sheila O’Shea I have a lot of mindfulness techniques in my mental toolbox that I use to handle my bipolar disorder, particularly the depressive ends of it. I refined my knowledge of mindfulness meditation at Skyland Trail, and I have a few methods that I came up with on my own. Mindfulness In Hearing…


Staff Highlight: Brandon Baird, LMSW, MPH

March 24, 2022
A photo of Brandon Baird, LMSW, MPH

As a family therapist for the adolescent treatment program, Brandon Baird, LMSW, MPH, has helped many families reconnect and find new ways to support one another.


Caffeine and Mental Health

March 1, 2022
coffee cup from above with foam in the shape of a brain

Discover the effects of caffeine on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorders.