A new survey out by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association found 68% of United States adults say the 2020 presidential election is causing them a significant amount of stress. That number was 52% during the 2016 election. Lisheila Ware of Pinellas County has concerns about key issues.

“Uncertain of the truth of everything the candidates are saying,” Ware said.

Read full article:–poll-finds?fbclid=IwAR0YcDUMnKq9S7EZGzaA0W6CySsVJzDd4Rxgj8gbld_J-xiqgitpTNAcipE#


The stigma often attached to mental illness can present a serious barrier toward diagnosis treatment and acceptance within the community.

What is Stigma?

It is typically described as the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable.

It’s about time we stamp out stigma.

Here’s what some Mental Illnesses really look like:

  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Irritability
  • Self-hatred
  • Problems concentrating
  • Unexplained aches and pains

It is important to ask, “Are all of the above symptoms of depression????

There is more to recognizing Mental Illness. For Example:

BiPolar Disorder BPD  – also known as Manic Depression is defined by as serious shifts in

  • Mood
  • Energy
  • Thinking
  • Behavior

One can experience the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other.

The extreme highs and lows of bipolar disorder can hurt your job and school performance, damage your relationships and disrupt your daily life. But you’re not powerless when it comes to mania and depression.

Understanding the signs and symptoms and seeking professional help are the first steps to feeling better. Additionally, it’s important to surround yourself with people you can count on, make healthy lifestyle choices, and monitor your moods. With good coping skills and a solid support system, you can live a fulfilled, productive life while keeping the symptoms of bipolar disorder in check.

Myths and facts about bipolar disorder

Here are a few Myths vs Facts on bipolar from the article “Bipolar Disorder Signs and Symptoms???

  • Myth: People with bipolar disorder can’t get better or lead a normal life.
    Fact:  Many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers, happy family lives, and satisfying relationships. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging, but with treatment, healthy coping skills, and a solid support system, you can live happily while managing your
  • Myth: People with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between mania and depression.
    Fact:   Some people alternate between extreme episodes of mania and depression, but most are depressed more often than they are manic. Mania may also be so mild that it goes unrecognized. People with bipolar disorder often experience long stretches without symptoms.
  • Myth: Bipolar disorder only affects mood.
    Fact:   Bipolar disorder also affects your energy levels, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, sex drive, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease,
    migraines, and high blood pressure.
  • Myth: Aside from taking and staying on medication, there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder.
    Fact:  While medication is the foundation of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy, and self-help strategies also play important roles. You can help control your symptoms by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating right, monitoring your moods, keeping stress to a minimum, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.

At the end of the day, you have the opportunity to control your perceptions of your diagnosis as well as your coping strategies.  Remember mental illness is not who you are, it’s just a part of the whole you. So, take control over your mental illness and stop letting it define you!

If you are experiencing and of the above and need help to work through them and take back control of your life, call to schedule an intake session to further explore how you can reach your full potential in life, contact me today to schedule your appointment.  



We often struggle with knowing and living our purpose in today’s society. This is due to being constantly bombarded with images, technology, comparing ourselves with others, worried about what others think and the list goes on. We feel we don’t measure up or we are not meeting the criteria that the world has for us. This will often lead to being distracted in life instead of doing what we are called to do and what is specifically designed for us as individuals.

Because I get this question often, I wanted to share some basic strategies that can help you with moving into a place of living your purpose and being effective in life.

5 Tips on How to Live within Your Purpose

Recognize that emotional numbing or distractions often stop us from living our purpose

The Problem:

  • Ex: engaging in extra activity that distracts us from our focus like eating, drinking smoking, partying, sexual encounters
  • Creating a euphoria at the moment, but it doesn’t last

The Solution:

  • Stop being distracted and start focusing on your strengths
  • Learn who you are and what you are called to and be
  • Being ok with who you are
  • A healthy jealousy happens

The Problem:

  • Being envious or jealous of someone that has it easier than you
  • Everything comes to them easy. But you’re stuck in the struggle

The Solution:

  • Reframe your perspective; everything isn’t what it seems
  • When there is no struggle, there is no testimony
  • For those that seem to have it easy – there is a cost.
  • They won’t have anything to look back to see advancement
  • They have no solid foundation – it hasn’t been built
  • Needing validation from others

The Problem:

  • Are you expecting validation from someone else
  • Getting validation that it’s ok to live your dream or take a risk

The Solution:

  • Take the responsibility of goal setting and moving forward with what you are called to do. Don’t put it on someone else’s table by getting their validation
  • Don’t allow the other person (give them permission) to dictate your life or fate
  • You should be the one deciding what is best for you or setting the goals if it’s about YOUR purpose
  • Your thoughts and hearts desire IS enough for it to be valid
  • Believe in yourself. You will know when it’s a good idea
  • Feelings of emptiness

The Problem:

  • Comes when we don’t have a clear value system of ourselves
  • No clear path structure in place of what we want to do

The Solution:

  • Start listening to your heart’s desire to do and live
  • If it matters to you – it’s important
  • Recognize the accomplishments (no matter how small)
  • Frustration

The Problem:

  • If something doesn’t work or you are not making progress
  • Feel like we are spinning our wheels
  • Feel like we are not having any impact

The Solution:

  • Lasting impressions aren’t made overnight
  • It takes time and perseverance
  • Could take several do overs; but you’re learning
  • Keep trying, implementing, keep setting goals
  • Keep taking the steps forward, making changes etc
  • Give yourself permission to be proud of the steps you are taking
  • Lack of direction

The Problem:

  • Engaging in something that is not ‘feeding’ you – being fed from the work you do
  • Not being nurtured by what you are doing.
  • If not, why are you doing it?

The Solution:

  • Set the pace for yourself
  • Outline your skill set and enrich your life with the choices and decisions
  • Know that everything you do affects other people; someone looks up to you
  • You must be satisfied first
  • You must enjoy and find happiness in your steps

Knowing your purpose will make you feel full in life. You will know because you will enjoy the work that you are doing.

If you would like to schedule an intake session to further explore how you can reach your full potential in life, contact me today to schedule your appointment.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for psychological, medical, legal or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. For issues concerning mental health, you are invited to schedule an appointment with Dr. East or her team. S.M.I.L.E. is focused on assisting individuals and families with many challenges from, overcoming everyday stressors, to healing from traumatic events.

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