Category Archives: Writings

Anxiety coach or therapist?

A guest posting from Ryan Light

Check out Ryan’s website here:

Many people wonder what the difference is between a life coach, or in our case a life coach specializing in anxiety, and a therapist, and they wonder which will benefit their needs the most. So, let’s unravel this a bit.

Therapy vs Life Coaching

A therapist is often a counselor or psychologist with either a Masters, Doctorate or Ph.D. in their field. They are licensed by their state to practice and are focused on long-term patients. Interestingly enough, many former therapists have left their profession and gone on to become Life Coaches.

Life coaches are usually trained or experienced in their area of practice, often focusing on a niche, such as anxiety. They are encouraged to obtain certification, however, what they do is not regulated and does not require them to be certified.


The largest coaching credentialing organization in the world, The International Coach Federation (ICF), states that coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Therapy is about uncovering and recovering. Coaching is about discovering.

Therapy and life coaching each take a different approach to helping their clients. While therapists may spend more time examining a patient’s past, looking for a diagnosis to satisfy insurance companies, coaching is more focused on the present and the future.

Coaches seek to establish a more personal relationship with their clients to help them work through their current issues and resolve them. Their less structured environment helps them to work with their clients as a team, rather than as a “doctor-patient” relationship.

A life coach’s goal is to offer emotional support, creative confidence in their clients, and to motivate them to make a change. An on-going partnership with their clients helps to produce positive results in both their professional and personal lives.

With a good coach, clients can learn how to use the tools and skills they already possess to help them navigate through life.

on ‘letting go’

🌻 Sophie’s World 🌎

pic credit: quotling

Dear friends, if you follow my FB Page, you would have noticed that in the past few days, I have been posting about NPD, especially about Covert Narcissists. Note: In the DSM, there are no divisions, only one diagnostic classification for Narcissism: NPD – Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (There are 6 Personality Disorder and NPD is one of them; cluster B).

A good friend of mine just ended a relationship with a person who has NPD who is not in recovery.

As you know, I am all about fighting the stigma, but not all 🧠 /mental disorders are created equal; and a person who has NPD who is not aware (that she/he has NPD) and who is not in recovery (someone who has not accepted and worked on their brain disorder and still has the disordered behaviors that come with a PD), can be someone who is dangerous to be around. One medical professional who has a strong knowledge of NDP once said, “it is the secondhand smoking of mental health.

In my friend’s case, there are several disordered behavior patterns of her NPD close friend that are very toxic: invalidation, devaluation, and manipulation. And because this particular person is a covert narcissist, it was not obvious to her and the people around her that this particular person is toxic.

We all support her in her decision, and she’s glad and feel relieved that she made the decision; but yet, she still has to go through the grieving process of losing a close friend.

She told me that this statement expresses the way she’s feeling right now, “The thing that I had the most trouble with after ending the relationship, was the realization that I was mourning the loss of someone who never existed…”

It breaks my heart to hear it, and at this moment, all I can do is just to be there for her.


PS: sadly in many cases, the person who has NPD is not aware that she/he has it because as a Personality Disorder, many sufferers do not realize that it is a sickness (brain disorder), not your real personality; not “who you are”.

What to focus on when we’re going through a depression bout

At times when we’re going through a depression bout; I think it’s very easy for us to get distracted, to look at troubles and challenges around us, instead of fixing our eyes on what we should be focusing on. It’s really easy to see the negatives, and it takes effort to stay positive and hopeful.

pic credit: unknown

As a person with clinical depression, I know that situation too well. In most mornings when I wake up, it’s hard for me to remember good things in life, or how far I have come at this point in my life and work journey. This is where faith plays it’s part; even though I have to admit that even to do this, to hold on to faith, is not something that I can automatically do.

This is the time when talking and writing becomes my refuge. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how far we have come, and how much we have done.

When you’re going through a depression bout, it’s easy to fall into its lies, “You’re a failure, you’re no good, your life means nothing, you’re worthless, you’d better of dead”; and it will take a herculean effort to believe that those thoughts 💭 are lies; that they are not true.

Sometimes during times like that, the best thing you can do is to let go, to stop fighting the waves 🌊 that are pulling you under. Use the energy you have to just stay afloat; not fighting the thoughts 💭, but letting them pass through you, and believing (no matter how hard) that this storm ⛈ will pass too; and when the water is calm, then you can swim 🏊‍♀️ back to shore.

Depression is temporary. It may take some time, but you will feel good again. Trust me.

Stay safe, stay sane, stay kind ❤️

Borderline Personality Disorder – Taming the Beast

In my opinion, BPD is one of the most stigmatized and misunderstood brain disorders out there. Because it is a Personality Disorder, even the person who suffers from it, often is not aware that he/she has it.

Toby Allen, an illustrator who decided to deal with explaining and conquering such mental illness types as depression, borderline personality, and anxiety disorder by recreating them as cute monsters drew BPD as the picture above.

I can’t agree more. I think BPD is one of the most challenging beasts to deal with.

Having said that, I also believe that it is NOT impossible to tame this beast. And in fact, when this beast is tamed, you can use its power and ability to your advantage.

I like to use the story of Newt and Zouwu as a metaphor.

In the movie “Fantastic Beasts 2”, Newt Scamander was facing Zouwu, a monstrously large feline beast, as big as an elephant, with a striped body, scraggly mane, four fangs that curl out of its mouth, long sharp claws, and a disproportionately long, ruffled multicolored tail. Zouwus are terrifying for most human beings, but they are incredibly powerful and fast, capable of travelling 1,000 miles in a day.

Zouwu is a powerful beast. When Newt first met him, Zouwu was wreaking havoc and scaring many people, seemed to be totally uncontrollable.

Continue reading Borderline Personality Disorder – Taming the Beast

Brain Disorders as Fantastic Beasts

pic credit: AngelofDeathz

Someone asked me about the cover picture of WorkWithTheBrainYouHave Community Page. I created that picture, mentioning 7 different brain disorders: ADD/ADHD, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, and OCD.

The reason I put them there is because those are the 7 conditions that I am the most familiar with.


I am a person who has Bipolar type 2, ADD (Inattentive ADHD), and Social Anxiety.

I have a son who has HFA – High Functioning Autism, and I have various friends who have these various brain disorders: Autism, Male Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I also experience bouts of depression, anxiety and at times ‘mixed states’ which in simplified explanation means having a bout of depression and anxiety at the same time.

Those are the conditions that I have, at different times, researched and studied in the past 5 years. I use my findings to help me and my friends in our recovery. I am now sharing them here in the  hope that they can help others in their journey of recovery.  

There are literally hundreds of different kind of brain disorders, and unfortunately I don’t know all of them because I have never researched them. But there is tons of information in the internet and you can also get information from your doctor. 

Sadly, there is a lot of stigma around the word “mental illness”.

The word ‘mental’ means ‘relating to the mind’, and as a slang in English language, it means ‘crazy or insane’.

I prefer to use the term “brain disorder” to explain the condition/illness. Because in reality, that is the truth: mental illness/disorder is the illness/disorder of the brain.

Another thing I like to do is picture them (brain disorders) as ‘creatures’. And apparently I was not the only one who does it. Illustrator Toby Allen, decided to deal with explaining and conquering such mental illness types as depression, borderline personality, and anxiety disorder, decided to re-create them as cute monsters. Giving such intangible illnesses some substance, makes them appear more manageable as physical entities.

I was so excited when the movie ‘Fantastic Beasts’ came out in late 2016. I like to think the various brain disorders that we have as the various creatures in the story.

Newt Scamander was the nerd who studied and cared for many different beasts that many others preferred to stay away from. 

It was because of his knowledge, humility and perseverance, he was able to tame those beasts; and at times needed, he can also use their special ability or power for good purpose.   

pic credit: Iris Red


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