The Only Way Out is In


This post was written by Dr. Colleen Coffey, a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau.

I think that mental health issues exist on a spectrum. I mean this, of course, in the context of the range of issues we all face and the spectrum of severity of diagnoses I also mean this as it relates to how issues appear within us.

The best analogy I can think of when it comes to mental health issues is a Russian nesting doll. A little doll, inside of a medium sized doll, inside of a larger doll that presents to the world. Usually, the larger doll is me–the best version of healthy, happy me. The little doll is anxiety and depression–it’s always there but kind of little in comparison to the rest of me.

Most days I feel great and my quality of life is pretty awesome.

Some days I still struggle.

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Be Yourself. It’s Your Most Powerful Tool.


Collen is a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring her to your campus to speak about mental health. 

My family recently took a trip to Disney World. My little boy, Paul, had a heart transplant last year and this was his Make a Wish Trip.

The Orlando airport departure area experience is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Security is a nightmare and after a flagged bag and an almost missed flight, my family finally made it to flight 992.

I am sitting with two kids, Paul (4) and Georgia (2). As we take off, the flight attendants play a song from top gun and we sing it. We try to play go fish. We talk about how planes work and when snacks will arrive. We read books and sing some more.

I’m doing the best I can to entertain my tired and hungry children when this woman in the row in front of me stands up, turns around, glares at me and says “I appreciate what you’re doing with your children but you are just very loud.”

“Excuse me?” I say.This can’t be real. 

“I have no problem with your children but you are just too loud.”

Yep, that’s what she said. 

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