Getting intimate with the man behind the first dating website for singles with psychiatric disorders. Leftwich spoke with me about the challenges of running the site and about why he believes forming loving relationships should be recommended more frequently than pills. Why did you create No Longer Lonely? I thought, this is a really logical thing. This should exist. People with mental illness tend to band together. How did No Longer Lonely start? No Longer Lonely has chat rooms, forums, and places for people to post their art. Why did you design it like that? There are a lot of talented people with mental illness that have great creative potential and I thought that would be an important way to let people connect and share on that level.
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And compared them to mental health related deal breaker (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychopathy, etc.) Boysen, G. A., Morton, J.
Mental Health Mates is an internationally recognised resource for anyone experiencing mental health challenges. At MHM, we know, from personal experience, that mental illness magnifies through isolation. We believe that nobody has ever recovered from a mental health issue without first talking about it, and that sharing stories helps people to take the first steps to recovery. We support you to create community groups, that not only help others, but also help you, by showing you what you are capable of — because we believe that finding power over your experience allows you to take back some control over the stuff in your head.
MHM provides a healing environment, but it is not therapy. It is run by people who are not experts in mental illness, but who have endless experience in it. It is peer support at its finest: we have seen people thrive and come alive though our walks, not to mention forming friendships that help people move forward and grow. Disclaimer: Mental Health Mates is not supposed to take the place of professional treatment and therapy. For advice and help, please look at the list of amazing charities you can talk to here: www.
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Checking in on your family, friends and colleagues during the coronavirus outbreak is more important than ever. I have been in and out of psychiatric hospital since In , during my second spell in hospital, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. At the present time I am living in the community in supported housing and I am taking medication a depot injection , which does have some side effects but is not too troublesome compared to some of the other antipsychotics I have taken.
When I am going through a good phase and am out of hospital and feeling well, my thoughts often turn to my social life and how I can find people who are good company to spend time with. Being a naturally very anxious person, I find it difficult to meet people in some of the traditional ways going to bars and clubs, playing sports, etc. I do spend quite a lot of time online and I have a good network of friends who I communicate with regularly on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites.
Meeting new people can be especially difficult when you have a mental illness. My illness has been such a significant part of my life over the last six years that when I meet new people now it is pretty much impossible to avoid the subject. I tend to open up quite easily and I also tend to be quite open about my condition on the websites I use.
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How does that affect the way you interact with them? How does it affect a relationship once you are actually in one? At what point during the dating process is it appropriate to bring up mental health? The pressure of not knowing when or how to reveal your mental health status can be an additional and very valid source of anxiety. You would have thought there was a finite number of ways to do this wrong.
I thought, after a month or two of relative tranquility. At that point I was deeply embarrassed by my previous psychotic episode, and tried to distance myself from it as much as possible. It was easier for me to avoid the topic and skirt around it awkwardly than to confront it. I chose to blame my breakdown on the stress of starting university, moving away from home, and spending all my time drinking.
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The goal is simple: to get people talking. With the awkward pressure in this day and age to be constantly swiping right or left on dating apps, No Longer Lonely works to take the stigma out of mental health and keeps everyone on the same plateau. According to the site, No Longer Lonely has 54, users from 45 countries and has led to more than 37 marriages. The site saw 4, more members join since The phenomenon of love and sex can be stressful enough, but with mental illness, it can be even more taxing.
Realizing that you need someone that understands your condition is paramount. Eradicating the negative stipulations surrounding mental health is a central goal for Leftwich and No Longer Lonely. Charlotte gave up on dating before joining No Longer Lonely. She was lost in the difficult emotions associated with online dating.
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The friends I’ve met on NoLongerLonely. Your chat room is the coolest! Boy were they expensive and when I did get a date didn’t happen a lot things got complicated when it came to disclosing my illness. It always stressed me out and usually the other person would be scared away.
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