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Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder

Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, Ed., PMHNP (aka, Dr. B.), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method, continues her series, “Demystifying the DSM,” with an explanation of dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder. What is Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder? It is […]

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, is a real disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V). Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, Ed., PMHNP (aka, Dr. B.), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method, explains this disorder, […]

Are Your Thoughts Limiting Your Potential?

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed. D, PMHNP (aka, Dr. B.), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method discusses the effects of our thoughts on our potential and how we can become mentally stronger.  The Effects of Negative Thinking Our thoughts – […]

Making Time for Your Mental Health

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed. D, PMHNP (aka, Dr. B.), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method, has over 20 years of clinical experience and has learned from her professional and personal experiences the importance of making time for mental health. […]

The Four Tasks of Mourning: Grief Management for the Rest of Us

In 1969, Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first introduced the stages of grief in her book On Death and Dying. Since then, the five stages of the grief model have become widely accepted as the go-to framework for understanding how people […]

Understanding Grief Through the Dual Process Model

The death of a loved one can be one of the most challenging experiences that a person can go through. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and confused by the many intense emotions that come with grief. Fortunately, there is […]

Grief After Losing a Spouse

Understanding Grief  Grief is an incredibly complex emotion. Everyone processes grief differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating it. Typical grief stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is important to note that these stages are […]

The Physical Impact of Grief

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed. D, PMHNP (aka, Dr. B), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method, discusses the physical aspect of grief and what grieving does to the body. Dr. B is an expert in mental health and grieving, publicly […]

Prolonged Grieving or Clinical Depression?

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed. D, PMHNP (aka, Dr. B.), founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method, discusses prolonged grieving disorder and her grief journey after losing two of her children to natural causes. After losing her son, Reggie, in 2016, […]

An Excellent Resource for Grief: Moving Through Grief by Dr. Kubacky

It is my goal to provide information and resources on grief in a way that is easy to understand and accessible. Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things a person can go through in their lifetime. The [...]

Dialectical Thinking and the Art of Peace in Grief

In these trying times, it's more important than ever to find ways to cope with our grief and anxiety. We're all looking for ways to make sense of the pain, loss, and confusion we're feeling. And while there is no [...]

Dissociative Identity Disorder: What You Need to Know

For many people, the term "multiple personality disorder" conjures up images of Hollywood movies and TV shows in which someone with the condition leads a secret life or commits crimes without being aware of it. But what is dissociative identity [...]

Do You Have a Trauma or Stress Related Disorder? | Demystifying the DSM

You might be surprised to learn that over 70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. Unfortunately, many of these people go on to develop a trauma or stress-related disorder, [...]

Adjustment Disorder: What is it and how can it be treated?

You may have heard of adjustment disorder, but what exactly is it? According to the DSM-5, adjustment disorder is "a disturbance in the ability to function in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of [...]

How to Tell If Your Child is Suffering from PTSD | Demystifying the DSM

It's no secret that children can be resilient. They often adapt quickly to change and roll with the punches better than adults. But that doesn't mean they're immune to developing mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental [...]

How to Tell if You Have PTSD According to the DSM-5

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a serious mental health condition that can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event. The event could be something like a natural disaster, a car accident, a terrorist attack, or any [...]

Do You Know Your Archetypes?

We all have different personality types that make us who we are. Some of us are more introverted, while others are extroverted. Some of us are analytical, while others are more creative. And some of us fall somewhere in between [...]

Grief and Your Belief System

Are you experiencing enormous grief? Specifically, the grief of losing a child? This may be the most intense grief a person can experience, but regardless of your grief, we have to address what are our internal beliefs. And that belief [...]

Trauma and Triggers

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed. D, PMHNP, founder and creator of the Mentally STRONG Method. The Mentally STRONG Method is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a therapeutic method to help change a person’s patterns of thinking and allow them to […]

What to Do When You Are Not Happy

Part of the Mentally STRONG Methodology is choice, one of the central tenets behind being Mentally STRONG – we have the freedom to choose health, happiness, and peace. Based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, the Mentally STRONG Method begins with identifying and […]

What is Trichotillomania

Do you pull out your hair? Maybe your eyelashes or eyebrows? Or even pick at your skin and wonder what’s wrong with you or what is going on?  Do you sometimes feel so anxious that you cannot seem to control [...]

Are You Raising a Mentally STRONG Kid?

We all want our children to be Mentally STRONG. We want them to be able to handle whatever life throws their way with grace, poise, and strength. But how can we as parents help them develop those qualities? Dr. Cristi [...]

Hoarding Disorder: What Can I Do?

Do you think you or someone you know has Hoarding Disorder? Recently, hoarding has become  more well known  because of some reality television series that shows the real-life struggles of people with Hoarding Disorders. We can actually see how this [...]

Loss of a Child: 2 Things You MUST DO When Grieving the Loss of a Child

The death of a child is one of the most painful things that can happen to a family. No parent is ever prepared for their child’s death, whatever the cause of death may be. We don’t have control over the [...]

How Does the Mentally STRONG Method Work?

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed.D, PMHNP, designed the Mentally STRONG Method and approach to therapy based on the well-researched and evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Using this methodology as the foundation, along with over 20 years of clinical experience and personal experiences, […]

Is Ketamine for Depression Safe?

Cristi Bundukamara, Ed.D, PMHNP, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with over 20 years of clinical experience and the owner and director of the Mentally STRONG Clinic in Colorado Springs.  The clinic has been offering clients ketamine treatments for depression for […]

Why do we need to lose our children? | Coping with Grief and Depression

It's hard to write about something so personal. It's even harder to read. But I think it's important. If we want to move forward, we need to understand why our children are taken from us. We need to understand the [...]

Major Depressive Disorder

The following is only a brief overview of the most prevalent diagnosis in our clinic – major depressive disorder. Understanding and differentiating between depression and major depressive disorder symptoms and when medication is necessary and why is essential.  Depression or […]

Bipolar II

Diagnosing a client with bipolar II can be difficult. People have been told that they’re moody, that they’re bipolar by their friends or their significant other, or because they have extreme fluctuations in mood. Still, depression, anxiety, and PTSD can […]

5 Daily Practices for Strength When You’ve Lost a Child

Surviving the loss of a child may seem like it's so hard and impossible, but you need to find the strength to live and turn that pain into purpose. Losing a child changes everything, and the pain is so deep [...]

Bipolar I

Although the DSM V clearly distinguishes bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia, clinically, they operate on more of a continuum. While a bipolar diagnosis does not necessarily mean a severe mental illness, bipolar I can be debilitating and cause disability […]

Unspecified Psychosis

Unspecified psychosis, as the name implies, speaks to several different situations. This diagnosis is not used very often and is typically limited to certain specialists to properly diagnose This diagnosis can include psychosis due to intoxication from drugs or alcohol […]

Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms & Treatments

Schizoaffective disorder symptoms & treatments are critical to understand when dealing with a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. Schizoaffective disorder is a serious mental health disorder that is characterized by symptoms of both mood disorders and schizophrenia symptoms. Continue reading to find […]

Schizophrenia Symptoms & Treatment

Schizophrenia symptoms & treatments are critical to understand when you or a loved one receives a diagnosis. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes individuals to interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia is a serious disorder that can cause disordered thinking and […]

Brief Psychotic Disorder & Schizophreniform

Brief psychotic disorder and schizophreniform are both classified in the DSM-5 as Psychotic Disorders. Whether you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms, it is critical to understand the symptoms, treatment, and diagnosis to better understand possible solutions. Keep reading […]

Delusional Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

A delusional disorder is a mental illness, called a psychosis, where the individual is unable to tell what is real and what is imagined. A main feature of this disorder is the presence of delusions, which are beliefs in something […]

4 Signs You May Have Adult ADD or ADHD

While many individuals receive an ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) diagnosis in childhood, there are many others that do not. Older adults may lack a diagnosis because ADD and ADHD knowledge was not as prevalent [...]

ADHD in Children: Symptoms & Treatment

ADHD is the most common diagnosis in children today. It is important to understand the differences between neurotypical children and those with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD in children is often misunderstood—but we are here to break down this misconception. [...]

How to treat an Intellectual Disability?

A diagnosis of an intellectual disability brings about many questions, but often the most prominent is: how do you treat an intellectual disability? Unfortunately, this is a complex question because not everyone’s intellectual disability presents in the same ways. Keep [...]

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that relates to brain development and impacts how an individual perceives and socializes with others. According to the Mayo Clinic, the term "spectrum" in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms [...]

Core Connections and Triggers

How can The Mentally STRONG Method help us? Through The Mentally STRONG Method, we can learn to better ourselves and increase our resiliency. Through understanding ourselves better, we can create the life we want to live. Mentally STRONG is a [...]

How to Deal With Grief

Grief is a deep and painful emotion that we will all, unfortunately, have to cope with at some point in our lives. Some people believe that grief comes in stages, but we know through The Mentally STRONG Method that we [...]

5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health in 2022

Are you planning to make a resolution in the new year? Maybe you’ve had trouble keeping resolutions in the past? As we put away our holiday decorations, and buy new calendars for 2022, it’s natural to start thinking about how [...]

Grief And Gratitude: How To Find Gratitude When Grieving Loss

As the series on grief comes to a close, remember that everyone experiences grief differently, and coping skills that work for one person may work differently or not work for someone else. Finding gratitude in grief, however, is a skill [...]

Complicated Grief: Prolonged Loss After Losing a Child

Anyone who has lost a loved one has experienced grief. As mentioned in previous articles, everyone experiences and copes with different types of grief in their own ways. For most people, bereavement brings with it feelings of sorrow, pain, and [...]

Losing a Child: 3 Things to Help with Grieving the Loss of A Child

Losing a loved one is always difficult. The sadness, emptiness, and loss can be overwhelming, even if the loss is one that the person is prepared for. Losing a child, however, brings a level of sorrow and pain that no [...]

The Second Shift: Organize your Brain to Manage a Healthy Work Home Balance

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP — The second shift is a sociological theory created by researcher and author Arlie Hochschild. In her book “The Second Shift” she investigates the dynamics of family life and the division of responsibilities between […]

3 Ways to Support Social-Emotional Development in Children

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, EdD PMHNP — As part of the Raising Mentally STRONG Kids program, I developed what I now call “The Growth Wheel”. The Growth Wheel is divided into eight parts. Each part focuses on an area of normal development […]

Grieving A Living Loved One: Coping With Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive

To continue the series on grief, this article is going to discuss grieving a living loved one. Grief can be experienced in many forms. It can be painful, overwhelming and is almost always handled differently by everyone who experiences it. [...]

What is Anticipatory Grief? Preparing for the Loss of a Loved One

As this series on grief continues, remember that grief comes in many different forms, and everyone experiences and handles grief differently. If someone is struggling with anticipatory grief that comes with preparing for the loss of someone, Mentally STRONG can [...]

Grief And Guilt: Coping With The Guilt Felt While Grieving A Loved One

Mentally STRONG’s website, podcasts, and YouTube videos make it evident that their team is very familiar with the experience of the grief and guilt that comes with losing a loved one. Although this time of year is usually a festive [...]

Living with Mental Illness: How the Mentally STRONG Method Changed My Life

By Tatiana Rainey – My name is Tatiana and I whole-heartedly support, believe in and promote all that Mentally STRONG has to offer. This is my story of living with mental illness and how the Mentally STRONG Method changed my life! [...]

A Letter To Someone Who is Struggling

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, EdD PMHNP -- A Letter to someone struggling, Life can be really hard, and no matter how hard you’re trying, if you feel like you are not getting any better, I want you to know that [...]

How to Talk About Mental Health with Your Family or Loved Ones

By Tatiana Rainey — Around 44 million Americans have a mental illness. That means if you’re not living with one, you know at least one person who is. Mental illness can be confusing, intimidating and even debilitating; trying to make […]

Self-Compassion: Avoid Negative Self-Talk & Have Compassion for Yourself

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP — Self-compassion can feel impossible sometimes. If you aren’t managing all of the stress and tasks in your life, it’s easy to blame yourself and feel like you aren’t good enough or you’re a […]

Reframe Your Thinking by Learning to Adapt When You Don’t Succeed

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP — Do you feel like you are always repeating the same patterns even though you are trying really hard to make changes that positively impact your life? When this is happening, it’s important to […]

Empowering Children: Raising Mentally STRONG Kids

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, EdD PMHNP — Sometimes it can be difficult to feel like you are empowering your children. It always feels like there is so much to do, and you just need your kids to cooperate. Unfortunately, right […]

Understanding Relationship Levels: Being Mentally STRONGer Together

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP — Every day you encounter people, and even if it was only a brief interaction with someone, you can choose to turn it in an opportunity for a positive relationship. It is important to […]

Stress is Growth: Building Resilience in Children Through Anxious Situations

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, EdD PMHNP -- Let’s try to change our mindset. “Stress is Growth”. As a parent, protecting your child from anxious situations is a natural instinct, but letting a child move through a stressful time can teach [...]

3 ways You can Help Change the Mental Health Culture Right Now

By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP –The current mental health culture and system surrounding care and treatment for mental illness has failed us. Every day we hear things like “suicide rates for teens is highest in Colorado” or “access to […]

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