Mental Health Resources



Hello from everyone at Bungie,

We want to share a message with everyone who’s experiencing a mental health issue: it’s okay to not be okay. You aren’t alone. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, which is why we have gathered the below mental health resources together with help from Guardians Mental Health.

If you know of someone who is struggling with their mental health, you can use to share these resources with them.

Our intention is to destigmatize mental health issues by providing and updating these resources over time. This is not a complete project, but we wanted to share it now with the hope that these resources will help someone who needs them.

You are not alone.



Suicide Prevention

Everyone's life is precious, and suicidal thoughts are serious issues to be handled by qualified and licensed mental health professionals.

For those in a crisis in the U.S., please seek help by calling or texting 988, or chatting live here. If outside the U.S., visit our International section.

If you have seriously harmed or injured yourself or feel that you may be about to harm yourself, please call:

Below are other crisis prevention resources for more countries and people:

International LGBTQIA+ U.S. Military

Learn the Signs

Helping others is one of the most important things we can do as individuals. If you can recognize when someone is going through a rough time in their life, you may be able to help them, even if it’s just to show that you care and are there for them to lean on.

Here are some common signs that someone may need help dealing with emotional issues or a mental health problem:

  • Depression or apathy that interferes with their obligations or them participating in social activities
  • Lack of coping skills around day-to-day problems or extreme reactions to certain situations
  • Extreme highs, referred to as a manic episode, that may include inflated sense of self, flights of ideas, bursts of energy, more talkative than usual, decrease need for sleep, excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (like excessive spending or physically risky behavior)
  • Severe anxiety or stress
  • Constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs

What You Can Do

Be a friend. That means you should be supportive and encourage them to reach out to their family, loved ones, and/or medical professionals. Remember, you aren’t their therapist and can’t provide treatment, but you can be a support system and someone they can rely on.

Being a friend also means making the hard choices. You may need to call emergency services or a family member on behalf of your loved one. While these decisions are tough and uncomfortable, it's important that we look out for our friends and make sure they are safe.

Taking on the burden of being someone’s support system when they’re going through emotional distress can be extremely stressful and draining, so remember to recognize your own limits and take care of yourself, too.

Here are some common strategies you can do to offer support:

      1. Encourage them to seek treatment
      2. Offer to accompany them to appointments
      3. Plan enjoyable activities together
      4. Exercise together
      5. Encourage them to socialize with others


More Resources:


Self-harm can manifest differently for everyone. And, the ways people may self-harm extend far beyond the usual references to cutting in media. Simply, self-harm is anything and everything someone can do to purposely hurt their body.

For those in a crisis and in the U.S., please seek help by calling or texting 988, or chatting live here with the 988 Suicide & Crises Lifeline. If outside the U.S., visit our International section under Suicide Prevention.

If you have seriously harmed or injured yourself or feel that you may be about to harm yourself, please call:


Managing Self-harm

It's okay to not be okay. Your emotions are real and you have to find ways to cope with them and process what is going on in your life. If you feel the urge to self-harm, here are some common strategies to try to help process and assist with those emotions:

      1. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a real human
      2. Try and channel that energy into something creative - Art, Writing, and Listening/Playing Music are great examples.
      3. Try taking a few deep breaths and some grounding skills to help minimize the urge.
      4. Download a few meditation apps to help reduce stress.
      5. Talk to a professional.


Learn the Signs of Self-Injury

Most Common Types Warning Signs
  • Cutting
  • Scratching
  • Burning
  • Carving into skin
  • Hitting or punching oneself or using other body parts against another surface
  • Piercing the skin
  • Pulling hair
  • Picking at wounds

More Resources:

Find a Mental Health Professional in the U.S.

Part of the first step in looking to better our mental health is finding a mental health professional who will assist us on that journey. Sometimes this can be the hardest step due to insurance, cost, or even availability of a provider. The following information is being shared to help try and make the process of finding a mental health professional easy: 


Individuals With Insurance

While insurance can be a luxury, navigating co-pays, authorizations, and finding a professional that will accept your insurance can sometimes be challenging. All insurance providers have clinical staff or representatives who can assist you in locating a provider. You should be able to find a mental health professional in your area that accepts your insurance. It is also important to know your co-pay or other deductibles. Most insurance providers will help to break it down so that it is easier to understand precisely what you owe (if anything).

If your insurance comes from your employer, you may have something known as Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits. These are therapeutic sessions that your employer covers. The sessions are usually brief (anywhere from 4-10 sessions approved), but your insurance provider can assist you in finding an EAP-specific provider and can provide you with information on how many sessions would be covered.


Individuals With No insurance or Insurance That Does Not Cover Mental Health

Finding Local Resources Sliding-Scale Rates Helpful Websites
  1. 211 is a phone number that will link an individual to various community support. These include housing support, finding food pantries, and accessing mental health. 211 can assist you with obtaining various government benefits you may be entitled to. Call 211 or go to to access your state's specific resources.
  2. The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline offers free assistance and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach the helpline at 1-800-950-6264. Visit or text HELPLINE to 62640 for more information.
  3. The Substance Abuse and Hental Health Services Administration collects an annual directory of mental health treatment facilities organized by state and territory. Visit for more information.
  4. Student health centers or federally-qualified health centers may provide free or low-cost mental health services.

Other Commons Ways to Find Mental Health Professionals

Speak to Your Primary Medical Doctor Helpful Websites

While we understand this may not be the most comfortable thing, talking with your medical doctor about wanting to meet with a Mental Health Professional may prove helpful. They may be able to provide you with a list of providers they work with and have professional connections with.

While this first step in your mental health journey might be difficult, we hope the above makes it easier and helps you on a positive path of healing!

More Resources:


Addiction is an inability of having control over engaging in a behavior or substance to the point that it interferes with your daily life and relationships and/or causes you psychological or physical harm.

Addiction triggers the reward pathways in your brain, making you feel good or happy for doing something. Anything that positively alters your mood can become addictive: food, caffeine, video games, sugar, shopping, sex, television, tanning, gambling, exercise, alcohol, drugs, smartphones, and more.

These things are fine in moderation, but when used or done excessively to the point where the impulse of doing or using them causes suffering related to health, family, relationships, work, and everyday activities, it becomes a problem.

Symptoms of Addiction

      1. Lack of Control – You can’t stop doing it and can’t stop thinking about it. You’re willing to do things you normally wouldn’t to keep doing it.
      2. Interference in Daily Life, Relationships, and Work – Your responsibilities are suffering because your time, and more, are supporting your addiction, and people are starting to notice.
      3. Ignoring Physical Issues and Risks – Even though you know you’re having health problems or may get hurt, you continue doing it.
      4. Trouble Managing Emotions – You’re becoming more sensitive to stress, have more outbursts, and are becoming more defensive. You can’t identify exactly what you’re feeling.
      5. Change of Appearance – Your appearance has changed, including weight loss and a noticeable abandonment of hygiene.
      6. Lack of Energy – You no longer have any energy to do anything except feed your addiction.

If you are experiencing anxiety and need to speak to someone, text HELLO to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling.


Treatment and Recovery

While addiction is a chronic and often relapsing disorder, people can and do recover from addiction, often on their own or with the help of their social network, and sometimes through a treatment provider. It usually requires many attempts to accomplish, and while you might fail, you can always try again and learn from the experience. There are many routes to recovery and finding the right path for you is what is most important. Here are some common strategies:

  • Medication-based treatment
  • Behavioral therapy and counseling
  • Medical devices to treat withdrawal
  • Treating related psychological factors, such as depression
  • Ongoing care to reduce the risk of relapse


More Resources:


Anxiety disorders involve more than a temporary worry or fear. They are actual physical reactions that can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time.

Those experiencing anxiety may experience some of the following symptoms:

      1. Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
      2. Being easily fatigued
      3. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
      4. Irritability
      5. Muscle tension
      6. Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
      7. Excessive anxiety and worry that you find difficult to control.

If you are experiencing anxiety and need to speak to someone, text HELLO to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling.


More Resources:

Bullying and Cyberbullying

Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Bullying isn't acceptable and shouldn't be tolerated. If you're being bullied, it's NOT your fault.

If you're being bullied, please seek help by texting HELLO to 741741, contacting the STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line, or calling 1-800-273-8255 or 1-201-463-8663.

If you have seriously harmed or injured yourself or feel that you may be about to harm yourself, please call:

Below are other crisis prevention resources:


Additionally, those being bullied can use these common strategies to try and protect themselves:
      • Walk away if you can
      • Tell someone you trust exactly what is happening
      • If this is at school, contact a teacher, school counselor, your principal, your superintendent, and even the State Department if nothing has changed
      • Try to avoid the bully when you are alone
      • Block them on all social media and any other means where they can contact you
      • If they've already contacted you, don't read or respond to their messages, then block them
      • Be brave by not reacting to them
      • Don't be afraid to ask for help from those you trust
      • Keep a record of the bullying to provide proof of how bad it is, including any messages they have sent you online
      • Don't ever share your name, age, address, or contact information with ANYONE online
      • Always log out of your online accounts and never share your passwords with anyone

If you're being bullied, please seek help by texting HELLO to 741741, contacting the STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line, or calling 1-800-273-8255 or 1-201-463-8663.

What is Bullying and Cyberbullying?

Bullying is when someone repeatedly embarrasses, threatens, or hurts someone else’s feelings. Cyberbullying is bullying that can take place 24/7 year-round while being anonymous using electronics and over the internet, including cell phones, computers, tablets, social media, and other chat services.


Online Gaming and Cyberbullying

Playing videogames should be fun and engaging. When playing online, sometimes emotions can be heightened, and if some players aren't performing well, other players will billy them. With how anonymous players can be online, it's difficult to hold them accountable when they bully others and use games as a form of harassment, sometimes stealing information from other players.

Tips to Stop Cyberbullying in Games

      • Block or Mute the bullying player from being able to contact you. This can include de-friending them if they're on your Friend's List, using your game and platform's "Block" button, and updating your platform's Settings so that non-friends can't contact you. 
      • Report the bullying player using your in-game Report tools. View our article to Report Players in Destiny 2. If the bully threatens that they are reporting you, don't worry about it - only players who break rules are banned.
      • Quitting a match or turning off the game can stop it immediately. Some games may warn or penalize you for leaving a match, but you did it for your own protection and mental health.
      • Contact the game's support team or moderators to see if they can offer assistance. If you can, provide evidence of the bullying, such as screenshots or videos.
      • Telling a parent or guardian and ask if they can help you.
      • If the harassment gets worse where you begin feeling unsafe, contact your local law enforcement agency to see if they can help.

Preventing Cyberbullying in Games

To prevent cyberbullying from occuring before it beings, here are some tips that can help:

      • Change your platform's communication, security, and privacy Settings so that only Friends can contact you.
      • Turn off Voice and/or Text Chat, or alter your game's settings so that they can only be used when with friends or when you're on a team.
      • Don't open message or voice requests from people you don't know.
      • Keep your personal information private and don't share it with anyone. This includes things like your name, email address, phone number, social media accounts, birthdate, and the location where you live.

If you're being bullied, please seek help by texting HELLO to 741741, contacting the STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line, or calling 1-800-273-8255 or 1-201-463-8663.

Kids: How to Tell an Adult

If you're being bullied, you should tell an adult. You may feel scared and think that things won't change, but you won't be able to get help until you tell an adult. It might be hard to explain what's happening, so decide for yourself what you want to say and who you want to speak to. Sometimes it's more difficult to tell a parent than someone else about an issue you're facing.

People to Speak to "What to say?" Examples
  • Parent
  • Teacher or Principal
  • Coach
  • Family Member
  • Mentor
  • Counselor

Help for Parents

If your child is being bullied, they may not want to tell you out of shame or fear that things will get worse for them, or that they won't be believed or do anything about the situation. Provide a safe and supportive space for them, praise your child for doing the right things by telling you about it, and be prepared to listen without making judgments or being critical of what they were doing before getting bullied. They may not be ready to explain the situation yet, and that's okay - give them time and let them know you are there to help them. Once your child begins to tell their story, learn as much about the situation as possible. Be ready to advocate for your child and speak to the principal or someone in charge to help remedy the situation.

Make sure that your child knows:
        1. It is NOT their fault and they shouldn't blame themselves.
        2. You are there to help them.
        3. It's the role of an adult to advocate for their child, especially during times of bullying
        4. Bullying is never okay.
        5. No one deserves to be bullied.
        6. They deserve to be treated with respect.
        7. They have a right to feel safe.

Once you've gathered enough information, thank your child for having the courage to tell you.

What To Do

You should start by contacting the teacher and school counselor about the issue. Most schools have anti-bullying programs and policies. Set up meetings, request an immediate investigation into the situation, ask how the school is keeping your child safe, ask how is the school keeping your child's identity and privacy protected to prevent retaliation. Make sure to take notes, bring whomever you need to any of the meetings, and request that the investigation be kept confidential.

      1. If the school isn't adequately addressing the situation, contact the school superintendent, State Department of Education, and other organizations in charge of the school.
      2. If you have serious concerns about your child's safety, you may need to contact legal authorities and, if possible, transfer to another school.

Help your child learn how to react to bullying, such as:

      1. Speak up when bullying happens
      2. Try not to show emotion or lash out in front of the bully
      3. Tell a trusted adult

Seek help if your child talks about suicide or seems unusually upset. If you can't seek the help of a doctor or mental health professional in the U.S., please seek help by calling or texting 988, or chatting live here with the 988 Suicide & Crises Lifeline. If outside the U.S., visit our International section under Suicide Prevention.


Adult Bullying

It's not just kids and teenagers who can be bullied - adults can be bullied, too, especially in the workplace. Adult bullies can be more subtle and sophisticated that what a child can employ, making you feel humiliated, belittled, de-energized, or oppressed.

Adult bullies can perform many cruel actions, such as personal insults, singling out others in public for unjustified criticism, ridiculing practical "jokes," invasion of your personal space, excluding you from group or workplace activities, ignoring your suggand unwanted personal contact. Gaslighting is another common tactic used on others to the point that the victims can doubt their memory, judgement, and abilities - this can limit a victim's ability to adequately perform in their workplace or in their personal life.


Tips for Adult Victims

      1. Stay safe and keep your distance. The most important thing you can do is to protect yourself and remove yourself from a dangerous situation. If necessary, contact local law enforcement, and an emergency or crisis hotline. Unfriend and block the bully on social media if you can.
      2. Don't show fear. Make eye contact and speak up calmly about what is happening. While this can be challenging, it can stop some bullies from proceeding with their tactics.
      3. Connect with others. Bullies will usually target isolated individuals, so if you are around others or have a support system, they can help you feel less alone and help you deal with the situation.
      4. Report the bully. If you're in the workplace and a coworker is bullying you, speak out and report them. Being professional in the workplace means that everyone should be professional. By their actions, bullies aren't being professional, and they need to be reprimanded.
      5. Document the offenses. Keeping a record of each offense can help you build a case to file at work or, in some cases, a police report if the bully's actions become emotionally or physically damaging. Save any emails and screenshot any communication (including social media) you receive, and write down all events that take place.  Some forms of bullying are considered discriminatory harassment or even hate crimes. In certain cases, bullies can be prosecuted under the law.


Signs of Bullying

Bullying is sometimes hard to spot, but there are some key warning signs to keep top of mind. Paying attention to the warning signs could help you support your friends and reach out for help when you need it.

Signs of Being Bullied Signs of Bullying Others
  • Injuries they can’t explain
  • Changes in eating and sleeping
  • Faking illness or claiming to feel sick
  • Headaches and stomachaches
  • Avoiding social situations, including those with people who were once their friends
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Self-harm or other dangerous behaviors
  • Losing possessions
  • Worsening academic performance


Burnout is a form of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion brought on by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and general fatigue, usually related to a job or workplace, but it can occur in any area of someone’s life.

The issue of burnout can have many systemic influences, meaning that the cause or root of burnout can be attributed to a system someone is a part of instead of an individual.

There are three categories of burnout symptoms:

Physical Emotional Behavioral
  • Low energy; feeling tired and easily fatigued most of the time; exhaustion
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain
  • Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
  • Change in sleep habits and/or appetite

Systemic Factors That Can Cause Burnout

Burnout can be attributed to a system of stressors put on an individual, rather than the individual not being capable of "handling" the stress. There are six commonly agreed upon contributing factors to burnout that people develop with their work:

      1. Workload - The amount of work someone can accomplish within an amount of time. When work gets overloaded, there is too much to accomplish in too short of time with too few resources. 
      2. Control - What capacity someone believes they have to influence decisions that affect their work, gain access to resources they need, and the autonomy and independence to make decisions.
      3. Reward - A reward in the workplace refers to the power of reinforcements someone receives to shape their behavior. Rewards can be monetary, social, or intrinsic. A lack of recognition and reward increases someone's vulnerability to burnout.
      4. Community - The mutual support and closeness that people have on a team. When workplace relationships lack support and trust, the risk of burnout is higher.
      5. Fairness - Refers to how people feel they are being treated, both fairly and with respect.
      6. Values - The motivation someone has for their workplace and what originally attracted them to their job. When a value someone has for the job conflicts with what the job is asking for, people will make concessions or trade-offs that erode the values they have.

When any of these six factors create a negative experience in the workplace, they can lead to the three dimensions of burnout. The Maslach Burnout Inventory three-dimensional model assesses an individual's experience in the workplace, measuring the following:

      • Emotional Exhaustion - Feelings of being emotionally extended and exhausted by your work.
      • Depersonalization - An unfeeling and impersonal response toward people of your service, care, treatment, or instruction.
      • Personal Accomplishment - Feelings of competence and successful achievement in your work.

Burnout in Regular Life

Burnout that is not work-related can occur from different roles in someone's life, especially when giving or committing a lot of energy to a role. Roles require a lot of energy and involve varying degrees of stress, and stereotypes and stigmas can make those suffering from burnout within these roles feel that they are to blame for their issues. As a result, they can often hide their struggles from others. Without treatment, burnout can cause severe consequences to those affected.

The most common non-work-related burnout are:

      • Parental Burnout – Burned-out parents can put a tremendous amount of stress on themselves due to trying to get everything done. Sometimes this can result in trying to get away from being a parent to preserve what energy they have. Parents can also feel that they aren't the parents they want to be, feeling shame for not being who they want to be.
      • Caregiver Burnout – People who voluntarily give up their free time to help care for a loved one experiencing illness, disability, or any condition requiring attention are sometimes called informal caregivers. It can be difficult for informal caregivers to take a break from their responsibilities because they feel that someone else is depending on them.
      • Relationship/Marital Burnout – Long-term conflicts within a relationship or marriage can compromise the quality of the relationship, leading to a possible increase in aggression and reduced feelings of love. Setting aside a specific time with a partner to reconnect can help combat this type of burnout. Therapy can also be an option for those couples who can't find common ground anymore.

Common Strategies for Managing and Preventing Burnout

While trying to manage burnout without solving the systemic issues causing it can actually prolong the feelings of burnout, many people are unable to change the system on their own. If support can't be found, here are some helpful tips that may help, but they won't completely solve the issue itself until the systemic issues are dealt with:

      1. Turn to Others – There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Reach out and communicate with those closest to you, such as your partner, family, and friends. If this is work-related, speak to your manager and discuss a more manageable workload.
      2. Be More Sociable in Your Environments – Communication is important in any relationship and can help create a healthy environment. Creating friendships with coworkers can help with stress at work, small talk with a neighbor could eventually lead to a friendship, and participating in group settings (social or otherwise) can expand your social circle.
      3. Get Enough Sleep – Practice good sleeping habits. Our bodies need time to rest and reset, and it can’t do that if you aren’t getting restful sleep. Try limiting smartphone usage before bed, avoiding caffeine, and creating a relaxing bedtime ritual to help with sleep.
      4. Limit Contact with Negative People – If you’re experiencing burnout, hanging out with negative people can drag your mood and outlook further down, which can exacerbate your feelings of burnout.
      5. Exercise – Spending time doing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day can have multiple health benefits, improving your mood, mental health, and wellbeing. You can even break up the 30-minutes into 10-minute bursts of activity throughout the day.
      6. Revaluate Your Priorities – Focus on improving yourself by setting up boundaries, learning to say “no” and don’t overextend yourself. Take breaks, nourish your creative side, and do things that make you happy.
      7. Eat a Healthy Diet – What your body intakes can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels throughout the day. Minimize sugar, reduce caffeine and unhealthy fats, eat more Omega-3 fatty acids (such as fatty fish and walnuts), avoid nicotine, and drink alcohol in moderation.
      8. Acknowledge Your Stress – Whatever role you have, you probably encounter stress. Accepting that your role is tough, and recognizing that you may not have the energy or time to do other things, can help reduce stress because you're allowing yourself to put some non-important things aside.
      9. Make Small Changes – While you can't always take a vacation, you can make changes to reduce the stressors in your life. Rebalancing the changeable stressors in your life, such as offloading certain small jobs to others or cutting down on commitments, can help you become more flexible and balanced.
      10. Grow Your Skills – Being a parent, or having another role, can be a growing and learning process. No one has all of the answers right away. Attending seminars, asking about mental health, finding a therapist, or even just watching YouTube videos can help you improve your skills for the roles you're in.

If you are experiencing anxiety and need to speak to someone, text HELLO to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling. If outside the U.S., visit our International section under Suicide Prevention.


More Resources:


Depression (major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression) is a common but serious mental health condition. It causes severe symptoms that impact multiple aspects of daily functioning, such as how you feel, think, sleep, appetite, and motivation. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Those with depression may try to hide the fact that they’re depressed or they may not even realize they are.

If you are feeling depressed and need to speak to someone, text HELLO to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling. If outside the U.S., visit our International section under Suicide Prevention.

Recognizing Depression

      1. Depressed mood most of the day nearly every day
      2. A loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities
      3. Significant weight gain or weight loss when not dieting
      4. Sleeplessness or an overabundance of sleep nearly every day
      5. Making movements for no reason (such as tapping your shoes or pacing around a room) or noticing that movements, thoughts, and speech have slowed down.
      6. Fatigue or loss of energy
      7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
      8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
      9. Recurrent thoughts of death


Getting Help

Here are common strategies that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:

      1. Contact a medical professional. Some depression types, such as chronic depression, can't be managed by the common strategies below and need a medical professional to help manage those symptoms.
      2. Try to be active.
      3. Set attainable goals for yourself.
      4. Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
      5. Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
      6. Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
      7. Continue to educate yourself about depression.


More Resources:

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome (also known as imposter phenomenon) is a feeling people have when they doubt their accomplishments, skills, expertise, or talents compared to their peers and have an internalized fear of being revealed as a fraud or failure.

Signs and Symptoms

There may be times when others give you praise for your successes that you brush off, claiming that it was just timing, luck, or other things besides your skills. If you keep doing this, you’ll never believe that earned your success. Due to you not believing that you earned your successes, you fear that others will eventually believe the same thing.

As a result, you may push yourself to work harder than before with the belief that you'll:

  • stop others from seeing your perceived failures or shortcomings
  • make yourself feel better from “tricking” people
  • eventually become worthy of your role that you don’t believe you earned
  • cover up what you consider to be a lack of intelligence

As you work harder and accomplish more, the accomplishments won’t reassure you, because you’ll see them as products of your efforts to maintain the “illusion” of your success. And then you’ll take all the blame for any mistakes made, even though you consider your accomplishments to be from something other than your skill.

Over time, this can fuel a cycle of anxiety, depression, guilt, and burnout.

The Five Types

There are five patterns in people who experience imposter feelings:

      1. The Expert – Those who try to gain knowledge and understand everything they can about a topic, and then consider themselves failures if they don’t know the answer to a question or encounter more knowledge that was previously missed.
      2. The Individual – There are those who believe that if they can’t achieve success on their own, they are failures. Asking for help, or accepting help of any kind, means admitting their limitations and admitting that they are failures.
      3. The Natural Genius – When those who always learned things quickly start to struggle, it can be a big blow to their ego and mental state, causing embarrassment or feeling ashamed that they failed to succeed easily.
      4. The Perfectionist – Those who strive to be perfect set extremely high goals for themselves, and if they don’t achieve all of them, they can feel like failures, even when they achieve most of their goals.
      5. The Superhero – For them, to succeed means pushing themselves to the limit and using as much energy as possible in every role they take on. If they aren’t giving 100% all the time or believe that they can do more even when they can’t, they can feel like failures.

Overcoming Feelings of Imposter Syndrome

If you recognize that you’re undergoing feelings of imposter syndrome, there are ways to overcome your beliefs:

      1. Prepare for Your Feelings – You can prepare yourself for feelings of imposter syndrome. When they happen, recognize them, and try to reassure yourself that they’re just emotions and that you’re capable of your successes.
      2. Save Your Accomplishments – If people give you praise, write them down and save them somewhere close. If it’s a chat or email, save them in a document to find later when you’re feeling like a fraud.
      3. Recognize That Your Have Expertise – You don’t have to just look at those with more experience for help, you can also give advice and assistance to those with less experience, allowing you to recognize how much knowledge you have.
      4. Remember What You're Good At – Write down what you do well and what areas you think you need improvement in.
      5. Quit Comparing Yourself to Others – If people accomplish something, don’t compare your accomplishments to theirs. Instead, recognize that you both have accomplished things, and celebrate them.
      6. Learn to Celebrate Imperfection – Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. You should always strive to do your best, but don’t let trying to do your best impede your progress. Find a reasonable balance between the two so that you can still celebrate your accomplishments.
      7. Speak to a Friend or Mentor – Your friends and mentors can help you understand your feelings, reassure you that their normal and irrational, and encourage your growth and progress.
      8. Talk to a Professional – Talking to a therapist or psychologist can help you break out of the cycle of feeling like a fraud.


More Resources:


Trauma is not a conscious choice but a normal survival reaction from our brain and limbic system to abnormal situations.

What is Trauma

The word ‘trauma’ can encompass many different experiences. However, the consensus is that trauma is an often-invisible wound that injures people emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically.

Trauma is a significant emotional response to learning about, seeing, or experiencing distinct threatening events, such as accidents, natural disasters, devastating losses, war, systemic racism, persistent fear and stress within negative relationships, or toxic work environments (APA, CPA, NCPTSD). Trauma can also affect future generations of a family or group of people; this is called intergenerational trauma.

While many people may go through some of these events in their lifetime (in the U.S., 50% of men and 60% of women), not everyone will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from it. Usually, only 8% of the stated 50% of men and 20% of the stated 60% of women develop PTSD. For those who experience trauma, the symptoms following the event (distressing thoughts, persistent images, a strong sense of threat, feeling emotionally numb and irritable) persist longer than intended, affecting their physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual health.

Following a traumatic incident, people can feel stunned, disoriented, and unable to process the information they have seen. Our brains react to what has happened by going into an alert mode (Amygdala), but while this happens, our memory storage and recollection (known as Hippocampus) does not work so well. This can lead to a multitude of unwanted feelings and symptoms:

        1. Intense or unpredictable feelings of fear or anger – Feelings of anxiety, nervousness, overwhelmed, or even grief-stricken. These symptoms can also lead to increased irritability or moodiness.
        2. Flashbacks and unwanted memories of the trauma – Repeated and vivid memories of the event may present themselves following the trauma. These memories may occur without reason and may lead to acute physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat, sweating or even panic attacks. Flashbacks can impact concentration and decision-making abilities.
        3. Hypervigilance for potential danger – Sirens, loud noises, burning smells, or other environmental sensations may stimulate memories of the disaster, creating heightened anxiety. These “triggers” may accompany fears that the stressful event will happen again.
        4. Negative beliefs about other people and their intentions – The mistrust can result in strained interpersonal relationships due to excessive caution and difficulties trusting others. Increased conflict can occur, such as more frequent disagreements with family members and coworkers.
        5. Efforts to avoid perceived danger – Following the event, people may become withdrawn, isolated, or disengaged from usual social activities.
        6. A negative belief about ourselves and the role we would have played in the event – While avoiding the perceived people may feel stricken with guilt and shame from the event, often blaming themselves for the results of the event.
        7. Dissociative symptoms – Detachment, Derealization, and Depersonalization.
        8. Changes to sleep patterns – Nightmares, sleep paralysis, early waking.
        9. Somatic discomfort – Headaches, nausea, and chest pain may occur and could require medical attention. Pre-existing medical conditions could be affected by the stress relating to the trauma.

Stress Responses

Following the exposure to trauma, our mind and body's normal survival instincts kick into overdrive, however, this can lead to our alarm system (Amygdala) getting stuck in the on position. As such, individuals can feel a perpetual fear for their survival which falls into four main reactionary categories: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn.

        1. Fight – Fight mode is a state of self-preservation at all costs. In this mode, the sense of danger can lead to explosive anger, aggression, and emotional outbursts.
        2. Flight – Flight mode can be characterized as overwhelming feelings of panic and anxiety leading to an inability to relax due to the associated excessive worry. In this state, people can have a feeling of needing to control everything and be perfect, which can also lead them to remove or avoid distressing situations.
        3. Freeze – Freeze mode can happen when people are overwhelmed by the amount of distress which can lead them to dissociate from the present moment. People in this state can feel the need to isolate or hide from the world, can feel in a fog, and not know what to do about how to manage distressing situations.
        4. Fawn – Fawn mode often presents following trauma relating to abusive situations. To stay safe, people will often resort to people-pleasing due to the fear of potentially being hurt again. Fawn mode becomes an unhelpful coping strategy as it can lead people to be physically or emotionally exploited, potentially retraumatizing them.


Some of the most intrusive trauma symptoms are triggers, which can lead to a cascade of follow-up symptoms. Triggers are incredibly intrusive as many people are unaware of all of their triggers. The human body is self-protective, which leads to the automatic reaction to any indicating cues of possible danger. The brain is very good at pattern recognition and can easily be primed by many factors, leading to a higher likelihood of trigger response.

A trigger is not remembering when we were in danger but a sudden and overwhelming feeling of being in immediate danger and the need to respond accordingly to return to safety. When experiencing a trigger response, people can feel a multitude of cascading symptoms:

    • Anxiety/fear
    • Increased heart rate
    • Unsettled stomach
    • Shallow breathing/hyperventilation
    • Obsessive thoughts
    • Rapid and disproportionate reactions to events
    • Feeling uneasy
    • Hypertension
    • Muscle tensions, twitching, tics
    • A multitude of unhelpful thoughts


Post-Traumatic Growth and Resilience

While many people will experience one traumatic event in their lives, not everyone will have PTSD. Even with a diagnosis of PTSD, the narrative of their experience includes one of survival. Suffering from trauma is not equivalent to being flawed or weak. Trauma is a highly effective safety and survival tool, which can also be used as a springboard to finding and building resilience. With support and treatment, people are not only able to recover and survive, but they can also thrive in their lives. Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that suggests that people can grow past their trauma, by learning new tools and aspects of themselves following the trauma.


Building Resilience

We will encounter adversity, complex trials, and moments that test our strength during our lifetime. These are the times when everyone can show off their resilience and show off the ability to change direction, heal physically and emotionally, and make a difference in their lives and others. Resilience is not the ability to withstand everything that comes at us but the ability to be flexible and accommodate our needs to persevere through a difficult time.

While the idea of resilience is still being researched and reviewed, there are several things that you can do to try and help increase your resilience:

Failure as Feedback

Failure does not have to be the end; it can be the beginning of a new path that can help guide us to a successful future. We can use the feedback we learned from the failure and the feedback we received from others and become stronger.


Our greatest ally is ourselves, even in the heat of extreme emotion, action, or agitation. When we are stressed and think there is nothing we can do, these helpful tips can help you manage your feelings and reactions to what is happening around you:

        1. Be mindful of what you feel – Identify the emotions if you can. Embrace them and use them as a strength, not as a flaw.
        2. Accept – Try to recognize that it is okay to be anxious or fearful. Our emotions make us who we are but can also make us stronger.
        3. Breathe – Remember to always breathe. Give yourself a short moment to breathe and reset so you can react to things as you need to.

Trust in Your Fireteam

In the most stressful of times, something that can make us strong is knowing that we have a great team behind us ready to help. Having faith and trust in the team behind us helps us to be stronger and have the resilience to continue forward.

Resilience can help defend and manage various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Resilience can also help offset factors that increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as being bullied or previous trauma. Being resilient can vastly improve your coping ability if you have an existing mental health condition.


Where to Find Help

Trauma is very complex, and it is essential to seek help if symptoms progress. When working with trauma, it is crucial to find a professional versed in Trauma-informed care.

Trauma-informed care looks to:

      • Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand the paths to recovery
      • Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, families, and staff
      • Integrate knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
      • Actively avoid anything that could be re-traumatizing

To find a therapist, the following resources are available for support:

For those in a crisis in the U.S., please seek help by calling or texting 988, or chatting live here. If outside the U.S., visit our International section under Suicide Prevention.

If you have seriously harmed or injured yourself or feel that you may be about to harm yourself, please call:


More Resources: