I’m Alixzandria Paige, and I’m so excited to join HealthyPlace. I grew up in a big family, and unfortunately, many of my family members have a mental illness. While it has been challenging, my family with mental illnesses have all gotten so much better over time. As for me, I have a psychology degree and use my degree experience to help myself and others overcome mental health issues so that we may live the lives that we deserve.
It is often said that relationships are a two-way street — that you get out what you put in. So how do you maintain relationships (platonic, romantic, or familial) when your mental health interferes with your ability to support others? When you are so preoccupied with your thoughts and ruminations that it doesn't even occur to you to check in on the people closest to you? Sure, the odd blip can be forgiven, but in the case of chronic, long-term depression, how do you manage to convince other people to stick around? How do you tell them that you're not selfish — just suffering?
Going down the rabbit hole of a negative thought-spiral is no fun, and yet sometimes it's so automatic that it feels like there's nothing I can do to stop it. It only takes one negative thought to blast my mind into a dark place where I feel lots of anxiety and no control. If this happens to you, too, it's not your fault--but you can learn to reframe negative thinking so these nasty thoughts taunt you less and less.
As we face our final days of 2020, the holiday stress is rising and many of us with a history of addiction are bracing ourselves for the food-related festivities. The holidays can feel terrorizing and traumatic for numerous reasons, but a big factor could be the substances consumed around this time of year. For some, the dread of holiday cocktails might be causing you anxiety, but for others, the sacred meals and traditional foods could be your cause for concern.
Like me, I'm sure many people have been advised to "be positive" when they are depressed or struggling in general. One would think over time this typically misused saying would fade away. Instead, we have a version 2.0: good vibes only. The 'good vibes only' attitude is a form of toxic positivity and is harmful to a person with depression. Allow me to explain why.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
When anxiety strikes and skyrockets, chances are you'd enjoy an anxiety hack for instant relief from your symptoms. While unfortunately there is no quick fix for anxiety that will make it magically disappear from your life forever, there are things you can do to immediately help your soothe your mind, brain, and body. When you catch yourself caught in high anxiety, try one or more of these 12 anxiety hacks to reset and center yourself so you can deal with the stressors you're facing.
I’ve always been one who enjoys traveling. However, much as I like to travel, there is one part of the process that I’ve always been uncomfortable with: actually traveling. Specifically, flying to my destination.
I have a talisman that I carry with me everywhere I go, and it helps keep my self-esteem strong. A talisman is a good-luck piece, but it can also act as a trigger to evoke a memory or an emotional response. Here's the story of my talisman and how you can use one of your own.
Rapid weight change due to mental illness is challenging enough without dealing with people's reactions. I've experienced rapid weight loss and gain on three separate occasions. The most dramatic weight change I survived was a 30-pound loss that left me looking like a skeleton with dark circles under my eyes. The only thing more shocking was people telling me how great I looked. As infuriating as these reactions were, I learned that my rapid weight change created an opportunity to start talking about mental illness.
One of the most fear-inducing symptoms of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is dissociative amnesia. When the mind is elsewhere and split off from the conscious body, it can be easy to lose track of everything from time to conversations with other people. It took me years before I understood this commonly overlooked symptom of DID, and just as long to gain control over it and my everyday life.