My name is Bethany Avery, and I suffer from complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). I started showing symptoms of C-PTSD when I was 16 years old, and I first sought treatment for my disorder when I was in college. Finding solid footing in the shaky world that C-PTSD creates has been a tough but important battle, and I’m excited to share my story and coping methods as part of the "Trauma! A PTSD Blog" at HealthyPlace.
A diagnosis of mental illness can be shocking for both the patient and their loved ones. Prior to my husband’s diagnosis, I held a skewed view of mental illness believed the stigma surrounding it. After his diagnosis of schizophrenia, I repeatedly asked myself why it couldn’t be something more seemingly straightforward, such as anxiety or depression. I learned to accept his illness over time, but it is difficult when others are not able to do the same.
Imagine you decide to plant a tiny sprout in your garden. When it flourishes, it will bring you deep joy. But first, it needs your focus and care to grow. Those who come into your garden and see your sprout give you support and space, encouraging your progress. But occasionally, a different kind of person comes into your garden. Knowingly or unknowingly, they march across the soil, step on your plants, and in the worst-case scenario, grind your tiny sprout into nothing.
In September and then again in January, I increased my antipsychotic for schizoaffective disorder even though I knew it would probably cause weight gain. And, it did. But I am much better off now mentally than I was before I made the changes, so I don’t want to decrease the schizoaffective medication just to lose weight.
Social anxiety can be life-limiting, its negative effects filling people with seemingly constant fear and dread. Can you really reduce social anxiety with mindfulness meditation? You can indeed; however, it's a persistent and gradual process of meeting the root of this type of anxiety and creating a sense of calm rather than agitation. Let's look at how this happens and gain a mindfulness meditation to help reduce social anxiety.
Having depression can sometimes lead to developing negative habits as we try to cope. Often things that aren't necessarily wise or healthy feel good at the moment. Sometimes it's easier to do what is comfortable rather than that which requires work and sacrifice. Depression drains us of our energy, thus making it difficult to take even that first step towards building healthier habits. What are some of these negative habits? How can we start moving away from these non-desirable habits towards more positive coping skills?
One of the most difficult things I’ve had to figure out recently is how to set boundaries again after my abusive relationship ended.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can often lead to boredom. It can also result in discovering exciting methods to counter that discontent. In certain ways, I get bored less often than friends who do not have the condition, and what someone considers uninteresting is entirely subjective. Still, it appears I am not alone when it comes to ADHDers who absolutely despise being bored.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective type of treatment used for issues with self-harm. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), it is currently used to treat a variety of mental illnesses such as eating disorders and chronic depression. DBT targets emotion dysregulation to help patients cope with the severity of their distress.
The mainstream culture needs more advocates for eating disorder awareness—and as someone in pursuit of healing for your own life, this advocate could be you. It has been estimated that every 62 minutes, at least one person dies from an eating disorder which means this disease has the highest mortality rate out of any mental illness1, but it also remains one of the most painfully misunderstood. If there is a passion inside of you to raise the public consciousness for eating disorder recovery and to draw attention to the millions of people whose lives are affected by this illness, then here are some guideposts to help you become an advocate for eating disorder awareness.