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A change of perspective can do wonders to change your mindset, and this is why, when my destructive thoughts get to be too much, I go to nature to support my eating disorder recovery.
Since my brother was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, all types of people have tried to give him advice on his mental health symptoms. Many of these people have no experience of a mental health diagnosis themselves -- and while they mean well, their mental health advice could actually exacerbate depression and anxiety symptoms if my brother followed it.
I believe depression prevents self-improvement. Maybe not in its entirety, but certainly overall. I feel like depression is a wall and I'm chained to it so forward progress is all but impossible. So what do you do if you think depression is preventing your self-improvement?
One of the most challenging aspects of COVID for me has been recreating a schedule to reduce anxiety for myself. Although I've been fortunate to keep my job, I've discovered that a lot of the structure I enjoyed in my life was the result of activities and obligations that have evaporated in the last two months.
I’m August Queue, and I am a transmasculine, nonbinary, queer person. My pronouns are they/them and sometimes he/him. I’m going to be writing for "The Life: LGBT Mental Health," and discussing my experience with mental health and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, intersex, asexual, plus (LGBTQIA+) community. I have been diagnosed with a slew of different things, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. After turning 24 and spending four years in therapy, I discovered that I had autism.
Have you become stuck in the tension of how to approach eating disorder recovery when you don't feel ready? This is a common dilemma—the belief that you can't pursue healing until the motivation, desire, and commitment all of a sudden materialize.
The year 2020 is turning out to be very stressful, and stress isn’t good for any of us, whether or not we have a mental illness like schizoaffective disorder. Not only do we have the coronavirus to contend with, but it’s also a presidential election year. Future responses to the virus and the outcome of the election go hand in hand in my mind. Add in my schizoaffective disorder, and I’m really stressed out. But I’m focusing this article on the election despite that.
In addition to eventually developing my own addictions, I also grew up in a home with an addicted parent. I rarely spoke about my mom's addiction history when I was young because of the shame that frequently followed those conversations. As I grew older and developed a few less than desirable habits of my own, I thankfully found some compassion for my mom and the struggles that surrounded her.
It's the ultimate conundrum. Mindfulness meditation can reduce the effects of anxiety on your life and wellbeing, but practicing mindfulness meditation when you're anxious can seem impossible. After all, anxiety involves negative, racing thoughts--worries, what-ifs, and worst-case scenarios--that keep you trapped in your mind. How are you supposed to quiet your mind with mindfulness meditation when anxiety is relentlessly loud? If anxiety is preventing you from using this tool to reduce it, take heart: the practice is a skill that becomes stronger the more you use it. Here are three tips to make mindfulness meditation work for you when you're anxious.
Today in mental health recovery, I'm experiencing dissociation. What is dissociation? Well, for me, I feel oddly disconnected from my body, and like I'm floating through a dream in my real life. I am experiencing dissociation now, and rather than waiting until I feel better, I've decided to make a post in the moment to really show you what it's like.

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Laurie Box
My son is 34 and has lived alone in an apartment for 6 years now. His mental health diagnosis is schizoid personality disorder but he has paranoia and is hearing derogatory voices too. He is not able to drink due to court monitoring him so his mental health condition is more obvious than when he was drinking. I help him financially so that he can live alone. He recently asked me to leave him alone for a week. Reluctantly, I agreed not to text or visit. It is very hard for me since I constantly have him on my mind BUT with his request, comes a little "break" for me and for him. I will check in with him in a week and see what he thought of the break and how he is doing, It may continue and I may just be in touch weekly. For now, he seems to take care of things for himself but he doesn't go out much at all. I grocery shop because he feels everyone in public talks about him...It is always so difficult to know what TO DO and what NOT TO DO...He seems to be getting worse mentally but he is taking medication at the moment and seeing a counselor (due to court requirement). I am hopeful but have been through so much already that I have to be realistic and ready. I just found this website and like hearing from everyone. It somehow helps me feel better...I am truly not alone in this. I wish all of these people would get together and talk but their diagnoses keep them sheltered away...ugh...
George Abitante
Hi Lizanne,

Thanks for another great comment! I like the term "anchor" a lot - finding an anchoring activity that sets up the rest of your day for success is a great approach!

George
Lizanne Corbit
Welcome, August! It is a pleasure to see you in this forum. So looking forward to reading future posts from you. This was such a joyous statement to read: "Learning to appreciate how my brain functions was liberating." How liberating, indeed! Glad to have you here.
Lizanne Corbit
I think this is a beautiful reminder of everyone's process being unique to them. I also like to think that anxiety isn't necessarily something to "fix", our perception around it and interaction with it can be shifted so it's not a negative. The examples you provide for meditation and exercise are perfect because they are among the most common by far, well-meaning, but not necessarily helpful (or even harmful as you mention). We must keep these kinds of conversations in mind if we want to truly support one another, in the ways that are best for everyone.
Lizanne Corbit
This is all wonderful. I particularly love the note on "find your activity". This is a beautiful example of how something that seems so small can be the perfect anchor to ground us and build a routine around. Now more than ever, creating structure and routine is so beneficial. Excellent suggestions. Take care!