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It's 3:00 AM, and I can't sleep. I'm sitting in the commons area of an eerily quiet psychiatric unit while I recover from a relatively severe psychotic break. I wasn't going to blog this week because, well, the obvious. On top of that, all I have is en and paper. No internet access. But my wife still managed to post this week despite taking me to the hospital and picking up the slack in my absence. It is good to emulate one's heroes, and I can think of no greater her than my wife. I just wish I were a little more like her. But I have to remember that psychiatric hospitalization does not denote weakness.
While there are many people in the world who continue to stigmatize mental health, sometimes the most trying situations come from dealing with the people in our immediate lives who continue to spread stigma. There are a number of ways to handle people who approach mental health from a perspective of stigma, but here are 2 easy ways that you can deal with the people in your life.
Does anxiety define you? Do experiences determine who we are? These are questions that have been bugging me for the past week as I've talked to friends who experience
There is this myth of a "nervous breakdown." We see this term in news report, press releases and even in our own families -- "Oh, you know Aunt June? She suffered a nervous breakdown." But what are people talking about when they say someone had a nervous breakdown. Clearly, something happened but the truth of the matter the idea of a "nervous breakdown" is a myth.
I've gone through some changes in my life recently that have me thinking about fear. In particular, how we react to feeling afraid. Why are some fears considered perfectly acceptable, while others fill us with shame and demand action? Being afraid of an aggressive animal, an impending surgery, or a loved one experiencing harm are all considered rational and acceptable. Yet we tend to hide our fears of social interaction, object/behaviors that feel uncomfortable, or people who affect us. So, what makes certain fears unpalatable? What makes us decide a fear is unfounded or embarrassing? Why are some fears allowed, while others must be conquered?
I recently saw a quote in which someone was lamenting the fact that there were more articles describing narcissism and narcissistic abuse than how to heal after abuse. I thought it was a strange distinction to make. When survivors of narcissistic abuse read articles about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, that is a form of healing after abuse.
Reading books helps immensely with my schizoaffective disorder and my schizoaffective anxiety. Reading books is a great escape, too, and gives value to my time. But it’s a catch-22 because, in order for me to be able to concentrate on a book, my schizoaffective anxiety has to be at a lower level than it usually is.
How is your relationship with anxiety? A big part of Mental Health Awareness Month, currently in full swing, is increasing understanding of all things mental health. This includes your own relationship with anxiety. It's useful to know what anxiety is, especially if you're experiencing uncomfortable symptoms but don't know if they are related to anxiety. You can use the below checklist to better understand your anxiety and then to strengthen your mental health.
A large number of hoarders have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADHD-like symptoms. Hoarding becomes a disorder when sorting through and getting rid of possessions causes extreme anxiety. Previously considered a subset of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding is now its own disorder. Many hoarders still have OCD, and studies find that ADHDers are also very susceptible to the condition. 
It's nearly impossible to stay calm and focused when you're a frazzled working mom. There's a lot coming at me right now and there's even more I want to do in the future. However, day-to-day life can be so grueling that those future plans seem hard to fathom. Some nights I congratulate myself just for getting through the day. Here are five things I do to keep me moving forward even when I'm ready to throw in the towel.

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Comments

Megan Griffith
Dark humor definitely helps, at least for me, and I'm glad you have a spark of humor to help you cope too, no matter how dark. I'm sorry it feels like your unhappiness just keeps increasing, that is an awful way to feel. Have you given therapy a shot? It's a lot of work, and can be pricey depending on your insurance and country/state, but I've found that I'm just not in a place where I can improve myself without the help of a professional, and I think a lot of other people are the same way.
George Abitante
Hi Lizanne,

Thanks so much for your comment! I really like your description of anxiety as a guideline, I hadn't considered that phrasing before but it is a phenomenal way to describe it.

George
Lizanne Corbit
I absolutely love this reminder -- "anxiety is a generally beneficial, adaptive experience, and is meant to be protective". I always say that anxiety is really just there to be a guideline, it's something we can work with and see as a positive. The suggestions to also be aware of repeated stories, and thinking of anxious experiences as never ending are also so helpful. We always have the ability to change our patterns and behaviors and anxiety falls into this. Beautiful read.
Lizanne Corbit
I love how real and approachable you've made these suggestions. The truth is that we all face moments or periods where we just plain don't feel like we have it in us. I particularly love how you call on past memories of good times and accomplishment to remind you that more will come and the idea of embracing a bit of distraction! Sometimes we can get so severe with ourselves about sticking to the task but we're just banging out head against the wall. Sometimes a little break is the best thing to get us moving again.
Alyce
I feel like each year the issues and complexity of my unhappiness get even more so. As if living each day is damaging. I struggle to find anything interesting especially now I’m taking antidepressants I feel like they are making me worse. I keep paying my gym membership in hopes I start to go again I don’t like the gym but what else is there to do as an adult. I know I “myself” limit my own life “myself” and live in a box that’s comfortable but not challenging and I do literally nothing in fact my favourite past time is to sit and feel the anxiety run through me observing each thought and attempting to construct a more positive one. I feel like it is the lack of friends situation because I don’t want to hang out or make friends because I don’t want the depressing thoughts to get a voice but just keep them in a book or my mind or a random website like this one to have a long winded rant that no one will be bothered to read as we all lack motivation. I don’t know if this helps but I think I have a tiny bit of dark humour amongst it that makes me feel a little better.

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