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Overthinking is often held responsible for causing anxiety and vice versa, and it should be. However, I recently realized that it can cause depression too.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels an almost permanent sense of inferiority because of my anxiety; if I were to guess, I’d say that’s common across the board for the mentally ill.
My current boyfriend was arrested for a non-violent crime 12 days ago. I'm not sure if I should be embracing this newfound freedom from the occasional verbal abuse he inflicted on me, or maybe it's okay to experience heartache. But how I am "supposed" to feel doesn't really matter -- in a unique situation like this, what counts is the emotions that I am experiencing: I am lonely and distraught. 
When I first stumbled upon actress and activist Jameela Jamil's "I Weigh" social media account two years ago, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. Here was a celebrity using her enormous platform to raise awareness to the overlooked truth that humans are worth more than the size and shape of their bodies.
Real talk: when it comes to time management, I don't have the best track record. While most people can benefit from improved time management skills, keeping track of time and using it productively seems to be the bane of bipolar existence.
Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from a situation that throws you off, and there's a direct correlation between it and self-esteem. When your self-esteem is strong, you have the confidence to leave your comfort zone because you aren't worried about your ability to recover if things go south. You can build healthy self-esteem by focusing on improving your resiliency.
I've never really thought that feeling numb was a problem for me. I've always had issues with feeling too much. Even when I'm depressed, I don't usually relate to the emptiness that many others describe. Even my depression is full of emotions, from self-loathing to existential dread. But over the last few years, I have learned to cope with my depression better and better, so when those depressive emotions resurface, I panic and try to shove them away. Which is why, after years of depression and anxiety, I am just now starting to experience numbness.
Building strong self-esteem is easier when you take the time to build a set of life goals that define your personal vision of success. Goals provide us with direction and help clarify the changes we need to make in our journey to healthy self-esteem.
I spoke a little bit in my last video post about how my family all had different ways of supporting my mentally ill brother when he was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. What started as a reason to argue has turned into one of our greatest strengths as a family – how lucky are we to have so many different types of support to offer our loved one and each other?
If you're anything like me, family might be a touchy subject for you or possibly even an addiction trigger depending on your family's level of dysfunction. Childhood trauma, emotional gaslighting, and psychological abuse are all possible factors when determining a family's dysfunctional nature. For some individuals who endure these experiences as an adolescent, it can possibly lead to a life of addiction, mental health concerns, or for some a life of crime and incarceration. In my experience, the difficulties I have faced with my dysfunctional family certainly impacted the probability of my addiction and mental health diagnosis; and even many years later, I've learned that my family can be a huge trigger for me.

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Comments

Jessica Kaley
Janet, you are not alone. We are all on this journey together. I encourage you to continue reading our blog on Building Self-Esteem and see what you can learn from our sharing of our experiences. Keep commenting and reaching out, and if you're not already and have the capability, try to find a professional to discuss the best actions for you to take. Recognizing that there is something you want to change is a great first step. Thank you for reading and commenting, we appreciate your sharing with our community.
Janet Hamilton
I have very low self esteem and no confidence
Mahevash Shaikh
Thank you so much, Lizanne. Yes, you are absolutely right.
Ann
Does anyone know if there are dangers to chewing (very) small bits of hair?
Megan Griffith
Hi Cordell, just so you know, I read this. And my heart aches for you. I am so sorry you're in so much pain. It sounds like you're feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by how bad things are, like there's no way they can ever get better. That's a horrible weight to bear, and I'm sorry. It seems like you probably don't want to hear all the trite BS about how it gets better, so instead maybe try checking out these comics about depression by Allie Brosh. They honestly gave me some semblance of "hope" when I was in a similar position to yours. Keep reaching out, I promise I'll keep reading.
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html