Since 2016, life has been hurtling unprecedented personal and professional challenges my way. I've been coping with them the best I can, mainly due to my belief in this Persian adage: this too shall pass. And towards the end of 2019, things were looking up, if only just a little. Then in 2020, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, I had a new list of challenges to face. However, this time, I had little faith in the adage. I tried to keep going, but in January 2022, I decided to pause for perspective. It's the reason I have only one new year resolution: to reduce unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Postpartum depression (PPD) does not just affect the individual suffering from it. It also affects the family. If you're dealing with postpartum depression, it can be easy to become so introspective that you lose perspective of those around you. By trying to understand how your loved ones are feeling, however, you can strengthen your relationships while also helping them more appropriately support you.
One significant niche of individuals who suffer from verbal abuse is the senior community. Often abuse happens to those who are vulnerable, and elders are no exception. Of course, verbal abuse is just one of the many branches of this ongoing problem, making those who are at risk, even more in danger of harm.
Self-harm and dissociation, separately, can be scary things. Together, they can be a frightening and isolating experience, to say the least. Let's talk a little about what that's like, and how to cope.
Every day, I make a point to take at least one bath. Sometimes if I’m really stressed, I’ll take more than one.
The new year is a new beginning, which brings a special clarity as you reflect on what you want to change. It's often recommended to set concrete resolutions so you can measure how well you're doing throughout the year. This advice can be helpful, but for binge eating disorder recovery, changes are subtle and difficult to measure. In my experience, setting New Year's resolutions for my recovery and eating habits has consistently caused stress and unnecessary pressure. Of course, you can set milestone goals for going a certain number of days without binge eating. But if you are trying to start or strengthen your recovery from an eating disorder, you can't expect your recovery to be as neat as a checklist.
The phrase "new year, new you" is all over the place right now. From social media posts, to news outlets and blog articles, to conversations with friends or family, to marketing tactics from wellness brands, it often seems I can't escape this message once January rolls around. But while the concept might sound positive in theory—a chance to start fresh and reinvent oneself—the truth is, this "new year, new you" mantra doesn't work for me in eating disorder (ED) recovery. I also suspect I'm not alone in that feeling, so let's unpack it further.
I was in my late 30s when I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). As a child of the '60s born of immigrant parents who survived both the Great Depression and World War II—each of them with their own harrowing experiences—I was raised with a don't-complain-pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-get-on-with-it mentality. As such, I grew up feeling unworthy of my anxiety.
Recently, I started becoming more intentional about using Meetup to connect with other writer groups virtually. Until last week, I had no idea that so many writing groups met online. On my day off, I signed up for three writing groups on Zoom. Being more active in my writing endeavors with other people has been helping me come out of my depression. Here are five reasons writing groups are positively impacting my mental health.
What does the new year mean for mental health stigma? Many people see New Year’s Eve ticking down into the next year as a time of transformation, possibility, hope. Don’t get me wrong, a new year can certainly represent those things and be an opportunity for a refresh. But among the “new year, new insert-whatever-here” posts, I wonder where mental health stigma fits in.