Twenty-five years ago, in the summer of 1994, I was 15 years old. I was experiencing my first taste of schizoaffective depression. It was nothing compared to depression I’d experience later in life, and I didn’t even realize there was a schizoaffective aspect to it. But I knew something wasn’t right.
One of the worst things about being verbally abused by parents is that the damage can be lifelong, yet it can take a lifetime for someone to recognize the pattern of abuse they experienced.
My name is Jennifer Carnevale, but you can call me Jenn with two Ns and I’m the new author of Verbal Abuse in Relationships. I’m a high school English teacher, writer, traveler, tattoo enthusiast, and podcaster. Most importantly, I’m a recovering addict--10 years clean. My drug addiction began at 17 years old after a routine tonsillectomy when I was given a large bottle of a liquid opioid. The medication sent me into a downward spiral through anxiety, abuse, assault, and more. But after a decade of self-work, I am presented with this opportunity to share my stories on HealthyPlace. I get to help others leave the dangerous situations I was in and steer people away from the tell-tale signs and symptoms of verbal abuse. Gratitude is flowing from my heart.
Constructive criticism and depression: Many of us with depression tend to be sensitive and may find it difficult to accept constructive criticism. There are times, however, when we need to hear some constructive feedback from people who love us and have our best interests in mind.
Since my diagnosis 15 years ago, I have often been told that my illness doesn't define me. True, but having schizoaffective disorder has had a huge impact on how I see and feel about the world around me, particularly when experiencing psychosis. My psychosis primarily consists of auditory and visual hallucinations which are sometimes terrifying. Experiencing hallucinations has felt differently pre- and post-diagnosis. Here are five different fears I've felt with psychosis. Good or bad, these fears have been an important part of my life story.
Is there a possible connection between eating disorders and heredity? Are some people more genetically predisposed to these illnesses than others? Sure, psychosocial factors—such as environmental influence and media exposure—can lead to disordered eating behaviors, but what about the biological piece? It strikes me as curious that my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all exhibited tendencies around both food and body image that I know to be consistent with eating disorders. And moreover, I cannot help but wonder if there is a genetic link between these patterns of generational dysfunction and my own battle with anorexia. So this curiosity has prompted me to delve into what science might reveal about eating disorders and heredity.
It's important to divulge your anxiety disorder to important people, and in a previous post, I tried to convince whoever I could that disclosing your anxiety was in your best interest. If you are one of those readers and actually took my advice, thank you. Now, you may need some practical tips for how to divulge your anxiety to others – I hope these can help.
You have to consider the risk vs the reward in the treatment of mental illness. Well, actually, you have to consider the risk vs the reward in many things but it's particularly critical when you're talking about the treatment of an illness. This is because nothing comes for free. No medication (or alternative treatment, for that matter) comes without side effects. You have to be aware of this going in so you can make a good decision. You have to understand risk vs reward in the treatment of mental illness.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nightmares make life tiring. When you live with PTSD nightmares plus anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, and flashbacks (all common occurrences in the day-to-day lives of people with PTSD), it's no wonder around 70-91% of people with PTSD have trouble sleeping at night.
When faced with a situation where we wish to decline an invitation, many people have trouble saying no. Saying no can seem stressful, so people reluctantly say yes to an invitation instead. This can cause resentment on both ends of the invitation, since the host takes the acceptance at face value, while the guest is at an undesired event. Saying no to an invitation creates an alternative with many benefits. 

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Jenn Carnevale
Angela, he sounds like a text-book verbal abuser. They will do anything to take the blame away from them and put it on you. Keep standing strong! It sounds like you've created clear boundaries which takes so much energy and strength. I commend you so deeply for being able to safely get away from him in a way that is good for you and your daughter. It sounds like you have done a tremendous amount of inner work to get where you are. You are a role model for everyone on this blog! I'm sending you positive energy and healing vibes in hopes the rest of this process will go smoothly for you and your family.
Peace and love-Jenn
The betrayal of my trust with my family member's has been the most painful thing in my life. My father made me sick and my family blames me for his behavior. They where my whole life...I loved them unconditionally. Just to have them all of them turn on me. CPTSD and loss of family's love. Can't bare the pain.
Stacy, my son was recently diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, and DMDD as well. I have felt very alone in all of this. How early did you see signs in your son? Has it improved at all over time? Do you have any advice for parenting? I am also a teacher and I feel like I too am struggling to advocate for my son be it in the school, with doctors or in a CBAT. Any help
Megan Rahm
Hi Maria,

Thank you for your comment. I agree -- it is very scary to lose a connection with reality. I also think it's scary when you regain that connection. Sometimes even when you're doing well you still question reality due to past experiences. I don't always trust my own senses.

Take care,
When I hallucinate, I always fear that I lose a connection with the reality.

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