I'm a huge supporter of ending the stigma surrounding all mental illnesses, which is why I support talking to your kids about eating disorder recovery. This said, as a mother of four children under nine years of age and someone who has been in recovery for a while now, there are two things I think everyone should consider before talking to their children.
An addiction to food is likely one of the most acceptable forms of addiction in our society, but does food addiction always imply the diagnosis of an eating disorder? Honestly, it depends on who you ask. In my experience, my addiction and dependencies with food inevitably morphed into an eating disorder, but that doesn't mean everyone with an eating disorder is a food addict.
My schizoaffective anxiety sometimes makes me afraid to do pretty much anything. So, I often do things even though I’m afraid because, if I didn’t do them, I couldn’t function. But since, as I’ve said, I’m anxious about doing so many things, I have to work up a lot of courage to accomplish tasks other people do without a second thought.
Journaling is a powerful mental health tool. Keeping a journal can help you reduce anxiety and move forward freely into your quality life. Beyond that, an anxiety journal can empower you to know what that quality life will be like and how to create it. There are numerous strategies and tools for reducing anxiety, and the more you gather the better able you'll be to break free from anxiety's constraints. Journaling is one such strategy. Here's a look at what it can do for you and your anxiety as well as a few tips to make it work to help you decide if it's something you'd like to try for your mental health and wellbeing.
If you have read any of my articles before, you know that I love dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Currently, I am a student in the only DBT training program offered at a school of social work in the country, so perhaps I am slightly biased towards this therapeutic modality. However, as someone who has received individual DBT for issues ranging from substance use to self-harm, I believe in the power of this form of behavior therapy. In the past month, as my depression has spiked, I have found that what DBT calls opposite action has been saving my social life.
There is a vicious, rampant correlation between eating disorders and bullying—the epidemic is real, and children of all ages can be vulnerable to the mental and physical ramifications. In the United States alone, 65% of those with eating disorders have reported that incidents of bullying caused their behaviors to manifest, and 40% of children or adolescents are mocked by their peers for weight-related issues.1 This data, compiled by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), also notes that when bullying occurs, a victimized person will often experience bouts of insecurity, poor self-esteem, body image distortion, and an urge to numb the painful emotions. So in order to protect children from these adverse effects, it's crucial to understand the epidemic scale of eating disorders and bullying.
My name is Kim Berkley, and I'm the new author of Speaking Out About Self-Injury. I’m looking forward to putting my writing skills to particularly good use here where I hope my words will bring some measure of comfort and clarity to those struggling with self-harm.
I've found hope is harmful. I know, the reflex is to disagree with this, but, at least in my case, hope is harmful. I recently found a bit of hope of ending a profound, debilitating depression. I knew feeling that hope was a mistake, but some part of my brain refused to listen to that. And sure enough, it turned out that hope was harmful.
There’s been much in the way of discussion regarding “toxic” cultural practices, and "toxic positivity,” is receiving its due attention. I couldn’t be happier. A culture of toxic positivity poses an active threat to the wellbeing of anyone who is mentally ill.