The phrase clean eating is often used in wellness circles to denote a preference for natural, organic foods over artificial, processed ingredients. At face value, this is undeniably beneficial. However, I feel using the word "clean" to talk about eating habits is problematic. In extreme cases, I worry it could even influence eating disorder behaviors. In my humble opinion, clean eating is not healthy—it's a harmful trend with potentially serious consequences.     
For those who know me best, I have a strong desire to take responsibility for many things. From making sure everything with a friendly gathering goes exactly as I planned to the time the kids need picked up from their activities. My spouse is no stranger to my anxiety-driven internal scheduler, whom he refers to as my need to control everything.  As a victim of verbal abuse, has my anxiety turned into attempts to control everything?
While drinking has been a part of my life the majority of my life, so have anxiety and depression. I went from sneaking alcohol on the weekends to week-long binge drinking benders. It was a cycle that progressively got worse, and the more I drank, the worse I felt. I would have pity parties and drown in my sorrows and regret without realizing how damaging this cycle had become.
Until a year ago, I did not equate May with Mental Health awareness. Flowers, sunshine, summer break, and my birthday most definitely, but mental health. My battle with depression completely opened my eyes to mental illness and mental health as a whole, and I can confidently say that one month, even one year, dedicated to the topic does not do it justice. But to be fair, it is a hopeful and actionable start.
I’ve been feeling hopeless a lot lately. I have arthritis in my knees, and my schizoaffective disorder is making me feel hopeless about it.
Weddings can be stressful under the best of circumstances. How do you cope when you don't know what to do about self-harm scars on your wedding day?
When I found out that Yahoo Answers shut down forever on May 4, 2021, I felt like a dear friend had passed away. After all, the platform helped me figure out my purpose at an age when life made no sense whatsoever. Here's how.
As someone who’s into metal music, one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is make a vest covered with patches. I’ve been collecting patches for about four years, so at the beginning of this year, I decided I should stop waiting and just go ahead and make it.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've studied how my mental health fluctuates daily. I've noticed recently that I often struggle the most when I put significant pressure on myself to feel good and it negatively affects my self-esteem.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, I only had suspicions regarding attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Mercifully, I summoned the wherewithal to beat a path toward diagnosis, and that's exactly what I received one day in early 2018 sitting in a doctor's office. With that, a vague hunch became solid confirmation.

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Natasha Tracy
Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry, I don't know what to suggest on this particular topic. There is a book about people with mental illness who don't believe they are sick ("I'm Not Sick, I Don't Need Help") but I don't think that's quite what you want.

You may be able to reach her simply with scientific and historical information. For example, something like bipolar disorder has been written about since medical records were first recorded. You may also want to take a look at the differences between bipolar brains and other brains (offsite link, not endorsed by HealthyPlace):

(Sorry, I know that second link has lost its pictures. I'm going to report it to the site and hopefully, they'll fix it.)

I hope that helps.

- Natasa Tracy
Kim Berkley

It sounds like you are going through a lot, to say the least. It sucks to be in a bad situation that feels like it just keeps getting worse. I think the first thing you need to do (and I hope you already have) is to get some sleep. I know that might sound absurd, given the scope of everything you've shared here, but your body and your mind need rest. As someone who's dealt with nightmares most of my life, I know it's easier said than done, but sleep can make such a HUGE difference in how you feel and how clearly you can think. It's not going to fix everything, but it's a first step.

Next, try a breathing exercise. Again, this isn't going to fix everything. But it might help you calm down and clear your head, even if just a little. I like box breathing—breathe in to a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. Repeat four times or so. (Stop if you get dizzy.) You can also try yoga or just going for a walk or listening to a guided meditation if you prefer.

Now, think about whether there's anyone professional you can reach out to for help. I know that might be daunting, especially when you've got so many things on your plate, but it really sounds like you're in a place where you could use some extra support—and it sounds like your friends and family might not be the best place to turn for that support at the moment. It's all too easy sometimes to always put others first, but if you don't take care of yourself, it's hard to be there for the people you love. And I'm sure you'd like your loved ones to take better care of themselves, too. So consider whether you can talk to a counselor (maybe your school or work has a free one you can talk to), or call up a doctor, or connect with a therapist—if not in person, maybe online or by telephone. If you don't know where to start, try a hotline—we have several listed here:

Even if you don't want to see a doctor yet, you might try connecting with a support group or even just finding some self-help materials to start with. Again, that page is a good place to start looking.

I hope you and your loved ones are able to start healing sooner, rather than later, and I hope this information helps you do so. If you need more clarification or have any other questions or concerns, just ask. I'll be around.

Kim Berkley
Hi Megan,

That's a great question. I'm glad you're looking for support, and I completely understand not wanting to talk about self-harm with someone you know personally at this stage. If you have a therapist or other doctor you can talk to, they should certainly have some suggestions for you. If not, you can find some via Google simply by searching something like "self harm online support group" or "self injury support group." Just be sure to read through their websites thoroughly and make sure you feel comfortable contacting them. You should not have to pay, or give up any payment information or sensitive info (like your SSN), to join one. We also have a resources page—it's a bit general, but has some hotlines you can call for guidance as well:

If you need more help with this, or have other questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be around. :) Good luck!

Kim Berkley

Thanks for your comment. I'm so sorry that you hurt yourself so extensively. That must have been stressful, to go through that on your own. I know what it's like to feel like self-harm is the only way you can get through things; I hope you've been able to discover some other, healthier ways to cope soon. Have you tried reaching out to a therapist or anyone like that? It sounds like you could benefit from some extra support, if that option is at all available to you—even if you've been able to stop since that last time. I'll link to our resources page just in case:

That being said, there's no way to force your body to heal faster than it can. If your scars are over a year old, the good thing is you no longer have to worry about infections or anything like that. The best you can do is to practice good skin care—keep your skin clean, maybe try applying aloe gel or a lotion containing vitamin E to see if it helps the scars fade. They still might, but know that it's also possible they might not. Tattoos are one way I know many people have been able to turn permanent scars into something they like—our other (former) writer, Martyna, had a few.

If you haven't yet, you might also want to reach out to a dermatologist. You don't have to explain your scars, although they certainly might ask about how you got them. But a dermatologist is an expert in skin-care; a good one might be able to give you some answers that I cannot.

I hope this is helpful, and I hope you enjoy your new tattoos once you get them. I wish you the best of luck with your recovery. If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to reply here or comment elsewhere on the blog. I'll be here.

Kim Berkley
This is a great idea. Depending on where the scars are, bracelets and wraps and such can sometimes be an easy way to hide scars in situations where it may be best to keep them to yourself.