Distraction from bipolar symptoms is something I rely on as a coping skill. In fact, it's pretty much an everyday coping skill for me. Bipolar symptom distraction may sound overly simplistic, and sometimes it is (although, not always), but sometimes the simple things just work.
This is going to be another one of those posts that doesn't have any easy answers. I've realized that many of my mental health issues are ones that don't have simple fixes, and that sometimes, the best I can do is think out loud to at least attempt to get a better understanding of what I need for myself. I hope all who read will allow me the indulgence.
I never really had a hobby, per se. I married young and had three kids. That, plus a full-time job, left little time for me, let alone hobbies. I write—this blog, for instance—and read, but I don't consider either of these hobbies. As a creative outlet, and with the hope that I could channel my thoughts and energy into something that wasn't all about my trauma and residual anxieties, I decided it was time to pursue a hobby.
If you had asked me a year ago to describe someone suffering from depression, I would have given you a generic and straight-up basic answer. My response would have gone something like this: A depressed individual--versus an individual who is currently battling depression--is sad and doesn’t enjoy pleasures that were once joyful. I’ll be honest, my answer is not incorrect, but I can’t seem to shake the hint of judgment in my tone birthed from ignorance towards depression that I had at the time. I would even go as far as to say that I had an unconscious bias towards the illness and mental health issues in general; little did I know, depression, like people, comes in all shapes and sizes.
In a previous blog post, I illustrated how I combat harmful thoughts about food. Now I want to take this a step further and examine how I recalibrate behaviors around eating. These days, I have a healthier relationship with food than I ever thought possible. I attribute much of this transformation to a framework called intuitive eating—and the decision to make a peace treaty with food as part of my eating disorder recovery.
Verbal abuse can look different to everyone. For example, while some people experience humiliation, others may suffer from gaslighting. Alternatively, some abusers use multiple forms of abuse to control their victims. Unfortunately, my story involves virtually every textbook element of abuse, from verbal assaults to gaslighting and controlling and manipulative behaviors.
Recently, I came down with a really bad cold, and my schizoaffective disorder and accompanying anxiety made it worse. I honestly thought I would never get well again. Here’s what it was like.
Violent entertainment is nothing new to humankind, but depictions of self-harm in video games can be especially shocking—even more so, perhaps, if you struggle with self-harm yourself.
"I am a mess and can't do anything right." "I will always be behind in life...maybe I should stop trying." "I don't deserve love/happiness/peace." If you have ever experienced depression, I am sure you have said some version of these things to yourself. Worse, you believe these are absolute truths that can never change. None of this is your fault because depression has the power to ruin one's self-esteem.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been pondering what emotional attributes can be signs of low self-esteem. Recently I've realized that I tend to be oversensitive and quick to anger when experiencing low self-esteem. Today, I'd like to talk about how to remedy that.