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Addiction recovery is filled with numerous unexpected challenges including many unsuspecting triggers. There are obvious triggers recovering addicts must face along the path to recovery, like people, places, and activities that might be associated with their drug-of-choice. However, there are also plenty of unexpected triggers that catch many individuals completely off guard.
I mentioned in last week’s article that staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t that hard for me because my schizoaffective anxiety keeps me in so much anyway. However, now the extreme isolation is starting to take its toll.
Coping with self-harm triggers can be difficult enough during normal everyday life. It should come as no surprise that major stressors like the COVID-19 pandemic can make coping exponentially harder.
So much is uncertain and anxiety-provoking right now. One thing, however, is certain: Children and teens can and do experience anxiety, too. Not knowing how to help your kids with anxiety can be frustrating, and right now, when you might be dealing with anxiety of your own about the ever-changing COVID-19 scare, wondering how to deal with anxious kids can make your own stress and anxiety skyrocket. Happily, there are ways you can help your kids deal with their anxiety right now and increase the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in your household in the process. Here are some insights from my own experience as a parent and former high school teacher and counselor. 
Honestly, I don’t want to write this post for a number of reasons: I’m sure most of you (and you can include me in this group) are sick and tired of reading about this, and would rather focus on something else. Yet here we are, so I’ll at least do you the courtesy of being brief. Basically, I’m discussing how this coronavirus thing we’re all going through is impacting my anxiety.
I believe there are real dangers to losing your bipolar routine during isolation. There are issues of work, school, socializing and more that are affected by social distancing; and any one of those things can interrupt a carefully planned routine. I know my bipolar routine has been lost during isolation due to the novel coronavirus, and I know it's hurting my mental health.
Romantic relationships can be complicated for any of us; nearly everyone has a story from a relationship gone slightly (or incredibly) awry. Add on diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder, and these relationship complications can shift and take on entirely new forms. Here are some of the ways that anxiety has infiltrated into my relationships. 
Dealing with COVID-19 as a therapist is dual-fold. We must comfort our clients, but we must also deal with the stress of the pandemic for ourselves and families just like most everyone else. 
Therapy homework differs for each therapist and each client, and many therapists don't do therapy homework at all, which begs the question: does it actually help? I've had several different therapists over the years, and only one or two of them have ever given me therapy homework. Some of my friends in therapy have lots of homework, and I always wondered if my therapists were doing something wrong by not giving me things to do outside of sessions. Now that I've had one or two therapists who do give homework, I think I understand some of the benefits and problems with therapy homework.
Two things that I find to be true when supporting family members with mental illness at any time are these – you cannot pour from an empty cup, and oftentimes just being there is the most important thing. Here is how these truths have manifested themselves in our family’s life during COVID-19.

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Natasha Tracy
Hi Sunshineelise,

I'm happy to help :)

- Natasha Tracy
Jessica Kaley
Good for you, Pat, for changing something that was making you unhappy. When we are willing to do that, we take our power back from people who take advantage of us. Knowing and setting your boundaries with others is a great form of self-care.
Jessica Kaley
Oh, Vi, I feel what you're saying. The best thing is that while you can't change the past, you can learn from it. Every experience is a learning opportunity, and I find it personally healing to forgive myself for making a decision that I might regret because I did the best I could at that time with the knowledge and experience I had. You will never go into a deal again without remembering this past one that didn't go well, and therefore you will be in a better and stronger place. Celebrate your growth!
Jessica Kaley
Cydnie, that's so great to hear! Thank you for your comment. Keep up the good work.
Jessica Kaley
Thank you, Vi, for your comment. I'm glad to hear things are moving in the direction you want now. Best wishes and stay safe.