Having your self-harm scars discovered is a bit like being outed against your will. Still, the person who confronts you about your self-injury marks will likely want to know what they are. While you don’t owe anyone an explanation, sometimes it’s hard to avoid this conversation. Here are some of the approaches you can take.
October is one of my favorite months. I love any and everything to do with Halloween, breaking out my boots that have sat neglected in the closet all summer, and anything with the words pumpkin spice on the label. But one thing I don’t love is how the seasonal daylight changes affect my mood, which has a direct impact on the way I work while living with bipolar disorder.
There are both pros and cons to a BPD diagnosis. On the one hand, it can validate your experiences and give you access to necessary resources like therapy or medications. On the other hand, you can fully take on the label of borderline and lose yourself in the process.
Many people aren’t sure whether or not to talk to kids about mental illness. When I was younger my aunt had frequent hospitalizations due to mental health issues, but I was told she had a sore back. I guess my family thought this was an inappropriate topic to talk to a child about. In hindsight, I think it could have been a positive conversation if I had been told about my aunt’s mental illness – here’s why.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc (LGBTQIA+) community. The possible trauma endured by these LGBTQIA+ survivors is hate crimes, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks of the trauma(s) and a fair share of anxiety when in triggering situations. This is how my PTSD presents in my own life.
I love getting time to myself in nature. Whether it's going for a hike, bike ride, or even driving through a forest, finding time in a natural setting away from more populated areas is very soothing and enjoyable for me. When I lived in Chicago, it took more than an hour's drive to get to more isolated hiking areas, so I didn't really get out into nature all that much. In Nashville, there are great places to get into nature that are much closer, and I've noticed just how impactful that is for finding time to recenter and rejuvenate myself after a challenging week. Spending time in nature might not be your thing, but I'm going to make the case here that if you're trying to reduce anxiety, it can be a productive method to try out.
Medication failure is not bad. Don't get me wrong, I know that it feels really, really bad, but just hear me out on this one: even though it feels terrible, a failing medication is not bad.
Let's cut to the chase: depression is mentally and physically debilitating. Even if you are do not have low-functioning depression, depression limits what you can and cannot do. To prevent it from getting worse, one needs to learn to set boundaries. Here's why.
My mental health has always suffered in times of uncertainty. As someone with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), I'm at my most content when I'm able to predict and control my surroundings. When that control is lost, my mind conjures terrifying hypotheticals about what "could" happen, and I start to engage in compulsive behaviors to bring order to the chaos in my mind. This exhausting cycle of thoughts and rituals invariably causes me to slip back into depression, and I'm left feeling like a failure once again. So, you would think that the uncertainty surrounding the current global pandemic would have me in a tailspin. But no — my mental health is better now than it has been in years, and it's precisely due to that uncertainty.
If you live with any degree or type of anxiety, chances are you've wondered if anxiety will ever stop. It's natural to want anxiety to go away, to be gone from your life. Sometimes, it can seem like anxiety is here to stay and that no matter how hard you try to reduce it, it's always there. I used to wonder this all the time, and there were times that I really believed I was stuck with anxiety forever despite all my efforts to deal with it. As someone who has lived with significant anxiety and who has been a counselor and is now a mental health writer, I can help answer these questions. Does anxiety ever go away? Unfortunately no (at least not completely). Are you stuck with anxiety forever? Also, fortunately, no.