As I work through my healing journey, I've noticed some specific triggering elements that leave me feeling uncomfortable. Even as a young child growing up, I remember the emotions of mistrust and suspicion when trying to determine if someone's words and actions were genuine.
Seasonal depression is a hot topic during this time of year. It wasn’t until recently that I could put a name to all the unpleasant and lonely emotions that I felt as the days became shorter and the weather colder--I guess I can thank mainstream media for that. The fact of the matter is that many individuals experience varying degrees of seasonal depression. So why are there still people who attempt to debunk the phenomenon and call it fake?
I am always anxious around the holidays because of my schizoaffective disorder, but this season I have the added anxiety from arthritis in my knees.
Is it possible to stop self-harming without therapy? As someone who walked the road of recovery alone for many years, I can tell you it's possible—but that doesn't mean it's your best option.
Feelings of dissociation can be terrifying. On top of the already horrific acute, prolonged panic symptoms I was suffering, in an out-of-body utter state of confusion, I looked at my husband and asked, "Are you going to have me committed?"
I have bipolar disorder, and I never ghost people. "Ghosting" is a slang term for when someone cuts off all communication. Some people may doubt that I don't ghost people based on my bipolar diagnosis; however, believe me, I am not a "ghoster." Moreover, I'm not the only one. Just because a person has bipolar doesn't mean they will ghost you.
Each year, as the calendar flips to November, I'm hit with a reminder of how complex the holiday season feels in eating disorder recovery. Of course, that's not unique to those with a history of eating disorders. This time of year can be overwhelming for anyone. In 2021, three out of five surveyed Americans felt their mental health worsen over the holidays, with 60 percent noticing a rise in anxiety, and 52 percent noticing a rise in depression. Now couple all that with eating disorder stressors or behaviors, and this hectic season can become even more fraught. So with the 2022 festivities just around the corner, let's acknowledge it: The holidays are complex in eating disorder recovery—and that is alright. 
Everybody can feel overwhelmed from time to time. Whether problems are work-related, home-related, or down to matters quite unrelated, modern living can tax us physically and emotionally. And, while feelings of overwhelm aren't the sole preserve of people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional dysregulation can act as an antagonist for me - especially when it comes to dealing with modern challenges.
We are right on the verge of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. It’s such a great time to reflect, not only on just the year overall but also on how my ability to cope with my anxiety has progressed. A helpful strategy that I’ve really taken the time to focus on this year has been practicing gratitude and how it has helped me manage my anxiety levels.
In August 2021, after watching my performance deteriorate for months, I decided to quit my full-time government job to deal with burnout and take care of my mental health. Living alone in a basement apartment during the pandemic had made my depression and anxiety worse, and I'd been finding my job increasingly stressful. Leaving without another job lined up was risky, but I felt I had no choice. I'd reached my limit.

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I had a very difficult experience with a therapist. After working with her for a couple of months, she delayed booking a new session and then when I did go in, she started our time together by telling me that I do not seem to like her and why do I keep coming back? She told me I was dismissive of all her ideas, that she did not know how to build rapport with me, and that she did not know what else she had to offer me.

I was flabbergasted and felt two feet tall; that somehow, even though I had been honest and engaged with everything we had discussed in our time together, I had said all the wrong things. It ended up triggering deep fears of rejection and being judged and I had a panic attack right there while she watched.

I really relate to what you said about replaying sessions in your head. I absolutely feel unseen, misunderstood and invalidated. Experiencing her judgement and questioning in that vulnerable situation was extremely painful and, I think, traumatic.
Anna Keen
You made me chuckle! Here is a true story about my prize Where anm I going and What am I doing?
I did a solo laser-dinghy sailing course this summer, me at 50 yrs the others 7 were kids about 14 yrs old. Lots of following a route around buoys you could barely see, rounding them to port (left) or starboard ( right) .. trying to follow a hoisted course map, where nothing was in scale and some red buoys became the green buoys, but in reality on the sea were actually a yellow marker buoy! Your course could be altered if on the flagship boat your race flag was hoisted, you had to remember what weird symbol was yours…maybe a blue triangle, or a red circle on white … then decipher the code below…as each buoy is numbered, if it is in one colour you go round it one way, another colour you go round it another way, …half way through the race, your course can change and you miss out a ‘led’ ( whole section…and seamlessly (,) continue. The wind changes direction very often, leaving your sail doing the wrong thing and capsizing you, when you get back up in the boat, you dont know which direction you were going, if the wind has shifted again, also if the tide is now going out instead of in,.. and therefore the direction of the current is dragging you to the left or to the right…or if you are in a back eddy which is actually dragging you the opposite way from the tide. Coupled with the Buoy problem is that some buoys have names and nobody uses the number ( or doesn’t know, or sometimes they do not have a number) these names can be called thing like Black Rock…but th buoy is green. When you are trying to get anywhere, you can t sail straight to it ‘sometimes’! If it were ‘never’ it would be easier! If the wind is in your face and the direction you need to go is in your face, you have to go off to one side , or perhaps the other..or your sail doesn’t propulse you anymore and you get stuck ‘in irons’…that is until the wind suddenly shifts and fills your sail and capsizes you! Then as you scramble back in and try to remember which way you were trying to go and how long you have been doing this lap and whether you have been round already twice in reality or twice in your head…then tears of frustration pour down salty cheeks..but there is nobody to ask directions and you can t stop sailing or you will capsize..and if you do, and just hang onto your boat hoping for rescue, then you will dift into the shipping lane or be swept off round The Needles.. via t The Shingles …which are evil moving gravel banks which lie just under the surface of the water, causing ships to run aground…or you will get caught in the eternal loop eddies around sme headlands and bays… or perhaps you will be swept the other way and end up between Cowes and Portsmouth being sailed over by a cross channel ferry or a huge sea container ship full of tons of imported goods…or exporting tons of refuse…but then again, those ships could actually not be going anywhere apart from round and round a gyratory system ( a water roundabout) while they wait for a change of tide…or maybe a space to dock.. anyway… to get back in the dinghy and try to sail back to the club house as the storm is coming in and it is getting darker,, and by now if you don't aim to sail somewhere you don NOT want to go, the tide and wind which sometimes work together, but the angle of the wind keeps shifting (if it goes round trees or buildings it gets bent … these are dragging you straight towards the pier and the ferry, who even if he sees you can t stop or maneuver quick enough to stop you getting chopped into tiny pieces. And so you aim in a totally different direction as the current and wind pulls you in various ways, then you also have the waves which push you towards shore, but the back wash sucks you away from shore, and also the seabed is getting shallower and lots of places have rocks tou must remember where the deeper channel is and try to criss cross to stay in it, each time tou change direction the sail comes over so quick and tries to knock you out the boat or knock you unconcious! Then it becomes too shall, so you must pull up your centre board and rudder…but without them you now have nothing to stop you being pushed or pulled like a leaf on the water as your power of using resistence to angle yourself beneath the water has now gone…so you need to jump out into the water , but the seabed is not even in height so someplaces are too deep and you have to try to swim and push your boat to shore, without it getting scratched and scraped as it suddenly gets too shallow..oh and also, you need to try not to let the boat turn away from the direction of the wind ( which is always changing!) or ithe sails will fill up and t will start sailing away! If it does, you have to try to scramble back in and do it all again! But by then everything will have changed and the tide is still going in or out, or the ferry is, or the wind has changed direction so the effect of surrounding objects like trees or buildings or someone else's sails will have a different outcome due to the change of wind direction..which of course you can’t SEE… and if you put a wind-vane up, it can be doing something different at the bottom of the mast, than at the top, and then you have to tighten or loosen not only the direction of your sail, but the sagginess capacity to be fuller of wind or not…to hang out the opposite side to counterbalance, to pull the centre board half up sometimes…if the wind is hitting you sideways..but also if you are going towards the wind in light winds..or its drag outweighs its stabalising capacities.. a
Anyway..writing this I realize why I won the prize for endeavor and also the special prize invented just for me ‘Where am I going and What am I doing? I am only lately realizing that I must have adhd ..with my utterly unbelievable lack of time or direction. I often look at other people and am amazed how much they hold quite naturally in their heads. Though I must say my powers on concentration, improvisation and tenacity far outweigh the majority. I have had to develop those traits or I would not have survived.
Kim Berkley
Hi Casper,

First, I want to applaud you for reaching out and trying to get some support here. It's a good response to what sounds like a stressful situation to be in.

However, while I understand why you're asking whether your actions are attention-seeking or not—I used to ask myself this a lot, too—I think the bigger concern here is that you are self-harming. Regardless of whether it has anything at all to do with seeking attention (which, by the way, is actually pretty natural behavior when you're in distress), the fact is that if you're self-harming, something is wrong.

To be clear, I'm not saying that something is wrong with you intrinsically—rather, I'm saying you're going through something difficult that needs to be addressed. Self-harm is not uncommon, especially among people going through puberty—but it's not a normal or healthy response to puberty, either. Think of it as a red flag—it's your body and mind signaling that you have deeper issues you need to address.

I would strongly suggest reaching out to a therapist or other health provider if at all possible; such a person would be best equipped to help you sort through your motivations for self-harm, as well as your best options for recovery. Keep in mind that there are online options now too, if getting to a physical office would be difficult; keep in mind, too, that many telehealth and online services offer sliding scales, reduced rates, and other options if affordability is an issue. You could also join a support group, if that feels more accessible. If not, even just talking to a trusted friend or loved one—someone who knows you personally and who will be supportive—could make a big difference.

If you absolutely can't reach out to anyone at this time, you can still try some things on your own. Here are some posts that might help:

I hope that helps. If you have more questions or concerns you'd like to share, feel free to reply here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be around.

Take care,
Us y'all
Yes all kinds of trauma can cause DID but it must be below the ages of 6 or 8 depending on who you read. (Within the time that a child can create imaginary playmates is what is called the cut off point. It that they are imaginary but because of how the brain works with dissociation etc. The trauma is usually severe and repetitive. One hour in a cave wouldn't do it. Several days or a week alone under the age of 8 I guess could depending on how traumatic it was. And of course symptoms do. It show right away. It's not entirely usual for kids to know they have alters until something triggers the walls to fall down.
Kim Berkley
Hi Hailey,

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles and that you feel unsupported by your dad. It's not easy when someone in your life, especially someone so central to your life, doesn't understand and makes things worse (even if unintentionally). I'd like to believe that he thinks he's helping you with "tough love," but of course, I don't know that for sure. Have you spoken with your counselor about this issue? A neutral third party like your counselor could be an ideal person to mediate between you and your father—or at the very least, they should be able to help you communicate your needs to him, if possible, or cope with his lack of support if not.

As for covering your scars, I completely understand your reasons why you would. I've written a few posts about this that might help:

I hope you find some helpful ideas there. Let me know if you have more questions or concerns you'd like to share; I'll be reading.