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Cognitive Distortions and Self-Stigma

Cognitive Distortions and Self-Stigma

Cognitive distortions affect the way we act. But by becoming aware of our cognitive distortions, we can learn to turn around our faulty thinking.

Cognitive distortions change your reality in a negative direction, and are controlled by what you think about yourself and your world. Stigma is undoubtedly created by outside forces such as schoolmates, colleagues and the media. But I argue that a good portion of stigma stems from how we think about ourselves, how we describe ourselves and what faulty thinking patterns we have adopted to cope with mental illness. So identifying your cognitive distortions will help you fight self-stigma, which in turn fights social stigma.

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School Refusal: Is Anxiety Behind Your Child’s School Avoidance?

School Refusal: Is Anxiety Behind Your Child’s School Avoidance?

I developed school refusal in eighth grade. It wasn’t sudden. Over several months, I went from a straight A student who was reluctant to miss school even when sick, to a near dropout. First, my schoolwork suffered. I hid the cause of my academic decline behind rebellion and dyed black hair, so my school blamed hormones and started handing out detentions.

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When Anxiety Leads to Self-Injury

When Anxiety Leads to Self-Injury

It is common for people who have anxiety to engage in self-injury as a coping mechanism, to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and induce feelings of numbness, or even euphoria. In this video blog, I explain why self-injury seems to calm anxiety in some people — and why, ultimately; it is an unhealthy coping mechanism that should be replaced by healthy ones.

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How To Make Good Friends After Leaving Abuse

How To Make Good Friends After Leaving Abuse

Recently on facebook, we conversed about making friends after leaving abusive relationships. Abuse survivors make it out of their abusive relationships often to find they have no friends.

  • The abuser may have isolated the survivor from other people entirely, or
  • The abuser’s friends are the survivor’s only friends (and cannot be trusted to keep personal information from the abuser), or
  • The connections the survivor made during the abusive relationship translate into inappropriate friends after the abuse is over.
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Psychiatric Medications and Side-Effects

Psychiatric Medications and Side-Effects

Its 6:59 on Thursday morning. I’ve been drinking coffee and procrastinating online for an hour; the radio is always on and I don’t usually hear it. I just like background noise. That’s the hyperactive part of me. More than one thing always needs to be happening. It’s pretty irritating.

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Codependency in LGBT Relationships

Codependency in LGBT Relationships

It’s no secret that those of us in LGBT relationships tend to have strong emotional attachments with our partners, particularly long-term partners. While this can be a wonderful experience in a relationship with healthy boundaries between “self” and “other”, strong emotional attachments can become maddening when codependency is an issue.

Anyone who has spent any time in the LGBT community may have heard comments like: “Lesbians never break up.” and “Gay men never let go.” While this has been a widely accepted idea often used to stereotype our relationships as dysfunctional, research is showing that there is some truth to these statements. Specifically; that women in same-sex relationships tend to remain connected and intertwined in each others lives long after break-up.

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Struggling with Failed Resolutions

Struggling with Failed Resolutions

Many people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t endorse this practice, personally, mostly because I think people are quite unrealistic when they do it. They don’t make goals that make sense and they then place far too much pressure on themselves to turn the goals into a reality.

And possibly, if you’re bipolar, it might be even worse. You might have had the best of intentions when making a resolution like to quit smoking, take your medications as prescribed or create a set bedtime, but by now, you’ve probably noticed that you haven’t quite stuck to your resolution. And if you’re like many bipolars, you’re probably not feeling too good about that.

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Secrets in Eating Disorder Recovery

Secrets in Eating Disorder Recovery

If you’ve ever attempted recovery from your eating disorder– especially if you’ve been in a eating disorder treatment center — you’ve likely heard this refrain at least once: Secrets keep you sick.

It’s true. Secrets keep us sick. Eating disorders thrive on secrets.

How else could you get by for so long with binging and purging, with eating less than X calories a day, with exercising for hours on end, with spending hundreds of dollars a month on binges? It’s not likely that you’re broadcasting these things (I certainly didn’t) or someone would hold you accountable.

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What is “Healthy” Self-Esteem?

Defining healthy self-esteem and simple tools to achieve healthy self-esteem.

What is “Healthy” Self-Esteem?

When I picture someone who defines “healthy self-esteem,” this is a person who accepts that life isn’t perfect and rolls with the punches. Someone who is comfortable with who they are and can get through things that don’t turn out the way they expected. For example, someone who is late due to the subway having issues. Rather than going into a cycle of self-blame and fear about what their boss thinks, they accept it, knowing they got there on time and did the best they could. I think that is the short-term version of healthy self-esteem; someone who truly believes they are doing the best they can.

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Dear Fear: A Dear John Letter To Your Anxiety

Dear Fear: A Dear John Letter To Your Anxiety

Dear Fear,

You are not dear, Fear. I am not sorry to say that this relationship is over! I have panicked enough! And I am done with you. Done. Done. Done. Done.

I am tired of you, anxiety. I will no longer let you stop me from being who I can be. Hold me back from my full potential. No more will I allow myself to listen to your lies, anxiety, telling me that I can’t handle life, that I have to stay home, seclude myself, and miss out on the fun. I have had it with your warnings that “something bad will happen” or that “I would embarrass myself” or “it will be awful.”

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