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Up to this point in my life, addressing my mental health struggles and seeking recovery has been personal work, and I've never been to therapy to help with mental health conditions. I’ve learned about my illnesses and done self-reflection and soul-searching. It’s been by myself, except for a stint of attending peer support groups and being a part of online peer support groups. During all this time, I’ve wondered, would I benefit from therapy for my mental health?
Facing a verbally abusive situation is emotionally and physically draining. In addition, many victims of abuse find that alcohol plays a factor in how their circumstances play out daily. As someone who lived in a relationship of verbal abuse, alcohol, and substance abuse, I found the combination of these outside elements intensified an already negative situation. 
It's one thing to say that the opinions of others don't matter, but actually believing these words to be true is another beast entirely. Growing up, people had a bad habit of telling me who I was, what I offered, and even who I was going to be. Sometimes I would brush these comments off, but I would mostly let them sit and fester until the line between what I believed and what others believed of me blurred. I was susceptible to those thoughts and expectations of others because I lost touch with my sense of self.
I will never forget one specific breakfast during my time in residential treatment. An on-staff clinician supervising the meal told me to throw out my pancakes and grab a new batch. When I asked her why, the answer was confusing, but as with most rules at this inpatient facility, it left no room for further questions. "You spread peanut butter on your pancakes—that's a food ritual," she replied.
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in over a year. I am so elated about this, especially since I’ve struggled with auditory hallucinations since my first and only psychotic episode in 1998 when I was 19. Being free of the voices is absolutely liberating.
If you've ever asked yourself, "Why do I feel like hurting myself when I'm mad?" know that you are not alone.
Thanks to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I'm easily distracted. This is especially difficult when I spend time on YouTube binges or scrolling through social media apps, even though I'd earmarked that time for working.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to my first official installment of "How to Live a Blissful Life." If I weren't in such an atrocious mood, I'd be happy to be here, but unfortunately, I'm in a bit of a tizzy. For the better part of a day, I've been hacking my way through the unforgiving jungle of my mind with my machete of words in order to deliver you something brilliant for this inaugural post. About an hour ago, I punctuated my final sentence and gave the piece I'd just barely conquered a once over. It was bad. It was really, really bad. It was drowning in inauthenticity and pretension, and I wouldn't have let you touch it with a 10-foot stick.
In this video, I talk about one of my secret tricks to self-soothing when borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms are triggered.
When you deal with anxiety, it's hard to stop yourself from also feeling sad and hopeless. There are a few reasons for this, and for myself, I've found that this has happened to me because dealing with constant anxiety can be extremely exhausting. But I've also found that this has happened to me because the overwhelming feelings and constant worry that go along with anxiety are negative feelings by nature. It's hard to feel positive feelings about anything when you're overcome with anxiety. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)

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A very lost boyfriend
Thanks, this article helped putting some things in perspective, but I'm still at a loss. I'm pretty convinced my girlfriend has bipolar, but she's never been diagnosed. A lot of symptoms match, but not all of them.
I'll tell my story, hoping someone will be able to tell me their thoughts or give some advice.

I’m 41. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year. It took a while for the relationship to take off, because she’s been through an insane amount of trauma throughout her life, and over the past few years especially: her dad (undiagnosed bipolar) took his life, she got divorced, her highly successful career fell apart, and other heavy stuff.
She rebuilt herself as a highly independent woman, taking care of her two children and a new business she started (which she’s very passionate about but it’s not generating enough income thus far which is super scary), and was really not looking for anything serious. Nevertheless, love found us, and it was so special and right, that my patience paid off. We’ve lived an insane amount of stuff over our time together. We became partners, best friends, I developed an amazing relationship with her kids, and things between us were generally amazing. Except that at times, it would still come up that it wasn’t the life she had planned (she left an unhappy marriage that made her feel trapped, and she wanted to be a solo, independent woman), and every so often she would say that she can’t give me what I want (proper commitment). But things would always get better, and everything just felt right.
She's also often in a dark, sad place and feels desperate with a total lack of motivation or taste for life, but she’s a generally functional person (she has to, for her kids), so she would always manage to stand up again after a really bad day, and be active. So it's never the 'two weeks in bed completely paralyzed' kind of situation that I often read about, which has me wondering.

We had a terrible phase in the spring, she broke up with me, and we were apart for about 6 weeks. She said and did some things that were super hurtful, and I was a complete, utter mess (had to take xanax for the first time in my life).
She was having a huge manic episode, so she was very confident in what she was doing, no second thoughts. Again, she’s never been diagnosed, but so many things made it a textbook case of bipolar mania (poor judgement, hypersexuality, recklessness with her money, heightened productivity, etc.).
Through a series of circumstances, things eventually improved, and we had a perfect few months after that.

The past month however, took a huge toll on us. Some things (outside of our couple) highly triggered her, she felt she had to focus more on the kids and the business, and there was a communication breakdown, while communicating had always been one of our fortes.
Now she dumped me again, saying she can’t give me what I want, can’t be faithful (a desire for promiscuity/an open relationship seems to be a recurring thing during these phases), needs to be alone and focus on herself, the kids and the business, etc. There are other signs of mania (heightened productivity, irritability, raging - even though that never gets insane: she's not a violent person, and we normally have a positive, loving dynamic). It's been a lot of ghosting, with no willingness for dialogue. I feel invisible.

I don’t know how to deal with this. I would accept it and let it go, if what we had (minus these phases) wasn’t so rare and special. Believe me, I’m not delusional, what we have at our core really is all that. I’m hearing all this crap now, whereas only a few weeks back, all I was hearing was, I’m a gift, I’m perfect for her, she’s committed to me, we’re better together, my presence is awesome for the kids, etc.

It seems like she’s punishing herself, and is unable to love herself and to be kind to herself (she told me 'it's way too late for me to be kind to myself). She feels that she can’t give. But that’s completely at odds with how everything looks when things are normal. I’m scared that since this is the second such episode in 4 months, it could be more permanent than the one in the spring. Like, even if she comes out of the mania…she would feel discouraged, or would simply prefer to get over it and move on, convincing herself that she's meant to be alone.
Now she's saying she's good and optimistic, but isn't really reaching out. Other than saying she misses me too, she's saying the space is good for her.

So I'm trying to understand what's going on, and besides some super heavy trauma she's been through and some boundary issues, so many things seem to match with bipolar: phases where she's obsessed with being productive, skewed judgment and paranoia, opinions about us changing radically, symptoms of hypersexiaulity and a strong desire for independence, a sense of feeling great which seems temporary, and irritability. And then, the underlying feeling of sadness and despair, pessimism, and lack of joy or motivation, even though none of that is necessarily obvious on the surface.

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!
Cheryl Wozny
Hello, Gillian Bevis-King, I am Cheryl Wozny, author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. I am sorry that you are dealing with an extremely stressful situation. You are correct that your mental and physical health should always be safe. I encourage you to visit our resources page https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources for more information about hotlines and agencies that could possibly aid you with your healing and find a resolution. Remember that you are never alone, and there is always someone who you can talk to when you do not feel safe.
Cheryl Wozny
Hello, I am Cheryl Wozny, author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog. I want to thank you for reaching out for help. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I am sorry that you are facing abuse, and I encourage you to try exploring our resources page https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources for hotlines and agencies that can help you. Although I do not know what area you reside in, this page has resources all over the world. If you need immediate assistance, you can also text the word HOME to 741741 and be in contact with someone who can provide some help. I am glad you are making the decision to find help for yourself, you are never alone in your journey.
Adrienne Lessie
I can attest to having phone anxiety, it makes it impossible for me to do my customer reservice job because I dread talking to someone who may be unpleasant and I get thrown off on how to navigate that negative reaction. Thank you for writing an article like this!
Emma Parten
Hi Eleni, I didn't originally write this blog post, but I'm currently the author of the blog and I want to say I empathize with what you've been through. It's so difficult to tell the truth about eating disorders, so thank you for sharing your personal story. With all you have gone through, it is clear to me how strong you are today.
I don't have any experience with Phentermine, so I cannot advise you on where to go for that. I hope you will continue to read the blog as a reminder to yourself that you are not alone. Everyone's recovery journey is different, but I believe it helps to remind yourself that you are not alone and that you are so much more than your eating habits. Your eating disorder is not who you are, even though it feels that way much of the time.
Take good care and I'd love to hear from you more in the future.