advertisement

Blogs

Paradoxically, writing about self-harm for HealthyPlace has been one of the hardest things I've done in my life—and one of the easiest. It's certainly not for everyone, but in my case, publicly writing on self-injury has been an incredible opportunity to both heal and be healed in return.
I often say I have too many creative hobbies. I enjoy writing, I like video editing, among others. My hobbies are an integral part of how I keep my mental health in check; so, for this blog, I want to go into a bit of detail with regards to how I make sure my hobbies help my mental health instead of harming it.
I've been working through ways to build better self-esteem. I've laid out how long of a journey it can be. Like any long journey, the feeling of being stuck will pop up now and then. I've started to feel stuck over the last couple of weeks. Today, I'll talk about managing that feeling and getting back on track by resetting your perspective.
I am someone who genuinely loves to exercise. I know this claim might elicit some eye rolls, but it's true. I even had a therapist at a residential treatment program once tell me that she suspected fitness would always be an integral part of my life. The trick, she continued, was learning to create a balanced relationship with how I choose to work out. It's been more than 10 years since that conversation, but I still have to be so careful about using exercise to stabilize my emotions in eating disorder recovery.
The mornings I've woken up after a binge have been the lowest points of my self-esteem. No matter how many times you've recovered from a binge, it's always an awful feeling to wake up and remember what happened the day before. How do you recover after a binge? How do you help yourself so you don't continue the cycle of binge eating and restriction?
Hi, I'm Michael Thomas Kincella, and I’m the new co-author of "Living with Adult ADHD." I'm a freelance writer living and working in Glasgow, originally from Ireland. More importantly, I'm a freelance writer living and working in Glasgow dealing with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diagnosed a few years ago at the ripe old age of 32.
When I am anxious, one of the main symptoms I experience is a loss of sleep. And this is due to a couple of reasons -- first of all, my heart rate increases when I'm anxious, especially if I've had a panic attack. When this happens, it is hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. The other reason is that I will find myself thinking about whatever I'm worried or stressed about, and those racing thoughts make it difficult to sleep as my mind works overtime. Even if I fall asleep, I will wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going back to sleep, and so I might find myself fully awake before dawn.
Overdoing it with bipolar is not mentally healthy. Overdoing it is something people are encouraged to do regularly. The 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. workday is a laugh for many people as work follows them, via cell phone, home, to the gym, and to the park with the kids. And then there's cooking, cleaning, friends, obligations, hobbies, and more with which to contend. And that doesn't even take into account "side gigs," which, for some reason, we're all supposed to have now. And while some people can handle a go-go-go lifestyle, people with a serious mental illness certainly cannot. When you have bipolar disorder, overdoing it comes with a very hefty price.
Schizophrenia is a spectrum disorder. Some people experience acute symptoms, while others experience mild to no symptoms. When you begin to notice signs of schizophrenia, it's best to reach out for help. I did, eventually, and I found an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that has helped me and that I enjoy.
If you have postpartum depression (PPD), one of your symptoms might be anxiety. Anxiety can be overwhelming and severely interfere with everyday activities. I remember struggling to breathe as my heart raced and my stomach dropped simply because I was going to a community event. But if you're struggling with anxiety related to postpartum depression, there are some coping strategies that can help you get through it.

Follow Us

advertisement

Most Popular

Comments

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.