May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we've almost reached the end of it. Each year, I see more and more people opening up about their struggles, encouraged by themed conversations on social media and beyond. However, I feel self-injury is particularly difficult to talk about publicly, so self-harm stigma is still going strong. Why are people so afraid of self-harm?
I was raised by parents with mental illness. My mother has been diagnosed with a few mental illnesses, and if my father had not passed away at such a young age, he would have been diagnosed as well. Due to this circumstance, I was raised under certain conditions that others were not exposed to. This article is intended to bring attention to some of the characteristics in the childhood of an individual raised by parents with mental illness.
Laura A. Barton
As someone with skin picking disorder, summer was always a time of dread. It was as if the warm weather grew stigma the same way it could grow plants. Guidance during those days of my life would have been great for handling fear and shame, and a short summer guide to surviving skin picking disorder stigma is exactly what I'd like to offer now.
Those empty "inspirational" quotes are a particular pet peeve of mine. Facebook and Instagram are littered with them, and the more of them I see, the more aggravated I get. It's not just that the same ones seem to do the virtual rounds every few months ("Live, Laugh, Love" anyone?), it's that they have become so ubiquitous that they feel insincere.
My psychopharmacologist of almost 20 years is retiring, and I have to find someone new to treat my schizoaffective disorder. Lisa (not her real name) is terrific. She’s the one who re-diagnosed me as schizoaffective, bipolar type, instead of as schizophrenic. This was really helpful because mood stabilizers have proven key in helping with the schizoaffective voices I hear.
I am not a licensed therapist or medical professional; I cannot tell you how to use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for self-harm recovery. But I hope that, by sharing my own experience, I can help you decide whether it is an option you should investigate further for self-harm recovery.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Beating anxiety involves intentionally doing the opposite of what anxiety is at its core. Anxiety isn't fun, it is almost devoid of positive purpose, and it robs us of passion for pursuing life. Therefore, cultivating passion, purpose, and fun despite anxiety can go far in beating anxiety.
One of the biggest benefits of modern technology is the ability to take a music collection, even one with tens of thousands of songs, with you at all times. Using iPods and, later, iPhones and iPads, I’ve had my music collection in my pocket for around 15 years.
In addition to my past eating disorder history, I am also someone who deals with anxiety in the present. This duality is not unique—in fact, an estimated 65 percent of those with eating disorders meet the diagnostic criteria for anxiety too. After numerous years of both residential treatment and other therapeutic modalities, I have learned how to manage the effects of anxiety, but in those times when stress wreaks particular havoc on my baseline functioning, I find that anxiety can influence my appetite.
There are many repetitive, sometimes less than pleasant habits that come with my child's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and excessive talking is one of them. It's one that I have a particularly hard time tolerating because he has so much to say all the time. Point blank; it can be exhausting for me. I have to remember, though, that everyone has a reason for doing what they do, even things I don't like. Understanding why my child talks excessively and what his ADHD has to do with it is a huge step towards patiently and constructively handling this habit.