Internalized stigma caused me to keep my schizophrenia diagnosis a secret for almost 20 years after my first psychotic episode. I didn't tell friends or share the information with my in-laws when I married. Looking back on that time, it was as if I never let anyone besides my husband get close to me. I didn't realize that I created a bubble of authenticity that only my husband and I inhabited. I put on a face and front for everyone else. Sometimes I wanted to tell people and was close to opening up but remained closed-lipped.
I'm tired of explaining bipolar disorder to people. I realize this is a terrible sentiment to one who actually does this for a living, but it's one I've found myself thinking about at times. In some respects, explaining bipolar disorder and mental illness in general to people is extremely rewarding; in other ways, though, it's just a slog. Having the same conversation over and over again about mental illness with someone who has no clue is exhausting.
When I reflect on my recovery from mental illness, it comes down to three key factors. This blog will go over these three things. I know how difficult the struggle is with mental illness, so I hope they’re helpful to others.
"Snap Out of It!" talks to Christina McCarthy of One Mind at Work, the leading brain health nonprofit committed to healing the lives of people impacted by brain illness and injury through global, collaborative action. Christina talks about both the moral and the business case for making workplaces accessible to those with mental illness and how her past experiences have driven her to care deeply about mental illness. She also talks about the unique gifts that those with mental illness offer a workplace.
There was a time in my life when I was irate and unhappy with my environment and everyone around me. I would lash out at the slightest inconvenience and feel justified in my actions because of my trauma. I continued this behavior until I started therapy. After years of extensive therapy, I've realized those actions were not helpful, and I feel more empathy after verbal abuse than before it.
As someone who has been a professional writer for almost 10 years (and a writing enthusiast for my whole life), I am a firm believer in journaling. Granted, I have not maintained a consistent journaling rhythm in the season where I find myself now. But when I commit to this self-care practice on a regular basis, I feel connected to my goals, priorities, and intentions for healing. Moreover, I am compelled to take meaningful, decisive actions that align with those priorities. So if you, like me, have fallen into a journaling rut over the past weeks or months, here are some journaling topics to refuel your motivation in eating disorder recovery.
The next global pandemic is here, and it's not what we expected. Mental health is at a tipping point in the United States and the world. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders began steadily trending upward. With one global pandemic slowly moving into the scope of our rearview mirror, another timely and urgent pandemic has prevailed: mental health.
A few days ago, my schizoaffective anxiety almost convinced me that I was dying--again. Here’s what happened.
Relapse is a possibility every self-harmer faces during recovery—but is it normal to miss hurting yourself once you get clean?
I wrote many blog posts this past year about my struggles late last summer with weeks of acute panic and anxiety that left me traumatized. I attended weekly therapy and worked hard for almost a year to get to a point where I could finally revisit the place where the worst of the trauma occurred, which I did, successfully. With that said, I'm wondering if therapy still makes sense for me.