When some people read about those of us dealing with the effects of schizophrenia, they feel the same way I do about some other chronic illnesses. How can we find joy when we can't trust our minds? How do we function when we have to go through psychosis or stay at a psychiatric hospital or treatment facility? How do we go on when we hear voices or have paranoia or delusions of one form or another? How do we form relationships, go to school, or, if we are fortunate, go to work?
I've been leaning into the practice of mindfulness lately, and the daily practice is helping me learn to accept my life situation at this moment as it is. Mindfulness helps me stay focused on what matters to me instead of slipping into eating disorder behavior when I am feeling sad, afraid, or angry. Mindfulness is helping me through binge eating disorder recovery.
I've been flitting in and out of a bipolar mixed mood for a while now, which leaves me trying to find the cause of my bipolar mixed mood. This is no mean feat. So many things can impact a bipolar mood state that narrowing it down to a single mixed mood cause is pretty tricky.
Death is coming for us all. I don't mean that to be threatening; I mean it to be relieving. Encouraging. Enlightening.
One concept that’s helped me a lot in recovery from mental illness is this: recovery is not linear. It seems simple, but understanding this helps me be aware that the recovery process may have peaks and valleys. It also helps me be aware of the changes that bring on peaks and valleys, like big life changes.
This week, "Snap Out of It!" talks about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED) at work with Jason Hamburg. Jason is the Vice President of Neuroscience at Takeda Canada Inc. Jason wasn’t diagnosed with a mental illness until he was 44 years old, and he can attest to the fact that while he dealt with his mental illnesses in his own ways, those illnesses definitely held him back. Jason characterizes these illnesses as impulsive and compulsive, and the difference in experience before and after treatment was striking.
I've felt quite overwhelmed by the events happening worldwide and within my community. Between social media, the news, and life, the noise never lets up. Luckily, there are practices we can observe and measures we can take to quiet the noise. It all starts with small actions leading to a more overarching goal. This methodology applies to many aspects of our life, and fighting mental health stigma is no different.
I constantly move—so much so that I feel anxious if I have been sitting for more than about 20 minutes at a time. In fact, even as I type this sentence, I am doing calf raises while standing in front of my computer. On most days, I run or walk an average of 20,000 steps, and if I fall below that threshold, I frenetically pace around the living room while I watch TV at night. I happen to be someone with a lot of natural energy, but I often wonder: Am I just active, or is it my exercise addiction? Moreover, how can I strike a healthy balance in this area?
This story is a bit embarrassing to share. But people really feel the stories are helpful, so here you go. I want to admit that I can’t shower without my husband, Tom, in the bathroom with me.
Being the victim of verbal abuse can bring with it many dynamics. My overwhelming sense of responsibility is one contributing side effect of suffering verbal abuse through the years. This emotion includes feeling accountable for the abuse I endured, thinking that I have to be responsible to make everything better, and I am unable to trust that other people will do the right thing, so I must handle everything myself. Unfortunately, the continuous feeling of responsibility eventually leads to survivor burnout and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy.