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"He's totally psychotic." "My breakup was totally psycho." How many times have you heard those types of phrases? I've heard it many, many times. While it's pretty common these days to have some knowledge about mental illness terms, psycho, psychotic, and even psychosis tend not to be understood. Let's delve into the meanings of psycho, psychotic, and psychosis, both from a common vernacular point of view and from an accuracy point of view.
Ever since I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, I have always perceived my anxiety as a bully and as my worst enemy. I hated that I struggled with anxiety and wanted nothing more than to get rid of it. Why wouldn't I? After all, my anxiety had stolen many opportunities and experiences I could have had if it hadn't made my day-to-day social interactions so tough. However, all of this changed when I learned to acknowledge the ways in which my anxiety has helped me and started expressing gratitude towards my anxiety.
Allow me to join the chorus and say it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year, the mental health community comes together during May to amplify the discussions around mental health to reduce the stigma of mental illness and show people they’re not alone in their struggles.
I believe there is nothing unprofessional in being honest about your mental health at work. Since emails are an official means of communication in workplaces everywhere, employees should ensure they are real. Of course, the onus is on the employer because anyone in a mental health-unfriendly organization will hesitate to disclose mental health issues. But this does not mean employees are powerless. And in a pandemic world, where more and more people are suffering from conditions like depression, genuine emails are crucial.
One common trait of abuse victims I've noticed is their resiliency. I found that through the years, I perfected being self-sufficient. This admirable attribute is not as terrific as some may believe, however. My ability to tackle struggles on my own without asking for help is a negative side effect of years of abuse. 
Although I am not a fan of claiming labels as an identity, I have noticed the more I use the term "anxiety," the more people seem to relate to me. But I have had to separate the concept of being anxious versus feeling anxious. I used to say, "I have anxiety," making it a part of who I am. Since starting my journey to enlightenment, I have learned that anxiety is not something that I am. It is something that I feel. 
I am grateful for the podcasts that help me maintain mental wellness, but first, this background story: In April of last year, while the world was just beginning to open back up, I was experiencing the bleak fallout from a traumatic breakup. Much like when I was at my lowest low, battling depression later that summer, I was constantly searching for ways to forget. One of my favorite ways to accomplish this was going for long, and I mean long, walks. I would put on my shoes, walk down my apartment stairs and just walk. Sometimes three miles, sometimes five, and nine or 10 on the bad days.
My dad has a way with words. Decades ago, when I started hearing voices, he dubbed them the “Blue Meanies” after the bad guys in the animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine. And he calls my negative self-talk the musings of “Bad News Betsy.”
Whether you do so intentionally or unconsciously, using emotional blackmail to stop self-harm is one of the worst things you can do to someone struggling to recover.
Did you know that neurodiversity includes borderline personality disorder (BPD)? Most people associate the term with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But, the scope of neurodiversity is much larger than that. The term is new in the mental health community and evolving quickly. However, while information on it is plentiful in the ADHD and autism world, there is surprisingly little information on neurodivergence concerning BPD. So, how does neurodivergence manifest in BPD?

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Kim Berkley
Hi Lexie,

Thanks for your comment. First, I would urge your friend to consider coming out to her parents about her self-harm if that's at all possible—I know for many people, this can help alleviate an otherwise pretty heavy secret to bear. However, I do understand that in some cases, this may do more harm than good—I will have to leave that up to your friend's judgment.

If disclosure is not an option, could your friend perhaps try arm bands? I've seen some quite pretty ones made to be worn on your upper arm—looking for adjustable ones might help to ensure they fit well and don't slide down during the day. Many of the ones I've seen are plastic or metal, but elastic armbands are also possibly an option. Temporary tattoos or body art to cover the area might also work, depending on whether she can wear anything like that at all on her skin.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be reading.


Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hello,

Thank you for your comment. Know that it's not unusual to feel this way—I've seen many comments (since I started writing here) about fading scars triggering urges to self-harm again, even long after the recovery period has begun. I'm glad that you're trying to keep from going back to self-harming—and that you decided to reach out for some support in doing so.

Before I suggest anything, a reminder: I am not a therapist or mental health professional. I would strongly urge you to connect with one if you feel able to—I think that kind of dedicated support would help you not only with your current predicament, but any other complications that might arise during the healing process.

That being said, there are two things that I personally think are worth considering:

1) Do you think covering your scars completely would help, or make the urges worse? It's possible that if your eye isn't drawn to them in the first place, they might be less triggering for you. If you're not already doing so, be sure to take good care of the skin in that area and think about whether wearing simple coverup makeup, super-lightweight tights/leggings, or even just slightly longer shorts (depending on where your scars are) might help reduce the effect your scars are having on you. If you try this, keep tabs on how you're feeling—if it makes your urges worse in any way, stop right away.

2) The other, more sustainable option (in fact, I would urge you to consider this even if you also try covering them up) is to work on managing your stress and managing your response to this trigger. Since you can't completely avoid your scars (or the fact that they've faded), the main thing is to work through your feelings about this and find ways to cope when the urges come on. I've written a few articles about this, hopefully you will find something useful in them:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/2/using-self-harm-urge-surfing-for-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/10/emotional-regulation-and-self-harm-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/5/alternatives-to-using-self-harm-to-regulate-emotions
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/self-harm-recovery-coping-skills-to-help-you-heal


I hope that helps. Feel free to reply here or comment elsewhere on the blog if you have more questions, concerns, etc. Take care.


Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Amara,

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to hear you're getting professional support to help you through this, although I'm sorry you're still hurting. I understand about not wanting to disclose the truth about your scars, to your parents or to anyone else—although I do hope you and your doctor have discussed, and keep discussing, the topic of talking with your parents, because if you are ever able to, it might be more helpful (for you AND for them) than you think. That depends, of course, on your unique family situation, which I obviously don't know much about.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I can think of many options I haven't outlined in this post. I think makeup is still your best bet—it might take some practice, but there are lots of tutorials on YouTube and the internet that can help you get better at using it. Or temporary tattoos—I know it might sound random, but it could be a beautiful way to cover up if you think it would work in your situation. If your bracelets keep falling, maybe try arm cuffs or elastic armbands, for me those always stayed put better than regular bracelets.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions/concerns, I'm here.

Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Francesca,

Thank you for your comment. I wish I could give you a concrete answer to your question, but I am not a doctor, and everyone's body is different—I can't give you an exact timeline for when, or even if, your scars will heal and fade completely. If they are recent and shallow, it is likelier that they will heal and fade soon, possibly entirely. The longer you've had them, the lower the chance that they will completely go away on their own. The best thing you can do is to take good care of the skin in the affected area. Keep it clean, maybe use aloe gel or a lotion containing vitamin E, to encourage healing (just be sure you use a product that's safe for your skin type, and don't go overboard). Otherwise, it's somewhat up to nature whether they will fade or not.

You do have options for removing them in the future if you deem it necessary. In the meantime, if they don't fade in time, I've written a few pieces about hiding scars in the summer:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/hiding-self-harm-scars-in-swimsuit-season
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/9/self-harm-scars-in-the-summer

I hope those articles help, and I hope you and your scars begin healing soon. Let me know if you have any other questions/concerns/comments/etc. Take care.

Sincerely,
Kim
Lexie
My friends got self harm scars on her upper arm and wants to hide them from her family she can't wear sleeves or use any makeup any recommendations would really help