Self-injury can seem like the most accessible path to relief when other doors have been shut in your face, but self-harming to self-soothe creates a vicious cycle from which it can be difficult to disengage. Recognizing that there are other, healthier ways to feel better—ways that are still open to you—is vital to recovery.
My name is Desiree Brown, I live with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and I am the new author of "More than Borderline" here at HealthyPlace. The first time I tasted those words, they disgusted me. Was I supposed to be in order? Would that then make me out of order? Like a common public toilet?
I've been on antianxiety medication since 2001 when I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Out of some odd compulsion or perhaps, shame from having to take drugs to manage my mental illness, I weaned off my anxiety medications three times since I began. The first two times, it ended badly. The last time, it ended in disaster.
Almost every day, I tell myself I'm going to start work at 9:00 a.m. and be productive. Almost every day, I'm disappointed with myself. In my head, I'm a person with a million ideas, a million goals, and a million ways of making things happen. In practice, I'm easily distracted by, well, basically everything. It's frustrating. I want to push myself. I want to do amazing things, but I regularly find myself lying on the couch watching YouTube videos and barely paying attention. I struggle to be motivated.
Almost two years ago, I decided to try intuitive eating to distance myself from binge eating. I didn't trust my body to stay at a healthy weight without dieting, but I knew I had to try to break out of my eating disorder habits. It sounded like a dream to eat whatever I wanted without guilt or worrying. I was skeptical intuitive eating would work for me, but I was eager to try it as an experiment.
Has your anxiety ever made you say "no" to an opportunity that you wanted to say "yes" to? You are not alone if you have ever done that. More often than not, my anxiety holds me back from saying "yes" to opportunities that I'm interested in. While I feel a sense of relief when I say "no," I start experiencing feelings of regret soon.
Even as a long-time writer, words do not always come easily to me. A major reason for this is that anxiety and depression give me negative messages. Depression tells me that no one will care about what I have to say. Anxiety tells me that other people will stigmatize me for my content. Regardless, writing is a huge part of my treatment plan. A few weeks ago, I came up with a writing exercise to help me appreciate and feed my passion. To learn about this exercise and how it helps my state of mind, continue reading this post.
I, like many, have been called brave for sharing my experiences with mental health struggles. It’s always sat weirdly with me as I’ve never seen myself in that light. I’m not brave for sharing my mental health struggles. I can see how folks would see bravery in speaking up when mental health stigma is so rampant. Yet, the term still isn’t one I identify with. It doesn’t fit quite right.
It can be difficult to navigate the shifting views of mental health and the stigma surrounding it in an adaptive and dynamic world. There is a duality to the increase of safe spaces and acceptance regarding mental health. The exhausting truth is although some people in society may be ready to hear our stories, not everyone is.
Disclosing an eating disorder can be uncomfortable—even downright scary. In fact, research shows the prevalence of those who suffer from eating disorders is vastly underrepresented. A 2019 estimate from the Global Burden of Diseases reveals that as many as 41.9 million eating disorder cases were unreported over the course of just one year.