As a teenager, I struggled to accept my learning disability diagnosis. I didn't want to be thought of as slower than my peers. I wanted to be seen as intelligent. In my early 20s, I felt the same way about my anxiety and depression diagnoses. I wanted to be in control of my emotions by simply getting over my depression. But now, I realize that accepting my mental illness diagnoses was crucial for improvement. Here are four ways I learned to accept my mental health conditions.
With the rise of "main character energy" in the post-pandemic, there's been a lot of buzz over the past few years over the notion of "romanticizing your life." In short, this idea urges you to fall in love with your own existence the same way you might fall in love with another person. A simple Google search yields list upon list of ways you can do this. This content is fun and zesty but ultimately flawed. Approaching your romance with yourself with dos and don'ts is as effective as wooing a crush by giving them a handbook. True romance is spontaneous and melting, not structured and task-oriented. If you're interested in romanticizing your life, there's a simpler way.
Bullying and negative feedback can be devastating to your self-esteem and massively contribute to feelings of being powerless, unworthy, and alone. Overcoming these things is an essential part of your self-esteem journey. In this article, I walk you through strategies to overcome bullying and negative feedback to build your self-esteem.
Last week, I wrote about feeling embarrassed to talk about my eating disorder in face-to-face conversations. This week, I remembered why I experienced that level of embarrassment. I was raised in a climate of body shaming, forced to interact with relatives who see no issue with fatphobic comments and behaviors. I have family members who are insensitive to recovery from my eating disorder (ED).
Healing from a verbally abusive situation will be a unique journey for everyone. One person's strategies may not be successful for someone else. Finding the right tools to deal with the side effects of abuse can be challenging. Thankfully, I have several methods to help combat my self-doubt and reinforce my worth, including strategies like daily affirmations for verbal abuse.
For depression sufferers, it can feel like our minds filter out positive emotions and turn our thoughts into a vortex of negativity. Seeing the pain and suffering caused by natural disasters often exacerbates depression.
It is common to have more than one mental illness at a time. Most people I know (from support groups) have multiple diagnoses. I have both paranoid schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder. I know people with schizoaffective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I also know of people with bipolar disorder and eating disorders. It is not rare to have a personality disorder along with schizophrenia, bipolar, or another diagnosis. People call it a dual diagnosis if someone has a substance abuse disorder and a mental illness.
If you are active on social media, you have probably heard this relationship advice: "If he wanted to, he would." Although it is valid in some cases, it is also ableist. Read on to know more.
Insomnia is common in bipolar disorder. Sleep changes (which can be insomnia or hypersomnia [oversleeping]) are noted in the symptoms of major depressive disorder, which is part of bipolar disorder. In fact, I would wager that without medication, every person with bipolar disorder would have sleep problems. In my case, I have insomnia with my bipolar disorder and have had it for three years. But last night, I was lucky. Last night I managed to sleep almost eight hours (interrupted, but still). So, why don't I feel any better?
I think about diagnosis a lot—mostly because I live with undiagnosed mental illnesses. Even as a child, I never received any diagnosis for the struggles I faced, and, as an adult, all my diagnoses are self-diagnosed. I know there’s a lot of stigma attached to self-diagnosis, but I want to discuss self-diagnosis, being undiagnosed with mental illness, and their roles in recovery.
Thank you for your comment. You're right; what I stated was an opinion. There is no way to know that number with any accuracy.
And, in case you were wondering, I actually do have bipolar disorder and have been writing about it for 20 years.
-- Natasha Tracy