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Throughout my life, I've never felt like I could simply enjoy a moment. Each one felt rushed and incomplete. A new episode of a TV show? I'd watch it while I did my homework. I'd play video games while I listened to a podcast. I'd scramble to write something at the last moment, just before a deadline.
When we recover from binge eating disorder (BED), or any other type of eating disorder, we are changing our way of being in the world. We change behaviors, our reactions to emotions, our environments, and the way we think about ourselves and compare ourselves to other people. Recovery is a massive internal and external renovation that is difficult to see up close. Sometimes, you can only notice changes when you compare how you feel today versus how you felt many years ago in eating disorder recovery.
For people with anxiety, being assertive and upfront about how they feel and what they think can be hard. As someone with social anxiety disorder, I was no different. 
Searching for or asking about mental health coping strategies brings up fairly regular suggestions, which include things like meditation, journaling, exercise, and self-care. But, what’s to be done when the chosen strategies to cope with mental health struggles no longer work? It might be easy to fall into self-stigmatizing thoughts of how you must be really “messed up” or beyond help, but here’s why you should reconsider that line of thinking.
Last week, an online friend died by suicide. While I am still grieving and in shock, I am not surprised. They had been struggling with depression for a while. As someone living with clinical depression for years, I know that thoughts of self-harm and suicide are standard. It is hard not to act on them, and doing so can be fatal. Depression may or may not be visible, but it is always cruel. It impacts every aspect of one's life and can even cut it short. She is the first friend who I have lost to death by depression, and I hope she is the last. However, metaphorically speaking, depression causes one to lose friends. I know this because it has happened to me quite a few times.  (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Ben Simmons--at first glance, these three individuals do not seem to have a lot in common; but upon closer examination, there is more similarity here than meets the eye. Within months of each other, Biles, Osaka, and Simmons all spoke publicly--some more frequently than others--about their mental health struggles. While Biles and Osaka received some criticism, the general sentiment was acceptance and support; for Simmons, however, the same can not be said. So why did the public mock him and rally behind her? Why was he a laughing stock and she a hero? Unfortunately, the answer to this question may run as deep as the all-too-familiar and stigma-fueled cliché: real men don't cry.
Before the Tori Amos concert I went to with my husband, Tom, in late May, I hadn’t been to a live concert since 2007. The reason for that centered around my schizoaffective anxiety and my response to crowds and noise. But, soon after the pandemic started and even before vaccines were available, I promised myself that I would go to her concert if Tori toured again. So, even though the pandemic is still here, I bought tickets for myself, and Tom as soon as Tori announced North American tour dates. Here’s how it went.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a victim of verbal abuse is managing your triggers. As I progress through my healing journey, I am slowly learning how to handle these situations better than before. The most crucial element for me is to remember to avoid falling automatically into a reactive mode when this occurs. 
The paradox of self-harm can be difficult to understand, even for those of us living inside it. We hurt ourselves to feel better—and no, on the surface, that doesn't make sense. But in the moment, sometimes it feels like the only option we've got.
I've never been good at talking about my mental health with others, even those who I've known for years. In the past, I didn't have enough self-knowledge to be able to talk about it with anyone in an adequate way. That time has long since passed, and yet I still hesitate to bring it up with anyone outside of my immediate family. I want to use the rest of this post to try and figure out why I find it hard to talk about my mental health with others.

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Pascale B
I was ghosted by me neighbor who has bipolar disorder it hurt a lot

She was a user and entitled anytime she needed something she would ask for my help I would oblige, then one day when I couldn’t take her call she got mad and decided to “ghost” me even though I tried calling her back to see if everything was ok. Sorry I can’t be at her every beck and call waiting on her needs hand and foot I was in class when she called twice in a row. When she would get what she wanted she would toss me to the side I forgave her many times and told myself it’s ok, well it’s NOT ok not acceptable. When I texted her the next day to ask her if everything was ok since I missed her call she said “she’s busy” excuse me she’s a stay at home mom I work all week and have an entire home to manage as well as personal appointments to keep every day after work… who called who to bother them? She called me it wasn’t the other way around so when you say your “busy” don’t blow up my phone the day before because I am 10 times more busy than you are juggling my career, house work and personal responsibilities while you are a stay at home mom who looks at her window and spies on our neighbors all day long. Anyway now she does not speak to me she ignores me and if she sees me she pretends as if I am dead and put a sticker on her car that says “not today satan” lady are you talking to me? She has issues she’s a user throws people to the side when she gets what she needs out of them and if you can’t take her call one time she will discard you as if you never existed in her phone book or life. She will go to hell for her ghosting and say hi to satan every day in her afterlife for the hurt she has caused becuse I was nothing but nice and helpful to her and all I got in return was a slap to the face, very hurtful and rude. I never ever once asked her to help me I am very self sufficient she always needed my help and now I am ghosted. That’s why I decided to no longer help people who are users.
Paula
I'm 68 and picked bug bites into scabs and then picked the scabs repeatedly as a child. My parents constantly yelled at me for picking and my father warned me he'd bring me to "The Scratching Lady" if I didn't stop. The SL and her son lived in a home where everything was blood-soaked due to their constant picking. I was probably around 5 years old and had many allergies . One day, the family was in the car and I picked a scab. My sister ratted on me and the next thing I know, my Dad is pulling into the driveway of the SL and pulling a hysterical me out of the backseat. After what seemed like an eternity, he relented. I really don't remember the rest. The scratching behavior ended well over 50 years ago but has recently started back up in the last year or so. Go figure.
Jaedra
I really appreciate this article. I struggle with extreme guilt, not only over my anxiety and how it affects others, but also over having the anxiety in the first place.

I have a hard time keeping friendships, but even things like doctor-patient relationships are challenging for me. For example, I’m plagued with thoughts about: do I come across as critical of them when I ask too many questions or seek reassurance because I am anxious (or when I ask the same question more than once because I’m still anxious), do I sound dismissive or unappreciative, am I irritating when I call because of a concern that turns out to be nothing?

And then I get into loop of swearing I won’t call ever again, I won’t say if I’m afraid something is wrong because I know it’s probably just anxiety, and I’ll get it right at my next appointment. I’ll only be positive, and I won’t ask too many questions and I’ll do it right this time.

And then, I ask stupid questions and fear that I come across as unappreciative and have screwed it all up. And then I have guilt over being such a terrible person to deal with, and also that I am anxious and it’s annoying (and I imagine easily misinterpreted as me being nit-picky and neurotic, both of which are true I guess).

Sometimes the guilt and shame feel like the world is ending, and I wish I could just be normal, be OK, and get it right.
Carole Stedronsky
"Trying to understand" is a very good place to be with DID. One helpful way of thinking about your friend's DID is that the person or human being he is is all of his parts together (like a family, team, or village). Different people with DID have different sorts of internal systems. But whichever self-part is upfront, talking, is part of the whole person. Each self-part has a role, and all the parts are of equal importance. Often, switches happen subtly and might not be apparent. If you are a friend to this person, you are a friend to all-the-parts-of-him. So for sure, talk to different parts. Also, an important part of the DID healing journey is increasing communication and cooperation between parts.
Lynn Bubbz
I've recently been diagnosed with Stills Disease and because this disease is rare the symptoms are indifferent. I have days where I'm aching and feel so awful. Those are the days I need my husband's love but I never get it. Instead I get yelled at or feel like I'm unworthy to be shown love to especially when I'm ill. He makes me feel so unwanted. I cry alone in the shower I even hide my sadness.