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Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Anxiety often causes impatience. It's a unique type of impatience, though--not that feeling of annoyance that comes from being mildly inconvenienced, but a deeper sense of immediacy or urgency that makes us believe that we have to act on a sudden thought or emotion now because it is our only chance and disasters might happen if we don't take action immediately. It's also different than the impulsivity that makes people do things without thinking them through. The impulse to act driven by anxiety happens because of too much thinking. It's possible to resist the urge to act and operate from a sense of peace rather than anxiety.
TJ DeSalvo
Often, the most profoundly helpful methods to combat anxiety are also the easiest to do. In that spirit, I want to discuss what is perhaps the easiest of all the easy methods: the simple act of recognizing the integrity and worth of other people.
Nori Rose Hubert
Bipolar is a liar, and it's a liar that can't even keep its lies straight. Depression will tell you that you're worthless, while mania will lull you into distorted, grandiose thinking that can cause you to overestimate and over-extend yourself, which can have unpleasant professional and personal consequences. Because of the never-ending falsehoods that bipolar likes to trick us into accepting as truths, knowing our worth as workers and as people can feel like an impossible task. If you work with bipolar disorder, you are not alone in struggling to hold onto your sense of worthiness -- but it's easier to reclaim confidence than you might think.
Megan Griffith
Reading has always been a great source of comfort for me, and throughout my healing journey, I've read many books about mental illness and recovery. Some were boring, others just didn't feel aligned with me and my struggle, but some were absolutely amazing. Today I want to highlight those amazing books in the hopes that they can also help guide you through your recovery.
Martyna Halas
When we speak of self-injury, most people associate the term with inflicting physical wounds on oneself. However, self-harm goes beyond the surface of our skins, and it's more common than we might realize. Whenever we engage in negative self-talk or unconsciously set ourselves up for failure, these are signs of psychological self-harm. Here's how to recognize it.
Laura A. Barton
It's perhaps an odd thing to say, but it's okay to get mad about mental health stigma. The reason I wanted to broach this discussion at all is because I know many, myself included, often talk about being calm and collected when it comes to stigma. After something that happened recently, I wanted to say it's also okay to be made when stigma for mental health is perpetuated.
Alixzandria Paige
Nothing is more important to me than the wellbeing of my loved ones, which is why I want the very best for them. When I notice that something could be improved in their lives, especially when it pertains to bettering a mental health situation for them, I desperately want to say something. Here are three things I keep in mind when making suggestions about mental health to my loved ones.
Natasha Tracy
Anger or rage can actually be depression in disguise. I've learned this the hard way. Sometimes I walk around wanting to punch someone in the face because I'm so angry -- when I have absolutely nothing to be angry about. But the fact of the matter is, while the feelings of anger or rage are real, the cause is not always anger, per se, but depression. Depression has disguised itself as anger or rage.
Kim Berkley
It can be hard to imagine what self-harm recovery will look like in the long term when you're only just beginning your healing journey. I can't tell you exactly where your self-injury recovery path will lead you—but I can tell you what mine has looked like over the past decade.
Jennifer Lear
"Gaslighting" is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser makes the victim question their perception of reality in order to undermine their feelings and avoid accountability for abusive behavior. It is cruel and inexcusable to deliberately treat another person this way, but is it possible to do it unconsciously? Is it possible to gaslight someone with nothing but good intentions? I believe so. In fact, I believe unconscious gaslighting is a trap into which it is easy to fall when you are caring for a person with a mental illness.

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Comments

Laura A. Barton
Hi there. I totally get what you're saying about how it's a relief to be able to relate and have someone apart from ourselves show that we're not isolated in these feelings. Especially when dealing with these sorts of invasive thoughts about dying, it can be helpful to not feel alone with it although you wouldn't for the world wish this on anyone else. It sounds like we're on similar pages: we accept the suicidal ideation, but we don't want to scare those around us by sharing that these thoughts exist exists. I assure you that I hear you and see you in this . You're definitely not alone.
Natasha Tracy
Hi Aislinn ,

You ask a good question. In my opinion, I would err on the side of more communication, rather than less. This lets your boyfriend know that someone cares. That's a big thing when you're not doing well. And if you feel good about making that connection, then yes, I would say go ahead.

Now, if he asks you to stop, then that's different, but without his input, I say, yes, make contact.

- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Travis,

You certainly have a right to your opinion and point of view; but as one of those people who suffer from one of those debilitating illnesses, my point of view differs. I could list 1000 reasons why, but here are two:

One, we never know when a new treatment might work. Are the odds against someone who has been trying treatments for a long time? Probably. But that doesn't mean that a different treatment type such as ketamine infusions or electroconvulsive therapy or a new medication on the market won't be successful. I have a hard time "letting someone go" when I _know_ there is hope to be had.

Two, I have been in the place where I wanted to die and I have been in the place where I have tried and failed treatment after treatment. I, in fact, tried to die. But here, standing on the other side of that, I can honestly say, I was wrong. I wasn't the only one -- the doctors were wrong too -- but the point is, there is always a new avenue, you just have to find it, and I did. And now it's 11 years later. And it's not that it's been a glorious 11 years or anything, but it has been 11 years worth having, and that matters.

Yes, if you would like to consider the point of view of a very sick person who de facto isn't capable of making good choices (serious mental illness does that to your brain), that's certainly one option, but as I said, my view differs.

- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Wallace,

I'm sorry to hear that things have been so difficult. With the information you've given me it's hard to say what's needed.

For example, what's happening with her medication? Is she taking it as prescribed? Does she need different medication? Can she have special medication to take just at the time when a mania starts to bring her back down? What does her psychiatrist say about her cycle?

Also, does she want this cycle? What are her wants? If she doesn't want it to change, then I can't imagine it will.

Is she in therapy? What is her therapist's take? Why are things okay "for several months" and then the cycle starts again?

Would a separate be best for your daughters? Is it healthy for them to be in that environment? Would it be better for them to see their mom primarily when she's well?

Basically, there are two possibilities. One is that your wife is doing something to sabotage her wellness either because she likes the mania or because she hates the treatment, likely. If this is the case, I don't think there's anything you can do except create explicit boundaries and follow through with them.

The other possibility is that her treatment legitimately isn't working. If this is the case then her doctor needs to make substantial changes and plans need to be put in place for when/if the mania happens again.

I can understand wanting to stay in a marriage and I can understand wanting to keep a family together but that may not be the best thing for all involved. If you haven't already done so, I recommend family therapy for help in working some of these issues out and putting a plan in place for the next mania.

I wish good mental health for you all.

- Natasha Tracy
Lost
Oh how I wish I didn’t realize too late! She’s in denial ( well her one alter is) and she has no clue why I’m such a mess mentally.