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In my self-esteem journey, I've turned to exercise as a constant companion. Whether it's yoga, sports, weight lifting, or biking, the benefits of physical activity have been my steadfast allies. What I have come to realize, however, is that the positive impact of exercise goes far beyond the physical realm; it extends deep into the subjective domain, influencing the way I perceive myself. Ultimately, I've found that exercise boosts my self-esteem. 
I often hide depression with a smile, even when I'm actually extremely depressed. This is a characteristic of "high-functioning" bipolar or depression. In other words, I'm carrying on with life and maybe even look okay, but really, I am drying inside. I've had practice looking mentally well when being really sick for years. I'm awfully good at it. But while this allows me to move through the world more successfully than some, there are also problems when you hide depression despite being very ill.
The creation of art can help with depression. During the cold season, when I'm stuck indoors, it becomes tempting to spend a lot of time sleeping. This only makes me feel depressed. To combat this, I try to find fun activities that challenge my mind. This year, I discovered joy in diamond painting. To learn how this artistic hobby helps with depression, read on.
I have a bipolar routine that I adhere to pretty rigidly. This is important for my mental wellness. However, I know that one reason some people don't want a bipolar routine is because they fear the rigidity that can come with it. I can understand that, so let's take a look at bipolar routines and their rigidity.
I am a recovered compulsive gambler. Overcoming gambling dependency was a long road of self-discovery and transformation. Going through the process of breaking free from the shackles of compulsive gambling left me vulnerable and a lot like someone who’s on the outside looking in. As a recovered compulsive gambler, I continue to identify as a gambling addict despite my recovery milestones because owning this identity gives me power over the compulsion that held me hostage for so long.
Managing attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD) behaviors can be challenging for many people, especially those in abuse recovery. Often, triggers can amplify a person's reactions to someone's actions or words. In some cases, like mine, my battle with ADHD helped fuel my verbal abuse recovery process.
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about queer friendship and how special and wonderful it can be. Part of why I am thinking about this is that when I came out as transgender four years ago, I lost a lot of my non-queer friends. It was really painful. They just couldn't show up for me as I transitioned more fully into my life as Daniel. While it was painful and hard to lose so many friends (and even some family members), this loss paved the way for me to make new queer friends. In these queer relationships, I started to see I could be myself. There was a layer of authenticity to my queer friendships that was missing in my previous life. Today, I'll break down a few of the elements that make queer friendship so affirming. At the end of this post, I will also share tips on how to make new queer friends if you find yourself wanting more in the queer friendship department.
Routines and visual schedules can help a parent with dissociative identity disorder (DID). Growing up, my life was marked by unpredictability. I found myself perpetually in a hypervigilant fight-or-flight crisis mode. When I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, I thought I would spend the rest of my life in this mode. When I found out I was going to be a parent, the idea of parenting the way I functioned for most of my life terrified me. Little did I know I would soon discover the power of routine and visual schedules as a parent with DID. 
I have found that being too overwhelmed can lead to a loss of executive function. Basically, my head gets filled with life's troubles and illness, and then it can't think complicated thoughts. That's the crux of it. The thing is, complicated thoughts like those involved in planning and problem-solving are pretty crucial for getting through your day. So, how do we deal with the effects of overwhelm on executive function?
Opening up about borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms can present unique challenges, and disclosing this condition to immigrant Filipino parents adds another layer of complexity. My BPD symptoms include intense mood swings, fear of abandonment, and unstable self-image. Opening up about my borderline personality disorder symptoms with parents who come from a culture and generation that stigmatizes mental health issues is a delicate and, at times, painful process. 

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Comments

Sean Gunderson
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed this article
Vincent Gray
I experienced something very similar. I started daydreaming at eleven and continued until I turned 18. It stopped or went away by itself during my national military service. Now and then I have attempted to daydream - but is not as easy as before. I used to daydream for up to four or more hours every day for years. It had a negative affect on my schoolwork and life.
Natasha Tracy
Hi Z,

I'm the Blog Manager here, and I want to address your comment.

First, I'm so sorry you're feeling such distress right now. I want you to know that no matter what mistakes you make, you do not deserve to be physically harmed because of them. It's great that you want to be a good person, but everyone slips. None of us are perfect, and we all deserve patience when that happens. You also deserve love no matter what mistakes you make.

It's normal for your emotions to get the best of you sometimes. It happens to teens a lot because they're growing, changing, and maturing, but it happens to adults too! Please know that a huge amount of guilt probably hurts more than it helps.

It sounds to me like you have some pretty tough things to work through. You should talk to an adult that you trust about what's happening. That might be a parent, or it might be another adult in your life who is supportive and nonjudgmental.

You could also reach out to a professional for help. You could talk to a school counselor, for example. They may be able to help you deal with the emotions you're having more effectively.

You may also want to connect with this resource:

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternative
Information Line
800-DONT-CUT (366-8288)
https://selfinjury.com/

Also, remember, you can call 9-8-8 any time to talk to someone. You don't have to be suicidal to call. They may point you toward additional resources.

You're dealing with some difficult emotions right now, but you don't have to do it alone. I've been where you are, and I promise that reaching out in one or more of the above ways can help.

-- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Gregory,

Thanks for your input. I'm the Blog Manager here at HealthyPlace, and I want to address your comment.

I can understand why a person may think that video game addiction doesn't exist, but there is evidence to the contrary. In one meta-analysis, it was found that 5% of gamers have an addiction. In that analysis, they mention that two hours of gaming a day is considered more normal, but five hours or more may indicate the presence of addiction.

They found that engaging in an addictive gaming behavior led to effects such as lower academic scores, depression, anxiety, and a decrease in self-esteem, life satisfaction, and social support.

You can see more here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691823002238?via%3Dihub

Internet gaming disorder was even included in the latest "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" ("DSM-5-TR"). More information about it, including diagnostic criteria, can be found here: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming

It's worth noting that while professionals can, of course, help with any addiction, there are steps anyone can take to help with gaming addiction that don't cost anything. https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/gaming-disorder/addicted-to-video-games-and-online-gaming-what-now

Most gamers are not addicted, but it is absolutely true that some are.

There is quackery out there, but this is not evidence of it.

-- Natasha Tracy