I believe in the importance of self-care, especially for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. But I wasn't always this way. In fact, until this past year, I'd heard about the self-care movement but dismissed it as "narcissistic" or "selfish." I also thought that I didn't deserve to take care of myself when I could spend that time helping others.
Exposure therapy can reduce the severity of phobias and anxiety. Learn more about exposure therapy and what you can do to implement it to reduce your anxiety.
My husband and I are standing in the kitchen of our new house, picking out paint colors and deciding which projects to tackle first, when suddenly I think "It doesn't matter, I won't be there to enjoy it. I'm going to end up killing myself eventually." I don't mean to think this. I don't want to think this. Luckily, I've had experience with these intrusive suicidal thoughts before, and I'm able to stay calm. I know that I don't want to die, I'm just experiencing a lot of change and my brain is seeking out the comfort of its old neural pathways.
Anxiety made me "that annoying friend" early in life. I vividly remember the first time that my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) inserted itself, without invitation, into my relationships. I was in third grade, playing in the sandbox during recess when I found out that Jess (names changed) had invited Katrina to see the new Shrek movie but hadn't extended the invitation to me. I remember being devastated and insecure. For the remainder of recess, I moped around the chain-link fence by myself, kicking up patches of dirt while negative thoughts swarmed my head. Why hadn't she invited me? What was wrong with me? These tentative thoughts soon turned into statements taken as fact. My friends hate me. Nobody likes me. I am an annoying friend and useless. I didn't talk to anyone else for the rest of that day.
Most people who are in recovery from alcoholism have drinking dreams from time to time. It can be a truly scary experience, especially when you have been sober for a while. When I first got sober, I used to have drinking dreams much more frequently than I do now, but I do still have them once in a while. My drinking dreams are different now than they used to be, in both frequency and content, but they are always disturbing and sometimes downright traumatizing. So, what is a drinking dream? Why do people in recovery have them and what do they mean? Drinking dreams can be very upsetting, but when you know what they are and that they are a normal part of recovery, you’ll be better armed to deal with them.
Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) misdiagnosis happens out of ignorance. Although many people are now aware of the prevalence of sexual abuse, but not nearly enough people are aware of the lifelong effects of the abuse. Unfortunately, this includes some mental health professionals who can end up missing the diagnosis of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and instead give the person a misdiagnosis.
Dealing with boundary issues can cause anxiety, but it's possible to reduce that anxiety and establish healthy boundaries. Boundaries refer to your sense of yourself as well as when, where, how much, and from whom you'll give and take. The ability to establish boundaries helps your mental health as well as your relationships with others; however, anxiety can cause the inability to create boundaries just as the lack of boundaries can cause anxiety. Despite the double-edged sword, there are ways you can reduce anxiety around boundary issues to improve your quality of life.
Many people find it challenging to cope with changes in life, and for those of us with depression, it can be especially difficult. Whether it's a new job, a child's graduation, the loss of a loved one, or the birth of a child, any change can be stressful and can potentially cause us to have a harder time with our depression. So, when changes come, as they inevitably will, how do we cope?
There are many techniques that can help you build self-esteem on your own, but sometimes, therapy for low self-esteem is necessary. You might feel you need therapy for self-esteem issues if they are showing no signs of improvement. Also, your low self-esteem may be interfering with your life – you may be so self-critical that you notice this impacting your work, social life, and relationships. Therapy for low self-esteem can help you address the negative patterns of thinking and behavior that you’re trapped in, as well as allow you to address the root causes of your feelings of unworthiness.
If you have been struggling with self-harm and are considering professional help as an option, you may have already come across a type of treatment called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for ending self-harm. Though many find success with other common therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT has proved uniquely suited to patients who engage in self-harming behavior.