This past weekend, my brother and I were reunited after quarantine -- seeing each other in person for the first time since March. He drove over to my house and met my new puppy, and we spent the day walking, eating, and generally catching up.
How do we cultivate hope when feeling anxious? This question has been occupying me a lot in the last few weeks because in many ways, anxiety seems to act contrary to hope. Typically when we feel anxious, we're anticipating some future event that we are worried about or afraid of. By contrast, hope is defined as a positive expectation about some future event occuring.
In recent years, constant connectivity and hustle culture have made it difficult for us to define boundaries between work and life. Now that many of us are working from home owing to the coronavirus pandemic-induced social distancing, the lines have become more blurred than ever.
In my addiction recovery, I have learned a lot about the impacts of self-talk, specifically how minimization and rationalization can sometimes cause harm. Personally, I believe that minimizing and rationalizing unhealthy behaviors can be present in many different types of people, not just recovering addicts. However, in my experience, these two forms of self-talk have undoubtedly impacted my addiction recovery experience.
I had been diagnosed with schizophrenia by September 11, 2001, though that was not yet my correct diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. But regardless of whether you had schizoaffective disorder, the events of what would later be called 9/11 were traumatic for the whole nation.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Aren't we supposed to be over the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened anxiety it's causing? Most of us hoped, and even expected, that we would be. Yet here we are, well into month four in the United States, and many states are sliding backwards. Legal orders to wear masks are on the rise. A seemingly sudden explosion of controversy and heated emotion around mask-wearing have left many people wondering why: Why now, why the big issue around masks, and simply why are we continuing to experience mental health challenges around COVID-19? Here's a look that won't solve the problem but may help shed light on it and help you manage increasing anxiety.
Social rejection hurts me much more than I would like. I'm sensitive, and therefore I experience all emotions to a greater a degree. Everything from joy to depression can sometimes be overwhelming. And it's that tendency to experience emotions so strongly that keeps me from revealing parts of myself that I've labeled "unlovable."
Building strong self-esteem requires us to make sure we're not masking our feelings from ourselves. A natural extension of that is feeling strong enough to express your feelings to others. That doesn't mean we have to act out on negative feelings by doing things that could hurt ourselves or others. It means that we are not wrong to experience the gamut of emotions. We can work on being honest about how we feel to build our self-esteem.
It's normal to feel afraid in eating disorder recovery. After all, it's scary to arrive at a crossroads between the familiar identity of an eating disorder and the unknown quantity of healing. You have a choice to either remain in the destructive, yet comfortable, patterns of your illness or to embark on a new path that is rife with challenges but leads to freedom on the other side. This decision is yours alone to make, but if you choose to brave that road to health and wholeness, the question then becomes: How do you face down fears in eating disorder recovery?
Let's face it: there are a lot of aspects of mental illness that can be traumatic, and mental health misdiagnosis can also be traumatic. What happens when we don't even have the mental illness we think we have? I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder six years ago, found out that diagnosis was incorrect two years ago, and now a huge part of my recovery is dealing with the fallout and trauma of that misdiagnosis.