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Most of the time, self-harm is not inflicted with the intention of causing serious damage, but even so, there are physical risks of self-harm. Typically, the resulting physical wounds of self-harm tend to be superficial, especially in those for whom self-harm is relatively new. However, self-harm has a way of escalating quickly and can, if left untreated, pose a physical danger.
I have a problem with stress eating. To be fair, during periods of high anxiety, my body seems to modulate between wanting to eat nothing and wanting to eat everything, but more often than not it seems to be the latter. Both are problematic, but obviously, stress eating leaves you more prone to weight gain and escalating grocery bills, so it’s worth getting under control.
No one wants to see their child develop mental health issues or suffer in any way. Oftentimes parents with mental Illness are asked if we fear we'll pass our illness down to our children. I've always thought there are worse things to fear. Still, I can't ignore genetics, and I know my daughter is at a higher risk of developing a mental illness because I have schizoaffective disorder. So I wonder, is there a way to try to prevent it from happening? Or is my time better spent preparing her for the possibility?
My name is Megan Law, and I am the new author of "Mental Illness in the Family" here at HealthyPlace. I am very grateful for the opportunity to write this blog and to share my stories and experiences on living with family members with mental illness. Mental illness is increasingly prevalent in our society, but it continues to be misunderstood or sometimes even ignored. A significant stigma against those with mental illness still exists. I hope to help spread the message that having a family member diagnosed with mental illness is not the end. There is hope for all involved.
The idea that mental health costs us money as a society is factual, but this is not a useful strategy in reducing stigma. That said, there are a number of strategies used in the effort of reducing mental health stigma that do work. Within the advocacy community itself, I feel many, if not most, are spot on or on the right track. But doing a high-level look at some of the strategies used, it's time to rethink how we're going to slow the impact of mental health stigma.
When your anxiety keeps you awake, trying to fall asleep can be extremely difficult. It becomes an endless cycle where you feel anxious you aren't sleeping, and then you can't sleep because you are feeling anxious. Many people, including me, get especially anxious at night and aren't sure how to manage it as well before bed. In this article, we will cover how to fall asleep when your anxiety keeps you awake. 
Is it possible to visualize anxiety away? This past week, I was watching an interview with an extraordinary rock climber named Alex Honnold. He has been climbing rock faces without a safety rope for years; and despite the terrifying nature of his exploits, he somehow maintains a state of calm even when thousands of feet above the ground. How does he do this? One strategy he uses is visualization. He visualizes anxiety away. Before each climb, Alex practices not only by climbing the rock face with ropes but also by imagining every step in climbing his route. He imagines what he'd do if certain things went wrong over and over again so that by the time he actually begins his climb, nothing can really phase him. By processing the challenges he'd face beforehand, Alex not only prepared himself for the physical challenge of his climbs, but also for the mental challenges. 
Finding love as a transgender (trans) person is difficult. After recently leaving a long-term relationship, I've found myself back on the dating scene. Finding a romantic partner as a trans man isn't easy. Even the most affirming cisgender (a person whose gender conforms with his or her birth sex) people can have reservations about dating someone who's transgender. I don't blame people who aren't comfortable dating a trans person. Physical attraction is an important part of a healthy relationship and, if someone isn't attracted to my body, I understand that. But I also think it's important to recognize and eradicate transphobia in the dating scene to make finding a partner safe for everybody.
Income and health, especially mental health, often correlate; a side gig could potentially increase your levels of both health and income. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, a high majority of respondents stated that money issues like debt made their mental illnesses worse. While chipping away at debt won’t necessarily change your life, the research supports the conclusion that a side gig may help with health and income at the same time. 
How do we define our personal values? In my post last week, "What Is Self-Worth", I explored the topic of self-worth. When we are living with low self-esteem, we often struggle to find self-worth. This comes from believing we are unable to succeed at the things we value personally. But where do these values come from? How do we decide what is important to us?

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Laura Barton
Hi Connie. That's a great question. You're absolutely right, one of the ways stigma works is by silencing discussion of mental illness by presenting it in such a negative light that people are afraid to open up. While romanticizing mental illness does facilitate the conversation, it paints an unrealistic image of what mental illness is. When romanticized, it's typically shown as this idealistic form of the illness that's neat and easier to understand and manage, but mental illness is messy. It's not always going to look like tears streaming down cheeks or a romantic hero struggling with what's going on in his or her mind. Such a narrow view of mental illness can contribute to stigma and silence people because they feel like they don't fit in that box. In addition, others can feel like the person with mental illness should fit in that box, and when they don't, they're accused of faking or embellishing their illness. I hope that helps clear up my views on this a bit more.

In case you haven't come across them, here are a couple of blogs I've written on this topic:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2015/11/romanticizing-mental-illnesses-feeds-mental-health-stigma

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2019/3/stop-romanticizing-suicide

I happy to chat about this more if you have other questions. :)
Nancy
Thank you for your post!!! I relate! Sorry to have your company in this challenge. Never give up hope! Feels better to hear from someone with same life challenges and heartbreak! Stay strong! We loving, caring parents do the best we know how despite judgement felt from others that don't know what it is like to be in our world. We feel judged by parents that don't understand our challenge because they have a much different experience caring for their children. It is out of our control. It is in God's plan and or up to the child to comply with treatment plan to help themselves. You so badly want to fix it for them, but you can't. It is not like an ear infection that gets better with bubble gum medicine in a day like you wish! All you can do is try your best with resources available and love them. If parents are tired of dealing with their issues then the children must feel more tired😪 Recovery is possible! I have seen it. It is not a straight road. It has curves, bumps and uturns. My son is 28 and doing fairly well now and very helpful to me. He is my best friend. I have another child that has also struggled in a different way. It can skip a generation. Going to have another glass of wine now. Best wishes to all that struggle. Praying for all that struggle every night!
George
I agree with Mark. Laziness is being without motivation to work, move, or use energy, whether due to mental illness or otherwise, but we do get that you are trying to make those of us who suffer from depression feel better. Please don't ignore that people with depression can also be lazy (your definition). It is important not to make these types of claims unless they are entirely true because a lot of us might end up tossing the whole thing into our "positive BS propaganda" pile and miss the truly helpful information you have provided. Thanks.
connie armstrong
hi I was just wondering whether you could explain more about how the romanticization of mental illnesss is creating a stigma. isn't it the oppisiste? stigma is something that is hush hush that people refuse to talk about isn't romanticising it making people talk about it more just in the wrong way?
Someadvice
Ok. Some bipolar episodes last awhile and communication during this time is futile. All you will get is being pushed away and angry responses. BUT, hang in there say caring words like I'm here, I'm not going anywhere, I care about you... something like that. You will probably get venom back because something takes over a person's mind and maybe they are so irritated they can't say anything nice. Doesn't make it ok but just put it out there and wait it out. She won't be able to make decisions right now. Keep checking in periodically and she my eventually come up for air. At this point treat her like a friend and when she's better you can talk to her normally again. I'm sorry to say but episodes can last for a few months, it's more like cycles and they can occur at certain times of the year, it's different for everyone but some people cycle in early spring and it lasts until may. Yeah and don't take any of it personally, it's not about you it's what is happening to her mind. It's more like a sickness, she could benefit from treatment and medication. I should also add there are different types of bipolar, in Bipolar I I've seen people start using drugs and become very sexually active and manic that way, bipolar II is more irritable, angry and depressed and stuff. If she's got bipolar I you may be in for some real trouble so watch her behavior and see what you are comfortable with. Everyone needs support.