Jennifer Lear
The "Iceberg Theory" is a frequently cited model of behavior which states that a person's behavior can only be properly understood in the context of the factors that caused it. What a person does is "the tip of the iceberg"-- what we don't see are the emotional, social, cultural, and other factors that lie "beneath the surface" to cause that behavior.
Elizabeth Caudy
A blessing was recently bestowed upon my family--my brother, Billy, and his life partner, Sandy, had a baby girl whom I adore. Even though they live in California and I live in Illinois, and even though I haven’t yet met Baby, watching videos of her has quickly become one of my coping skills for my schizoaffective anxiety.
Kim Berkley
Hurting yourself to get out of work or school can seem like a tempting option—maybe even your only option—when you're overwhelmed and feeling trapped. But it's ultimately a solution that causes more problems than it solves.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
As explored in a previous post, health anxiety and health stress can be exhausting and burdensome. Our health is a vital component of our lives, and when something isn't right, whether it's a chronic condition or an acute, short-lived experience, it is natural to experience anxiety and stress because of it. Here's how to gain the upper hand on health anxiety and health stress. 
TJ DeSalvo
Sometimes, stressful things can happen without the slightest hint of warning. Recently, I woke up to find that my laptop had just stopped working. I had used it the previous evening, and it seemed fine. But then, for whatever reason, the hard drive just died.
Sarah Sharp
Like everything else in life, the risk factors for mental illness in children are impacted by both nature and nurture. Some of these risk factors I can do something about as a mother raising a child with mental illness, although some are out of my control. Accepting this has been one of the hardest parts of motherhood for me, but it's also been one of the most liberating.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Depression and anxiety can really get in the way of life. For different reasons, both can prevent you from doing things you want or need to do. Whether depression has robbed you of energy and motivation (your very zest for life), or anxiety keeps you trapped in worries and worst-case scenarios, it can be extremely difficult to do anything. If you need to go places or dive into projects or tasks for work or school, but depression or anxiety are interfering, keep reading to discover tips for doing what you need to do in spite of these bothersome mental health challenges.
Mahevash Shaikh
Depression causes my impulsivity. For example, yesterday, I almost quit therapy. A few minutes into my session, I felt the urge to tell my therapist that I couldn't continue as nothing seemed to be working for me and probably never would. I acted on the thought and told her what was on my mind. She talked me down and said that sure, we had hit a wall recently. But that didn't mean things would never improve. Her words made sense to me, and we resumed the session.
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Staying positive is something that we all hear is important. But how does positive thinking help anxiety? I used to think about this quite a bit when I was younger and lacked the tools to manage my anxiety. I would often wonder how having a positive outlook and being optimistic could be helpful for me. I often thought that no one understood what I went through, that the worries that consumed me, and all of my racing thoughts, could not be put to rest simply by thinking positive thoughts.
Nicola Spendlove
Explaining a family member's diagnosis to others can be scary because you never know how they're going to react. Sometimes it works out really well. For example, my fiancé couldn't be more understanding of my brother's chronic mental illness. Not only is he accepting of the way this affects our family's lives, he is also proactive in thinking of ways that we can better support my brother. Not everyone is like this, though, which is why explaining a family member's mental health diagnosis to others can be so challenging.

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Kim Berkley
Hello Heidi,

Thank you for commenting. I am so sorry to hear that you've been struggling; it certainly sounds like you have a lot on your plate, emotionally speaking. While I won't say I know exactly how you are feeling, I can certainly empathize with a lot of what you shared, and I understand how hard it can all be to cope with—especially when you feel like you don't have anyone close to you that you can speak with about it.

Self-diagnosing can definitely be an easy trap to fall into. But if you are hurting (whether emotionally or physically or both), then that is something to take seriously and to try and address, regardless of the "official" diagnosis you might end up with.

It sounds like you don't feel comfortable talking with your family about your feelings or your urge to self-harm, but would it be possible to reach out to someone else? I realize you might not be able to schedule a therapy session on your own, but does your school maybe have a free counselor you could talk to without necessarily needing to ask your parents about it first? If that's not an option, you might also consider calling a free hotline—these can be SO helpful, especially in particularly difficult moments—or even joining an online support group of some kind. There are also free online chat services like 7 cups that are manned by volunteers—while these people may not be able to offer advice, per se, they can listen to you when you need someone to talk to that you can trust to keep your conversation private.

Here are some resources you can check out to get started:

As for your dreams, they definitely seem tied to the urge you mentioned to self-harm—they are likely your brain's attempt to sort out your worries and feelings, and your (completely understandable) desire for relief from those feelings. (However, keep in mind I am not a professional dream analyst.)

In any case, the most important thing I want you to remember is this: your feelings are valid. Your experiences are valid. And you deserve to feel better, and to be treated (and to treat *yourself*) with kindness and empathy. I am glad that you have not self-harmed yet; it is more difficult to stop once you've started than to never start at all. However, even if you do wind up hurting yourself (as much as I hope you don't), remember that recovery IS still very much possible.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to reply here or comment on my other posts if you have further questions or concerns. I'll be reading.


maybe its the weather but i cant stand to have neighbours any hwere near its acomunal outdoorr space and so this happens alot they seem to zap me what ca i do or say they are like an irritant
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Hi Lizanne,

Thank you for your comments! Negative self-talk can indeed quickly spin out of control, and so it can be so helpful for one's anxiety to be able to effectively replace it with positive statements. I absolutely agree that it can be empowering!

I truly appreciate your thoughts!

I feel for each and every one of you who are going through this heartbreaking nightmare roller coaster. I have been dealing with this for 5 years with my son who is 26. The judicial and mental health system are broken on so many levels. Each state has different mental health laws, some much better than others. For example, I live in Georgia. It is very difficult to get mental help and resources here, and our homeless population is ridiculous, because people with mental illnesses can just roam the streets unmedicated and live in tents with no accountablility or structure which usually ends in disaster. People like my son and your loved ones need accountability, boundaries, and structure. Otherwise, unmedicated they can act like wild animals which is not safe for anyone. New York is one of the best states with some of the best mental health laws. They even have a Hygiene law there for sanitary and health reasons. People with mental illnesses there are made to be accountable and to comply with medication or treatment, or they are picked up and taken to a psyche facility involuntarily to be stabalized. In turn, homeless population is much lower there. I believe people should have rights, but when they are obviously unstable, they need medical and psychiatric intervention against their will for the health and safety for themselves as well as others. It's up to the lawmakers and state to change and improve laws for the better. It should not be this difficult to advocate for what is best for our loved ones. Something should have been changed years ago
i’ve always wondered about this. mine consistently have conversations, wether i’m involved or not. i don’t understand if it’s DID or not, but sometimes i’ll say something i didn’t mean to say or do something but im completely conscious. and occasionally they’ll full on switch but im still conscious, it only happens when i have a lot of emotion though, some of them have names, others im still waiting for them to feel comfortable it share. but i honestly think im going insane.