The change of seasons can often make us feel moody, and add seasonal depression on top of self-harm urges and you might have a problem. Especially in winter months, it’s hard to remain positive when all you see outside your window is doom and gloom. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not uncommon during those times, making us feel depressed and, well, sad. It can also fuel self-harm urges, so it’s crucial to practice coping skills and lots of self-love when it’s dark outside.
Laura A. Barton
The links between mental health stigma and trigger warnings are multifaceted, which means navigating trigger warnings can be complicated. Mental health triggers are often easily dismissed as weakness or laughable, but they're very real, and warnings can help people prepare for a situation. However, those who don't want trigger warnings can also feel stigmatized by them.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still among us, social distancing rules will affect winter holiday celebrations this year. If you usually have huge family parties, perhaps fewer long-distance friends and relatives will attend this year. This might make you feel sad and disconnected. However, the use of technology can help you celebrate the holidays with your loved ones. Continue reading this post to learn about how to take advantage of technology for the holidays.
I noticed while trying to think of a topic for this week's article that I often write about anxiety in terms of the individual experiencing it. I'll sometimes bring up things like helping someone else with anxiety, but I rarely discuss how to ask for help when you feel anxious yourself. I may have avoided this topic in part because I believe there is a fine line between asking for help and using others as a way to reduce anxiety. I think a lot of what makes our coping skills and tools useful for anxiety is the manner in which they're applied, and this holds true for how we ask others for help as well. There are times when asking for support from a close friend or family member can be a fantastic means of coping with anxiety, and I believe it's important to use our social supports in those cases. But there are also ways we can ask for help that perpetuates anxiety instead of helping us cope with it. Today I wanted to talk through my thoughts on how we can ask for help when anxious in a healthy, productive way that does not exacerbate anxiety in the long term.
I recently experienced rapid weight loss from anxiety, and it felt like a vicious cycle that would never end. My anxiety worsened with every meal I missed and every pound I lost. It was completely overwhelming and scary, but I got through it. Read on to learn how I was able to stop the cycle of rapid weight loss and return to a healthy weight.
Shame has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. It is one of the things that makes human relationships and social structures unique, and is arguably a necessary component of every civilized society. However, it is a sad reality that people with mental health issues experience shame at a disproportionately high level, and this can be incredibly detrimental not only to their recovery, but also to their relationships with the people around them.
I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my first and only psychotic, schizoaffective episode two years ago. That’s right, I said “celebrated.” You see, when I had my episode, it alerted me and my family to the realization that something was wrong, and I started to get treatment. That’s why that schizoaffective episode is something to celebrate.
Caregiver burnout is a very real phenomenon when supporting someone with mental illness. In my experience, it arises as a result of putting your own needs to the bottom of your list on a consistent basis. I've experienced caregiver burnout on many occasions when supporting my brother with his mental illness -- and if I'm very honest, I'm experiencing it again right now.
One effective method of building self-esteem that worked well for me was to build self-esteem through skills. “I can’t do anything right.” It’s a popular refrain of depressive self-talk. I should know. I used to do it all the time. Today, while I’m still not immune to such thoughts, I don’t have them nearly as often as I used to. When they do pop up, I’m much better at telling them to shut up and go away. It all started with just one thing.
Explaining self-harm scars to your boyfriend (or any romantic partner, for that matter) can be a daunting prospect to face. How do you know whether you're ready to disclose your past, and what can you expect when you do?