Ever noticed that when you are feeling depressed, at least one person in your life tells you to "stop feeling sorry for yourself"? Depression and self-pity seem to go hand in hand, but they are not the same thing. Experiencing self-pity is significantly different from being blue. Here's how you can tell the difference.
Those who read this blog may remember that it was a little over a year ago that I lost my apartment, almost all my possessions, and nearly my life, in a massive fire. In the year since the fire, I have tried my best to return my life to some degree of normalcy. This has proved to be much more difficult than I could have imagined.
Nori Rose Hubert
It can be a struggle to say "no" on the job. We live in a culture that prioritizes productivity and output over physical and mental wellbeing. Many people feel obligated to take on more work than they can handle at one time, or to provide labor that they are unfairly compensated for. Learning to say "no" in the workplace is an act of self-preservation, and it's especially important for folks who work with bipolar disorder.
Over the past few months, my therapist and I have been talking about the power of choice in eating disorder recovery. I often think about this concept outside of therapy sessions too because it is so instrumental in my road to healing. The power of choice is accessible to you in eating disorder recovery.
It's one of those days--the days where I can't get out of bed for fear of the day ahead, where I neglect to take my medication, where I cancel all plans and call in sick. I need something to make me feel better. Instinctively, I feel drawn to binge-watch my favorite TV show. That's the easiest way to forget my feelings, right? However, I know that there are better, healthier coping skills.
I can't connect with people anymore. There are so many people in my life who I love so dearly, but lately, I haven't been able to feel connected to them in any meaningful way. Even though part of my brain is telling me that something is horribly wrong with me because I can't connect with others, I think this may actually be affecting lots of other people in recovery.
Decluttering your home might seem like a daunting task. However, cleaning up and organizing your surroundings has a proven therapeutic effect on your mental health. It can also serve as a self-harm distraction and help you gain control over your emotions.
Unsolicited advice about our mental health, even when it comes from a place of good intentions, can contribute to the mental health stigma and judgment we face as people with mental illnesses. Opinions about what we should or shouldn't do for our mental health can come off as judgmental, especially when those opinions minimize the time, effort, and research we have put into our choices. People want to help by telling us which medications we should take, that we shouldn't take medications at all, which foods we should eat, or which spiritual practices we should try. The unwanted advice-givers offer their opinions as facts, assert themselves as experts on your situation, and discount your own lived experiences in favor of their own. Even though they want to help, their methods don't have the intended effect.
Laura A. Barton
As open as I am about my depression, I'm not completely open about it. I'll talk about having depression and how dark it can get, which is done both in an effort of catharsis and to show others who may be going through the same thing that they're not as alone as depression can make us feel. Ironically, mental health stigma can be a part of what keeps me from being completely open about my depression.
My parents filed for a divorce when I was 10 years old. This experience uprooted the development of my childhood and aided in the decline of my mental health. Although the divorce caused me a lot of pain, I learned how to face it and move past it.