The title of this blog is "Coping with Depression." In the past, I've used it to talk about ways to feel productive, beat procrastination, and improve relationships during a depressive episode. But the reality is that some days, "coping" just means surviving through the worst days. So, in honor of World Suicide Prevention Month, I would like to offer some simple tips on how to get through when "getting through" seems impossible.
It can be challenging to stay grounded in the present moment when you live with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Unstable emotional states and anxious thoughts can often pull you into the past or future mindset. However, bringing yourself back into the present can have a wealth of benefits for your mental health.
I was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1999 after a psychotic episode at college. My first diagnosis of a serious mental illness markedly changed my sense of fashion and the changes stuck even with a later reassessment that I was schizoaffective. I have a few ideas as to why.
The stories we tell ourselves can often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Using creative writing for self-harm recovery is one way to rewrite the narrative of your life in a way that can affect real, positive change.
Keeping a child mentally healthy can be challenging, especially if your child has a mental illness as mine does. In fact, I think it can be harder than keeping a child physically healthy since keeping the body in shape basically involves a checklist. Good diet, check. Lots of exercise, check. Plenty of water, check. Annual checkup, check. A child's mental health, though, can be a bit more complicated.
Struggling with anxiety means often experiencing symptoms unexpectedly, so compartmentalizing anxiety can help. Life does not stop when you experience anxiety. The day goes on, you still have to go to work, go to school, tend to your family, and all of this does not stop when you feel anxious. However, there are coping strategies you can use to help you manage chronic anxiety on a daily basis when you know that life goes on and it is important to focus on the present. During times that this has occurred for me, I have found that it has been helpful for me to compartmentalize my anxious thoughts and feelings.
When we aren't at our best emotionally, it can help on a nervous system level to just have someone be with us to co-regulate our emotions. I was definitely one of those children who needed a hug when I was upset. I have always responded strongly to the negative and positive emotions of others. I also respond very well to a calm person comforting me when I am anxious or stressed. I work mostly with children, so I am used to hearing the term "co-regulation" as it relates to parents and caregivers helping children calm down when they are upset, but it can be just as powerful for adults in relationships.
When you're going through postpartum depression, it can feel like you're lost. It's as if you're seeking mental health through an endless maze of treatment, setbacks, and obstacles. Knowing how to treat your postpartum depression is a big step. When it comes to treatment, I firmly believe in using everything at your disposal. I am all for talk therapy and medication. In fact, I used both of those avenues in my treatment. However, that doesn't mean those are the only two ways you can treat postpartum depression. I found that there were several natural methods that helped me feel better and have more good days.
Suicide is a very real and prevalent issue for individuals of any age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. It can be more widespread in some locations or groups, but anyone can fall victim to suicidal thoughts, including individuals who suffer from verbal abuse.
Picture this: you are at a social event and having a reasonably good time. Then, someone you don't know walks up to you, and after some small talk, asks you, "So what do you do for a living?" If you like your job or don't care much about it, this question can be mildly irritating. But since you are used to it, you answer and move on to another topic. However, no matter how common this question is, nothing changes the fact that it is inappropriate to ask people what they do. Let's see why.