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This is going to be another one of those posts that doesn't have any easy answers. I've realized that many of my mental health issues are ones that don't have simple fixes, and that sometimes, the best I can do is think out loud to at least attempt to get a better understanding of what I need for myself. I hope all who read will allow me the indulgence.
I never really had a hobby, per se. I married young and had three kids. That, plus a full-time job, left little time for me, let alone hobbies. I write—this blog, for instance—and read, but I don't consider either of these hobbies. As a creative outlet, and with the hope that I could channel my thoughts and energy into something that wasn't all about my trauma and residual anxieties, I decided it was time to pursue a hobby.
If you had asked me a year ago to describe someone suffering from depression, I would have given you a generic and straight-up basic answer. My response would have gone something like this: A depressed individual--versus an individual who is currently battling depression--is sad and doesn’t enjoy pleasures that were once joyful. I’ll be honest, my answer is not incorrect, but I can’t seem to shake the hint of judgment in my tone birthed from ignorance towards depression that I had at the time. I would even go as far as to say that I had an unconscious bias towards the illness and mental health issues in general; little did I know, depression, like people, comes in all shapes and sizes.
In a previous blog post, I illustrated how I combat harmful thoughts about food. Now I want to take this a step further and examine how I recalibrate behaviors around eating. These days, I have a healthier relationship with food than I ever thought possible. I attribute much of this transformation to a framework called intuitive eating—and the decision to make a peace treaty with food as part of my eating disorder recovery. 
Verbal abuse can look different to everyone. For example, while some people experience humiliation, others may suffer from gaslighting. Alternatively, some abusers use multiple forms of abuse to control their victims. Unfortunately, my story involves virtually every textbook element of abuse, from verbal assaults to gaslighting and controlling and manipulative behaviors. 
Recently, I came down with a really bad cold, and my schizoaffective disorder and accompanying anxiety made it worse. I honestly thought I would never get well again. Here’s what it was like.
Violent entertainment is nothing new to humankind, but depictions of self-harm in video games can be especially shocking—even more so, perhaps, if you struggle with self-harm yourself. 
"I am a mess and can't do anything right." "I will always be behind in life...maybe I should stop trying." "I don't deserve love/happiness/peace." If you have ever experienced depression, I am sure you have said some version of these things to yourself. Worse, you believe these are absolute truths that can never change. None of this is your fault because depression has the power to ruin one's self-esteem. 
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been pondering what emotional attributes can be signs of low self-esteem. Recently I've realized that I tend to be oversensitive and quick to anger when experiencing low self-esteem. Today, I'd like to talk about how to remedy that.
Our always-connected world means learning new skills is a mere click away. However, this is a double-edged sword for me thanks to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Comments

Liana M. Scott
Hi Cheryl. It's good to know that there are others who experience EMDR treatment the same way. Thanks for sharing your comment.
Cheryl Wozny
Yes! I have the same intense exhaustion after an EMDR treatment. My therapist always says that I should not plan for activities or tasks after my session and to take it easy the rest of the day. Completely normal.
Terry Cliffe
I came to look at your well written extensive work here on the internet to discover the difference between depression and self pity. I don't think one is separate to the other personally. For me self pity is a judgmental phrase used by people who don't understand others who are suffering a the beginnings of a depressed state of mind, mild or severe and has no real definition "Feeling sorry for yourself" linked "to pull yourself together" only adds to the isolation that is created around a person who is suffering unless they have learnt a process to pull themselves together or the person who is judging them knows. Your links into explaining the Victim mode helps the understanding of how we get there. You might find the "drama triangle" an addition to your work. Terry C
D S
I haven’t gone a single day without a song in my head for as long as I can remember (30 years?). And I tell you, when you go into a room to have a meeting and you have ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ stuck in your head, where it has been for hours, it is frustrating and suuuuuuper difficult to concentrate.
I do have some songs that help melt some of the loudest songs to a more dull roar that I will try to particularly put in my head. But it switches too fast. Like a child fiddling with a radio.
And it isnt just songs, it is words and phrases with no tune, like words like “archipelago” or “vernacular” or “haberdashery”.
My family doctor had no idea. My psychiatrist was the first to mention ‘auditory hallucinations’ but I am not so sure that is correct.
I have tried so many methods to get rid of the songs, like the shout it out variation. But activities like that usually push my mania, (which is already pushing at the seams with the songs)over the edge.
I can’t focus on reading, I can’t meditate because my brain is having a dance party which just pushes me on edge and diving for my playlist to put on something different.
Alice
Hi,
I self harmed for a few weeks, ending a fortnight ago. I’m OK with seeing my scars (I don’t get triggered and I’m not inclined to do it again) and my parents know about them, but I still feel apprehensive about letting them see the scars and talking to them about it. However, I’m going on a swim camp soon, and need to sort something out (like long swim pants or something). How do I start that conversation?