I wasn’t surprised when I read a recent study that linked reading with a lower risk of depression. I’ve seen the mental health benefits of reading firsthand, and books are now one of the many tools I use to cope with depression. Reading boosts my self-esteem, distracts my thoughts, and reduces my stress—all contributing to alleviating my depression. Here, I’ll discuss why reading has been so therapeutic for me.
Parenting in public can feel like diffusing a bomb with an audience, no protective gear, and no clue which wire to cut. Make one wrong move, and you risk turning a minor tantrum into a five-alarm meltdown, and what's worse, you risk the disapproving glances and tuts of passing strangers. No parent is immune to the fear of judgment but allowing this fear to dictate how your interact with your child in moments of emotional turmoil can have serious consequences for you and your child. So, I have learned to filter out the looks, the eyebrow raises, and the gasps and made a conscious commitment to start practicing what I call tunnel vision parenting.
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.
We're taught that playing make-believe is for children -- that as adults, our feet should be firmly rooted in reality. But when dealing with reality becomes too much to handle, a little foray into childish fantasy can be incredibly comforting and very beneficial for our mental health.
Those empty "inspirational" quotes are a particular pet peeve of mine. Facebook and Instagram are littered with them, and the more of them I see, the more aggravated I get. It's not just that the same ones seem to do the virtual rounds every few months ("Live, Laugh, Love" anyone?), it's that they have become so ubiquitous that they feel insincere.
I have an idea for a children's book, but anxiety-induced procrastination is in the way. I've been saying for years that I want to write a book, and last week inspiration struck. I am telling you this because I know that if I don't, the idea will remain just that: an idea. And I will continue to be what I've been for years: someone who says they want to write a book, writes a few chapters, then leaves them to gather dust in a long-forgotten folder on a laptop. I am a pathological procrastinator, but I believe I have found a way to tackle my anxiety-induced procrastination and share it here in the hopes that it will help you, too.
"Gaslighting" is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser makes the victim question their perception of reality in order to undermine their feelings and avoid accountability for abusive behavior. It is cruel and inexcusable to deliberately treat another person this way, but is it possible to do it unconsciously? Is it possible to gaslight someone with nothing but good intentions? I believe so. In fact, I believe unconscious gaslighting is a trap into which it is easy to fall when you are caring for a person with a mental illness.
First off, I want to clarify that I don't have the answer to the question, "Which came first: depression or weight gain?" This doesn't matter because depression and weight gain typically go hand in hand; weight gain can cause depression, and depression can cause weight gain. It is therefore important to manage one's weight in order to manage depression.
This will be my final post of 2020. Not only are we heading into a new year, but I am due to give birth in just over a week, and I'll be taking a few weeks after that to settle into our new routine as a family of four (and I'm using the word "routine" very loosely). So, with that in mind, I thought I would use this week's blog post to reflect on what I've learned in 2020, and more specifically, what I've learned since joining the HealthyPlace community.
t's no secret that depression zaps your motivation to do, well, anything, and can drastically lower your productivity. The constant carousel of intrusive thoughts and worries can have a paralyzing effect — making it impossible to focus on anything beyond the most basic of tasks and making you feel like a failure. Fortunately, there is something you can do to help alleviate those feelings, and it involves reassessing what you think it means to be productive (with or without depression).