I joined HealthyPlace as I began to reckon with the mental symptoms of my chronic illness. For years, I struggled with depression that came as a side effect to my steroids, the disordered eating that I developed as a result of my gastrointestinal trouble, and the trauma that came from a lifetime of health problems. But I was never able to treat these symptoms with the same regard as my physical ones. The HealthyPlace community helped me validate my struggle with mental health. But the time of COVID has been especially scary for those of us with chronic illness and I'm struggling to stay on top of my business, my graduate studies, and my health. So, though I will miss my HealthyPlace community, I have decided to leave the Relationships and Mental Illness blog in order to lighten my load a little and protect my physical and mental health.
About Relationships and Mental Illness Authors
Many patients with chronic illnesses find themselves with some amount of medical trauma. When you're a child, it's hard to make sense of surgeries, blood tests, and hours spent in hospitals with the sick and dying. But there's also the medical trauma that, for many of us, could have been avoided if our doctors had been better listeners.
If it wasn't for my weekly virtual therapy session, my avoidant attachment behaviors would have caused far more mayhem in my quarantine life. What is avoidant attachment? It isn't a mental disorder or illness. Rather, it's a style of attachment.
When I first started having sex, I didn't know I was engaging in sexual spectation -- I didn't realize I was analyzing and directing my own behavior in the bedroom as though it was a performance. But at some point, I realized that my one and only focus in the bedroom was to make myself attractive to the man who played my counterpart.
Do you have a drive for thinness even though you're in eating disorder recovery? Is it healthy for you? Let's explore those questions and get some answers.
Sex after sexual abuse: what's it like? Sexual abuse has a huge impact on my sex life. After two instances of sexual abuse, I felt that my sexuality no longer belonged to me. Twice my body was treated as an object to be used by my abusers as they saw fit, first during my childhood at the hands of a family member, then later by a stranger on a train. Though I didn't realize it at the time, I accepted that my sexuality belonged to the men I slept with and not to me. It took me a long time to confront this truth about the impact of sexual abuse on my sex life, and I still haven't deconstructed the many ways that these instances of abuse eventually brought me to my experiences with sex now. I decided to use this blog as a place to explore this.
My name is Miranda Card and I’m excited to join the HealthyPlace team as a writer for "Relationships and Mental Illness." Many of my experiences with mental illness stem from a lifelong struggle with chronic illness, a disease known as Behcet’s. Only now, at 24, am I beginning to understand the trauma of my diagnosis. I am only now beginning to acknowledge that my illness has symptoms beyond the physical; it has ravaged my relationship with food and birthed disordered eating; it inspires anxiety that affects my decisions in life; the depression that comes with my medication often wreaks havoc on my relationships. Discussing these things in writing never occurred to me before because these “mental symptoms” have always been a source of shame and denial. But someone told me recently to write about what scares you, so here I am.
My name is Hannah O’Grady, and I am ecstatic to say that I am the new author for Relationships and Mental Illness here at HealthyPlace. Mental health has played an important role in my life, both personally and professionally. I am eager to combine my passion for writing, relationships, and mental health for my readers, and I look forward to engaging with those who read this site.
My name is Jonathan Berg, and I am excited to be able to share my story with you and to join the Relationships and Mental Illness team here at HealthyPlace. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II when I was 14. From the start, I hid it from everyone, including my closest friends and my parents. I was afraid that people would think I was crazy. I am sad to say that this fear lasted for more than 20 years.
I am at an impasse, with my writing and with my feelings. Of course, these issues are related. Last month, I began writing here about mending my relationship with my ex-boyfriend Bob, and we've been getting along very well in the meantime. We've reached a point of sharing that is different than at any time in our past: I've been able to share my feelings - past and present - with Bob and he has admitted a level of honesty I never expected from him. I was very happy, until I sought to write a long piece about our relationship for my personal blog and I couldn't come up with a way to tackle the topic. That's when I knew that I had some negative reactions mixed in with my warm fuzzies.