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Healthy sleep in recovery is absolutely vital, but do you know when you're using sleep as a coping mechanism and when you're using it as avoidance? It can be a very fine line, but in this post and video, I talk about some of the good signs and red flags when it comes to healthy sleep in recovery.
Years ago, I was the queen of passivity. I avoided conflict and difficult conversations at all costs and refused to put my needs and desires first. I would come up with scripts in my head of what to say; however, as soon as an intense conversation would begin, I felt my self-respect fade away. I wished that I could trade in my copious amounts of passivity for self-respect, but something always got in the way. Fortunately, in the past year, I have learned how to maintain self-respect during a conflict by following a few simple steps. 
Suicide can be a tough topic to discuss among those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Though around 56% of people with PTSD experience suicidal thoughts, ideation, or actions, admitting to having those feelings can feel shameful. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
How can we honor someone who has died by suicide? Since suicide is unfortunately common (it’s the second leading cause of death in the US for people aged 15 to 34), it’s likely we all know someone who has died by suicide. A death in that manner can be a sensitive topic. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
The feeling that life is meaningless can lead to suicidal ideations. These ideations are thoughts about suicide without the intention to follow through with it. While suicidal ideations are common and can pass quickly, they can become dangerous if they are not treated. I find writing to be a healthy way to cope with ideations. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to use writing as a healthy coping technique. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.
When we think about suicide, the first association that comes to mind is often depression. The link between suicidality and depression has been documented not only in the research literature but also in much of the media we consume, to the extent that the majority of people are aware of this link. Unfortunately, we are much less aware as a society of the impact that anxiety has on suicide.  (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Shame and suicidal thoughts are often part of living with complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially after childhood trauma. When you are experiencing shame, those thoughts can become worse. Understanding how to identify shame and have self-compassion can help with suicide prevention. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Suicide attempts are often unsuccessful. This means that there is a whole population of people out there who need a different kind of help than the one suicide prevention resources offer. This also means that many people may currently be finding themselves alive on the other end of a suicide attempt and wondering, “What now?” (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Having healthy coping skills and knowing how to practice them can play a major role in suicide prevention. When someone is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, the pain and confusion he/she feels is often compounded by misinformation, incorrect beliefs, and unhealthy coping skills. Yet, these are often the only things a person suffering from a mental health crisis has at his/her disposal. It's time to change this now by having educational conversations about mental health, suicide, and healthy coping skills. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
It's hard staying grounded while facing verbal abuse, especially if you've been on the abuse merry-go-round with family, friends, or significant others for some time. Having deep-seated connections with abusers can cause confusion when it comes to determining your feelings and deciphering boundaries because these loyalties make it difficult to decide if a behavior is okay.

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Comments

Cay
Hi Alice, I have been struggling with the same problem as you and reading your comment made me feel like I wasn’t alone...I want to make it stop.
satyadeva
Thank you so much for share your thoughts
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Hailey,
You're not alone. So many people with anxiety hate confrontation and talking on the phone (I'm one of them). Sometimes, this type of anxiety can feed on itself when you (anyone) avoid what makes you anxious (like talking to your sister and your co-worker). Avoidance can make the anxiety grow until it's overpowering. Often, the best way to reduce anxiety is to do the very thing you dread. The more you do it, the more anxiety recedes into the background. Until it does, remember that a phone conversation is pretty short, and as soon as it's over you get to move on.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Mae,
Job-related stress and anxiety can cause a lot of misery. It's very real, and because jobs are such a huge part of our lives, this type of anxiety can feel overwhelming. Know that there are no "shoulds" in a situation like yours, and rules about having to stay in a job or look for another or go to a doctor can make things worse. Think about what it will be like when your anxiety and stress are less, and then brainstorm what it might take to make that happen. Working with a therapist through this process can sometimes be beneficial in helping you sort things out. Just now that there isn't a right or wrong way to get through this, but there are ways to overcome this anxiety.