Numerous studies, articles, and opinionated online users have claimed that the United States overdiagnoses attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leading to an over-reliance on stimulant ADHD medications like amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) As someone diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I often think about how different my work ethic might have been if I'd been diagnosed and prescribed ADHD medication at, say, 15 or even 18 instead of 24. I can say without a doubt that my medications help me stay productive and focused, and I wish I'd had that same capability back when I was a student.
It’s one of the original facets of mental health stigma: the belief that negative thoughts are a choice. I’d wager nearly everyone has had someone tell them that at one point or another. Mental health stigma can manifest in many complex ways, but that idea is rather straightforward and simple. Despite that, it’s a truly grating form of mental health stigma and one I encountered again last week.
Shame and borderline personality disorder (BPD) have gone hand in hand throughout my life. It contributed to the manifestation of almost every symptom, but I saw it most concerning identity and sense of self. Here, I talk about how shame and identity relate to each other in my experience living with BPD.
I've suffered from anxiety since I was a child, although I didn't get diagnosed with an anxiety disorder until my late-30s. The often visceral symptoms of anxiety are hard enough for an adult to describe, let alone a child. The episodes I had as a child were scary, and while I tried to explain what was happening to my parents, they simply didn't know enough back then to help me. And so, I began to suffer my anxiety in silence.
Job interview anxiety is a real thing, more for some of us than for others. Receiving the email, "Congratulations! We have moved your application to the next round and would like to schedule an interview with you," fills me with anxiety instead of happiness.
Over a year ago, you welcomed me to the "Coping with Depression" blog. Since then, I have had the opportunity to write specifically about postpartum depression and how it impacted my life. As I write this final post, my hope is that you've found help and encouragement through reading about my experiences with postpartum depression.
Journaling is one way I fight mental health self-stigma and is, fortunately, becoming increasingly popular in today's world. Used as a method for releasing negativity, spurring creativity, and everything in between, journaling can create a safe space for many people who practice it.
I want you to try a self-reflection journaling exercise because it can be so easy to blame, judge, and criticize yourself for dealing with an addiction or substance use disorder. After all, addiction is a highly stigmatized mental health issue that many people misunderstand. But rather than speaking to yourself poorly, try to view your journey as a beautiful work in progress. Remember, there is no better version of you than the one that exists right now. Today, I want you to celebrate yourself and how far you have come in your addiction recovery journey.
Have you ever wondered why you constantly have bad relationships or attract the wrong type of people who exhibit abusive behaviors? For years, I thought there must be something wrong with me, and those were the only kind of partners that wanted me or that I could have. However, after years of therapy and some self-exploration, I've realized that even though abusive partners should not abuse, part of the problem was my choices at the beginning of the relationship.
I know I’ve been writing a lot about my knee troubles, and I’ve even shared that I have early signs of arthritis in my knees. But it didn’t hit me until I saw my orthopedic doctor again, and he confirmed I have osteoarthritis of the knee. “Osteoarthritis” is one of those words I’m going to have to get used to, just like “schizoaffective” was so many years ago. But looking back on how I handled my transition to a new schizoaffective disorder is helping me grapple with this new diagnosis, which arrived just in time for my 43rd birthday.