advertisement

Blogs

The year 2020 is turning out to be very stressful, and stress isn’t good for any of us, whether or not we have a mental illness like schizoaffective disorder. Not only do we have the coronavirus to contend with, but it’s also a presidential election year. Future responses to the virus and the outcome of the election go hand in hand in my mind. Add in my schizoaffective disorder, and I’m really stressed out. But I’m focusing this article on the election despite that.
In addition to eventually developing my own addictions, I also grew up in a home with an addicted parent. I rarely spoke about my mom's addiction history when I was young because of the shame that frequently followed those conversations. As I grew older and developed a few less than desirable habits of my own, I thankfully found some compassion for my mom and the struggles that surrounded her.
It's the ultimate conundrum. Mindfulness meditation can reduce the effects of anxiety on your life and wellbeing, but practicing mindfulness meditation when you're anxious can seem impossible. After all, anxiety involves negative, racing thoughts--worries, what-ifs, and worst-case scenarios--that keep you trapped in your mind. How are you supposed to quiet your mind with mindfulness meditation when anxiety is relentlessly loud? If anxiety is preventing you from using this tool to reduce it, take heart: the practice is a skill that becomes stronger the more you use it. Here are three tips to make mindfulness meditation work for you when you're anxious.
Today in mental health recovery, I'm experiencing dissociation. What is dissociation? Well, for me, I feel oddly disconnected from my body, and like I'm floating through a dream in my real life. I am experiencing dissociation now, and rather than waiting until I feel better, I've decided to make a post in the moment to really show you what it's like.
Several weeks ago, during a video call with my therapist, we began exploring ways to relieve stress through activities that engage the senses. While on the topic of ways to minimize stress, she shared with me something I think every parent should have in their arsenal—especially parents who juggle attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 
Creating a plan of action for self-esteem building increases your chance of creating healthy self-esteem. Once you develop both the awareness that your self-esteem is low and the desire to improve the way you think of yourself, you are ready to craft a solid action plan to build your self-esteem.
Capitalism and "hustle culture" (the culture where one feels the need to be working constantly) have turned us into a strange species. Even in the middle of a pandemic, we are putting immense pressure on ourselves, in spite of depression, to hustle and be productive. While I don't think hustling was ever a good idea, I believe it is far worse in today's stressful times. 
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us feel insecure, frustrated, and scared. With so many question marks on the horizon, we can't plan for the future. Uncertainty runs rampant as long-term decisionmaking becomes a thing of the past. However, we can learn from these uncertain times, emerging stronger than we were before. 
Like many sufferers of binge eating disorder, I struggled with loving my body and other body issues for many years. As a child, I loved food and books and was not a fan of exercise. I was never fat, but I was chubby enough to be teased by the boys at school. As an awkward teenager, magazines taught me how to hate my body.
My therapist tells me that my experiences with sexual trauma have changed my taste in men. I've been complaining that my boyfriend doesn't give me what I need; he doesn't crave intimate conversation as I do, likes to mostly be on his own, and doesn't think much about sex. In short, he hardly considers most of the aspects that I believe comprise a relationship.

Follow Us

advertisement

Most Popular

Comments

x
Cordell, there is still hope for you. You have youth on your side. I am 58 years old and have suffered through my whole life with social anxiety. Never getting help the mental problems just kept building all my life. I never had friends or a relationship with anyone and still don't today. I to never have been able to learn to believe in God so I don't have a church to turn to. While I was young I was never offered any help or sought it. Now that I am old I look back at maybe if I would have talked to someone, parents, uncles or aunts, a canceller at school, a doctor, maybe they would have helped me figure out who I needed to talk to to get the right help I needed. I bet that you know what your problem is. I did. I felt that there was no hope for change. Now that I look back there may have been if I could have gotten help. I want to blame my parents for not helping me but I never talked to them about what was going on. Maybe from their view, they didn't see the problem I was suffering through. So if you are still around. Seek out help. What's the worse thing that could happen? Maybe there is something about you that you feel you won't be accepted by the people you know. Family will care no matter what. It may be that the people you've grown up with may not accept you but if that's the case you eventually lose contact with them anyway as you grow up and as you finish up school and start your own life, and they start theirs. If you feel you can't face the people you know anymore, maybe you could start over with your problems out in the open, maybe at a new school. Hang in there, and good luck.
bob
I appreciate what you said about laughing to counter anxiety. I always get anxious at night and my leg starts bouncing. I may need to get a therapist to help me control it and deescalate during the bad moment.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
Hi Joshua,

Thank you for reaching out with your comment. In response to your inquiry about research to support the quote above, I would refer you to this article from The Counseling Psychologist Journal and the American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/education/ce/sexual-objectification.pdf.

In this study, the researchers posit, " SO [sexual objectification] occurs when a woman’s body or body parts are singled out and separated from her as a person, and she is viewed primarily as a physical object of male sexual desire. Objectification theory posits that SO of females is likely to contribute to mental health problems that disproportionately affect women (i.e., eating disorders, depression, and sexual dysfunction) via two main paths. [...] Evidence for the SO of women can be found practically everywhere, from the media, to women’s interpersonal experiences, to specific environments and subcultures within U.S. culture where the sexualization of women is cultivated and culturally condoned. For example, the APA’s review of studies examining depictions of women in the media including commercials, prime-time television programs, movies, music lyrics and videos, magazines, advertising, sports media, video games, and Internet sites revealed that women more often than men are depicted in sexualizing and objectified manners (e.g., wearing revealing and provocative clothing, portrayed in ways that emphasize their body parts and sexual readiness, serving as decorative objects). In addition, women portrayed in the media are frequently the target of men’s sexists comments (e.g., use of deprecating words to describe women), sexual remarks (e.g., comments about women’s body parts), and behaviors (e.g., ogling, leering, catcalling, harassment) [...] Turning to women’s interpersonal experiences, research indicates that being sexually objectified is a regular occurrence for many women in the United States. For example, in a series of daily diary studies, Swim and her colleagues found that 94% of undergraduate women reported experiencing unwanted objectifying sexual comments and behaviors at least once over a semester, women reported more SO experiences than men, and SO emerged as a unique factor of daily experiences of sexism. Other researchers have also found that SO experiences are common among other samples of women. Similar levels of interpersonal SO experiences have been reported by White and racial/ethnic minority women, as well as heterosexual and sexual minority women. In addition, women’s self-reported experiences of SO have been empirically linked to adverse psychological outcomes, including self-objectification, habitual body monitoring, body shame, internalization of the thin ideal, lowered introceptive awareness, and disordered eating among both lesbian and heterosexual women. In addition to these everyday commonplace forms of SO, many women also experience more extreme forms of SO via actual sexual victimization (i.e., rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment). For example, research indicates that one in four women have been victims of rape or attempted rape, and more than half of college women have experienced some type of sexual victimization. Females’ self-reported experiences of sexual victimization are related to more self-objectification and body shame and adverse psychological outcomes, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The intersections of gender with other sociocultural identities may place some subgroups of women at increased risk. For example, several studies have found that sexual minority women report more experiences of sexual assault in adulthood than their heterosexual peers, and that the majority of perpetrators are male."

Please understand that I do not blame all men as a group for the perpetuation of objectifying, sexualizing, and harming female bodies. This article is meant to be a critique of systemic patriarchal ideologies and institutions as a whole and how they affect women of various identities. Hopefully, the data provided in this comment will offer some clarification, and I do apologize if this came across as an indictment on men as individuals.
Mahevash Shaikh
Thank you for your support as always, Ravi. If I can do it so can you :)
Joshua
"Patriarchal institutions have a deep-rooted history of normalizing the mistreatment of female bodies."

I sympathize with your position, but I'd be curious to see some examples to support the above claim you make.