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My name is Martyna Halas, and I’m very excited to join HealthyPlace as the new author of "Speaking Out About Self-Injury."
I can still remember my first experience with verbal abuse. At the time, I was only 13 years old.
There is a common perception that the hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder type II does not impede one's ability to work, unlike the full-blown manic episodes that come with bipolar disorder type I. I believe that this is misleading. While it is true that hypomania is less severe than mania, the symptoms -- elevated mood, inflated optimism, distractibility, increased goal-oriented activity, racing thoughts, and impulsivity -- are the same. Hypomania may not have sent me to the hospital, but before I began treatment, hypomania made it almost impossible for me to work.
Why is it important to avoid digital self-harm on the Internet? Is it possible to avoid it when the modern Internet is itself complicit in facilitating self-harm?
Growing up, maladaptive daydreaming was a huge part of my life. Of course, I didn't realize it was maladaptive until I went off to college and the daydreams just sort of stopped. I missed them a lot at first, and there are times even now, several years into my recovery from depression and anxiety, that I miss my daydreams.
After being on antidepressants for over 10 years, I have noticed ways in which my antidepressants have impacted my sex drive. It is not uncommon for people to experience a shift in their libido when starting to take medication for their mental health. For some, this shift in sex drive may be apparent and seemingly detrimental to their relationships, while to others, this shift may be smaller (perhaps even negligible). When I first began taking antidepressants at 14, I noticed a drastic decrease in my experienced sexuality that became apparent even to my partners.
Most people know that working out can benefit physical health, but did you know that regular exercise can improve mental health as well? Exercise has been shown to significantly reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, improve sleep quality, and improve depression in people with PTSD.
The uncertainty in life at this time can make anxiety and depression seem intolerable and participating in healthy activities nearly impossible. For some people, not having enough work to do can leave them with too much time to ponder their shortcomings. They might also question whether their lives have meaning. For some people, simply being by themselves can leave enough privacy for self-injury behaviors. The consequences of boredom and loneliness need to be taken seriously to prevent mental health from getting worse. To learn about how you can get through depression safely and proactively with healthy activities, read this article.
I must confess, family therapy is something our family has never tried. My brother underwent intensive cognitive behavioral therapy when he was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and the facilitator recommended a family therapy session. My parents declined -- I guess the idea of everyone sitting down and talking about their feelings to a stranger didn't feel right at the time.
Luckily, coronavirus good news has finally made its way into the media. I'm finally seeing signs that the COVID-19 pandemic is easing in some places. This, of course, means the lockdowns that have taken place all over the world are now calming as well. Hearing this good news about the coronavirus has had a significant effect on my mental health.

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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.