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Looking for a job has never been easy, and job search depression is on the rise. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now become all the more difficult to secure a stable job. As a freelance writer, uncertainty is something I am used to, even if it is on a smaller scale. Here are some of my tried and tested tips on how to handle the intense emotional rollercoaster known as the job hunt.
I wonder if the pandemic could help our mental health in the long-term, in spite of it harming our mental health in the short-term? I know that may sound counterintuitive, but it is a question I've been pondering. This is thanks to all the mental health awareness that's being spread right now. Will that awareness related to the pandemic, help our mental health in the long-term?
Exercise can be a great tool to help you through eating disorder recovery,  but my experience has shown me the thin, blurry line between healthy exercise and over-exercise in eating disorder recovery. In recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic and my mental health fall-out has revealed just how much of my self-worth has been wrapped up in my workouts. It was a sobering realization and one I vowed to change. 
One of the most important tactics you can learn as a person living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is journaling. Although it may seem like a relatively easy concept, many people take journaling for granted amidst the other options to manage the condition, such as meditation and exercise.
It took a while, but my anxiety led to binge eating disorder (BED). It happened insidiously because I've always had a complicated relationship with food. I love to think, talk about, cook, eat, and share food. At times, I have treated it as my enemy, and at others, I have turned to it for comfort. I've always been an emotional eater, and whether I'm celebrating or commiserating, there's food for every occasion.
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.
Learned helplessness is a phenomenon that occurs when someone repeatedly faces negative experiences that they can't control, and eventually, they stop believing they have any agency at all. It's something that sabotages my life over and over.
Journaling for my anxiety is one technique that I have used in my life to help me cope with stress and anxious thoughts, and lately, it has become even more helpful.
During a time where the world is pushing for positivity and forward-moving action, it can be especially difficult when you're not able to do that. The fact of the matter is that it's okay to struggle with your mental health during difficult times and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Despite all the messages asserting that struggling isn't an acceptable response, it is.
I don't know about you, but I have begun to notice anxious expectations taking up a larger part of my brain space in the last week or so. A strange tension has been building that pits the current emotional struggles of COVID-19 against the seeming abundance of available time. Shouldn't I be getting even more done because there's less I can go do? But shouldn't I also be okay with less from myself because of the emotional demands of social distancing? These are just two examples of competing anxious expectations you may be experiencing during this time.

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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.