Being in a relationship with someone, whether it's a romantic connection or a close friendship, can feel good and boost mental health. But can you have too much of a good thing? Is it wrong for someone to want to spend a lot of time with you, or is it just a sign of love or friendship? There is a line between enjoying time together and being possessive. Knowing that line can help you keep your relationships--and yourself--mentally healthy.
When you experience chronic anxiety, it is probably difficult to imagine you could distract yourself from that anxiety. With anxiety, you may find that you become overwhelmed with worry and racing thoughts. This can be difficult when it results in many physical symptoms, such as a racing heart rate, headaches, and stomach problems. It can become even more problematic when it interferes with your daily life, and you find that you are having a hard time concentrating, having a hard time sleeping, or constantly on high alert.
Despite all of the progress we have made in society toward mental health awareness and understanding, mental illness is still a taboo topic in many circles, and many people continue to struggle alone. The stigma surrounding mental illness adds an extra layer of shame to an already difficult problem, and that shame can lead us away from relationships, deep connections with others, and fulfilling social lives with people who might truly understand, accept, and value us if we gave them the chance.
Family expectations can be draining for a lot of reasons. Depending on what kind of family you come from, there’s a whole bunch of different unwritten rules about the types of lives we “should” live. My brother’s mental illness challenged our family expectations in a major way, and when I reflect on it I see that he changed our family culture for the better.
As a lesbian who lives life outside of the closet, I have experienced my fair share of shame regarding my sexual orientation and gender expression. The LGBTQIA+ mental health community does not only experience shame based upon their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. These individuals also have to navigate shame feelings stemming from trauma experienced in their pasts.
Bipolar often makes me very irritated, and I suggest you not talk to me about it. Okay, I'm just kidding about that last part, but what I will say is that when I'm highly irritated because of bipolar disorder, I don't want to talk about it or anything else. And while irritation doesn't sound like the worst bipolar symptom, I can attest to the fact that it definitely impacts one's quality of life.
The effects of verbal abuse are numerous. They can affect the victim during times of abuse and also long afterward, impacting their life. Some side effects have influenced my adulthood, even years after facing an abusive situation. Isolation and loneliness are factors that have made their way into my world with verbal abuse.
Mindful breathing is a simple and powerful tool for enhancing mental health and wellbeing. While this may seem strange, mindful breathing can help anxiety in two opposing ways: It can calm the nervous system, so we feel less anxious, and it can also lead to increased energy. Breathing mindfully can both calm us down and pep us up, countering two frustrating effects of anxiety. Add these four mindful breathing exercises to your daily life for positive, anxiety-reducing benefits.
Yesterday, I woke up in the middle of the night with bad dreams. The dreams were such that I was unable to fall asleep for the rest of the night (it was 4:00 A.M. when I initially woke up) and spent much of the rest of the day in a negative state of mind. Because this tends to happen frequently, I want to take the time to discuss it in a bit more detail.
June 12th is a difficult day for me. This year it marked the five-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting that snuffed out the lives of 49 queer people -- most of them Black and Latinx -- and wounded 53 others in Orlando, Florida. The deadliest act of violence against queer people in the history of the United States happened less than a month after my own coming out. I've been dealing with the emotional aftermath of that ever since. Thankfully, I've also found a transformative way to cope with it: community. (Note: This post contains a content warning.)