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Let's face it: navigating family interactions over the holidays can be stressful when you're queer or transgender. Some of us come from accepting families; some of us do not. Some of us have a mix of experiences with our families and face additional stressors over the holidays. The holidays are stressful for everyone, but they pose special challenges for transgender and queer people this time of year. Today, I'd like to break down some tips for navigating family at this time of year.
I'm proud of the little things. In today's world, we are supposed to accomplish significant life goals one after the other -- and celebrate them publicly. In the process, we often overlook small wins as if they don't matter. However, being proud of the little things makes life easier, more so when you frequently experience anxiety, depression, and stress.
Mindful observation can help you in your daily life. I have discovered a profound source of resilience. This is the ability to break free from the cycle of event-reaction. Too often, we find ourselves caught in the web of immediate responses, whether to subjective experiences or external occurrences. What if there was a third option, a path less traveled, that could grant us the power to enhance our self-esteem? For me, that third option is mindful observation. 
Career development is a priority for me, and while navigating the professional world is tricky enough, throwing in the challenges that come with managing a mental illness with a career makes the situation even more difficult. As someone who struggles with focus and drastically fluctuating energy levels, work can feel impossible, leaving me emotionally and mentally drained. The desire to succeed professionally can be much more difficult when there are extra mental obstacles, but there are ways to make the process easier. Having a mental illness and a career is possible.
This is your reminder to continue to use your support system over the holidays. I say this for a specific reason. Sometimes, the holidays make our bipolar support system more accessible, it's true, but then, sometimes, the holidays make them less. We visit the people we don't normally see over the holidays, and they may not be part of our trusted circle. If we're going out of town, for example, the people we rely on may disappear for a time. But we need to continue to connect with our support system over the holidays.
Gambling addiction is fueled, in part, by the advertising and marketing that pushes that product. The gambling industry continues to experience remarkable growth year on year, partly due to the proliferation of online gambling and also due to marketing and advertising efforts. Gambling advertising and marketing shape consumer behavior, but where does the line lie when it comes to navigating responsible practices?a
I have anxiety after verbal abuse. One tool I've picked up from my years of therapy is using words of affirmation. I think how you talk to yourself can help reinforce positive beliefs and improve your self-esteem. I've been using this strategy for years now to help heal from verbal abuse. However, more recently, I've noticed that it can also help calm my anxiety even when I'm not facing verbal abuse.
Today I'm reviewing the queer app Lex. There are quite a few dating apps out there that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) community can use, but this is one of my favorites. It's a text-based dating app based on old lesbian personal ads looking for love and sex. The Lex app allows each user to include one photo, but it primarily functions off of short blurbs that are around 300 characters and a title. While it started focusing on love and sex, it has morphed into a queer social app with just about everything for everyone, including a myriad of queer community and social events. Today, I'll share three things I love and three things that could be better in my review of the queer app Lex. 
It's hard to believe that 14 months ago, I wrote my first blog for "Creative Schizophrenia." It seems like a month or two ago. That is the way with time as we get older, though. It slips away so quickly, almost as if it speeds up. After over a year of writing for this blog, it is time for me to move on and pursue other writing opportunities. This experience has been rewarding, and I don't take it for granted. I want to leave you with my hopes for all of you in 2024 and beyond.
As someone living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), unanswered text messages can feel agonizing. Living in a digital age where communication is often instantaneous, the absence of a response to a text message can trigger anyone. For us with BPD, the fear of abandonment and sensitivity to perceived rejection can intensify these emotions, leading to heightened distress. I will explore why unanswered text messages may dysregulate someone with BPD and offer personal strategies to help overcome anxiety by considering alternative perspectives.

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Comments

Sean Gunderson
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed this article
Vincent Gray
I experienced something very similar. I started daydreaming at eleven and continued until I turned 18. It stopped or went away by itself during my national military service. Now and then I have attempted to daydream - but is not as easy as before. I used to daydream for up to four or more hours every day for years. It had a negative affect on my schoolwork and life.
Natasha Tracy
Hi Z,

I'm the Blog Manager here, and I want to address your comment.

First, I'm so sorry you're feeling such distress right now. I want you to know that no matter what mistakes you make, you do not deserve to be physically harmed because of them. It's great that you want to be a good person, but everyone slips. None of us are perfect, and we all deserve patience when that happens. You also deserve love no matter what mistakes you make.

It's normal for your emotions to get the best of you sometimes. It happens to teens a lot because they're growing, changing, and maturing, but it happens to adults too! Please know that a huge amount of guilt probably hurts more than it helps.

It sounds to me like you have some pretty tough things to work through. You should talk to an adult that you trust about what's happening. That might be a parent, or it might be another adult in your life who is supportive and nonjudgmental.

You could also reach out to a professional for help. You could talk to a school counselor, for example. They may be able to help you deal with the emotions you're having more effectively.

You may also want to connect with this resource:

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternative
Information Line
800-DONT-CUT (366-8288)
https://selfinjury.com/

Also, remember, you can call 9-8-8 any time to talk to someone. You don't have to be suicidal to call. They may point you toward additional resources.

You're dealing with some difficult emotions right now, but you don't have to do it alone. I've been where you are, and I promise that reaching out in one or more of the above ways can help.

-- Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy
Hi Gregory,

Thanks for your input. I'm the Blog Manager here at HealthyPlace, and I want to address your comment.

I can understand why a person may think that video game addiction doesn't exist, but there is evidence to the contrary. In one meta-analysis, it was found that 5% of gamers have an addiction. In that analysis, they mention that two hours of gaming a day is considered more normal, but five hours or more may indicate the presence of addiction.

They found that engaging in an addictive gaming behavior led to effects such as lower academic scores, depression, anxiety, and a decrease in self-esteem, life satisfaction, and social support.

You can see more here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691823002238?via%3Dihub

Internet gaming disorder was even included in the latest "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" ("DSM-5-TR"). More information about it, including diagnostic criteria, can be found here: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming

It's worth noting that while professionals can, of course, help with any addiction, there are steps anyone can take to help with gaming addiction that don't cost anything. https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/gaming-disorder/addicted-to-video-games-and-online-gaming-what-now

Most gamers are not addicted, but it is absolutely true that some are.

There is quackery out there, but this is not evidence of it.

-- Natasha Tracy