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Therapy homework differs for each therapist and each client, and many therapists don't do therapy homework at all, which begs the question: does it actually help? I've had several different therapists over the years, and only one or two of them have ever given me therapy homework. Some of my friends in therapy have lots of homework, and I always wondered if my therapists were doing something wrong by not giving me things to do outside of sessions. Now that I've had one or two therapists who do give homework, I think I understand some of the benefits and problems with therapy homework.
Two things that I find to be true when supporting family members with mental illness at any time are these: you cannot pour from an empty cup, and oftentimes just being there is the most important thing. Here is how these truths have manifested themselves in our family's life during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused me to struggle with certain aspects of my depression more than I usually do, but I'm trying to cope in healthy ways. If you're also having trouble coping with your depression during this difficult time, maybe some of these ideas can help you, too.
Pursuing and surviving sobriety is no easy feat, and for women in addiction recovery, the challenge can feel even more strenuous. Addiction of any kind can touch the lives of just about everyone no matter our racial, ethnic, or religious background; however, the fight to stay sober might look different for different individuals pursuing recovery.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is definitely taking a toll on my schizoaffective anxiety. I haven’t heard voices because of the stress (thankfully), but this is a case where I can’t tell myself I’m worrying about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.
Anxious thoughts can be overwhelming, crushing, and exhausting. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other similar therapies teach that anxious thoughts are frequently more problematic than an actual anxiety-provoking situation. Problems do exist--we aren't making them up--but what causes us great stress and anxiety is how we think about the problem.
Coronavirus isolation is new, but here's the thing: coronavirus has made our planet its home for a while now. Although it showed up in December 2019, it is only in the month of March that we have decided to take it seriously. To contain the virus, many countries have prohibited people from leaving their homes and asked them to practice social distancing instead. This has naturally taken on a toll on the mental health of extroverts and ambiverts. And over time, it will affect introverts too (if it hasn't already). I speak from experience because I am an introvert whose depression has already worsened due to coronavirus isolation. Let me elaborate.
I hate to say it, but my mental health hasn't changed much since the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Despite working directly with COVID-19 patients as a healthcare worker, lack of protective personnel equipment (PPE), and a limited supply of masks—my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains intact.
It's been difficult staying positive during the coronavirus lockdown. The last week has been a whirlwind of canceled flights, just-in-time border crossings, and mandatory lockdowns. It's been stressful, to say the least. But despite the occasional frenzy, I've been able to stay positive, finding the humor in the madness.
The coronavirus triggered binge eating for me. The binges were triggered for me because the outbreak of coronavirus in northern Italy directly impacted me. 

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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.