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Mahevash Shaikh
There are many kinds of dysfunctional families; mine is an enmeshed family. In my experience, an enmeshed family is one in which needs are perceived as a common unit. In simple words, individuality is frowned upon, and personal boundaries aren't respected. Such toxicity is common in India, but I'm sure it is a global issue. Enmeshment might seem like a mild to moderate inconvenience, but it can negatively impact work and life in general. With so many of us moving back home and working remotely due to the pandemic, it's crucial to know more about this unsettling phenomenon. Let's take a look.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Can gratitude really help anxiety? Surprisingly, it can. Gratitude is a concept involving appreciation and a sense of thankfulness for what is good in our lives. Anxiety is an experience involving a great deal of unwelcome thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors. Anxiety can be all-encompassing, rob us of a sense of wellbeing, centeredness, and joy, or even keep us locked out of the life we'd like to live. Here's a look at what gratitude is and how it helps anxiety by shifting thoughts and feelings away from anxiety and replacing them with appreciation and action.
Heidi Green, Psy.D.
This year has been pretty overwhelming for most of us, so we need some self-care hacks to cope. In addition to the general stress of 2020, we are now approaching a season that often brings pain and grief to the forefront. With this in mind, I want to share some of my favorite skills for self-care during challenging times.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
Last week in a counseling session, my therapist issued me an assignment: Write a "dear body" letter to myself. In the past, I have done similar exercises, like the goodbye letter I wrote to my eating disorder in 2018. But this undertaking feels much different.
Nori Rose Hubert
Most people look forward to taking time off work for the holidays (even if the holidays look a little different this year thanks to COVID-19). Folks who live and work with bipolar disorder are no exception. However, the work difficulties that come with bipolar can put a damper on what should be a time to relax and decompress.
Sarah Sharp
In case you haven't noticed, COVID-19 has transformed how everyone gets everything done, including how we parent in this pandemic. It's especially changed how I raise a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
It's that time of year again. It's the holiday season, and the anxiety that goes with it is here too. Even though the holidays look a little different this year due to COVID-19, anxiety is still something that you may experience. I know I do.
Hollay Ghadery
Whether you're looking for the best diet for eating disorder recovery or the best diet, period, there is only one answer—and that answer surprises a lot of people. The reason it surprises so many people is that the answer is so simple.
Meagon Nolasco
Anxiety makes me ache because it leads me to hold tension in my shoulder and neck area. My anxiety is a frequent occurrence in my life. This means these muscles are tense regularly and have an impact on my physical relaxation. I have used meditation and mindfulness for many years to provide relaxation for my mind. These techniques leave my mind relaxed, but my body tense after moments of anxiety.
Kate Beveridge
Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be chaotic at the best of times, let alone while dealing with a global crisis. I've been living in Lima, Peru, since March. Peru was the hotspot of COVID-19 and had some of the world's strictest lockdown conditions.1 Paired with recent political instability, coping with my BPD symptoms has been more difficult than ever.

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Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Hi Celeste,
I am so very sorry for your loss. And it is indeed a loss for you despite how some people are responding to you. Suicide is a painful, confusing thing that no one ever fully understands. When people tell you to forget or not feel the pain, know that this has more to do with their own discomfort and personal feelings than it does with you or your neighbor who died by suicide. Your own feelings are legitimate. It's important to honor how you feel and allow yourself to experience the thoughts and emotions you do. It's also important for you to have the right kind of support during this time, people who can help you deal with your own grief and move forward in meaningful ways. Moving forward doesn't mean forgetting. It means being able to embrace your own life while still remembering your friend and doing things to honor his memory. There may be grief support groups in your area (a google search or checking meetup .com may help you locate some). Mental health therapy can be extremely helpful in dealing with a loss like this (as well as the challenges of being a single mom and caring for your own elderly mother). There's a great online organization called Heal Grief (healgrief.org) that might be a source of support and understanding for you, too. (HealthyPlace is not connected to Heal Grief.)There may never be an answer as to why he died by suicide, but support groups and/or therapy can help bring some clarity and closure. Do be patient with yourself in this difficult time, and, while this is easier said than done, practice self-care. Eating healthily, sleeping and resting, and even a little bit of daily exercise (a walk around the block) will help keep your brain and body healthy. That sounds silly in a time like this, but it supports your mind in dealing with grief and loss.
Celeste
I am dealing with the suicide of a kind 43 year old male neighbor that I spoke with 3 days before he died. It seems that most people I speak with can't understand the pain that I feel and suggest I try to forget/not feel this horrible pain. Even though I was not a part of his family, this loss is immense since he had begun to interact and spend time conversing and texting me. No other neighbor had taken interest in my plight as a single woman taking care of her 98 year old mom. He was incredibly intelligent, and don't understand why he would do this.
Debra
We live in such a fast paced go go want it now drive through world most people don't want to talk about the depression let alone try to understand and just judge label you asc razy how does one go about generally have no idea my work though
Kris R.
Hellooo. Im Kris, 15 yrs old, almost 16. Ive been really obssesed with DID since i read a book abt a boy with DID about 3 or so months ago. Ever sense i realized that theres a lot abt the main character, Ian, that i relate to. In the book, hes different at school, at home, and out with his friend. All slightly different versions of him. He also has a main alter, who can take over, and when he does Ian loses consciousness. I have similar things, except i dont think ive ever been exactly taken over. The thing is, i have this voice in my head, but im very confused if its just my voice or an alter. I call her Alexis. She sounds the same as me, which is why its confusing, but her voice is one i cant control. Sometimes i feel like i can manipulate her into saying something specific, but most of the time it doesnt work that way. Shes often extremely rude and judgemental of other people, and criticizes them, when i myself like the person. She criticizes me as well, but sometimes really helps me feel better about myself in ways. Shes the main voice in my head. I actually gave her the name Alexis when my little sister and i were playing a game. Anyways, shes never, that i know of, taken over me. Moving on, i sometimes randomly do a little kid voice, mostly around my girlfriend. Ive only heard the little kid voice in my head maybe once, but i do it in person out of nowhere. Today, i was on call with my gf, and i spaced out and then started laughing uncontrollably, and did the little kid voice. I was aware of everything happening, and i was confused if i was in control or not. I kept acting silly and wanting to say "kris" instead of "i". Id eaten a lot of chocolate and drank soda and my gf said im sugar high and i kept saying "no no just silly". At some point she said "its funny how this only happens when youre out of school" and i wanted to say "kris very careful at school" instead of "im careful at school". So im not 100% sure if its another alter, because im conscious while all this happens. When i do the little kid voice, i feel very childish, silly, joyful, loving, and playful. I eventually spaced out again and i was back, but still extremely confused if i was controlling it all. As far as trauma goes, i know that usually, you have to have had a very traumatic experience to develop DID. Ive had many traumatic experiences, but im not sure if theyre traumatic enough to cause DID. Last year, i was sexually assaulted by a boy i thought i could trust. That still effects me and im trying to get therapy. In middle school, i was hated by a lot of people just for being myself. I often had to help people almost everyday, talking them out of killing themselves. Ive self harmed before too. And i have many issues with my biological and step father. Ive almost ran away about 5 times, and ive always had a packed bag just in case. Theres a lot more ive been through as well. I kinda feel like im going insane, and i feel like maybe im making all the alters up in my head. Not sure if theyre real or not. Its all so confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Ive mentioned Alexis to my gf a few times before, and pointed to my head when i said "the child is being very stubborn", but i think she thinks im talking about an actual person, and not the voice in my head. Im kinda scared to tell her, scared she'll leave me thinking im insane, or hate me and think im lying and making it all up. I dont know what to do with myself anymore.
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Hi Lizanne,

Great point that this takes practice. I know that personally, this is something that I have to constantly work on. It can be easy to allow yourself to be swept away by those thoughts that increase your anxiety. I absolutely agree that it is important to practice self-compassion as you make these adjustments in your thought process.

Stay safe,
Rizza