Impulsivity is a symptom of many mental illnesses, from borderline personality disorder (BPD) to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and more. Unlike other symptoms, such as anxiety or apathy, impulsivity is still highly stigmatized and is often portrayed as being immature or careless rather than being a symptom of mental illness. Although impulsivity can definitely cause issues in your life, I would also argue that there are some hidden benefits of impulsivity.
Self-harm causes are hard to define. After all, each person is unique, and so is their emotional pain. However, the way we cope with difficult situations as adults often corresponds to our childhood experiences. Learning about the so-called early maladaptive schemas could help us address some of the unresolved issues that drive us toward self-injury.
Everyone has different coping methods that they choose to use, and it can sometimes seem like not all coping mechanisms are as helpful as others. There might come a time when you have to come to terms with and accept a loved one's preferred coping method. This is the story of a time I went through that situation.
Mental illnesses can have destructive behaviors that accompany them, and these behaviors can often be difficult to understand and, like mental health in general, cloaked in stigma. Because of that, addressing destructive behaviors linked to mental illness can be a challenge, but it's an important part of showing support to those who struggle.
COVID-19 vaccine refusal could be related to depression. I know there might not seem to be a link there, but I suspect there is. Depression could affect how a person feels about getting a vaccine for a number of reasons, and it may lead all the way up to vaccine refusal thanks to depression.
I have an idea for a children's book, but anxiety-induced procrastination is in the way. I've been saying for years that I want to write a book, and last week inspiration struck. I am telling you this because I know that if I don't, the idea will remain just that: an idea. And I will continue to be what I've been for years: someone who says they want to write a book, writes a few chapters, then leaves them to gather dust in a long-forgotten folder on a laptop. I am a pathological procrastinator, but I believe I have found a way to tackle my anxiety-induced procrastination and share it here in the hopes that it will help you, too.
It's easy to write off jewelry—of any kind—as a frivolous fashion statement, pretty but shallow. In the case of self-harm recovery jewelry, however, the meaning runs much deeper than that.
The medication cocktail I take is far from perfect. For one thing, it doesn’t stop my schizoaffective anxiety from remaining a disabling challenge. For another, my antipsychotic causes a ridiculous amount of weight gain. So you’d think that when I learned about a new antipsychotic on the market, I’d jump at the chance to try it. I’m not jumping. Here’s why.
Due to the number of hours many of us spend at work, it is natural for work to become an integral part of one's identity. In fact, there's a term for it: work identity. Depression also affects one's work identity, so much so that it might define you in your workplace. What's more, it may also define the way you see yourself.
Anxiety can severely limit lives, so much so that it can be difficult to leave the house to go to work (or anywhere else, for that matter). Anxiety symptoms can be crushing and exhausting, and anxiety attacks or panic attacks can leave you overwhelmed, drained, physically ill, and haunted by strong, negative thoughts and emotions. This makes daily functioning, including going to work, incredibly difficult. While it's not necessarily a quick and easy process, you can break free from the shackles of anxiety, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks and not only get to work but feel steady and actually enjoy life again.

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Kim Berkley
Hi Liana,

Nice to meet a fellow HP writer! I'm glad you found my post relatable and—more importantly—helpful. Of course, other people see it differently—I have read many instances in which people decide that they are the same thing, and I can see their point, but for me, as I wrote in the post, I just don't experience the two in the same ways. They feel completely different to me.

That's not to say that skin-picking isn't serious or isn't something that should be addressed, of course. I sometimes struggle with my own body image—for a number of reasons, but one of them is the state of my hands. The worst thing is when I damage my fingers to the point that they are super sore and/or require bandaging, because then I'm reminded of my "bad habit" every time I put hands on a keyboard—which, being a writer, is a lot of the time.

I'm still trying to understand my triggers, too. When I'm stressed, I pick. When I'm bored, I pick. Those instances, at least, make sense to me. But sometimes I'll have a pretty darn good day and still catch myself at it. I think part of the problem is that, having done it for so long, the habit of scanning my fingers (touching one finger unconsciously to others, looking for blemishes, rough spots, and other pickable places) has become so ingrained that I don't even notice I'm doing it most of the time until I'm already picking.

It's interesting that we share the same experience with our moms! I wonder if there's some sort of genetic component at work, or if it is more of a learned compulsion. Or something in between?

Anyway, thank you so much for your comment. I hope we both figure out a way to heal our poor fingers (and whatever's at the root of these compulsions of ours) one of these days. Until then, keep the bandages and the antiseptics handy, just in case. :)

Kim Berkley
Hi Eliza,

That is an excellent question—one I'm unfortunately not really qualified to answer. A better person to ask would be a current or former NASA employee—maybe someone like an HR specialist? An actual astronaut, of course, would be ideal to talk to for a number of reasons, but I'm not sure how easy they are to reach. If nothing else, do lots of digging into online resources and maybe some books by astronauts and/or other NASA employees.

This page on the official NASA site also has some great links to check out if you haven't already:
(I would start with the "How to become an astronaut" link)
And this page as well:

I would imagine that mental health screenings play a role in the process, but I don't know for sure, or to what extent if they do. But I know being an astronaut can be an... intense... career in a lot of ways, and being in space for long periods of time can certainly mess with even the most resilient and stable people, so this is definitely an answer worth tracking down in detail if you want your book to be accurate.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful with this particular topic, but if you have any questions about self-harm, feel free to ask! Or if you have any writing-related questions (not necessarily related to self-harm), I also write fiction and always enjoy a good writing discussion. :) Here's my contact page if so:

In any case, I wish you the best of luck with your research and your book. Take care!

I am having severe birthday depression. It gets worse every year. I beg people to please just let the day go by. I am 59 years old today, January 17th. I have several very traumatic events that happened over a course of years, on the dreaded day. Then when I get out of sorts and want to spend the day alone, people get all bent out of shape. In fact one friend insists that I have to celebrate, it’s my duty. Granted, I have some odd friends. She still acts and dresses like a child even at 46, so I chalk it up to her own personal issues, but cannot convince her that I really don’t give a rats patootie anymore. It’s just an embarrassment to be fussed over. And the singing....oh Lord help awful that is. Treat me the same everyday. Please. My birthday is mine to not celebrate as I see fit. Yours was the most realistic article I have found thus far. Thanks for not being condescending like most of the other articles I have read. Some people think they get it, but unless they suffer the affliction, they truly have no clue. Thank you for helping. This has gotten worse for a decade now. Can hardly wait for the big blow of 60..... not. Ugh ! And yes the pandemic, scamdemic, plandemic, whatever one wants to call it, has not helped. I’ve lived long enough to watch my Country falling into a cesspool of disrepair and that seems to make it worse. Now the very head of my Country is the most evil creature on earth. So it seems my birthday is always tied to the results of an election year. Or the resulting disaster thereof in this case. No wonder I’m so damned depressed. Thanks for helping me with that breakthrough. Literally.
I was in a relationship when I was 29 years old and when the relationship broke, I also lost my job and felt very alone and lonely. I started to have thoughts of suicide that life is not worth living. I saw a few doctors about it, they said it was schizophrenia depression. So a few doctors thoughts it was schizophrenia and other doctors thought it was depression. I do feel down at times and it may be depression but I think it is also a finanical problem as I do not have very much money or a steady job.

I have been able to get a job just not able to keep for longer than 6 months. I feel a little better theses days after quitting smoking 1 year ago and running a mile every day for the last 1 month.
Eliza Whitlock
i’m writing a book, and one of my characters struggled with self harm in the past. her dream job is to be an astronaut— would her experiences with self-harm affect her getting chosen to be an astronaut (because of her needing good emotional stability etc?) just a thought.