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Bipolar has a definite effect on one's career. Bipolar can alter a career, derail a career or even, in some cases (like mine), create a career. I have yet to meet a person whose career has not been affected by his or her bipolar disorder.
I’m Antoinette (Tonie) Ansah and I’ll be writing for "Living with Adult ADHD." Accepting that I had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) didn’t come easily because I loathed the stigma attached to it. My family didn’t understand mental disorders, and, also, I don’t look like the stereotypical rambunctious boy--so I struggled silently for years.
Dating someone with disordered eating can be confusing. I've never been in a relationship where my significant other totally gets my complicated relationship with food or my disordered eating habits. Despite their best efforts to empathize and understand, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding regarding these habits and the underlying motivations and experiences.
It is tempting to resist anxiety to try to reduce it, but that's not the way to go. No one wants to live with anxiety because it's controlling. When anxiety invades our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, it traps us in its cage and lives our lives for us. When trapped, people instinctively fight back. Not wanting to remain stuck, it's natural to resist anxiety by arguing with anxious beliefs. However, to argue requires thinking about those anxious thoughts and ruminating over them, which keeps us focused on them. Struggling against anxiety tightens the trap door. When we relax enough to shimmy out of anxiety's tight grasp, we can open the door of the cage and fly free. Doing so involves a different approach.
A fear of flying can be debilitating for a person who enjoys travel. I have been afraid to fly for as long as I can remember. I'm not your run-of-the-mill anxious flyer, either. I've struggled with a crippling fear of flying throughout my life. Recently, I took a class for fearful flyers; and to my great surprise, it has changed the way I fly. I want to share with you the most helpful things I've learned to calm my fear of flying.
I've learned something about not taking things personally from some thieves in Columbia. This is the story of how two men tried to rob me in Colombia, and what happened to me when I didn't take it personally.
Choosing no contact (going no contact, enacting a no contact rule) with a toxic friend or family member who has been in your life for an extended period of time can be difficult. That being said, it can be even more challenging if you’re in the process of healing and living with mental illness.
Self-loathing and addiction--for as long as I can remember, my self-loathing has been an ongoing spiral in my addiction journey. The spiraling cycle starts with hating myself for being addicted in the first place, then giving in to my addiction, then hating that I gave in, and so on. My self-loathing took the form of many things in my life including my anxiety, my depression, and my suicidal tendencies. However, my addiction wasn't the only reason I hated myself for so long. I think those feelings started long before my addiction ever formed.
For those of us who have or have had eating disorders, the feeling of a full stomach can be an extremely disconcerting sensation. Sitting after a meal while feeling full can cause anxiety and guilt. I've been in recovery for nearly a decade and I still sometimes struggle with feeling full, but learning how to be okay with being full was an important step in my eating disorder (ED) recovery.
In addition to recovering from mental illness, it's also important for us to learn how to prevent mental health relapse in times of stress. Lately, my mental health has been doing really well. I've put in a lot of work, and it's finally paying off, but recently, some family stress has put all of my progress to the test. I've noticed a lot of my typical mental illness symptoms struggling to reemerge, to rear their ugly heads and completely derail my life. Luckily, I've managed to keep them to a minimum and prevent a full-on mental health relapse. I thought it would be helpful to share how I'm managing to prevent relapse.

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Comments

Lizanne Corbit
This is such a beautifully expressed read. I love the whole concept of gently and genuinely supporting your friend. One piece in particular that I have to make mention of is the idea that it is not your job to "fix" your friend. This is something so many of us can easily shift into without even really realizing we're doing, the "fix it" mood. This naturally happens because we care and want to make the other person feel better but what we really need to do is hold space, the fixing can make the other person inherently feel like they are a problem to be fixed, and this is of course not what you're trying to convey. Thank you for sharing!
Lizanne Corbit
I love this read! What an amazing testament to the power of shifting our perspective. I love this takeaway: "When I face difficult situations at work, I feel like I have a reservoir of self-belief and strength because I've seen how much positive change I can achieve in just a few years. " How amazing to look at our experiences with things like fear and anxiety and see the other side of the coin with them (so to speak). I think this is something many people can not only relate to but benefit from. Thank you for sharing your experience here.
Lizanne Corbit
This is such a well-crafted read about something that is so true, but probably not realized by many. The "confession" energy around discussing mental health is very real. This may be one of those things that we feel but don't really put a name to, thinking about in terms of a confession really provides a clear lense for how this can be negative and why a shift in perspective is needed. Wonderful read.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Laura,
I have found that practicing mindfulness helps me be comfortable not only with silence, but with myself in situations like these. To make it possible for me to pay attention to what is going on rather than on my thoughts about it or on my anxiety and discomfort, I ground myself. You might find that helpful, too (it does take a while to get used to). Try placing both feet firmly on the ground, and notice the feel of the floor beneath your feet. Breathe slowly and deeply (even deep breathing can be done quietly so you don't feel like you're drawing attention to yourself). Don't try to force thoughts, but just notice your feet planted and your body breathing. Then, let yourself find a focal point and concentrate on that, noting shapes, colors, etc. Grounding yourself this way calms your mind and body and allows you to gently turn your attention to the moment at hand. When you catch your anxiety climbing again (as you know, anxiety tends to do that!), do the grounding exercise again to re-center, then return to the moment. The idea isn't to force thoughts out of your mind but to clear your mind so you can be fully present in your moment.
Shirley
You all are my kindred spirits! I’ve had noise sensitivity since birth. I’ve always felt like an oddball. I don’t know anyone personally who feels as I do. I think I’m one of these Highly Sensitive People. I buy foam earplugs in bulk and use when I vacuum, sometimes when I sleep, or when there is more outside noise than usual. Fireworks at July 4 and New Year’s are the worst. I try to find a town to visit where fireworks use is limited or banned. I can understand people using fireworks on these two holidays but the rude people in the community where I live set them off at random other times of the year. People who blast their vehicle audio systems (boom boom boom) are the rudest of the rude. Being stuck at a traffic light with these jerks is hellish. I’m looking for a quiet place to retire.