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The transgender experience can be lonely. When I first began hormone replacement therapy, my doctor asked me if I had a good support system. I lied and said I did because I didn't have the time or energy to join a support group and didn't want to cause worry. Now, I think about all the hands that have reached out to me in the past that I brushed off. I believe loneliness was caused by my self-imposed social isolation. 
I’m still struggling with the negative self-talk that often comes with depression. Many of you have probably experienced this in some form or other—a nagging voice in the back of your mind that fixates on all things negative, constantly reminding you of your failures and flaws. For me, this voice is especially frustrating because I know it isn’t logical. I have, overall, a happy and fortunate life. Yet sometimes, I can’t help feeling defeated or worthless over a relatively minor event, like forgetting to run an errand or even burning the toast. When depression rears its ugly head, my negative self-talk magnifies the smallest perceived failures a hundredfold. 
It helps to know the difference between paranoia and anxiety. If I am experiencing paranoia, it involves delusions like someone is out to get me (suspicion and distrust) or has betrayed me. I frequently battle the delusion that someone is poisoning my food. My paranoia can cause anxiety, but the two do not have to be present together. My anxiety attacks often have ties to worry (like health concerns, the health of a loved one, public speaking, etc.), but not always. I can have an anxiety attack where I can't identify a triggering cause.
I, like many others, struggle with finding a healthy balance for most things, and finding my self-esteem sweet spot is no exception. As I navigate the highs and lows of self-confidence, I often wonder what level counts as optimal. My outlook on self-esteem was, for a very long time, one-sided. I didn't believe there was such a thing as high self-esteem. Now that I know better, I have been very conscious about my efforts to keep my self-worth at a healthy level. 
Do you have any negative beliefs (those which usually deliver an unwanted outcome)? Have you ever thought about why you believe some things and not others? Did you learn them at school, or are they the result of your experiences? Do your thoughts and ideas create positive or negative outcomes? It's worth taking the time to look at your beliefs, as they make up a fundamental part of your ability to experience happiness and have a powerful influence over your life, and replacing negative beliefs can be beneficial.
Eleven years ago, I got arrested for my first driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Long before that original DUI arrest, I knew I had a problem with alcohol. I knew that blackout drinking a few nights a week was not healthy. But I never spoke up or asked for help because I was terrified of being labeled an alcoholic. Facing the truth meant I would be diagnosed with alcoholism, an incurable, highly stigmatized disease. 
I’ve always been the kind of person that gets anxious about taking mental health days off work. Some of that, I think, is due to the lingering stigma in society that it’s not a valid reason to take a day off, but I’m here to say let’s ditch that. Let’s ditch the guilt of taking a day for our mental health and ditch feeling guilty about how we spend it.
You can change a negative, harmful coping skill into a positive skill. Sometimes negative coping skills seem easier or better, but in the end, they aren't. I know initiating such a positive change can seem impossible sometimes, but you can do it.
The 2022 psychological thriller Alice, Darling, a movie showing emotional and verbal abuse, is another true-to-life scenario familiar to many individuals, unfortunately. This movie depicts a woman involved with an emotionally and verbally abusive partner, but she continuously explains his habits away as normal occurrences. The storyline displays how the verbal abuse dynamic can change an individual's personality and how they navigate everyday life.
I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, in 2002 (after a diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1999). But the anxiety that so often accompanies bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder has been with me since early childhood.

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anon
hi S! im 20 years old, my dad passed when i was younger so i grew up with just my mom and my brother (who i had to parent) and you are the same age as him which is why i felt inclined to reply. i have been struggling with self harm and other issues since as long as i can remember. i think that unfortunately you, much like me, have some sort of addiction gene that kind of makes this whole thing more intense. truthfully i can only say that this is a very difficult thing to go through and that you are not alone. corny but true! i personally find it easier to interact with people online through like discord servers and such because well its good to have people to talk to! i also think that journaling and writing out how u feel (even if it doesnt make much sense) can also help and if youre worried about someone finding it and using it as blackmail its also (in my opinion) nice to watch the paper burn after writing everything out (SAFELY BURN IT) i dont know who you are but nobody deserves to suffer in silence and i really hope and wish that one day you will feel relief and be clean of any sort of self harming. i send love to you angel !
-n
Janet Cato
I thankful to have found this site as I too have been described as an enabler to my unstable adult child /ren and also tried tough love. It is my eldest son concerning me he still lives with me and I don't mind that but he cannot seem to deal with failure of any kind in life or any normal problem without becoming mental or lately threatening suicide. He is 31 and I find it ridiculous. I tell him if when raising him and his 2 brothers I did the same none of us would be here and how does expect to survive as I know he enjoys life otherwise. Yet he claims he can't do anything. He is handsome and smart and I see no reason for him not t po be successful he just has no self esteem. I just don't understand.
Marsha
This post has encouraged me so much. I am in Australia. I typed in ‘Why don't people with schizophrenia like you to clean their home’ to see if I could get some understanding on where my brother is at. There are so many questions I have. I’ve come from interstate to walk through and support my brother through a difficult season. I know he wants me here to help support him but he doesn’t want me to stay at his home so I try to find friends here that I can stay with. (This is another thing I don’t fully understand)
I had noticed that his home doesn’t look like he’s cleaned for a long time but I think he also gets anxious if I try to clean so I’m trying to understand more as he sometimes finds it hard to communicate what’s happening in his mind.
I try to encourage him to think of one or two things he’s grateful for each day - sometimes it’s the same things. and I too share a couple of things I’m grateful for.
Reading everyone’s thoughts here helps me one step further in understanding as I support him in his journey step by step.
I wish I could get him to come interstate to be with myself or other family members where there would be a lot more support but he really wants to stay in this town.
Thank you Elizabeth for posting and everyone else for your comments.
shay
i really want to die im going to be completely honest, first off ive had tics for 5 years now, and recently i keep getting reported to the police. they came to my house today and i tried to keep myself up while talking to them and i dont worry about situations like this but this one did mess with me, my best friend reported me to my principal, i got reported to the police twice, and i got a warning but next time its a full arrest, no one even listened to me, i told the principal about some people that were racist to me and they didnt do anything but over the most littlest issue ever they got the police on me but not the guy that was making fun of my tics, my religion and shaming me for it. but from two words i said they did so much. i dont think my principal knows about my mental state. soemtimes im gonna shout words and most of the time slurs or the work kill yourself. it may seem funny how im writing about this right now but its the fact i get mad at everyone and shout and hit people, i cant really control what i do and i have no hope for my life at all right now. im afraid that i cant get prescribed medication for tics and i dont want to because it includes weight gain. yes i want rid of my tics but i dont wanna look worse than i am right now. i genuinely cant take this anymore and its too much for me but at the same time i dont want to die. i dont want to feel pain but i dont know how to overdose. i thought i could trust my friend but i cant. in 2019 i wanted to commit suicide but i just couldnt. i did self harm but i was too scared to do more. but if i realise were living on a floating rock and were probably just creatures, then what is the point of living. i dont think anyone would miss me especially not my friends because i can imagine them literally shedding a tear then just going on about with their life, i really cant get over my uncle and my grandmas death, they were my most favourite relatives but theyre dead now and i cant do anything about it. i just dont want to leave anyone behind. i had plans for when i was older to get probably one of my most favourite cars but i had a feeling that day i could never see because who knows, i could literally be dead and probably my online friends would think i quit or im just offline. i dont honestly think anyone would care about my death because im going to be honest, i dont think anyone wants to listen to me just chat on about my health. Ive been getting progressively worse and worse over the years. I feel that people nowadays are just full of themselves.
Natasha Tracy
Hi Rick,

I can't tell if that's just a really dark sense of humor or if you really feel that way.

Either way, I'm sorry. It's hard to be in that place.

-- Natasha Tracy