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I have nonbinary gender insecurity. In America, there are two genders. There are two sexes. It is not common knowledge that sex and gender are different and that there are multiple sexes. When I applied for jobs, I was asked about my gender and given two options: male or female. I didn't even have the option I needed to answer an optional question. I wasn't sure if they meant to ask about my sex or my gender. I was forced to choose or decline.
An area of my anxiety that has been difficult to overcome has been productivity anxiety. Since I was young, I've held myself to high standards that I've found unreachable. When I was younger, these standards meant getting good grades and succeeding in school. As I got older, these standards extended to every other area of life. The problem with constantly chasing standards like this is that they get bigger, higher, and seemingly less realistic, to the point that trying to get there becomes a source of stress and anxiety. In my experience, this has looked like the need to be constantly productive. But the anxiety I experience about productivity means it always feels like what I do is never enough.
I tend to be much more transparent and vulnerable online than I am in daily face-to-face interactions. When someone I know in real life inquires about my fitness or nutrition habits (because, to the surprise of no one, this is a body-conscious culture), I notice my cheeks start to flush, and I choose the vaguest answer possible. That reaction strikes me as curious, though. Why am I still embarrassed about my eating disorder after all these years?
Dating and depression don't mix very well. When you feel terrible about yourself because of depression, it's not the best time to meet new people and try to develop healthy connections. But if your depression is longstanding, does that mean you shouldn't date? Can you successfully date while depressed?
I had somehow convinced myself that my life would be over the moment I walked out of there, completely devoid of confidence and self-worth. That’s a tad dramatic, but at the time, I didn’t know better; I was so clouded by feelings of self-doubt to see beyond the tragedy (as I would have described it at the time) unfolding right before my eyes. You’re a little lost, so let me dial it back for you.
Generally speaking, I'm not a very good liar, but I am excellent at lying to myself. I count myself amongst the majority in this department. Most people value honesty and seek to use it in their relations with others, but when it comes to themselves, they may be so adept at deception that they don't even know they're doing it. But self-honesty and not lying to yourself matters.
When treating bipolar disorder, I think it's critical to gain bipolar mood stability first and only then tweak up or down as needed. That means that if you're in a depression right now (and let's face it, that's when people seek help the most), the goal isn't to treat depression, per se, but rather to gain bipolar stability. Of course, I'm not the only one who thinks this. The esteemed psychiatrist Dr. Jim Phelps agrees: treatment should focus on bipolar mood stability first.
It can be discouraging for many individuals to move away from and begin verbal abuse recovery once they realize the journey is not straightforward. Unlike overcoming other life obstacles, recovery from verbal abuse may present setbacks, leaving an individual with lost hope for a healthy relationship. Although the process may not be as simple as avoiding an abuser, it is possible to hold meaningful connections with others.
I have a long history with perfectionism. In fact, I cannot recall a time in my life when this fixation wasn't driving my performance and achievements. I suspect this is one reason I have always been drawn to activities or pursuits that measure excellence in visible, quantifiable terms. In school, I only accepted straight As. In athletics, I gravitated to sports like archery, where I could aim for the center of a literal bullseye. And in my career, I have turned to writing—a skill based on technical precision. But as I continue to heal my thoughts and behaviors from the residue of anorexia, I am learning to appreciate that eating disorder recovery is not about perfection.
As a writer, I’ve found creativity is one of the first things to be affected when my depression rears its ugly head. Depression makes it harder to motivate myself to write and harder to express my unique creative voice—the thing that brings me the most joy.

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Dawn Gressard
Hey Amanda!
First of all, thank you for sharing your story. You are a very caring person, and I commend you for, as Tammy Wynette sings, "Stand(ing) by your man." That aside, I wholeheartedly agree with you that those living with depression may seem selfish to someone on the outside. Still, in reality, they (me also being one of them) think our loved ones would be better off without us around because of our depression. We think we are doing our loved ones a favor by leaving. Depression causes our brains to work in different ways, causing us to think distortedly -- so no, we are not purposefully being selfish. Thank you for seeing that with your loved one and not allowing someone else to convince you otherwise.
Amanda
I dated a wonderful man for almost 3 years but he suffered severely from Crohn's Disease and Depression. His Crohn's made it hard for him to keep any kind of steady job and of course that disease can be "yucky" but I love him despite him being able to be the typical male provider. He was what I call, passively suicidal in that he would never commit the act but he prayed to God to not let him wake up because the Crohn's was so bad at times. He really struggled not feeling like a burden and he was worried I would eventually resent him for not being able to work. Neither of these things were true at all, but as many of you know, depression tells us otherwise. When there were better days where he felt physically better and therefore mentally better, he was the most thoughtful and loving person. I felt very cared for and very loved. I felt nothing but compassion for him on the not so good days. There were periods of time he would go dark and completely cut off communication with not only me, but his parents and sister. I never was mad about it, just concerned. I wanted so bad to just be with him even if we just laid there together and didn't talk. I just wanted him to know he did not have to go through it alone.

Well, eventually, the depression demons took hold and he told me on August 5th 2023 that he decided he wanted to just move to MT and isolate himself from everyone. He had been offered a free place to stay if he did some maintenance. He is very handy and that type of situation was very ideal because it was flexible; he only worked on things on the days he was physically up to it.
We talked every night like "normal" up until he left on April 14th 2023. We had a long distance relationship then and so I didnt get to see him in person often and didnt see him that last week. He told me one last time that he loved me and he was sorry to hurt me and I have not heard from him since. He didnt even tell his parents or sister he was leaving.
I still love him as much as I ever have even though it has been over a year since we last spoke. I just had dinner with a close friend who was always very critical of him because often he would have to cancel plans last minute due to the Crohn's or because he would go dark for weeks at a time. She told me tonight that he is a selfish person and that if he truly loved me he would have gotten help for the depression. Oddly, she has been depressed before and suicidal which you would think would make her more understanding. I asked her if when she contiplated suicide was she selfish? She said yes. I said but are you a selfish person and she said no. I said that was the same for him. Sure him leaving me and his family was "selfish" but at his core, is he selfish? Absolutely not. She thinks because she was able to conquer her depression that if he really loved me, he would have fought his depression. It makes me sad to think she cant see the amazing guy that is buried under the depression. I know, without a doubt, if he did get a handle on the depression, that he would NOT be selfish at all. It is hard to understand why others cant see the true person under the depression.
I hope those that are struggling know that not everyone will abandon you in your time of suffering. There are people out there that see the real you and would do anything to help.
I encourage all those suffering from depression to not only tell your loved ones what you are going through, but also to seek professional help. And for those of you who love a person suffering from depression, have compassion and understanding for their struggle. Know they do not intentionally hurt you and deep down they still love you even if they cant show it.

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I also struggle with depression and anxiety but I did get help and between medication and coping techniques, I am able to be myself again.
Luci
As a person on the DID end of this interaction with my (our?) own partner, I would appreciate being approached as a different person when my alters switch. Get to know me again. Because I find it really agitating when I'm approached romantically as the same person who is in the relationship, and how everything already feels assumed of me to behave exactly as my alter regardless of whether this is the case or your intention. Having to mask our whole lives as one singular alter to avoid being ostracized or alienated, this is a burden that everyone except for the alter being imitated is fed up with and traumatized by more likely than not.

From the story you told, it sounds like you know when your partner's alters switch.

I'm sorry this was written in the first/second person. But maybe apply this to your situation with a grain of salt.
Sean Gunderson
Thanks for sharing this experience! While the decision to start or leave a job is big, such decisions also contain much power. It sounds like you chose to face that difficulty with courage and empower yourself by leaving a workplace that was not conducive to your mental health. I'm glad that you recognize the role mental health plays in our lives. I hope that you find a job that is both rewarding and meets your mental health needs. Please continue turning to HealthyPlace for trusted information on mental health.
Buddy
You can understand how everyone feels?