Among tinsel and twinkling lights and cheer, it’s not something people want to hear, but it’s true: the holidays negatively impact my mental health. Whereas others find cheer in the music and gift-wrapping, I find discomfort, anxiety, and darkness. The even more difficult thing is there’s really no safe, stigma-free space to talk about it.
Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday—not even close, in fact. As someone who was raised in a large, boisterous, Italian American family, I understand the importance of seasonal traditions, quality time with loved ones, and communal expressions of gratitude. But as someone who is also in eating disorder (ED) recovery, the overt emphasis on food this time of year can still cause ripples of anxiety to surface. So, as another holiday season rounds the corner, I want to share with you a list of ED recovery affirmations to remember on Thanksgiving. I often repeat them to myself when I feel overwhelmed or anxious during the festivities, and I hope these affirmations calm and re-center you as well.
For the past six weeks, my left knee has been causing me a lot of pain. The pain is flaring up as I sit to write this. It may have been caused by doing a stretch during an online ballet class--I honestly don’t know what caused it. What I do know is that it hurts a lot, and it’s wreaking havoc on my schizoaffective anxiety and schizoaffective depression.
Although victims of verbal abuse do not have bruises or other physical scars, the effects of verbal abuse are still genuine. While anxiety and depression can result from verbal abuse, they are not the only side effects.
Journaling can be a powerful way to work through the difficult feelings and experiences of self-harm and recovery. When you're at a loss for what to write about, these self-harm prompts can help.
Here we are in the second holiday season of the pandemic. Even though things have changed over the past year, there are still many areas of uncertainty and things that are anxiety-provoking. Dealing with anxiety during the holidays becomes vital, and particularly during these uncertain times.
People feel the need to "correct" mental health language constantly. This is mainly a product of political correctness and virtue signaling -- both of which I detest. In fact, talking about mental health and mental illness is like talking through a minefield. Wrong mental illness name -- boom -- you've exploded. Wrong sentence structure -- boom -- you've exploded again. And the thing is, running around correcting mental health language simply shuts down conversation altogether, and it's that exactly the opposite of what mental illness needs? Mental illness needs more open acknowledgment, not people shedding in the dark scared of being publically shamed for incorrectly using words.
Thanksgiving gatherings trigger feelings and emotions for everyone, but not all of those feelings are of peace or gratitude. Some people have wonderful memories of celebrating with childhood friends and relatives. Many of these people feel excited to reunite with loved ones they have not seen in a long time. Other people have unpleasant memories of the holiday. Many of these people feel stressed out, sad, lonely, angry, etc. If you feel anxious or depressed around Thanksgiving, it can be hard to find peace and gratitude. Here are six tips to help you feel better during Thanksgiving.
I have been taking antidepressants since 2018, even though they make me lazy. They are lifesavers that help keep my clinical depression down to a manageable level. However, they come with a hard-to-ignore drawback: they make me feel drowsy. I have long been one of those people who are slightly sleepy at all times. Antidepressants, while giving me clarity of thought and a will to live, make me more sluggish than usual.
If you are leaving an abusive situation or are trying to put one behind you, congratulations. Finding the strength to do what is best for you can be difficult, but it is worthwhile. However, recovering from abuse, whether verbal, emotional, physical, or otherwise, is not easy, and the path can be full of triggers or roadblocks.