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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. 

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Denise
I am so glad to find your blog. My son is is schizoaffective and extremely resistant to bathing at all. He is very good to wash his hands and is often very concerned about the cleanliness of food prep but will not bathe. It is so tough because he also refuses therapy and medication so we work very hard to keep him involved with his family everyday to prevent bad episodes that seem to be worse after being alone too much. HIs smell is really not great and it lingers on the furniture and around the house. We want to make him welcome to be with us whenever he wants but the smell is really challenging.
Jemma
I’m turning 14 this year I’ve been self harming since I was 10 I stopped because my mum found out but I didn’t actually stop I just moved from my upper arms to my thighs she didn’t notice for about 2 1/2 years. In may I got sick of doing in on my thighs it no longer hurt to see in the mirror it no longer hurt when I cut myself I didn’t feel a thing no matter how hard I tried so I started doing it on my upper arm again. It hurt It felt good then stopped hurting but I didn’t really care this time because I had a routine to follow ever since April I would cut myself every week I’d make a deadline for myself so if I did it on Thursday the next week I’d do it on Thursday again or before that cutting no longer felt good it felt like a chore but I didn’t care. Mum found out in December and has been trying to convince me to show her my arm I refuse. New School year started I have no friends in any classes I sit alone and no one talks to me I feel invisible to everyone. I can’t focus on my work because all I can think about is the appropriate time to ask to go bathroom for 10 minutes unnoticed so I could cut myself because I feel so shut I just want to feel something I’m so desperate I started on my wrist today for the first time and I love the burn but I’m worried about the long lasting scars and the fresh cuts that will keep coming because I can’t make myself stop for the life of me especially when I’m at school. I cook a lot I have cooking in school mums signing me up for cooking classes I need to roll up sleeves for cooking I’m screwed and I can’t decide to myself if I regret it or not if I could go back in time and change that decision would I do it?
Andy
Thank you so much for this.
Living with anxiety its easy to forget to have courage.
C
Hi, i'm 11 and i have been struggling with self harm since I was 8. I have scars up my arms and legs and it is weird and embarrassing. As a young girl people don't tend to understand I have problems too. I don't put forth that much effort to hide my scars because I know they are a part of me but I can still get subconscious about them. I told a few close friends and one of them told my school counselor and she of course had to tell my mom. Although my mom tries to understand I can tell she can't, I sometimes notice her looking at my arms and shaking her head. I just feel like i mess up so many things and tonight was very hard for me. We had an incident and now I feel worse than ever. I feel like life would be better here on earth for my single mother is I was gone. She has me and my brother and I feel like a rock holding her down. I feel like my brother and mom hate me and I'm not OK. I want to get better so when I got a very deep urge I resisted since I have been sober for a month now :) I just want help.
Elena Lokvig
My daughter is a multiple, and one of them is a social path, who I dread coming out. One is kind and astute, one is about two years old. I have dealt with this her whole life, she will not let anyone put her under Hypnosis. I wrote a letter to Dr Phill and few years back and got no response. When she was in the hospital they saw it and charted it. I need to get all her records. My prayer is for her to be shown the other personalities. I played a horrible phone message she left me once. When she herd it she cried and said it was not her. Thank you