It can be frustrating, even frightening, to feel as if your thoughts are not entirely your own—to suddenly have a distressing idea or an image flash through your mind against your will. But what is the connection between self-harm and intrusive thoughts, and how can you break the vicious cycle they create?
Do you find that anxiety is causing you to avoid your life? Do you avoid people, places, situations, and events that, if it weren't for anxiety, you might actually enjoy? If so, first know that avoidance is a common and natural reaction to anxiety and is not a sign of weakness.
First off, I want to clarify that I don't have the answer to the question, "Which came first: depression or weight gain?" This doesn't matter because depression and weight gain typically go hand in hand; weight gain can cause depression, and depression can cause weight gain. It is therefore important to manage one's weight in order to manage depression.
I don't know why, but being a parent feels so much easier when the sun comes out of hiding, and everything starts blooming again. It's springtime, and I'm relieved, so is my child's mental illness.
If life has you running ragged and often feeling chaotic or even out of control, this is a sign that you are very much a human being. For many reasons, life can be incredibly stressful, and stress robs us of a sense of balance and serenity. Take heart, for there is great news. You can create inner calm, and it doesn't have to be one more chore on your overwhelming to-do list. Here is a way to cultivate inner calm in just five minutes a day.
One of the challenges I experience is when the past makes me anxious. I sometimes find that if I think about events from the past, and those events made me anxious, I tend to feel immersed in my memories. I find that it is almost as though I am reliving those events and experiencing all of the emotions all over again. I often compare it to watching a movie or an "episode" of my "show" over and over again.
Mood swings are common for many people, whether as a part of adolescence, during menstruation, or in a stressful period. Mood swings are also a symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). So, how can you tell if you are experiencing mood swings alone or as an indicator of BPD?
Social comparison is a part of being human. Using other people as a reference to decide how we see ourselves is often an unspoken force behind so much of what we do. "Comparison is the thief of joy," an adage often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, has been on my mind quite often lately. I realized I compare myself to others at the expense of my happiness. I have two chronic anxiety disorders and sensory processing sensitivity which interfere with my life in every way, and I find that I often don't consider these traits when I criticize myself for not working as much, having as grand of ambitions, or achieving as much as my peers.
Like many, I tuned into the Meghan and Harry interview last week, and I was particularly interested in Meghan's account of her mental illness being ignored by the royal family. Regardless of your thoughts on this particular couple, this is, sadly, a common issue in many families. Mental illness is ignored in families regularly, perhaps because we simply don't know how else to cope with it. I think we need to do better.
I have been hospitalized twice due to my erratic mental health. My gender expression of gender non-conforming (outward expression different from societal gender norms) was not taken seriously during these hospitalizations. I was subjected to uninformed mental health professionals and demeaning mistakes due to the lack of knowledge or respect for my gender non-conforming presentation. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. (LGBTQIA+) community deals with barriers to gender-affirming care regarding mental health and hospitalization often. These are just a couple of ways I was subjected to insensitive mental health care regarding my gender expression.