Britney Spears' conservatorship has been a hot topic since she was able to say her piece in court on June 23. It's caused fans to rally behind her, supporting her as she struggles with being under other peoples' control for more than a decade and the impact that's had on her mental wellbeing. Perhaps ironically, it was a mental health crisis that kicked off the conservatorship, to begin with. I can't help but wonder, what has been mental health stigma's role in keeping that conservatorship in place?
Before I chose to start the journey of freedom from my eating disorder in 2017, I took it as a source of pride that I rarely shed tears or expressed vulnerable emotions. The sheer fact I was able to count on one hand the number of times I cried in a 10-year period felt like a badge of honor. I feared the consequences of vulnerability, assuming any crack in my hard, stoic exterior would leave me open to rejection or betrayal. But underneath this tough shell of self-protection, there's always been a sensitive, compassionate soul with emotions that run deep and tears that ache to flow. Reclaiming those tears now feels cathartic for me, and I think it's important to name this as part of my healing process.
I've been learning in therapy that so many of the things I've accepted as "fact" all my life are actually subjective beliefs passed down from my family. I loved the challenge my therapist set me this week of deconstructing my family's beliefs on various topics, including mental health.
I missed my last scheduled blog post due to illness, but in truth, I was relieved because aside from the gastric flu wreaking havoc with my digestive system, I didn't have anything to talk about. I was (and am) doing well. When I sat down to write this week's piece, I had a similar bittersweet realization. This blog is "Coping with Depression," but at the moment, I don't feel as though I am "coping" with anything in particular. I am, for all intents and purposes, recovered from depression. Does that mean I should give up writing this blog? I think not.
My mom and I go north to Door County in Wisconsin together every spring for our mother-daughter weekend--just the two of us. We go back up with the rest of the family later in the summer. Last year, things were very restricted because of COVID-19. This year, we were vaccinated. Being vaccinated really helped with my schizoaffective anxiety, and it also made a big difference for our trip.
A self-harm mantra may not be the magical cure we wish it could be, but it can be a powerful tool to help you focus and stay motivated on the road to self-harm recovery. Here are a few ideas to help you choose or craft your own healing mantra.
Anxiety can make people feel inferior and erode self-confidence. The harsh, self-critical, judgmental voice of anxiety can also distort the way we see ourselves, causing us to ignore our positive qualities and exaggerate our very human flaws and foibles. If anxiety ever makes you hard on yourself, keep reading. You don't have to take anxiety's word at face value.
One of the things I’ve done to relax, for literally as far back as I can remember, is rewatch movies that I consider to be favorites. There are a handful of movies that I’m guessing I’ve seen 100s of times because, for whatever reason, they make me feel relaxed when I watch them.
One of the hardest parts of parenting a child with mental illness is watching my kid behave disruptively or throw a larger-than-life tantrum and wondering, "Would this be happening if I were a better mom? Is my child's mental illness a result of my poor parenting?"
Self-doubt is a recurring theme in my life. It affects multiple areas of my life, from ethics and relationships to my personal and professional choices. What I experience isn't a healthy level of doubt; it is extreme and therefore unhelpful. And my depression and anxiety are responsible for this. Like many people, I have both, and together they make my self-doubt more potent.