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Making time for self-care is necessary, although it has never been at the top of my list of priorities. I'm a wife and mom, I run my own small business, and I'm often so consumed by things like potty training or launching a new product that taking time for self-care sounds ridiculous. Why would I take the time to do my skincare routine at night when I could get an extra three minutes of sleep? Why would I exercise for half an hour when I could be using that time to catch up on emails? For a long time, self-care has lived at the bottom of my to-do list, constantly shuffled around and ignored.
Anxiety and anger feel a lot alike. An increased heart rate, feeling flushed, tense muscles, uncomfortable stomach issues -- these symptoms may be familiar to you if you experience chronic anxiety. They may also sound like things you felt the last time you were angry. 
Practicing gratitude may not seem like an effective tool for preventing self-harm. Indeed, when you’re in distress, feeling thankful for seemingly trivial things can feel nearly impossible or even aggravating to your self-harm thoughts. However, research shows that expressing gratitude regularly can rewire our brains and improve mental health. It can also serve as a protective factor for suicidal ideation and self-injury.
Managing a long-term relationship with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be challenging. You have to cope with the usual relationship challenges while managing difficult BPD symptoms like fear of abandonment, wildly fluctuating emotions, and general instability. However, it is not impossible to maintain a long-term relationship with BPD.
Juliana Sabatello
People who know me describe me as friendly, and it's funny for me to hear because I wasn't always -- I had social anxiety. Connecting with others is at the core of who I am as a person, but social anxiety held me back from belonging for the first two decades of my life.
Respecting the boundaries of mentally ill loved ones should be a given, but sometimes we push these boundaries -- I've certainly been guilty of this in the past. Even when this is done out of good intent, I don't believe it is a fair thing to do. I have learned a lot on this topic through my experience with my brother, who has chronic mental health problems. Here's a bit of a reflection on those learnings.
I need grounding techniques because I carry a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This diagnosis has many symptoms that I have struggled to gain control of over the years, the most prevalent being my severe anxiety.
When you face the onslaughts of verbal abuse, it can be hard to find your voice amid the chaos and stress. It can be especially complex when it happens in gatherings of family members. Verbal abuse in family situations can make many people feel awkward and unsure how to deal with the abuser and the victim.
Anxiety usually involves some form of fear. Anxious thoughts often involve worry: fear of what might happen, of worst-cases scenarios and disastrous consequences of something that has already happen or might possibly happen in the future. Anxiety and fear aren't exactly the same thing, however. Here's a look at the difference between fear and phobia and a common thread between them. 
I started writing about depression in 2017 on my blog, "Mahevash Muses." Then in 2019, I got the opportunity to write about it here at HealthyPlace. The experience has been cathartic, and I wouldn't want to trade it for anything else (other than not being clinically depressed). That said, there are some things I wish I had known before I became a depression blogger.

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Comments

Liana M. Scott
Kim Berkley
Hi Paula,

I'm sorry to hear you had such difficulty as a child. If the scratching has started up again, you may wish to consider getting professional help this time. You can always call the lifeline (now at 988) and ask for any resources they may have, or check our resources page here:

https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources

I hope that helps. Take care, and good luck.

Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Jessie,

Thank you for your comment. I understand your fears about reaching out, but I'm so glad you decided to anyway. I'm sorry to hear about your recent stress and nightmares, and that your family does not seem to fully understand what you're going through — but it's good that you at least tried to talk with them about it.

I'm not a licensed dream analyst or any kind of mental health professional, so I'm afraid I'm not qualified to give you an official analysis of your dreams. But from what you've said, I would guess that your dreams have a lot to do with that stress you mentioned, and perhaps some thoughts you may be having (conscious or subconscious) around relapsing into self-harm and your eating disorder. The dream in which you die because no one comes in to stop you also sounds like you may be feeling isolated or misunderstood, like you're on your own in this — which makes sense if you feel like your family isn't really getting the message you've been trying to convey.

So I think the most important thing here is to remember that you're NOT alone, even though it's easy to feel that way, especially when you're stressed. Keep reaching out to your family if you can (as long as it's not making things worse for you); you might try explaining in different ways, maybe even sharing some resources to help them understand. I'll link a couple helpful pages below for you:

https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources
https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/self-injury/self-injury-homepage

There are also other sources of support you can try reaching out to (some of which you can find in that first link), including hotlines, support groups, and of course, professional help. I would strongly suggest trying to get a therapist or counselor in your corner; it sounds like you're dealing with a lot, and someone like that can be a huge help in figuring out what's triggering you and what you can do to feel better. If you're still in school, check if your school has free counseling services. (Some workplaces have this too.) Remember too that you can also get professional help totally online through teledoc services and online therapy services like BetterHelp (which helped me connect with a therapist I really liked) and Talkspace. A therapist can also help you help your family better understand what you're feeling and how they can help you get better.

I hope things get better for you soon. If you have any more questions, comments, etc., feel free to reply here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be around. :)


Sincerely,
Kim
Janet
Wow. Very insightful. Thinking of you through this process.
Karen W.
Derry, you are so right. Loneliness is a strong factor with Bipolar. No matter how many people you have around you, huh? But we do seclude ourselves. I don't like myself half the time so I don't want to subject others to that person. There is shame no matter if it's not our fault.