Coping with depression is a daily battle. Depression recovery can take years, and there is no such thing as a "quick fix." There are, however, things you can do to bring rapid relief in times of stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. For me, that relief has come in the form of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) — a strange online phenomenon that has been a source of comfort and relaxation for millions since the mid-2000s, even though most people have no idea what it is.
Talking is something that has never failed to help me positively navigate my depressive thoughts. Empathetic conversations with friends are soothing to me in moments of intense sadness related to my depression. Not all conversations with a trusted individual go as planned though. I need an individual to sit with me in the discomfort of vulnerability. When we spew negativity out at individuals they tend to try and help us by searching for a solution. As well-meaning as this may be, my depression never begs to be fixed; only heard and accepted.
Healing from mental illness isn't linear. Most of us have had to recover from a mental illness relapse at one point or another. Triggers show up whether we invite them in or not: medications stop working, we lose loved ones, a pandemic hits. We aren't guaranteed unending remission. There's no one-size-fits-all path back to sanity, but there are ways to make healing from a mental illness relapse a little easier.
My state of Illinois is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, and my schizoaffective anxiety is off the charts. After the numbers sliding below 1,000 new cases of the illness a day all through June and in early July, they skyrocketed recently, hitting 7,899 new cases reported on Saturday, October 31, for a single day. It could be because of restaurants and bars opening up for indoor service, or schools opening back up, or, most likely, a combination of things, but the surge in numbers is wreaking havoc on my schizoaffective anxiety.
When you're in recovery, you measure progress not by time or distance, but by milestones. If you know someone working through this process, a self-harm recovery gift can be a nice way to show your support and celebrate these milestones together.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Anxiety can be an early warning sign, alerting us to the fact that something is wrong in our lives. Are you listening to your anxiety? Granted, anxiety doesn't feel great. In fact, it can feel downright terrible. It can cause us to overthink everything, often makes us emotional, and even makes us feel physically ill. It's natural to hate anxiety and struggle against it, pushing it away and trying to decrease the symptoms. We don't typically want to sit with it and listen to it. Sometimes, though, anxiety can be an early warning system, and listening to it might be one of the best things we can do for our wellbeing and the quality of our lives.
The obligations we feel towards our family can influence our journey to build stronger self-esteem. Our families are the first groups we belong to, and our earliest relationships can have an impact on all the relationships we form throughout our lives. As I continue my quest for healthy self-esteem, I find myself evaluating each of my relationships to see if they support my goal, and family obligations were some of the latest to fall under my scrutiny.
Like me, I'm sure you've heard the popular advice "fake it 'til you make it" at least once in your life. While it may help you get ahead in your career, I believe it will not serve you in the case of depression. I say this because I've suffered the consequences of this toxic mindset in my depression journey -- and I hope I can help you avoid this fate.
As of now, I’m living about a block and a half away from a large lake and I'm finding the water to be calming. One of my favorite new pastimes has been to walk along the beach and listen to the waves.
"Raising a child with mental illness is probably one of the easiest things I've ever done. I'm always calm, and I never need any help," said no one ever.