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Having healthy relationships is vital for individuals of all ages. Although, victims of verbal abuse may have a hard time finding someone to build a proper connection with. I know that because of the verbal abuse that consumed my past, my personal relationships were not always the best. After years of therapy, I believe my low self-esteem and decision-making skills contributed to the terrible relationship choices of who was in my life.
For some people, self-harm recovery begins with a spark—an "aha" moment that completely changes their lives forever. For others, recovery begins gradually, one step at a time. In both cases, adopting the right self-harm reduction strategies can help reduce and prevent instances of self-injury, thereby promoting long-term recovery.
Have you ever wondered if relatability has anything to do with mental health stigma? I haven’t until recently. Now that it’s entered my mind, I can’t help but wonder how much of a role that might play in decreasing stigma and maybe even perpetuating it.
When bipolar symptoms quell, I tend to fear bipolar symptoms coming back. That's right, the absence of bipolar symptoms can actually bring about fear and anxiety. I know that might sound self-defeating, but if you've been on the bipolar rollercoaster for as long as I have, and have seen as much bipolar devastation as I have, you'll understand that fear of bipolar symptoms is actually quite rational. It's a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop feeling. So if you fear the return of bipolar symptoms, what do you do?
This time of year can be filled with fun times, special memories, and exciting events. It can also be excruciatingly difficult for those going through postpartum depression (PPD). If you're feeling exhausted, a full social calendar is the last thing you need. If you're struggling with feelings of hopelessness, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with photos of others' seemingly perfect lives. If you're feeling guilty about your parenting, seeing parents do all the things with their children isn't helpful for you. In spite of the emotional toll of the season, there are some strategies that helped me deal with postpartum depression in the thick of the holiday season.
When you are trying to heal and recover from an abusive situation, one unfortunate circumstance that can result is survivor burnout. In my experience, it can sneak up without any warning and interfere with every aspect of life. 
I’ve gone for a really long time without hearing schizoaffective voices. In fact, I’ve gone over four months without this disruptive schizoaffective symptom. I credit it to a psychiatric medication change.
For some people, journaling can be a useful tool with which to process emotions and experiences related to self-injury and recovery. These tips for keeping a self-harm diary will help you create a helpful habit that you can use to support your healing process.
Eating disorder recovery during life transitions can present a real challenge. As this final stretch of 2021 rounds the corner and another new year looms on the horizon, the inevitability of transition is at the forefront of my mind. But while this idea of change can often bear a negative connotation and cause stress levels to escalate, the change itself doesn't always have to bring chaos, fear, anxiety, or upheaval into your actual lived experience.
I think one of the most difficult aspects of coping with anxiety is dealing with the fear that is inherent to this experience. While fear and anxiety are not necessarily the same thing, they typically walk alongside one another, and that is why it can be helpful to analyze one in order to understand the other. 

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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.