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In a recent post, I discussed why I like wearing comfortable clothes to manage anxiety and what, specifically, comfort means to me in that context. In this post, I want to do something similar, only this time I’m discussing furniture as opposed to clothing. Again, ensuring one’s furniture is comfortable is a pretty self-evident thing to do, but like my recent post, I want to go into a bit more detail with regards to what that means to me.
Why am I, a queer woman of mostly European descent, talking about the movement to decolonize body image? The answer is simple: because it matters—therefore, it must be talked about. In the United States, November is recognized as National Native American Heritage Month, which makes this as ideal a time as any to further the conversation.
Memes are pretty much a staple of the Internet. I’m sure even those who carefully curate their social media feeds have memes scattered about in posts from those they follow. As funny and relatable as they can be, what role do they have in stigmatizing mental health?
When I had my first child, there were not as many work-from-home options. With the global pandemic, more people have flexible work arrangements. I've had several work arrangements with my children. I've been a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, and a work-from-home mom. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. But regardless of your work situation, each one can present its own unique challenges if you have postpartum depression (PPD). You're going to have bad days, no matter what you do. The question is, how do you set yourself up for good mental health by managing PPD at work and home in spite of those bad days?
I used to dread the holidays because of my schizoaffective anxiety. This year, however, I’m looking forward to them. Here’s why.
Recovering from verbal abuse can be a challenging journey, even if the abuse is in your past. For myself, even decades after I distanced myself from those who are verbally abusive, I can become triggered by others who may not be intentionally abusive, but I interpret it as so.
Many people in recovery wonder, can you get a job with self-harm scars, or will your past always cast a shadow over your future? The truth is, while you can't erase the past, that doesn't mean you have to let it hold you back.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is watching cooking and recipe videos online. As I don't have any professional training, I tend to seek out videos of simple recipes that don't require any obscure ingredients to make.
Confession: I'm hesitant to use the "trigger" label at this juncture in my eating disorder (ED) recovery. To be clear, though, as someone who has been part of formalized treatment communities for the past 10 years, I understand why it's useful—or even a source of comfort—to be conscious of triggers in the earliest stages of recovery.
One of the things I hear most often from students I work with is that it is hard for them to say "no" to others. It is something that I have also found difficult for my own anxiety, for fear that it can lead to conflict or upsetting someone. So, I will end up with more on my plate than intended, having a hard time managing my time and balancing responsibilities, and feeling anxious because I felt like I was being pulled in several different directions.

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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.