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At this time of the year, I usually look forward to the holidays. But there are some years when my holiday spirit seems nonexistent. So far this holiday season, my anxiety and depression have been getting worse. Here are some ways I noticed that I am struggling with my mental health and what I plan on doing about it this month.
I'm feeling a little blue. Sorrier words have never inaugurated a blog post, I'm sure, but I'm not here to impress you, I'm here to be authentic. What's authentic right now is that it's just one of those days. 
Let’s face it: setbacks aren’t fun, and they can feel especially un-fun when they’re mental health recovery setbacks. Building resilience in mental health recovery can help with that. Resilience sounds like such a big thing, but all it means is the ability to bounce back from difficulties. 
As I work through my healing journey, I've noticed some specific triggering elements that leave me feeling uncomfortable. Even as a young child growing up, I remember the emotions of mistrust and suspicion when trying to determine if someone's words and actions were genuine.
Seasonal depression is a hot topic during this time of year. It wasn’t until recently that I could put a name to all the unpleasant and lonely emotions that I felt as the days became shorter and the weather colder--I guess I can thank mainstream media for that. The fact of the matter is that many individuals experience varying degrees of seasonal depression. So why are there still people who attempt to debunk the phenomenon and call it fake?
I am always anxious around the holidays because of my schizoaffective disorder, but this season I have the added anxiety from arthritis in my knees.
Is it possible to stop self-harming without therapy? As someone who walked the road of recovery alone for many years, I can tell you it's possible—but that doesn't mean it's your best option.
Feelings of dissociation can be terrifying. On top of the already horrific acute, prolonged panic symptoms I was suffering, in an out-of-body utter state of confusion, I looked at my husband and asked, "Are you going to have me committed?"
I have bipolar disorder, and I never ghost people. "Ghosting" is a slang term for when someone cuts off all communication. Some people may doubt that I don't ghost people based on my bipolar diagnosis; however, believe me, I am not a "ghoster." Moreover, I'm not the only one. Just because a person has bipolar doesn't mean they will ghost you.
Each year, as the calendar flips to November, I'm hit with a reminder of how complex the holiday season feels in eating disorder recovery. Of course, that's not unique to those with a history of eating disorders. This time of year can be overwhelming for anyone. In 2021, three out of five surveyed Americans felt their mental health worsen over the holidays, with 60 percent noticing a rise in anxiety, and 52 percent noticing a rise in depression. Now couple all that with eating disorder stressors or behaviors, and this hectic season can become even more fraught. So with the 2022 festivities just around the corner, let's acknowledge it: The holidays are complex in eating disorder recovery—and that is alright. 

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Comments

Laura A. Barton
First off, Sean, I'm so sorry that you're feeling this low. I've gone through similar feelings myself, and I know it's anything but easy to deal with. Some of these words feel like you've pulled them straight out of my own head. I notice you mention 2020 as a particularly triggering year, and the world's circumstances could have definitely had a big role in stirring up these feelings for you. Things—and us as people—were certainly shaken up. Your feelings are totally valid, and if you haven't taken the step to do so yet, I truly recommend reaching out for professional help. They'll be able to offer tools and strategies to alleviate some of what you're feeling. HealthyPlace's resource pages are linked above in this blog, but if you need them again, here they are:

- https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/suicide/suicide-suicidal-thoughts-and-behaviors-toc
- https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources
Elizabeth Caudy
Dear Genevieve, Thank you for your comment. I think it's excellent that you are planning on moving where you need to be to support your son. Having a home base really helped me when I was at SAIC and also in grad school. I applaud you for doing this for your son. It couldn't hurt to wade into community college before a 4-year institution. I didn't say this in my article, but I took a class at a small college before beginning classes at SAIC. Thanks again, and good luck to you and your son! Best, Elizabeth
Marie
mango
They're certainly good at projecting how everyone else needs to take responsibility for their actions.
ash
i am cutting for 4 moths now..its terrible it gets worser and just want to attempt suicide...my friend i name her "S" gets trough alot of pain to..she wnats to attempt suicide to an has a bad eating disorder(me to btw) but she has shit parents they dont even care bout her my parents in that way are littlle bit nicer but idk what to do i am aslogoing trough pancick attacks and i have anxiety how can in help 'S' and myself? xxx, ash