Navigating Healthy Friendships with a Mental Illness

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In life, it is important to have friends. Good friends. Navigating the ins and outs of friendship can be complicated for everyone. We may have long-lasting friendships, those that were existent for a “reason and a season,” and those that are just plain toxic that need to be put in the trash. Navigating healthy friendships with a mental illness comes with its own set of problems.

It can be especially difficult to navigate healthy friendships with a mental illness. It certainly has been for me on my journey. When I was 19, I was [mis]diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I remember one thing clearly when discussing it with my provider. A cornerstone element would be having trouble with interpersonal relationships, which didn’t come as a surprise because I had already felt the effects of that. Even though my diagnosis is different, it still comes with the same issue. With a mental illness comes factors that, perhaps, the neuro-typical do not have. 

Often, we are riddled with intense fears of abandonment, loneliness, and fear. These things can factor into our tendency to keep negative people close to us, and that is the worst thing we can do for our mental health

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Why Finding a Therapist Can Be Worse than Dating

Let me set the scene:

It’s 2:45 in the afternoon. You sit, waiting nervously, sort of twiddling your thumbs and rocking your foot back and forth. You think to yourself “what a great start. She’s 15 minutes late.

You’ve never met her before. So maybe you give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she’s tied up with something important.

Another few minutes go by, and she comes through the door. You’re the only one sitting in this section of the room and she walks over.

“Steven?”

“Erm, yeah, yes. Yes, that’s me”

“It’s good to meet you, my name is Ellen… Let’s chat some more”

You awkwardly follow her to a more comfortable sitting space, proceed to choke, and just not know what to say. There is an awkward pause as you both sit down. “Make yourself comfortable,” she says, “I’m eager to get to know you. But first thing’s first, I must ask, do you have any thoughts of harming yourself or anyone else?”

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels
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The Ins and Outs of BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an issue that is close to my heart. BPD was my first big diagnosis. I was a “perfect fit” for it. I met all the criteria. Unfortunately, some of my other symptoms were thrown by the wayside in the interest of me fitting neatly into a box; But that is a conversation for a different day. At this point I am not sure if I aged out of the diagnosis, or was just completely misdiagnosed (as I have different diagnoses now and am far from being neuro-typical). I want to share with you the ins and outs of BPD

So, let’s  dive in

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Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Cope

Listen up, my fine people. This is not a drill. The darkest day of the year, also known as the winter solstice, has come, and gone and the days will only get brighter from here. We are all up in January. We have less than a month until a groundhog tells us when spring will come. Basically, we are in the home stretch of being impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and we need to know how to cope.

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It is a new year with fresh starts, but SAD affects many people every year, usually starting in the fall, when time changes and the days get darker, and lifting in the spring as the days brighten up and become longer. In the meantime, we just have to deal. For anyone out there whose mood goes downhill during the darkest days, and you don’t know why, I am here to tell you what SAD is, who it affects, and what we can do to make it through. This post will be good for those who are familiar with SAD, because I will give a few of my tried-and-true tips about how I survive the fall and winter months.

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New Year, New Views in 2022

So you have made it through the stress of the holidays with the best mental health possible. The new year is upon us again. Some see this as a “fresh start,” making tons of resolutions in the interest of being the best possible version of ourselves: more fit, more successful, more likable, sexier. Some may see the new year and groan, thinking “here we go again, different year, same bullshit.” Still, others may enter the new year all YOLO, ready for the next adventure. Look forward to a new year with new views in 2022.

The point here is that everyone has different feelings toward 2022, what it will bring, and what they can do with it. I have a different way of looking at the new year. This year, beyond resolutions, pessimism, optimism, or adventures, we must, not just for the year, but every day for years to come, gain a greater acceptance of ourselves, neurotypical or neurodiverse. New year, new views, starting in 2022.

Photo by Tairon Fernandez from Pexels
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How the Holidays Negatively Impact my Mental Illness

The holidays can be a hard time for everyone. The running around and making of magic can deplete anyone’s energy. I recently wrote a post about mental health and wellbeing during the holidays in which I reference the seven facets of mental wellbeing and how to balance them to have a safe, healthy holiday season. For some of us, the holidays negatively impact mental illness outside of those facets.

This post focuses on those of us with mental illnesses and how the season can make matters worse. Good mental health and wellness are important cornerstones for mental stability, but there are some reactions that are unique to those with mental illness that may not apply to the neurotypical.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing during the Holiday Season in 2021

It seems that the holiday season comes more quickly every year. We now have Christmas in July, and the Thanksgiving stuff goes up on the shelves before we even purchased our Halloween candy. The holidays bring stressors we do not have to deal with the rest of the year (even though the rest of the year comes with its own problems.) It is easy to get caught up in the holidays, especially that last sprint to the New Year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, I want to talk about your mental health and wellbeing during the holiday season in 2021.

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11 Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving with an Eating Disorder in 2021

I would like to preface this sensitive post by saying that I am not a professional. I am not a counselor or a psychiatrist. I simply write from personal experience. 
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

When I was a teenager, I struggled with anorexia and bulimia and later became a chronic overeater. Admittedly, I still have a bad relationship with food that I am actively working on.

Thanksgiving, the biggest food holiday of the year, is coming right up, along with all the stress that can come with it. To this day, holidays are tough, and they were especially tough when I was battling my eating disorders. I have put together a few tips that can help you get through the holiday in a healthy way.

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Mentally ill is Mentally Interesting: What this blog is all about

What comes to your mind when you think about the term “mental illness?” Perhaps you immediately default to anxiety and depression. Or maybe your mind goes to sensational movies like Pyscho, Split, or Girl, Interrupted? Mental illness seems to have morbid connotations to the world at large. But, did you know that people who struggle with mental illnesses are people, too? People that have jobs, families, and try to live the fullest lives possible,  just like anyone else?

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels
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