Is There One Cure-All for Mental Illness?

Sloth on tree

This sloth is sometimes how I feel when I am down.

Today I started a new one type of therapy. Although I am feeling optimistic, some apprehension has already taken root in me. The therapist stressed the fact that her treatment would help me heal from past trauma. With that vampire bat gone from hanging in the corner of my mind, I would heal from the rest of my mental illness – depression, eating disorder, and anxiety included.

Can that really happen? Does one type of therapy cure mental illness? For that matter, does one medication?

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What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Listalicousness: City Nicknames, Google Searches, and CBT Infographics

Black and white photo of roses

My coworkers brought me roses. ūüôā

Yesterday was the best Valentine’s Day ever. Two of my coworkers surprised me with flowers, a teddy bear, and a card signed by people at work. Just when I feel unloved, something beautiful happens to remind me that I am not alone. I feel so blessed!

On that note, I am excited to bring you this list of links for this week. Hopefully, they will bring a smile to your face and something to ponder.

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Top Ten Websites about OCD

If you search for mental illness on the internet, some of the sites that you will stumble upon will be very helpful. Others, however, can be misleading, degrading, and triggering. Thus, it is important to have good resources to turn to on the web instead of trusting the first site that appears after a Google search.

Here are some websites on OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) which are helpful for support people and those diagnosed with this type of anxiety. Some are blogs while others are health sites. Please let me know about any other OCD sites that you find helpful.

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One Thousand Thanks: 855 – 865. Not Being in a Clique

Typewriter

The typewriter of C.S. Lewis’s brother – I wonder if they fit into a clique or were outsiders.

The past few days have been really lonely. Recently, I realized that I do not fit into any of the groups at school. Theater kids, the English students, journalism majors, and all of the other groups of people all are kind to me but are tightly knit with each other. There is little need for me. This loneliness has invaded the past few days and stricken me.

Anyway, my therapist told me that people outside of school are not usually in such categories. I do not know if this is true, but it would be so wonderful. She also tried to convince me that being interested in numerous things instead of just one is good. That still does not take away the pain of being alone. However, there are some great elements about being outside of a clique. This Thankfulness Thursday focuses on those benefits instead of wallowing in self-pity.

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One Thousand Thanks: 822 – 832. Soothing and Textile Touches

Petting a cat at the pet store

Soft cats are another touch that I am thankful is in the world.

Biology lab has certain taught me this semester that I am not a kinesthetic learner. All of the information in my head refuses to come out and interact with my experiments. Luckily, our professor lets us work in groups, so others help guide me along throughout the projects.

This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise. When I mentioned this last minute to my therapist, she correlated it to both my Aspergers and eating disorder. “How does this affect visualizing how much food to have,” she questioned. Eagerly, I told her of my troubles figuring out portion sizes and other tasks because spatial reasoning is so hard for me. After listening carefully, she stated that she would look into different methods to help me with this problem. Having someone from my eating disorder treatment facility work so much to aid me with the struggles Aspergers brings up in my life is amazing. In the past, they have mostly not believed me. This is a great step in the right direction toward recovery.

Anyway, all of that is to say that touch is probably the hardest sense for me. It is frightening and a bit haunting. When people touch me, I tend to pull away although part of me yearns for contact. Certain clothing is difficult to wear, but other fabrics make me so calm. Thus, I am going to discuss those touches that I like despite how overwhelming this sense can be.

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My Mom is Not a Therapist

Family upon couch
Family upon couch

My family

My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.

Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.

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I Physically Cannot Say That Word

That One Topic...

Talk about anything but that

Words are powerful tools that we can use to help build up others or tear them to pieces. Yet, they are also simply words that are meaningless until we give them a definition and context. So some people contest that these things we utter have no power expect that which we give them.

However, words are so vital to communication that all cultures give intense meanings and implied interpretations to¬†their¬†vocabulary. Because of this, we have words that are censored on television or shameful to repeat. Nouns evoke an image while adjectives paint a picture. Verbs can make a mother gasp in worry or a child laugh with excitement. Even particles play an important role in how we understand the world and everything in it. For example, “my dog” has a much different connotation than “that dog” or “the dog.”

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Ten Tips to Dealing with Inner Pain

Coping Skill. 19: Grieving Honestly

You don’t go around grieving all the time, but the grief is still there and always will be.
Nigella Lawson

Today the speaker at my university spoke to the women on campus about how we fear expressing inner pain. Normally, women sessions focus on modesty, so hearing another topic was so refreshing. Plus this issue is one that I struggle with ever day.

Pain is a huge part of everyone’s life. Being human means that you will experience physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional hurt. Some of these troubles are easier to talk about than others. For example, people generally can open up about a broken leg or bruised elbow. However, having vivid flashbacks after abuse or feeling worthless after a break-up are hard to be honest about usually.

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Running Away from Needed Help: Part 2 – DP Challenge: Cliffhanger

Running Away

Running away will never make you free.
– Kenny Loggins

This post will be a sequel to the one from yesterday which you can read here.  The Daily Post challenge Cliffhanger inspired this post and its prequel.  I hope that you enjoy the continuation of my story.

“Calm down, Anna Rose. ¬†You can’t drive when you are so upset.” ¬†Faintly, I heard my mother’s voice in the distance. ¬†Hot tears rolled down my face as I clenched my jaw tightly. ¬†Veering sharply to the left, my car speed out of the parking lot, as far away from the gray building as possible.

“I cannot believe her. ¬†Never, ever again!” ¬†Repeating my refusal to return, I rapidly came to a stop, hands trembling on the wheel.

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