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Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? Or perhaps you've watched as one of your friends, family members, peers, or coworkers has struggled to deal with one? If so, welcome to Psychiatry Problems - you can probably relate. WARNING: This blog could contain triggering content for you. Please exercise caution in reading this page.




Anonymous said: Name two things you like about yourself, then pass it on to the first ten people on your dash. #TeamSelfEsteem

alternative-pokemon-art:

I’m gonna do this because I love hearing other people say nice things about themselves, and I’m going to tell you why after I say this.

  1. Self-aware/insightful/observant.
  2. Sensitive/empathetic.

There’s actually a little story behind this. Bear with me, it’s going to get a little sappy. I was diagnosed with a mental illness when I was sixteen; I ended up dropping out of school the following year, and I’ve been on disability for four years now. When I was about eighteen, I started seeing a social worker named Carolynn. I loved Carolynn, as did all of her other clients: she was one of the original bra-burning feminists from the 60s, and she was very empathetic and open-minded. Despite her advanced age (she was in her late 50s or early 60s when I first met her), she was one of the most genuinely beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life: her face was oddly youthful and had few wrinkles on it, and her hair was completely white. She dressed eccentrically, and it was one of the things I loved most about her. She’s one of the wisest people I’ve ever met. The very first thing she did upon meeting a new client was ask them to do an exercise for her: she wanted us to name three things that we liked about ourselves. After a lifetime of suffering from low self-esteem and two years of beating myself up over not being able to instantly cure my mental illness, I struggled with this question: I couldn’t think of anything. I sat there for at least five minutes, just thinking, while she patiently and unassumingly waited for me to answer, notebook in hand. I honestly couldn’t think of a single thing. “Sorry,” I said, “I just can’t think of anything.”

Carolynn was my therapist for over six years. We grew very close in that time. We bemoaned the deep sensitivity imparted upon us by our introversion. We discussed how we both loved to paint and do photography. We talked about sexism. We traded funny stories and shared theories about the origin of sociopathy. I painted her a picture; she bought me a book (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain). I cried when my dad told me that she had cancer, and cried for a different reason when she came back to work a few months later, her cancer in remission. Over that time I slowly improved, with her help: she taught me about distraction techniques and breathing exercises, exposure therapy and how to be assertive. I went from being a depressed, self-loathing eighteen-year-old recluse to a mature, insightful twenty-four-year-old with a much more balanced perspective and who finally—finally—managed to get back to school.

Carolynn retired last July; I’d been seeing her since I was eighteen (I’m now twenty-four). It’s true that you regret the things that you don’t do more than the things that you do. I wish more than anything that I had thanked her before she left, for everything that she’s done for me. When I first started seeing her, I couldn’t honestly even think of a single thing that I liked about myself. Now, at twenty-four, I can think of so many things I love about myself that I was struggling to choose which two to add to the list.

That’s why I love seeing people say nice things about themselves. Because I know how hard it is, and I know how much some people have had to struggle just to be able to think of one. So if you see this, please, please do me a big favor and reblog it with two of the things you love the most about yourself.

caskisses:

UNDERSTANDING
types of anxiety disorders // what is panic disorder? // panic disorder & agoraphobia // tips to cope with a panic attack // 3 ways to help someone having a panic attack // 4 things you shouldn’t say to someone having a panic attack // what is obsessive compulsive disorder? // more on ocd // coping with ocd // living with someone who has ocd // what is post-traumatic stress disorder? // coping with ptsd // 10 tips for understanding someone with ptsd //what is social anxiety disorder? // coping with social anxiety disorder // how worrying affects the body
CALMING DOWN
wikihow // helpful tips // 3 practices to calm an anxious mind // how-to guide // creating your mind palace // 3 breathing exercises // 6 breathing exercises // yoga bunny // meditation for beginners // about meditation // yoga with connie bowman // 20 minute yoga routine // yoga to make you happy // guided meditation 
MASTERPOSTS
back to school // helpful websites // happy things // feel good things // college survival // a lil bit of everything // a really big masterpost // music masterpost // diy home spa // coping skills & distractions // for bad days // bad day remedies
BLOGS
yogaholics // killyouranxiety // thatanxietyblog // lets-beat-mental-illness // recoverykitty // yogis-yoginis // healthylifestylechoice // happier-soon // rising.co.vu // catfromhell // you-can-just-breathe (trigger warning: autoplay) // recovery-in-pink // forescent // recoverytree
MUSIC
note to self. // good feelings // coffee shop acoustic // bubble baths, coffee and hardback books // rad covers // a little bit of everything // good morning // breathe // acoustic // conquer school // wheels on the road // choose happy // coffee shop tunes // my faves // good vibes // late winter nights // lovely quiet // overwhelmed // tonight you’re perfect // random [feel]goodies // rewind // crawling back to you // sleepy tunes 
RELAXING NOISES
soundsleeping // noisli // naturesoundsfor.me // ambient-mixer // calmsound // calm.com // mynoise.net // rainymood // coffitivity // soundrown
OTHER
make a grounding box // top 10 essential oils to relieve anxiety // personal care products from walgreens // aromatherapy // 19 natural remedies for anxiety // lots and lots of sweaters // stuffed animals // books (free) // used books for 1 cent // electric blankets // soft pillows

caskisses:

UNDERSTANDING

types of anxiety disorders // what is panic disorder? // panic disorder & agoraphobia // tips to cope with a panic attack // 3 ways to help someone having a panic attack // 4 things you shouldn’t say to someone having a panic attack // what is obsessive compulsive disorder? // more on ocd // coping with ocd // living with someone who has ocd // what is post-traumatic stress disorder? // coping with ptsd // 10 tips for understanding someone with ptsd //what is social anxiety disorder? // coping with social anxiety disorder // how worrying affects the body

CALMING DOWN

wikihow // helpful tips // 3 practices to calm an anxious mind // how-to guide // creating your mind palace // 3 breathing exercises // 6 breathing exercises // yoga bunny // meditation for beginners // about meditation // yoga with connie bowman // 20 minute yoga routine // yoga to make you happy // guided meditation 

MASTERPOSTS

back to school // helpful websites // happy things // feel good things // college survival // a lil bit of everything // a really big masterpost // music masterpost // diy home spa // coping skills & distractions // for bad days // bad day remedies

BLOGS

yogaholics // killyouranxiety // thatanxietyblog // lets-beat-mental-illness // recoverykitty // yogis-yoginis // healthylifestylechoice // happier-soon // rising.co.vu // catfromhell // you-can-just-breathe (trigger warning: autoplay) // recovery-in-pink // forescent // recoverytree

MUSIC

note to self. // good feelings // coffee shop acoustic // bubble baths, coffee and hardback books // rad covers // a little bit of everything // good morning // breathe // acoustic // conquer school // wheels on the road // choose happy // coffee shop tunes // my faves // good vibes // late winter nights // lovely quiet // overwhelmed // tonight you’re perfect // random [feel]goodies // rewind // crawling back to you // sleepy tunes 

RELAXING NOISES

soundsleeping // noisli // naturesoundsfor.me // ambient-mixer // calmsound // calm.com // mynoise.net // rainymood // coffitivity // soundrown

OTHER

make a grounding box // top 10 essential oils to relieve anxiety // personal care products from walgreens // aromatherapy // 19 natural remedies for anxiety // lots and lots of sweaters // stuffed animals // books (free) // used books for 1 cent // electric blankets // soft pillows

Friend: I dunno, I think happiness is a choice. And I think people just choose to be depressed instead of looking on the bright side of things
Me: Ok, so choose to be depressed.
Friend: What?
Me: You heard me. Choose to be depressed. Right now.
Friend: I can't. Why would I want to do that?
Me: ....
Friend: ....
Me: ....
Friend: *look of realization dawns on their face*
gingiskhan said: When I take personality tests, I always end up directly in between being introverted and extroverted. That being said, do you have any advice for making it easier to talk to people? And being less awkward about doing so? Any help you can muster would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

advice-from-an-introvert:

To begin with, you are what would be known as an “ambivert”. Most people are actually ambiverts, but the majority of ambiverts lean towards one side or another - it’s somewhat uncommon for somebody to be EXACTLY in the middle, just like it’s uncommon for someone to have NO traits of either introversion or extroversion at all.

I would also like to recommend a book called ‘The Introvert Advantage’ by Marti Olsen-Laney. There are many tips that can be found therein to help introverts deal with living in an extroverted society.

That being said! Here are a couple of tips for making it easier to socialize without being so awkward. I haven’t quite gotten all of these down yet myself, but I’m well on my way, and I’ve made HUGE improvements over the last couple of years:

  • Know your body. Know how quickly you get tired from interacting, and know how long it takes you to recover from it. Know what types of activities drain you more, and which types don’t sap as much energy from you. Be aware of your body.
  • Before you have to go to a large social function - a party, a wedding, a family gathering, a birthday, a night out with friends at the bar, etc. - make sure that you get plenty of rest. Some introverts only need a few hours; some need a couple of days. Listen to your body, and figure out what works for you.
  • I’ve always noticed that personally, for me, it helps a LOT to plan social events (i.e. going out with friends) several days or weeks in advance so that I can mentally prepare for it, and give myself time to get excited and stop being so anxious about it.
  • If you start to feel like you’re being awkward, take a break. A popular coping mechanism for introverts is to go to the bathroom, or to go outside for a smoke break. Go sit in a bathroom, on the front porch, in your car, move off to the side and pretend to be texting while you’re actually just playing Angry Birds, etc.
  • This tactic helps me a LOT. Whenever the conversation starts to turn towards something you’re uncomfortable with (most introverts, for example, find that they are extremely uncomfortable talking about themselves), ask the other person questions about themselves or their opinions. This works 100% of the time - people LOVE to talk about themselves (especially extroverts), and it takes a huge amount of pressure off me to provide interesting conversation. All you have to do is show that you’re listening, and most people will come away from your interaction with a favorable impression of you.
  • Bring something with you that you can use as an excuse to be part of the group, but not actually IN the group. A good example of this would be a camera; you can go around taking pictures of people and do what introverts love doing best - observing - and you’re still part of the group and socializing, but also have a ready-made excuse to avoid talking to people if it all becomes too much.
  • Bring a necklace, ring, or bracelet that you can fidget with. Also, teach yourself how to breathe deeply - both of these techniques decrease anxiety.
  • If you have access to them, take a beta blocker before big social events.
  • Bring props that can help you strike up conversations with people - books, jewelery, your 3DS, a funny hat, an interesting item of clothing, etc. This seems like it would be a counter-intuitive piece of advice, since it seems like it would draw attention to you - but many introverts find this helpful because it’s a built-in conversation starter, so you don’t have to struggle to think of anything to talk about (introverts often have a lot of difficulty with small talk).

Hope this helps! I use almost all of these myself, and they tend to work out very, very well.

~ Holly

alternative-pokemon-art:

There’s a new app in the app store (and on iTunes) created by Dr. Phil and his son that you can download called the ‘Doctor on Demand’ App. It allows you to speak face-to-face with a board certified doctor for only $40. However, up until February 28th, 2014, this service is FREE. I wanted to…

Anonymous said: Ok, I'm an introvert suffering from social anxiety. It's medicated, but I still have the social anxiety feelings. My problem is that in order to graduate, I have to present a project in front of a few teachers. I am deathly afraid of this. When I think about it, I begin to panic and cry. Please, do you have any advice for helping me cope with the anxiety, and for getting through the presentation?

advice-from-an-introvert:

I want to start off by saying that I have the exact same problem as you, so I totally understand what you’re going through right now. In fact, I almost failed a class in high school because my summative (in Canada, that’s the big final project in each class that’s worth 10% of your mark) was an oral presentation and then a debate with the teacher. I was so freaked out that I just didn’t bother showing up to class, and the only reason I passed was because I had such a high mark to begin with. I took the class again a few years later and I nailed that presentation. I promise that it can be done. 

That being said, I have definitely found some tips and tricks to help me through oral presentations that I hope will help you or work for you a little bit. Some of the tips I’m sending you are for introverts, and some of them are for people with social anxiety. I’m hoping that at least some of them will help you, in some small way.

  • Talk to your teacher(s), principal, guidance counselor, and any of the other teachers that you have to do the speech in front of. If you explain your situation, they may allow you to do an alternative project (such as handing in a project, or doing it in front of a single teacher instead of a group of them). Most schools have to make allowances for students’ disabilities. If possible, before you do this, get a note from your doctor(s) confirming that you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and are currently receiving medical treatment for it. (Side note: I actually did this last semester, and my teacher gave me the option to hand in my project instead of giving an oral presentation. I ended up deciding to give my oral presentation anyway just to fight my fears,
  • Practice before you give your speech. Practice a LOT. One of the things that introverts fear the most (and are the most terrible at) is being caught unprepared in a social setting. If you’re the kind who gets flustered (most of us are), bring along cue cards to help you stay on track and remember the points you wanted to bring up.
  • Wear a necklace, ring, or bracelet that you can fidget with when you’re standing up there to give you presentation. Or you could try sitting down in a chair behind a desk, if they’ll let you (this makes it feel more informal). Playing with a necklace is a popular grounding technique that they use for people experiencing anxiety, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts.
  • Practice breathing evenly. Breathing in for a couple of seconds and then breathing out for about twice as long activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to control anxiety. Practice standing and breathing evenly; practice breathing evenly while you’re talking as well.
  • Try giving the presentation in front of people you trust first (such as your parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, or friends). Doing this often enough helps teach your body that the experience of public speaking is nothing to be afraid of. You will probably always be nervous at the prospect of speaking in front of an audience, but you CAN learn to control how you appear.
  • Ask your doctor for beta blockers to take before your speech. This won’t get you high or alter your state of mind; it’s a prescription that they give to people with “stage fright” (aka the more socially accepted word for social anxiety) to take before a performance, and it’s very effective. If you have a prescription for anything like Valium or Xanax, you could try taking those as well.
  • It might be helpful to prepare something like a poster or a PowerPoint presentation so that you have something else to focus on, or something to read off of.
  • If possible, have a friend or family member hold the poster for you, stand next to you, be in the audience, or stand outside the doorway for moral support.
  • REMEMBER THAT AFTER YOU GET THIS OVER WITH, YOU WILL BE DONE AND NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT EVER AGAIN.

I hope this helped! I’m really sorry that you’re experiencing so much anxiety. I also have an anxiety disorder (generalized anxiety disorder), so I completely understand what you’re doing through, and I’m here if you ever just need someone who can relate.

-Holly

advice-from-an-introvert:

RULES: There are 29 questions in this survey. For every statement that applies to you, give yourself one point. If, at the end of the test, you have answered ‘yes’ to 20 or more of the questions, then you are likely an introvert. If you answered ‘yes’ to 10 or fewer of the questions, then you…

i-once-had-a-guy-tell-me:

 I once had a guy ask me several times if I was manic (I’m bipolar) and if I knew when I’d be manic again because I get hypersexual when I’m manic and a couple years ago I’d sent him naked pictures of me. It took lots of therapy for me to stop feeling guilty about it and I was finally happy and on meds, but he’d rather my life be falling apart like before if it meant he could see my tits again.

(submitted by anonymous)

advice-from-an-introvert:

RULES: There are 29 questions in this survey. For every statement that applies to you, give yourself one point. If, at the end of the test, you have answered ‘yes’ to 20 or more of the questions, then you are likely an introvert. If you answered ‘yes’ to 10 or fewer of the questions, then you…

alternative-pokemon-art:

Due to popular demand, I have created a new blog. It’s an advice blog called ‘Advice From an Introvert’! So if you ever need any advice, or even just someone to talk to, feel free to message me on there. You can even do it completely anonymously, if you want! Here is the link:

Advice From an Introvert

advice-from-an-introvert.tumblr.com