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    First of all I want to thank you for this site. I am very new to all this

    but I am desperate to try anything right now. I should introduce myself. My name is Brenda I am

    about to be 66 years young. I have suffered many deep looses these past few years and have been

    struggling to just make it through the day.

    I got divorced in 2010 and moved back to my childhood home to take care of my elderly parents.

    I meet an old classmate and here we are 13 years later. He is caring and compassionate.

    His mom lived with us and I took care of her here in our home for 4 years till she passed 7 years ago.

    April will be 5 years since my mom passed. She was full on care(dementia) and I was her and Dads

    caretaker. Then lost dad 3 years later due to a terrible accident that should not have happened to him.

    That pretty much threw me under the bus. I lost all purpose and self worth. I am also helping to raise 3 of

    my grand sons along with their single moms. I have them every other weekend and every Friday. I have

    had Covid twice. the second time almost did me in. I am left short of breath having to use an inhaler

    when needed and no energy or self esteem.

    Just when I thought I was getting better, my first borne daughter was killed last year in a motorcycle accident

    on the way to spend a couple of weeks with their grandbabies. That was the last straw for me.

    All that said I have now put on almost 55 pounds and just can't seem to have any luck getting rid of it.

    I stay sad and depressed all the time. Friends don't call or check up on me anymore. Jack got me in to see

    a grief counselor but didn't help. Just cost more money. I am hoping that this support group can help me. I'm not sure I can do this on my own. Thanks for listening (reading). Bren

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    Though I have everything I need, 2023 has been a challenge this year. I got sick right after the new year for two weeks with a virus-not COVID but sicker than when I had COVID. Then just as I got better, I had a serious mental health episode. That lasted another three or four weeks until my meds were adjusted. I was being triggered by interactions with my daughter who is struggling themselves. We had to create new boundaries with each other because we had developed some maladaptive behaviors, and things I was doing to be helpful wasn't helpful. Then as I was feeling better, my psychologist of some 20-25 years was diagnosed with cancer. He is responding to treatment. I am feeling better and working on taking things one day at a time. I actually have a lot to be grateful for, but my struggles remind me that I have CPTSD. Still trying to be self-compassionate and just accept that I am part of the common humanity worthy of compassion and kindness.

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    You're Not The Only One

    Part 1 of 2 Why You? Why Me?

    “I can’t do this.”

    “I don’t feel like going to class today.”

    “I’m tired.”

    These are what a college student who battles with their mental health might feel or think. Anxiety within college students is real, and I am a student who struggles with anxiety myself. I will be sharing my story with you and what treatments have and have not worked for me as well. A lot of students just brush off these feelings and let their mental health battle go under-treated. When it comes to anxiety, it can take a toll on your daily life and can potentially take over your life.

    Everyone deserves a voice and a reason to be heard. Do not be afraid to speak up about your mental health and your battles with it. If we all speak up and share our battles with mental health, we can help each other overcome those feelings of anxiety. To help me speak up and battle my mental health, I sought out 3 out of 4 (although there are many more) types of treatments for my battle with anxiety.

    Can We Fight?

    On August 21st, 2020, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. This was when COVID-19 had started. Although, I suspected that I had anxiety prior to the pandemic due to some events that I went through myself. When I was a sophomore in high school, my older sister went to the hospital; she was there from October 2018 to December 2018. It was such a difficult time for me because she is my best friend and has always helped me with my schoolwork or anything that I needed help with. I spent most of my time with her in the hospital. Despite all of that, I felt alone and helpless, but I always kept quiet about it.

    As I mentioned before, anxiety can be underrated, under-treated, and left undiagnosed. In my culture, mental health doesn’t really exist. I never believed that I could have anxiety until it affected my life, physically and mentally. SAMHSA states, “One in five adults struggle with mental illness.” This shows how important mental health is. Students who struggle with anxiety can experience restlessness, feeling weak/tired, and hyperventilation. This becomes difficult for students to complete simple tasks such as getting out of bed in the morning, attending class, and even more. For some students, therapy can be difficult to make time for and for others, to seek out.

    My battle with anxiety has impacted my education and my daily life tremendously. It has reduced my chances of achieving academically. I am not proud of what my college transcript looks like, which has caused me to lose motivation to keep going with my classes that I get to the point where I am too afraid or too anxious to attend. I fell behind in school. My grades started to drop. I used to be a straight A student, then I went from A’s to B’s, and then C’s to F’s. Once I reached college, those F’s turned into W’s. I was so afraid of my GPA dropping that I withdrew from courses to avoid a failing grade.

    Anxiety comes with many different types of symptoms that all vary from person to person, for example, one may feel either weak or restless. Another may feel insomnia and even have small panic attacks. Approx. 44% of college students have reported to have symptoms with anxiety, so if you ever are feeling anxious, that is okay! It is natural to feel that way. You’re not the only one.

    The good part about all of this is that all of these symptoms can be treated. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be used to treat those with anxiety. Discovery Mood defines CBT as, “ a combination of interventions such as worry exposure, applied-relaxation, psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring and problem-solving skills to educate the individual about their triggers and symptoms and then uses behavioral modifications in order to release their irrational thoughts and anxiety triggers.” Personally, I tried out therapy but it did not work out for me; I did not feel comfortable so I decided to try out something different and at home. Bullet Journaling is a coping mechanism that I tried out that has helped me. I am not exactly the best at drawing but bullet journaling helps me create a safe space for my thoughts and feelings. (Insert Photo!) Now, it may not be for everyone but it is definitely a technique that can be tried out.

    As generations go by, the pressure on these student’s mental health has become more and more intense. Julie, from the NY Times has stated that, “young adults are increasingly faced with negotiating ‘America’s culture of hyper achievement’ and ‘the pressure to be effortlessly perfect.” My parents have always put that pressure into my mind saying, “You need to come out on top. You have to be better.” Everything seemed like a competition to me, because of the pressure, I started to feel alone and “locked up.” Luckily, I got my first job at Tommy Hilfiger to help fight th

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    Is Art Therapy Successful?

    Is Art Therapy Successful?

    Does Art Therapy help anxiety? I believe art therapy does help reduce anxiety and can help relieve the nervous system. Approximately 29% of people are touched with an Anxiety disorder. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) “as the persistent and excessive worry about things that otherwise don’t appear to have a reason for concern”. Art therapy is founded on the belief that for those who heal for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their behaviors. It isn't just coloring in a book, it can be painting, sketching, etc. Art therapy isn’t just visual arts. There is expressive arts, Visual arts is a more comfortable way for people to express their feelings or relieve their worries and anxieties.

    I have my own struggles with generalized anxiety and social anxiety, and I found that using art to express my feelings in that given moment really helps me with expression. With my struggles, whenever I felt anxious I would suppress those feelings and try to hide them. I had always struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I had noticed whenever I would start a new project. I for once wasn't worried about what was gonna happen next, I felt relaxed and in the moment. After painting for months I not only saw an increase in my artistic abilities but overall, I felt more confident.

    Although there is medication for anxiety disorders, people refrain from taking medication and look for other ways to manage. It is used in hospitals, senior settings, and more. This form of therapy has shown ways to improve their mental health rather than just anxiety.

    I know I gave a few benefits of art therapy above, but I would like to give you a few more perks of using AT. Art therapy can help improve social skills, help sensorimotor functions, raise self-esteem, and it cultivates resilience. Art therapy isn’t just for anxiety it has been shown to be effective for many other mental health disorders.

    Art Therapy doesn’t work for everybody. Trying different coping skills can be difficult and quickly you can realize that it isn't working and could be bringing you more anxiety and stress. I noticed when I painted and it wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be and I would get annoyed and stressed. Sometimes trying to paint and relax while i’m in a bad headspace my linework isn’t as precise. Taking a deep breath and regrouping your thoughts can improve a better Don't worry, keep trying different methods or trying the same method just a little differently. Sooner or later you will find something that will accommodate and help you just have to keep searching. Once you find something to help manage your anxieties, overtime you could feel your anxieties slowly simmer away.

    How Can You Start Using Art Therapy?

    You decide you’d like to try art therapy for anxiety. Starting to use AT does not have specific rules, a right or wrong way. If you don't have the materials, you can use a simple pencil and paper. Art has no definition, art is about emotional power and emotional expression. During the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began to notice that I was very nervous all the time and “on edge” which was new for me. Since we were stuck in the house all day everyday, I started to spend all day everyday painting. Don’t feel discouraged from the idea because you feel like you have little artistic ability. I didn’t really have much artistic ability when I started. Free drawing/painting really helps taking exactly from how I'm feeling to the paper/canvas. Over time I learned that it isn't about how well you can draw and paint, It is about the complete opposite.

    It is about the act of doing the activity, feeling your emotions, and handling your anxieties and concerns. Using any kind of simple and small crafts can even be a form of Art Therapy. Things to get your brain thinking and feeling, in a way you're comfortable with.

    If you feel comfortable around a group of friends, you can invite them to even join you. I personally feel secure and safe painting with my friends. Giggles and music coming from the room is definitely a wholesome feeling. Whenever my friends and I have a bad day, we always get together and paint. My best friend, Trinity and I can zone out into our own world for hours just painting or sometimes we express how we are feeling. Personally, I think playing music in the background is a must. Trinity and I are different artists but we can always agree that art therapy is helpful and rewarding. AT could be even more beneficial if you are surrounded by a group of people who do not judge you. Playing your favorite playlist. It can help being in an environment with good vibes, a place where nothing is bringing you extra stress.

    If you are having trouble getting started here are 18 different crafts and activities that you can try!

    Can I Use Art Therapy Daily?

    The answer is Yes! If you are using Art therapy outside of therapy or not in any therapy, you can use AT everyday, anytime, and any place. Art therapy doesn't have to be any more or any less than you need it. Whenever you need a way to relieve your anxiety at the moment you can take 10 minutes or hour(s). When I feel anxious and I'm away I use just a random piece of paper and just draw, it does help and ground me back from overthinking so much. I do try to use it everyday, when I am consistent I feel my art has a deeper meaning and more thoughtful since I'm feeling more in touch with myself. This form of coping is flexible for you and how you are feeling. If you feel that you don't need to use paint or draw on any given day, you can always pick up where you left off another time. The ball is completely in your court!


    7 reactions 1 comment

    How to convince my parents that i cannot just "WALK OFF" an EDS-related injury?

    #EhlersDanlosSyndrome , #VEDS #HypermobileTypeEDS #Subluxations

    I could honestly do with some advice, here; I have a pair of "caregivers" (my parents, incidentally) who seem convinced that I can just "walk off" my EDS-related subluxations, even when I complain I'm in so much pain as I attempt to walk the length of our 900sqft house in order to talk to them about it... :(

    So does anyone have any tips, or expert websites for me to send to them? I would be eternally grateful to anyone who could help me make them take my injuries with hEDS as seriously as they do with my vEDS—which they had made me quit my job over after COVID hit state-side, mind you! (They were terrified of bringing it home to me, especially after the experts discovered that it was a vascular disease, as well as a respiratory one!

    Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

    10 reactions 4 comments
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    Having people that listen and respect us is so helpful and encouraging, so much better than having people who judge, or try to fix us!

    I am blessed to have people in my life that are there for me, sometimes just listening and asking what they can do for me, telling me that I’m not alone, letting me know they’ll be there for me, and they love me … but what can really help us feel better about ourselves is when they just say they’re proud of us. Wonderful people in our lives can regularly remind us about everything we’re going through and how amazingly well we are handling ourselves. They can acknowledge us for what we ARE doing even when we can only see and judge ourselves for the things we’re NOT doing. Sometimes they can be there just to listen to us, sometimes they can help us get our minds off all we’re going through by lightening up the conversation and not allow us to get caught in a loop of feeling sorry for ourselves.

    But we definitely can’t do this alone, things can appear insurmountable or overwhelming but if we’re lucky we have people who believe in us and are there for us when we just need them to listen and let us get our fears out in the open and talk about our pain. People can help us if they just say they feel for us and wish they could make us feel better. What I don’t think they realize is that by simply being there to walk by our side they ARE making us feel better!

    You can expand your network of support by getting up the courage and then tell people that are close to you (that don’t already know) what you are dealing with, sharing what is really happening and what you are going through and then tell them how they can help. I have found most people want to help and if they decline I try not to take it personally. It’s worth the risk to get crucial support

    #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #PeripheralNeuropathy #Migraine #Headache #COVID19 #Disability #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Shingles #Bronchitis #Pneumonia #PTSD #Selflove #Selfcare #strength #MightyMinute #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #MentalHealthHero #MightyTogether

    105 reactions 21 comments
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    When your sick and tired of being sick and tired

    #Fibromyalgia #Fatigue #Pain #BackPain #ChronicFatigue #ChronicIllness #suffering #CognitivelyDisabled #Pyhsicallydisabled #FibromyalgiaSucks

    We are so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Not having energy to do life. Not haveing the ability to do life. Living codependent and not independent. We are so frustrated sad fed up miserable we are not able to do what others do. In some cases IT is a blessing you have no 9 to 5 cause you can’t work. You have no significant responsibilities cause your not reliable. You have no commute or co-workers to deal with. An ungrateful supervisor or boss to report to. On the flip side you can’t even handle basic vehicle maintenance cause you can’t be outside in the cold or you get a chill. Further you are not able to drive anywhere anyway cause the stress of driving and travel on your body causes severe fatigue pain and you don’t enjoy yourself being out in public.

    At this point if IT were possibly you would like to work remotely like built websites or programming. Yet you have such brain fog or you are not able to focus and you have several fatigue issues with mental focus. So you can really just barely concentrate on your needs to do to keep you alive. You even forgot to pay you bills or get back to that email. In fact you don’t even know what day IT is until you look are your phone.

    Then you go to mindfulness classes or CBT sessions and chronic pain centres where they tell you you can get some relief if you change you thinking or if you meditate 🧘‍♀️ and or do stretches and physiotherapy movements. This is a journey to mental health and body recovery ❤️‍🩹. You continue to do so and when you go and do you feel good yet 1 to 2 hour sessions drain you drastically because your done for the rest of the day.

    Try going to watch your children at a sporting event for a few hours only. To spend the rest of the day on the couch with a heating pad.

    We know there is someone out there that this is speaking to. We know you are going through this too.

    HSP Highly Sensitive People are so sensitive that environmental and social interactions completely drain us. We would love to go and go like the rest of the world. However if your a HSP you have to hibernate and recharge before going out again.

    Please don’t give up there must be a cure there must be a way we can get better ❤️‍🩹.

    Once able to work 60 hours a week. Once able to work look after children and house with a partner. Now just barely managing us. There must be a way. Heck they are transplanting new nerves into people who are stuck in a wheelchair so they can walk. You can’t tell me that IT is not possible to cure this cause world governments came up with a vaccine 💉 for Covid there must be a way to correct Fibromyalgia.

    So if your still reading this and IT hits home cause someone you know has this Chronic Condition. Please please tell them do not give up.

    You matter you are important you are worthy you are not alone you are valued and loved.

    Please write ✍️ please post there are so many people who suffer from this.

    Please keep the faith God can heal anything.

    Please help our community so we can help others with this condition.


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    Completely lost ...... #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #lost

    Since Covid / then Long covid ,severe anxiety &depression, PTSD from the fire at our previous home then all the mess with going into homless accommodation then temporary accommodation then eventually getting our home end of the year I was really feeling so positive and looking forward even though I was still dealing with chronic pain in my back and legs every day ,the issues I have from long covid and the ptsd I was finally excited and looking forward and coping.Even my pain and symptoms getting worse due to the slipped disc,the fact my hair is still falling out ,my scars from the skin cancer biopsies , I was still focusing on the new house ,decorating things making things the way I wanted and liked as I'm always crafty and like changing things with my own touches. My mood was much better and I was having less bad days then all this !now have been long term catheterised ,on crutches now for the foreseeable, my breathing issues are worse now ,I need help with everything basically unable to do anything myaelf unaided or supported.I have completely lost myself,loads my confidence in everyday possible, I don't enjoy the little things I used to love I feel I have no passion or drive feel like I am a completely different person ,I don't look forward now I'm taking days by days and just in this ongoing routine of being in pain on medication that I need but makes me constantly tired and drowsy. I feel like my children are suffering again after everything now having to see me like this and unable to do any of the things I used to do with them without assistance, walking aids,pain relief ,being on such strong medication that makes me constantly drowsy and unable to even get up sometimes .I feel so frustrated and agitated that my body is in such a state and constantly look at everything I've lost and loved about myself.Right now I am getting through the days but that's it I feel numb and guilty that there's people way worse off yet at the minute I can only see and feel how bad things are .having ongoing appointments non stop , worrying about the lymph node that is swollen now considering my history and what that may then cause or need to be done.I just feel absolutely exhausted I feel like a burden to those round me who are there for me and helping me as though I'm just a burden and a pest. I feel like I'm failing as a mum and my kids are suffering because of my health and issues.I just really can't seem to see anything other than this dark place rightnow 😭😭 I'm glad I have this app to vent my struggles and situations and I'm always very appreciative of the support and advice I get and could really be doing with some justnow.
    #MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #loveyourself #Bekind #Insomnia #Selfcare #PTSD #Anxiety #Depression #Parenting #GeneralParenting #AloneTogether #lost #ChronicIllness

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    Eventually Home ..... #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight

    Well I am finally home from hospital, but I have a long term Catheter in which may become something permanent depending on the damage to my bladder and my spine.I am on crutches, I can barely move to even slide myslef up a bed without struggling in pain ,I am now on morphene repeat prescription also from the chronic pain team .I have to see district nurses to see about getting things at home to help me be able to do things and get around now.I am so glad to be home with the kids and my little Coco ,but family member has now had to move in as I need assistance and care with everything to moving around to getting dressed,,washed,and also to deal with the kids which is amazing as means I can be at home with them even though I'm unable to do anything.they found a lump in my neck lymph nodes and because of the previous skin cancer its been referred urgently to my dermatologist.ive never struggled or been in as much pain as I am now so just having to take everyday as it comes and see what happens at future appointments.

    #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #longcovid #loveyourself #Bekind #Insomnia #SkinCancer #narcissist #AloneTogether #Endometriosis #COVID19 #PTSD #Parenting #GeneralParenting

    63 reactions 20 comments
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    What are you grateful for? What can you be thankful for to keep you holding on during tough times?

    Please let's all share our blessings in life that we are thankful for. In
    dark and trying times (like right now), I try to always remember the things I am grateful for and remind myself that without any/all of them my life could be much less manageable

    I am grateful for:

    -Being alive!
    -Being able to walk, even if I need mobility devices
    -Having a roof over my head
    -Having food on the table
    -Having great doctors, nurses, my therapist, my shrink, numerous specialists and my clinic - and having the insurance to pay for them - as well as insurance to pay for my many medications!
    -Having a strong network of family and friends and always being able to know that I am loved and supported ...and
    -Having my relative health - things could always be worse!

    What are you thankful for?

    Maybe thank someone who you are grateful for and let them know how helpful they are and how much it means to you to have their support. Sometimes people don’t know how much they impact other’s lives!

    #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Chronicpainwarrior #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Stigma #BipolarDepression
    #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #ADHD #Autism #Dementia #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #BrainInjury #LossOfAParent #Grief #SuicideSurvivors #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #MightyQuestions #DownSyndrome #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #Deaf #CongestiveHeartFailure #Migraine #COVID19 #PeripheralNeuropathy #LymeDisease #Diabetes #EatingDisorders #Headache #Stroke #help #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Fibromyalgia #thankful #grateful #EatingDisorders #CocaineDependence #drugaddict #PTSD #EmotionalHealth #physicalhealth #PainAcceptance #Acceptance #relief #Happiness #TheMighty #MightyMinute #MightyTogether #DistractMe #MightyTogether #mentalhealthwarrior #RareDisease #ChronicFatigue

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