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Here are some more self-care ideas and my daily icebreaker question: to empower each other and ourselves.

Self-care is different for everyone. If you had one piece of self-care advice, what would it be and why? #MentalHealth #ADHD #ADHDInGirls #OtherMentalHealth #coping #Addiction #Anxiety #Depression

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a friend in the need of some support

I stumbled across this young man's YouTube video about losing his mom to suicide and feeling guilty by not speaking to her and seeing the signs. I looked at some of his other mental health videos and he is often attacked and being called gay and I found his fb and many people attack him for his mother's death. So I figured I'd post on her to get this young man some love and support.

youtu.be/oTCFc5Y9mGI

#bipolar #MentalHealth #Suicide #SuicideAwareness #SuicideLoss #SuicideLossSurvivor #Survivor #MentalHealthAwareness #BipolarDisorder

Suicide Prevention: My experience with talk saves lives

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Support group interest

Hello, and Happy New Year!

I am in the process of setting up a virtual support group for expecting and postpartum moms. The Mamas Haven will be it's name and it will be held weekly. You can drop in whenever you need support and connection. Who would be interested in attending? Please comment below if you are interested! I will add you to a list and invite you when the group is up and running!

#PostpartumDisorders #MentalHealth #OtherMentalHealth #PostpartumDepression #PostpartumAnxiety

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6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Mental Health Seriously

Many people underestimate the impact that mental illness can have on an individual or family. It can be difficult to admit that you have a mental health problem in your life. Secondly, it can be just as difficult in getting the people you know to understand your situation without making any kinds of judgments.
As a result, here are six reasons why you should make your mental health an important priority in your life.
1. Your situation will improve if you get help: Your anxieties and fears can be challenging to manage and more than likely you will need some help. Just as you talk to your doctor about your regular health, you should not be hesitant in seeking help for your mental health. If left untreated, your anxieties and fears may not go away.
2. Drugs and alcohol are not the answer: Drugs and alcohol can make your problems more complicated. Many people have said that drugs and alcohol will only add more problems to your situation. Be smart and learn how to cope with your mental health issues by talking to a qualified professional. There are many health professionals in your area that can give you some ideas on where you can go for assistance.
3. You will save time and money:  Eventually, you will have to confront your fears and mental health issues. Save yourself the time and heartache and confront your problems now rather than later. You will save months of struggling by getting help right away. The

sooner you get assistance the faster you will start getting some relief.
4. You are not alone: Everyone deals with fear, stress, and anxiety in one’s life whether your friends and others care to admit it. In addition, do not be embarrassed that you are getting help. We all learn new things from others on a daily basis and learning how to manage your anxieties is no different. In addition, your goal is to get your life back on track and not to get everyone’s approval. If people start asking you questions, just say your dealing with stress. Most people can relate to dealing with stress and anxiety!
5. Do not make the mistake of doing nothing: There are many people who struggled with anxiety and other mental health related issues, and they tried to ignore their problems. As a result, some of these people struggled on a daily basis and eventually things became more difficult. It can be scary asking for assistance, but the key is to take things one day at a time.
6. You have a variety of options: There are many mental health support groups, organizations, and counselors in your area that can help get your life back on track. Talk to your doctor to get more details on where you can go for some assistance. Help is available but you must be willing to make the choice of getting better. Remember that every

problem has a solution. You just have to make the effort to find the answers.
BIOGRAPHY
Stan Popovich struggled with fear and anxiety for over 20 years.  Stan provides hope and comfort to those who are struggling with their mental health. For more free mental health advice visit Stan’s blog at Mental Health Blog For Anxiety And Depression | Managing Fear

Mental Health Blog For Anxiety And Depression | Managing Fear

Read Stan Popovich's mental health blog to get some free and valuable mental health advice. Explore a wide range of topics that can help you right now!
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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is zanzidavid. I'm here because my wife (53) has recently been diagnosed with innattentive ADHD. Such as late diagnosis is naturally quite a big deal but in many ways explains so much.
However, the more I have read, heard from those in a support group, and heard from other mental health professionals who know my wife directly or indirectly, the more it seems like she has BPD - possibly with or without ADHD. Her psychiatrist has not diagnosed BPD (and there seems to be a reluctance from many psychs to diagnose it).
Whatever it is, it has always put a strain on our marriage, and generally I have papered over the cracks and kept the peace.....but this has taken a toll on me.
Our teenage boys have generally been shielded from the worst of it, and she can very engaging so the relationship she has with them is good.
I have been told by many that I should not say that I, or others, feel that she has BPD, or tell the boys that.
We are separating. And while this is very sad, I am starting to learn about looking after myself and setting boundaries. I may even start to feel relief at some point....not yet though.
However, my main concern is that when we separate, 50% of the time I will no longer be able to shield the boys from it and I worry what will happen. At the moment, the stress of us separating is causing a lot of paranoia.
I'd like to hear from others on their experiences and thoughts on how to help the boys prepare/deal with it. Btw, they are not young thankfully, 15 & 17, but still these are important transitional times for them.
Thanks in advance.
David

#MightyTogether

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6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Mental Health Seriously

By Stan Popovich

Many people underestimate the impact that mental illness can have on an individual or family. It can be difficult to admit that you have a mental health problem in your life. Secondly, it can be just as difficult in getting the people you know to understand your situation without making any kinds of judgments.

As a result, here are six reasons why you should make your mental health an important priority in your life.

1. Your situation will improve if you get help: Your anxieties and fears can be challenging to manage and more than likely you will need some help. Just as you talk to your doctor about your regular health, you should not be hesitant in seeking help for your mental health. If left untreated, your anxieties and fears may not go away.

2. Drugs and alcohol are not the answer: Drugs and alcohol can make your problems more complicated. Many people have said that drugs and alcohol will only add more problems to your situation. Be smart and learn how to cope with your mental health issues by talking to a qualified professional. There are many health professionals in your area that can give you some ideas on where you can go for assistance.

3. You will save time and money: Eventually, you will have to confront your fears and mental health issues. Save yourself the time and heartache and confront your problems now rather than later. You will save months of struggling by getting help right away. The sooner you get assistance the faster you will start getting some relief.

4. You are not alone: Everyone deals with fear, stress, and anxiety in one’s life whether your friends and others care to admit it. In addition, do not be embarrassed that you are getting help. We all learn new things from others on a daily basis and learning how to manage your anxieties is no different. In addition, your goal is to get your life back on track and not to get everyone’s approval. If people start asking you questions, just say your dealing with stress. Most people can relate to dealing with stress and anxiety!

5. Do not make the mistake of doing nothing: There are many people who struggled with anxiety and other mental health related issues, and they tried to ignore their problems. As a result, some of these people struggled on a daily basis and eventually things became more difficult. It can be scary asking for assistance, but the key is to take things one day at a time.

6. You have a variety of options: There are many mental health support groups, organizations, and counselors in your area that can help get your life back on track. Talk to your doctor to get more details on where you can go for some assistance. Help is available but you must be willing to make the choice of getting better. Remember that every problem has a solution. You just have to make the effort to find the answers.

BIOGRAPHY

Stan is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear" which covers a variety of techniques that can drastically improve your mental health. For more information, please visit Stan's website at www.managingfear.com

Manage Fear, Anxiety, and Depression | A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear

Techniques for managing fear and anxiety. Achieve better mental health with "Managing Fear," a guide for overcoming fears & attaining better mental health.
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Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Part 1 of 3 Do you recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror? Do you realize your reflection? The physique, facial features, and your unique body? As the thought sinks deep into your eyes, mind, soul, and body, can you begin to define the human you are? This typically starts from early infancy through adulthood. As children and adolescents age, they may struggle with discovering who they are. Their physical body changes as they attempt to identify themselves in this world. They may end up changing their sexual orientation, physical appearance, and/or names.

Those who don’t experience trauma are more in tune with their bodies and minds. Most humans can pick their faces from pictures, books, or magazines. Their body knows who they are, and they know who their body is. However, if you experienced early childhood trauma, the identification of who you are as a person is more likely to shatter and become fragmented.

My story is filled with exponential early childhood trauma and loss. For most of the beginning of my life, I couldn’t even identify that I survived horrific early childhood traumatic experiences. Somehow, my body and mind blocked and stored it all away. One way I do this is by not looking at my body.

As an adult, I avoid the mirror at all costs. I don’t wish to glance at whichever stranger reflects on me. The longer I stare into the mirror’s abyss, the fuzzier the picture of some unrecognizable human-ish form I become. As my legs become weak, my head begins to spin, and my hands shake with intensity; I feel myself fading in and out of some form of consciousness as my heart sinks deeper into my chest. My head begins to pound with an explicit booming headache sound of rockets blasting off into space. Boom… Boom…Boom… And then… Nothing but deafening silence. Complete detachment.

There I am again, standing unrecognizably, tripping over nothing but the bare floor. I had already forgotten what was on my list to accomplish today. It was nearly 10 a.m., and yet, last I knew, I was staring into the mirror at 8 a.m. I was wearing blue jeans, a red T-shirt, and barefoot. Yet, I couldn’t remember why; I had changed out of my black slacks and button-down blouse curled up into the fetal position on the bathroom floor. A grocery list of junk food sat beside me, although I preferred healthier food, such as salads, nuts, and poultry. This wasn’t an abnormality in my life. I figured I had become sleepy, so my handwriting had become sloppy again. My face and eyelids were red and puffy, but I ignored the fact that I didn’t know why I had been crying. Who would want to know, after all?

As I looked down at my hands again, I felt the panic set in again. “Those aren’t my hands, I know it.” I could feel it in my bones. But as she stood up and glanced into the mirror again, there she was. A stranger to her own body, a forgery, a foreigner, and a sham of a human. I didn’t know why I felt this way; it was just how it was. “Am I crazy? I must be crazy!” I thought to myself. “What is wrong with me?” I screamed silently.

Nothing around me felt natural, not the floor I was standing on, the clothes on my body, or my hands. But this was just my life. I had to accept it. The longer I stared, the more chaotic sounds of murmuring internal voices kept me feeling woozy at night and throughout the day. Most nights, I hardly slept due to the nightmares from hell and the inability to wake my body from body paralysis.

It didn’t take long for the dark clouds of never-ending doom to settle into my mind and make themselves at home. They didn’t pay rent, and I couldn’t evict them no matter how hard I tried. These dark thoughts had lived with me from a very young age.

The only escape I knew was to self-harm. It gave me relief, even if for just a second. If I didn’t want to self-harm. I desired nothing but to leave this world. I couldn’t live with the fact that I didn’t feel like a whole person. Those dark thoughts soon spiraled out of control, leaving me with nothing but numbness and panic. Feeling those two at the same time seems ironic, doesn’t it?

This blackness was where I felt safe, though. And somehow, it was also my own worst enemy.

I scrambled to find one of the many journals I kept, praying I could make sense out of my day and these terrifying thoughts. But the one that I needed, for life in me, I couldn’t remember where I had put it. During the scrambling, there it was again. Those whispering voices told me this wasn’t who we were and that we needed to stay in this world. It felt like a moment of déjà vu that felt unrecognizably recognizable. Like, I had lived this moment, time and time again, and couldn’t re

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Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Part 2 of 3 member it. Remembering anything felt impossible.

This is just a glimpse of my life. I survived more significant traumas during the next few years, and these mental health symptoms worsened and my crises grew. My childhood traumas that had been kept under lock and key critically underground resurfaced. I could no longer function, work, or care for my family.

It felt debilitating. I felt like a complete failure and that there was something irrevocably wrong with who I was as a human being. I felt shattered to my core, unable to identify any part of who I was.

After more suicide attempts and psychiatric hospitalizations than I can count or remember. I became locked away within myself, more depressed, hopeless, and shattered. It was like my life was no longer worth living, and I believed I would never get better (like many professionals told me) than I have ever been.

After seeing many unhelpful professionals and getting more incorrect diagnoses than I needed, my family and I decided that an out-of-state treatment recovery center was best. I was at that treatment center for 9 months. However, I was finally diagnosed with a “dissociative disorder.” I had never heard of it. However, eventually, some of my life began to make sense.

Almost 4 years later and 25 years of traumatic experiences, I have now been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

In my recovery journey, I am beginning to heal and feel safe. I have learned that I am a survivor. In the most vulnerable, traumatic childhood moments, my DID kept me safe when none of the people or places in my childhood or young adulthood were safe.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is developed as a coping skill for chronic early childhood trauma. DID is typically formed from regular young sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or neglect. Other natural disasters and early related combat can cause DID as well.

DID can mimic other comorbid disorders such as PTSD, Bipolar, Depression, etc. Creating a cycle causing survivors to be misdiagnosed. Most individuals spend 6-12 years in the mental health system before receiving a proper DID diagnosis.

Survivors who develop DID have involuntarily built amnesic walls to protect and survive the horrific trauma. Thus creating “differentiated parts of self,” interrupting the psychological growth of the mind, created by a process called “dissociation.”

Dissociation is the mental capacity to shut off one’s thoughts, feelings, memories, and identity.

In DID, dissociation creates “parts” or “alters” with different ages, likes, dislikes, triggers, names, personalities, etc.

The survivor of DID experiences “switching” when one’s body and mind jump from one part to another. This can occur in years, months, days, hours, or even seconds. When constant switching frequently occurs from one part to another, it is called “rapid switching.” Experiencing rapid or long-term switching can leave the survivor feeling disorientation, detachment from body and surroundings, memory loss, and time loss.

There are many myths, stigmas, and biases about DID.

The media’s violent portrayal of survivors diagnosed with DID hasn’t helped the community’s or professionals’ stigmas regarding the diagnosis.

However, I want to clear the air: survivors with symptoms or a DID diagnosis aren’t typically violent. They are not mass murderers or serial killers. They don’t want to injure you or your family, just like any survivor diagnosed with a mental health disorder. They are human beings and should be met with kindness, compassion, and empathy.

DID isn’t RARE. Nearly 1-2% of the population has been diagnosed with DID (and that is only those diagnosed). DID is a complex diagnosis because of this disorder’s stigmas, biases, and hidden nature.

DID survivors aren’t attention-seeking. Most survivors with DID have a 70% higher chance of attempting suicide than individuals without the disorder. Survivors don’t want attention. Typically, they are trying to make sense of themselves, their body, their mind, and their place in this world. Most with DID attempt suicide multiple times and have a higher percentage of self-harming and/or self-destructing behaviors.

Those seeking treatment for DID are not attention-seeking and cannot “just stop dissociating.” This is a disorder which is characterized by amnesic gaps. Most survivors who have DID initially don’t even know they have their parts because the DID system and components are created to stay hidden to keep the survivor safe.

DID isn’t a disorder created by a therapist

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Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Part 3 of 3 or psychiatrist. It is a trauma-related disorder. It has scientific evidence and practices that prove its diagnosis. Like many other trauma-related diagnoses, it physically changes how the brain develops and functions. Lastly! It is in the DMS-5, like every other mental health diagnosis.

All survivors or “systems” who have DID will NOT show apparent signs of switching like changing clothes, makeup, voices, or handwriting. Although this is true for some systems, not all parts have these markers. Again, DID is created as a coping skill to survive and function. Most systems don’t want to attract attention, and even if they have some of these symptoms, they tend to be subtle. They don’t want to put themselves in any further danger.

DID cannot develop at any age. It typically develops in the early childhood years between (6-9 years old) sometimes, it can create even younger.

DID survivors cannot switch to other parts whenever you ask them to. At the beginning of treatment, survivors typically don’t have any control over their switching. It is NOT okay to demand to speak with any part. Survivors with DID are not a circus you can coral.

THIS DID survivor faked having DID; therefore, all survivors diagnosed with DID are faking it! So, you will tell every individual who has ever manufactured any mental health diagnosis that they are invalid and fake. I think not. Please keep those biases and arrogance to yourself.

DID survivors cannot be forced to “integrate parts.” Integration should be a choice for each system (survivor). Integrating means that they will finally become one “whole” person. Integration can be achieved as a goal for the survivor after much therapy and hard healing work. It IS NOT A MUST FOR EVERY SYSTEM!

DID survivors can live happy, fully functional, hopeful lives. Living with a DID diagnosis can be challenging at first. However, most individuals are successful, hardworking, compassionate, and the most honest people I’ve ever met. They understand the struggle to survive another day, hour, or minute. They’ve lived horrific traumas and survived. They’ve been at their lowest and somehow have been able to still have hope!

We are one of those survivors, and we hope our story will help to spread awareness and inspire those with this disorder that can be debilitating and that there can be hope amid the storm.

Remember that healing isn’t linear, and recovery is your personal journey. There is no right or wrong way to go about it! Keep up the hard work! We’re rooting for you!

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Insomnia is So Much More Than Being Unable to Sleep

I wish more people understood the complexities of living with insomnia and sleep anxiety. It is so much more than what people see on the surface like staying up late, sleeping in, daytime tiredness, and the struggle to be on time for things.

According to Cleveland Clinic, “Roughly, 1 in 3 adults worldwide have insomnia symptoms, and about 10% of adults meet the criteria for insomnia disorder,” and “About half the people with chronic insomnia also have at least one other mental health condition, like anxiety or depression”(Cleveland Clinic, Insomnia: What it is, causes, symptoms & treatment 2023). That is a LOT of people struggling to sleep at night. People are quick to judge and blame it on technology use before bed but for some of us, we’ve been struggling with sleep long before ever owning a cell phone. At least, that’s been the case for me.

Insomnia for me is crippling. It’s intense dread each time the sun begins to set. It’s an anxiety response each night when bedtime rolls around. It’s a constant battle in my mind of knowing I should go to sleep at a certain time but anxiety runs through my body as I watch the minutes and sometimes hours passing by as I lay in bed. It’s a struggle to wake up in the morning because you finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning with the help of a sedative which leaves you groggy and still exhausted.

Insomnia is daytime anxiety, emotional sensitivity, and irritability because of the fatigue that radiates through every cell in your body. It’s the desire to lay down and take a nap but knowing that if you do, it will just make it even harder to sleep that night. It’s snapping at those you love because the exhaustion is just too overwhelming to your nervous system. It’s anxiety and dread for events or appointments planned in the morning, not because it’s something you don’t want to do but because you know that having to get up early will wreak havoc on your body and mind.

You see when I have something in the morning and I lay down in bed the night before, my mind races. It calculates how much sleep I’ll get, how that will affect my body, mind, and mood when I’ll be able to take a nap if I can, and how I’ll be able to put on a mask for the thing I’m supposed to do. While I would love to wake up early, see the sunrise, and be productive every day, that’s not my reality or the reality for many suffering from insomnia.

I would love to be able to wake up early on Sunday mornings to go to church but instead, I’m having to weigh the costs between going or staying home to sleep.  It’s a constant fight internally between going to church but dozing off through the entire sermon, getting incredibly irritated, and needing to come home and nap anyway or just staying home to sleep in but missing out on seeing important people in my life and hearing bits and pieces of the sermon. It’s a constant battle each week trying to decide. Something that many people with insomnia have to deal with daily. Getting up early for me isn’t an issue of laziness. It’s an issue of anxiety and depression.

Not only is insomnia associated with anxiety but it can also be a result of depression too. For instance, while I have been in this long fight with Treatment-Resistant Depression, my nights are often filled with hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, and dread for the next day of waking up and facing it all again. This dread turns into anxiety which keeps me up in fear of having to face another day of the same fight.

Insomnia can also cause serious damage to one’s body too. For instance, according to Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia and poor sleep quality can lead to complications like “increased risk for heart disease, increased risk for stroke, increased risk for diabetes, excessive weight gain or obesity, depression, and increased of injury to self or others, such as a car accident caused by driving while drowsy” (John Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia). It is so much more than what one sees on the surface.

Insomnia affects so many people worldwide and is multifaceted. It’s complicated. It is crippling. And it’s incredibly infuriating for the one suffering. I just wish more people could understand or have empathy for people like me who struggle with it.

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