anxiety, anxiety disorder, christmas, depression, health and wellness, holiday anxiety, Holiday depression, mental health, mental illness, mental illness awareness, mental illness blog

Holidays for People with Mental Illness, Depression, Anxiety Disorder

self care

The holiday season can be very difficult for people with mental illness. Depression and anxiety can be triggered and it is hard to deal with all the happy people who are excited about the holiday planning. 

You have to take care of yourself. Don’t feel guilty to say “no” to things if it is too much for you. Everyone may not understand and some people will react to you by trying to make you feel shame or guilt.

People who try to guilt you into doing things are not the people who are the best people for you to be around, especially during the holidays. If you realize that the worst that will happen by saying no is that they will “react” to you, then you can endure that. 

People that try to get emotional reactions out of you are just manipulators. They are not on your side and doing things just to avoid disappointing them is not necessary. 

Unfortunately there are those people who will do more that just try to evoke an emotional reaction out of us. Some people will take more steps to make our lives miserable when we do not do what they ask. 

If you are dealing with someone like this then you are in a very difficult situation. Just try to minimize the amount of things you do for them and avoid what you can. 

Take breaks for yourselves and do things just because you like to do them. You can take yourself to the movies or to the local diner for hot chocolate. You can take a Netflix break and watch a funny movie or tv show. 

you are beautiful

 

A warm shower or bath can be very relaxing and no one can disturb you. Find ways to help yourself to feel calm and to feel like you matter. You can make your own traditions for the holidays and forget about what you “always do.” 

Doing things the same way every year is not a rule, it is just a habit. If you would be happier making changes to your usual holiday routine then do so. There is no rule that you have to be miserable or that you have to spend all your time making everyone else happy. 

People get extreme stress during the holidays because they are trying to live up to other people’s expectations or even their own expectations. Set you bar lower, so that you will not expect things to be a certain way. 

Truthfully these are just days like any other days. Society and your family has done the job of putting expectations on you. Keep in mind that a lot of it has to do with the commercial companies wanting to make money. It is a lot of hype that you are not obligated to fall into. 

The holidays should be about peace and serenity. They should be a time to calm, rest and spiritual connection. Find your peace during this season however it is the most meaningful to you.

 

 

depression, eating disorder, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse

Things Abusive Parents Say That Can Lead to Eating Disorders, and other mental illness

Things that can cause an eating disorder…

Parents telling you

1. you are gaining weight (age 14 )

2. you look a little fat in your butt (age 15)

3. You seem to have more trouble with your weight than your sisters do (except that the truth is that one of them is way tooo skinny and the others are much fatter than me – but parents said – No, they are just Big Boned and that is why they have to be fat – you have no excuse)

4. The car does not want to hold that much weight (age 35 and I was pregnant – the OB doctor almost hospitalized me for not gaining ANY weight while I was in the first trimester) 

5. Your weight is going to make the car tip to the side (age 35 and I was 6 months pregnant and I had flown across the country for my sister’s wedding, even though I did not feel well and was fatigued)

6. See that friend of yours that is 400 pounds?  His car is very low to the ground because of his weight in it day after day (truth – my friend was 400 pounds. I was 137 pounds. I do not think it was a fair comparison . I was 19 years old and no where near the weight of my heavy friend)

7. You could be as pretty as your friend (age 16)

8. You could be almost as pretty as your friend

9. You look like your mother. She thinks she is ugly. When people think they are ugly they look ugly. You are like your mother. (age 12, 13, 14 )

10. Being under stress from being thrown out into the street by your mother, is no excuse not to watch your weight

11. Do not eat anything in the kitchen that has a label on it that says “Don’t Eat” or “Don’t Drink”  (Everything in the entire fridge and all of kitchen is labelled Do NOt Eat  or Do NOt Drink)

12. Hurry up and eat dinner, I have to go on a date. You are in my way

13. Hurry up and eat dinner, we do not want you here. Everyone is very uncomfortable for you to take so long eating. You are not wanted but we have to feed you, so hurry up  (age 14)

14. Don’t speak unless spoken to. (age 14 )

Don’t just grab food without saying “May I have the…”

But don’t speak.

15. Don’t complain that there is nothing to eat for dinner but scrambled eggs…for three months….

abnormal psychology, addictive personality, anorexia, anxiety, body image, eating disorder, empowerment, family, gender issues, mental disorders, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, self-esteem, social anxiety, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Body Image and Eating Disorders, Young Women and the Media – Let’s Be Proactive for Our Girls

Body Image issues seem to be part of life for women and girls these days. The magazines still show these anorexic looking models. They should know better than to only show the super thin models.

There are plenty of perfectly beautiful girls and women that are a size 9 , size 12 and size 16 and more.

Magazines create the illusion that the perfect body image is thin. It has been proven that girls look at these models as a role model for body image.

There has been an increase in eating disorders over the last several decades (research by Pyle, Halvorson, Neuman and Mitchell). Research shows that there are 10 times the amount of articles and advertisements promoting weight loss in women’s magazines as compared to men’s.

In a study by Irving in 1990, there was evidence that women exposed to pictures of thin models experienced a drop in self esteem and a dissatisfaction with their body weight.

Young women ( and some young men) are becoming ill and some are dying due to the irresponsibility of the media to show the truth. Internalization of a thin ideal weight has a direct correlation with body dissatisfaction and consequently eating disorders.

The young girls see the super skinny, computer enhanced images and think this is normal. They wonder what is wrong with them and think they need to starve themselves to be beautiful.

The results of this are malnutrition, inhibited development, slower cognitive function, lower test scores, severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, suicide and other co-morbidities. Anorexia can cause muscle tissue loss, heart failure and brain damage.

There becomes a tremendous sense of lack of control of their bodies which turns into mental illnesses. In their attempt to match these super skinnies, they end up losing their beautiful figure and becoming a malnourished person who has a lower resistance to infection and disease.

Is this how we want things to continue?

The media needs to take some responsibility and be held accountable for the unrealistic body image they are portraying.

Be vigilant with your daughters, sisters, friends and students. Point out the pictures of the skinny, anorexic looking models and tell your them that it is unhealthy and not the norm. The average size of adult women in the US is size 12, not size 2.

The girls think that men only like skinny women. This is not true. Men love women of all shapes and sizes. Men have individual preferences. Let the girls know that there are lots of men who love curvy women.
Protect our young women with awareness!
God Bless,
Namaste,
Annie