anxiety, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, life, mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Depression and Difficulty with Taking Care of Yourself…Be Your Own Nurse

Depression wears you down and drains your energy. The amount of energy required to get it together and take a shower is tremendous, nevermind doing anything with our hair and make-up. It feels like we have to literally drag ourselves around to do anything.

Making dinner is an effort so we often don’t eat or just open a can of something or other. We deprive ourselves of proper nutrition because it is too confusing to keep track of that when our own thoughts are consuming us.

Besides the lack of energy, we don’t really see the point in taking care of ourselves. We feel hopeless and worthless and it just seems like it is not worth the effort. It is not like we are trying to impress anyone. There does not seem to be any hope of anything improving in our lives.

We will neglect our personal hygiene like taking showers, brushing our teeth and brushing our hair. We do not feel up to going to the beauty parlor.

We may have some vague recollection of feeling attractive, but we do not feel that way anymore. It feels like we can barely get through the day, Our minds are occupied with running thoughts that are extremely painful to keep listening to over and over.

Time passes differently and we are not even aware what time of day it is or how much time has passed sometimes. I have had times when three hours had gone by and I thought it was a half an hour  at most. This time confusion also makes it hard to figure out what to do and when to take care of our basic needs.

When we are in a state of severe mental torment, caring for ourselves just seems like a waste of energy. There is confusion in our minds and we have problems remembering things. A simple thing like organizing our day or making ourselves lunch, feels like a difficult task.

Our appetites are low and we do not feel like eating. or we overeat to make up for feelings of emptiness inside. Either way, our diets become unbalanced. We starve ourselves of proper nutrition and also exercise.

We do not feel good about how we look in the mirror.   The mirror tells us we are neglecting our personal care and basic needs. The mirror tells us , but we do not know what to do about it.

The problem is that when we neglect our personal care and our diet, it makes the depression worse. Our self esteem about how we look goes down. Our self esteem goes down regarding our ability to function normally like others do.

Bad nutrition will make our bodies and brains weak and less effective. Our thought processes will be slowed. Our ability to fight off infection is lower. All of these things will increase depression.

The chemicals in the brain are affected by the intake of nutrients from food.  When we do not eat properly,  our brains become more chemically off balance, as we continue to neglect eating proper meals.  It is a spiraling cycle into deeper depression.

It is very difficult to begin taking care of ourselves if we have been out of the habit for a long time. It requires “baby steps” to get back on the right track. We have take small steps to take care of ourselves and nurse ourselves back to health.

Think of yourself as a patient in the hospital. Your bed is a hospital bed. You also have to play the role of the nurse.

The nurse will encourage the patient to take a shower because you will feel better if you do. The nurse will bring food to the patient at regular times and encourage them to eat because the body needs to be strengthened.

Play the hospital game and pretend you are a wonderful nurse, taking care of a favorite patient. Encourage yourself to eat a few bites of healthy food. Have some nice soup  hot chocolate.

Think of what you would order , if you were in the hospital.  Encourage and be kind to yourself about personal care. Get out of bed for fifteen minutes an walk around the “hospital” a little bit.

Be your own  nurse and see how it helps. 🙂

Blessings,

Annie

abnormal psychology, addiction, death, life, mental health, mental illness, psychology

Suicide , Suicide Attempts and Self Harm

I feel that I should start this post with the following information.

Lifeline, the national suicide prevention hotline for USA

Phone: If you are in crisis you can call anytime  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention http://www.afsp.org/

Below is a link for the National Institute for Mental health , section on suicide prevention

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

If you are not in the USA then there are international suicide hotlines to call. The responders to the calls are trained in suicide prevention and know about mental illness.

Suicide is in the top ten list for causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, it claims more lives each year than the year before. This is an epidemic which deserves attention and research to find solutions.

There are about 1 million suicide attempts each year in the US and the numbers continue to rise. If you feel alone in considering suicide, you are not. There are people right now, like you, that feel alone and do not know how to reach out to for help.

Many suicides are people who had a mental illness that was not being treated. It is possible that treatment could have saved their lives.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, someone commits suicide about every 14 minutes, in the United States. This is about  40,000 lives lost every year.

Adolescent suicide is a reality that many people want to ignore and pretend that it does not exist.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health,

” Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens aged 12-17, accounting for about 1,000 deaths in 2011 . A 2013 survey indicated that as many as 2.7 percent of high school students nationwide made a suicide attempt”

It is difficult to gather exact statistics about self harm because many people, including teens and preteens , do not tell anyone about their self harm behaviors. It is their way of feeling some power over their circumstances, when they otherwise feel powerless. It is often a secret kept from family and friends.

There is research that estimates that 14-24 percent of adolescents have self harmed at least once. Many of them have done it many times and continue to do so.

Make no mistake, self harm is a big red flag! If someone you know is injuring themselves then they are at risk for suicide.

A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that one in five Americans is living with some type of mental health condition. Mental illness like depression, severe anxiety, PTSD , bipolar disorder and many others can be a risk factor for self harm or suicide.

The stress response known as fight-or-flight is driven by the stress hormone cortisol, which is regulated by a part of the neuroendocrine system called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

There is research that shows that there can be a genetic predisposition to suicide and suicide attempts. There is a great article which gives all the specifics in the link below.

http://www.afsp.org/research/research-connection/stress-and-genes-linked-to-suicide-attempts

If you are wondering about the symptoms of yourself or someone else, there are some suicide warning signs that are critical to know.

Someone who talks about the following things, is a possible suicide risk:

  • Killing themselves.
  • Having no reason to live.
  • Being a burden to others.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Unbearable pain.

Other behaviors that should alert your attention include:

loss of interest in activities they love, self-isolation from family and friends, giving away important possessions and making phone calls to people that sound like they are saying goodbye to them.

Each of those people leaves an average of 6 family members and close friends who are traumatized by the suicide. So if you are a survivor of the suicide of a loves one, you are not alone. There is help for you.

Suicide  of a loved one is extremely traumatizing and can cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression, and severe anxiety. In another words, you may be suffering from mental illness now, if you survived the suicide of a family member or a friend.

The links below will give you a beginning to finding ways to get help for your trauma. Find a way to seek help if you feel like you need it.

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support/join-the-survivor-e-network

There are medications for depression and other mental illnesses. There are many kinds of  therapists. For some people , therapy is very helpful.

There are many people on wordpress.com that really care about you. We are the “wounded healers”  The wounded healers have experienced severe trauma, mental illness and abuse. We are compassionate about the suffering of others that we can relate to.

You can search by tags for suicide, mental illness, depression, ptsd, bipolar disorder, and other mental illness related tags.

Read people’s stories. Comment on their posts. Keep reading and searching until you find someone that will understand and will reach out to you. There are many in this community.

I have seen people become suicidal and post their feelings and even their plans for suicide on wordpress. It was their only outlet because at this point they had cut off family and friends.

So many bloggers responded to these suicidal posts that the people felt enveloped in care and concern from strangers who really reached out to them. Many people had a change of heart after reading all the comments that other bloggers wrote.

The same goes for survivors of suicide. There are wounded healers that are survivors of suicide here as well. If you search the tags and keep trying, you will find someone that will listen and understand. Sometimes the best first step to healing is to find someone that will understand and validate your suffering.

I hope this post has provided some helpful information for you. If anyone wants to put a link to their mental illness blog in the comments , as a way of adding that information to this post, feel free to do do.

If you are reaching out for help, please also feel free to put a link to your blog in the comments below.  If you are viewing wordpress from a google search and do not have a wordpress blog, it is very easy to set up a wordpress account. You do not have to post a picture in your profile. You can always use an avatar.

That is about all I can think of to say at this time. We were brought into the world needing the community of others. There are people in the world that will understand you. Don’t give up until you find them.